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COVID-19

An update on our response to the
Coronavirus (COVID-19)

At Canadian North, the safety and well-being of our passengers, customers and employees is always our number one priority.

With this in mind, we would like to provide an update on the ongoing global response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the proactive actions our team is taking to safeguard everyone within our care.

Last updated - Friday, March 27, 2020

Temporary flight schedule, effective March 23 – April 30, 2020 inclusively – please click here

The Government of Nunavut has issued a travel prohibition order that is effective as of Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 11:59 pm ET. Only Nunavut residents and critical workers will be allowed into Nunavut. Residents will have to provide proof of residency to be allowed to fly into the territory.

Approved passengers travelling from Edmonton to Nunavut via Yellowknife will be permitted to travel, but will be quarantined in a special area of Yellowknife Airport while they await their connection.

Please see below for further details on this travel prohibition, under the heading ‘Current Public Health Orders, Advisories and Recommendations Related to Air Travel’.

As part of travel restrictions implemented by the Director of Public Health and the Director of Public Security of Nunavik, Canadian North is temporarily unable to accept bookings for travel to or from Kuujjuaq on our website or at our airport counters. Instead, all Kuujjuaq booking requests must be made through our Customer Contact Centre at 1.800.267.1247. Travel requests for passengers that do not fall within an approved list of categories will be declined.  

Please see below for further details on these travel restrictions, under the heading ‘Current Public Health Orders, Advisories and Recommendations Related to Air Travel’.

Effective Saturday, March 21, 2020, all travel into the Northwest Territories (by air, land, and port) is prohibited, with limited exceptions. Furthermore, those returning to the territory will be ordered to self-isolate for 14 days in Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Hay River, or Inuvik.

Approved passengers travelling from Edmonton to Nunavut via Yellowknife will be permitted to travel, but will be quarantined in a special area of Yellowknife Airport while they await their connection.

Please see below for further details on these travel restrictions, under the heading ‘Current Public Health Orders, Advisories and Recommendations Related to Air Travel’.

Reminder of our temporary change and refund policies

Passengers who are booked to fly with us and are affected by this change will be rebooked onto the next available flight and will be notified by email, phone or through their travel agent.

Customers who need to travel on a different date should contact us at 1.800.267.1247 or contact@canadiannorth.com so that we can update their reservation. We will waive change fees for people who are not able to travel on the new dates and must travel on a different date.

If you have any questions about your upcoming travel or cargo shipment, please contact us at 1.800.267.1247 or contact@canadiannorth.com. We are experiencing an increased level of public enquiries to our Customer Contact Centre. We will do our best to answer in a timely manner we appreciate your patience and understanding during this time

If your travel occurs before April 30th 2020 you may modify or cancel your reservation without a fee, regardless of fare type. For non-refundable fares, the refund will be issued as a travel credit voucher that will be valid for one year from date of issue.

Current Public Health Orders, Advisories and Recommendations Related to Air Travel

Effective Saturday, March 21, 2020, all travel into the Northwest Territories (by air, land, and port) is prohibited, with limited exceptions. Furthermore, those returning to the territory will be ordered to self-isolate for 14 days in Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Hay River, or Inuvik. Please see here for further details.

Canadian North is supportive of all efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For further details on our adherence to this order, please click here.

The Government of Nunavut has issued a travel prohibition order that is effective as of Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 11:59 pm ET. Only Nunavut residents and critical workers will be allowed into Nunavut. Residents will have to provide proof of residency to be allowed to fly into the territory.

To view the Order to Airlines which lists ID requirements for critical workers exempted from this prohibition and ID requirements for Nunavut permanent residents, please click here.

For further details on this travel prohibition order, please click here.

Please note that the following is a list of acceptable ID for critical workers entering Nunavut:

  • A Transport Canada Restricted Area Identity Card (RAIC)
  • RCMP Identity Card
  • Canadian Armed Forces Identity Card
  • Correction Services of Canada Identity Card

Nunavut Department of Justice, Corrections Division documentation

The Director of Public Health and the Director of Public Security of Nunavik have implemented restrictions for air travel to and in Nunavik as of March 24, 2020. This includes a ban on travel into Nunavik, from Nunavik or within Nunavik, except for the following categories of passengers:

  • Essential services workers, as per the list provided by the Nunavik Regional Organizations;
  • Patients who will need essential medical appointments or treatments, as recommended by the health centers;
  • Beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries going back to their home base;
  • Beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries already in the region who want to go South; they won’t be able to go back to Nunavik until the end of the ban;
  • Any other passenger authorized by the Kativik Regional Government or the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services.

 

As a result of these restrictions, Canadian North is temporarily unable to accept bookings for travel to or from Kuujjuaq on our website or at our airport counters. Instead, all Kuujjuaq booking requests must be made through our Customer Contact Centre at 1.800.267.1247. Travel requests for passengers that do not fall within the above categories will be declined.  

To view the Public Air Travel Ban Directive issued by the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services and the corresponding Directive to Airlines issued by Kativik Regional Government, please click here.

Mandatory Coronavirus (COVID-19) pre-flight screening

In order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the governments of Nunavut and Nunavik have implemented mandatory directives which require Canadian North to screen all passengers for risk of infection before they travel. All passengers will be asked prescribed questions at check-in and may be refused travel, subject to their responses.

Please review the following questions before you travel so you are aware of this requirement:

The Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services (NRBHSS) will have nurses at check-in for all flights from Montreal to Kuujjuaq. They will be screening passengers by having them complete a form. If they determine that passengers must be refused travel, then the nurse will notify a Canadian North check-in agent to complete the necessary reservation change or cancellation.

Connecting passengers will be screened at the gate prior to boarding.

Please click here to review the form that you will be asked to complete at the airport.

Please click here to review information on preventing the spread of COVID-19.

In response to ongoing risk associated with COVID-19 and in accordance with guidance from Northern Public Health Authorities, the following questions must be answered by all passengers checking-in for Canadian North flights:

1)     Have you travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days OR have you been in contact with anyone in the last 14 days who was known to have COVID-19?

YES / NO

2)    Have you shown any symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, coughing and shortness of breath) in the last 24 hours?

YES / NO

If you answer YES to BOTH questions 1 AND 2, you must be refused check-in and will not be able to travel until your symptoms clear to answer question 2 as NO.

Exception: If you present a medical certificate to prove that the symptoms are not related to COVID-19, you will then be permitted to travel.

Previous Updates

Temporary change to meal service on all Canadian North flights

In order to safeguard the well-being of our passengers and crew by limiting onboard interaction, we will limit meal service to a prepackaged sandwich or snack on our applicable flights, beginning Saturday, March 21. We will also continue to provide water to our passengers. Thank you to everyone for your patience and understanding as we support the efforts of public health authorities to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus by encouraging social distancing wherever we can.

If you must make changes to your travel plans due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) or have any questions, please contact us at 1.800.267.1247 or contact@canadiannorth.com. We will waive change and cancellation fees if you are unable to travel due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), with refunds subject to the applicable fare rules.

You should also review all directives, advisories and recommendations issued by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the applicable provincial/territorial public health authorities before you travel.

If you have any questions about your upcoming travel, please contact us at 1.800.267.1247 or contact@canadiannorth.com

An important message from Chris Avery, President and CEO of Canadian North

For a translated version, please click here. Please note that an Inuvialuktun translation is pending and will also be shared when available.

I would like to update you on Canadian North’s ongoing response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We fully understand that our customers depend on us in all aspects of their lives and we are dedicating all of our time and resources to maintaining the uninterrupted flow of people and goods throughout our entire network. The safety and well-being of our passengers, employees and the communities we serve is and will always be our number one priority, without exception.

This situation is constantly evolving, so we have a task force and structure in place to implement all necessary precautions and respond quickly to any challenges that arise while maintaining safe operations at all times. Many of the actions we have already taken were communicated last week and are listed on this webpage. We will continue to provide updates here and on our social media channels.

Our current situation

Canadian North and all other airlines are experiencing a sudden and significant decrease in passenger demand. This represents a severe reduction in the revenue that we rely on to operate our business. This is largely due to the following factors and the accompanying unprecedented economic downturn that has emerged over the past several days:

  • Federal, provincial and territorial governments have suspended all non-essential duty travel.
  • Public health authorities are recommending for the public to also avoid all non-essential travel and maintain social distancing practices such as staying home and avoiding large groups.
  • Numerous meetings, conferences and large events such as the Arctic Winter Games and the Nunavut Mining Symposium have been cancelled, with the expectation of more to follow.
  • Some Northern communities (Iqaluit, Cambridge Bay, Coral Harbour and Igloolik) have requested that non-essential travel to their communities be halted because they have fewer healthcare resources available to them and are at higher risk due to lack of infrastructure and overcrowding in many households.

While there is no clear end in sight to these challenges, Canadian North will continue to provide essential passenger and cargo services to the people, communities and organizations we serve, regardless of these circumstances.

We are engaging with Federal and Territorial governments to ensure that they are aware of the severity of this situation and prepared to provide us with the flexibility and support we urgently require. We are confident that they share our concern and that we will be able to depend on their partnership and support.

We are using our essential resources wisely

In order to ensure that we are using our people, aircraft and infrastructure as effectively as possible to serve our customers while supporting the ongoing efforts of public health agencies to contain this outbreak, we will implement temporary schedule changes. This schedule change will be effective as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

These changes have been carefully considered and will enable us to maintain the flow of people and essential goods to all communities we serve.

  • In light of the reduced passenger demand, we will shift our priority to freight transportation to maintain current levels of capacity on all routes with the flexibility to increase if required. We will also prepare to prioritize freight service to communities without road connections if necessary.
  • We will maintain minimum passenger service levels for every community within our network (an up-to-date version of our schedule is bookable online at canadiannorth.com):
    • For our trunk routes which include Ottawa-Iqaluit, Edmonton-Yellowknife-Inuvik and Montreal-Kuujjuaq, this means reducing passenger service to one flight per day and removing passenger service on one to three days each week.
    • For smaller community routes, this typically means reducing passenger service from daily to every-other day, except where demand is sufficient to warrant additional capacity.
    • For our trans-territorial route between Yellowknife, Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit, this means reducing passenger service from four times weekly to two times weekly.
  • Our team will engage with all levels of government, Inuit stakeholders and our customers to ensure that we understand their needs and priorities.
  • This schedule change will be in effect for the next seven days; however, we expect to extend this timeline in the near future.
  • Because this is an evolving situation, we expect that we will need to remain extremely flexible over the coming weeks and be prepared to make additional changes. We will continue to monitor our passenger and cargo loads and will make further adjustments as required, just as we normally do, albeit with heightened urgency.

Passengers who are booked to fly with us and are affected by this change have been automatically rebooked onto the next available flight and will be notified by email, phone or through their travel agent. 

Customers who need to travel on a different date should contact us at 1.800.267.1247 or contact@canadiannorth.com so that we can update their reservation. We will waive change fees for people who are not able to travel on the new dates and must travel on a different date.

If you have any questions about your upcoming travel or cargo shipment, please contact us at 1.800.267.1247 or contact@canadiannorth.com. We expect that there will be an increased level of public enquiries to our Customer Contact Centre. We will do our best to address this increase and we appreciate your patience and understanding.

We will all get through this together and emerge stronger and more resilient

We are confident that the steps we are taking will ensure the viability of our business, for the benefit of everyone who depends on us.

We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.

Thank you as always for booking, flying and shipping with us. We are incredibly proud to serve you and are truly stronger because of your friendship and support.


Chris Avery
President and CEO | Canadian North

Temporary Change, Refund and Cancellation Policies in Response to COVID-19

If your travel occurs before April 30th 2020 you may modify or cancel your reservation without a fee, regardless of fare type. For non-refundable fares, the refund will be issued as a travel credit voucher that will be valid for one year from date of issue.

To make modifications to your booking, you may contact us at 1-800-267-1247 or via email at contact@canadiannorth.com 

We expect to receive an extremely high call volume during this period of rapid change and thank you for your patience with longer than normal response times. 

Our Proactive Safety Management Processes

As part of our comprehensive safety management program, we have a cross-functional team in place with representation from all parts of our operations to ensure that we are taking all necessary precautions. This includes:

  • Daily monitoring of updates from the World Health Organization, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Revisions to our inflight procedures, which includes the suspension of blanket, pillow and hot towel services, the thorough wiping down of all galley surfaces with antiseptic wipes before and after each meal service and the use of sanitary gloves by Flight Attendants when handling garbage and other used items.
  • The implementation of enhanced aircraft cabin grooming processes, which includes the regular disinfection of commonly-touched surfaces such as tray tables, seat armrests and headrests, seatbelt buckles, overhead lighting and ventilation controls, overhead luggage bin door latches and lavatory door handles and fixtures. We are using Oxivir Wipes on all of our aircraft, an approved disinfectant product that is effective against this virus strain and other pathogens. It contains common ingredients that are safe for humans to handle and be around, and because it is a hydrogen peroxide-based product, it breaks down to water and oxygen after use, limiting its environmental impact.
  • Remove all non-essential material from the seat-back pockets of our aircraft; (updated March 13)
  • Eliminate the exchange of money on board our aircraft; in particular this means that we will be limiting our alcohol service only unpaid items (wine service, special coffee etc); (updated March 13)

Our Facilities and base management teams are taking similar steps to ensure that our customer-facing facilities and offices are thoroughly cleaned with disinfecting solutions each day and our locations are stocked with soap, paper towels and cleaning materials.

  • Providing clear direction to our team members on how to safeguard the health of themselves and others. For example:
    • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoiding the touching of eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Covering coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throwing the tissues in the trash. If a tissue is unavailable, coughs or sneezes should be directed the person’s sleeve or elbow.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    • Avoiding direct contact with others who are ill.
    • If ill, staying home from work to rest, avoiding direct contact with others and seeking medical attention if necessary.

To learn more about COVID-19 and ways that you can minimize exposure to yourself and those around you, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website.

Managing Onboard Instances

In the event that a passenger becomes ill while onboard our aircraft, our flight crews are trained to quickly assess the situation and provide the appropriate assistance while minimizing exposure to other passengers, just like they would during any other circumstances. Crew members have access to real-time medical support and can request for first responders to meet the aircraft upon arrival while ensuring that public health authorities are immediately informed of the situation.

Maintaining Safe and Reliable Operations

We have taken this opportunity to proactively review our Business Continuity Plan so that we are prepared for any possible developments that would require us to adjust our operations while continuing to maintain the essential flow of passengers and materials to all of our locations. This includes identifying key operational personnel and the coverage that would be required if they were temporarily unavailable, making sure that our administrative team members have the resources required for them to work from home if necessary and ensuring we have contingency plans in place to temporarily adjust our schedule while minimizing the impact on those we serve.

Where can I find more information?

Questions? We’re always here to listen and to help.

We will continue to follow the direction of public health authorities and will provide additional updates here and on our Facebook and Twitter channels if further developments occur. In the meantime, we are always here to listen and to help. If you have any questions about your upcoming travel or shipping, please contact us at 1.800.267.1247 or contact@canadiannorth.com.  

Thank you as always for booking, flying and shipping with us.