Paciﬁc Western Airlines
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The development of the Chieftain shuttle is a good example of the innovative culture of PWA. Paciﬁc Western Airlines’s identiﬁcation of the need for quick, inexpensive and convenient service between two points led eventually to it becoming one of the most successful Canadian air services. At the time, PWA was based in Edmonton, which was the centre of the oil and gas industry, while Calgary housed most of the corporate head ofﬁces of the oil companies. This created a need for frequent and reliable
travel in the shortest time possible. The Chieftain airbus was based on Eastern Airlines’ air shuttle service between several major US cities. The airline issued tickets on board the ﬂights and guaranteed seating, even if another back-up aircraft was required. Business executives and government ofﬁcials on tight travel schedules needed such levels of service. The image of the Chieftain was created on a disparaging statement made by competitor, Trans-Canada Airlines, that the appearance of the PWA aircraft’s was like a covered wagon. Paciﬁc Western Airlines responded by taking the negative comments and building positively. It used the comment to create a western theme, and appropriately furnished the interior of the aircraft with Native American motifs.