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Our History
 
In 1986, Mission Air Transportation Network began its work. Founded by Joan Rogers and Jinnie Bradshaw, CM, in response to the need to transport cancer patients to care, Mission Air arranged a total of 56 flights in its first year of operation.
 
Incorporated as a registered Canadian charity that same year, Mission Air quickly established itself as a key resource for people needing to travel for medical appointments and treatment.
 
By 1989, over 600 flights had been flown and the following year saw Ontario’s Ministry of Health request that Mission Air expand its Organ Retrieval coverage from Ontario to include the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia.
 
The need for flights increased each year and the organization's airline partners responded. In 1991, Canadian Airlines encouraged its customers to donate their travel points to Mission Air. Over the next 10-year period, hundreds of thousands of Canadian Airlines travel points were donated to Mission Air to access airline seats for those in need. By 1993,the organization had flown its 10,000th Flight.
 
Moving into new premises generously donated by Procter & Gamble, the charity continued to grow. By 1996, Mission Air was assisting, on average, 45 Clients per week and was celebrating its 20,000th Flight.
 
In 1999, the name of the organization was changed to Hope Air (Vols d'espoir) and the Volunteer Pilot Program became a reality with the support and vision of Karen Adams and the Buttonville Flying Club.
 
Dr. Marc Garneau, CC, became Hope Air's National Honorary Patron in 2001 and continues in this role today. By 2002, the organization had flown its 35,000th Flight and had a record year with a total of 4,844 Flights being arranged.

The milestones continued into 2004 with the RBC Rewards Loyalty Points Donation Program being launched. Since then, RBC Rewards Cardholders have donated over 50.8 million points to Hope Air, for a total contribution valued at $514,879. These donated points have provided the equivalent of 4,119 flights for children and adults across Canada.

Marc Garneau, Hope Air National Honorary Patron
 
Hope Air continued to grow and serve Canadians in need. 2007 saw our charity add seven new Commercial Airline Partners to our list of supporters. On January 18, 2008, Hope Air proudly announced its 53,000th flight.
 
2009 was the 10th Anniversary of VPP; in the 10 years since VPP had been created, more than 350 private pilots had flown 1,636 flights representing 3,555 volunteer hours and over 426,755 nautical miles flown (as of June 30, 2009).
 
In 2010, Hope Air saw some extraordinary growth in flights: we increased our flights by 58 per cent over 2009, providing 3,675 free flights. This increase in flights was just part of the story: cash revenues doubled during the same time, allowing us to introduce a new strategy of purchasing flights for our Clients when donated seats were unavailable. This program was successfully adopted by the Provincial Health Services Authority (BC) in 2010 – to the benefit of many BC residents.

Hope Air is now celebrating its 25th anniversary through 2011 and 2012. Many important milestones have continued to happen. Hope Air welcomed both the Governor General, David Johnston, as our Viceregal Patron in early 2011 and in September announced that Rick Mercer had joined Hope Air as a National Honorary Patron.


During the summer of 2011, Hope Air achieved 66,000 Flights! The historic flight went to two-year-old James of Prince George, BC. James had been diagnosed with leukemia on Canada Day weekend and he and his mother Stefanie were sent by air ambulance to BC Children’s Hospital the next day to begin his treatments. Hope Air helped get him home with a free flight when his treatments were finished, saving him a 10-hour bus or car ride.


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