In 1978, Air Inuit initiated operations with the acquisition of a single-engine aircraft, De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver, followed very soon after that by a couple of Twin Otters, a DHC3 and a Single Otter based in Kuujjuaq.
In 1983, the airline bought the routes north alongside the eastern coast of Hudson’s Bay, from Austin Airways, aggregating its Twin Otter fleet to 8 of them.
In 1985, the carrier purchased its first Hawker Siddley 748 and started operating with Kuujjuaraapik as base, which was later repositioned in La Grande in order to serve the increasing demand of moving heavy machinery and cargo all through the region, principally for mining purposes. After in 1988, Johnny May’s air charter was acquired as a secondary company in succession of Beavers and Single Otters.
In 1995, the airline signed on an ambitious growth plan, announcing the service of the De Havilland Dash-8-100, between Nunavik and Montreal. Next, in 1998, Nunavik Rotors was created and a rotary wing service was added to the area from a base in Kuujjuaq with the acquisition of a helicopter Aerospatiale Astar 350.
In 2008, the company purchased a Boeing 737-200C, which was capable of landing on grit and specially modified for northern operations for the pride of customers and management comparably.
In 2011, the new corporate identity was being rolled out. The new livery design, the image of three interwoven birds, has been painted onto the airline’s newest fleet addition, a new Boeing 737 specially adapted for northern operations.
In March 2016, Air Inuit and Bombardier announced that they are working together on a passenger-to-freighter conversion for the Q300 turboprop aircraft. Air Inuit, a long-time operator of this type of aircraft, will be the launch customer for the new Bombardier Q300 Large Cargo Door freighter.
In 2019, Air Inuit’s Sparrow pilot training program launched in 2012 continues to successfully produce graduates that want to fulfill their professional objective of flying for Air Inuit. The program coordinator is Melissa Haney, the first female Inuk pilot to reach the rank of captain in 2018.
Today, after 40 years in action, Air Inuit has converted into a significant regional airline in Canada. The company has newly built a maintenance center that is multipurpose and head office which is near Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport, as part of an extensive modernization inventiveness designed to meet the greater demand for air transportation services through Northern Quebec and other regions across Canada and the United States.
Air Inuit currently operates a fleet of 31 aircraft, providing regular and charter services to destinations all over northern Quebec, including dedicated cargo flights. Each year, there are about 7,000 Air Inuit flights that carry 150,000 passengers and over 12 million kilos in cargo.
The only incident in Air Inuit’s history took place in mid-March, 1981, when a Douglas C-47A C-FIRW was damaged beyond repair when trying to takeoff on a cargo flight off the frozen surface of Lac Bienville.