Of all the business successes that we Yukoners are proud of, the Air North story has to be one of our best. Those of us with decades here can well recall the ups and downs of this plucky little company and its determination to become a contender.
For newcomers let me just say that Air North has defied all odds and not a little subterfuge to succeed with dignity and integrity – and superior service in the air and on the ground.
Really, where else in the world is the president of the airline standing behind the stewardesses to offer a cheerful goodbye as you disembark? When you walk up to the Vancouver counter, for example, it is always big smiles and chit chat with the employees. And the inflight service – unmatchable domestically.
Also for newcomers let me add that before Air North we were subjected to the most egregious price gouging. And when Air North taxied onto the tarmac what did Air Canada do? Dropped its prices to wheeze level to try and force this upstart out. But Air North survived and I am constantly amazed at Joe Sparling’s evenhanded comments about all that has transpired. He should be lunging at the end of his chain! But he and his company are a class act from top to bottom.
The latest shark to jump into the tank is WestJet. Clearly, it is not here for our benefit. It will not be based in Whitehorse, like Air North, to keep jobs in the Yukon. It is here to skim as many little fish as it can with the least effort.
So what can we do about this latest predator in our midst? Simple. Do not fly WestJet. Please. Stick with Air North. Way back in the day when the rest of the world was “Outside,” I wouldn’t even have needed to write this letter. Everyone looked out for everyone else. When there was trouble everybody showed up to help. We should do that now. We are still special people in a special place.