OWG Officially Begins Operations With Flights To Cuba

Canadian start-up leisure airline OWG flew its first revenue flight on Friday from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to Abel Santamaría Airport (SNU) in Cuba. The airport serves the popular Cuban resort destinations of Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Ensenachos, and Cayo Las Brujas.

OWG Boeing 737-400
OWG stands for “Off We Go.” Photo: OWG

According to the flight-tracking website, Flightradar24.com flight number N5730 departed from Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) at 11:11 local time landing at Toronto Pearson at 12:08 local time. The plane remained on the ground in Toronto for one hour and 15 minutes before departing on a three-hour flight to Cuba. There was no mention of whether or not the flight from Montreal to Toronto was a revenue flight or if it was to reposition the aircraft.

OWG belongs to Nolinor Aviation

OWG (Off We Go) is a subsidiary of Montreal–Mirabel International Airport (YMX)-based Nolinor Aviation, a company that specializes in flights to remote destinations where gravel and ice runways are the norm. In July 2020, and even though COVID-19 was devastating the aviation industry, Nolinor announced that it had secretly been working since 2018 to create a new airline to position them in the Canadian leisure market. The airline’s goal would be to offer Canadians flights from Canada to the Caribbean during the frigid winter months.

In its quest to enter the leisure market, Nolinor studied how other airlines operated and then set about how it wanted to operate its new OWG brand. In a statement seen by Simple Flying, OWG President Marco Prud’homme explains the airline’s goals saying:

“The flight portion of your trip should be an integral part of your vacation. Traditional airlines have chosen to cut the quality of their services year after year with no regard for the passenger experience. Our goal is to win the hearts of Quebecers with a new airline whose mission is to get travelers excited again.”

OWG has partnered with Hola Sun Holiday to offer Canadians winter sun destinations. Photo: OWG

The airline plans to operate its flights to tropical destinations with a fleet of three 30-year-old Boeing 737-400s that it has spent millions of dollars refurbishing. OWG says that the planes will all feature a brand new interior featuring 158 one-class economy seats.

Rather than the white livery that many airlines choose for obvious reasons, OWG has decided to have its aircraft painted in a unique red and blue color scheme that only uses white paint for the OWG name. Also unique to the livery is the heart-shaped logo that Nolinor talks about on its website, saying:

“OWG is reinventing the travel experience by placing its passengers at the heart of its actions, and the company logo’s design perfectly represents this brand spirit.”

OWG has three 30-year-old Boeing 737-400s that it has refurbished. Photo: OWG

OWG has partnered with Hola Sun Holidays

Despite the obvious hurdles and hundreds of reasons why now is a bad time to be launching a new airline, Nolinor Aviation is convinced that it has done its homework. One big factor that could determine the airline’s success is that it has partnered with Canadian travel operator Hola Sun Holidays.

Do you think that OWG will be a success, or is it the wrong time to be starting a new airline? Please tell us what you think in the comments.