What Airlines Still Fly Boeing 737 Combis? Canada istopping the list!

From Simple Flying – link to source story

by Linnea Ahlgren | May 25, 2021

While the past year has seen the rise of the ‘preighter’, cargo-passenger combination aircraft have slowly declined. With a history spanning over half a century, how many Boeing 737 Combi airplanes are still active in the skies today?

Air Inuit 737 Combi
Most civilian 737 Combis still in operation are flying to remote locations in the north of Canada. Photo: BriYYZ via Wikimedia Commons

The Boeing 737 was the world’s best-selling aircraft for decades before the Airbus A320 overtook it in total orders in November 2019. It was the first commercial jet ever to surpass the 10,000 milestone in 2012, and as of April 2021, Boeing had received a total of 14,693 orders for the 737 family.

Boeing also offered a few of its versions in a combi variant. The plane maker produced a total of 125 of the 737-200C, 737-300C, 737-400C, and eventually the 737-700C. However, only a handful of operators of the Boeing 737 Combi remain.

Government missions

According to data retrieved from the ch-aviation database, 13 carriers are operating a total of 36 active Boeing 737 Combi aircraft. Nearly half of these, all 737-700Cs, are the military version known as the Boeing C-40 Clipper and operated by the United States Navy.

Another two, both Boeing 737-400Cs approaching 32 years old, are in the care of the United States National Nuclear Security Administration, a federal agency ‘responsible for safeguarding national security through the military application of nuclear science’.

Chrono Aviation 737 Combi
Chrono Aviation operates a 737-200C. Photo: Airline12 via Wikimedia Commons

Canada topping the list

The remaining 19 Boeing 737 Combis are in service with carriers operating in remote locations, the majority of them located in Canada. With its main base at Kujjuaq Airport in Quebec, Air Inuit has three active 737-200Cs in its fleet, all close to or just over 40 years. Air Inuit operates domestic services to Labrador, Nunavik, and Nunavut.

Canadian North operates one 737-200C and two 737-400Cs. It acquired the latter two when merging with First Air in November 2019. The holly Inuit-owned airline also operates scheduled passenger services to communities in the Northwest Territories, Nunavik, and Nunavut, with a slogan reading ‘Fly the Arctic’.

Charter airline Chrono Aviation, based out of Québec City International Airport, also has a 38-year-old 737-200C in its fleet. Two Combi 737-200s are also deployed by Canadian commodities corporation Glencore.

Meanwhile, Montreal-based charter carrier Nolinor is still operating as many as four 737-200 Combi aircraft. Two are just over four decades old. However, one has passed the 45 mark, while another is still just over 36. The youngest of the group is a 737-200QC, which allows for conversion for either 130 passengers or a combination of passengers and cargo.

Canadian North 737 combi
Canadian North operates three 737 combis, two of which it inherited from the merger with First Air. Photo: Gordon Leggett via Wikimedia Commons

In service of the UN

In other parts of the world, Philippino leisure carrier SEAir International owns one active 737-200C, delivered just this January after a 40-year long history with FedEx, Alaska Airlines, and South African carriers Bionic Aviation and Fair Aviation.

Meanwhile, in Africa, Aviatrade Congo still operates a 737-200C over half a century of age. A younger model, a 28-year-old 737-400C, is owned by South African Safair but leased to the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service.

Chorus Aviation announces three-year cargo charter services agreement with Purolator

HALIFAX, NS, May 5, 2021 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR) is proud to announce that its subsidiary, Voyageur Aviation Corp. (‘Voyageur’), has signed a contract with Purolator Inc. (‘Purolator’) for the provision of air cargo charter services. The term of the contract is for three years, effective April 12, 2021 and follows the successful completion of an initial six-month trial service. 

“We are delighted to have established this relationship with Purolator and honored they have chosen us to serve their valued customers. We have been active in air cargo through the conversion of several Dash 8 aircraft to package freighters, however, this contract with Purolator marks a meaningful step in the expansion of our capabilities in the cargo market,” said Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus.  “For Chorus, the air cargo market is a growing area of focus. This is another example of our integrated offering of regional services, and evidence of our ability to utilize regional assets at various life stages.”

“These services demonstrate our ability to deliver solutions to customers with unique aviation requirements,” said Scott Tapson, President, Voyageur. “I am proud of the Voyageur team in securing this important contract.”

“Purolator is always investing in our network to meet the needs of our customers,” says Chris Spanjaard, Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Purolator. “This agreement with Voyageur complements our existing network and enhances our capability to service our cross-border business and customers with high-priority express shipments.” 

Under this new agreement, Voyageur will replace two Dash 8-100 Simplified Package Freighters (SPF) currently used for the trial service with two Dash 8-100 Package Freighters (PF). The Dash 8-100 PF was designed and developed by Voyageur, an Approved Maintenance Organization (AMO) and Design Approval Organization (DAO). The Dash 8-100 PF is designed to carry a typical payload of 10,400 pounds / 4,500 kilograms and a volume of 1,380 cubic feet / 39 cubic meters. This gives the aircraft the largest payload in the class of medium regional turboprops (30-40 passenger capacity) that have been subject to cargo conversion programs and represents a 38 percent increase in volume capacity over the Dash 8-100 SPF.

About Chorus Aviation Inc.

Chorus is a global provider of integrated regional aviation solutions. Chorus’ vision is to deliver regional aviation to the world. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chorus is comprised of Chorus Aviation Capital – a leading, global lessor of regional aircraft, and Jazz Aviation and Voyageur Aviation – companies that have long histories of safe operations with excellent customer service. Chorus provides a full suite of regional aviation support services that encompasses every stage of an aircraft’s lifecycle, including aircraft acquisitions and leasing; aircraft refurbishment, engineering, modification, repurposing and preparation; contract flying; and aircraft and component maintenance, disassembly, and parts provisioning.

About Purolator 

Purolator Inc. is a leading integrated freight, package and logistics solutions provider in Canada. Celebrating 60 years of delivering its customers’ promises, Purolator continues to expand its reach and renowned service levels and reliability to more people, more businesses and more places across the country and around the world.  Purolator is proud of its Canadian heritage and is focused on sustainably positioning itself for future growth and success. Purolator is also committed to contributing to the well-being of the communities it serves and where more than 13,000 of its employees live, work and play. For more information, visit purolator.com. 

Chrono Aviation announces the addition of a Boeing 737-800

The company announces the addition of the largest aircraft in its history to its fleet

QUEBEC, April 21, 2021 /CNW/ –  This is a great day for Groupe Chrono Aviation. While it continues to experience spectacular growth despite the pandemic, it has announced the acquisition of the largest aircraft in its history, a Boeing 737-800. The new generation aircraft, formerly owned by Air Transat, will be the first of its kind in Quebec to be offered exclusively on charter. This announcement implies the addition of 20 new employees within the company. 

The first 737-800 offered exclusively for charter in Quebec

The Boeing 737-800 of Groupe Chrono Aviation. The new generation aircraft, formerly owned by Air Transat, will be the first of its kind in Quebec to be offered exclusively on charter. (CNW Group/Chrono Aviation)

With a capacity of 189 passengers, an overall length of 39.5 meters or 129 feet and 6 inches, or more than half an American soccer field, the addition of this state-of-the-art aircraft marks a milestone in the company’s history.

“It is with great pride that we can announce this great news. Despite the global pandemic, which made the airline industry experience its worst year ever, Groupe Chrono Aviation not only managed to survive, but also to maintain its growth and its conquest of new markets,” explains Dany Gagnon, Vice President of Groupe Chrono. He adds: “We are even prouder that this aircraft was operated by our friends and colleagues at Air Transat. A company we respect and love. We consider ourselves privileged to be able to bring this Boeing back home to be operated again by passionate Quebecers. “

In the coming months, the Chrono team will be working hard to get the aircraft back into service and the Transat stars will soon be replaced by matte black. The addition of this first 737-800 will create about 20 new jobs in the company and confirms, without a doubt, Chrono Aviation’s position as a Quebec leader in the air charter industry.

Groupe Chrono will soon announce the first destinations of the aircraft.

About Groupe Chrono

Groupe Chrono has a fleet of 14 aircraft, including 3 Boeing. Based at Quebec City and Saint-Hubert airports, where the company also operates LUX, the largest FBO in Montreal, Chrono employs 280 people. Founded in 2012, it is the Quebec company with the most diversified fleet.