Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut May 18, 2017 - 7:00 am

Nunavut bids farewell to airlines’ turbulent codeshare era

Canadian North says new flight schedule offers the right mix of passenger and cargo capacity

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Canadian North's latest 737-300 combi-jet began service Jan. 2 on the Iqaluit-Ottawa route. (FILE PHOTO)
Canadian North's latest 737-300 combi-jet began service Jan. 2 on the Iqaluit-Ottawa route. (FILE PHOTO)

May 17 marked the beginning of a new era in Nunavut’s skies—it’s the first day that First Air and Canadian North were both back to operating solo after a two-and-a-half-year-long set of codeshare arrangements.

First Air announced last November that it was pulling out of the agreement, giving both airlines a six-month period to re-adjust their flight schedules across the territory.

Both airlines are now touting new and “enhanced” flight schedules throughout the territory.

Canadian North’s Boeing 737-300 Combi now departs mornings from Ottawa to Iqaluit seven mornings a week, while the airline has also launched new flights to Pangnirtung, Qikiqtarjuaq, Pond Inlet and Kugluktuk.

The airline will, however, stop flying to Clyde River.

Canadian North has also introduced a twice-weekly trans-Arctic flight (Edmonton-Yellowknife-Rankin Inlet-Iqaluit) with plans to upgrade to its B737-300 this summer.

“We are committed to serving as a safe, friendly and reliable air partner for Northerners and our new flight schedule offers the right mix of passenger and cargo capacity for each community we serve, while maintaining the improved sustainability we have worked hard to achieve,” said Canadian North president Steve Hankirk in a May 17 release.

For its part, First Air says its boosting weekly flights to Pangnirtung and Resolute Bay and a fourth weekly flight on its Iqaluit-Rankin Inlet-Yellowknife route.

The extra flight will be operated by a Summit Air RJ85 aircraft, with which First Air has expanded a charter passenger service post-codeshare.

The airline will also maintain its codeshare agreement with Calm Air in the Kivalliq region.
For all the changes to air travel Nunavummiut will re-adjust to in the coming weeks, few flyers had anything good to say about the codeshare agreement while it was operating.

Customers from east to west complained about overbooked flights, poor schedules and waylaid cargo as well as medical travel and prescription drug delays.

The deal prompted criticism from Nunavut’s premier, a round of public scrutiny at the Nunavut legislature, a threat to end a long-standing medical travel contract and an investigation into allegations of predatory pricing by the Competition Bureau of Canada.

Customers holding reservations beyond May 16 will automatically be re-confirmed on a new flight if their flight schedule has changed.

Email this story to a friend... Print this page... Bookmark and Share

 THIS WEEK’S ADS

 ADVERTISING