Arctic Co-ops scores air-transport contract for Mary River mine

ACL teams up with Chrono Aviation on iron mine passenger-cargo deal

A Chrono Aviation 737-200 lands at the Iqaluit airport earlier this week. Chrono and Arctic Co-operatives Ltd. have teamed up to win a multi-year contract transporting passengers and cargo to the Mary River iron mine. (Photo by Frank Reardon)

By Jim Bell

Saying the deal will deliver benefits to co-op members throughout Nunavut, Arctic Co-operatives Ltd., in a partnership with Chrono Aviation of Quebec, has signed a multi-year contract with Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. to deliver passengers and cargo to the Mary River mine on north Baffin.

Baffinland and ACL signed the deal in Iqaluit on the afternoon of April 2 at the Qajuqturvik food centre, also known as the soup kitchen.

“Local co-operatives work together in a business model where everybody shares in one another’s success. By choosing the co-op system, Baffinland is ensuring that ordinary people in communities share in the benefits of the Mary River project,” said Duane Wilson, ACL’s vice-president of stakeholder relations.

Founded in 2012, Chrono Aviation is an air charter company based in Montreal and Rimouski, Que. Chrono possesses a fleet of 13 aircraft and employs more than 100 people.

Last August, Chrono acquired its first Boeing 737-200 jet, which they’ll use to help service the Mary River contract, and they’re planning to get a second.

The 737-200 model, which comes with a gravel kit to protect its engines, is the only Boeing aircraft capable of landing and taking off on unpaved runways.

“It will serve as a strategic asset for Chrono, allowing it to offer jumbo-jet transport to mining or construction companies that frequently travel to remote areas,” the company said last year.

The contract includes the transportation of Iqaluit-based passengers to the Mary River mine, and the transportation of passengers and cargo from the Aéroport Montréal Saint-Hubert Longueuil  Airport on the south shore of Montreal.

Last year, the St-Hubert airport inaugurated a new landing strip to accommodate the company’s 737-200 aircraft.

“The proud team of men and women at Chrono are very excited to work with such an iconic northern organization as Arctic Co-op and to provide a safe and reliable service while providing an improved in-flight experience for Baffinland employees,” said Vincent Gagnon, the president of Chrono.

At the announcement today, ACL and Baffinland also announced a donation to Qajuqturvik.

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by The Old Trapper on

    Something doesn’t add up here. ACL has no expertise operating an airline so why exactly are they partnering with Chrono Aviation (a small charter carrier) to provide Baffinland with aviation services?

    One could also ask why Chrono would be selected as a supplier. They have relatively little experience (founded in 2012), no real experience with anything bigger than a Dash 8 – 100 up to now, and have only the one 737 (apparently they are looking for another one).

    Does ACL or Baffinland even know that most everyone has stopped using the 737-200C as most of the aircraft have run out of cycles or airframe time? And the only way they are economic is that airlines would give the airframe away just so they don’t have the expense of junking it?

    Something is fishy with this deal.

    • Posted by Consistency on

      I was also thinking this sounded odd… i definitely did not think as deep as you did though or had ever heard of Chrono even, but i did have to check the date twice to make sure it was Nunatsiaq News doubling down on their April Fools story.

  2. Posted by Reader on

    Hey whats that guy doing on top of the truck? 🙂 is that brian?

  3. Posted by Only at Baffinland on

    One aircraft fleet, no back up, no hangar, no track record, smaller airport hub and probably a cheap price. A great improvement for the workers at BIM.

  4. Posted by The business of business is business on

    Neither Arctic Co-ops nor Baffinland wants to have to deal with a single supplier for air travel services when Canadian North and First Air merge.

    Perhaps they plan to get and claim Northern experience, then bid got the next GN medical travel contract.

    This way they can cooperate and

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