Canadian North (5T, Yellowknife) and First Air (7F, Carp) have elaborated on their merger while announcing that their respective owners, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and Makivik Corporation, have completed the merger transaction. The new carrier will provide services "to northern customers and charter clients" under the name Canadian North, according to a joint statement issued on July 10.

The "highly inefficient status quo" of two airlines operating overlapping flight schedules with aircraft capacity that has far exceeded demand on most routes has contributed to higher fares and cargo rates while impeding the carriers' ability to invest to improve, the statement said.

The integration is expected to take 18 to 24 months, with the two separate brands continuing during the initial stages. A major priority will be to develop a combined flight schedule, to be released later this year, several months before it takes effect.

Reservation systems, fare products, operational processes, fleets, and facilities will be combined, and a unified Canadian North brand will begin to roll out featuring First Air’s Inukshuk logo, plus a red-and-white livery, uniforms and corporate identity. As an employer, the merged carrier will have a "continued focus on recruiting Inuit and other Indigenous team members" for careers within the sector, the statement said.

Canadian North’s Aurora Rewards loyalty programme will be expanded to First Air customers, who currently have the option of using Air Canada's Aeroplan. The unified Canadian North will also expand other business areas, such as its charters division, "with additional resources available to serve existing clients and bring in new business", the airlines said.

Chris Avery, president and chief executive of First Air, will lead the merged organisation.