Air North, Yukon’s Airline Announces Cancellation of Remaining Whitehorse – Yellowknife – Ottawa Flights This Summer
Onboard social distancing protocols coupled with a significant drop in demand lead to cancellation of remaining Whitehorse – Yellowknife – Ottawa flights scheduled for the end of August.
WHITEHORSE, YT – 8 July 2020. Air North, Yukon’s Airline announced today it will be cancelling the remaining flights on the Whitehorse – Yellowknife – Ottawa route scheduled for this summer.
While the seasonal service was scheduled to begin in May, border restrictions coupled with reduced travel demand forced Air North to delay the start of service. The company had hoped to operate a select number of flights on this route at the end of August, but announced today the cancellation of these remaining flights.
With reduced demand for air travel, the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened competition in the markets in which Air North currently operates and has also introduced a range of new regulations and protocols. As part of Air North’s commitment to safety and in response to the pandemic, all middle seats on their Boeing 737 jets have been blocked to facilitate physical distancing onboard.
“There’s been a lot of news coverage lately about other carriers starting to sell middle seats. In our small market, we know that not everybody is ready to get on a full airplane,” begins Joseph Sparling, President and CEO of Air North. “We are going to do everything we can to maintain reasonable physical distancing onboard in order to ensure passengers’ safety and help them feel more comfortable flying again. Right now, this means we will not be selling or assigning middle seats other than to passengers belonging to the same social bubble, such as families or workforce travellers whose workforce travel programs have unique and robust safety protocols.”
If demand were to increase, the company must still cap the number of seats it sells to passengers in order to keep middle seats empty. On the Whitehorse – Yellowknife – Ottawa route, this means that Air North would not be generating enough revenue from the flight to cover its direct operating costs.
Air North remains committed to serving the Whitehorse, Yellowknife, and Ottawa markets and will be closely monitoring the situation when evaluating their tentatively scheduled Christmas 2020 and Spring Break 2021 service to these destinations. Passengers with flights booked on the Whitehorse – Yellowknife – Ottawa route will be offered a travel credit valid for 24 months from the date of travel. In some cases, Air North may offer to re-accommodate passengers on alternate flights, if applicable. Passengers with specific travel plans where a credit will not be sufficient are asked to please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org specifying the itinerary number and any unique circumstances associated with their travel plans.
Air North currently operates daily flights between Whitehorse and Vancouver and flies to Dawson City, Old Crow and Inuvik up to five times per week. Service to Victoria and Kelowna resumed 6 July 2020 and 8 July 2020, respectively. Service to Calgary and Edmonton is scheduled to resume 3 August 2020. The current operating schedule can be found here.
About Air North, Yukon’s Airline
Founded in 1977, Air North, Yukon's Airline has proudly provided affordable, reliable air services to Yukoners for over 40 years. The privately held company's largest two shareholders are its founder, Joseph Sparling and the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, and the Company also has over 2,000 local individual shareholders based in the Yukon. The airline serves up to 13 Canadian destinations including Whitehorse, Dawson City, Old Crow, Inuvik, Mayo, Watson Lake, Vancouver, Kelowna, Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary, Yellowknife, and Ottawa. Its fleet is comprised of five Boeing 737 jets, and five turboprop aircraft including three ATR-42s and two Hawker-Siddeley 748s. Named Best Leisure and Specialty Airline, North America 2019 by TripAdvisor’s Traveler's Choice Awards, Air North, Yukon’s Airline prides itself on providing genuine Yukon hospitality from the moment passengers step aboard its flights. Passengers experience fresh fare prepared daily by its Whitehorse flight kitchen, locally-roasted Midnight Sun Coffee Roasters coffee, and Yukon Brewing beer. Air North, Yukon's Airline is one of the few remaining North American carriers that does not charge fees for checked baggage. Passengers enjoy two complimentary checked bags (up to 100 lbs with no one item exceeding 50 lbs) on its 737 jets, and two complimentary checked bags (up to 40 lbs combined) on its turboprops. For more information, including flight schedules and fares visit flyairnorth.com or call your travel agent.