Two of Canada’s northern airlines plan merger

CBC NewsEye on the Arctic

The owners of Canadian North and First Air have confirmed they are proposing to merge the two northern airlines.

NorTerra Inc. and Makivik Corp. issued a joint news release on Friday saying they are in talks that could lead to a “merger of equals, subject to the successful conclusion of negotiations and regulatory review.”

Canadian North and First Air fly to communities in Canada’s Northwest Territories and the eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut.

The two Inuit-owned companies said a merger would improve the “sustainability” of their operations.

"A merger would improve the sustainability of these critical Inuit birthright enterprises and would also create better air services and new economic development opportunities across the north," the companies said in their news release.

The potential merger would create a single airline entity, the companies said in their news release. The merger would not result in job losses, they said.​

Flights and services of both airlines will be unaffected during the negotiations, the companies said.

Canadian North and First Air have set up a website with information on the merger talks.

NorTerra, the owner of Canadian North, is now wholly owned by the Inuvialuit Development Corp., after the IDC recently bought out Nunasi Corporation’s 50 percent share.

Makivik, the owner of First Air, is owned by the Inuit of Northern Quebec.

This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.