North

5 airlines in the N.W.T. will share in federal $8.7M announced previously

The government of the Northwest Territories is releasing $8.7 million in federal funding to five airlines in the N.W.T. offering schedule-based passenger service.

Territorial government to release federal dollars to five airlines offering schedule-based passenger service

The Kingair 350 used by Yellowknife's Air Tindi to fly medevacs. Air Tindi is one of five airlines that will have a share in $8.7 million federal aviation funding. (Kevin Wang/Submitted by Joel Strong-Covello)

Five airlines offering scheduled passenger service in the N.W.T. during the COVID-19 pandemic will share in $8.7 million in federal funding.

Part of almost $130 million in federal COVID-19 support money announced for the North on April 14 was meant to buttress air service in Nunavut, the N.W.T. and Yukon. As previously announced, of that $17.3 million, the N.W.T. will receive the lion's share at $8.7 million, while Nunavut will receive $5 million and Yukon will receive $3.6 million.

In the Northwest Territories the money will be distributed between five airlines:

  • Canadian North — $5,372,000.
  • Air Tindi — $1,565,000.
  • Northwestern Air Lease — $793,000.
  • North-Wright Airways — $589,000.
  • Aklak Air — $381,000.

In a press release Friday, the territorial government stated the money was meant to "ensure those companies can continue to fly essential supplies into remote communities."

When the money for airlines was first announced, some airline operators said the help was welcome but would not go far enough.

But Friday's press release states that this funding is only the first of two instalments. The next phase, according to the N.W.T. government, will "be aimed at providing longer term certainty for the industry, as well as include other sectors of the airline industry, like charter services and rotary wing."

The press release did not go into any further details on what that funding would look like.

The N.W.T. government had already announced waived fees at all N.W.T. airports for airlines and any businesses operating at those airports. In Friday's press release, they say that is expected to represent approximately $2 million in support for the industry.

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