Air Greenland’s first scheduled flight to Iqaluit from Nuuk arrived Friday morning.
Many of the passengers were on their way to an oil and gas conference in St. John's and Air Greenland says that's exactly the kind of client it’s counting on for this summer trial period.
"So, we hope we can tap into the charter markets — there are a lot of charter flights going back and forth between Canada and Greenland," said Jesper Kunuk Egede, marketing manager for Air Greenland.
First Air used to fly the route, but ceased in 2001, saying it didn't make business sense to continue. However, Egede said a new fleet of Dash 8s plus growing interest in Northern resources makes the service economical.
A return ticket costs about $2,000, and the flight takes an hour and 15 minutes each way.
Passenger Hans Hinrichsin with the Greenland School of Minerals and Petroleum was on his way to the oil and gas conference.
"I really appreciate the opportunity and save a lot of time and travel and money to go by this route to St. John's, in Newfoundland. Otherwise, I would have to go by Denmark to get to Canada," he said.
First Air will provide services such as baggage-handling and ticket sales for the Monday and Friday flights.
"There's also fisheries crews that operate out of Canada — they do a lot of crew changes right now out of Nuuk — and that means flying to Europe in the past, so there might be an opportunity to pick up on some of that work also," said Ed Picco, sales director for First Air.