Air Greenland’s Iqaluit-Nuuk connection in jeopardy

A spokesperson for Air Greenland says the company will need more support from governments in order to keep offering its seasonal service between Nunavut and Greenland.
Passengers exit an Air Greenland Dash 8 after arrival at the Iqaluit airport from Nuuk in 2012. The seasonal route is once again in jeopardy. (Daniel MacIsaac/CBC)

By the end of this month, Air Greenland will decide whether to continue offering summer flights between Iqaluit and Nuuk.

The airline re-established the route in 2012 after a long hiatus.

A spokesperson for the company says they expected more traffic from the mining and oil and gas sectors — and tourism.

"When we look at the season on average, we just managed to fill about 50 percent of the seats and unfortunately these were sold at a lower yield than we were expecting,” says Christian Keldsen. “I think we will just more or less break even but it hasn't been a growth success."

Keldsen says it will be difficult for him to defend keeping the route unless Greenland and Nunavut provide more support.

He says that could be in the form of a subsidy, but the airline would prefer that the governments — in Nunavut and Greenland — agree to purchase a certain number of seats on flights each year.

Two more flights are scheduled this month.

Once those have taken place, Keldsen says the company will look at the season overall.

He says Air Greenland will decide whether to keep the route by the end of September.