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Canadian North to introduce Calgary-Yk route in February; NWT Tourism welcomes move

A new route from Yellowknife to Calgary has been announced by Canadian North.
“Not only is (the new Calgary-Yellowknife route) great news for our local residents, but it also makes it even easier for visitors from Canada and beyond to experience the World’s Best Aurora,” said Donna Lee Demarcke, the CEO of Northwest Territories Tourism. Ethan Butterfield/NNSL photo

A new route from Yellowknife to Calgary has been announced by Canadian North.

Following the cancellation of Air Canada flights between the two cities back in November, Canadian North jumped on the opportunity to offer the service themselves.

A Boeing 737 will be flying between the two cities every day, nonstop, starting on Feb. 14.

Canadian North will also be increasing the frequency of visits between Edmonton and Yellowknife.

Michael Rodyniuk, Canadian North’s president and CEO, said that the new route will make it easier for travellers to reach northern destinations.

“We are strengthening our airline, providing more travel options to our core market in Canada’s North and High Arctic,” he said. “These new flights to our western Arctic hub in Yellowknife deliver enhanced jet service to our passengers and cargo customers.”

Mark Fleming, vice-chairman of Canadian North’s board, stated that the service would improve connectivity to the North.

“This is all part of our Go-Forward Plan, strengthening our core market, our northern scheduled service, delivering on our mission to make life better in the communities we serve,” he said. “As an Arctic airline, Canadian North continues to show its focus on making life better for Northern people and communities. This expansion of service will add seats, significantly enhance connections, and give our residents more access to vital services they need.”

The new Calgary-Yellowknife route is available for booking immediately.

Good for tourism

One group is quite happy about the announcement and that’s NWT Tourism

“We are very excited about these new flights,” said Donna Lee Demarcke, CEO of NWT Tourism. “While the Aurora in the Northwest Territories are a huge draw for tourists and residents alike, they are just one of the many exciting experiences our territory is proud to be able to share with the world. Canadian North’s new routing makes the NWT more accessible for all.

“Our tourism operators are more ready than ever to host visitors from around the world underneath our incredible northern lights.”

According to James Pugsley, the president of Astronomy North - a non-profit organization dedicated to northern sky education and outreach - said that it’s a good time for enthusiasts to see the northern lights.

“Activity has been heating up on the sun lately, and some of that activity has been Earth-directed which is great news for skywatchers and aurora photographers in the Northwest Territories,” he said. “We’ve observed multiple G1 and G2 geomagnetic storms, resulting in some significant long-duration Auroral events across the North.”

G1 and G2 refer to the scale of geomagnetic storms, which are caused by solar winds disturbing the Earth’s magnetic field. The highest magnitude on the scale is G5, which has only been reached once in recorded history back in 1859, referred as the “Carrington Event”, which caused global auroral displays.

These storms can sometimes cause electrical disruptions and blackouts.