Airlines serving Nunavut, Nunavik tighten COVID-19 prevention efforts

Calm Air, along with Canadian North, Air Inuit, has reduced flight schedule

Airlines serving Canada’s North are increasing their measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Calm Air will now screen every passenger before they can board the aircraft. The airline is also temporarily reducing its flight schedule. (Photo courtesy of Calm Air)

By Jane George

Updated, March 18, 8:30 a.m.

Airlines that fly in Nunavut and Nunavik have increased their preventive procedures to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

Like Canadian North and Air Inuit, customers of Calm Air, which serves Nunavut’s Kivalliq region, has also reduced its flight schedule, and all passengers now face additional pre-travel screening measures before they can fly.

Calm Air said March 17 on its website and social media that it was reducing its schedule temporarily.

“In light of COVID-19 and the changes in demand Calm Air is continuing to take precautionary measures to best protect our passengers and staff. That being said we are temporarily reducing our schedule,” the airline said in an online announcement.

Calm Air is also screening passengers. The carrier said on that “in order to ensure the safety of passengers and employees,” customers who wish to travel on Calm Air must be screened prior to boarding any of its aircraft.

As part of the screening, prospective passengers will have to say whether they have travelled anywhere outside Canada in the past 14 days.

Calm Air also will also ask if you have been in close contact with someone, such as a family member or friend, who travelled outside Canada in the past 14 days and is showing symptoms of COVID-19.

And the airline will ask whether you have shown any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 72 hours.

If the answer to any of those questions is yes, “Calm Air requests that you do not travel at this time.” And the airline will ask that you contact a health-care professional.

Calm Air said it is also carrying out a “deep clean grooming” after each flight in Winnipeg, Thompson and Rankin Inlet.

Wipes, hand sanitizer and masks for ill passengers are provided on board each aircraft, the airline said, and hand sanitizer will be provided in high-traffic stations.

All materials from aircraft seat pockets will be removed, except safety feature cards and airsickness bags.

Calm Air’s customer service agents will receive additional training on how to deal with passengers showing signs of illness, the airline said.

Canadian North, which first announced a series of preventive actions last week, has now additionally removed all non-essential material from the seat pockets of its aircraft.

As well, Canadian North is cutting out any exchange of money on aircraft.

“In particular this means that we will be limiting our alcohol service [to] only unpaid items (wine service, special coffee, etc.),” the airline said in an update on its website.

Air Inuit, which also had announced a variety of measures to contain COVID-19, said on Sunday, March 15, that all passenger meals served onboard would be cold meals in order to minimize handling and cabin crews would wear nitrile gloves throughout the flights.

On March 17, Canadian North and Air Inuit announced reductions to their flight schedules due to COVID-19.

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(4) Comments:

  1. Posted by Traveler on


  2. Posted by Traveler on


  3. Posted by Roy Donovon on

    I mean shut down the airports except for cargo. That would be a rational move. Look around….it appears this is ramping up. Why take the chance of this. Look around.

  4. Posted by Peter kiahingnaq on

    Yes this is scary if we don’t take care of our people and control it I think everyone should stay home and wait look how many died of this horrible sickness please take care of our people and control it I think

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