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Transport committee  Okay. While we're talking about local economic development, in the past, most northern communities, using the territorial capitals as an example—in our market, Whitehorse—served as northern outposts at the end of a typical hub-and-spoke route network. In a hub-and-spoke network, the cash flows from the spoke into the hub.

May 30th, 2024Committee meeting

Joseph Sparling

Transport committee  Good morning, and thanks for giving Air North, Yukon's airline, an opportunity to provide input to this standing committee. My discussion will focus on market research, industry concentration, competitive opportunities for small airlines and domestic airfares. Canada's a small market, ranking number two in size, but—

May 30th, 2024Committee meeting

Joseph Sparling

Transport committee  All right. How's that?

May 30th, 2024Committee meeting

Joseph Sparling

Transport committee  Okay. Canada is a small market. We rank number two in size but 222 out of 232 in population, relative to the rest of the world. As well, 90% of our population lives in 10% of our land mass, roughly along the 49th parallel. The focus of my discussion is on the 10% who live in 90% of our land mass.

May 30th, 2024Committee meeting

Joseph Sparling

Transport committee  We did for a number of years, pre-COVID, operate seasonal service three times a week from Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Ottawa. We observed that a significant number of our passengers were actually travelling beyond Ottawa, so the Toronto service was simply replacing two Ottawa stops a week with two Toronto stops.

May 16th, 2022Committee meeting

Joseph Sparling

Transport committee  I've never been a fan of subsidies, but the Quebec program is interesting. It is a way to keep regional costs affordable. Quite frankly, if we address some of the other issues such as the interline issue that was brought up by the Pascan gentleman, I think we would have a much easier time competing without subsidies.

May 16th, 2022Committee meeting

Joseph Sparling

Transport committee  The flight and duty regulations are probably the most troublesome for us. We've spent a lot of time and effort trying to address them. I think the consultation on the regulations themselves was inadequate. They were advertised as a science-based approach. They were anything but.

May 16th, 2022Committee meeting

Joseph Sparling

Transport committee  I think what our region learned, what northern regions learned, is that air transportation is not a luxury but rather a necessity. The first thing we did when COVID hit was cut back our schedules. Within a week, we heard from the government, “My gosh, we need more service. We have medical supplies to move.

May 16th, 2022Committee meeting

Joseph Sparling

Transport committee  Good afternoon, and thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak with you today. I'm Joe Sparling, president of Air North, Yukon's airline. We are a regional airline based in Whitehorse, Yukon. We currently provide scheduled air service between Whitehorse and Dawson City, Old Crow, Inuvik, Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Edmonton, Calgary, and seasonally, Yellowknife, Ottawa and Toronto.

May 16th, 2022Committee meeting

Joseph Sparling

Transport committee  You spoke of international carriers. They've been hardest hit. As a country we need to do all that we can to make sure that our carriers that fly internationally are protected and are able to compete with foreign air carriers who are often funded by their governments. That means doing all that we can to drive business.

December 8th, 2020Committee meeting

Joseph Sparling

Transport committee  Our cargo volumes are the one thing that has been stable as a result of the pandemic. Passenger volumes were down 95% in April. We've recovered to being down 60% or so. Cargo volumes have remained relatively stable throughout the pandemic. We're very thankful for that.

December 8th, 2020Committee meeting

Joseph Sparling

Transport committee  Well, to the extent that rapid testing would eliminate the need for mandatory self-isolation, then it's had a major impact. As you may or may not know, anybody now coming into Yukon from outside the territory must self-isolate for two weeks. We had a travel bubble with B.C., starting in July.

December 8th, 2020Committee meeting

Joseph Sparling

Transport committee  Through the end of September, we're at just over $7 million between the Canada emergency wage subsidy and the northern essential air services relief program. The majority of it is the Canada emergency wage subsidy funding. The Yukon government, in conjunction with the federal government, has a program for essential air services in the north, which we certainly have taken advantage of and are very thankful for.

December 8th, 2020Committee meeting

Joseph Sparling

Transport committee  Thank you. Hopefully, I covered everything in the notes. I think one of the things that I tried to point out is that I learned a lot when I was researching just how many—or how few—communities in the whole country actually have scheduled air service. The fact is that the majority of them are communities of under 10,000 people.

December 8th, 2020Committee meeting

Joseph Sparling

Transport committee  I think things have changed pretty significantly since the time of the merger. It's not really for me to comment on how Canadian North and First Air feel about it. I don't know what the conditions were, really, but I would expect that a lot of them would not be very appropriate in today's environment.

December 8th, 2020Committee meeting

Joseph Sparling