Canadian North

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Canadian North
2019 Canadian North logo.svg
Canadian North check-in counter in Inuvik (Quintin Soloviev).jpg
Check-in counters for the airline at Inuvik Airport
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded2019 (1989 subsidiary of Canadian Airlines, 1998 as Canadian North)
AOC #Canada: 107 (First Air & Canadian North)[2]
United States: N0OF050F[3]
Focus citiesCambridge Bay Airport
Frequent-flyer program
Fleet size31[4]
Parent companyInuvialuit Development Corporation (IDC), Makivik Corporation
Headquarters20 Cope Drive, Kanata, Ontario[6]
Key people
  • Johnny Adams (executive chairman)
  • Rashwan Domloge (president and CEO)[7]

Bradley Air Services Limited, operating as Canadian North, is a wholly Inuit-owned airline headquartered in Kanata, Ontario,[6] Canada. It operates scheduled passenger services to communities in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Nunavik region of Quebec, as well as southern destinations such as Edmonton, Montreal and Ottawa.[7] The company slogan is Fly the Arctic.


A Canadian North aircraft overnighting at Cambridge Bay Airport, July 2021

First Air, originally Bradley Air Services, was founded by Canadian aviation pioneer Russel (Russ) Bradley, started operations in 1946 and is still registered under that name. Beginning as a flying school in Carp, Ontario, First Air started scheduled operations in 1973 between Ottawa and North Bay, Ontario. This service was operated with an eight-seat passenger plane.

Canadian North was established in 1989 as a subsidiary of Canadian Airlines International, specifically to serve northern Canadian communities' needs. The airline traces its roots to former operators Nordair in the Eastern Arctic, and Pacific Western Airlines in the West. Wardair also maintained a significant Arctic presence during its existence.

In September, 1998, Canadian North was renamed Air Norterra, whose ownership was divided equally among the Inuvialuit Development Corporation, representing the Inuvialuit people of the western Canadian Arctic, and Nunasi Corporation, representing the Inuit people of Nunavut.

Logo used by the airline from 2003 to 2019

After utilizing three different livery schemes, the airline adopted its final pre-merger logo in 2003. Its logo displays three of the distinctive symbols of the North: the polar bear, the midnight sun and the Northern Lights. Canadian North's slogan was changed from "Your North. Your Airline" to "seriously northern" (all in lower-case), with advertising changed to reflect different aspects of the company (serious service, serious delivery, etc.).[8]

In June, 2007, Canadian North began serving the Kitikmeot communities of Gjoa Haven, Taloyoak, Kugaaruk, and Kugluktuk.[9] In April, 2008, flights began to seven communities in the Qikiqtaaluk Region (Baffin Region) of Nunavut.[10]

On April 1, 2014, the Inuvialuit Development Corporation (IDC), representing the Inuvialuit of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, bought the 50% share of NorTerra held by Nunasi. This purchase of NorTerra gave the IDC complete control of Canadian North Northern Transportation Company and other companies that were jointly-held.[11][12] On April 11, 2014, Norterra and the Makivik Corporation, owners of First Air announced that they were in negotiations to merge the two airlines.[13][14] According to a website that had been set up on that same day, the new airline would be owned equally between the two companies and "a merger would create a stronger, more sustainable business, provide better service to customers and lead to new economic development opportunities across the North. We believe the two companies would complement each other's strengths."[15] In October, 2014, it was announced the merger would not go through,[16] but Canadian North would still codeshare on some flights with First Air until 16 May 2017.[17] On February 23, 2017, the Inuvialuit Development Corporation (IDC) announced that arrangements had been concluded to transfer ownership of Canadian North directly into Inuvialuit Development Corporation.[18]

On September 28, 2018, Makivik Corporation and the Inuvialuit Corporate Group (ICG) signed a definitive agreement to merge Canadian North and First Air, again awaiting government approval. The new airline would use the new First Air livery, but would operate under the name "Canadian North".[19] On June 19, 2019, the federal government gave approval to the merger provided several terms and conditions were met.[20]

On November 1, 2019, First Air and Canadian North completed the merger and combined schedules into one, using the code 5T, dropping First Air's 7F code as well as the name but keeping the livery.[21] In early 2021 the callsigns "First Air" and "Empress" were retired and the combined airline began operating as 5T/AKT, callsign "Arctic."

As of December 18, 2021, operations are now under the Canadian North name with a new livery.


A First Air flight operating as Canadian North in 2019, in the current livery
Unloading cargo from a Canadian North flight at Cambridge Bay Airport. The airport serves as a secondary hub for Canadian North. Pre-merger livery.
Hangar for Canadian North at Edmonton International Airport, the airline's southern gateway.

As of June 20, 2021, Canadian North has the following 28 domestic scheduled destinations:[5]

Province/territory City Airport Notes
Alberta Edmonton Edmonton International Airport Southern gateway[7]
Northwest Territories Fort Simpson Fort Simpson Airport
Hay River Hay River/Merlyn Carter Airport
Inuvik Inuvik (Mike Zubko) Airport
Norman Wells Norman Wells Airport
Ulukhaktok Ulukhaktok/Holman Airport
Yellowknife Yellowknife Airport Hub
Nunavut Arctic Bay Arctic Bay Airport
Cambridge Bay Cambridge Bay Airport Focus city
Clyde River Clyde River Airport
Gjoa Haven Gjoa Haven Airport
Grise Fiord Grise Fiord Airport
Igloolik Igloolik Airport
Iqaluit Iqaluit Airport Hub
Kimmirut Kimmirut Airport
Kinngait Cape Dorset Airport
Kugaaruk Kugaaruk Airport
Kugluktuk Kugluktuk Airport
Pangnirtung Pangnirtung Airport
Pond Inlet Pond Inlet Airport
Qikiqtarjuaq Qikiqtarjuaq Airport
Rankin Inlet Rankin Inlet Airport
Resolute Resolute Bay Airport
Sanirajak Hall Beach Airport
Taloyoak Taloyoak Airport
Ontario Ottawa Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport Southern gateway[7]
Quebec Kuujjuaq Kuujjuaq Airport
Montreal Montréal–Trudeau International Airport Southern gateway[7]

Charter operations[edit]

Canadian North offers charters to anywhere, non-stop flights in continental North America[22] and maintain charter terminals at Calgary and Edmonton.[6]


Current fleet[edit]

Over time the registration of the fleet has moved from Canadian North to Bradley Air Services (First Air). As of December 2021, the fleet consists of 31 aircraft all registered to Bradley Air Services.[4]

A Canadian North Boeing 737-300. Pre-merger livery.
Canadian North fleet
Aircraft Total Order Passengers Notes
ATR 42-300 5 Operated as combi aircraft and ice/gravel runway capable
ATR 42-320 2
ATR 42-320 2
ATR 42-500 6 42 [23]
Boeing 737-200C 2 112 To be phased out by 2022.[24][23]
Boeing 737-300 10 136
Boeing 737-300QC 2 136
Boeing 737-400 2 156 [23]
Boeing 737-300C 3 78 [23]
Boeing 737-700 2 1 136 [25]
Total 31 1

Retired fleet[edit]

A Canadian North De Havilland Canada Dash 8 Series 100. Pre-merger livery. The aircraft were retired in 2021

Aircraft previously operated include:[26]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Northwest Tower in Yellowknife, the former headquarters for the airline

The company headquarters are in Kanata, Ontario,[6] the former First Air HQ.

Canadian North had its headquarters in the Northwest Tower,[27][28] in downtown Yellowknife. The airline announced that when its lease was to expire in the end of August 2013, the airline would vacate the office and move it and 20 employees out of Yellowknife. The airline kept its community and marketing support employees in Yellowknife. Most of the employees who relocated were from the accounting division. Lisa Hicks, a spokesperson, stated that there had been excess capacity at the airline's offices in Edmonton and Yellowknife.[29]

Canadian North headquarters were moved to the grounds of Calgary International Airport in Calgary, Alberta. In addition it has regional offices in Iqaluit, Nunavut, and in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. It also has an operations office in Edmonton, Alberta,[30] on the grounds of Edmonton International Airport.[31] Following the takeover by First Air, the former headquarters in Calgary was shut down and remaining management was transferred to Kanata.

Programs and services[edit]

In-flight entertainment video displays on a Canadian North flight

Canadian North in-flight service includes leather seating, advanced seat selection, free newspapers and magazines, and free colouring books and crayons for children.

The airline offers Aeroplan rewards points, both to collect and to redeem. Passengers may redeem Air Miles points for travel on Canadian North.[32][33] Canadian North has codeshare agreements with Air North and Calm Air.[34]

Canadian North also has its own "Aurora Concierge" and Aurora Rewards program for frequent travellers. Benefits of being an Aurora Concierge member include: Priority check-in, baggage, and boarding, extra piece of checked luggage, free alcoholic beverages, no fee changes, personalized membership card and baggage tag, and more.[35][36]

In 2005 the airline started offering a Pivut Fare ("ours") to beneficiaries of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement.[37]


  1. ^ a b Canadian North comes into its own with new call sign, air operator certificate
  2. ^ Transport Canada (December 18, 2021), Civil Aviation Services (CAS) AOC.
  3. ^ "Federal Aviation Administration - Airline Certificate Information - Detail View". Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  4. ^ a b "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Quick Search Result for Bradley Air Services". Transport Canada. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Flight Schedule
  6. ^ a b c d "General Contacts". 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d e "About Canadian North". 2019.
  8. ^ Who We Are
  9. ^ Canadian North Launches New Service to Four Kitikmeot Communities
  10. ^ Canadian North Launches New Service to Seven Baffin Communities
  11. ^ Nunasi Corp. sells its stake in NorTerra, Canadian North
  12. ^ Nunasi Corp. sells its half of Norterra to the Inuvialuit
  13. ^ Canadian North, First Air plan 'merger of equals'
  14. ^ Arctic airlines First Air and Canadian North talk merger
  15. ^ Canada’s Northern Airlines Enter Merger Discussions
  16. ^ Airlines announce First Air-Canadian North merger is dead
  17. ^ Codeshare kaput: First Air ends flight sharing deal with Canadian North
  18. ^ Media Announcement
  19. ^ Group, Inuvialuit Corporate. "New milestone agreement reached to merge First Air and Canadian North to better serve Pan-Arctic communities".
  20. ^ Federal government approves Canadian North and First Air merger
  21. ^ Our History
  22. ^ Canadian North Charters
  23. ^ a b c d Charters - Fleet
  24. ^ George, Jane (29 April 2021). "Canadian North to phase out jet service to western Nunavut hubs". Nunatsiaq News. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  25. ^ Singh, Sumit (12 May 2021). "Boeing 737 Classic Operator Canadian North Wants Three -700s". Simple Flying. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  26. ^ Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: History Search Result
  27. ^ "Administration Archived 2013-08-23 at the Wayback Machine." Canadian North. Retrieved on January 20, 2011. "Head Office - Yellowknife 300, 5201 50 Ave. Yellowknife, NT X1A 3S9 Canada"
  28. ^ "Directory Information Archived 2011-06-16 at the Wayback Machine." Government of the Northwest Territories. Retrieved on January 20, 2011. "NT Northwest Tower 5201 – 50 Ave"
  29. ^ Vela, Thandiwe. "Airline moving jobs south" (Archive) Northern News Services. Retrieved on March 21, 2014.
  30. ^ "Administration" (Archive). Canadian North. Retrieved on March 21, 2014. "Head Office - Calgary 200, 580 Palmer Road N.E. Calgary, AB T2E 7R3 Canada" and "Regional Head Office - Iqaluit P.O. Box 70 Iqaluit, NU X0A 0H0 Canada" and "Regional Office - Yellowknife 202 Nunasi Building, 5109 48th St. Yellowknife, NT X1A 1N5 Canada" and "Operations Office - Edmonton 101 – 3731 52 Avenue East Edmonton AB T9E 0V4 Canada"
  31. ^ "pre-kearl_general_info.pdf" (Archive). Boilermakers Local 146 (Boilermakers Union). Retrieved on March 21, 2014. "3731 52 Ave E. Edmonton International Airport, AB. T9E 0V4."
  32. ^ Aeroplan
  33. ^ Welcome aboard your NEW Canadian North
  34. ^ Route Map
  35. ^ Aurora Rewards
  36. ^ Aurora Concierge
  37. ^ "Pivut Fares". Canadian North. October 6, 2020.

External links[edit]