I showed up at the airport last week to catch an early flight to Vancouver and found a long line waiting to board the WestJet flight. Stunned, I checked later that day and sure enough, one of Canada’s most aggressive national carriers is undercutting Air North by $40.
I would like to remind all Yukoners booking a flight out to Vancouver or Calgary of what Air North offers this territory that these national interlopers don’t, can’t and won’t. Because it’s worth a lot more than $40.
Air North has been flying this remote region for nearly 30 years, growing alongside the territory thanks to its casual disregard for some notoriously unstable air masses and occasionally frightening weather.
It serves remote communities on a regular schedule at reasonable cost, bringing not just people but vital services to places that would be cut off without it.
If you’re late they may call around town to find out where you are, and it can be the pilot out there in deep cold refuelling the plane and doing the external checks, so you know it’s done right. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want anybody other than Joe Sparling leading those crews.
So this isn’t just about $40, or the clean cabins and friendly crews, or the pilots who get all the little kids giggling as the plane banks sharply over Vancouver coming in to land.
This is about pilots you can trust. It’s about an impeccable safety record. It’s about a homegrown Yukon company that has served the territory reliably for decades.
I personally don’t think you can put a price on any of that. But if you could, it’d amount to a heck of a lot more than $40.