Grant McConachie is a pioneer in the commercial airline industry, establishing his first one, Independent Airways in 1927. Through ingenuity and hard work, his business expanded and made valuable contributions to opening up British Columbia’s northern regions in the first half of the twentieth century, mainly by flying goods and supplies in and out of mining camps and fisheries. When Canadian Pacific Rail bought his company and created Canadian Pacific Airlines in 1941, Grant McConachie was appointed its first president. A strong believer in competition and free enterprise, Mr. McConachie led the fight against government-owned Trans-Canada Airlines for access to international and trans-continental routes. Gradually they won the battle, and Canadian Pacific began servicing Australia and Asia, then Europe, South America and the South Pacific.
Grant McConachie was awarded the Trans-Canada Trophy in 1945 in recognition for his role in the development of Canadian civil aviation and was voted Canadian Businessman of the year in 1963. G.W. Grant McConachie was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 1981.