Category Archives: First Air

The new Canadian North and First Air codeshare agreement starts on July 27

Canadian North Inc. (Yellowknife) and First Air (Ottawa) announced in May they had reached an agreement to codeshare on selected flights operated by both airlines in the far north region of Canada. The two carriers had previously planned to merge but later called off the merger. The codeshare agreement was their alternative to a planned merger.

The codeshare agreement will start on July 27 with significant changes for both carriers.

According to both Canadian regional carriers, “Introducing this codeshare will significantly improve flight schedules, provide greater choice for customers and continue to improve the sustainability of our airline. This agreement is less complex than a merger agreement, however many of the benefits envisioned previously in a merger scenario will be realized with it. Unlike a merger though, where a single merged firm sets prices post-merger, under this codeshare agreement each party will continue to independently set prices and compete for business.”

Canadian North continued;

Canadian North logo 2

“Our airline operates in one of the most challenging geographical and economic environments anywhere in the world,” says Canadian North President Steve Hankirk. “With escalating costs, shrinking travel budgets and increasing competition, we must always be looking for new, more efficient ways of offering our scheduled service to northerners. This codeshare agreement is a breakthrough that brings even more choice to our northern customers and ensures our long term sustainability.”

Canadian North northern point of view

Above: Canadian North: “Our northern point of view” (click for full size view).

Canadian North has now published a new flight schedule in its reservation system allowing customers to make reservations through all booking channels. The first codeshare flight will take to the skies in late July. The following are highlights of the enhancements being made to the current flight schedule as a result of the codeshare agreement:

Iqaluit – Ottawa

The flight schedule will be enhanced by separating current flight times,
delivering additional choices for our customers, with early morning and
early afternoon departure times.

Cambridge Bay and the Kitikmeot

Daily Boeing jet flights between Yellowknife and Cambridge Bay will be
implemented, replacing the existing Dash-8 turboprop flights.

Edmonton, Yellowknife and the Mackenzie Valley

Daily jet service up and down the Mackenzie Valley will continue, and a
Monday and Friday non-stop flight will be added between Yellowknife and
Inuvik.

A Monday morning flight will be introduced from Yellowknife to Edmonton.

Trans Arctic

Combined service will continue with three days per week service.

Graph of the changes:

Canadian North-First Air Codeshare Graph

 

More details from Airline Route: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Canadian North’s Bombardier (de Havilland Canada) DHC-8-106 Dash 8 C-GRGI (msn 304) taxies at the yellowknife base.

Canadian North aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

First Air aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

First Air logo 2

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. First Air’s ATR 42-300 C-GKLB (msn 331) with the wolf on the tail is also seen at Yellowknife, a common connecting point for both carriers.

Canadian North current route map (click on the map for the full side view):

Canadian North 7.2015 Route Map

Canadian North Videos: From our partner JustPlanes:

AG Slide Shows

 

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Cargojet and First Air expand their commercial agreement

Cargojet Inc. (Cargojet Airways) (Hamilton), Canada’s domestic premium overnight air cargo network operator, and First Air (Ottawa), the Airline of the North, announced today that they have expanded their commercial co-operation agreement effective July 1, 2015 and extended their Transportation Agreement to June 30, 2025.

Cargojet logo

First Air logo 2

According to both carriers:

This agreement further strengthens the strategic alliance between the two companies, and will allow for seamless air cargo transportation between the 14 major Canadian cities served on Cargojet’s overnight air cargo network as well as the 32 communities served by First Air in Canada’s North.

Above Copyright Photo: Chris Sands/AirlinersGallery.com. Cargojet Airways Boeing 767-35E ER (F) C-GUAJ (msn 26063) departs from Calgary.

Cargojet Airways aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

First Air aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Below Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. First Air Boeing 737-406 C-FFNC (msn 27232) (Native Hunter) taxies at Yellowknife.

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Summit Air to operate its Avro (BAe) RJ85s on two routes for First Air and to the Rio Tinto Diavik Diamond Mine

Summit Air (Yellowknife) will begin operating its 90-seat Avro (BAe) RJ85s on two routes for First Air (Ottawa). On January 27 the company will begin operating on the Yellowknife – Edmonton route and on February 2 it will begin operating on the Yellowknife – Norman Wells – Inuvik route.

Summit Air logo

On January 20 Summit Air announced the purchase of a second Avro RJ85 jet to meet market demand for remote destination crew movements and ACMI (aircraft, crew maintenance and insurance) contracts.

Summit Air is part of the Ledcor Group of Companies and operates a fleet of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft throughout Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest and Yukon Territories.

According to the company release, “The Avro RJ85 is a 100-seat high performance, short-haul passenger jet, offering modern, efficient operations on flights up to 1500 nautical miles (2,800 kilometers). Rugged and versatile, its high wing design is capable of operations on both paved and gravel runways and is equipped with self-contained boarding air stair and auxiliary power unit to provide independence at remote airfields.”

“In partnership with the Det’on Cho Logistics, our Avro RJ85 operations will service the Rio Tinto Diavik Diamond Mine from Edmonton,” said Rob Mauracher. “We have also inked a partnership agreement with First Air, flying commercial passenger services for them under a long term ACMI contract from Edmonton and Yellowknife.”

Summit Air’s second AVRO RJ85 is scheduled to be delivered in late April 2015.

Summit’s AVRO RJ85 is a UK-built aircraft equipped with auto throttle, EFIS flight deck, WAAS/LPV capable and is the only next generation jet certified in Canada for operations onto gravel runways. With a long-range cruising speed of 720 km/hr (450 mph), and a maximum operating speed of 763 km/hr (475 mph), the Avro has a 43,000 kg (97,000 lbs.) maximum takeoff weight.

The aircraft is powered by four Honeywell LF507-1F high bypass FADEC engines capable of 7000 lbs of thrust each. The engines feature low noise levels and low emissions, making it one of the quietest and greenest aircraft in its class.

 

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. The first Summit Air BAe (Avro) RJ85 is pictured as G-CHKP (msn E2302) at Southend which became C-FLRJ on delivery.

First Air aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Summit Air aircraft slide show:

Routes to be operated by Summit Air:

First Air-Summit route map

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How First Air keeps track of its aircraft in the remote far north of Canada

First Air (Ottawa and Yellowknife) flies to some of the most remote parts of the world in the northern Arctic regions of Canada (see route map). First Air uses an unique tracking system designed by FLYHT Aerospace Solutions. According to the company, the system automatically transmits four-dimensional GPS-based based position and flight data recorder information according to this article by the Daily Mail.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. ATR 72-212 C-GRMZ (msn 432) with the image of an Arctic Fox on the tail prepares to taxi from the gate at Yellowknife.

First Air aircraft slide show:

Videos on First Air:

First Air Route map:

First Air 1.2015 Route Map

Canadian North and First Air terminate their merger discussions

Makivik Corporation and NorTerra Inc., respectively the shareholders of First Air (Ottawa) and Canadian North (Yellowknife), in April 2014 agreed to hold discussions leading to the merger of their operations consistent with a merger of equals, subject to the successful conclusion of negotiations and regulatory review.

According to the two parties, “The potential merger was intended to create a single airline entity that builds on the strengths and identities of the two companies. A merger would improve the sustainability of these critical Inuit birthright enterprises and would also create better air services and new economic development opportunities across the north.”

Please see the previous report with route maps of both carriers: CLICK HERE

The merger discussions failed. The two parties issued this joint statement:

Makivik Corporation and NorTerra Inc., respectively the shareholders of First Air and Canadian North, announce that they have terminated discussions aimed at merging their airline operations, and no such further discussions are envisaged.

Canadian North and First Air will continue to have a positive working relationship aimed at providing the best possible service to customers in a competitive marketplace.

Flight operations and services at both airlines remain unaffected. The parties will have no further comment on the matter.

Canadian North and its founding companies (Canadian Airlines, Pacific Western Airlines, Transair, Nordair) has proudly served Canada’s North with passenger and cargo services for more than 80 years. Offering scheduled flights to 19 destinations, Canadian North proudly serves the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, via the southern gateways of Edmonton and Ottawa. Canadian North is also the premier provider of fly-in/fly-out charter services for large resource sector clients requiring safe, efficient and economical air transportation. Charter flights are also offered across North America for sports teams, cruise lines and large groups. Canadian North is a subsidiary of NorTerra Inc., which is owned by the Inuvialuit Development Corporation, representing the Inuvialuit of the Western Arctic. For more information please visit http://www.canadiannorth.com.

First has a fleet of 23 aircraft including the only two civilian owned and operated Hercules cargo aircraft in Canada, First Air has been connecting the people of the North for over 65 years.

First Air offers scheduled, cargo and charter services to more northern destinations than any other airline. First Air is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Makivik Corporation and has around 1,000 employees, of which more than 450 work and live in the North. For more information please visit http://www.firstair.ca.

Top Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Canadian North’s DHC-8-106 Dash 8 C-GRGO (msn 258) taxies at Yellowknife.

Canadian North Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

First Air Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Set against an angry sky, Boeing 737-2R2C C-FNVK (msn 23130) of First Air displays the polar bear on the tail.

First Air and Canadian North to discuss a merger of equals

Makivik Corporation and NorTerra Inc., respectively the shareholders of First Air (Ottawa) and Canadian North (Yellowknife), have agreed to hold discussions leading to the merger of their operations consistent with a merger of equals, subject to the successful conclusion of negotiations and regulatory review.

The potential merger is intended to create a single airline entity that builds on the strengths and identities of the two companies. A merger would improve the sustainability of these critical Inuit birthright enterprises and would also create better air services and new economic development opportunities across the north.

Flight operations and services will remain independent and unaffected during the negotiation and regulatory review phases.

Makivik Corporation and NorTerra Inc. will inform the public as discussions progress.

Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly operated by KLM, Boeing 737-406 C-FFNC (msn 27232) of First Air taxies at Hamilton, Ontario.

First Air: AG Slide Show

Canadian North: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema/AirlinersGallery.com. First Air’s Boeing 737-25A C-GCNO (msn 23790) climbs away from the runway at Montreal (Trudeau).

First Air current route map:

First Air 4.2014 Route Map

Canadian North current route map:

Canadian North 4.2014 Route Map