Kivalliq Inuit, First Air unveil airfare scheme

Beneficiaries get cheaper year-round fares


First Air has struck another deal to give Inuit land claims beneficiaries preferred rates for airfares and freight, this time with the Kivalliq Inuit Association.

The deal, announced July 6, gives Kivalliq beneficiaries a guaranteed “seat sale-like fare year-round,” said Chris Ferris, First Air’s vice president of marketing and sales.

The move will also give Inuit in the region a reduced rate on freight costs for shipping on-the-land items like boat motors and snowmobiles once a year. Ferris said there’s no limit to the number of discount flights a beneficiary can buy.

Ferris wouldn’t say exactly how much the discounts are worth. “I don’t want to have that number in my competitor’s hands.”

In a news release, KIA vice president Joe Kaludjak hailed the pact as a “milestone agreement… which allows our people access within and outside our region.”

First Air announced a similar deal with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association in May. Ferris said the airline is trying to arrange a similar agreement with the Kitikmeot Inuit Association.

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