A small Quebec-based airline will begin offering scheduled flights from Iqaluit to Sanikiluaq as of July 5.
Panorama Aviation, under a contract won by Arctic Fresh Projects Inc., will use an eight-passenger PC-12 aircraft to shuttle customers back and forth on Mondays and Thursdays.
Ticket prices will be around $1,200 each way.
“Other scheduled flights could be discussed in a near future, thanks to our new aircrafts coming up,” said Audrey Marquis-Drolet, co-ordinator and a pilot with Panorama Aviation. She added that the company has a fleet of six PC-12 planes and it just acquired two Beechcraft B1900D, which can seat up to 19 people. One of those two larger aircraft will be used on the Iqaluit-Sanikiluaq route in the future, she noted. Panorama touted that there will be “no more lengthy detour via Winnipeg” to get to and from Sanikiluaq as a result of its new direct route.
The airline has flown in Nunavut for a few years, offering charter flights and transporting cargo, including COVID-19 tests and vaccines.
Hudson Bay MLA Allan Rumbolt had been pushing for a direct flight, devoting some of his member’s statements and questions for ministers to the topic in the legislative assembly. On May 28, he acknowledged that the pandemic has been delaying the service and he asked Economic Development and Transportation Minister David Akeeagok how long the contract will be in place.
Akeeagok’s response was that the term is for six months.
“Once it’s near six months or thereafter we will look at the criteria and whether it was successful or not to see if that can continue, and I’m optimistic that this will continue,” he said.