North

Air North losing out to competitors, slow Alberta economy

The slumping Alberta economy and increased competition is nipping at Yukon-based Air North's bottom line, says the company’s president.

Company used to fly to Fort McMurray about 10 times a week. Not anymore.

An Air North 737 takes off from the Whitehorse Airport. (Air North)

The slumping Alberta economy and increased competition is nipping at Yukon-based Air North's bottom line, says the company's president.

An Air North plane, based in Edmonton, used to fly oil workers to Fort McMurray about 10 times a week. But, Joe Sparling says he recently learned the company's main oil sands contractor has been giving more work to one of the airline's competitors.

"A main line competitor provided the company with, you know, a sort of service with more aircraft than we have and different types of aircraft," says Sparling.

"We still have a contract. but the volume of flying under that contract has decreased dramatically. The reasons for it I'm not qualified to comment on. Certainly we are thankful to retain some flying. We understand that the Alberta economy has been hard hit."

"I think the closing down of aviation departments in oil companies is probably quite indicative of the state of the Alberta economy," Sparling adds.

with files from Mike Rudyk

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