North Spirit Lake First Nation signs with North Star Air and Cargo North

North SpiritTHUNDER BAY, ON, October 29, 2015: North Star Air announced today that they have signed a strategic business agreement with North Spirit Lake First Nation. North Spirit Lake has now joined with the other partners that include Muskrat Dam, Sachigo Lake, Cat Lake, Deer Lake, Neskantaga, Kashechewan, North Caribou Lake, Bearskin Lake, Poplar Hill and Webequie.

Air transportation services are a vital link for the north and such services span from commercial supply chains to passenger services. Today the demands of the north are changing and there is a growing focus and emphasis on partnering with an airline that brings forth cost-effective air transportation solutions for the delivery of goods and services. A key differentiation and game changer for the north, is North Star Air’s Basler BT-67 that is the most competitive and reliable aircraft specifically designed to service the challenging conditions of the north. It also has the capability to be configured for both passenger and cargo transportation making it more efficient and cost-effective for those requiring to transport both passengers and cargo at the same time. Some examples include businesses needing to move both passengers and cargo to a job site or maybe a hockey team along with all their equipment traveling to a tournament.

With the growing and changing demands of the north, many First Nation communities are very receptive to adopting new business models and partners while other communities are less receptive. Opening up the skies of the north creates a competitive business environment that brings many benefits to the communities at large as well as to the community members.

With energy rates increasing, national food prices spiking, poor housing quality and high unemployment rates, ensuring a stable air transport provider for the supply chain translates into a positive economic impact for the north. The introduction of competition also means other airlines will now have to compete on fares and service levels thus providing passengers with better fares, improved service and more choices and options. These are very welcome benefits for community members.

Many communities are becoming more cost sensitive to services and are looking for alternate solutions that provide equivalent or better services at more competitive prices. Many  are pursuing economic and business opportunities and generating their own sources of revenue as a means to becoming economically independent. Self-governing means the authority comes from the people. Creating a prosperous environment that represents the best interest of the people is also very reliant on the responsibility of all levels of governing bodies to ensure transparency and accountability when it comes to the spending of all public funds. The community members are ultimately the consumers who pay for the services.

“We are pleased to sign on with North Star Air and Cargo North. Not only will we benefit as an overall community through the revenue sharing agreement but equally important is that community members especially our elders and medical patients will have another airline that provides better services” said Chief Caroline Keesic 

Another interesting benefit that will result from opening up the skies to competition is that it will drive accountability which is necessary for economic growth as it will  attract new business opportunities from emerging markets such as transportation, infrastructure, food and utilities, and from natural resource development sectors to help diversify and boost local economies.

Frank Kelner, CEO of CN & NSA says, “We welcome North Spirit Lake to this partnership and opening up the skies in the north to more competition will prove to be a decision that will benefit both the social and economic development of all communities”

Connecting people, businesses and communities is what North Star Air and Cargo North do best but most importantly they are fully committed to contributing back to the communities.  North Star Air and Cargo North stand behind their commitment with the revenue sharing agreement for the purpose of investing back into the local community and path to ownership. The revenue sharing agreement extends across all of North Star Air and Cargo North’s air transportation services that include passenger, charter, cargo/freight and fuel. Ensuring the best possible customer experience is driven by their core values of safety, affordability and reliability.

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