The Feb/Mar issue celebrates the A220 at Air Canada and Harbour Air’s ePlane. We profile Conair and fly the Kodiak 100 amphib. Plus: Imagine being alone in the air!
Canadian North and First Air have announced that their new, unified passenger and cargo schedule is now available for booking and will take effect on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. Together, they will provide safe, friendly and reliable service to 24 northern communities, from their southern gateways of Ottawa, Montreal and Edmonton, with seamless interline connections to destinations throughout Canada, the United States and beyond.
Because Canadian North and First Air continue to operate separate reservations systems, all of the flights shown within this unified schedule can be booked via either airline, using their existing reservations channels.
Flights can also be booked in-person at their airport locations as well as through their travel agency partners and other online booking channels.
As northern airlines, Canadian North and First Air fully understand that the passenger and cargo service they provide is essential to the well-being of the people, organizations and communities they serve and that in order to fulfill this crucial role, they must maintain safe and sustainable operations at all times. This schedule has been designed to improve the sustainability of the merged airline by reducing excess capacity and eliminating the costly duplication of equipment and infrastructure. Simplifying northern travel and shipping for the benefit of everyone they serve is also an important consideration, so they have added new flight choices while making every effort to minimize the number of stops and overnight stays required between its destinations where possible. As a merged airline, Canadian North will continue to carefully review its passenger and cargo capacity to ensure that the appropriate resources are always in place to meet the needs of its customers, with the flexibility to efficiently handle additional demand whenever necessary.
Here are some of the benefits within this schedule that have been made possible by combining and optimizing the resources of Canadian North and First Air:
- A choice of early morning and mid-afternoon departures between Ottawa and Iqaluit.
- Same-day connections from Ottawa to all communities they serve within the Qikiqtani.
- Daily connectivity between Cambridge Bay, Gjoa Haven, Taloyoak and Kugaaruk in both directions as well as new daily southbound connections from Gjoa Haven, Taloyoak and Kugaaruk to Edmonton via Yellowknife.
- Daily 737-200 Combi service between Yellowknife and Cambridge Bay, augmented by daily turbo-prop flights.
The unified Canadian North will continue to dedicate itself to fully meeting the essential needs of the communities it serves, always seeking opportunities to further improve its schedule by listening closely to feedback from its customers and stakeholders, while carefully monitoring passenger and cargo demand.
“The upcoming launch of our unified flight schedule will allow us to better allocate our resources so that we can offer the best possible service while at the same time improving the efficiency of our operations and enabling future investment,” said Chris Avery, president and CEO of Canadian North. “We know that we play a crucial role in the well-being of the communities we serve and we will continue to work hard to earn the support and respect of our customers, with safe, caring and helpful service.”
The announcement of this new schedule marks an important milestone in the ongoing journey to combine the people and resources of First Air and Canadian North into a stronger and more sustainable airline – the new Canadian North.
- Later this year, Canadian North will launch its combined reservations system, call centre, website and check-in processes and begin to bring its team members together under the unified Canadian North banner. They will work hard to deliver a seamless passenger experience throughout every stage of integration and look forward to providing updates whenever they have progress to share.
- Canadian North and First Air are working on expanding Canadian North’s popular Aurora Rewards loyalty program to all scheduled flights operated by First Air, so that customers of both airlines have the ability to earn Aurora Rewards points and Aeroplan Miles that can be redeemed for free flights. The necessary work is now underway with an update expected to be provided in the near future.
- The price of air service is an important concern within the North, so as a merged airline, Canadian North will be committed to always providing the best possible passenger and cargo service at the lowest possible pricing. For the time being, Canadian North and First Air will continue to offer their respective beneficiary Ilak and Pivut fare products, along with their other existing fare products. They will also continue to maintain their existing corporate agreements, with members of their sales team always available to respond to questions and requests.
- Eventually, as part of their transition to a fully merged airline, the unified Canadian North will introduce new fare products that will be available for purchase throughout their combined scheduled network, including new economy and beneficiary fare classes and corporate pricing. They will also continue to offer seat sales, provide special pricing for groups and events and lend their support to important community initiatives throughout the North.
- It is expected that it will take between 18 and 24 months for Canadian North and First Air to transition to a single Air Operator Certificate, merge their maintenance operations and consolidate fleets.