Skip to content

Canadian North Airlines and Providence University College Partner to Create Unique Inuit Pilot Training Program 

June 9, 2023

June 9, 2023, Otterburne, Manitoba – As a 100% Inuit-owned airline, Canadian North is committed to supporting Inuit and Indigenous economic self-reliance and growth by providing excellent career opportunities within the aviation industry. This week, Canadian North and Providence University College have announced an exciting new partnership to train Inuit students to become pilots. 

The global air transportation system is currently challenged by a critical shortage of well-trained pilots. The vast region Canadian North serves across northern Canada and the Arctic is particularly vulnerable because of its sparse population compared to southern Canada. Less than 2% of the Canadian population is spread across 40% of its northern land mass. Almost all of the northern communities Canadian North serves have no road or rail access and limited seasonal sealift service, so its flights enable the movement of people, food and other crucial goods as well as access to medical care and government services – things most other Canadians take for granted. 

This innovative new partnership between Canadian North and Providence University College will help to ensure skilled Inuit pilots are trained and ready to provide essential passenger and cargo service to communities throughout Inuit Nunangat. 

Canadian North will work with Providence University College to identify and select high-potential Inuit students for this training program. Canadian North will also provide a standing offer of employment for students who are successful in their studies and meet the regulatory requirements for our airline. 

“We are very excited about this announcement and the potential of this partnership with Providence University College.” Shelly De Caria, Associate Vice President, Sales and Community Investment, Canadian North “This program will provide Inuit with an opportunity to not only train and become pilots, but upon graduation they will have guaranteed employment serving their own communities, families and friends by flying for Canadian North.” 

The new program will focus on training local professionals from the North to serve the North. Pilots will be identified and trained through Providence University College’s flight training school in cooperation with Harv’s Air in Manitoba, a partnership that has spanned almost 40 years. These new program offerings will meet the standard of the IATPL (Integrated Airline Transport Pilots License) through either a Bachelor of Arts in Aviation or a double major in Aviation and Business Management. This will provide the workforce with well-trained Inuit management professionals, ready to be leaders in aviation. 

“Providence is aware of the shortage of pilots available to airlines, and the need for a reliable supply of new pilots. “We are looking forward to our new partnership with Canadian North to deliver local professionals from the north to serve the north” – said Vice President of External Relations, Anna Mondor. 

Providence President, Kent Anderson added that, “Providence is pleased to extend its legacy of excellence in pilot education in service to Canadian North and the Inuit communities it serves. We believe we can be part of the solution to Canada’s chronic pilot shortage to enhance the lives of people in the far north.” 

For more information or media requests please contact: 

Annie Thomlinson, Manager, Communication
(343) 551- 0294

Anna Mondor, Vice President, External Relations (204) 799-4928 

Kathryn Mulolani, Director of Marketing 1.431.815.4340 

Market Demand:

The number of commercial pilot licenses issued in Canada has declined by more than 80 percent since 2019, even as aviation experts warn of an ever-growing labor shortage that threatens to disrupt Canada’s airline industry (source: Canadian Council for Aviation & Aerospace). Due to the high demand for pilots in Canada and abroad (2023: Canada: 8000, USA: 27,000), Providence is undertaking measures to further expand the Aviation program by more than 200 pilots by the end of 2026. These measures would cover 5% of the current shortage of commercial pilots in Canada. Providence’s approach will be to provide more advanced training for pilots for a mix of new students and returning students. 

About Providence:

Providence has been one of the top Christian Universities in Canada for almost 100 years (est.1925). The institution offers a range of programs in liberal arts, business, science, environmental science, health science, aviation, Centre for On-Demand Education, and biblical studies at the undergraduate and graduate levels. At Providence Downtown (Providence’s urban campus in Winnipeg) there are currently 270 newcomers/international students working through Providence’s Business Administration Associate Arts degree. More information: 

Since the 1980s, Providence University College has partnered with local flight school, Harv’s Air, to provide a Bachelor of Arts in Aviation degree and a Business Administration in Aviation degree to produce commercial pilots for service in Manitoba, Canada, and internationally. Providence is aware of the shortage of pilots available to airlines, and the need for a reliable supply of new pilots. We are looking forward to our new partnership with Canadian North to deliver local professionals from the north to serve the north. Furthermore, Providence is proud to announce that it has partnered with Harv’s Air to provide central Canada’s first IATL program, which can scale up to meet the needs of the airline industry. Providence and Harv’s Air can provide a steady and predictable supply of pilots that are ready for entry level positions with the airlines and fulfill all needs. 

About Canadian North: 

Canadian North is a 100% Inuit-owned airline that connects people and delivers essential goods throughout Canada’s North – safely, reliably and always with friendly and caring customer service. Canadian North Airlines services 25 communities within the Northwest Territories, Nunavik and Nunavut, as well as Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton – with a versatile fleet of Boeing 737, ATR 42 and ATR 72 Freighter aircraft. Canadian North is also the premier charter services provider for large resource sector clients requiring dependable, efficient and economical fly-in/fly-out air service and it operates flights across North America and beyond for sports teams, cruise lines, tour operators and many others. Canadian North is wholly-owned by Makivik Corporation and Inuvialuit Development Corporation. 

Share this News: