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Qikiqtani gets own airline

Kevin Allerston
Northern News Services
Published Monday, February 21, 2011


First Air and the Qikiqalluk Corporation announced Thursday that they have signed an agreement bringing a new airline to Nunavut. Qikiqtani First Aviation Ltd., will serve the Qikiqtani Region under the authority of First Air, offering chartered cargo services.

The airline will provide service throughout the region using First Air's fleet of Boeing 737, 767, ATR 42, ATR 72 and Hercules Aircraft.

"We are very happy. This is a great opportunity to be in the airline business and improve employment opportunities for the Baffin region," says Harry Flaherty, president of the Qikiqtaaluk Corporation. "We will be training pilots, engineers and other staff," says Flaherty.

He couldn't confirm when planes would be in the air or how many people would be employed, but said they are planning a board of directors meeting to work out some of the details.

Scott Bateman, president and chief executive officer of First Air echoed Flaherty's optimism for what the deal could mean for the region.

"We will combine the Qikiqalluk Corporation's market knowledge with our many years of Northern operations," said Bateman in a press release.

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