Air Inuit has announced the ratification of an agreement for the acquisition of three Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft to be added to its fleet as part of its mission to provide world-class passenger and freight service to the people of Nunavik, its Network and beyond.
The aircraft will be customized using Air Inuit’s innovative combi configuration solution to provide safe and comfortable passenger service and reliable freight delivery simultaneously.
By eventually replacing the venerable Boeing 737-200 aircraft currently in service, fuel emissions will be cut by nearly 40 per cent.
The three Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft will be fitted with main deck cargo doors to meet requirements at hubs across Nunavik and beyond, which in turn service each of the communities of Air Inuit’s network.
This addition to Air Inuit’s fleet marks a milestone for the airline which was founded in 1978. “We can all be proud of this vital service which is celebrating 45 years of operation in 2023. Once again, Air Inuit is demonstrating leadership as it grows and adapts to the changing needs of the communities it serves,” said Noah Tayara, Executive Chairman of Air Inuit.
The introduction of the three new aircraft will take place gradually over the next 24 months. This fleet modernization project and the growth of the region will require important governmental investments to upgrade Nunavik’s airstrips. Discussions are currently underway with stakeholders to ensure this vision is developed in accordance with the priorities of community members.
Air Inuit announced today that it has added the world’s first oversized cargo-door Dash8-300 to its fleet. After more than 36 months of planning, design, modernization, and safety testing, the specially modified aircraft finally received its Supplemental Type Certificate from Transport Canada on February 3.
Installing an oversized cargo door on a Dash8-300 aircraft is not only a world first, but more importantly a practical way to enhance air Inuit’s essential day-to-day service. By possibly facilitating the transport of food and other goods on pallets, loading and unloading time can be reduced, while reducing the risk of damaging fragile goods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables.
Made possible thanks to the expert technical support of Rockwell Collins, this initiative is part of Air Inuit’s philosophy of always finding new solutions to meet the needs of its customers and residents of northern regions, while improving its environmental footprint.
Innovating to meet unique challenges
Air Inuit serves 14 communities across Northern Quebec by delivering essential products and oversized materials. In the absence of road access, Air Inuit establishes an essential link and thus ensures the reliable and efficient delivery of goods such as food and essential tools, such as all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles.
Air Inuit chose the Dash 8-300, a reliable model built in Canada, as it perfectly combines capacity and adaptability. The aircraft is well suited to locations served by a short gravel runway and has a proven track in the harsh weather conditions of Nunavik. With this unique addition, Air Inuit can more easily fulfill its mission to serve and develop communities in Nunavik and beyond.
Protecting the environment
The development of this new oversized cargo door for the Dash8-300 by Air Inuit was made possible in part thanks to a significant financial contribution from the Government of Quebec’s Green Fund. This support has been critical to innovation, as it has been possible to operate a more fuel-efficient aircraft, the Dash8-300, rather than continuing to use the HS.748 which consumes 30% more fuel and was removed from Air Inuit’s fleet several years ago.
Hydro-Québec and Air Inuit have entered into a new agreement to ensure the maintenance and operations of Hydro-Québec’s fleet. Valued at approximately $28 million a year, the contract runs until 2032.
Hydro-Québec relies on three aircraft—two Dash 8 Q400 and one Dash 8 300—to transport employees to locations in Saguenay, Abitibi, Côte-Nord and Baie-James.
Under the agreement, Air Inuit consolidates 78 cabin crew, pilot and maintenance and operations specialist positions. Hydro-Québec uses Air Inuit’s facilities at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL) for its flights to and from its main remote work sites.
Air Inuit was founded by the Inuit in 1978 and owned by Makivik Corporation, Air Inuit was created to provide air connections between Nunavik’s 14 coastal villages and southern Québec, to promote trade and to preserve Inuit culture. The company has become a major player in air transportation in Québec and is one of Nunavik’s most significant economic drivers.