Air North, Yukon’s Airline appoints APG as its GSA in 12 countries worldwide

13 May 2021 – Air North, Yukon’s Airline has chosen APG as its General Sales Agent in Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Austria, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Switzerland and the UK.

Under the agreement, APG will be providing wide ranging sales and marketing services throughout the countries to bring greater awareness of Air North and the Yukon region to travel agents and customers alike.

Recognised by Tripadvisor as the Best Airline in Canada in 2020, Air North has also signed with APG to join its interline e-ticketing solution allowing over 100,000 travel agents worldwide to issue Air North tickets on APG’s own validating code, GP.

About Air North

Joseph Sparling and Tom Wood founded Air North Charter and Training in 1977 to service the mining industry. Over the following 44 years, that original vision expanded into Air North, Yukon’s Airline, now connecting two territories and three provinces with scheduled air passenger and cargo service. Operating a fleet of Boeing 737 and ATR42 aircraft, Air North is today among the largest employers in the Yukon, in addition to having a team in Vancouver. Air North is proud to be a partly Indigenous-owned airline with the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation’s 49% equity ownership. One in 15 Yukoners hold an equity or employment stake in Air North.

Air Canada, WestJet, Transat, Sunwing and more: The latest updates amid the coronavirus pandemic

From Travelweek Canada – link to source story

TORONTO — Canada’s airlines took swift action amid border closures and travel restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s the latest from Canada’s airlines. This list is updated as we receive new information from each company. The latest information can always be found at the company’s website.

LATEST UPDATE: April 28, 2021 – Air North; April 15, 2021 – WestJet; April 7, 2021 – Sunwing

Additional updates below from Canadian Aviation News.


AIR CANADA

UPDATE from Canadian Aviation News: 14 April 2021 – Air Canada is extending its suspension of most sun destination flights through the end of May 2021.

UPDATED JAN. 29, 2021: Air Canada, along with Canada’s four other major carriers, has suspended its winter season sun flights effective Jan. 31 through April 30, upon request from the federal government. Impacted passengers can opt for future travel credits or refunds. More details are here: https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/book/travel-news-and-updates/2020/covid-19.html.


AIR NORTH

Air North, Yukon’s Airline is currently flying with a reduced schedule due to COVID and offering flights between Whitehorse and Vancouver, Kelowna, and Victoria. Effective May 5 Air North will be resuming flights between Whitehorse and Calgary & Edmonton as well. For more information on Air North’s schedule go to https://www.flyairnorth.com/flights/flight-schedules


FLAIR AIRLINES

UPDATED MARCH 31, 2021: Flair Airlines is expanding its network starting May 1 with service being added to Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo, Halifax and Saint John, plus service starting in June to Thunder Bay and Charlottetown. Service to Victoria is set to begin in July, and to Abbotsford in August. Flair will also add Montreal to its network effective July 1. The airline’s latest change policies are at https://flyflair.com/travel-info/customer-service/covid-19-updates.


PORTER AIRLINES

UPDATE from Canadian Aviation News: 12 April 2021 — Porter Airlines sets tentative restart date to 21 June 2021.

UPDATED MARCH 2, 2021: Porter Airlines has pushed back its planned restart date to May 19, 2021. Further updates will be provided this winter based on the status of the pandemic and government measures, said President and CEO Michael Deluce.


SUNWING

UPDATED APRIL 7, 2021: Sunwing’s domestic summer program is now open for bookings. Flights start in May 2021 and run until the beginning of September 2021. Sunwing, along with Canada’s four other major carriers, suspended its winter season sun flights effective Jan. 31, upon request from the federal government. Originally suspended through April 30, on April 1 Sunwing announced it was extending the suspension through June 23. Sunwing has also cancelled domestic flights to/from B.C. and Newfoundland from May 1 to June 23, 2021. Customers or their travel agents impacted by cancelled flights are being contacted by Sunwing directly to review their options. For the most up to date information see https://www.sunwing.ca/en/promotion/packages/important-travel-advisories.


SWOOP

UPDATED JAN. 29, 2021: Swoop, as part of the WestJet Group of companies, has suspended its winter season sun flights effective Jan. 31 through April 30, upon request from the federal government.


TRANSAT

UPDATED JAN. 29, 2021: Transat, along with Canada’s four other major carriers, has suspended its winter season sun flights effective Jan. 31 through April 30, upon request from the federal government. Impacted passengers can opt for future travel credits or refunds. Transat’s FTCs are fully transferable, with no expiry date.  More information for Transat can be found here.


WESTJET

UPDATE from Canadian Aviation News: 14 April 2021 – WestJet is extending its suspension of most sun destination flights to 4 June 2021.

UPDATED APRIL 15, 2021: WestJet, along with Canada’s four other major carriers, suspended its winter season sun flights effective Jan. 31 through April 30, upon request from the federal government. On April 13 WestJet advised that it was extending that suspension until June 4, 2021. More details are at https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/travel-info/advisories.

Airlines Invent Wild New Ways to Make Money With Borders Closed

From BNN Bloomberg – link to story

Angus Whitley, Bloomberg News ~ 3 September 2020

A Qantas Boeing 787 on the tarmac at Sydney Airport, July 22.
A Qantas Boeing 787 on the tarmac at Sydney Airport, July 22. , Getty Images via Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — When it comes to raising money, nothing is off limits for airlines mired in their worst-ever crisis. From fresh vegetables to peanuts and pajamas, they’re selling almost anything to make it through the pandemic.

Even airlines that received government bailouts and slashed costs are looking for new revenue streams as they burn through cash while fleets are largely grounded and people stay at home. A recovery is expected to take years and cost carriers billions of dollars more.

Here’s a look at what airlines are pedaling as they try to make up for the hit from Covid-19:

Fly Over Antarctica

With its international fleet grounded until at least mid-2021, Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd. is renting out one of its Boeing Co. Dreamliners for sightseeing trips over the southern ice cap.

Antarctica Flights is chartering the plane and crew from Qantas for seven trips between November and February. The flights last between 12 and 14 hours, and a business-class seat with full in-flight service costs A$7,999 ($5,850).

Pajamas and Almonds

Qantas also sold items typically given away to premium passengers, including 10,000 sets of pajamas that it said were snapped up in a matter of hours. The A$25 amenity packs usually doled out free to people in the front seats were available online and contained hand cream, tea bags, chocolate biscuits and smoked almonds, among other in-flight treats.

Qantas may also salvage something from its Boeing 747s, which were retired early due to the crisis. A spokesman said some of the cabin interiors, such as first-class tray tables, might be sold as memorabilia.

In-Flight Meals, at Home

Air North, the 43-year-old airline that connects Canada’s remote Yukon with hubs such as Vancouver, branched into home-delivered airline meals. Menu offerings include beef pot pie for C$9.00 ($6.88) and a selection of cheesecakes for C$13.99.

Customers can order as many as 20 of the pre-cooked, frozen meals at a time, to be dropped off by a driver the next business day. The meals are only available in neighborhoods in the northwestern city of Whitehorse and the delivery charge is C$10.

Flights to Nowhere

Japan’s ANA Holdings Inc. sold tickets for a charter flight to nowhere. About 300 passengers paid for a so-called Hawaiian resort experience on an Airbus SE A380 that typically flies the Tokyo-Honolulu route. The passengers were picked through a lottery.

Crew wore masks and Hawaiian shirts and served cocktails during the 90-minute trip.

Starlux Airlines introduced a “pretending to go abroad” flight piloted by its chairman on Aug. 7, and 188 tickets for the trip along Taiwan’s east coast were snapped up in 30 seconds, according to Focus Taiwan. Starlux did another flight for employees and paying customers on Aug. 16, also flown by its chairman. Tickets cost NT$4,221 ($144) each.

EVA Airways Corp. filled all 309 seats on a special Father’s Day flight on Aug. 8, Focus Taiwan said.

Renting Out Office Space

Air New Zealand Ltd. is considering sub-letting some of its headquarters in Auckland as part of a review of costs. Local media said as much as a quarter of the company’s six-story office, or 5,000 square meters of floor space, is up for grabs. A spokesperson for the airline declined to comment further.

Fruit & Veg Delivery

Low-cost travel pioneer AirAsia Group Bhd., which posted a record loss last month, started an Amazon.com-style platform selling fresh fruit and vegetables.

AirAsia’s Ourfarm e-commerce venture aims to tap the airline’s cargo, logistics and payment capabilities to connect Malaysian farmers directly with hotels, restaurants and supermarkets. The site sells everything from potatoes and pak choi to pineapples and chicken.

All-You-Can-Fly Deals

Faced with a slump in demand, airlines in China started offering unlimited flight packages to lure customers back onto domestic routes.

Among them, China Eastern Airlines Corp., one of the nation’s “Big 3” carriers, in June advertised unlimited weekend flights for the rest of the year for a single fee of 3,322 yuan ($487). More than 150,000 people used the pass over just two weekends, the airline said. On some flights, they accounted for more than 90% of the passengers.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Air North, Yukon’s Airline Named Best Airline in Canada by Tripadvisor

WHITEHORSE, YT – 28 July 2020 Tripadvisor has namedAir North, Yukon’s Airline the Travellers’ Choice Best Airline in Canada 2020, as well as the Travellers’ Choice Specialty Airline in North America 2020.

The awards are given based on positive Tripadvisor reviews the company received throughout 2019. Award winners are known for consistently receiving great flyer feedback, placing them among travellers’ favourites around the globe. This is the first time the company has been awarded Travellers’ Choice Best Airline in Canada, and the second year in a row it has been awarded Travellers’ Choice Specialty Airline in North America.

Joseph Sparling, Air North’s President and CEO said, “We are honoured to receive these awards, proud of our great team for earning them, and thankful to our loyal Yukon and other supporters for recognizing our product. I am especially pleased to see these awards go to a northern air carrier as it provides a great illustration of the role they play in the north, not only providing essential air services, but also strengthening the northern economy through Indigenous and non-Indigenous employment and investment.”

“Winners of the 2020 Travellers’ Choice Awards should be proud of this distinguished recognition,” said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor. “Although it’s been a challenging year for travel and hospitality, we want to celebrate our partners’ achievements. Award winners are beloved for their exceptional service and quality. Not only are these winners well deserving, they are also a great source of inspiration for travellers as the world begins to venture out again.”

On Monday, the company announced the Air North Care First program, which focuses on putting the care of their passengers, communities and staff first by implementing additional health and safety measures. As part of this commitment, Air North is not selling middle seats on their Boeing 737 jets, except to passengers of the same social bubble, in order to facilitate physical distancing onboard.

In appreciation of the awards and to celebrate their staff and passengers alike, the company has prepared this video.

Commencement of New Flight Dispatch Department

From Air North

WHITEHORSE, YT – 8 June 2020 – Air North, Yukon’s Airline becomes first Canadian airline to have entire flight operations offices located north of 60°.

With their opening of a Type A Operations Control Dispatch Centre in the coming weeks, Air North, Yukon’s Airline will become the first major Canadian airline whose entire flight operations offices are located in northern Canada.  

The new flight dispatch office will provide the opportunity to route aircraft more efficiently by increasing the number of approved flight paths available. The various route options will allow pilots and dispatchers to take advantage of different winds to operate faster flights with less turbulence, while helping to conserve fuel.

Since the start of Boeing 737 jet service in 2002, Air North’s flight dispatch services have been contracted to a company based in Calgary, Alberta. By bringing this service in-house, Air North will add six highly-skilled jobs to the Yukon labour market, with many dispatchers transferring from different positions within the company. Air North has also developed a flight dispatch training program, as the company hopes to continue to provide career development opportunities for employees and Yukoners.  

“The opening of Air North’s Flight Dispatch Centre is not only a significant accomplishment for the company, but for the north overall,” says Chad Wilson, Chief Dispatcher for Air North, and project lead on getting the program off the ground. “Flight dispatchers’ primary focus is flight safety – from filing flight plans to monitoring weather and continuously tracking the progress of all flights, they play an integral role in flight operations. To be able to provide this skilled service and training program is really a first here in the Yukon. It’s an honour to be a part of it.”

Air North’s Flight Dispatch Centre is set to commence operations 15 June 2020.

Airlines say they can’t restart without government help, with small carriers particularly vulnerable

News from The Globe and Mail – link to full story

ERIC ATKINS. TRANSPORTATION REPORTER MAY 10, 2020

Edmonton-based discount carrier Flair Airlines has slashed its schedule, idled four of its seven Boeing 737s and most of its 400 employees are getting the emergency wage subsidy. HO/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Small Canadian airlines grounded amid the COVID-19 pandemic say without government aid, they will be unable to restart when demand for air travel returns. And Air Canada and WestJet Airlines say they, too, need and deserve more help from Ottawa.

The federal government has announced some help for the air transport sector, such as waiving rent payments for airport authorities until December and loans to some airlines from Export Development Canada (EDC). The 75-per-cent emergency wage subsidy for businesses has also kept thousands of idled airline employees from being laid off.

Ottawa has said more help is on the way for airlines and other industries devastated by shutdowns and social distancing measures aimed at slowing the killer virus.

Even so, small airlines are in danger of failing, said John McKenna, head of Air Transport Association of Canada, which represents 75 of the country’s small carriers, including Air Inuit and Air North.

More at The Globe and Mail

Air North puts on brave face as COVID-19 rocks airline industry

News provided by CBC News – link to full story and updates

‘We’re gonna get through it,’ says company president Joe Sparling

CBC News · Posted: Mar 20, 2020

Air North president Joe Sparling expects to see about a 35 per cent drop in the number of passengers this month, compared to last March. April may be worse. (Submitted by Air North)

The president of Yukon’s Air North says the COVID-19 pandemic has created an “unprecedented set of circumstances” for his airline, but says the company will get through it.

“Without a doubt, we’re going to be operating on a smaller scale for at least a period of time. We don’t know how long that’s going to go on, and we don’t know how small we’re going to have to get,” Joe Sparling said.

“There’s adjustments being made every day, and you know we’re doing our best to communicate with passengers.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a “cataclysmic” impact on airlines around the world. International fleets are being grounded and domestic routes restricted.

Air Canada is set to lay off more than 5,100 members of its cabin crews because of a dramatic drop in flights. The company has suspended dozens of routes across Canada and the U.S. for the coming weeks, including some to Yellowknife. Air Canada’s flights to Whitehorse will continue, however.

Sparling is also preparing for rough days ahead.

He said his airline has seen a “flurry of traffic” recently as some Yukoners still opt to travel for spring break and others return from abroad. He expects that to wind down in the coming days, but can’t predict much beyond that.

“We’re just watching the bookings every day. I can tell you that for the last week or so, we’ve been processing more cancellations than we have new bookings — by a long shot.”

‘There’s adjustments being made every day, and you know we’re doing our best to communicate with passengers,’ said Sparling.

Sparling expects to see about a 35 per cent drop in the number of passengers this month, compared to last March. April may be worse.

“It’s probably going to be a more telling statistic and we don’t have a handle on that one quite yet,” he said.

Sparling did not say whether he expects to lay off any Air North staff. He said Thursday that he has a few employees now in self-isolation and unable to come to work.

“But we’re also decreasing the number of flights that we operate so you know, right now one is kind of paralleling the other,” he said.

Keeping planes clean and sanitized

Sparling said his airline is taking other measures to ensure passengers are safe. He says crew have stepped up efforts to keep cabins clean and sanitized. Earlier this week, the airline removed blankets, pillows, magazines and brochures from all planes.

As a pilot, Sparling is also keeping the cockpit door closed more often, and says flight crew may be interacting less with passengers.

“It’s always nice to be able to get out and say goodbye to everybody, but [we] might have to do a little bit less of that,” he said.

The airline is also considering changes to in-flight service, such as cancelling the meal service. Sparling says they’re evaluating “anything and everything.”

He’s not too worried about the long-term though, saying Air North is in good shape to weather the storm.

“Nobody knows how long this is going to go on … But you know, we’re gonna get through it.”

With files from Mike Rudyk

Air North Announces July Service Between Halifax and Whitehorse

Provided by Air North

WHITEHORSE, YT – 6 March 2020 – Today Air North, Yukon’s Airline announced a series of flights between Halifax, Nova Scotia and Whitehorse, Yukon.

This limited-edition route will operate between 9 July and 18 July 2020. The service is being introduced in order to support travel for Indigenous youth attending the 2020 North American Indigenous Games hosted in Halifax, NS this summer.

“We are excited to be able to provide service to Halifax this summer and connect with the Eastern coast of Canada. We believe it will offer many benefits, both for passengers across Canada and the Indigenous youth athletes,” says Benjamin Ryan, Air North’s Chief Commercial Officer.

“As always, driving tourism to the Yukon is one of our primary focuses, and we look forward to welcoming visitors from the East Coast to the territory on our comfortable Boeing 737-500. We are also excited to stimulate tourism within the cities it connects with, creating opportunities for people from across Canada to travel to and from Halifax via our route system,” continues Mr. Ryan.

The service to Halifax will operate as an extension on two of the company’s current routes to Ottawa, ON and Vancouver, BC. Introductory fares from Whitehorse to Halifax will start at $399 one-way and are available for a limited time only.

Air North’s service between Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Ottawa will not face interruption by these flights, with scheduled service remaining between 30 May 2020 and 1 September 2020. The company also announced this week on social media their service between Yellowknife and Vancouver will resume 5 December 2020.

The current Whitehorse/Halifax schedule is as follows:

DateFlight Path
July 9, 17, 18Whitehorse > Yellowknife > Ottawa > Halifax
July 10Halifax > Ottawa > Vancouver > Whitehorse
July 12, 13Halifax > Ottawa > Yellowknife > Whitehorse
July 18Whitehorse > Vancouver > Halifax*

* Fuel stop in Winnipeg required.