Arctic Co-ops scores air-transport contract for Mary River mine
ACL teams up with Chrono Aviation on iron mine passenger-cargo deal
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.
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.
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.
Hey whats that guy doing on top of the truck? 🙂 is that brian?
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.
Chrono has multiple aircraft in the fleet. Here’s a link to just the 737s: https://www.planespotters.net/production-list/search?fleet=Chrono-Aviation&manufacturer=Boeing&subtype=737-200&fleetStatus=current
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