Passengers worried First Air skipping Inuktitut safety messages
Airline says it sometimes doesn't play Inuktitut recording due to lack of time
Some passengers are concerned that Inuit are not getting enough safety information in Inuktitut when flying on First Air.
Safety demonstrations are done in English and French before takeoff as required by federal law.
First Air adds a recording in Inuktitut. But recently, the recording wasn't played on some of the airline's flights and some passengers fear unilingual speakers could be at risk during an emergency.
"It's very important that the airlines have Inuktitut safety procedures because they come to Inuit communities to fly them," said Billy Arnaqut in Inuktitut. "So you can understand the importance of it."
First Air flies in and out of 30 Northern communities. Many unilingual Inuit fly to the South for medical treatment.
The airline announced in 2012 that its entire fleet was equipped with recorded Inuktitut messages.
It says that on rare occasions, the recordings aren't played due to a lack of time.
It's also struggling to find staff who speak the language.
"It is very difficult to find Inuktitut-speaking pilots and also flight attendants," said Kevin Kablutsiak of First Air. "We are constantly looking for pilots and flight attendants who can speak Inuktitut."
First Air says it is always trying to improve its service to Inuit communities. and that includes providing more service in Inuktitut.