First Air and Summit Air have agreed to expand their working partnership for an additional four years.
The original deal allowed for much more efficient operations for both companies, allowing First Air to use two of Summit’s planes – one jet and one freighter plane.
The new agreement comes two months after First Air terminated its codeshare agreement with Canadian North, set to take effect May 16.
Under the new deal, Summit will provide charter services to First Air in support of its northern Canadian network.
Summit has been providing one of its larger planes for First Air’s main route that travels from Yellowknife all the way to Iqaluit, making stops along the way to provide food supplies for many remote communities.
First Air president and CEO Brock Friesen told Moose FM that without such an agreement in place, it would be much more difficult for the airline to operate in the North.
We asked him who would benefit most from this continued partnership.
“The customers,” Friesen said. “If we can provide air service at the most efficient basis at the lowest possible cost, that will end up benefiting the customers.
“[This partnership] enables us to do more things to serve more communities on an economic basis than we otherwise could on our own.”
First Air signed with Summit in early 2014.
The new agreement could allow First Air to add more flights and jobs, but Friesen says that isn’t something the company is planning anytime soon given current market conditions.
Friesen says he also doesn’t expect any changes to be made to First Air’s current flight routes.