Condor (Air Service) will stop flying to the Yukon next year, Ben Ryan, the chief commercial officer for Air North, has confirmed.
Condor currently flies once a week directly from Frankfurt to Whitehorse, as it has for more than 20 years.
Ryan said there are two principal reasons why the Frankfurt-based airline has made the decision.
The main runway at the Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport is scheduled for a major rebuild beginning in 2024.
The work will take two years, forcing airlines to use runway two, the shorter and narrower runway closest to the clay cliffs.
Condor is also switching from using their Boeing 767s to the larger Airbus, the A330neo, which has approximately 50 more seats.
The bigger Airbus is too large to be accommodated by runway two at the Whitehorse airport, Ryan explained.
He hopes Condor will return to its once-weekly flights after the work to the main runway is finished, though he doesn’t know what Condor’s plans are.
Air North, he said, has an interline agreement with Condor to supply services such as baggage checks, fuel service, and check-in services.
Air North and Condor are also in a position to expand their partnership in the future. That would provide the necessary Air North connections with Condor flights landing in Vancouver and Edmonton.
Condor is an important contributor to the Yukon’s tourism economy, Ryan said, and it would be good to see the airline return to Whitehorse once the airport construction work is completed.
Condor began flying to Whitehorse in 2001.
During the spring sitting of the legislature, the Yukon Party posed a series of questions about Condor’s withdrawal to Tourism and Culture Minister John Streicker.