Canadian North

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For the geographic region, see Northern Canada.
Canadian North
Canadian North Logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1989
Hubs Yellowknife Airport
Fleet size 18[1]
Destinations 19[2]
Parent company NorTerra Inc.
Headquarters Calgary International Airport
Calgary, Alberta
Key people Steve Hankirk, President[3]

Canadian North Inc. is an airline headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It operates scheduled passenger services to major communities in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Southern gateways include Edmonton and Ottawa. Its main base is Yellowknife Airport.[4]


Canadian North Boeing 737-200 (GFPW) in current livery at Yellowknife Airport

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,[4] 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.

After utilizing three different livery schemes, the airline adopted its current image in 2003. Its logo displays three of the distinctive symbols of the North: the polar bear, the midnight sun and the Northern Lights. Recently, Canadian North's slogan has been 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.).[5]

In June 2007, Canadian North began serving the Kitikmeot communities of Gjoa Haven, Taloyoak, Kugaaruk, and Kugluktuk.[6]

In April 2008, flights began to seven communities in the Qikiqtaaluk Region (Baffin Region) of Nunavut.[7]

On April, 1 2014 the Inuvialuit Development Corporation (IDC) bought the 50% share of NorTerra held by Nunasi. This purchase of NorTerra gives the IDC complete control of Canadian North, Northern Transportation Company and other companies that were jointly held.[8][9]

On April 11, 2014, Norterra and the Makivik Corporation, owners of First Air announced that they were in negotiations to merge the two airlines.[10][11] 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."[12] In October 2014, it was announced the merger would not go through. [13]


Canadian North Boeing 737-200 at Val-d'Or Airport.
Canadian North Boeing 737-200 in old colours at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport in 2001
Canadian North portable deicer
A DHC-8-100 being deiced at Cambridge Bay Airport

As of May 2011 domestic scheduled destinations:[2][7]

Charter operations[edit]


As of January 2016 the following aircraft are listed by Transport Canada as being registered to Canadian North:[1] It is also listed at[18]

Canadian North Fleet
Aircraft No. of Aircraft Variants Notes
Boeing 737 15 737-200, 737-200C, 737-300, 737-300C Passenger only (-200, -300), Combi aircraft (-200C, -300C) -200 Combis are outfitted with gravel kits and are ice runway capable
de Havilland Canada Dash 8 3 100 series Formerly leased from Regional 1

The airline also previously operated Fokker 100 twin jet aircraft.[19] and flown the Fokker F28 Mk.1000


In the north Canadian has partnerships with Air Tindi, Aklak Air, Calm Air and North-Wright Airways.[20] These partnerships give them access to 14 destinations in the NWT, 6 in Nunavut and 6 in Manitoba.[2] They also partner with Air Canada to provide access to several cities in southern Canada.[20]

Corporate affairs[edit]

The company headquarters are 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,[21] on the grounds of Edmonton International Airport.[22]

Canadian North previously had its headquarters in the Northwest Tower,[23][24] 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.[25]

As of July 31, 2013 the operations centre has been moved to the hangar in Edmonton.[citation needed]

Programs and services[edit]

The airline offers Aeroplan rewards points, both to collect and to redeem. Passengers may redeem Air Miles points for travel on Canadian North.[26][27]

Canadian North also has its own "Aurora Concierge" 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.[28]

As of June 5, 2010, Canadian North began codeshareing flights on aircraft operated by Air Canada. Aurora Concierge members are now allowed access to Air Canada's Maple Leaf Lounges by purchasing membership through Canadian North.[29]

Canadian North in-flight service includes:

  • A choice of one of two free meals (on select flights)
  • Comfortable leather seating
  • In-flight entertainment on most flights
  • Free meals on flight legs longer than 2 hours; snacks on others
  • Free drinks (non-alcoholic)
  • 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.[30]


  • On June 5, 2007, a Canadian North De Havilland Canada Dash 8, en route from Gjoa Haven to Cambridge Bay made an emergency landing at Yellowknife Airport after the landing gear indicator showed the nose gear as failing to lock on extension while on approach to Cambridge Bay Airport. The pilot made the decision to re-route to Yellowknife, as the airport was better equipped for emergency landings. The aircraft landed safely in Yellowknife on its main gear and there were no injuries.[31]
  • On May 22, 2008 a Canadian North Boeing 737-200 en route from Fort MacKay/Horizon Airport encountered a major vibration and subsequent failure of the right engine on final approach to Saskatoon. The failure occurred when the aircraft was 500 m (1,600 ft) above the ground and 1,700 m (5,600 ft) from runway 15 at Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport. The aircraft had 102 passengers and 5 crew on board. There were no injuries. The aircraft was operating a charter service (Flight 1714) that was scheduled as Fort McKay/Horizon - Saskatoon - Montreal - Moncton.[32]


  1. ^ a b "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Quick Search Result for Canadian North". Transport Canada. Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  2. ^ a b c Route map and Flight Schedule
  3. ^ Canadian North President to Step Down in New Year
  4. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-04-03. p. 60. 
  5. ^ Who We Are
  6. ^ Canadian North Launches New Service to Four Kitikmeot Communities
  7. ^ a b Canadian North Launches New Service to Seven Baffin Communities
  8. ^ Nunasi Corp. sells its stake in NorTerra, Canadian North
  9. ^ Nunasi Corp. sells its half of Norterra to the Inuvialuit
  10. ^ Canadian North, First Air plan 'merger of equals'
  11. ^ Arctic airlines First Air and Canadian North talk merger
  12. ^ Canada’s Northern Airlines Enter Merger Discussions
  13. ^ Airlines announce First Air-Canadian North merger is dead]
  14. ^ Laughlin Nevada Chamber of Commerce newsletter Archived August 21, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Supply management - selected awarded contracts Archived February 27, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Oilsands a magnet for air carrier traffic
  17. ^ No. 31 Canadian North Charter Terminal. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd
  18. ^ "Canadian North - Details and Fleet History". Planespotters. 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  19. ^, photos of Canadian North Fokker 100 jet aircraft
  20. ^ a b Partners
  21. ^ "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"
  22. ^ "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."
  23. ^ "Administration." Canadian North. Retrieved on January 20, 2011. "Head Office - Yellowknife 300, 5201 50 Ave. Yellowknife, NT X1A 3S9 Canada"
  24. ^ "Directory Information." Government of the Northwest Territories. Retrieved on January 20, 2011. "NT Northwest Tower 5201 – 50 Ave"
  25. ^ Vela, Thandiwe. "Airline moving jobs south" (Archive) Northern News Services. Retrieved on March 21, 2014.
  26. ^ Aeroplan
  27. ^ Air Miles
  28. ^ Aurora Concierge
  29. ^ Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Offer
  30. ^ Pivut Information
  31. ^ Passengers describe emergency landing at Yellowknife airport -
  32. ^ The Aviation Herald

External links[edit]