West Wind Aviation, Transwest Air to fly under a new name, new CEO

Posted on March 10, 2021 in People. Tags:

Derek Nice, CEO of Rise Air. Rise represents progress and positivity. Like a phoenix, two airlines are rising together as one. The bird represents a connection with the land, with northern Saskatchewan, and the people we serve. There are 7 feathers to represent 7 northern communities and 2 blue feathers to represent other ownership groups.

As of March 1, West Wind Aviation and Transwest Air will be rebranding as Rise Air to reflect the two companies coming together under one air operator certificate. “Because we’re bringing together two different companies that each have their own cultures and their own histories, we wanted something new and fresh but that also preserves the legacy and the history of the organization and pays homage to our roots in the north,” says Steven Smith, Chair of West Wind Board of Directors.

The logo is based on a sketch submitted by an employee. “This whole process was really driven by our people,” says Smith. “We started this journey by talking to our people: our employees, our customers. We asked for feedback, and our employees submitted over 140 names and one sketch for consideration.”

The company will also see new leadership in 2021. As of February 1, Derek Nice took over as CEO, taking over from Stephen Smith, who served as interim CEO before returning to his position as Chair of the Board. Derek has extensive aviation executive experience, previously serving in high level positions with air carriers in Quebec, and more recently as managing director and CEO of Air Vanautu. “I’m excited about this opportunity to work with all the dedicated employees – to build on the great strides they’ve made in moving the company forward,” says Derek. “I’m no stranger to Western Canada as I grew up in Edmonton and continue to have family ties in both Alberta and Saskatchewan.”