Max Ward Speaks Out
Wardair was known for treating its passengers to luxuries.
October 3, 2007 By By Dave Lowery
Now an Officer of the Order of Canada, Max Ward created, managed,
expanded and routinely had to fight for the airline that carried his
name across Canada and to many of the world's most popular tourist
Unlike the no-frills carriers that have sprung up recently, Wardair
was known for treating its passengers to luxuries such as wider seating
and steaks cooked to order (served on real china) at charter prices
cheaper than the major Canadian airlines could offer on their regularly
scheduled flights. He was a hero to consumers and a constant thorn in
the side of regulators and professional associations alike.
His ongoing battles with the Airline Transport Board (ATB, now known
as the Air Transport Association of Canada or ATAC) while operating as
a charter airline prior to deregulation frequently ended up on the
front page of the daily newspaper." The ATB and ATAC were
non-government organizations; not regulators," Ward told WINGS in a
recent interview. "It was just an association for the carriers. In the
early days Air Canada controlled the organization and had me thrown
out. I stayed out for many years, even after Air Canada's influence
diminished." Today he is an honourary lifetime member.
Ward is one of several aviation pioneers credited with opening up
Canada's north. Wardair was launched in 1953 with a new singleengine
DHC-3 Otter – the fifth to roll off the de Havilland production line,
and the first to enter airline service in Western Canada. Ward
described the Otter as a major factor in his early success.