In 2021, it was announced that two regional Canadian airlines, West Wind Aviation and Transwest Air would merge and begin operating under a new brand — Rise Air. West Wind’s parent company, the West Wind Aviation Group, had already purchased Transwest in 2016, but the Transwest brand remained as a subsidiary of West Wind and had its own operating certificate. The decision to consolidate the two airlines and rebrand as Rise Air was made to be able to adapt following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel industry in Canada.
Despite being bought by West Wind in 2016, Transwest Air remained operational under its own brand. When the two airlines rebrand as ‘Rise Air’, they will consolidate under one air operating certificate. As well as continuing to operate existing routes, Rise Air hopes to also provide charter flights to western and northern Canada.
Update: Rise Air is the planned new brand name for the West Wind and Transwest Air merger. Existing routes will remain operational, with new branding phased in over time. The two airlines will continue to serve the northern Saskatchewan region.
West Wind Aviation launched in 1983, operating within the Saskatchewan province from its hub at Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport (YXE). West Wind’s parent company (West Wind Aviation Group) acquired its main competitor, Transwest Air, in 2016.
Transwest Air was founded in 2000, based at Prince Albert Glass Field Airport. The airline was bought by West Wind Aviation in 2016, which inherited Transwest Air’s 20+ aircraft and 200+ staff.
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Transwest Air and West Wind Aviation fly to domestic destinations in Saskatchewan, a province in western Canada. Once merged under the new brand, it is likely that the carrier will combine its network and continue to operate to the following destinations:
|Fond du Lac||ZFD||Fond-Du-Lac Airport|
|La Ronge||YVC||La Ronge Airport|
|Points North||YNL||Points North Landing Airport|
|Prince Albert||YPA||Prince Albert Glass Field|
|Saskatoon||YXE||Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport|
|Stony Rapids||YSF||Stony Rapids Airport|
|Uranium City||YBE||Uranium City Airport|
|Wollaston||ZWL||Wollaston Lake Airport|
|Regina||YQR||Regina International Airport|
The carry-on baggage allowance passengers on the new ‘Rise Air’ brand has yet to be confirmed. Currently, on Transwest flights, every passenger is permitted two pieces of carry-on baggage. These bags cannot exceed the total weight of 20lbs (9kg). Bags have to fit in the overhead lockers or under the seat in front
The new baggage allowance for the new airline brand has yet to be detailed. Until the merger and re-brand is complete, the baggage allowance will depend on the route and aircraft being operated and will be outlined during the booking process.
Online check-in is not available. Passengers must check-in at the airport.
Airport check-in counters close 30 minutes before scheduled departure time. Passengers are advised to check-in one hour before scheduled departure time.
Economy Class is the only class available on both Transwest Air and West Wind Aviation flights. As the carriers operate smaller regional aircraft and propeller planes so the service onboard was limited. During the flights, staff were available to help with anything that passengers might need.
Seats will be configured in different formations, including 2 x 2 , 1 x 2 or 1 x 1, depending on the aircraft being operated. Although there is only standard seating available, the flight will be comfortable and offer incredible views of the scenery below.
Rise Air may follow West Wind Aviation in offer multiple ticket fares. Although the onboard experience will be the same, the ticket fares will determine factors such as whether the ticket is refundable or changeable, as well as determining the baggage allowance.
It is not yet known whether the new airline brand will establish a new frequent flyer program to reward loyal passengers.
Once the fleets of Transwest and West Wind Aviation are combined, Rise Air will have an extensive fleet. Its fleet will include Beechcraft 1900, Cessna 185, DHC-2 Beaver, DHC-3 Turbo Otter, DHC-6 Twin Otter, King Air 100, King Air 200, King Air 300, King Air 350 and Saab340. The aircraft have a seating capacity between 3-34 passengers, depending on the aircraft flying the route.
Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport (YXE) is an international airport serving Saskatoon, Canada. It was the hub airport for West Wind Aviation, which was based at the airport for most of the time that it flew, originally flying between just Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert and then expanding its connections. West Wind is expected to continue to use the airport as a hub under the newly-formed Rise Air brand.
The airport itself has one terminal building and two runways.
23rd Jan 2021
In January 2021 it was announced that West Wind and Transwest Air merged under a new brand: Rise Air. The decision was made due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the industry, and the reduction of people travelling to/from the Northern territories. The airline has stated that it wants to preserve the legacy of both organizations, while also bringing something new and fresh. The rebranding will include a redesign of all the branded materials, with more expensive upgrades (like aircraft refurbishments) phased in over time.