SonicBlue Airways was an airline based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with their headquarters in Richmond. SonicBlue offered both scheduled and charter services and would fly anywhere in North America. For maintenance failings (and following an accident) Transport Canada suspended Sonicblue's operating license and grounded the company's fleet in January 2006.
It was operated by International Express Air Charter Ltd and was formerly known as Regency Express.
On 23 January 2006 Transport Canada announced the suspension of International Express Aircharter Ltd.’s air operator certificate, effective immediately. The suspension was based on a "review of the company's record and concerns with the company’s ability to exercise operational control, including proper record keeping and aircraft maintenance".
On 22 March 2006 Transport Canada announced that International Express Aircharter Ltd. was fined $125,000 for failing to maintain their aircraft properly, and their air operator certificate was cancelled. The company was charged with failing to maintain five aircraft in violation of Canadian Aviation Regulations by not performing required aircraft maintenance inspections on schedule. In one case, a maintenance inspection was overdue by more than 270 hours.
Incidents and accidents
- On 21 January 2006 a Sonicblue Cessna 208B Grand Caravan (C-GRXZ) chartered flight from Tofino to Vancouver was trying to divert to Port Alberni after a pilot mayday, but crashed some 12 kilometers from Port Alberni killing one crew member and two passengers. Five passengers survived. Investigation has shown that a turbine blade snapped off in the engine due to fatigue. Subsequent investigations showed that six of Sonicblue's aircraft (including the Cessna Caravan involved in the accident) were overdue their mandatory inspections. As a result Transport Canada suspended Sonicblue's operating license and grounded the company's fleet.
As of January 2006 the SonicBlue fleet consisted of the following:
- Airline Codes (November 2006)
- Transport Canada 23 January 2006
- Transport Canada 22 March 2006
- Aviation Safety Network retrieved 26 November 2006