TIMMINS - When most passengers on a recent flight from Timmins to Toronto boarded, they didn't know they were playing a part in Canadian aviation history.
The last scheduled passenger flight for Air Canada Jazz's Dash 8-300 flew from Timmins to Toronto on Jan. 9, 2022.
Alex Praglowski made his way to Timmins from Calgary to be on the final flight and shared a video of it on YouTube.
"I’ve been an aviation enthusiast for as long as I can remember, and I’ve always had an interest in the aviation industry," he said in an email.
"Given the Dash 8-300’s history with Jazz and Air Canada and the important role it’s played in Canada over 30 years, I knew I had to be on board this final flight."
Retiring the remaining 19 Dash 8-300s in the Jazz fleet was announced in March 2021. Fifteen of the aircraft have undergone the extended service program, which means their useful life is prolonged by about 15 years. Chorus Aviation, the parent company of Jazz Aviation, can sell, lease or convert the planes for cargo use, according to the March news release.
Before taking off on the final flight, the captain, who's flown the Dash 8 for 33 years, gave passengers a quick history of the plane.
“You’re flying on a De Havilland Dash 8-300. This is one of the original Dash 8s, the people that fix them and fly them regularly refer to them as a Classic Dash 8. This airplane’s also a machine that Canadians should be proud of. It was made right here in Canada in Downsview, Ont., by the same people that designed and built the legendary airplanes like the Beaver and the Otter. The Dash 8 Classic is well-known for being a very reliable and rugged airplane, it’s able to fly in weather and land at airports that other planes cannot do,” he said.
He told passengers they're playing "a little part of aviation history of being the last passengers of millions that Air Canada Jazz has safely transported on this aircraft."
"So when we get to Toronto, maybe you’ll want to take a few pictures, maybe even give the airplane a quick little pat on the nose and thank it for a job well done. I know I’m going to,” he said.