THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – North Star Air is marking two significant events today. First, the company has launched their new Dash 8 -100 Combi Aircraft service for both passengers and cargo. Second, the company is celebrating their partnership agreements with ten First Nations Communities which have seen $2.3 million dollars in revenue sharing for the company’s partner communities. These communities include Cat Lake, Deer Lake, Kashechewan, Marten Falls, Neskantaga, North Caribou Lake, North Spirit Lake, Poplar Hill, Sachigo Lake and Webequie.
North Star Air’s new Dash 8-100 is the company’s next phase of transformation. The Dash 8 is entering into scheduled service now and is allowing the company to increase service to the North.
“We appreciate the cost of living and doing business in remote Northern communities. We’ve been listening to our customers and partner communities and the common request heard is that freight needs to move right away. In the past freight and excess baggage was not moving due to full flights,” said Maureen Massaro, Director of Passenger Services. “The “combi” solution solves this issue and freight and excess baggage will move faster.”
From Thunder Bay and Sioux Lookout, the additional Dash-8 will provide new service to the First Nations communities of Marten Falls, Sachigo Lake, Round Lake and Muskrat Dam, offering more seats and more cargo room. The 9-seater Pilatus PC-12 has been servicing these communities in the past and will continue to supplement existing routes.
In conjunction with its newest addition to the fleet, North Star Air is also celebrating an impressive milestone with its partner First Nation communities. As part of North Star’s commitment to playing an active role in making a positive difference within the First Nation Communities, they have entered into partnership agreements with 10 First Nations, including Cat Lake, Deer Lake, Kashechewan, Marten Falls, Neskantaga, North Caribou Lake, North Spirit Lake, Poplar Hill, Sachigo Lake and Webequie. As part of these Agreements, communities participate in revenue sharing. By July 2018 over $2 million was earned by partner community group since inception in 2014. These proceeds have gone on to make noticeable improvements in the communities. An example of this is in Sachigo Lake First Nation, where two homes have been built with the North Star Air funds since partnering in 2014.
“We’re thrilled to be reaching such an important milestone with our partners,” said CEO Frank Kelner, “we see the positive impact that the revenue share has on the communities and hope to grow this initiative with more communities in the future.”
The new Dash 8-100 aircraft can handle up to 39 passengers or as North Star Air plans, combining freight and passengers. Combi aircraft as standard passenger aircraft modified to carry more passenger baggage and cargo. North Star Air’s new Dash 8-100 has two fewer rows and a modified rear cargo wall to increase capacity.