WHITEHORSE, YUKON - September 5, 2012 - Air North, Yukon's Airline today announced that for the first time flight 307/308 from Whitehorse to Dawson City, Old Crow and Inuvik was operated by a Boeing 737 aircraft. The inaugural flight also marked the first time a Boeing 737 had ever landed in Dawson City.
"Since our very first 737 flight just over ten years ago, I've looked forward to being able to fly a jet on our northern route network," said Joseph Sparling, President of Air North, Yukon's Airline. "It's an incredible milestone for the company."
The recent acquisition of a second Boeing 737-500 gave the airline greater flexibility with its fleet - combined with efforts on the part of the Yukon Government to prepare Dawson City and Old Crow airports for jet service - that allowed for the first flight to take place.
The aircraft that flew the route was the airline's Boeing 737-200 Combi, which is equipped with a $1 million gravel kit to allow for service into unpaved airports such as Dawson City and Old Crow. The aircraft also boasts a large cargo door in the forward cabin, allowing Air North to transport much larger goods into the two communities. Future jet flights will be flown when cargo and passenger service warrant the larger aircraft.
Just over 12 years ago, the Vuntut Development Corporation purchased a stake in Air North. At the time that took place, there were no plans for the airline to purchase jets or fly south of Whitehorse. Now, the airline connects Old Crow, Dawson City, Inuvik and Whitehorse to the three gateway cities of Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary - and is able to provide far greater service and reach than what was feasible at the time of investment made by the VDC and the 1,500 other Yukon shareholders that invested in the company.
"We'd like to thank the Government of Yukon for their commitment to improving the airport infrastructure at Old Crow and Dawson City," said Sparling. "We're thrilled that something we've long hoped to do is now possible, and we believe it will bring a boost to our northern communities."