Nolinor takes on the world

13 December 2019 by National Bank of Canada
Marco Prud'Homme, Vice-President of Nolinor Aviation

Transporting both passengers and cargo, Nolinor Aviation counts on being innovative to grow and enter new markets. Here's the approach of a company that exports everything all over the world.

Since its creation in 1992, Nolinor Aviation has met the needs of companies and government organizations in transporting passengers, cargo or both. A first-time request to transport both material and personnel for a humanitarian mission to Africa pushed the airline outside of its comfort zone. "We told ourselves that if someone else could do it, so could we," recalls Marco Prud'Homme, Vice-President.

This mindset remains the foundation of the company to this day: Finding solutions to client needs, no matter the challenge. "Offering great service opens the door to new opportunities," explains Mr. Prud'Homme. "Each accomplishment helps us make a name for ourselves with other companies that have uncommon missions."

Nolinor planes fly sports teams, executives going to trade shows, and material regulated by strict standards to the Arctic, the U.S., the Caribbean and Europe.

Movable assets

Nolinor sees opportunities for growth beyond the national market. "Our greatest asset is our fleet of aircraft that we can send anywhere in the world," states Mr. Prud'Homme.

Air transport is a highly regulated industry. Not only are multiple licences, authorizations and certifications required for each new destination, but so are local service partners.

"We have to work hard, and we have to be patient and do things correctly. That's how we're successful," emphasizes Nolinor Aviation's vice-president. In fact, the company has been honoured on three separate occasions for its strong performance and management at the annual National Bank SME Awards.

Fueled by innovation

With each of its fine-tuned solutions, Nolinor Aviation strengthens the expertise it needs to serve new markets. For example, to fulfil a request requiring it to land on a gravel runway, the carrier obtained the required certification and modified its planes accordingly.

The entire fleet is now configured for this type of landing, making it possible to transport military equipment and mining personnel to remote locations.

Seeing the labour shortage as an opportunity

The air transport industry is facing a global labour shortage, particularly for pilots. While this is a serious issue, Nolinor also sees it as an opportunity. "If our competitors need pilots and we manage to find some, our services will be in high demand," says Mr. Prud'Homme. Considerable recruitment efforts are made by the company, which also supports current employees who are interested in obtaining their pilot licence.

A partner that understands the industry

A definite financial challenge is acquiring aircraft that are worth several million dollars. "We don't buy planes before looking for clients. We must first identify needs and then meet demand quickly," specifies Mr. Prud'Homme.

As opposed to real estate, where market value is only affected by the local market, the value of a plane is based on the international market. When the process for obtaining loans is that complicated, having an experienced financial partner is a very valuable asset. "Working together with National Bank, we've developed a shared expertise in financing that continues to grow with each new project," concludes Nolinor Aviation's vice-president.

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