Airline merger reaction: Greater accountability would be welcomed, says Stanley Anablak

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Stanley Anablak, president of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association thinks the terms and conditions placed on the merger should bring accountability.

“Overall I’m OK with it,” says Stanley Anablak, president of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association.
photo courtesy of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association

“Overall I’m OK with it – with the strict terms and conditions, with no price increase for flights and/or cargo, no reductions in weekly schedules and also that there will be an advisory board in place to monitor the airline,” Anablak stated in an emailed response to Nunavut News.

Previously in dealing with First Air, there were “no terms and conditions in place and no advisory board in place to make (the airline) compliant.”

Anablak made no mention of where things stand in terms of the potential for Nunavut Inuit ownership in the combined airline.

In late September when First Air and Canadian North formally signed off on their merger agreement in Ottawa, Johnny Adams, chair of First Air’s board, said Inuit leaders from Nunavut were invited to take an ownership position.

“We’re still missing our Nunavut partners. We’re expecting them. We’ve invited them to the table. They’re looking at it and we’re optimistic,” Adams said at the time. “We’re hopeful that they’ll be able to join us as well. That will truly be an Arctic airline where we encompass our brothers and sisters from Nunavut as well… We’ve always been divided and conquered with whatever businesses were started. From now on we have to show the example and work together.”

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association didn’t respond to a request for comment prior to deadline.