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

Benjamin Poudou, Mount MacIntyre’s ski club manager, poses for a photo in the club’s ski rental area on Nov. 16. The club has sold around 1,850 passes already this year, compared to 1067 passes on Oct. 31 last year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Early season ski pass sales up as Yukoners prepare for pandemic winter

Season passe sales at Mount McIntyre for cross-country skiing are up by around 60 per cent this year

The City of Whitehorse will be spending $655,000 to upgrade the waste heat recovery system at the Canada Games Centre. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New waste heat recovery system coming to the CGC

Council approves $655,000 project

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate education advocates and volunteers help to sort and distribute Christmas hamper grocery boxes outside Elijah Smith Elementary School on Feb. 23. (Rebecca Bradford Andrew/Submitted)
First Nation Education Directorate begins Christmas hamper program

Pick-ups for hampers are scheduled at local schools

Cyrine Candido, cashier, right, wipes down the new plexi-glass dividers at Superstore on March 28, before it was commonplace for them to wear masks. The Yukon government is relaunching the Yukon Essential Workers Income Support Program as the second wave of COVID-19 begins to take place in the territory. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Essential Workers Income Support Program extended to 32 weeks

More than 100 businesses in the territory applied for the first phase of the program

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Keith Lay speaks at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. Lay provided the lone submission to council on the city’s proposed $33 million capital spending plan for 2021 on Nov. 23, taking issue with a number of projects outlined. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Resident raises issues with city’s capital budget

Council to vote on budget in December

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read