Quebec-based Air Inuit announces new CEO

Air Inuit serves all destinations in Nunavik, as well as six destinations elsewhere in Quebec: Montreal, Quebec City, La Grande, Schefferville and Sept-îles and Wabush. (Eilís Quinn/Eye on the Arctic)
Christian Busch, a long-time Air Inuit employee, has been named the new president and chief executive officer of the Quebec-based airline.

“His proven success in building long-term relationships with Nunavimmiut, our stakeholders, customers, and regulators hasn’t gone unnoticed,” Air Inuit board chairman Noah Tayara said in a news release on Tuesday announcing the appointment.

“Over the years he has played a big role in growing and innovating the business, and most importantly his recognition of our dedicated Air Inuit employees make him the best choice to lead Air Inuit.” 

The appointment was effective April 1, 2021.

Strategic times ahead

Busch most recently served as Air Inuit’s executive vice president and chief operation officer and has been with the company since 2002, the news release said. 

Busch will succeed former Air Inuit President and CEO Pita Aatami who resigned from the position to run for president of Makivik Corporation, the Inuit land claims organization for Nunavik, the Inuit region of Arctic Quebec.  The corporation is also the owner of Air Inuit.

Aatami won the election for Makivik Corporation president in February. 

A map of Air Inuit’s current routes. Nunavik’s communities are fly-in only. (Air Inuit)

In the news release on Tuesday put out by Makivik Corporation, the organization said the highly specialized world of northern aviation makes Busch’s experience especially valuable. 

“I’m pleased to welcome and support Christian in his new role,” Aatami said.

“In my years as Air Inuit president I worked very closely with Christian, his dedication to Air Inuit as well as his knowledge of the airline industry were very apparent. I have no doubts that our airline will be in good hands, and I look forward to working with Christian in his new role.”

Nunavik has a population of approximately 13,000 people, with 14 communities in the region. The communities are fly-in only. 

Air Inuit serves all destinations in Nunavik, as well as six destinations elsewhere in Quebec: Montreal, Quebec City, La Grande, Schefferville and Sept-îles and Wabush.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Remote Canadian community’s request for direct flight to Arctic Nunavut territory can no longer be ignored says, CBC News

Finland: Cold weather perfect to pioneer electric aviation says Finnair, The Independent Barents Observer

Greenland: Air links between Canada, Alaska, Greenland & Siberia could be building blocks for economic development says Quebec Inuit leader, Eye on the Arctic

Russia: Modernizing Arctic aviation infrastructure among recommendations at Russian meeting, Eye on the Arctic

United States: Airline shutdown creates new challenges for rural Alaska, The Associated Press

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying an culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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