MIAMI – Today in Aviation, the first incarnation of Canadian low-cost leisure carrier CanJet (C6) commenced operations in 2000.

Based in Halifax, Novia Scotia the airline was launched as a division of IMP Group in 1999. In May 2001 C6 was purchased by Canada 3000 (2T), then the largest charter airline in the world.

Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Canada 3000 collapsed without warning in November 2001. C6 was subsequently relaunched on June 20, 2002 flying initially to just three destinations.

CanJet (C6) began life with a fleet of five 120-seat Boeing 737-200s. (Photo: John Davies – CYOW Airport Watch (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2 ), via Wikimedia Commons)

Measured Expansion


Management opted for steady expansion, waiting for gaps to appear in the market as other carriers pulled out. This was highlighted when in April 2004 it launched flights from Toronto’s John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport (YHM). This followed WestJet’s (WS) decision to move its Toronto hub to Pearson International Airport (YYZ)

In 2005 the airline began to replace its aging Boeing 737-200s, with second-hand -500s, sourced from United Airlines (UA). These would later be replaced by 189-seat Boeing 737-800s.

A marketing deal was signed with fellow Canadian carrier Harmony Airways (HQ) in May 2006. This allowed both airlines to utilize one another’s route maps and better compete with larger rivals.

The airline received its first 737-800 in March 2008. The aircraft had previously served with Ryanair (FR). (Photo: Lord of the Wings© from Toronto, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Charter Shift


Scheduled operations ceased in September 2006, with C6 re-focusing its attention to charter flying. Over 1,000 jobs were slashed and four Boeing 737-500s parked.

The airline limped on for a further nine years. Gradually aircraft were removed from the fleet and staff were laid off. Finally, on September 1, 2015 IMP Group announced that the airline would close. At the time it had a single Boeing 737-800 in operation.


Featured image: CanJet (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2 )