Whitehorse Daily Star

Condor will be gone until 2026 at earliest

Condor (Air Service) will stop flying to the Yukon next year, Ben Ryan, the chief commercial officer for Air North, has confirmed.

By Whitehorse Star on June 12, 2023

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.

Comments (6)

Up 5 Down 0

YXY on Jun 18, 2023 at 8:30 am

Why even invest in the old airport? Move it.
Now is the time. We need more residential, and the airport is perfect as it’s close to all services.
Yes, it would be a big project, but why not plan for our future instead of band-aiding an old, poorly-planned facility.
Businesses like Condor, could keep the status quo until the new airport was ready.

Up 3 Down 2

My 2 Cents on Jun 17, 2023 at 8:53 am

If Condor doesn’t end up coming back, to my layman’s mind it may be the perfect opportunity for Air North to acquire a larger aircraft and assume that route. I know absolutely nothing about the airline industry but you’d think one appropriately sized plane used to make a once or twice weekly round trip to both Germany as well as another European destination should justify and pay for itself. This would be after the longer runway is back in service of course.
For one example would a Whitehorse-Halifax- London-Germany flight make sense or even be permitted regulation wise? As someone who’s flown Whitehorse, Vancouver, London, Vienna and back a few times I know it’s a gruelling length of time to fly. However if it had shorter stopovers at each point and you didn’t have to change planes or airlines it would be a lot better than the 6-10 hour layovers in Vancouver and Heathrow which you usually have to endure to get there (non Condor).
Maybe in the winter when travel drops off the plane could also have a weekly sun belt destination to keep it busy?

Up 21 Down 1

No direct flights, dang on Jun 14, 2023 at 5:36 pm

The European visitors who really want to come will find a way to get here through Vancouver, either with Air North or Air Canada. But the beauty of the Condor flight was that it was direct to Frankfurt from Whitehorse (one stop in Vancouver on the return). Hopefully Condor returns once the runway maintenance is completed

Up 23 Down 37

stephen on Jun 14, 2023 at 9:02 am

Guess you can't upgrade your runways for the future without someone getting upset or blaming the government for infrastructure upgrades.

As to the condor disruption, not sure why Condor, Air North and the Yukon government do not come to an agreement since Condor flies into Vancouver and Air North could ferry those tourists up to the Yukon. Yes its a few extra hours but it's an option. At least offer it as an option to the tourists and Condor.

Up 89 Down 20

Jack on Jun 12, 2023 at 10:37 pm

Surely the Liberal government would have consulted with Condor during their planning process so that this wouldn't come as such a surprise? Do they even know that there are businesses depend on that flight?

Up 39 Down 4

Geoff on Jun 12, 2023 at 4:09 pm

The active main runway is 32 Left-14 Right. The secondary runway that is closer to the clay cliffs is 32 Right-14 Left.

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