Archive | On the wings of Quebecair

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Archives | On the wings of Quebec ;becair

Founded in 1953, the company Québecair was sold in 1986.

From 1953 to 1986, the company Québecair reigned over the regional aviation of La Belle Province. Our archival reports allow us to look back on the history of this Quebec flagship.

It was at the beginning of the Quiet Revolution that Air Rimouski, the first Quebec airline created in 1946 by Wilfrid Ouellet and Albert Dionne, became Québecair.

Born from a merger between the Syndicat de l'aviation du Golfe and Air Rimouski, Québecair acquired over the years many regional airlines to become a major player in the industry.

Quebecair aircraft in the 1950s.

May 16 2019 on Téléjournal, Frédéric Arnould looks back on the history of Canadian airlines, including Québecair.

As the journalist recalls, since the 1950s, the growth of the aviation sector has always been closely linked to mergers and acquisitions.

At the height of its success, the company will employ 1,200 people and serve 35 destinations. Remote regions in Quebec, but also flights to Toronto and New York.

The company plays an important role in the transportation of workers, especially those who are called upon to work on James Bay shipyards in the 1970s

The company sees big and its expansion plans will not be unrelated to its financial setbacks.

In 1978, the company buys five Boeing 737s at a total cost of 60 million US dollars . But, at that time, the Air Canada and Nordair companies belonged to the federal government and provided Québecair with severe competition.

While he sees his company accumulating deficits, President Alfred Hamel tries to get rid of his Boeing 737s, but three of them, unsold, remain grounded.

In the early 1980s, Quebecair experienced more and more difficulties and the Quebec government then became its main shareholder.

A solidarity show was even organized in favor of Quebecair employees , who are fighting to avoid the bankruptcy of the company.

Quebecair employee support show, November 17, 1982.

November 17, 1982 on Téléjournal, André Bédard presents a report on this show given at the Montreal Forum which brings together a dozen Quebec artists, including Yvon Deschamps, Sylvain Lelièvre, Céline Dion and Robert Charlebois. He also returns to the problems facing the company.

Two weeks later, on December 1, 1982, André Bédard offers us another report on the Téléjournal . This time he introduces us to pilot Wilfrid Allard, who after 26 years and 3000 hours in the sky for Québecair, is making his last flight for the company.

Report by André Bédard on the last flight of pilot Wilfrid Allard, who flew more than 3000 hours for the company Québecair during a 26-year career. The newscast is hosted by Bernard Derome.

The recently retired pilot explains that Quebecair has been of paramount importance in training and hiring French-speaking Quebec pilots.

But the attachment and pride of employees for the company will not be enough to ensure its survival. Five years after its acquisition by the Government of Quebec, the company recorded a deficit of $80 million. Prime Minister Robert Bourassa and his Minister of Transport Marc-Yvan Côté then sought to divest themselves of the airline.

Quebecair employees got together and submitted an offer to purchase the government, but the latter considers it too modest.

Report by Jean Bédard on the sale of the airline Quebecair to Nordair Métro by the Bourassa government. Journalist André Bédard then paints a portrait of Québecair. The newscast is hosted by Jean Ducharme.

July 31, 1986 at Téléjournal, the news falls. The government chooses to sell Quebecair to the airline Nordair Métro for $21 million. Quebecair employees are furious.

Nordair is committed to protecting 776 of the 827 jobs of the defunct Quebecair. The Canadian company moved some of its activities to Quebec.

The same year, two former Quebecair pilots, Yvon Lecavalier and Pierre Ménard, founded, along with Jean-Marc Eustache and François Legault the company Air Transat, which operates international, scheduled and charter flights.

In 1987, the Canadian Airline in turn swallows Nordair. The Canadian Airline was acquired by Air Canada in 2000.

On June 27, 2019, Air Canada announced its intention to acquire Air Transat at a cost of $520 million. The Competition Bureau then judges that the merger would have a negative effect on supply and prices, and the transaction does not take place.

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