Air North, Yukon’s Airline, celebrates new direct connection to Toronto, making way for new economic opportunities and travel for the Yukon and the Northwest Territories
TORONTO, May 11, 2022 /CNW/ – Last night passengers aboard Air North, Yukon’s Airline, flight number 4N823, landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport, becoming the first to enjoy Canada’s first-ever scheduled direct service between Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Toronto. To mark this milestone occasion for Canadian aviation, passengers were met by a special event at Toronto Pearson International Airport, celebrating its cultural and economic significance.
The seasonal route is expected to not only expand tourism and business travel to the territories, but holds particular significance to the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, from Old Crow, Yukon, who own 49 per cent of Air North, Yukon’s Airline. As the Yukon’s only community accessible exclusively by air, this route will be a necessary means for economic growth, and an important cultural and personal link. As Canadians seek to better understand each other, the flight unlocks unprecedented opportunities for more people than ever before to explore both Territories and immerse themselves in the cultures of Indigenous peoples who call the Yukon and Northwest Territories home.
To celebrate the inaugural flight, Premier of the Yukon, Sandy Silver, and the Yukon’s Minister of Economic Development, Tourism and Culture Ranj Pillai, attended the Toronto Pearson Airport event along with Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Councilor Bonnee Bingham. Attendees were treated to a special performance from the Teechik Dancers, a Vuntut Gwitchin group from Old Crow, Yukon.
“By providing direct flights between Whitehorse and Toronto, we are in turn connecting Yukon businesses to the country’s biggest economic hub and creating a pathway for people around the world to visit our territory,” Ranj Pillai Minister of Tourism and Culture and Economic Development. “We are thrilled Air North, Yukon’s Airline is able to offer this new service and I look forward to welcoming more visitors to the Yukon and sharing the economic benefits that come with this additional air access.”
“Air North, Yukon’s Airline owes our success to key Indigenous and community partnerships, which have allowed us to navigate the many challenges we have encountered during the past 20 years,” said Joe Sparling, President and CEO of Air North, Yukon’s Airline. “We are pleased to have added Toronto to our network, ensuring residents of the Yukon’s regional communities have seamless and affordable access to the rest of Canada and the world. This will broaden education, sports and cultural horizons for youth, and facilitate regional economic development. We are proud to make the North a better place to live and work.”
As part of last night’s celebrations Premier Sandy Silver, Minister Ranj Pillai, and Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Councilor Brenda Bingham, spoke to the airline’s history and future, noting their mutual excitement for the opportunities that grow from this new development.
The twice-weekly service from Toronto, operating via Yellowknife, is now available to book at flyairnorth.com.
About Air North, Yukon’s Airline
Air North, Yukon’s Airline was founded in 1977 and is 49% owned by the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation. One in 15 Yukoners have an equity or employment stake in the airline. Air North, Yukon’s Airline, operates a fleet of Boeing 737 jets and ATR 42 turboprops on routes throughout Yukon and to the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Alberta, and seasonally to Ontario. In 2020 it was the recipient of the Travellers’ Choice Award for Best Airline in Canada and Best Airline (Specialty and Leisure) in North America based upon glowing reviews from its passengers.