One Airline Has “A Healthy Balance Sheet”

Filed Under: Other Airlines

Recently we’ve seen airlines around the globe warn that they’ll be out of business within weeks if they don’t get help from the government. US airlines have gone from peak profitability to begging for government bailouts within weeks.

That’s why it’s perhaps interesting to note one airline that is essentially saying “we’ll be fine.” Air North, Yukon’s airline, has revealed that they have a healthy balance sheet and have the tools to navigate this turbulent time together.

Here’s the note posted on Twitter from Air North CEO Joe Sparling:

We’re in this together. Air North, Yukon’s Airline is well-equipped to handle the challenges ahead. I’m proud to say that we have a dedicated team, a healthy balance sheet, and are prepared to operate on a smaller scale until demand returns.

Combined with the support we receive from Yukoners, we have the tools we need to navigate this turbulence together.

Thank you for your interest and questions. We will continue to look out for each other, stay healthy, and we’ll share the sky again soon.

I had the pleasure of flying Air North a couple of years ago from Whitehorse to Vancouver, and absolutely loved my flight on the airline.

View departing Whitehorse

It was like flying a “mom-and-pop” airline. They had genuinely friendly staff, and served complimentary coffee, juice, and snacks in the gate area, and also had delicious (seemingly freshly baked) goods onboard.

Free drinks & snacks in Air North gate area

Air North onboard snacks

Now, of course it goes without saying that Air North doesn’t operate to the scale of some other airlines, and they also exclusively operate domestic flights, primarily from Yukon, so they’re probably not as impacted by this as some other airlines.

Air North only has up to nine planes, including five classic 737s (-300s and -400s), two ATR42s, and two Hawker Siddeley HS 748 (though these seem to have very limited schedules).

Air North ATR42 in Whitehorse

Anyway, this is minor in the grand scheme of things, though it sure is nice to see one airline saying “hey, we’ll be fine.”

  1. How is the balance sheet structured? What is the timing of debt maturities? Is there more than just a tweet from a CEO?

  2. For a non-public company, claims about its financial situation should always be viewed with a grain of salt. But given how big public airlines were wasting tons of money on repurchase, Air North might actually be in better position for not being public

  3. No evidence has been provided by the airline. On the other hand, they charge high fares and their normal schedule has a lot of aircraft downtime built in. They do have aircraft sitting around waiting to be used.

  4. Good for Air North. Don’t listen to people who doubt the airline CEO because it isn’t public.

    People will always make fun of bold comments that went sideways. If Air North goes under, we all know how to make fun of healthy balance sheets.
    I’m sure even if AA wasn’t public we would make fun of Doug Parker for never losing money again. This will follow him to his eulogy and beyond.

  5. Curious if they receive subsidies of some kind because of the areas served being deemed underserved or some similar designation.

    Also, this is probably a by-product of not being a public company. They have a tendency to be more forward looking as opposed to thinking short-term to please stockholders during each earnings call.

  6. All airlines’ balance sheet would be healthy if they all held their profits over the year in cash reserve.
    Instead greedy Oscars and Parkers pocketed all the profits by buying back shares.
    And yet Airlines asking for government rescue again.
    Should let them just bankrupt.

  7. It gives me great comfort in knowing that my future reservations to the metropolitan hotspots of Inuvik, Old Crow, and Watson lake will be held safe by a financially strong carrier 😉

  8. I was trying to find flights YVR-YLW the other day and found Air North was offering a best price alternative on the day I wanted with 2 free bags and 737 instead of Q400 everyone else was flying.

    When I next even think of flying the route I will look for them.

  9. Air North has the absolute best service!!! It’s such a treat to fly with them as each passenger is shown value by kindly accommodating individual needs, service with a smile, snacks that are Yukon made.

  10. hs748’s – well, they certainly did not borrow millions for new aircraft. If it works – if it’s maintained – then it makes so much sense.

  11. No subsidy here, just old fashioned business practices… including not splurging on new fancy stuff. All the planes are owned.

  12. Flew Air North three years ago YOW to YZF and it was a a great flight. Agree with Ben that the food was delicious and looked homemade. Had Shepard’s pie for lunch and paid a few dollars for a delicious microbrew beer from Whitehorse. An older 737 that included Southwest seat covers still!

  13. “MONTREAL — Canada’s major airlines are relatively well-positioned to weather the financial storm that has been unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but regional players may find it tougher to stay afloat, experts say.

    Air Canada, which is laying off more than 5,100 flight attendants and suspending most of its routes abroad by the end of the month, has a $7.3-billion cushion to fall back on — more than the most profitable U.S. carrier, Delta Air Lines.“

  14. Yukoners love our airline. We’re proud of you Air North… and its not just about the homemade cookies and the delicious food your catering creates for us. Air North loves us back. In fact, one of your reservations agents has said that to us in the past.

  15. Air North is a great example of what
    happens when you put employees and customers first, instead of money and greed!!!!!

  16. A little correction for those of you commenting about “financial statements” and this “non-public” airline; while it’s true that Air North Yukon’s Airline is not traded on the stock exchange, “One in fifteen Yukoners, including the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, hold an equity or employment stake in our airline.” (From the Air North official website).

    Shareholder meetings are held every summer and financial documents are distributed. I personally have been a proud shareholder for almost 20 years.

  17. Jason
    Air Canada has a $7.3 billion cushion. Where on earth did you get that information from?

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