Red tape coupled with the economic decline is leading to fewer business passengers taking Air Greenland’s Nuuk to Iqaluit flight. The seasonal route from Greenland to Nunavut has recorded marginally more passengers this year than last, but the airline’s chief communications spokesman Christian Keldsen said the number had only gone up by four people. He added that they were managing to “hang in there”.
As reported by Nunavut news outlet NunatsiaqOnline, Air Greenland suffered a miserable start to the season after the first flight from Iqaluit to Nuuk had to be cancelled as no tickets were booked. However, Keldsen said this was no surprise as this year’s flights started in May not, like last year, in June. The carrier has also chosen to keep the route going longer this year – until the end of September as opposed to the start of September last year.
However, Keldsen explained that the main reason for the lack of passengers is down to problems related to mining exploration and, in particular, the red tape difficulties prospecting companies are having with their projects. He said the problems mirror those experienced last year, with mineral and oil exploration permits being a major stumbling block.
One of the main reasons the route was established was to accommodate mining and exploration operations as well as to attract more businesses to fly direct from North America rather than flying to Europe first and then transferring.