Exiting the 737-200: The Air Inuit Team Puts an End to ‘Thunder Pig’

Less than two years ago, Air Inuit had an addition to its sub-fleet: At the time, the carrier from Quebec secured the services of a 737-200 that landed on the rival Northern Canadian side. The 41-year-old C-GOPW, like the three “thunder pigs” who were already flying Air Inuit, a freight-and-passenger station wagon, joined his new employer in late summer 2021 and has been flying regularly to remote corners of the region since then. . At the time, Air Inuit hailed the old-school Boeing, laden with kits of gravel for gravel runways, as the perfect plane—”whether you’re planning a mining mission in the Canadian Arctic with 25 people hauling 25,000-pound machinery, or with 111 of your closest friends wanting to travel.” to a strange destination.”

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Change to the latest 737

While Canadian North retired its last 737-200 in May 2023, Air Inuit aircraft continue to fly happily across the country today. But the Air Inuit’s love of the 737-200 seems to be fading away — instead giving way to a sober economic reality. In any case, those in charge of the airline announced earlier this week that they will be buying three Boeing 737-800s in the near future and retiring the four 737-200s within 24 months.

According to Air Inuit, the changing of the guard takes into account the self-proclaimed goal of reducing carbon dioxide2– Reducing emissions. Compared to older flying cars with the thinner JT8D tubes under the wings, the 737-800 is about 40 percent more economical in terms of kerosene consumption. Like the older 737-200, Boeing’s “new” aircraft will also be used in Combi versions and will therefore continue to provide “simultaneously safe and comfortable passenger service and reliable cargo transportation”.

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Breeze (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A picture that will soon disappear: Air Inuit plans to replace its Boeing 737-200Cs with newer 737-800s within the next two years.

Slopes are asphalt

The airline’s decision wasn’t really surprising. All four Air Inuit 737-200Cs still in service are more than 40 years old – the oldest registered C-GMAI is over 45 years old. Plus, with infrastructure programs in the air, one of the main arguments for operating the 737-200 will soon disappear: In the coming years, many of the unequipped runways in Nunavik’s Inuit territory will be asphalt. And according to Air Inuit, proper preparations are already underway. This would ensure that the Outback could be serviced by the newer 737-800 – which, unlike the 737-200, has no gravel kits.

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