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Air Tindi wins NWT Chamber's Covid Ingenuity Award

Air Tindi Pilot Mike Adams, left, joins columnist Shelley Wiart's daughters Harper, Kayla and Aubrey before the whole group went for a short flight last Friday. It inspired today's column. photo courtesy of Shelley Wiart

Air Tindi on Friday won the Covid Ingenuity Award by the NWT Chamber of Commerce.

After the airline's business “came to a grinding halt when the pandemic hit” it took the opportunity to see what was needed by communities and began a free grocery delivery program, said, Renee Comeau, Executive Director of the Chamber.

“As the territory started to open up and the warm weather decided to show up, they started offering amazing staycation packages,” she added.

Air Tindi's floatbase on Mitchell Drive. Meaghan Richens/NNSL photo.
Air Tindi was chosen for the award because it responded to the needs of communities by offering staycation packages and free grocery deliveries. Meaghan Richens/NNSL photo.

Chris Reynolds, Air Tindi president, said it was good to receive the award and “not something we expected to see on our book shelf.”

“When the pandemic started, we were in survival mode. We made sure the airline survived and kept our staff working. The border was closed but we tried to figure out how we could help our community and that's where the staycation idea came in and the grocery assistance,” Reynolds said.

“I found it pretty neat to see what all the businesses came up with when the crisis hit, (such as) the drive-in dining and online ordering and the Hay-Cation in Hay River.”

The airline will also receive a cash prize once all expenses have been billed, Comeau said.

Air Tindi was chosen for the award by a draw from the Chamber board. The other nominees included P.W. Kaeser Store in Thebacha, Super A Foods in Hay River, P.R. Contracting in Fort Simpson, Copperhouse Eatery & Lounge in Yellowknife and Combo In Town in Inuvik.