Canadian North vows to 'make things better,' after Iqaluit open house

A Canadian North plane flies into Pond Inlet, Nunavut, in October 2022.  (David Gunn/CBC - image credit)
A Canadian North plane flies into Pond Inlet, Nunavut, in October 2022. (David Gunn/CBC - image credit)

The president of Canadian North says an open house meeting in Iqaluit this week gave the airline "a lot of good information" from customers about how to improve service.

"I said at the discussion that it was kind of selfish of us to come in because we often take away more than what we give, as far as information to the community," said company president Michael Rodyniuk.

"We've heard the community and we're going to be making changes to make things better."

People at the open house meeting had plenty of questions for the airline, about pricing, routing and schedules. The airline has been under fire recently, since announcing a revamped schedule that involves service reductions to some communities, and increases to others.

The airline has said the changes — announced just after the federal government approved updated terms for the airline's 2019 merger with First Air — are meant to "right-size" the schedule to meet demand and cover costs.

"The communities we serve are really important and their views are really important. So it's important for us to be able to hear what they're saying and be able to respond," Rodyniuk said.

"We've taken into account as much as we can. This is a flexible template, so we're able to make changes."

Rodyniuk did not explain what sort of changes the airline would consider.

Archie Angnakak, who runs Nunavut Resources Consulting Inc., was among those who attended the open house in Iqaluit. He said it was "fantastic" of the company to come speak directly to customers.

"I wish they would do it more, but at this time, right now, this afternoon, I'm really grateful that they came," Angnakak said.

"I think Canadian North heard very valid points, very relevant points that are existing in Nunavut right now."

Angnakak said he was disappointed to not see representatives from the Nunavut Tunngavik or the Qikiqtani Inuit Association there.