Provincial Airlines

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Provincial Airlines
Founded 1972
Hubs St. John's International Airport, Goose Bay Airport, Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, Halifax International Airport,
Focus cities St. John's, Goose Bay
Fleet size 33
Destinations 22
Parent company Provincial Aerospace Ltd
Headquarters St. John's International Airport
St. John's, Newfoundland

Provincial Airlines (PAL) is a regional airline with headquarters at St. John's International Airport in St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.[1] It operates scheduled passenger, cargo, air ambulance and charter services. PAL is the commercial arm of Provincial Aerospace Ltd. In addition to its head office, it also has offices in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Halifax Stanfield International Airport) and Goose Bay, Labrador, (CFB Goose Bay). PAL is the largest regional airline operator in Eastern Canada.


The airline was established in August 1974 as a flight training and charter operator. Scheduled airline operations began in 1980. In the 1980s, the company also developed its airborne maritime surveillance division, which operated until 1989 as Atlantic Airways. In 1988, it acquired Eastern Flying Service (established in 1956 and operating an extensive air courier network). In 1995, it created an Interprovincial Airlines division to operate scheduled airline operations and entered into a commercial agreement with Air Nova.[2] It is a partner, with the Innu Development Limited partnership, in Innu Mikun Airlines, which serves the Labrador coast.[3]

Traditionally, PAL operated light aircraft such as Piper Navajo's and the Britten-Norman Islander around Atlantic Canada. Eventually, the airline moved into Twin-Otters and Fairchild Metroliners and, at one point, had a Convair 580 in its fleet. In 2001, PAL took the delivery of its first Saab 340 aircraft. This was the first time that Provincial Airlines had entered into 705 Airline Operations which meant that the first class of Flight Attendants were trained at this time. The airline added to its 705 Fleet three years later when the company was awarded the VALE Inc. contract for the Voisey's Bay Mine in Labrador. This contract required the use of De-Havilland Dash 8's which began to arrive in 2004. PAL eventually added more Dash 8's as part of the airline's scheduled air service.

On 12 March 2009, one of Provincial Aerospace's Maritime Patrol Aircraft was first on the scene of Cougar Helicopters Flight 91's ditching, flying "top cover" until other help could arrive, leading to the rescue of the sole survivor.[4]

Between 2011 and 2012, the company was divided into two companies. Remaining under the same ownership, two separate companies (divisions) were formed: Provincial Aerospace and Provincial Airlines. Provincial Aerospace has always been the parent company and, up until recently, consisted of the Maritime Surveillance divisions in Canada, Curaçao and the United Arab Emirates. During the split, both of PAL's Cessna Citation jets, and the Charter and Medevac King Airs in Halifax were moved over to the Aerospace division. Anything considered a specialty service (mainly 702 and 703 operations) became Aerospace. Provincial Airlines was then left with its Fleet of 704 and 705 aircraft which consists of Twin-Otters, a Metroliner, Saab 340's and Dash-8's at 4 bases in St. John's, Halifax, Goose Bay and Montreal. PAL undertook an internal shift of staff and management.

On February 19, 2014 it was announced that Provincial Airlines was awarded a 4 year contract to be the air service provider for NALCOR on the Lower Churchill Project.

Bases and operations[edit]

Provincial Airlines bases[edit]

St. John's: Provincial Airlines operates Dash 8, Saab 340A, Metroliner as well as aircraft from the Aerospace side of the company out of St. John's. Provincial Airlines operates two hangars in St. John's and shares one (Hangar 2 with the Aerospace Division). Hangar 2 houses a Saab and the Metroliner. Hangar 3 holds Dash 8 and Saab Maintenance as well as the Commissary department. Hangar 4 houses a number of departments including Human Resources, Reservations, Training, Building Maintenance, Chief Pilot and DFO of Provincial Airlines, Flight Attendant Management, Crew Room, Crew Scheduling, Dispatch, and System Operational Control Center (SOCC), and PAL Cargo are also attached to Hangar 4. Hangar 4 can also be rented to store aircraft. One of the PAL owned Shell FBO's located at the St. John's Intl. Airport is located in Hangar 4.

Halifax: Provincial operates one Hangar in Halifax, which houses a Saab 340B. This hangar is shared with the Aerospace Division and its aircraft as well. PAL also operates an Esso Avitat FBO at this hangar. The hangar also has management offices and a Crew Room.

Goose Bay: Goose Bay is home to Provincial Airlines Twin Otter operation under the name of Innu Mikun Airlines. PAL owns two hangars in Goose Bay. Hangar 14 houses the aircraft groomers, Aircraft Maintenance for Twin Otters (all PAL aircraft can be serviced in Goose Bay), Crew Room and Dispatch. Hangar 18 in Goose Bay houses the Voisey's Bay check-in desk for the daily charter the Dash 8 provides to the Voisey's Bay mine in Northern Labrador. PAL Cargo, Innu Mikun Charters and Management offices are also in Hangar 18.

Montreal: Provincial Airlines operates from the StarLink Hangar at Montreal's Pierre Elliot Trudeau airport. The hangar houses Dash 8s for scheduled and charter service throughout Quebec.

Provincial Aerospace Ltd. bases[edit]

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador: Hangars 1 and 6 in St. John's are owned by Provincial Aerospace. Hangar 2 houses the Citation 550 Medevac, and 4 Maritime Surveillance (AMSD) King Air 200's. It is shared with the Airline Division's Saabs and Metroliner. Hangar 2 also has the offices of the Chief Pilot of the AMSD Division, other managers and part of the IT department. Hangar 1 houses the Citation X and the office of the Chief Pilot of the Jet Division and DFO of Provincial Aerospace). It also accommodates a Shell FBO and executive offices. The training department for both Aerospace and Airlines is also located in Hangar 1. Hangar 6 is home to PAMSI (PAL's internationally known modification division). This hangar contains a variety of aircraft that PAL is contracted to modify or restore). The accounting department is located 7 km from the hangars in the Prince Charles Building.

Halifax, Nova Scotia: Provincial Aerospace and Provincial Airlines share a hangar in Halifax which houses one of Provincial Aerospace's King Air 200 Maritime Surveillance aircraft, another King Air 200 Medevac Aircraft and two King Air 350 charter aircraft. Provincial Aerospace also has a training base located 3 km from the Hangar in Halifax for the radar operators of two Dash 8s being operated in the Middle East and the King Air radar operators in Canada. The Charter Department, which operates the King Air 350's, Citation X and other Provincial Airlines aircraft at its disposal, is also located at the Hangar in Halifax.

Comox, British Columbia: The hangar in Comox is part of CFB Comox and is the base of one of Provincial Aerospace's King Air 200 Maritime Surveillance aircraft and its pilots.

Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles: PAL has a Maritime Surveillance base in Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles, where it operates two Dash 8s under contract for the Dutch Government. PAL aircraft in Curaçao use the call signs "Coast Guard" (for routine patrols or Search and Rescue operations) and "SAM" (which stands for Special Air Missions when on a classified mission which can be launched without filing a flight plan).

Abu Dhabi, UAE: PAL has pilots and maintenance of two Dash 8s modified by PAMSI in the Middle East based in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The crews are not based permanently in Abu Dhabi: they operate on a rotation from Canada. The UAE aircraft use the call sign "Sea Lord".


Provincial Airlines offers cargo service to all of its destinations. St. John's and Goose Bay each operate a full cargo facility. The Metroliner is Provincial's dedicated cargo aircraft and operate daily cargo flights throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. The Twin Otters also are used for cargo flights along the Labrador Coast. For destinations in the Maritimes and Quebec, cargo is moved on scheduled flights. The Dash 8-100's are also capable of being converted to fly as a passenger/cargo combination.


Provincial Aerospace has three aircraft dedicated to charters. The aircraft in the Provincial Airlines fleet are also often used for larger charters. Provincial has flown charters all over North America and to Africa. Innu Mikun also has its own charter division which flies charters along the coast of Labrador and Northern Quebec and specializes in off-strip charters and float operations.


Provincial Airlines serves 19 communities in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec as of October 2014.[5]


The Provincial Airlines and Provincial Aerospace fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of March 2013) [1]:

Retired fleet[edit]


  1. ^ "Contact Information." Provincial Airlines. Retrieved on December 4, 2011. "Head Office: St. John's International Airport RCAF Road, Hangar #4 P.O. Box 29030 St. John's, NL Canada A1A 5B5" and "Halifax Office: Halifax International Airport 647 Barnes Road Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada B2T 1K3" - French: "Aéroport International de St. John’s Route RCAF,Hangar nº 4 Case postale 29030 St. John's,Terre-Neuve A1A 5B5 Canada" and "Aéroport International de Halifax 647 route Barnes Halifax, Nouvelle-Écosse B2T 1K3 Canada"
  2. ^ Flight International 12–18 April 2005
  3. ^ "Innu Mikun Airlines". Retrieved 2009-06-22. [dead link]
  4. ^ Baird, Moira; Peter Walsh; Rob Antle (March 13, 2009). "Rescue efforts continue". The Telegram. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Provincial Aerospace | Provincial Aerospace Awarded $4M Contract to Modify Maritime Surveillance Aircraft

External links[edit]