Maxwell William Ward

Maxwell William Ward, aviator, businessman (b at Edmonton 22 Nov 1921). He joined the RCAF in 1940 and served as a flight instructor during WWII. Max Ward worked as a bush pilot after the war and made an outstanding contribution

Ward, Max
In 1953 Ward formed his company, Wardair Ltd, which pioneered the air transport of heavy equipment to the far North. He is shown here in 1953 with a new de Havilland Otter (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-60892).
Ward, Maxwell W.
Max Ward at the former Wardair hangar facilities in Toronto, 1987. Wardair was sold to Canadian Airlines and formally ceased operations in 1990 (courtesy Wardair International).

Maxwell William Ward

Maxwell William Ward, aviator, businessman (b at Edmonton 22 Nov 1921). He joined the RCAF in 1940 and served as a flight instructor during WWII. Max Ward worked as a bush pilot after the war and made an outstanding contribution to the service of the northern frontier by air. In 1946 he organized Polaris Charter Co Ltd, based in Yellowknife, NWT. With a single-engined DH 83C de Havilland Fox Moth, he carried supplies and passengers throughout the Subarctic. In 1953 he returned to Yellowknife with a newly formed company, Wardair Ltd, which pioneered the air transport of heavy equipment to the Far North. In 1962 Max Ward was operating 6 aircraft in the North and had acquired a DC-6A, which provided the company with an opportunity to test the market for transatlantic charter flights. He obtained a licence to operate international air charters in 1961, changed the company name to Wardair Canada Ltd (later WARDAIR INTERNATIONAL LTD), and moved his head offices to Edmonton. By the mid-1970s Wardair had developed into Canada's largest international air charter carrier and from 1984 flew scheduled routes. The reputation of the airline remained unsurpassed but the burden of debt accumulated in the rapid expansion during the early 1980s proved too much and in 1989 Wardair was sold to PWA Corporation and absorbed into Canadian Airlines International Ltd. Max Ward was awarded the MCKEE TROPHY in 1973 for his contributions to aviation, and has received honorary degrees from U of A (1979), York U (1981) and Athabasca U (1987). In 1991 he published his autobiography, The Max Ward Story