I was just having a look through Industry Canada's Strategis database (free of charge at www.strategis.gc.ca) and, out of curiousity, did a search for active, incorporated companies with 'airlines' in their name.
I ended up with a long list of names I've never heard of -- presumably some would-be start-ups that never attracted enough financial backing. Among them:
Can Am Airlines (incorporated Dec. 12, 1986)
Canadian Overseas Airlines (Dec. 28, 1988)
Windlass International Airlines (Aug. 30, 1989, with one of the directors being a Mitch Bronfman of Montreal -- a member of the wealthy Bronfman clan, or just a coincidence?)
Top Class Airlines (Sept. 24, 1992)
Maritime Global Airlines (Feb. 8, 1995, out of Burlington, ON no less.)
Trans Atlantis Airlines (Mar. 30, 1995)
First Class Airlines (Feb. 13, 1998)
Scotiajet Airlines (April 8, 1998)
Eastjet Airlines (Oct. 26, 1998, using Westjet's mailing address)
Great Plains Airlines (Feb. 1, 2000 -- this one does sound vaguely familiar.)
Thunder Airlines (Jan. 31, 2000)
Alpha Canada Airlines (Aug. 16, 2000)
Canada World Airlines (Jan. 11, 2001. This was the fictitious name used in the TV movie about the Gimli glider, btw.)
Anybody know anything about these?