Increased mining activity in the southern Yukon region – in particular Coeur Mining’s Silvertip Mine – has brought the opportunity to service new destinations, the company says.
The route addition stems from a private workforce charter that has been operated by Air North for the past several months. Now available to the public, the route is serviced by a Boeing 737 aircraft and departs from the Vancouver Airport South Terminal with stops in Nanaimo, Kelowna, Prince George, and Watson Lake before arriving in Whitehorse, Yukon. Upon arriving in Whitehorse, the Boeing 737 aircraft will operate the same route in reverse, transporting southbound passengers.
The first flight is scheduled to depart October 31 and will operate once weekly on Thursdays. The addition of this route will not impact currently scheduled flights between Whitehorse, Vancouver, and Kelowna. The purchase of alcohol is not permitted on this route.
Air North has hired a team of five employees in Watson Lake to deliver check-in and ramp services, equipment parking, cargo, and other related services. Air North has an established partnership with First Kaska, the Development Corporation of the Liard First Nation in Watson Lake to support its aviation operations and business development in the Kaska Nation.
“This will reduce travel costs for our charter customer, provide enhanced travel opportunities for Yukoners and visitors, and help us to keep our airfares affordable by absorbing some of our overhead expenses,” said Joseph Sparling, President and CEO of Air North, in a news release. “Just like our partnership with Victoria Gold with respect to our scheduled service to Mayo, this partnership with Coeur Silvertip provides a great illustration of the broad benefits that can accrue from increased activity in our mining sector and strategic partnerships between mining companies and local businesses as well as with First Nations.”