Canadian North to phase out jet service to western Nunavut hubs

From Nunatsiaq News – link to source story

Boeing 737-200 jets to be replaced by turbo-props

Canadian North plans to retire its two Boeing 737-200 Combis, which can land on gravel runways where other similarly sized jets can’t. (File photo)

By  Jane George | 29 April 2021

Canadian North plans to end its jet service to Cambridge Bay and Kugluktuk because these two communities’ runways are not paved.

The airline’s two Boeing 737-200 jets that can land on gravel are nearing the end of their lives.

“To extend [their lifetimes] further would require prohibitively expensive capital investments,” said Andrew Pope, the airline’s vice-president, customer and commercial.

“Our intention is to instead invest those funds into new aircraft acquisitions to support our entire network, including the Kitikmeot region.”

The first 737-200 will be retired in May and the second will be retired as early as 2022.

Once that happens, Canadian North plans to use a new ATR42-500 turbo-prop aircraft for its service to the Kitikmeot. The airline will use a different, unspecified plane for cargo.

Turbo-prop aircraft may be slower than jet aircraft, he said, but the flights will only be around 20 minutes longer.

Ticket prices or cargo rates for the Kitikmeot region will not rise after the change in aircraft, Pope said.