North

First Air-Canadian North merger deal could be reached within months

Canadian North and First Air could have their merger negotiations finalized within months, though it could be up to two years before the merger is complete, says a Canadian North executive.
A Canadian North Boeing 737 taxis at the Iqaluit airport. Canadian North and First Air could have their merger negotiations finalized within months though it could be up to two years before the merger is complete, says a Canadian North executive. (CBC)

Canadian North and First Air could have their merger negotiations finalized within months, though it could be up to two years before the merger is complete, says a Canadian North executive.

The parent companies of Canadian North and First Air announced in April that they were planning to merge the two airlines.

Peter McCart, vice-president of passenger sales and marketing for Canadian North, says negotiations are taking longer than anticipated, as they had expected to have completed them by now.

He said a deal may be reached "within the coming weeks or months."

"In terms of when that stage will be complete, there's no timeline for completion, but we hope to have an update soon."

McCart adds the airlines don't anticipate job losses stemming from the merger.

"We've looked at what the potential of a merger may hold, and with the growing charter business of Canadian North and the different businesses of these two airlines, while there may be some realignment of resources as an integrated schedule gets implemented, we really don't see large-scale job losses, in fact we see growth over the long term," he said.

After a deal is negotiated, the companies have to make an application to the Competition Bureau of Canada.

McCart says the entire process of merging the two airlines could take about two years.

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