Scheduled flights between Sanikiluaq and Iqaluit to begin this month
Igloolik’s Arctic Fresh and Quebec-based Panorama Fixed Wing will operate flights on a trial basis
Flights between Sanikiluaq and Iqaluit will begin on a trial basis later this month, provided by an Igloolik-based company.
The Government of Nunavut put out a request for proposals for the air travel contract this spring.
It awarded that contract to Igloolik-based Arctic Fresh Projects Inc., which specialize in online food sales, but also construction, renovation and aviation consulting. The company is run by CEO Rhoda Angutimarik and her husband Merlyn Recinos, who is also the mayor of Igloolik.
Arctic Fresh will deliver the contract in partnership with the Alma, Que.-based airline Panorama Fixed Wing Ltd.
Arctic Fresh and Panorama beat out four other competitors for the bid: Bradley Air Services Ltd., Air Nunavut Ltd., Calm Air LP and Northern Allied Nunavut Travel Inc.
The territory’s Nunavummi Nangminiqaqtunik Ikajuuti policy gives preference to bids from local Nunavut, Inuit-owned businesses.
This trial run is meant to gauge the feasibility of a regular scheduled flight service between Sanikiluaq and Iqaluit. There are currently no scheduled flights between Sanikiluaq and any other Nunavut community.
As it stands, Sanikiluaq residents have the option of flying south to Winnipeg on Calm Air. The community is also served by Air Inuit through Nunavik, though that airline has halted commercial flights to and from the community since the pandemic started.
The contract means Arctic Fresh and Panorama will operate a twice-weekly flight between Sanikiluaq and Iqaluit over a six-month period, with the option of the contract being extended by an additional 18 months.
Panorama did not indicate which aircraft it will use to run the flights, though the tender specified a small aircraft that could carry a minimum of eight passengers.
The air carrier will be required to advertise and sell tickets to both the territorial government and the public, while the government would guarantee the purchase of six seats per leg.
Arctic Fresh and Panorama have yet to announce when they will launch the new flights.