|Hubs||Whitehorse International Airport|
|Focus cities||Vancouver, Dawson City|
|Airport lounge||Plaza Premium Lounge|
|Fleet size||10, 11|
|Parent company||Joseph Sparling|
|Key people||Joseph Sparling
CEO and President
Air North Charter and Training Ltd., operating as Air North, Yukon's Airline is a Canadian airline based in Whitehorse, Yukon. It operates scheduled passenger, charter, cargo and ground handling services throughout the Yukon, with flights to the Northwest Territories, Alaska, British Columbia, and Alberta. Its main base is Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport.
The airline was established and started charter operations in 1977 with a single Cessna 206. Later came Douglas DC-3s, a Douglas DC-4, and a variety of Cessnas, de Havillands, Beechcrafts and other aircraft. From 1996 the fleet of piston-powered aircraft were replaced with more modern turboprop aircraft, and by 2000 the fleet consisted of one Beechcraft Model 99 and three Hawker Siddeley 748 Series 2As. By this point the airline was flying a mix of scheduled and charter work.
In 2002, a pair of Boeing 737-200 jets were acquired, allowing Air North to begin competing with the mainline carrier on the Yukon-south routes. Since this move Air North has been credited by most locals for making travel outside significantly easier and more affordable for Yukoners, as well as attracting more business to the territory. The Beech 99 was sold in 2005, a fourth Hawker Siddeley 748 acquired in 2006, and in summer 2008 a Boeing 737-200 combi was acquired, with its large main deck cargo door and moveable bulkhead allowing all-cargo as well as mixed cargo/passenger operations with the 737.
Starting in 2010, as part of a new fleet expansion and modernization plan, a larger 737-400 and a winglet equipped -500 were acquired, and one 737-200 was retired. In 2012 a fifth HS748 (this one with a large freight door, and is currently being converted to a pure-freighter) and a second 737-500 were acquired.
Completion of the fleet expansion and modernization plan is expected to take place over the next few years, and to include one or two additional 737-500 aircraft to enter the fleet, another 737-200 to be retired, and to acquire a small fleet of either Dash-8 or ATR aircraft to begin replacing the aging HS 748s.
Near the end of 2011 C-GNAU (one of the first two 737s delivered to Air North) made its final landing into Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport. Air North retired the aircraft due to the requirement to install lap joints. Both of Air North's other 737-200 aircraft already had them installed. C-GNAU is currently parked behind the hangar and is being used for spare parts and training.
Air North is owned by Joseph Sparling (51%) (President) and Vuntut Development (49%), an arm of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation. It now has around 300 employees (as of January 2013), and over 1200 Class C & D shareholders.
Since the arrival of the Boeing 737s, the main Air North base in Whitehorse has expanded and now includes the original Hawker hangar/cargo building, a heated 737 tent-hangar, a new cold storage 737 tent, the reservations/administration building, an in-house catering and cabin services department, a small ground equipment hangar, and a small fuel tank farm.
In conjunction with Harper Street Publishing, Air North launched its inflight magazine, Yukon, North of Ordinary in February 2007. Yukon, North of Ordinary is published quarterly with a press run of 20,000. It is available inflight, via subscriptions, and in bookstores across Canada. The magazine is owned and operated by Harper Street Publishing of Carcross, Yukon.
As of 2013, Air North provides scheduled service to the following destinations:
- British Columbia
- Northwest Territories
Air North also offers passenger, freight and combi charter services throughout the Yukon and across North America. Both the HS-748s and 737s are regularly chartered for mining, forestry, sports teams, fishing lodges, and a variety of other customers.
Air North provides seasonal vacation flights to:
Air North provides Seasonal Fishing Charters from Vancouver International Airport to:
|Boeing 737||5||6||200, 400, 500||Two 120 seat -200s (One is a combi and gravel runway equipped), one 156 seat -400, two 122 seat -500s (one winglet equipped). A third -200 is parked and used for training and spare parts.|
|Hawker Siddeley HS 748||5||5||Series 2A||Four are combi certified, which can be configured for 40 seats, for freighters with up to 12,000 lb (5,400 kg) payload, or various combinations of passengers and freight (20 or 32 seats plus cargo being common for sked runs). The fifth is a pure-freighter and has the large freight door in the rear fuselage. Two can be also be configured to haul fuel.|
Aircraft previously operated include:
- Beechcraft Model 18
- Beechcraft Queen Air
- Beechcraft Model 99
- Britten-Norman Islander
- Cessna 150
- Cessna 172
- Cessna 185
- Cessna 206
- Cessna Skymaster
- de Havilland Beaver
- de Havilland Otter
- de Havilland Caribou
- Douglas DC-3
- Douglas DC-4
- Fairchild F-11 Husky
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (April 2007)|
At Vancouver International Airport, Air North was the ground and passenger service handler for airline partner Harmony Airways before they ceased operations in 2007. Air North is the sole provider of ground handling for American Airlines at Vancouver. The ground handling operation is also equipped to provide services for both jet and turboprop charter aircraft. Air North frequently provides support and equipment rental to much larger ground handlers, such as Handlex and Servisair.
At Calgary International Airport, Air North uses WingTips Airport Services for passenger services, and Servisair for ramp services.
At Edmonton International Airport, Air North uses Canadian North for passenger handling and Servisair for ramp services.
At Inuvik Airport, Air North flights are handled by First Air.
At Whitehorse International Airport, Air North provides its own ground handling and passenger handling service. In addition, Air North also provides ground handling and passenger services for other airlines including Condor, the Department of National Defence, as well as a variety of charter flights that pass through.
When Air Canada or Air Canada Express overnights at Whitehorse, the return catering is stored at the Air North catering facility.
Accidents and incidents
- On 20 September 1987, Piper PA-31 Navajo C-GPAC crashed on a flight from Whitehorse to Juneau, Alaska killing all five on board. The plane crashed into a glacier at 4,500 ft (1,400 m).
- On 19 August 1995, Douglas C-47B C-GZOF crashed on approach to Vancouver International Airport, Richmond, British Columbia killing one of the three crew. The aircraft was on a ferry flight to Prince Rupert Airport when the starboard propeller went into overspeed and the decision was made to return to Vancouver International.
- On 14 August 1996, Douglas DC-4 C-FGNI crashed shortly after takeoff from Bronson Creek mine in Northern B.C. with three crew and a full load of cargo on board. On climbout #2 engine caught fire and eventually separated from the aircraft. The crew attempted to bring the aircraft back to land, however the aircraft couldn't maintain altitude on three engines and the crew instead landed in the creek about 1.2 nautical miles (2.2 km; 1.4 mi) from the airstrip, where all three crew were able to escape the wreckage. The first officer and load master swam to shore, but unfortunately the captain was never found and presumed to have drowned.
- Transport Canada listing of aircraft owned by "Air North" (enter Air North in the box titled "Owner Name")
- Route Map
- "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-03-27. p. 64.
- Air North Experience | Corporate Information
- Yukon, North of Ordinary
- FAQs Where can I charter from / to?
- Company Profile
- "C-GPAC accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
- Accident description for C-GZOF at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2012-05-09.
- Accident description for C-FGNI at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2012-05-09.
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