|Destinations||Olympic Peninsula, San Juan Islands, Canadian Gulf Islands, Victoria, BC and BC's Inside Passage|
|Company slogan||Flying the Pacific Northwest Since 1946|
|Parent company||Kenmore Air Harbor Inc|
|Headquarters||Kenmore Air Harbor
Kenmore, Washington, USA
Kenmore Air Harbor, Inc., doing business as Kenmore Air, is an American airline with its headquarters on the grounds of Kenmore Air Harbor in Kenmore, Washington, USA, north of Seattle. It operates scheduled and charter seaplane and land plane service to destinations throughout western Washington and southwestern British Columbia, as well as seaplane "flightseeing" flights around Seattle. In addition to its corporate headquarters, seaplane maintenance facility and terminal in Kenmore, the airline has hub operations for seaplanes at its terminal on Seattle's Lake Union and for land planes at Seattle's Boeing Field/King County International Airport. It also operates a maintenance facility for its land plane fleet at Renton Municipal Airport/Clayton Scott Field in Renton, Washington, just south of Seattle. Kenmore Air's livery also appears in Microsoft Flight Simulator X on the Cessna 208 Caravan and de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver.
The airline was established and started operations on March 21, 1946. It was founded by Robert Munro, Reginald Collins and Jack Mines and began operations with a single Aeronca Model K seaplane and a hangar at a location formerly occupied by a lumber mill on north Lake Washington. The airline is still at its original location. After a short term partnership Munro continued alone with the company until his death in October 2000.
The company was originally named Mines Collins Munro but was changed to the current name Kenmore Air a few months later to reflect its ties to the town of Kenmore, Washington where its operations were located both then and now. After beginning operations with its Aeronca Model K, it purchased three more aircraft a few weeks later.
Kenmore Air originally made its money by accessing remote and sometimes dangerous locations during its early years. In July 1946, pilot Jack Mines was killed while flying supplies to a search and rescue team in the nearby Cascade mountains; as a result, Collins and Munro became the two owners of Kenmore Air. Munro soon became the sole owner of Kenmore Air when Collins moved to California after accepting a job there.
From the start, Kenmore Air's seaplane maintenance and restoration service was an important part of the company. In the late-1940s, Kenmore Air became a Republic Seabee dealer for the Northwest and this became a success for Kenmore Air. At one point, 40 Seabees were based at Kenmore Air Harbor, though Kenmore Air themselves owned just one of these amphibian aircraft. Kenmore became experts in maintenance and repair of the aircraft and developed several modifications to improve the aircraft's performance. Kenmore Air also became an official aircraft and parts dealer for Cessna by the end of the 1950s, further expanding its aircraft maintenance business.
In the 1950s, Kenmore Air began its charter business by offering flights to fishing and hunting spots in the Pacific Northwest. Kenmore Air also leased an aircraft to the US government for survey flights in Alaska. This led to a series of contracts with the US Navy which continues today. In 1953, a Canadian mining company hired Kenmore to help fly in equipment and tools to build a mining camp on Leduc Glacier, fifty miles north of Ketchikan, Alaska. Kenmore Air used two Noorduyn Norseman and a Seabee to fly in equipment over a two-month period. The aircraft flew in several pieces of large equipment to the glacier, including diesel engines, railroad cars, and tractors.
In the 1960s, Kenmore Air expanded its maintenance services to include the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver seaplane. They purchased their first Beaver in 1963 and the Beaver soon became a centerpiece of Kenmore Air's fleet, and they created a rebuilding and modification program around the seven-passenger aircraft. After the Beaver ceased production in 1967, Kenmore Air began to establish themselves as a leading refurbisher of the seaplane. They modified and rebuilt Beavers to such an extent that such aircraft modified by the company have become known as "Kenmore Beavers" by the global aviation community. Kenmore Air has rebuilt a total of 125 Beavers since then. To accommodate their expansion, the company built a new hangar and office building during the 1960s.
In the early 1970s, in a contract with the US Navy, Kenmore Air transported unarmed torpedoes to a joint US-Canadian testing facility near Vancouver Island. For five years during this decade, Kenmore Air transported scientists and supplies to a glacier on Mount Olympus, in which the seaplanes had to takeoff and land on a glacier 6,500 feet above sea level. The airline also expanded its charter service in the 1970s, offering round-trip flights to fishing resorts in British Columbia.
In the mid-1980s Kenmore Air purchased Otter Air, an airline that offered seaplane service from Seattle to Victoria, BC. The Seattle-Victoria route was operated for two years before it was sold to their competitor Lake Union Air in 1988. Kenmore Air also added two Turbo Beavers (a modified Beaver with its radial engine replaced with a turboprop engine) in the late 1980s, and purchased their main competitor Lake Union Air in 1992. With this purchase, Kenmore Air acquired a seaplane terminal on Lake Union. They converted one of Lake Union Air's de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otters into a Turbo Otter and later purchased several more Turbo Otters.
In 1997, Kenmore Air planned to begin operating service from Elliott Bay, a body of water on Puget Sound where Seattle's downtown waterfront is located. In 1998, Kenmore Air gained a federal permit allowing them to begin operations there, pending approval from Seattle's city council. The company later abandoned their plans in fall 1999 after encountering resistance from members of the local community. In October 2000, Robert Munro, the company's founder and owner, died at age 83 after an extended illness. Ownership was passed to Munro's son, Gregg Munro, while several other family members, also held management positions at Kenmore Air.
Daily, year-round seaplane service is provided from Seattle's Lake Union to Lopez Island, Orcas Island and San Juan Island in Washington State, as well as to Victoria, BC. Limited year-round service is also provided from Lake Union to the Canadian Gulf Islands and the Saanich Peninsula. Seasonally (May-September), daily seaplane service is provided from Kenmore Air Harbor to more than 30 destinations in British Columbia, including Big Bay, Campbell River, Cortes Island, Desolation Sound, Nanaimo, Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Quadra Island, the Sechelt Peninsula, Sonora Island, and Refuge Cove.
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