First Air firms trumpet use of country food freight in Nunavut
Low rate triggers big jump in country food shipments
A low country food freight rate they introduced July 1, 2011 sparked a three-fold increase in the shipment of country food around Nunavut, two First Air subsidiaries said in a statement July 23.
The two firms, Qikiqtani First Aviation and Sakku First Aviation, said that between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, customers in the Qikiqtani and Kivalliq regions used the rate to ship 360,000 pounds of country food.
“This is a 308 per cent increase over the annual average of country food shipping in past years,” the statement said.
The two First Air subsidiaries and First Air charge a low rate of only $1.50 per kilogram for country food. This rate includes all taxes and surcharges. Minimum charges do not apply.
The statement said beneficiaries may also get discounts for passenger tickets and shipments of ATVs, snowmobiles, outboard motors and sewing supplies.
“The regional Inuit associations wanted us to assist beneficiaries directly, and we believe that this demonstrates our commitment to beneficiaries,” Harry Flaherty, president of Qikiqtani First, said in the statement.
The Canadian North airline, which competes with First Air and the two First Air subsidiaries in Nunavut, offers a country food rate of $1.50 per kilogram, plus applicable taxes and surcharges, with a $20 minimum charge.