First Air was a Canadian airline headquartered in Kanata, Ontario, with operational bases at Yellowknife, Iqaluit, Montreal, Ottawa and Winnipeg airports. "The Airline of the North" was 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 expanded its fleet and its route system. First Air operated 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 was 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 integrated airline will operate under the Canadian North brand, while featuring the new First Air livery. The merger was finalised on 10-Jul-2019, with the integration expected to be complete within 18-24 months. Headquarters will be located in Ottawa.
Canadian North launched its first combined flight schedule with First Air under the unified name of Canadian North on 01-Nov-2019.
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