First Air – proudly owned by Inuit?


I am Inuk and to be very honest I’m not proud of our airline.

I have finally decided to write this letter after many months of reading about how First Air is the best at transporting goods and cargo in the North.

I agree, but only because it’s the only airline that comes up to Kuujjuaq. I find that a lot of the time they do not prioritize the goods that are more important than others.

For example, I’ve been to our local grocery store to get milk and bread and there would not be any for one or two days because the airline company did not put it on the flight expected.

Second, pharmaceuticals: I’ve heard that a lot of the time their orders come in three or four days late, even 10 days late, because First Air cargo in Montreal did not have room to put the crate in because the crate was too big.

I mean, come on. It’s medication, it’s as important as food! There are many people, even elders who rely on medication these days.

Right now, here in Kuujjuaq, there is an epidemic of head lice and we have no more medication for lice in the pharmacy because apparently the order was not put in the plane the day it was supposed to be sent and now head lice are going from child to child at school.

These are important issues that many seem to ignore, and they act as if First Air is an angel to the North. Not to me, not at all.

I mean, look, how foolish is it to pay for airline tickets and have to ask for a loan to borrow money from the bank? I know some families who do that, and pay $5,000 or more to go on vacation in Montreal and that’s not including the expenses you have to make during your vacation.

That’s something I cannot come to understand. They say it’s 100 per cent Inuit owned. Okay, good.

But look at how expensive it is for Inuit to get out of town for a while. Hoping that this letter will help make a little change or be the first of many in the future.

(Name withheld by request)

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