Canadian North, please take my money and put me in a middle seat in the back for all I care. Okay, actually, on second thought, I’d really like a window seat for this service. This might just be the coolest airline route ever, were it to happen…
Canadian North & Air Greenland to partner
Canadian North and Air Greenland have signed a letter of intent to explore partnership opportunities for air service between the Canadian Arctic and Greenland. The goal is to look at providing air service and tourism development between Canada and Greenland.
Interestingly this agreement was signed on January 27, 2020, in Ilulissat, by executives of both airlines. However, this was only revealed on December 9, 2020, due to coronavirus.
Here’s how Canadian North’s Executive Chairman describes the timing of this announcement:
“We were going to announce the LOI in March of 2020, but both of our airlines were occupied with providing safe travel throughout our customers’ journeys and preventing the spread of COVID. Now that there is a vaccine in distribution, it’s time to start looking ahead to partnering on flights.”
Here’s how Canadian North’s CEO describes the prospect of this service:
“Although we have yet to enter the planning stages of providing this connectivity, the LOI is a reflection of our common goal; to bridge the vast distances between Canada and Greenland. Inuit have traversed the Arctic since time immemorial to gather, share, and trade. Direct flights between the two countries would revitalize this relationship, strengthen cultural ties and provide economic opportunities in tourism and trade.”
Canadian North’s planned routes to Greenland
Canadian North is an Inuit-owned airline with the most service to the Canadian Arctic. The airline has an incredible route network in Northern Canada, and I’ve been wanting to fly the airline for years (it’s even an Aeroplan partner).
So, what routes is Canadian North planning from Canada to Greenland?
- Ottawa to Iqaluit to Ilulissat
- Ottawa to Iqaluit to Nuuk
- Toronto to Ilulissat and/or Nuuk in the summer months during the tourist season
Just to put that on a map, here’s what that could look like:
Seriously, how cool is that?!?! The flights from Iqaluit to Nuuk and Ilulissat are just 500-600 miles. We’re talking about flight times of a bit over an hour.
This would also save a huge amount of time for anyone looking to travel to Greenland from North America. Currently the two main options to get from North America to Greenland are:
- To first fly to Iceland, and then take a turboprop and backtrack to Greenland
- To first fly to Copenhagen, and then take an Air Greenland A330 to Greenland
Canadian North acquiring two 737-700
Canadian North’s jet fleet currently consists of 737-200s and 737-300s. In 2021, Canadian North will be adding two 737-700 aircraft to is fleet, which will be capable of flying direct from Toronto to Ilulissat or Nuuk.
So while some may think that the announcement of exploring a partnership doesn’t amount to a whole lot, it sure sounds like Canadian North is serious about it, based on the carrier’s desire to acquire planes capable of operating the routes.
Canadian North and Air Greenland are planning a partnership that would include Canadian North launching several routes from Canada to Greenland. It’s amazing to think how short some of these routes could be — we’re talking just 500 miles for a flight from Iqaluit to Greenland, so that’s just over an hour in the air.
Here’s to hoping that this service actually happens.
What do you think — could we eventually see Canadian North fly to Greenland? And who is joining me on the inaugural?
(Featured image courtesy of Johnnyw3)