As news of Quebec-based Chrono Aviation’s fleet addition of a Boeing 737-800 circulated on Thursday, the reporting told of leasing the aircraft purchased by Frank DeMarinis to expand flights within the province.
Open Jaw has learned that in fact, the company plans to expand its destination offering and fly much further afield.
“We are the first Quebec company to dedicate a Boeing 737-800 exclusively to charter. We will not limit our operations to Quebec, far from it. There is nothing to do in Quebec with a 737-800 on charter! Chrono Aviation is based in Quebec, but it was never the intention to serve destinations in Quebec with this aircraft.”
This is what Dany Gagnon, vice-president of Groupe Chrono Aviation, told Open Jaw Quebec, adding that the company has its eye on departures from Toronto, Calgary and even Vancouver.
Chrono Aviation Confides in Open Jaw Quebec
Open Jaw Quebec spoke to Chrono Aviation Thursday.
The Quebec airline has been around for almost a decade, but two recent projects are really turning heads.
Chrono Aviation recently completed the construction of a magnificent passenger terminal at St-Hubert Airport, on the south shore of Montreal, and – as mentioned above – it has just gotten its hands on one of the Boeing 737s-800 which belonged to Air Transat.
The aircraft was purchased by Frank DeMarinis, President and CEO of TravelBrands. It should be noted that this purchase has no business connection with TravelBrands and that DeMarinis made this aircraft available to Chrono Aviation.
Chrono Aviation management has announced that this acquisition, which adds the largest aircraft in its fleet (189 pax) in its history, will shake things up. This announcement implies the addition of 20 new employees within the company.
“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,” Gagnon said in a statement.
Open Jaw Quebec: What are your projects with this plane?
Dany Gagnon, Vice-President of the Chrono Aviation Group: We are targeting a NOV 2021 launch. We have several months of work ahead of us to put this Boeing 737-800 back into service, not because the plane is faulty, but it’s normal in aviation to have to perform major maintenance when an aircraft is parked in the desert for a long time.
OJQ: What do you hope to accomplish with the new fleet addition?
DG: It’s a plane that belonged to Air Transat. It is therefore a very well-known aircraft in the market, capable of flying to just about any known and popular destination, non-stop. WestJet and Sunwing also use this type of aircraft. Operating such a plane opens the doors to several possible destinations. And it’s a plane that can be operated from our brand new terminal in St-Hubert, or from Dorval or Toronto.
A Plane For “The Big Leagues”
OJQ: Looking at your fleet, this plane suggests a move to expand into new destinations.
DG: Indeed, it is not a puddle jumper like the ones we already have. It’s really a plane for the big leagues, to compete in today’s market.
OJQ: So, what are your plans?
DG: I cannot share any destinations today, but I can guarantee you that this plane, we will see it fly in NOV. We should be ready to make official announcements at the end of AUG. What I can say right now is that Chrono Aviation is taking a giant leap forward today.
OJQ: Chrono Aviation is a charter company. Will you continue in this sector?
DG: We are the first 100% charter carrier in Canada to add a Boeing 737-800 to its fleet. Yes, we will continue to operate as a charter airline, but we cannot announce anything else today.
Chrono Aviation Background
- founded in Quebec City in APR 2012 by two childhood friends: Dany Gagnon (ex-journalist) and Vincent Gagnon (ex-pilot of Air Canada)
- 280 employees based in Quebec and in the Montreal region
- a brand new private passenger terminal at St-Hubert Airport, inaugurated in fall 2019.
- a company that exclusively offers charter flights (no plane ticket sales)
- a “clone” of CanJet, a charter company that also subcontracts for other airlines
- its main clients at the moment: construction companies and mining companies who need “fly in, fly out” services, transporting employees who are on work rotations
- Has flown to south destinations, on request
- Has a fleet of 14 aircraft (excluding its latest recruit, the Boeing 737-800)
- visual peculiarity of Chrono Aviation’s planes: the plane’s outer colours is matte black, while cabin seats and flight crew uniforms are black dotted with red
- It is the charter company with the most diversified fleet in Quebec: 9 passenger planes (Pilatus PC-12) to 37 passengers (Dash 8) and 120 passengers (Boeing).
- Now a 189 pax with the new recruit.
- Owner of subsidiary aircraft maintenance company, WAAS Aerospace, which was founded in 2014 and provides maintenance services to both Chrono and other company aircraft. WAAS has accreditations for maintenance from Boeing as well as Airbus, Cessna or Challenger.
- Construction is underway of a new hangar at St-Hubert Airport, which will be used by WAAS).