New airline flies to three Nunavut communities
February 6, 2023 By Félix Charron-Leclerc, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Nunavut News
A new air transportation service has been created in Nunavut called Arctic Fresh Projects.
The company is a branch of “Arctic Fresh,” whose stated goal is reaching food security for Nunavummiut, building local capacity and empowerment of individuals and communities.
Arctic Fresh is now composed of four divisions; construction, aviation, food security and local and online food markets.
The company is turning to aviation to offer more affordable flights between communities to Nunavummiut.
“Our first flight to Iglulik was on Jan. 14, 2023 and our first flight to Clyde River was on Jan. 18, 2023. We are continuing to service Sanikiluaq as well, weekly on Thursdays,” says Ryan Haggan, director of sales and operations at Arctic Fresh Projects Inc.
The company is currently offering flights from Iqaluit to Clyde River for the price of $838.95. When asked how they are able to compete with Canadian North, which is the dominant player in the aviation industry in Nunavut, Haggan said the company isn’t profit-oriented.
“We have always been dedicated to offering the lowest cost we possibly can. We have been doing that with Arctic Fresh groceries for a number of years and would like to make the same commitment in our flights,” he said.
Creating the new airline did not come without hurdles: publicity/marketing and weather conditions were the hardest to overcome, according to Haggan.
“The biggest challenge is creating the awareness that we are offering these flights. We want all of our supporters to know we want to support their needs. A very close second would be the weather. As we all know the conditions in Nunavut can be harsh, though as we continue our efforts to connect communities, it is only more rewarding for us.”
The company was created after requests from communities to have access to a more affordable and reliable airline.
Although the airline currently flies to Sanikiluaq, Iglulik, Iqaluit and Clyde River, its goal for the upcoming years is to reach any community in need.
“There aren’t any communities that wouldn’t be serviceable to our knowledge,” said Haggan.
Arctic Fresh Projects currently has three planes available through its partners, Panorama Aviation.
“We have two PC-12s and one Beechcraft 1900D. The PC-12s can seat up to nine passengers and the Beechcraft 1900D can seat up to 19 passengers. While we offer flight seats to the communities we service, we are also looking at cargo support where we can. We know just how challenging it is to receive necessities in the North,” Haggan added.
The airline is financially independent and is not subsidized or funded by the Government of Nunavut or Canada.
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