Makivik Corporation (Makivik) and the Inuvialuit Corporate Group (ICG) have announced they have signed a definitive agreement to merge First Air and Canadian North in order to provide the best possible air services across the Arctic.
Following the receipt of government regulatory approvals, Makivik and ICG will proceed to complete the merger. The parties expect to complete the transaction by the end of 2018.
The proposed Pan-Arctic airline will operate under the name Canadian North and aircraft will feature the new First Air livery, including its Inukshuk logo.
Headquarters for the proposed airline will be located in Ottawa. The two airlines first announced their intention to merge on July 6, 2018.
Customers of First Air and Canadian North will see continuity in operations while the merger is finalized. The parties are committed to keeping customers up-to-date on all developments related to schedules and commercial flights on an ongoing basis.
The new, wholly Inuit-owned airline intends to be an economic driver in the circumpolar region as one of the North’s largest private-sector employers. Offering more flights to more destinations, the new airline hopes to help expand Arctic tourism in the communities it serves by increasing demand for tourist-related businesses and services.
The parties are pleased to announce this merger will result in significant service improvements for their valued customers, including:
- Improved schedule: Better time-of-day options on certain routes, enabling day trips;
- Better connectivity: Improved connections for Northern communities;
- Increased service opportunities: Potential new routes to service more Northern destinations;
- Existing service maintained: No reduction in flight options as a result of merger
- Further enhanced safety: Will enable aircraft modernization across the network, as well as specialization in maintenance of Boeing 737 and ATR aircraft; and
- Expanded charter business: Particularly related to Alberta natural resources and Northern charters, including for tourism.
As dedicated stewards of the Arctic environment, both Makivik and ICG are energized by the positive ecological impact the merged airline will have. The consolidation of duplicate, undercapacity flights, for example, will not only improve business efficiencies, but also significantly reduce GHG emissions and black carbon particulate along those routes.
A Lufthansa Consulting report commissioned by the Government of Nunavut supports the need for more efficiency in Nunavut air transportation services; the parties are confident the merger between First Air and Canadian North will meet these essential needs for all Northerners.
In the meantime, both First Air and Canadian North will continue providing Northerners with access to safe, friendly and reliable air travel services across the Arctic.
The First Air brand will be retired.
Top Copyright Photo: Canadian North Boeing 737-36N C-FGCN (msn 28590) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 928273.
Canadian North aircraft slide show:
First Air aircraft slide show:
Bottom Copyright Photo: First Air Boeing 737-406 Combi C-FFNE (msn 27233) YUL (Gilbert Hechema). Image: 942730.