Canada’s first Indigenous woman-owned airline to launch out of Richmond

On Friday, a new Indigenous woman-owned airline announced its launch and start of service coming next spring.

Called Iskwew Air, the airline will begin its flights next March out of Vancouver International Airport’s south terminal. The airline is expected to offer charter services and hopes to provide scheduled service to remote communities across the province in an effort to boost accessibility and Indigenous tourism.

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“My homeland in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, is a fly-in-fly-out community, and I know how important connection and accessible transportation options are for remote communities,” said Iskwew Air CEO, Teara Fraser.

“Iskwew Air will provide services to communities like these and lead the industry by championing Indigenous people and culture.”

At an announcement on Friday, Fraser sought the blessing and permission of Musqueam representatives to operate in their traditional territory.

 “Iskwew Air has been a vision of mine for many years and it is very important to me that Iskwew Air begins in a good way by seeking the permission and approval of the Musqueam people before operations begin,” Fraser said.

Fraser is an experienced pilot and leader in B.C.’s aviation industry. She has also served on the BC Aviation Council for seven years.

“We are excited to partner with Iskwew Air and look forward to what the future holds for this new airline,” said Anne Murray, vice president of airline business development and public affairs at YVR.

“Teara is team leader in the industry with a bold vision for the airline and has been involved in many successful aviation ventures throughout the years. It is our pleasure to work with her and Iskwew Air.”

Iskwew Air and YVR will host a celebration when the airline begins its service next March.

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