Fort Severn – Washaho Cree Nation – Community members in Fort Severn First Nation voted overwhelmingly this week to form a strategic business partnership with North Star Air. The vote culminated in the signing of a letter of understanding for revenue sharing agreement with members of the Fort Severn Council, and sets the direction for added air transportation service to the community.
Fort Severn has now joined other First Nations; Sachigo Lake, Cat Lake, Deer Lake, Neskantaga, North Caribou Lake, Bearskin Lake, Kashechewan, Poplar Hill, North Spirit Lake and Webequie.
The strategic business agreement will see added flights into Fort Severn, which is Ontario’s most northerly community.
“Our goal is to provide you with safe, reliable air service,” stated Frank Kelner the CEO of North Star Air. “With this strategic partnership, Fort Severn can benefit from competitive rates for both passenger service and air cargo.”
Community members in Fort Severn first reached out to North Star Air seeking to find ways for the airline to provide service to their community. Community members initiated action for change and those efforts led to the formal community meeting where elected members of the Fort Severn Council agreed to follow the lead of their community, after the vote.
Several community members in Fort Severn are hoping that the new strategic business partnership will help them build the local economy, and assist them in opening small businesses in Fort Severn.
Additionally, North Star Air will be able to provide inter-community service between Fort Severn and Peawanuk First Nation on a weekly basis using the company’s Basler BT-67 aircraft. The Basler offers both cargo and passenger service options with an aircraft that North Star Air states is a game-changer for the north.
About Fort Severn First Nation
Fort Severn has a registered population of 704 people. The First Nation is part of Keewaytinook Okimakanak with it primary affiliation to Nishnawbe-Aski Nation. The community is located approximately 855 kilometers northwest of Thunder Bay. Access to Fort Severn is provided by a year round airport which is operated by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Communication. Regular air service is available to the regional centers of Sioux Lookout, Thunder Bay and Pickle Lake. Fort Severn airport is located approximately 5.6 kilometers to the main community. Road access between the airport and Fort Severn is by one gravel, winter road.
About North Star Air
In 2012, North Star Air underwent a change in ownership. North Star Air merged with Cargo North in 2015, a move to optimize operations and services to better serve their customers.
North Star Air is a profitable air carrier that provides a full suite of cost-effective air transportation solutions for charter, passenger, cargo and fuel services. They serve Northern Ontario and beyond from their operating bases and locations in Thunder Bay, Sioux Lookout, Red Lake, Pickle Lake and Kapuskasing. They have an expanding modernized and low maintenance fleet that consists of 6 Pilatus PC-12, 2 Cessna Grand Caravans and 3 Basler BT-67 aircraft; a game changer for the North, the versatility and flexibility to transport cargo, passenger or the combination of both cargo and passenger will translate into better supply chain economic plus on-time performance efficiencies to serve their contract clients and customers.
Their Flex Flight passenger services currently serve 18 destinations in Northwestern Ontario where 80% are First Nation communities. Their cargo business is experiencing significant growth as a result of new contracts with major corporations that provide lifeline services to the North.
In 2015, they opened their check-in counters in the Thunder Bay airport and Sioux Lookout airport in support of their growth strategies and to ensure the best possible customer journey. They monitor and expand their network based on the market conditions to accommodate the growing demands for charter, passenger, freight/cargo, fuel services and other community needs.
As a leading provider of charter, passenger and freight/cargo services they make it their passion and commitment to safety, affordability and reliability. They are well positioned and ready to service the growing demands of the businesses, industries and communities of Northern Ontario and beyond. Their mission is to connect Northern Ontario communities and their vision is to provide the best possible customer experience throughout their entire journey.