Canadian North is cutting back on flights, including its route from Inuvik and Yellowknife to Edmonton, after what it calls “a sudden and significant decrease in passenger demand.”
The airline announced flights between Edmonton, Yellowknife, and Inuvik will now run only once daily, with no passenger service at all “on one to three days each week.”
Smaller routes will go from daily to every other day. Passenger service between Yellowknife and Iqaluit via Rankin Inlet will operate twice a week instead of four times.
Some form of passenger service will remain in every community served, Canadian North said, adding: “We will need to remain extremely flexible over the coming weeks and be prepared to make additional changes.”
The changes take effect on Wednesday.
Air travel worldwide has dipped dramatically as increasingly restrictive measures take hold aimed at combating the coronavirus pandemic. International air traffic has been worst-hit but Canadian North said numbers in the North were down, too.
The airline said it had been hit by governments and residents abandoning non-essential travel as they try to follow guidelines and maintain social distancing.
In addition, some Nunavut communities “have requested that non-essential travel to their communities be halted,” the airline said, “because they have fewer healthcare resources available and are at higher risk.”
Canadian North said it would now place more emphasis on freight, particularly to destinations with no road connection.
Passengers with affected bookings are automatically rebooked to the next available flight, the airline said, and will be notified by email, phone, or through their travel agent. If you have questions, contact Canadian North.
“We fully understand that our customers depend on us in all aspects of their lives,” said Chris Avery, the airline’s president, in a statement posted online.
“We are dedicating all of our time and resources to maintaining the uninterrupted flow of people and goods throughout our entire network.”