Reduced air service in Baffin region to continue through June: Canadian North

Regular service continues for flights from Iqaluit to Ottawa

Since early May, Canadian North has reduced air service to most Baffin communities, including Pangnirtung, shown here, due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Iqaluit and resulting travel restrictions. The air service reduction is expected to continue through June, the airline says. (File photo)

By Jane George

Canadian North will continue to operate flights between Iqaluit and most Baffin communities at reduced levels through June, says the airline’s vice-president Andrew Pope.

The airline has reduced these flights by roughly 35 per cent since the beginning of May.

“But we are still operating to all communities and all routes we were previously,” Pope said.

For now, service to and from Ottawa has not been changed, as with air service to Grise Fiord and Kimmirut.

Pope said Canadian North hopes to avoid terminating any routes.

The plan is to resume the regular flight schedule in July.

“But that’s subject to change depending on how things evolve here,” Pope said. “If more people begin to travel then we’ll have to add back flights.”

Following Iqaluit’s COVID-19 outbreak, public health restrictions have limited travel to and from Iqaluit to essential and medical needs since April 16.

Canadian North has been working since then with the government on the schedule to make sure there’s enough service to support essential travel, Pope said.

But “flying empty planes around is not a benefit to anyone,” he said.

So far, the service reduction has not had an impact on employees, said Theresa Amicarelli, assistant to the president of the union that represents about 320 workers at Canadian North, including cargo ramp attendants and customer service agents.

“In fact, they have called back some people laid off last year and they’re hiring all the time,” she said.

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(3) Comments:

  1. Posted by Clyde resident on

    35% ? Two flights a week to Clyde River, that are always full. That is more then a 35% reduction.

    • Posted by Alan Klie on

      It’s probably 35% average across the entire network. Some routes will have been more reduced than others.

  2. Posted by Bystander on

    Yes, for example they used to fly Ottawa to Iqaluit twice per day. Now they are only going once per day.

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