Fast Air helping businesses grow through chartered flight

From its beginnings in 1995, Fast Air has grown to use many more planes and have more than 130 employees on staff across five business units (aircraft charter, aircraft management, helicopters, medevac and maintenance).

“Fast Air started as a response to charter opportunities,” said Dan Rutherford, Fast Air’s manager of marketing and business development. “(Fast Air Owner and CEO) Dylan Fast was a pilot, flying for somebody else and saw an opportunity. He got permission from the owner to use their aircraft and that grew and that relationship continues to this day. We continue to manage one or two aircraft for that original company. Now we operate seven or eight jets, ten or eleven King Airs (Beechcraft) and service a whole number of sectors from government, to utilities to manufacturers that are competing in the North American market and are based here in Winnipeg.”

Fast Air has also started maintenance and modification of Beechcraft King Air aircraft; a growing part of our business that is creating a lot of new jobs and opportunities.

“Fast Air started as an air charter business, and is still a cornerstone of what we do, but is part of five business units,” said Rutherford. “Now there’s aircraft management, which allows a company to have an aircraft at their disposal without all the complications like crewing it, maintaining it, data communication to various authorities. We do all of that in house, and provide a flight department of sorts for businesses.”

Business Tool
“Just the other day, one of the owners was here and he said ‘this aircraft is really a business tool for me. I’m able to do projects I could never do if I didn’t have it’.”

Chartered flights may not have the same prominence in Canada as they do in the United States, but their importance for businesses is equal.

“Charter gives access to many, many times more airports than larger airliners,” said Rutherford. “We can go anywhere with a serviceable airport, which allows us to fly direct to many more locations.”

“Clients will say to us ‘tomorrow we need to go to Toronto, Atlanta and Phoenix’. So our team will be behind the scene dealing with all the customs, airports, hotels and fuel. This allows our clients to roll up in their cars and go, often taking a team of people with them.”

Rutherford adds that in the U.S., for a long time, people have seen aircraft as a tool for doing business. In Canada, potentially because it’s not done as often, there seems to be a perception that some people see it as a perk for high income earners.

“We’ve been trying to work to change that perception,” said Rutherford. “Some of the owners of aircraft we are managing are key in the messaging when they tell other business owners ‘we are able to do business in ways we couldn’t before’ thanks to the use of chartered planes. It’s definitely an expense, but it opens opportunities that aren’t there otherwise.”

Purchase of Esso Avitat
As Fast Air has grown, aircraft management, aircraft maintenance, and medevac (at four locations with 24-hour flight and medical crews) have been added to services it provides.

Fixed based operator (FBO) Esso Avitat became available just down the road from Fast Air, so the company recently acquired the fuel supplier.

“It’s really a big benefit to have a fuel source we could have more control over,” said Rutherford. “We’re just in the process of our integration with the company. The integration has provided new opportunities, and new jobs.

“The Esso Avitat has serviced the Winnipeg community for a long time. They’re a great company and a great addition to us. Their whole team has stayed on and we’re excited to work with them.”

The Future of Fast Air
So what does the future have in store for Fast Air?
“We continue to upgrade our equipment, which keeps us competitive nationally,” said Rutherford. “If we charted our growth over the last ten years, we’ve gone from 30 to 130 employees, and we will continue to grow. We constantly strive to improve our facilities and hire good people.” 

So You Want to Be A KINESIOLOGIST

kinesiologistWhat happens when you go to a kinesiologist?
First, you get to keep your clothes on – big bonus!
Second, the doctor reviews your lifestyle and medical history.
He then moves your arms and or legs into different positions, applying gentle pressure.
This gives him information about your muscles and how they are responding.

Kinesiology, or human kinetics, is the study of human movement.

So what, you say. How does that get me a job?

The answer is that if you’re interested in being an athletic coach, a personal physical trainer or want to design athletic equipment, kinesiology is your course of study. If you are interested in rehabilitation services, working with the elderly or cardiac patients, kinesiology should be on your learning list.

Even if your goal is computer animation, the study of human kinetics can only enhance your ability to produce lifelike images.

Most of the above postings take self-confidence and leadership ability. You should be strong enough to lift fifty pounds or more if you are working with patients. And being able to work as a team is an important skill if you are interested in the medical side of the employment possibilities.

To be a full blown kinesiologist, it helps to have a background in physiology, anatomy, biomechanics, biomedical engineering, and psychology; at any rate, you need four years of post-secondary education to get into the schools of kinesiology and you should enjoy scientific research.

Canada grants a professional designation to kinesiologists; the U.S. does not. The world’s first kinesiologist department was developed at the University of Waterloo. Created out of the study of chiropractic medicine, modern kinesiology was developed in the 1960s. An American chiropractor, Dr. George Goodheart discovered that muscle testing could reveal vital information about what was happening to the body.

The practice aims to restore balance in the body. According to the International College of Kinesiology, “When kinesiologists are faced with pain or a knotted-up muscle they test several muscles for equality of strength on both sides of a joint (or the spine). If they test and find a muscle tests weak on one side of the body compared with the same muscle on the other side, they work with body energy reflexes to re-strengthen the weak muscle.” Kinesiologists call this muscle balancing.

Imbalance can exist nutritionally, emotionally, physically or chemically all of which will manifest itself in muscular stress.

There are many places in Canada that offer studies in kinesiology: University of New Brunswick, University of British Columbia, University of Manitoba, University of Alberta, Queens University, Western and McGill, to mention just a few. Red Deer College also offers a certificate course in Kinesiology with their sports program.

Although the study of this science goes back to Aristotle (384 to 322 BC) who is called the Father of Kinesiology, kinesiology is a bit of a new-age approach to medicine, taking into account the whole body rather than just treating a specific symptom in one part. It will no doubt be at the leading edge of medical studies for the future, especially in a day of an aging population where movement and how to maintain it becomes increasingly important.

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Hi Winnipeg, it’s a pleasure to be back for my fourth column with Smart Biz.

Summer is upon us – a sometimes short and sweet season here in Winnipeg. And although Winnipeggers know how to embrace winter more than anyone, many of us live for the hot prairie summers. It’s a fantastic time for tourism in our city, because there is so much going on! Continue reading Winnipeg a tourism destination

A New Home for Macdonald Youth Services

New therapeutic centre to open on Mayfair in Winnipeg

Jim Krovats first got involved with Macdonald Youth Services (MYS) three years ago, but his community involvement goes back much further. This includes significant time giving back by coaching hockey. Jim works as a member of MYS’ board of directors, while his full-time job is as a vice president and investment advisor with RBC. Jim saw MYS as a way to make a difference. Continue reading A New Home for Macdonald Youth Services

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