Canadian North (5T, Yellowknife) and First Air (7F, Carp) have announced in a press release that they will start operating a common schedule as of November 1, 2019, with tickets already available for sale via each airline's respective reservation system.

While the entire merger process of the two northern Canadian regional carriers is expected to last until 2021, the airlines have prioritised unifying their schedules. The oversupply of capacity resulting from overlapping schedules on thin routes was the key rationale behind the merger.

The airlines said in a press release that some of the most significant changes to their schedules will include:

  • a choice of early morning and mid-afternoon departures between Iqaluit and Ottawa Int'l - currently both carriers operate the route at almost exactly the same times,
  • better connections between Ottawa and communities in the Qikiqtani Region,
  • daily connectivity between Cambridge Bay, Gjoa Haven, Taloyoak, and Kugaruk/Pelly Bay in both directions as well as new daily southbound connections from Gjoa Haven, Taloyoak, and Kugaruk to Edmonton Int'l via Yellowknife,
  • daily B737-200(M) service between Yellowknife and Cambridge Bay, augmented by daily turboprop flights (currently the jet service is 5x weekly, turboprop 9x weekly).

Despite the combination of the schedules, the two airlines continue to operate their own independent reservation systems. The launch of a combined reservation system is planned by the end of 2019.

The merger of Canadian North and First Air was completed on July 10. While initially the two airlines will retain their separate brands, going forward a unified Canadian North brand will begin to roll out, featuring First Air's Inukshuk logo and a red and white colour palette.