New Canadian North airfares offer ups and downs for passengers

New economy class tickets offer savings, but flights on popular routes and dates may cost more

Canadian North has a new fare structure for air travel and cargo that will come into effect on Jan. 1. (Photo courtesy of Canadian North)

By Jane George

(Updated at 12:30 p.m.)

Canadian North announced fare changes today that will be advantageous to some air travellers on the new merged airline’s network, but will lead to others paying much more, depending on where and when they want to fly.

Initial reaction to the changes was mixed, but Chris Avery, the president and CEO of Canadian North, stated in a news release that “we will continue to listen closely to feedback from our customers and stakeholders to ensure that we are offering the right product mix to meet the essential needs of everyone we serve.”

The new fare structure for travel and shipping comes into effect on Jan. 1, along with the start of Canadian North’s new medical and duty travel contract with the Government of Nunavut.

The contract includes a public travel component, which requires the airlines to offer a percentage of seats to the general public at an economy-class fare.

The new fares, announced on Thursday, Dec. 12, include a new “economy” fare class, which the airline said will be priced lower than its current lowest available fares.

But while these low fares will be available for advance purchase on all Nunavut routes year-round, you might not find them for every flight or date.

Canadian North said the seats will “typically be available on less busy flights and travel dates.”

For now, before the new rate structure takes effect, there’s no deal in store for travel on a Friday before Christmas, as one prospective flyer from Iqaluit to Rankin Inlet found out.

And if you are planning to leave Iqaluit on Dec. 23 and return on Jan. 6, you’ll be looking at a steep fare of $3,487.

The good news is that if you can postpone your travel, say, to Jan. 14 to Jan. 18, which is less busy and after the new fares kick in, you can get a roundtrip ticket for $804.11.

Economy fares will be offered in conjunction with Canadian North’s existing saver, flex and super-flex fare classes, the airline said.

These will provide additional features such as more checked bags, reduced or complimentary change fees, refundability and the ability to collect Aurora and Aeroplan reward points.

“These fares will be restructured to provide an overall average lower price,” states Canadian North’s news release.

Canadian North said it would continue to offer sales, such as you can find right now: $165 for a round-trip between Iqaluit and Kuujjuaq, and $999 for a roundtrip between Montreal and Kuujjuaq.

Canadian North’s corporate clients will have access to the new economy passenger fares, but they’ll pay five per cent more for travel on the Iqaluit-Ottawa route and two per cent more for all other Nunavut routes, the airline said.

A corporate discount structure that provides a new discount will come during the first half of 2020.

For now, a new priority cargo rate will be priced at 30 per cent above the new general rate.

And legacy corporate cargo agreements will continue to apply “for the time being.”

But cargo rates will rise: Canadian North said it does expect “to implement an inflationary rate increase” in early 2020, similar to the increase for corporate passenger fares.

The airline said it plans to move to a new volume-based corporate cargo program in 2020.

As of Jan. 1, Canadian North said it would expand its popular Ilak Fares program to include beneficiaries of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement. This will offer the same lower-priced fares that beneficiaries of other Inuit land claims agreements receive.

This new program for Inuvialuit customers will use the same name as the older program that it replaces, Pivut.

The Ilak program will offer beneficiaries and their families travel at savings of up to 65 per cent.

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(17) Comments:

  1. Posted by Flyer on

    So much for no increases for 7 years, or something like that. We all knew this merger was going to cost us down the road, cost going up and service going down, lets see how this will look in a year from now. So far I am not impressed.

  2. Posted by tuktuborel on

    Well I can’t see any cheaper fares (perhaps fares are not updated yet) on the Cambridge to Edmonton run. Even when you go to the lowest fare and try to book months ahead it is no real deal due to bagage restrictions and a 75 % reduction in earning aero plan points.

    Also why is it that the spouses of beneficaries don’t receive any discounted airfare when traveling with their spouse. I guess families in this position will likely have to travel sepparately or pay full/regular fare

    • Posted by Reality on

      Maybe there just shouldn’t be any race-based or ethnic-based preferential treatment. It’s discriminatory.

  3. Posted by tuktuborel on

    Cargo rates going up too. Great news. Now everything will be even more expensive. The price of food is already predicted to cost everyone more next year and now it will be even higher with the increased Canadian North cargo rates.

    Why is it the fuel surcharge still tacked on to current freight and travel when those high fuel prices went down long ago. Airlines are ripping us off.

  4. Posted by cashed on

    “For now, a new priority cargo rate will be priced at 30 per cent above the new general rate.”

    Food should have priority. Always. And it shouldn’t cost an extra 30%.

    • Posted by Neil Armstrong on

      Oddly enough liquor orders from Marche Turenne are declared as food at a food price.

  5. Posted by Northern Inuit on

    Let’s peek at Jet A Fuel prices for a minute, prices below are per litre.

    YYC Calgary Intl AB 1.670 2019-01-21
    CYYG Charlottetown PE 2.230 2018-07-23
    CYVR Vancouver Intl BC 1.470 2019-01-3
    CYEG Edmonton Intl AB 1.300 2019-12-10
    CYHZ Halifax Stanfield Intl 2.120 2019-01-14
    CYOW Ottawa ON 1.921 2019-01-16
    CYRT Rankin Inlet NU 1.489 2018-03-28


    now yes, the price for Nunavut went up a little bit.

    but tell us, if Nunavut has some of the lowest prices for Jet A Fuel in Canada, why are we still paying the highest prices for tickets? it’s appalling what “Our Airline” puts a family through to try go out on holiday.

    in this day and age, we still have people who live in our Communities who have never set foot outside of their Community apart from camping.

    • Posted by Northener on

      Blah blah blah . When you can fly to the other side of the globe cheaper than a 3 hour flight to ottawa your b.s fuel excuse just wont cut it

    • Posted by Gulaag on

      For all practical purposes those of us on Social Assistance are prisoners in our home community.
      We cannot go elsewhere to look for for work because we are not allowed to ever save enough money to pay for an airline ticket.
      So much for mobility rights in Canada.
      For most of us there are only 5 ways out of our settlement.
      1. Get pregnant
      2. Get arrested
      3. Get so sick we need to go out for medical
      4. Wait for someone to come and hire us for a mine
      5. Get elected as MLA
      Did you say “6. Go south to college”?
      What percentage of those who start school actually graduate if their parents live on Social Assistance?
      Welcome to Nunavut’s reality. Its the gulaag of Canada.

      • Posted by Israel MacArthur on

        The path to get out of the communities is wiiiiddddeeee open, especially for beneficiaries. One just has to take the initiative to apply to the different offerings.

        Get yourself enrolled in Algonquin College’s Indigenous Studies program ( or some similar name). You don’t need to be a graduate, and you can do it all on Nunavut’s dime. Be successful there, then use it as a stepping stone to other post-secondary education.

        Try some of the remedial programs at NAC in Iqaluit – another way to get out of your community and use it as a stepping stone to other education.

    • Posted by Someone from north on

      Fuel price in YFB is cheaper the downsouth only 1.4453.

    • Posted by Inukster on

      Just want to point out your fuel prices are not for Jet A. 100ll is avgas which is not used on jet or turboprop aircraft such as those used by Canadian North. Jet A fuel prices are considerably lower at the southern airports you mentioned than in the north.

      • Posted by Northern Inuit on

        Northerner, my point was if you read the link, that our fuel prices in Nunavut are far lower on average than down south. so why are the prices for plane tickets much higher? Canadian North (and First Air for years past) have to answer this.

        Inukster, please read the link. the websites name is 100ll which is avgas you are correct, all the prices I listed are for Jet A Fuel.

        our prices in Nunavut are much lower than Calgary, Charlottown, Halifax and Ottawa per litre.

        • Posted by Inukster on

          Just got a cracking deal on Iqaluit-Ottawa in January. It looks like if you book well ahead the seats are there.

  6. Posted by economics of northern flying on

    Not sure why everyone above is so concerned with Northern vs Southern fuel prices… I’d say the main reason for high ticket prices has to be the economics of flying in the north. Lower passenger volumes means that fares need to be higher to offset the associated costs of flying. Also, I’m sure that the Ottawa/Rankin flights could be cheaper but the ticket costs are helping to subsidize the community flights, which are likely actually much higher especially when flights are going out half or 2/3rds empty

  7. Posted by It’s all about perspective on

    We went from a situation of getting reamed once by 2 airlines to getting reamed twice as hard by one, merged airline.

  8. Posted by Sade on

    I thought it was in the Agreement that they wouldn’t raise their prices for 7 years.

    This is highway robbery!

Comments are closed.