Canadian North airline will receive over $5 million from the Government of the Northwest Territories to continue providing services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Despite the loss of passenger volumes, we have continued to serve the needs of the communities to the best of our abilities for the last two months since the start of the COVID-19 crisis,” said Dan Valin, spokesperson for Canadian North, in an email.
The support comes as part of the $130 million the federal government is providing to the NWT for support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It would not, and will not, be possible to maintain this service without ongoing support from all levels of government,” Valin said.
Minister of Finance Caroline Wawzonek announced the territory will dedicate $8.7 million to the airline industry to ensure companies will provide essential goods and services to communities — including food and medical supplies.
Five airlines in total are being granted funding with Canadian North receiving the bulk of the money at $5,372,000.
The other airlines include Air Tindi which is receiving $1,565,000, Northwestern Air Lease, $793,000, North Wright Airways, $589,000 and Aklak Air, $381,000.
“This funding is designed to ensure that NWT’s scheduled passenger air carriers can continue to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic without the need to increase costs for consumers. I know there is still more need within our airline industry and I look forward to working with Transport Canada and CIRNAC to ensure that we maintain our connections to all communities at this critical time,” Wawzonek said in a media release.
The funding comes in addition to the territory waiving landing fees, as well as leases, licences and concession fees for all businesses operating at NWT airports. The media release said these supports are expected to save NWT’s aviation businesses approximately $2 million.
“Aviation businesses are a critical part of our economy, and our way of life in the North. NWT residents and businesses rely on the aviation industry to keep us connected and to deliver essential supplies into our communities,” Wawzonek said.