An extraordinary airline

Air North’s transformation from a local to a regional airline has been remarkable. It wasn’t that long ago that the company was flying…

Air North’s transformation from a local to a regional airline has been remarkable.

It wasn’t that long ago that the company was flying DC3s.

Now, following its second successful share offering, it will have a new 737 in its hangar, its second modern jet.

It’s also adding a new turboprop to its local routes.

To finance the new aircraft, Air North recently drummed up $4.7 million from the public in three days, selling 636 shares at $7,500 a pop.

On the surface, such a sale in a small jurisdiction — even a wealthy one — is amazing.

But Air North has catered to the public it serves.

Its employees are cheerful, the service is great and the airline remains approachable and nimble in dealing with its customers’ needs, something its chief competitor seems incapable of matching.

Air North has earned the public’s trust.

So, when its second share offering was made, the public snapped the paper up.

Most consider the shares a good investment. Of the original 320 investors, 288 elected to keep their shares.

But selling a stake in the company is also a clever business move.

The company’s new jet will improve fuel efficiency, which should give Air North a little protection from rising fuel prices.

And Air North has roped in locals, who now have a stake in its future. They’ll be encouraging friends, relatives and business associates to use it when they fly North.

Also, locals will be more prone to use the airline. And that built-in owner/passenger may discourage another rival, like WestJet, from entering the Yukon market.

For his work building Air North, company president Joe Sparling won the Transportation Association of Canada Achievement Award last year.

It was no fluke. Sparling has methodically developed the airline.

And now he’s vowed to continue the airline’s focus on the Yukon and its links to Alberta and BC.

It’s proved a good strategy for all.

Yukoners will, no doubt, wish him well.

After all, one in every 10 has a bought a stake in Air North’s future.

And that’s remarkable indeed. (RM)

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Team Togo member Katie Moen sits in a sled behind a snowmobile for the ride from the airport to Chief Zzeh Gittlit School. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Coming together: How Old Crow became one of the first communities in the world to be fully vaccinated

Team Togo and Team Balto assembled with a mission to not waste a single dose of vaccine

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. If council moves forward with bylaw changes, eating and drinking establishments could set up pop-up patios in on-street parking spaces. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Patios may be popping up in Whitehorse this summer

City considers program for downtown restaurants and bars

The Yukon Coroner's Service has confirmed the death of a skateboarder found injured on Hamilton Boulevard on May 2. Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News
Whitehorse man dies in skateboarding accident

Coroner urges the use of helmets, protective gear, while skateboarding.

The new Yukon Liberal caucus poses for a photo during the swearing-in ceremony held on May 3. (Yukon Government/Submitted)
Liberal cabinet sworn in at legislature before house resumes on May 11

Newly elected MLA Jeremy Harper has been nominated as speaker.

The Yukon Wildlife Preserve’s baby bison, born April 22, mingles with the herd on April 29. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Yukon Wildlife Preserves welcomes two bison calves

A bison calf was the first 2021 baby born at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve

A map provided by the Yukon government shows the location of unpermitted logging leading to a $2,500 fine. (Courtesy/Yukon government)
Man fined $2,500 for felling trees near Beaver Creek

The incident was investigated by natural resource officers and brought to court.

The site of the Old Crow solar project photographed on Feb. 20. The Vuntut Gwitchin solar project was planned for completion last summer, but delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it back. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Old Crow is switching to solar

The first phase of the community’s solar array is already generating power.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
One new case of COVID-19 in the Yukon

Case number 82 is the territory’s only active case

Flood and fire risk and potential were discussed April 29. Yukoners were told to be prepared in the event of either a flood or a fire. Submitted Photo/B.C. Wildfire Service
Yukoners told to be prepared for floods and wildland fire season

Floods and fire personelle spoke to the current risks of both weather events in the coming months.

From left to right, Pascale Marceau and Eva Capozzola departed for Kluane National Park on April 12. The duo is the first all-woman expedition to summit Mt. Lucania. (Michael Schmidt/Icefield Discovery)
First all-woman team summits Mt. Lucania

“You have gifted us with a magical journey that we will forever treasure.”

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

Whitehorse goings-on for the week of April 26

The Yukon Department of Education in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. The department has announced new dates for the 2021/2022 school year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Yukon school dates set for 2021/22

The schedule shows classes starting on Aug. 23, 2021 for all Whitehorse schools and in some communities.

Most Read