First Air, Air North May Merge

First Air and Air North are in merger talks.
First Air and Air North are in merger talks.

The North’s two largest airlines, First Air and Air North, have entered into discussions for a “merger of equals.”

The merger would create an airline that covers the entire Arctic with connecting flights to southern destinations from Vancouver to Montreal.

“The potential merger is intended to create a single airline entity that builds on the strengths and identities of the two companies,” the airlines said in a joint statement. “A merger would improve the sustainability of these critical Inuit birthright enterprises and would also create better air services and new economic development opportunities across the north.”

Both airlines are owned by Inuit companies and maintain vital transportation links to far-flung northern communities.

The airlines’ statement said the two companies will continue to operate independently and without any changes until a merger is complete. Updates will be released at the merger Web site