Wasaya Airways Seeks Flight Path to Survival

Wasaya Airways
Welcoming new trainees as they begin their journey towards becoming pilots.
Wasaya Airways
Wasaya President Tom Morris welcoming new trainees as they begin their journey towards becoming pilots at Confederation College Aviation Camp.

Wasaya Management and Chiefs Look to Form Plan to Survive

THUNDER BAY – The sunny clear skies of Northwestern Ontario are turning a darker red for Wasaya Airways. Chief Joseph Crowe from the Fort Severn First Nation was on the community radio station recently. Chief Crowe told listeners that Wasaya Airways was in a bad position. The Wasaya Group (WGI) which is the holding company for Wasaya Airways are not commenting, but growing numbers of sources, and other media reports are starting to talk about the growing problems that the company is having.

NetNewsLedger first reported on this story last August. The airline has spent the past year working to overcome difficulties.

This week, the company hosted a charity golf tournament with funds going toward Youth Centres Thunder Bay. The company was a part of the original public/private partnership with the City of Thunder Bay and Youth Centres Thunder Bay. When the 18 month pilot project ended, Wasaya withdrew from the partnership but has maintained their support when possible.

Chief Crowe from Washaho Cree Nation has been speaking out. The community only became a Wasaya partner community a few years ago. Recently several northern communities in looking for alternatives have been signing agreements with other airlines including North Star Air to ensure air travel in their communities.

“It is my understanding from the last gathering that things won’t work out. It has had issues for some time,” said Chief Joseph Crowe.

Wasaya’s company’s administration according to reports are telling the Wasaya Chiefs that the real issues facing the airline include the spending the Chiefs have been doing. APTN is reporting “Crowe said management told the chiefs “Wasaya is going down” and was only surviving on a “special loan” from its bank. One of the major problems is the chiefs have been racking up credit.

“In December the tally was about $2.6 million and the chiefs were warned then too that Wasaya faced going bankrupt because of the excessive spending. Crowe said that number has since grown to $3.1 million”.

The company is holding meetings this week trying to figure out how to save the company.

Former company CEO Tom Kam states, “With right business management it can be fixed, not politically appointed friends”.


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