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Jazz welcomes Bearskin Airlines to its pilot pathway program
  • Jazz Aviation Pathways Program celebrates 10 years.

HALIFAX, April 28, 2017 /CNW/ - Jazz Aviation LP ("Jazz") is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with Thunder Bay, Ontario-based Bearskin Lake Air Service LP ("Bearskin") for the carrier to become the twelfth organization in the Jazz Aviation Pathways Program ("Jazz APP").

"Our Jazz APP program was introduced 10 years ago, in 2007, and now a decade later our commitment to developing a solid career path for pilots in Canada has never been stronger," said Steve Linthwaite, Vice President, Flight Operations, Jazz. "We're very pleased to welcome Bearskin to the Jazz APP and acknowledge the calibre of pilots at their organization."

There are two pillars of this agreement:

First, Jazz will refer to Bearskin, high quality graduates who have progressed through the Jazz Aviation Pathways Program at our affiliated aviation colleges and universities. Those graduates would have the opportunity to transition to first officer positions at Bearskin.

Second, the Jazz Aviation Pathways Program will provide a direct career path opportunity for qualifying Bearskin pilots to transition to first officer positions at Jazz. The career pathway could then continue for those Bearskin pilots interested in future opportunities to fly for Air Canada through Jazz's preferential interview process (Pilot Mobility Arrangement) with the mainline carrier.

Through agreements with eight colleges and universities, and four industry organizations including Bearskin, the Jazz APP program provides yet another pilot career pathway for aviation graduates with this latest agreement.

"We are very pleased to join Jazz in this landmark program," said Brad Martin, President, Bearskin Airlines. "The benefits to our company are immediately recognizable, providing Bearskin with qualified new entrant pilots along with an offer of career pathing for our existing pilots."

Jazz and Bearskin recognize and appreciate the involvement, proactive approach and commitment of the Air Line Pilots Association, International ("ALPA") – especially both Master Executive Councils – regarding discussions on ALPA seniority and provisions affecting both the Jazz and Bearskin flight teams.

Since 2007 Jazz has been actively involved in shaping the curriculum and training of Canada's future professional pilots through active engagement with aviation college and universities. In 2015, Jazz rebranded these efforts under the Jazz Aviation Pathway Program banner. To date, Jazz has announced agreements between the Jazz APP and the following institutions and organizations:

Education Institutions: Algonquin College, Centre québécois de formation aéronautique at Cégep de Chicoutimi, Confederation College, Mount Royal University, Okanagan College, Sault College, Seneca College, and Western University.

Industry Organizations: Air Cadet League of Canada, Air Canada, Bearskin Airlines, Wasaya Airways.

About Jazz Aviation LP

Jazz Aviation LP has a strong history in Canadian aviation with its roots going back to the 1930s. Jazz is owned by Chorus Aviation Inc. As the largest regional carrier in Canada, Jazz has a proven track record of industry leadership and exceptional customer service, and has leveraged that strength to deliver value to all its stakeholders. Jazz operates more flights and flies to more Canadian destinations than any other airline, and has a workforce of approximately 4200 professionals, highly experienced in the challenging and complex nature of regional operations.

There are three divisions operated by Jazz Aviation LP: Air Canada Express, Jazz Technical Services and Jazz.

Air Canada Express: Under a capacity purchase agreement with Air Canada, using the Air Canada Express brand, Jazz provides service to and from lower-density markets as well as higher-density markets at off-peak times throughout North America, with a fleet of 114 Canadian-made Bombardier aircraft.

Jazz Technical Services: Established in May 2016 as a separate division, Jazz Technical Services ('JTS') is dedicated to heavy maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of Bombardier aircraft. JTS provides MRO services to third parties while maintaining the dedication and commitment to its primary customer, Air Canada.

Jazz: Under the Jazz brand, the airline offers charters throughout North America with a dedicated fleet of Bombardier aircraft for corporate clients, governments, special interest groups and individuals seeking more convenience. Jazz also has the ability to offer airline operators services such as ground handling, dispatching, flight load planning, training and consulting.

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About Bearskin Airlines

Founded July 17, 1963, Bearskin Airlines was named after Bearskin Lake, a remote First Nations community located 270 miles northeast of Sioux Lookout, Ont.

In 1977, the company began its first scheduled route, carrying passengers between Big Trout Lake and Sioux Lookout. In the late 70s and early 80s, Bearskin's scheduled service provided a vital link to more than 20 First Nation communities accessible only by air.

Throughout the 80s and early 90s, Bearskin continued to expand and enhance its service to many Northwestern Ontario cities, and providing connections to Air Canada in Thunder Bay and Winnipeg. Using newly acquired 19-seat Fairchild Metroliners, expansion continued throughout Northeastern Ontario and Manitoba until the summer of 2003 when Bearskin Airlines was serving more than 40 destinations.

In early 2003 following the sale of its northern assets, Bearskin Airlines rationalized its routes and equipment to include more southern markets within Ontario and a single aircraft type - the Fairchild Metroliner.

On January 1, 2011, Exchange Income Corporation ("EIC") (TSX: EIF) completed its acquisition of Bearskin Airlines. EIC is a Canadian corporation who owns other airline interests and specialty manufacturing companies in Canada and the United States.

Today, the "Bear" continues to serve 12 destinations in Ontario and Winnipeg, Manitoba. No other airline offers better connecting service between NW Ontario and NE Ontario. Thunder Bay acts as Bearskin's major hub, linking Northern Ontario's five largest cities to NW Ontario and to Winnipeg.

The company maintains its head office in Thunder Bay and employs more than 180 people throughout Ontario and Manitoba. The company also has a maintenance and pilot base in Thunder Bay.

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For further information: Media contacts: Jazz Aviation LP: Teri Udle, Manager, Corporate Communications and Brand Management, (902) 873-5047, Halifax, NS,; Bearskin Airlines: Trevor Gavinchuk, Director of Operations, (807) 474-2678, Thunder Bay, ON,