Meet the charter company of cottage country: Cottage Air

Avatar for Annie VogelBy Annie Vogel | November 16, 2021

Estimated reading time 6 minutes, 19 seconds.

It’s a magical thing when convenience and experience come together. The work week is long enough as it is, so why prolong it any further? With more people on hybrid office schedules — meaning they spend two to three days in the office a week, and the rest working remotely — the need for efficient transportation to and from the cottage has never been greater. That’s where Cottage Air comes in. Based out of Ontario’s Muskoka region, Cottage Air is helping cottagers travel in comfort and style, all while saving one of their most precious assets: time.

For Cottage Air, the saying, “Why drive, when you can fly?” has never been more true as traffic jams and construction hinder ease of travel. 

Cottage Air owner and operator Chris Hogue stands in front of his De Havilland Beaver on floats. Annie Vogel Photo

Owner and operator, Chris Hogue, had dreamed of starting a private charter company catering to the cottager market when he first graduated from the Commercial Aviation Management program at Western University. After graduation, he found himself struggling to find work as the world grappled with the after effects of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It was then that he registered the business name Cottage Air and purchased a Cessna 185. After many difficulties getting commercial insurance and trying to get the operation off the ground — both literally and figuratively — he ended up selling the plane a few years later and began working in the automotive industry. 

View of the fall colors from the back passenger seat of the De Havilland Beaver. Annie Vogel Photo

The dream was put on the back burner for 15 years before the global pandemic and a stifled auto industry reignited it. Cottage Air started as a commercial operation in July 2021, operating the iconic De Havilland Beaver. This Beaver is nothing like the traditional aircraft you may have seen with plywood floors, oil drums, and bench seating. Rather, it is a beautifully refinished, sound-proofed, leather-upholstered, V.I.P. experience machine. Although Hogue didn’t originally envision Cottage Air operating with a Beaver, it has surpassed all expectations.

“It was always my dream to have my own little airline, and be able to offer an experience” said Hogue. And now he is doing just that.

Cottage Air flying over the changing colors of Ontario’s Muskoka region. Annie Vogel Photo

Flying with Cottage Air is an all around luxurious experience with all the fixings. Clients are given an experience of a lifetime as the company looks after all the details. They even put together a gift bag for all their passengers, loaded with local goodies like beers, seltzers, honey, soaps, and more. Cottage Air is providing its passengers with an experience like no other. Their main goal is to provide an elite experience for its customers.

The charter company caters to three main demographics: those who use the service to save time, those who want a unique experience, and guests staying at one of the six resorts that Cottage Air flies to.

Hogue said eventually he would love to expand the operation and add a turboprop to the fleet, like a Caravan or Kodiak, as well as add the ability to operate flights south of the border.

Book your Cottage Air experience online at www.cottageair.com or by calling 705-706-1390, and be sure to say Skies Magazine sent you.

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