First Air is a Canadian airline headquartered in Kanata, Ontario, with operational bases at Yellowknife, Iqaluit, Montreal, Ottawa and Winnipeg airports. "The Airline of the North" is owned by Makivik Corporation, the organisation responsible for administering the land claim settlement of the Inuit of northern Quebec. Through a series of acquisitions over the years (Ptarmigan Airways and NWT Air), First Air has expanded its fleet and its route system. First Air operates scheduled and charter passenger and cargo services, with a focus on linking Canada's northern communities with major cities in the south. The airline has a diverse fleet of aircraft ranging from B767, B737, B727, HS748, ATR42 and Hercules. The airline is a member of Air Canada's Aeroplan frequent flyer programme.
Makivik Corporation and the Inuvialuit Corporate Group signed an agreement in principle to merge First Air and Canadian North, in order to prove the “best possible” essential air services in the Arctic region. The proposed integrated airline will operate under the Canadian North brand, pending regulatory approvals, while featuring the new First Air livery. Headquarters will be located in Ottawa. Both parties expect to complete the merger by YE2018.
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