Air North

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Air North
Air North logo.jpg
ATR 42-300 C-FVGF of Air North (45383163162).jpg
An ATR 42-320 landing at Dawson City Airport, Yukon
IATA ICAO Callsign
4N ANT AIR NORTH
Founded1977
AOC #Canada 3121,[1] United States VTDF205F[2]
HubsWhitehorse International Airport
Focus citiesVancouver, Dawson City
Frequent-flyer programNone
Fleet size8,[3] 10[4]
Destinations12[5]
HeadquartersWhitehorse, Yukon
Key peopleJoseph Sparling (CEO and President)
Websiteflyairnorth.com

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 and cargo flights throughout Yukon, as well as between Yukon and the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. The airline also operates charter flights throughout Canada and Alaska. The airline also provides ground handling services and fuel services to other airlines throughout Yukon, and it also provides ground handling services at Vancouver International Airport and Edmonton International Airport. Its main base is Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport.[6]

History[edit]

A Douglas DC-3 in Air North livery. The airline acquired several DC-3s throughout the 1980s.

The airline was established by Joe Sparling and Tom Woods, and started flight training and general purpose charter operations in 1977 with a single Cessna 206. Throughout the 1980s the company steadily grew and acquired several more aircraft including Douglas DC-3s, a Douglas DC-4, and a variety of Cessnas, de Havillands and other aircraft. Also during the 1980s Air North began offering scheduled passenger and cargo service in addition to charter services. During the 1990s the fleet of piston-powered aircraft were replaced with more modern and reliable turboprop aircraft, and by 2000 the fleet consisted of one Beechcraft Model 99 and three Hawker Siddeley 748 Series 2As.

The Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation of Old Crow also began investing in Air North around this time, and with help from this investment Air North acquired a pair of Boeing 737-200 jets in 2002. These jets allowed Air North to begin competing with the mainline carriers between Yukon and Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. These routes proved to be successful and since then Kelowna, Yellowknife, Ottawa and Victoria have also been added to Air North's route map. Since Air North began scheduled jet service on Yukon-South routes passenger traffic at the Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport has doubled, and by 2014 nearly 60% of those passengers were flying with Air North.

The Beech 99 was sold in 2005, a fourth Hawker Siddeley 748 acquired in 2006, and in 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. Soon a gravel kit was also installed on the 737 Combi, allowing the aircraft to operate on the airline's northern routes and expand charter capabilities.

An Air North Boeing 737-500 in July 2012. The airline acquired several 737s in the 2010s.

Starting in 2010 a new fleet expansion and modernization plan was put into action, beginning with a larger B737-400 and a winglet equipped B737-500. In 2012 a fifth HS748 (a pure freighter equipped with the large freight door) and a second 737-500 were acquired. 2014 saw the arrival of the third 737-500 sporting an updated livery, and a fourth 737-500 was put into service in 2016. In spring of 2017 ATR 42 aircraft were introduced to the fleet and put to work on the northern routes, bringing an end to the world's last scheduled passenger HS-748 service. Two of the HS-748s are still in service for charter work and freight hauling, however.[citation needed]

With the newer aircraft in service the three 737-200s and three of the five HS-748 have been retired and some of which are now parked behind Air North's maintenance base and used for spare parts and staff training.[7]

Since the arrival of the Boeing 737s, the main Air North base in Whitehorse has steadily expanded. It now includes the original hangar which is now used as a cargo warehouse and ground equipment shop, a new aircraft maintenance hangar (the largest north of 60 in Canada) a reservations and administration building, an operations centre, an in-house catering and cabin services department, and a fueling facility. Air North also operates secondary bases in Vancouver, B.C., Edmonton, Alberta, and Dawson City, Yukon.

In conjunction with North of Ordinary Media, Air North launched its inflight magazine, Yukon, North of Ordinary[8] in February 2007. Yukon, North of Ordinary is published quarterly with a press run of 20,000. It is available in-flight, via subscriptions, and in bookstores across Canada. The magazine is owned and operated by North of Ordinary Media of Carcross, Yukon.

Also in the mid-2000s Air North opened its own flight kitchen in Whitehorse. On most flights Air North offers a complimentary light meal made fresh daily, followed by a complimentary dessert such as cheesecake or fresh cookies. Yukon products are featured when possible, and often include Midnight Sun coffee and Yukon Brewing beer. Over the years Air North has won several awards for its outstanding customer service, and was recently named "the 2nd most loved airline in the world" by Fortune magazine.[citation needed]

An Air North flight receives a water-cannon salute after completing the airline's first scheduled flight to Victoria from Whitehorse, May 2018.

Currently the mainstay of Air North's work is scheduled passenger and cargo flights between Whitehorse and Vancouver, Kelowna, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Yellowknife, Ottawa, Dawson City, Old Crow, Mayo and Inuvik. Air North also runs regular freight trips and fuel-haul flights to the fly-in only community of Old Crow, Yukon. In addition to scheduled routes, Air North is also involved in a variety of charter work and they offer passenger, combi, cargo and fuel-haul charter services to anywhere in North America with the HS-748s, ATR 42s and Boeing 737s. Regular charter customers include mine operators, oil companies, cruise ship tour operators, fishing lodges, sports teams, and many others. The remainder of Air North's revenue comes from ground handling services at Whitehorse, Dawson City, Old Crow, Edmonton and Vancouver Airports, as well as Jet-A refuelling services at Whitehorse. Air North is currently the main provider of Jet-A fuel service in Whitehorse. It is also the ground handler for Condor Airlines and WestJet Airlines in Whitehorse, as well as American Airlines, United Airlines, Aeromexico, and others in Vancouver.

Air North is now owned by Joseph Sparling (51%) (President, CEO, and Boeing 737 Captain) and the Vuntut Development Corporation (49%), an arm of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation. Air North is one of the largest private sector employers in Yukon. As of 2015 it has over 500 employees and more than 1,200 Class C & D shareholders.

Destinations[edit]

Scheduled flights[edit]

An Air North Boeing 737 parked at Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport. The airport serves as the airline's hub.

As of February 2021, Air North provides scheduled service to the following destinations.[5]

Country Province/territory City Airport Notes
Canada Alberta Calgary Calgary International Airport
Yukon Dawson City Dawson City Airport
Alberta Edmonton Edmonton International Airport
Northwest Territories Inuvik Inuvik (Mike Zubko) Airport
British Columbia Kelowna Kelowna International Airport
Yukon Mayo Mayo Airport
Yukon Old Crow Old Crow Airport
Ontario Ottawa Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport Seasonal
British Columbia Vancouver Vancouver International Airport
British Columbia Victoria Victoria International Airport
Yukon Whitehorse Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport Hub
Northwest Territories Yellowknife Yellowknife Airport Seasonal

Charter flights[edit]

An Air North Boeing 737-200 at McCarran International Airport. The airline has provided chartered vacation flights to cities like Las Vegas.

In addition to scheduled flights, Air North offers passenger, freight and combi charter services throughout Yukon and across North America. Both the ATR-42s and 737s are regularly chartered for mining, forestry, sports teams, fishing lodges, cruise tours, and a variety of other customers.[9]

Air North provides seasonal vacation charter flights to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Reno-Tahoe International Airport in Reno, and Victoria International Airport in Victoria.[citation needed]

Air North also provides seasonal fishing charters from Vancouver International Airport to Denny Island Aerodrome in Bella Bella, British Columbia; and Masset Airport in Masset.[citation needed]

Air North provides seasonal cruise ship charters from Dawson City Airport to Fairbanks International Airport in Fairbanks, Alaska.[citation needed]

During the 2021 Canadian federal election, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s campaign chartered an Air North Boeing 737-500.[10]

Fleet[edit]

Current fleet[edit]

As of May 2021, the Air North fleet consists of the following aircraft:[3][4]

Air North fleet
Aircraft Variants No. of aircraft
ANT list[3]
No. of aircraft
TC list[4]
Passengers Notes
ATR 42 42-300, 42-320 3 4 42 Gravel runway certified.
Boeing 737 737-400, 737-500 5 5 122/156
Hawker Siddeley HS 748 748 Series 2A 1

Historic fleet[edit]

Aircraft previously operated include:[11]

Livery[edit]

Tails on Air North airplanes are painted orange with a "Yukon" wordmark. The design is also used on the plane's winglets (if present).

Air North's aircraft are primary painted white except for the lettering on the fuselage, wings and vertical stabilizer, although different aircraft types feature slightly different liveries.

On the fuselage, the words "Air North" and "Yukon's Airline" are painted, although the positioning varies by aircraft type. In addition, on aircraft without winglets, "flyairnorth.com" is painted somewhere on the fuselage. On the Hawker Siddeley HS 748, the bottom is left unpainted with an orange stripe at the convergence of the painted and unpainted areas.

The tail is painted orange with a stylized "Yukon" printed in white. On the ATR 42-300 and 737-400/-500, the orange is extended below onto the fuselage.

On aircraft with winglets, the outside is designed like the tail, with an orange background and the stylized "Yukon" printed on it. On the inside, "flyairnorth.com" is printed, removing the need for it to be painted on the fuselage.

Yukon, North of Ordinary[edit]

Yukon, North of Ordinary (YNoO) is a quarterly arts, travel, and culture magazine in Yukon, Canada. The magazine was first published in February 2007.[12] It is also the official inflight magazine for Air North, Yukon's Airline.[13]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • 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).[14]
  • 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.[15]
  • 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 No. 2 engine caught fire and eventually separated from the aircraft. The crew attempted to bring the aircraft back to land, but the aircraft could not 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 the captain was never found and presumed to have drowned.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Transport Canada (2019-08-29), Civil Aviation Services (CAS) AOC. wwwapps.tc.gc.ca.
  2. ^ "Federal Aviation Administration - Airline Certificate Information - Detail View". av-info.faa.gov. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Our Fleet". Air North.
  4. ^ a b c "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Quick Search Result for Air North". Transport Canada. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  5. ^ a b Where We Fly
  6. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 27 March 2007. p. 64.
  7. ^ "Air North Experience | Corporate Information". Archived from the original on 28 December 2007. Retrieved 20 January 2008.
  8. ^ Yukon, North of Ordinary
  9. ^ "Charters | Fly Air North". www.flyairnorth.com. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  10. ^ https://skiesmag.com/news/planes-canada-federal-election-trail/
  11. ^ Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: History Search Result for Air North
  12. ^ "Yukon, North of Ordinary". Beakingoff. 10 March 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  13. ^ "Yukon, North of Ordinary." Archived 22 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine 2 June 2015
  14. ^ "C-GPAC accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  15. ^ Accident description for C-GZOF at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 9 May 2012.
  16. ^ Accident description for C-FGNI at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 9 May 2012.

External links[edit]