Provided by Canadian North
At Canadian North, the safety and well-being of our passengers, customers and employees is always our number one priority.
With this in mind, we would like to provide an update on the ongoing global response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the proactive actions our team is taking to safeguard everyone within our care.
While the Public Health Agency of Canada continues to classify the risk to Canadians from this virus as ‘low’ and we are maintaining normal operations, we are fully aware that we provide essential services to the people, communities and organizations that depend on us so we must remain particularly vigilant to this situation.
Last updated – Tuesday, March 17, 2020
An important message from Chris Avery, President and CEO of Canadian North
I would like to update you on Canadian North’s ongoing response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We fully understand that our customers depend on us in all aspects of their lives and we are dedicating all of our time and resources to maintaining the uninterrupted flow of people and goods throughout our entire network. The safety and well-being of our passengers, employees and the communities we serve is and will always be our number one priority, without exception.
This situation is constantly evolving, so we have a task force and structure in place to implement all necessary precautions and respond quickly to any challenges that arise while maintaining safe operations at all times. Many of the actions we have already taken were communicated last week and are listed on this webpage. We will continue to provide updates here and on our social media channels.
Our current situation
Canadian North and all other airlines are experiencing a sudden and significant decrease in passenger demand. This represents a severe reduction in the revenue that we rely on to operate our business. This is largely due to the following factors and the accompanying unprecedented economic downturn that has emerged over the past several days:
- Federal, provincial and territorial governments have suspended all non-essential duty travel.
- Public health authorities are recommending for the public to also avoid all non-essential travel and maintain social distancing practices such as staying home and avoiding large groups.
- Numerous meetings, conferences and large events such as the Arctic Winter Games and the Nunavut Mining Symposium have been cancelled, with the expectation of more to follow.
- Some Northern communities (Iqaluit, Cambridge Bay, Coral Harbour and Igloolik) have requested that non-essential travel to their communities be halted because they have fewer healthcare resources available to them and are at higher risk due to lack of infrastructure and overcrowding in many households.
While there is no clear end in sight to these challenges, Canadian North will continue to provide essential passenger and cargo services to the people, communities and organizations we serve, regardless of these circumstances.
We are engaging with Federal and Territorial governments to ensure that they are aware of the severity of this situation and prepared to provide us with the flexibility and support we urgently require. We are confident that they share our concern and that we will be able to depend on their partnership and support.
We are using our essential resources wisely
In order to ensure that we are using our people, aircraft and infrastructure as effectively as possible to serve our customers while supporting the ongoing efforts of public health agencies to contain this outbreak, we will implement temporary schedule changes. This schedule change will be effective as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
These changes have been carefully considered and will enable us to maintain the flow of people and essential goods to all communities we serve.
- In light of the reduced passenger demand, we will shift our priority to freight transportation to maintain current levels of capacity on all routes with the flexibility to increase if required. We will also prepare to prioritize freight service to communities without road connections if necessary.
- We will maintain minimum passenger service levels for every community within our network (an up-to-date version of our schedule is bookable online at canadiannorth.com):
- For our trunk routes which include Ottawa-Iqaluit, Edmonton-Yellowknife-Inuvik and Montreal-Kuujjuaq, this means reducing passenger service to one flight per day and removing passenger service on one to three days each week.
- For smaller community routes, this typically means reducing passenger service from daily to every-other day, except where demand is sufficient to warrant additional capacity.
- For our trans-territorial route between Yellowknife, Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit, this means reducing passenger service from four times weekly to two times weekly.
- Our team will engage with all levels of government, Inuit stakeholders and our customers to ensure that we understand their needs and priorities.
- This schedule change will be in effect for the next seven days; however, we expect to extend this timeline in the near future.
- Because this is an evolving situation, we expect that we will need to remain extremely flexible over the coming weeks and be prepared to make additional changes. We will continue to monitor our passenger and cargo loads and will make further adjustments as required, just as we normally do, albeit with heightened urgency.
Passengers who are booked to fly with us and are affected by this change have been automatically rebooked onto the next available flight and will be notified by email, phone or through their travel agent.
Customers who need to travel on a different date should contact us at 1.800.267.1247 or firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can update their reservation. We will waive change fees for people who are not able to travel on the new dates and must travel on a different date.
If you have any questions about your upcoming travel or cargo shipment, please contact us at 1.800.267.1247 or email@example.com. We expect that there will be an increased level of public enquiries to our Customer Contact Centre. We will do our best to address this increase and we appreciate your patience and understanding.
We will all get through this together and emerge stronger and more resilient
We are confident that the steps we are taking will ensure the viability of our business, for the benefit of everyone who depends on us.
We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.
Thank you as always for booking, flying and shipping with us. We are incredibly proud to serve you and are truly stronger because of your friendship and support.
President and CEO | Canadian North
Temporary Change, Refund and Cancellation Policies in Response to COVID-19
If your travel occurs before April 30th 2020 you may modify or cancel your reservation without a fee, regardless of fare type. For non-refundable fares, the refund will be issued as a travel credit voucher that will be valid for one year from date of issue.
To make modifications to your booking, you may contact us at 1-800-267-1247 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We expect to receive an extremely high call volume during this period of rapid change and thank you for your patience with longer than normal response times.
Our Proactive Safety Management Processes
As part of our comprehensive safety management program, we have a cross-functional team in place with representation from all parts of our operations to ensure that we are taking all necessary precautions. This includes:
- Daily monitoring of updates from the World Health Organization, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Revisions to our inflight procedures, which includes the suspension of blanket, pillow and hot towel services, the thorough wiping down of all galley surfaces with antiseptic wipes before and after each meal service and the use of sanitary gloves by Flight Attendants when handling garbage and other used items.
- The implementation of enhanced aircraft cabin grooming processes, which includes the regular disinfection of commonly-touched surfaces such as tray tables, seat armrests and headrests, seatbelt buckles, overhead lighting and ventilation controls, overhead luggage bin door latches and lavatory door handles and fixtures. We are using Oxivir Wipes on all of our aircraft, an approved disinfectant product that is effective against this virus strain and other pathogens. It contains common ingredients that are safe for humans to handle and be around, and because it is a hydrogen peroxide-based product, it breaks down to water and oxygen after use, limiting its environmental impact.
- Remove all non-essential material from the seat-back pockets of our aircraft; (updated March 13)
- Eliminate the exchange of money on board our aircraft; in particular this means that we will be limiting our alcohol service only unpaid items (wine service, special coffee etc); (updated March 13)
Our Facilities and base management teams are taking similar steps to ensure that our customer-facing facilities and offices are thoroughly cleaned with disinfecting solutions each day and our locations are stocked with soap, paper towels and cleaning materials.
- Providing clear direction to our team members on how to safeguard the health of themselves and others. For example:
- Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoiding the touching of eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Covering coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throwing the tissues in the trash. If a tissue is unavailable, coughs or sneezes should be directed the person’s sleeve or elbow.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Avoiding direct contact with others who are ill.
- If ill, staying home from work to rest, avoiding direct contact with others and seeking medical attention if necessary.
To learn more about COVID-19 and ways that you can minimize exposure to yourself and those around you, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website.
Managing Onboard Instances
In the event that a passenger becomes ill while onboard our aircraft, our flight crews are trained to quickly assess the situation and provide the appropriate assistance while minimizing exposure to other passengers, just like they would during any other circumstances. Crew members have access to real-time medical support and can request for first responders to meet the aircraft upon arrival while ensuring that public health authorities are immediately informed of the situation.
Maintaining Safe and Reliable Operations
We have taken this opportunity to proactively review our Business Continuity Plan so that we are prepared for any possible developments that would require us to adjust our operations while continuing to maintain the essential flow of passengers and materials to all of our locations. This includes identifying key operational personnel and the coverage that would be required if they were temporarily unavailable, making sure that our administrative team members have the resources required for them to work from home if necessary and ensuring we have contingency plans in place to temporarily adjust our schedule while minimizing the impact on those we serve.
Where can I find more information?
The following websites are reliable sources of updated information:
Public Health Agency of Canada
Government of Canada Travel Advice and Advisories
Government of Canada Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates
The World Health Organization
International Air Transport Association (IATA)
Questions? We’re always here to listen and to help.
We will continue to follow the direction of public health authorities and will provide additional updates here and on our Facebook and Twitter channels if further developments occur. In the meantime, we are always here to listen and to help. If you have any questions about your upcoming travel or shipping, please contact us at 1.800.267.1247 or email@example.com.
Thank you as always for booking, flying and shipping with us.