Garrett Lawless, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, says Transwest has a very successful history and is looking for the right opportunities to take the company to the next level. Lawless spoke recently at a Community Futures luncheon to talk about the company’s business model and plans for the future.
In April, Transwest Air announced a transition to the Transwest Group of Companies, which includes each of its specializations – fixed wing aircraft, fuel, aircraft painting and special projects – under its own brand. The Transwest Group of Companies now includes Avalerion Corp., Northern Shield Helicopters, Plane Perfection, Snowbird Petroleum and Transwest Air.
While the company is always looking for successful partnerships and opportunities for growth, Lawless explained that they have also had to turn down some opportunities that just weren’t the right fit. The company recently passed on a deal to provide Medevac services in the Northern Iraq region. Lawless said the opportunity would have required a $10.5 million investment by Transwest, which would have been “too much risk, too soon.”
“We need to be very careful about some of these broad, glorious opportunities that we are just not ready for,” he added.
Lawless said the company will continue to build on their long history in aviation as they work to make their staff, and their services, the best they can. One of the company’s priorities is to increase their capabilities in fighting forest fires, which in Northern Saskatchewan alone, burned thousands of hectares of land over the summer. Transwest assisted with the fire evacuations over the summer and provided shuttle services for evacuees who stayed in Prince Albert.
Lawless said it is important not to grow too big, too fast. The company celebrated 15 years in business this year with an ATV giveaway contest and Lawless said Transwest will continue to invest in both their staff and opportunities that will see them become one of the best in the world while still serving northern Saskatchewan.
Maintaining their commitment to Northern Saskatchewan is important to Transwest and the company has been working hard to bring fitness and health education to those in the north by regularly flying in a fitness instructor and promoting overall health. The company is also promoting education initiatives in the north.
“We see enormous opportunities for niche aviation markets,” Lawless said of Transwest.
“We really are a great mom and pop company that has had a slow evolution. What got us from there to here is that ‘can do’ attitude, but we are doing it with a focus on people.”