Air North cancels winter flights between Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Toronto

An Air North plane takes off in the Yukon. The company announced Wednesday it was cancelling scheduled winter flights between Yellowknife, Whitehorse, and Toronto. (Submitted by Air North)

Air North has cancelled winter flights between Yellowknife, Whitehorse, and Toronto, saying the route wasn’t busy enough to cover costs.

The company said the cancellations affect flights scheduled from Feb. 13 to May 1, 2024.

Ben Ryan, chief commercial officer with Air North, said there wasn’t enough demand for the flights.

“Our flights generally were looking like they would end up probably 60 per cent full, which is just not full enough to justify operating in the winter, especially with the potential high cost of de-icing that can occur during winter months,” Ryan said.

“We think it’s the necessary move, and we felt that the timing was ideal to just make the decision swiftly [Wednesday] so that people had a chance to rebook during the New Year’s spring sale, or New Year sales, that are going on right now.”

Anyone who’s booked a seat on one of the cancelled flights can get a full refund from Air North, or rebook the flight for a date between May 7 and Sept. 18.

Alternatively, those who can’t change their travel plans can be rebooked for a flight to another one of Air North’s destinations “via a guaranteed $99 connector fare.”

Summer flights between the three destinations will run as planned, Air North said in a statement.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Future of Air North’s direct flight from Northern Canada to Ottawa up in the air, CBC News

Finland: Turkish Airlines to carry tourists to Finnish Lapland through new Istanbul hub, The Independent Barents Observer

Iceland: Arctic tourism in the age of Instagram, Eye on the Arctic special report

Norway: Longer runway for bigger planes in Kirkenes, northern Norway, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russian regional airline cancels only direct Murmansk-Oslo link, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Swedish regional airline Nextjet files for bankruptcy, cancels all flights, Radio Sweden

United States: Alaska Airlines adds restrictions on emotional support animals, Alaska Public Media

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