Maxwell W. Ward

Maxwell W. Ward




Class of 1993

Maxwell W. Ward.  From a bush-pilot – flying trappers and miners into the Arctic wilderness – he built his business into the nation’s third largest airline, with an international reputation for class and efficiency. Flying would be a life-long passion for Max.  His training came in the airforce. Although he didn’t take well to military discipline, his skill as a pilot saw him graduate as an instructor.

In 1945, with two thousand dollars of his own and four thousand more borrowed from family and friends, Max made a down payment on his first airplane – a de Havilland Fox Moth.  He established a charter service to Yellowknife and soon had more work than he could handle.  His next plane was a de Havilland Otter. Wardair soon had a fleet of them flying out of Yellowknife.

Max decided to expand his business into international passenger charters in the early sixties. On June 22, 1961 he changed the company’s name to Wardair Canada Ltd. to indicate its new international ambitions. The first overseas charter took off in 1962 from Edmonton to Copenhagen.

Whenever people spoke of Wardair, they always cited its high level of service. That’s the part Max Ward is most proud of.

Max Ward and Wardair had achieved many things, but “possibly, Wardair’s greatest contribution,” says Max “was to demonstrate clearly to Canadians that they could be the world’s best and that the satisfaction of such an achievement is worth the effort.”

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