$5 million to Air Tunilik to support and improve air service north of the 49th parallel

QUÉBEC, April 8, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – The Minister of Tourism, Caroline Proulx, is pleased to announce the allocation of $5 million of financial assistance to Air Tunilik in order to support its expansion project, which will ensure better air services for tourists wishing to visit northern Québec.

The Minister made the announcement today, accompanied by the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region, Jonatan Julien, and the President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Tunilik, Simon Contant. On the same occasion, the two Ministers announced $8 million of support for the creation of an incubator-accelerator, which will have the objective of stimulating tourism projects north of the 49th parallel.

The Air Tunilik project involves the acquisition of several assets of Location Air Saguenay, which is no longer in service since 2019, to maintain tourism aviation activities and increase traffic in the Nord-du-Québec and Côte-Nord regions. It will contribute to structuring the tourism offering by ensuring tourist transportation to the attractions of these regions.

The financial assistance is granted under the Programme d’appui au développement des attraits touristiques (PADAT), managed by Investissement Québec. More specifically, an amount of $2 million is allocated in the form of a grant and $3 million in the form of a loan.  The total cost of the project is valued at over $10 million.

“I am delighted with this project, which will have positive effects for the Côte-Nord and Nord-du-Québec tourism industry. It will help increase the number of visitors and overnight stays, as well as tourism revenues, by giving access to these more remote regions.  Air Tunilik will have the potential to bring clientele to the existing local tourism businesses and entrepreneurs, who will benefit from the support of the incubator-accelerator for tourism projects north of the 49th parallel. This is excellent news for tourism development in these regions. ” 

Caroline Proulx, Minister of Tourism 

“Improving access to remote regions is part of our Government’s priorities. That’s why I’m delighted with this investment, which will ensure an air link to the regions north of the 49th parallel.. This project is perfectly consistent with the 2020-2023 Northern Action Plan, which has the specific aim of supporting tourism development so that northern communities benefit from its effects.  “

Jonatan Julien, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region

“I am especially happy for my fellow citizens of the Nord-du-Québec region. They will benefit from a greater influx of tourists thanks to this Air Tunilik development project. Having reliable air service is essential for this region’s tourism sector. This is very good news for the economic expansion of the region and Québec! “

Pierre Dufour, Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and Minister responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Nord-du-Québec regions

“With over fifty years of experience and now operating twelve float panes, ski planes and wheeled planes, Air Tunilik becomes the leading bush plane operator in Québec and one of the biggest in North America.  Our bases of operations cover all of North-Central Québec, from James Bay to the Lower North Shore. Over the years, we have established many collaborations with outfitters, vacationers and Indigenous communities to make Québec’s territory more safely accessible to everyone wishing to have access to it.  “

Simon Contant, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Tunilik


  • Here are some water bases used by Air Tunilik: Manic-5, Sept-Îles, Havre-Saint-Pierre, Natashquan, Wabush, Caniapiscau, Baie-Comeau, Mirage and Waskaganish outfitters. The company plans to offer its services within a 200 km radius of the water bases.
  • Air Tunilik plans to develop new water bases and have more aircraft in operation, with the goal of increasing its passenger traffic from 1,000 people in 2019 to over 13,000 in 2022. This expansion project should also allow it to increase its number of employees from 3 to 43 by 2022.
  • The PADAT, managed by Investissement Québec on behalf of the Gouvernement du Québec, pursues the following objectives:
    • Encourage private investments for the benefit of renewal of the tourism offering in Québec.
    • Ensure the growth of successful companies in the Québec tourism sector.
    • Stimulate the regional economy through job creation, an increase in the number of visitors and tourism revenue growth.