Canadian North

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Canadian North
2019 Canadian North logo.svg
C-FTIL Canadian North-First Air ATR42-500 at Cambridge Bay Airport.jpg
ATR 42-500 in the new, November 2019, livery at Cambridge Bay Airport
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded1998 (1989 as a subsidiary of Canadian Airlines)
AOC #Canada:12463[1]
United States: N0OF050F[2]
Frequent-flyer program
Fleet size32[3]
Company sloganFly the Arctic
Parent companyInuvialuit Development Corporation (IDC), Makivik Corporation
Headquarters20 Cope Drive, Kanata, Ontario[5]
Key people
  • Johnny Adams (executive chairman)
  • Chris Avery (president and CEO)
  • John Hankirk (senior vice-president)[6]

Canadian North Inc. 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] Its main base is Edmonton Airport.[7]


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] 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.

Final pre-merger Canadian North logo

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]

Check-in counter in Inuvik

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]

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]


A Boeing 737-300 parked in Iqaluit, Nunavut.
A Boeing 737-200 in the old livery at Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport in 2001
A DHC-8-100 being de-iced at Cambridge Bay Airport.

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
Northwest Territories Hay River Hay River/Merlyn Carter Airport
Northwest Territories Inuvik Inuvik (Mike Zubko) Airport
Northwest Territories Norman Wells Norman Wells Airport
Northwest Territories Yellowknife Yellowknife Airport Hub
Nunavik Kuujjuaq Kuujjuaq Airport
Nunavut Arctic Bay Arctic Bay Airport
Nunavut Cambridge Bay Cambridge Bay Airport Hub
Nunavut Cape Dorset Cape Dorset Airport
Nunavut Clyde River Clyde River Airport
Nunavut Gjoa Haven Gjoa Haven Airport
Nunavut Hall Beach Hall Beach Airport
Nunavut Igloolik Igloolik Airport
Nunavut Iqaluit Iqaluit Airport Hub
Nunavut Kimmirut Kimmirut Airport
Nunavut Kugaaruk Kugaaruk Airport
Nunavut Kugluktuk Kugluktuk Airport
Nunavut Pangnirtung Pangnirtung Airport
Nunavut Pond Inlet Pond Inlet Airport
Nunavut Qikiqtarjuaq Qikiqtarjuaq Airport
Nunavut Rankin Inlet Rankin Inlet Airport
Nunavut Resolute Resolute Bay Airport
Nunavut 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 November 2019, Canadian North operates the following aircraft:[3]

Canadian North
Aircraft No. of aircraft Variants Notes
Aérospatiale ATR 42 13 300, 320, 500 Five ATR 42-300 series and two ATR 42-320 series combi aircraft, ice/gravel runway capable, six ATR 42-500, passenger only
Boeing 737 2 200 series Combi aircraft, carries freight in addition to passengers. Up to 112 passengers.
Boeing 737 Classic 13 300 series, 400, 400C Nine 300 series, 136 passengers, two Quick Change (QC) aircraft, combi, can be converted to freight. Three 400C combi aircraft 78 passengers, one 737-400 passenger only with 156 seats.
De Havilland Canada Dash 8 4 Series 100, Series 300 Thirty-seven passengers 100 Series and 50-56 passengers 300 series.

In addition the Transport Canada shows a Boeing 737-300 with a cancelled certificate.[24]

A Boeing 737-300 at Edmonton International Airport

Retired fleet[edit]

Aircraft previously operated include:[25]


Canadian North has codeshare agreements with Air North and Calm Air.[26]

Corporate affairs[edit]

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

Former headquarters of Canadian North, the Northwest Tower in Yellowknife.

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,[27] on the grounds of Edmonton International Airport.[28]

Canadian North previously had its headquarters in the Northwest Tower,[29][30] 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.[31]

Programs and services[edit]

IFE screens inside a Boeing 737-300

The airline offers Aeroplan rewards points, both to collect and to redeem. Passengers may redeem Air Miles points for travel on Canadian North.[32][22]

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]

Canadian North in-flight service includes:

  • Comfortable leather seating
  • Advanced seat selection
  • Free newspapers and magazines
  • Free colouring books and crayons for children

In 2005 the airline started offering a Pivut Fare ("ours") to Inuvialuit and Inuit (Nunavut) land claims beneficiaries. In 2010/2011 the Pivut Fare entitled a beneficiary to 65% off three airfares.[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 2019-11-05., "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Quick Search Result for Bradley Air Services (First Air)". Transport Canada. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
  4. ^ a b Full network schedule
  5. ^ a b c d General Contacts
  6. ^ a b c d e Executives & Ownership
  7. ^ a b "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. ^ Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Aircraft Details C-FKCN
  25. ^ Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: History Search Result
  26. ^ Route Map
  27. ^ "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"
  28. ^ "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."
  29. ^ "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"
  30. ^ "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"
  31. ^ Vela, Thandiwe. "Airline moving jobs south" (Archive) Northern News Services. Retrieved on March 21, 2014.
  32. ^ Aeroplan
  33. ^ Aurora Rewards
  34. ^ Aurora Concierge
  35. ^ Pivut Information

External links[edit]

Media related to Canadian North at Wikimedia Commons