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 (1946 as Bradley Air Services, 1973 as First Air), (1989 subsidiary of Canadian Airlines, 1998 as Canadian North)
AOC #Canada:12463[1]
United States: N0OF050F[2]
Frequent-flyer program
Fleet size31 (26 as FAB, 5 as MPE)[3]
Parent companyInuvialuit Development Corporation (IDC), Makivik Corporation
Headquarters20 Cope Drive, Kanata, Ontario[5]
Key people
  • Johnny Adams (executive chairman)
  • Chris Avery (president and CEO)[6]

Canadian North is a wholly Inuit-owned airline headquartered in Kanata, Ontario,[5] Canada. It operates scheduled passenger services to communities in the Northwest Territories, Nunavik and Nunavut. Southern gateways include Edmonton, Montreal and Ottawa.[6] The company slogan is Fly the Arctic.


The airline was established in 1989 as a subsidiary of Canadian Airlines, to focus on the transportation needs of northern Canadian communities. In September 1998, Canadian North was purchased by Norterra, a wholly Northern aboriginal-owned holding company,[7] and 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 set up the 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]

A First Air flight operating as Canadian North in 2019, weeks prior to the two companies merger

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] However, full integration is expected to take 12 to 18 months.[22]


Unloading cargo from a Canadian North flight at Cambridge Bay Airport. The airport serves as an airline hub for Canadian North. Pre-merger livery.
Hangar for Canadian North at Edmonton International Airport, the airline's southern gateway.

As of November 2019, Canadian North had the following 26 domestic scheduled destinations. Some flights are operated as First Air:[4]

Province/State City Airport Notes
Alberta Edmonton Edmonton International Airport Southern gateway[6]
Northwest Territories Fort Simpson Fort Simpson Airport
Hay River Hay River/Merlyn Carter Airport
Inuvik Inuvik (Mike Zubko) Airport
Norman Wells Norman Wells Airport
Yellowknife Yellowknife Airport Hub
Nunavik Kuujjuaq Kuujjuaq Airport
Nunavut Arctic Bay Arctic Bay Airport
Cambridge Bay Cambridge Bay Airport Hub
Cape Dorset Cape Dorset Airport
Clyde River Clyde River Airport
Gjoa Haven Gjoa Haven Airport
Hall Beach Hall Beach Airport
Igloolik Igloolik Airport
Iqaluit Iqaluit Airport Hub
Kimmirut Kimmirut 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
Taloyoak Taloyoak Airport
Ontario Ottawa Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport Southern gateway[6]
Quebec Montreal Montréal–Trudeau International Airport Southern gateway[6]

Charter operations[edit]

According to Canadian North they offer charters to anywhere, non-stop flights in continental North America[23] and maintain charter terminals at Calgary and Edmonton.[5]


Current fleet[edit]

As of February 2021, the fleet is not fully merged and 27 aircraft are still registered to Bradley Air Services, operated as First Air, and 4 to Canadian North.[3][24]

A Canadian North De Havilland Canada Dash 8 Series 100. Pre-merger livery.
A Canadian North Boeing 737-300. Pre-merger livery.
Canadian North fleet
Aircraft In Service Passengers Notes
ATR 42-300 5 42 Ice and gravel runway capable. Operated by Bradley Air Services.
ATR 42-320 2 42 Combi. Ice and gravel runway capable. Operated by Bradley Air Services.
ATR 42-500 6 42 Ice and gravel runway capable. Operated by Bradley Air Services.
Boeing 737-200C 2 112 Combi aircraft. Ice and gravel runway capable. Up to 112 passengers with no freight. Operated by Canadian North.
Boeing 737-300 8 136 Operated by Bradley Air Services.
Boeing 737-300QC 2 136 Quick Change (QC) aircraft can be converted to combi or freight.
Boeing 737-400 1 156 Ice runway capable. Operated by Bradley Air Services.
Boeing 737-400C 3 78 Ice runway capable. Operated by Bradley Air Services.
De Havilland Canada Dash 8-100 2 37 Not listed at Canadian North website.
Total 31

Retired fleet[edit]

Aircraft previously operated include:[25]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Northwest Tower in Yellowknife, the former headquarters for the airline

The company headquarters are at Kanata, Ontario,[5] the former First Air HQ.

The company headquarters were on the grounds of Calgary International Airport in Calgary, Alberta. In addition it has regional offices in Iqaluit, Nunavut and in the Nunasi Building in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. It also has an operations office in Edmonton, Alberta,[26] on the grounds of Edmonton International Airport.[27]

Canadian North previously had its headquarters in the Northwest Tower,[28][29] in downtown Yellowknife. The airline announced that when its lease was to expire in the end of August 2013, the airline will 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 forced to move 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.[30]

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.[31][22] Canadian North has codeshare agreements with Air North and Calm Air.[32]

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.[33][34]

In 2005 the airline started offering a Pivut Fare ("ours") to beneficiaries of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement.[35]


  1. ^ Transport Canada (2019-08-30), Civil Aviation Services (CAS) AOC.
  2. ^ "Federal Aviation Administration - Airline Certificate Information - Detail View". Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  3. ^ a b "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Quick Search Result for Canadian North". Transport Canada. Retrieved 2021-02-04., "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Quick Search Result for Bradley Air Services (First Air)". Transport Canada. Retrieved 2021-02-04.
  4. ^ a b Full network schedule
  5. ^ a b c d "General Contacts". 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e "About Canadian North". 2019.
  7. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-04-03. p. 60.
  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. ^ a b Welcome aboard your NEW Canadian North
  23. ^ Canadian North Charters
  24. ^ Charters - Fleet
  25. ^ Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: History Search Result
  26. ^ "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"
  27. ^ "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."
  28. ^ "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"
  29. ^ "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"
  30. ^ Vela, Thandiwe. "Airline moving jobs south" (Archive) Northern News Services. Retrieved on March 21, 2014.
  31. ^ Aeroplan
  32. ^ Route Map
  33. ^ Aurora Rewards
  34. ^ Aurora Concierge
  35. ^ "Pivut Fares". Canadian North. October 6, 2020.

External links[edit]