WHITEHORSE, YUKON - November 14, 2013 - Air North, Yukon's Airline today announced a major expansion of its network with the addition of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and Ottawa, Ontario.
"This is an exciting step for us and one which builds on the success achieved with our Kelowna service", said Air North President Joe Sparling. "Our focus continues to be on our Yukon market. Our investment in employment and infrastructure in the Yukon requires that we maintain our position as the number one provider of air transportation in this market. Our new service will bring at least ten new permanent full time jobs to the Yukon, and it will help to ensure that dollars spent for travel to and from eastern Canada remain in the north, or flow into the north."
"We've heard from many passengers who were frustrated by the lack of a direct flight between Whitehorse and Yellowknife," said Allan Moore, Air North's Director of Commercial Development and Government Relations. "We will be offering a quick, convenient and extremely affordable flight."
The Yukon and NWT capitals haven't been connected in over three years, and never before by scheduled Boeing 737 jet service.
The new connection between Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Ottawa is expected to bring new opportunities for personal and business travel, as well as exciting new tourism opportunities as the Yukon is made that much simpler for other Canadians and US and international travellers to access.
"This new service will be good for all northerners," Moore said. "It is our intention to reach out to the other northern air carriers in order that they may participate in this venture through code share and/or interline agreements."
The expansion adds Ottawa and Yellowknife to the list of Air North's gateway cities to the Yukon, which also includes Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, and Edmonton.
Air North's growth is particularly pleasing to the Vuntut Gwitchin Limited Partnership, which invested in the airline more than 12 years ago. "Our original investment has grown in strength and reach, along with our people," said Pauline Frost, President of the Vuntut Gwitchin Limited Partnership. "We are all very pleased that Yukon's airline has grown from a small local carrier to one that serves our nation's capital, providing northerners with an important connection to Yellowknife and Ottawa."
"We're protecting existing jobs and creating new ones, helping to grow the northern economy and providing a host of different opportunities – not to mention saving time and money for our passengers," Moore said.
Service to both cities will begin during the first quarter of 2014, with the schedule and introductory fares to be announced once a number of regulatory and logistical hurdles have been overcome.
Update, 6 December 2013 - Schedule and first flight date announced.