Ryan Leef says it's Air North's job to get bureaucrats to fly with them

Ryan Leef says if Air North can convince Ottawa civil servants to try the airline's Whitehorse-Yellowknife-Ottawa route, they'll be repeat customers.

Yukon MP says if airline can convince Ottawa civil servants to try it, they'll be back

Air North wants more Ottawa-based bureaucrats to use its flights to Yellowknife and Whitehorse.

Yukon MP Ryan Leef says Air North needs to look to marketing to boost business from federal government workers on its Whitehorse-Yellowknife-Ottawa route.

Air North president Joe Sparling told CBC News earlier this week that more federal employees should be using the flight because it's cheaper, faster and helps a major northern employer.

The twice-weekly flights began early last year.

Yukon MP Ryan Leef says Air North should look into marketing to convince federal government employees to take its flights. (Dave Croft/CBC)

"What we really expected was to be flooded with federal government users, and the uptake from the public sector users has been an awful lot slower than we expected," Sparling says.

"It's really been private sector users, visiting friends and relatives, that are really supporting the sked at this point, so we need to make some gains with respect to public sector purchasing."

But Leef says Sparling needs to convince federal employees in Ottawa to give Air North a try.
"And I have every confidence, as I think he does, that when people make the jump and actually experience what Air North has to offer for them, the choice becomes simple. But I think the real trick for him is getting people on the airline for the first time," says Leef.

Leef says he can help the airline look into federal programs that provide marketing assistance.


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