A Brief History

Bemidji Airlines began operations in 1947. Larry Diffley and Mark Shough, bought the FBO from the Wattles family in 1970, with three employees, their own Cessna 150 and the three 150's already in place at Bemidji Aviation. The early years involved a lot of fire patrol, flight instruction, some passenger charter work and the addition of a maintenance facility which had previously been lacking in Bemidji. The first Piper Aztec was added in 1975 when the all-weather charter service in Bemidji was born.  December 7th, 1981 Bemidji Airlines began operation, with scheduled commuter service between Bemidji and the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. In the mid-eighties the business expanded to include many cargo runs and added many larger aircraft. The airline ran until December of 1992, at which time the on-demand passenger and cargo operation moved to the forefront. The current service area extends to anywhere in the Continental U.S., Canada and Mexico. Bemidji Aviation became a 100% ESOP company as of January 1, 2006.

 News Items:

July 25, 2014 Pioneer Article

Youtube Link to July 2014 News Article


The Very Early Years