Canadian North and Air Greenland announce Letter of Intent, committing to explore opportunities to improve connectivity between Greenland and Canada

December 9, 2020 – Canadian North and Air Greenland announced a Letter of Intent (LOI) today, committing to explore partnership opportunities for air service and sustainable tourism development between Greenland and Canada. The LOI (shown here) was signed in Ilulissat on January 27, 2020 by Canadian North Executive Chairman Johnny N. Adams, Canadian North President and CEO Chris Avery, Air Greenland Board Chairman Kjeld Zacho Jørgensen and Air Greenland CEO Jacob Nitter Sørensen.

In a remote presentation to the Greenland Conference 2020 hosted by the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) in Denmark on December 9, 2020 (shown here), Canadian North Executive Chairman Johnny N. Adams provided an update on the impact of COVID-19 on planned next steps. “We were going to announce the LOI in March of 2020, but both of our airlines were occupied with providing safe travel throughout our customers’ journeys and preventing the spread of COVID.”

“Now that there is a vaccine in distribution, it’s time to start looking ahead to partnering on flights through Ottawa-Iqaluit-Nuuk and Ottawa-Iqaluit-Ilulissat. We’d also like to connect Greenland directly with southern Canada, possibly via Toronto during the tourism season, which includes March, April and August to October.”

“In 2021, we’ll be adding two Boeing 737-700 aircraft to our fleet that will be able to go from Toronto direct to Nuuk or Ilulissat,” elaborated Canadian North President and CEO Chris Avery. “Although we have yet to enter the planning stages of providing this connectivity, the LOI is a reflection of our common goal; to bridge the vast distances between Canada and Greenland. Inuit have traversed the Arctic since time immemorial to gather, share, and trade. Direct flights between the two countries would revitalize this relationship, strengthen cultural ties and provide economic opportunities in tourism and trade.”

“We are pleased to continue working with Air Greenland to bring our shared vision into reality.”

Canadian North employee dies while loading plane at Ottawa airport

News from CBC News – link to source story

Airline says it’s supporting investigations into the incident

CBC News · Posted: Dec 09, 2020

A file photo of workers de-icing a Canadian North plane at the Ottawa International Airport in December 2019. The company said an employee died on Monday while loading a plane at its Ottawa airport hangar. (Patrick Doyle/Canadian Press)

A Canadian North employee died while loading an aircraft inside the airline’s hangar at the Ottawa International Airport Monday morning, the company says. 

The airline, based in Ottawa with routes across Canada’s northern territories, says it’s supporting investigations into what it calls a “workplace accident.”

Ottawa police and the labour program with the federal Employment and Social Development Canada have both investigated the incident, a spokesperson for the airline said. Canadian North is also conducting its own internal review. 

“This is a very sad day,” said Chris Avery, president of Canadian North, in the airline’s statement.

“We are offering time and resources to our team members who were close to this tragic event.” 

The airline added it is taking “all necessary steps to ensure the safety of our employees.”

A spokesperson for the Ottawa International Airport Authority referred CBC to the airline for information about the death. 

“Everybody at the airport authority is thinking about all those who are affected,” said Krista Kealey, vice-president of communications for the authority.

Canadian North said it won’t provide any more details out of respect for the employee’s family.

Canadian North announces appointment of Matieu Plamondon to the role of Vice-President, Charters and Business Development

CALGARY, Alberta, Dec. 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Canadian North is pleased to announce the appointment of Matieu Plamondon to the role of Vice-President, Charters and Business Development, effective January 4, 2021. Matieu will be based in Calgary, Alberta and lead Canadian North’s industry-leading charter operations.

Matieu joins Canadian North with widely-respected industry experience, having been named to the Wings Magazine Top 20 under 40 list in 2017. He has most recently served as Chief Operating Officer for Flyht Aerospace Solutions Ltd., a Calgary-based aerospace technology company. He has also served as Vice-President, Operations & Customer Fulfillment and Senior Operations Manager for Flyht.

Prior to joining Flyht, Matieu worked for Canadian North’s legacy airline, First Air, for eight years, advancing to the role of Director, Operational Control Centre. He has also worked in management positions for Navtech Systems Inc. and Pem Air Ltd. /Trillium Air Inc., has an MMBA from McGill University, has trained as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer and is a licensed pilot.

Canadian North has earned its reputation for providing safe, reliable, flexible and cost-effective ‘Fly Anywhere’ charter flight services to major resource sector clients, government agencies, sports teams, tour operators, cruise lines and other large groups. It operates thousands of flights on behalf of its clients each year throughout Canada, the United States and beyond, with its own dedicated charter bases and maintenance facilities in Calgary and Edmonton and the ability to operate from a huge range of urban and remote airports and aerodromes. Canadian North also provides essential passenger and cargo services to communities in Nunavut, Nunavik and the Northwest Territories from its southern gateways of Ottawa, Montréal and Edmonton, with major operational hubs in Iqaluit, Yellowknife and Cambridge Bay.

“Canadian North is extremely proud of the safe and innovative charter services we provide to an incredible array of Canadian businesses and organizations,” said Chris Avery, President and CEO of Canadian North. “We look forward to welcoming Matieu to this new role, where he will lead our Charters team in providing exceptional service and care to all of our customers while continuing to grow this important part of our company.”

Airlines control Nunavut’s pandemic flight schedules, says minister

From CBC News – link to story

A special sitting of Nunavut’s legislature is underway this week to look at COVID-19 expenses

Beth Brown · CBC News · Posted: Sep 22, 2020

A Canadian North ATR42-500 at Cambridge Bay Airport in October 2019. The government says commercial flight schedules are being set by Nunavut airlines. Some MLAs say their communities aren’t getting the airline service they need. (CambridgeBayWeather/Wikimedia [CC BY-SA 4.0])

Nunavut’s government reconvened yesterday for a special sitting of the Legislative Assembly to review its ongoing response to COVID-19 — and airlines were a major topic of questioning. 

“Since we do pay a cost to the airline, do we have a say in their scheduling and service levels to the community?” asked Rankin Inlet North-Chesterfield Inlet MLA Cathy Towtongie, who is worried about flight schedules currently being offered in Chesterfield Inlet.  

In the spring, when the Nunavut government negotiated an agreement with its two major airlines, Canadian North and Calm Air, it allowed the companies to make calls on scheduling, as long as they accommodated basic government needs like medical travel. 

But that $24.6-million funding agreement ran out at the end of June, and new negotiations for airline support in Nunavut are still in the works.

In the meantime, some communities are finding that they don’t have the flights they need.  

For example, residents of the island community of Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, in Hudson Bay are not able to visit other Nunavut communities without doing a two-week quarantine. 

“There is no way for them to travel to other Nunavut communities on a commercial flight without going through the South and a 14-day isolation,” Hudson Bay MLA Allan Rumbolt said of his constituents. 

In a letter from the Department of Family Services, Rumbolt was told that the lack of flight services to his community was partly responsible for a shortage of income assistance workers in Sanikiluaq. 

A new agreement to fund airlines between July and December of this year has yet to be finished, says Nunavut Transportation minister David Akeeagok. (Beth Brown/CBC)

Airline agreement in limbo, minister says

Nunavut’s Transportation minister David Akeeagok says a new route is being looked at between Sanikiluaq and Iqaluit or Rankin Inlet.  

He said he can’t make any promises about further flight scheduling changes. 

“We are in somewhat of a dilemma right now,” said Akeeagok. 

Having the airlines decide on flight schedules was only meant to be a temporary measure, he said. 

We are in somewhat of a dilemma right now.- David Akeeagok, Nunavut Transportation minister

But negotiating a new agreement is hard right now, because the territory isn’t sure what amount of money it has to work with.

“We are anticipating more money from the federal government,” he said. 

In August, Canada’s departments of Transport and Northern Affairs announced $75 million over six months for airline services in remote and rural communities, including in Nunavut, and up to $174 million over the next year and a half, if necessary.   

Any July-to-December contract between the Nunavut government and the airlines would rely on that money, Akeeagok says. 

“We need the federal government to detail that $75 million and they also need to tell us what their 18-month plans are in order for us to make these determinations,” Akeeagok said.

This sitting follows a longer break than usual, after the spring sitting of the legislature was cancelled because of the pandemic. 

Questions to cabinet from regular members ranged from hotel quarantine services, to isolation expenses, to support for public servants, and the health of constituents living in overcrowded homes. 

Few flights and high prices burst northern travel bubble for some

From CBC News – link to story

Canadian North is running 50% of the flights it used to, with 10% of the passengers

CBC News · Posted: Jun 23, 2020

Rachel Marin isn’t sure she can travel to her home town of Ranklin Inlet, Nunavut, given the change in flight routes that will make it a costly trip. (submitted by Rachel Marin)

When Rachel Marin heard about the N.W.T.-Nunavut travel bubble, she thought her summer was saved. Though she’s lived in Yellowknife since 2001, she loves returning to her home town, Rankin Inlet. 

“I was like, ‘Wow this is so awesome!'” she said. “It’s pretty neat to have this [COVID-19-]free zone that you can travel in.” 

The mood shifted when she found out that the only airline with scheduled flights between the two territories is still running far fewer flights, at higher costs to customers. 

The airline has cancelled direct flights between Yellowknife to Rankin Inlet to Iqaluit. Passengers from Yellowknife now have to overnight in Cambridge Bay, then take a second flight that goes to Rankin Inlet and on to Iqaluit. A one-night stay in a hotel in Cambridge Bay costs about $250. 

“You know what?” Marin said. “I can’t really do that.” 

Inukshuk Aksalnik, who lives in Nunavut, looked into making the trip from Iqaluit to Yellowknife. She stopped when she found out the cost. 

“I’ll wait for the airline to reintroduce the Iqaluit-Rankin-Yellowknife flight and hope it doesn’t cost $9,000 for a family of three,” Aksalnik said. 

90 per cent drop in business

Andrew Pope, vice-president with Canadian North, said although the travel bubble came as “encouraging and welcoming news for our business,” the company has a long way to go before it’s back to business as usual. 

The airline has seen an 80 to 90 per cent drop in passengers since the onset of the pandemic, he said. It’s now offering about 50 per cent of the flights they had before. 

And even that leaves planes a lot emptier than they used to be, Pope said.

As for prices, Pope said they haven’t raised any, but in some cases, new routing has almost doubled the fare. 

The federal and territorial governments have given the newly merged airline millions of dollars to stay afloat through the crisis. 

In May, Canadian North got over $5 million in federal pandemic relief funds filtered through the N.W.T. government. Nunavut has offered federal pandemic bailout money along with payments to make up for what the government would normally pay for medical and government travel.

Pope said his company has been working closely with the territorial governments to maintain an essential level of service. He said that’s how they arrived at the revised routing of Yellowknife to Cambridge Bay to Iqaluit. 

However, he also said new flights and routes would be considered as demand returns. 

And while the company is grateful for the support it’s receive so far, he said the airline will need even more. 

“Even with some of the gains that we have seen in the last month, it still does look like a very long road to recovery.”

For Marin, who hopes to make her trip in August or September, she plans to wait and see what the options are before she books anything.   

She said a Canadian North travel agent she spoke to said the airline is now making plans “month by month.” 

“At one point we were day by day, week by week, now we’re month by month, which is pretty good,” said Marin. “Maybe soon we’ll be open and go wherever we please.”

Written by Sara Minogue, with files from Kate Kyle

Canadian North updates Schedule

From Canadian North | 29 May 2020

Link to Full Schedule

Update to our Goodwill Policy

We have updated our Goodwill Policy for customers whose travel has been affected by COVID-19, effective May 29, 2020. Please see here for complete details.

Seat assignment pre-selection suspension

The Government of Nunavut has requested that, wherever possible, passengers who have been isolated as part of the its COVID-19 prevention measures are separated from other passengers while travelling. As a result, we have temporarily suspended advance seat selection on all northbound flights from Edmonton and Ottawa, as well as all Nunavut flights departing from Yellowknife and Iqaluit.

If you are booked to travel on one of these affected flights and have already selected your seat, we may need to change it in order to group isolated passengers and separate them from other passengers. You will then be assigned a new seat at check-in or prior to boarding. It will also be important that passengers remain in their assigned seat even if other open seats appear to be available.

If you have any questions about your upcoming travel, please contact us at 1.800.267.1247 or contact@canadiannorth.com. Thank you for your patience and for helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the communities we serve. 

5 airlines in the N.W.T. will share in federal $8.7M announced previously

News from CBC News – link to story

Territorial government to release federal dollars to five airlines offering schedule-based passenger service

CBC News · Posted: May 08, 2020

The Kingair 350 used by Yellowknife’s Air Tindi to fly medevacs. Air Tindi is one of five airlines that will have a share in $8.7 million federal aviation funding. (Kevin Wang/Submitted by Joel Strong-Covello)

Five airlines offering scheduled passenger service in the N.W.T. during the COVID-19 pandemic will share in $8.7 million in federal funding.

Part of almost $130 million in federal COVID-19 support money announced for the North on April 14 was meant to buttress air service in Nunavut, the N.W.T. and Yukon. As previously announced, of that $17.3 million, the N.W.T. will receive the lion’s share at $8.7 million, while Nunavut will receive $5 million and Yukon will receive $3.6 million.

In the Northwest Territories the money will be distributed between five airlines:

  • Canadian North — $5,372,000.
  • Air Tindi — $1,565,000.
  • Northwestern Air Lease — $793,00.
  • North-Wright Airways — $589,000.
  • Aklak Air — $381,000.

In a press release Friday, the territorial government stated the money was meant to “ensure those companies can continue to fly essential supplies into remote communities.”

When the money for airlines was first announced, some airline operators said the help was welcome but would not go far enough.

But Friday’s press release states that this funding is only the first of two instalments. The next phase, according to the N.W.T. government, will “be aimed at providing longer term certainty for the industry, as well as include other sectors of the airline industry, like charter services and rotary wing.”

The press release did not go into any further details on what that funding would look like.

The N.W.T. government had already announced waived fees at all N.W.T. airports for airlines and any businesses operating at those airports. In Friday’s press release, they say that is expected to represent approximately $2 million in support for the industry.

Canadian North Schedule Update

From Canadian North

Effective: 24 April 2020 – Link to full Schedule

FromToWeekly Frequency
Rankin InletWinnipeg6
WinnipegRankin Inlet6
IqaluitOttawa4
KuujjuaqMontreal (Dorval)4
Montreal (Dorval)Kuujjuaq4
OttawaIqaluit4
Arctic BayIqaluit3
Arctic BayResolute3
IqaluitArctic Bay3
IqaluitKimmirut3
KimmirutIqaluit3
OttawaArctic Bay3
ResoluteArctic Bay3
Arctic BayOttawa2
Cambridge BayEdmonton2
Cambridge BayGjoa Haven2
Cambridge BayKugaaruk2
Cambridge BayTaloyoak2
Cambridge BayYellowknife2
EdmontonCambridge Bay2
EdmontonFort Simpson2
EdmontonGjoa Haven2
EdmontonInuvik2
EdmontonKugaaruk2
EdmontonNorman Wells2
EdmontonTaloyoak2
EdmontonYellowknife2
Fort SimpsonFort Simpson2
Fort SimpsonHay River2
Grise FiordResolute2
Hay RiverEdmonton2
Hay RiverYellowknife2
InuvikEdmonton2
InuvikYellowknife2

Link to Canadian North Update including:

New location for Canadian North Montréal cargo pick-ups and drop-offs effective Tuesday, April 28, 2020

From Canadian North ~ April 22, 2020

Effective Tuesday, April 28, 2020, Canadian North Cargo will be handled in Montréal by Air Inuit, from their new warehouse location at 800 Blvd. Stuart-Graham, Suite #110 (map – https://goo.gl/maps/Mv9nGy14aj8Gctou9)

This means that beginning on that date, all Canadian North cargo pick-ups and drop-offs will be made from this location.

Customer service hours:
Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

Truck Receiving Hours:
Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday 8:00 am to 2:00 pm

We look forward to serving you from this new location, with support from our cargo partners at Air Inuit.