Air Greenland returns to Iqaluit

Air Greenland will reinstate its Iqaluit to Nuuk route for an 11-week period starting June 18.

Flights twice-weekly to and from Nuuk to be offered this summer

Air Greenland will reinstate its Iqaluit to Nuuk route for an 11-week period starting June 18.

Christian Keldsen, chief commercial officer of Air Greenland, said it will be a seasonal route to start, running until Sept. 3, but if it proves feasible the company is interested in expanding the schedule.

"We’ve had a look at a lot of different places in Canada to set up this operation and we found that with our current fleet and the cultural bond between our countries, it made very good sense to go back into Iqaluit," he said.

A Dash-8 aircraft will fly two round trips every week on Mondays and Fridays. A one-way flight between the cities would take one hour and 45 minutes and cost 4,300 Danish kroner, or about $750.

Air Greenland used to fly between the two cities for about 20 years but the route was discontinued in 2001. Keldsen said that was due to a change in freight patterns.

"There’s been a lot of interest in Greenland in the mineral and oil and gas exploration industry," he said.

"That’s what we’re seeing in the market at this point and that’s what we’re trying to accommodate. We think things have changed a bit over the last 10 years."

Keldsen said the direct link between the two countries will save business travellers time.

"People travelling Canada to Greenland can get there via Iceland or Copenhagen but it’s going to take a lot of time," he said.

"If you’re sending people up to work you’re paying for these people to spend two days to go around. Here you can do it all in one day."

Hal Timar with the Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce is confident there will be continuous demand.

"There's opportunities for Iqaluit to be a staging point for goods going into Greenland," said Timar.

The news is welcome to Aaju Peter in Iqaluit, whose family lives in Greenland. She saw her sister for the first time in 40 years just a few days ago. Peter is the only one of her family in Iqaluit and she hopes she won't have to wait decades to see her sister again.

"… because I don't think I'll live that long," she said with a laugh.