The airline operated from the 1940s to the 1980s. Initially, most of its business was international and transatlantic passenger and freight charters and other contracts. It also operated scheduled flights to a number of destinations in the Northwest Territories. Nordair initially flew out of Montreal's two airports: Dorval Airport (now Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport) and Montréal-Mirabel International Airport. It was headquartered in Montreal (operations at Dorval, Quebec and head office at 1320 Boulevard Graham in Mont Royal).
Another company called Nordair Quebec 2000 Incorporated operated in 2000 as a domestic regional carrier and cargo operator in Quebec, but the licence and licence applications for the airline were suspended in 2006 by Transport Canada and once again the Nordair name disappeared from the airline industry
On 31 March 1977 L-188 CF-NAZ, while parked on the ramp at CFB Summerside, was severely damaged when a Canadian Forces CP-107 (tail 10737) attempted a three-engine landing in weather. She was later rebuilt in Van Nuys and re-registered as C-GNDZ.