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

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.

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(8) Comments:

#1. Posted by Freight on May 18, 2017

This better improve their freight services because both airlines can’t keep up with our freight services and their freight services are at all time low and its sucks right now.

#2. Posted by Harold (iqaluit) on May 18, 2017

I saw this codesharing IN ACTION when my wife i were checking in at the Canadian North counter and they asked us to go to the first air counter. When they looked over to the first air folks, i witnessed a series of blinks and hand gestires, which i believe was a code to share my social insurance number with the other party. I was outraged but they said i was delusionel and they did NOT offer me any compensation.

I for one am happy that this code share is OVER.

#3. Posted by thomas n on May 18, 2017

it appears airlines are in turbulence everywhere in canada. we are not getting any service out of any of them. hopefully this divorce will create a service and little more ppl friendly. last summer my wife and I did the grand tour with air canada of east coast and nl(first class all the way, I wanted to treat my wife to enjoyable holiday), but at ottawa international at the last leg of the trip home-bound, we were standing in middle of priority line (about 10 pp long). agent got out of booth 64 and came to me and asked me if I am on the wrong line…excuse me for having a first class ticket and being a native. how dare we stand at priority line? as she proceed to go back to her booth, I asked her what about the ppl behind me? are you going to check their status? nerve of some aboriginals. fly any other carriers; they don’t care who they carry…as long as the ticket is paid for.

#4. Posted by Disloyal Consumer on May 18, 2017

@#2 It’s spelled “Delusionnelle” and it’s a new fragrance from Calvin Klein. And for men there’s “Paranoiac”.

The hilarious thing was one of the airlines (I can’t tell them apart or remember which one) saying that this decision was because their customers were demanding the full First Air/Canadian North (whichever it was) experience, unadulterated. Do they really believe their own corporate bafflegab?

It’s a duopoly folks, same inflated price, same lousy service (except for the hot in-flight meal!). Don’t get sucked into silly attempts at differentiation.

#5. Posted by Harold (iqaluit) on May 18, 2017

i’m not interested in buying your fragrance. I cant wear it because it makes the wife’s throat swell up like a beach ball. Only water and hotel soap for me thank you

#6. Posted by Jenn on May 18, 2017

This is such total bs

#7. Posted by Kyle on May 19, 2017

The big question remains: why did 7F terminate an agreement that they said was required to consolidate and restore profitability? Their public relations attempts lately, saying passengers prefer 7F over 5T is total bs. What they really wanted was to get 5T out of the market. They probably didn’t think 5T would be back in the Baffin so quick and so strong. A better product, better service and a much better reputation following the end of codeshare. 7F is the big loser IMHO out of all this. Wrong gambling!

#8. Posted by Ed on May 23, 2017

#7 back so strong? So quickly? How many flights has 5T cancelled Since being back? One plane in the Baffin, how seaious are they. 7f has 6 planes and whoever negotiated the code sharefor 5t had no idea what he/she was doing. They gave up everyting

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