The GNWT to provide over $14 million in Financial Support to NWT Airlines

News Releases

Yellowknife — June 4, 2021

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) announced today that it will allocate $14.774 million to support the Northwest Territories’ Aviation Sector to continue essential air services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This funding is part of a program announced by the Government of Canada to support essential air services to remote communities between January 1, 2021 and June 30, 2021. Transport Canada will provide $12.558 million in new funding; while the GNWT will provide $2.216 million.

The Departments of Finance and Infrastructure have continued to work with Transport Canada toward further funding for the NWT aviation industry, in order to continue essential air services during the pandemic.

The funding is being allocated as follow:

Passenger Airlines

  • Air Tindi - $850,000
  • Aklak Air - $806,000
  • Canadian North - $6,700,000
  • Northwestern Air Lease - $811,000
  • North-Wright Airways - $809,000

Cargo and Charter Companies

  • Acasta Heliflight - $925,000
  • Adlair Aviation - $113,000
  • Amhic Air - $117,000
  • Buffalo Airways - $905,000

  • Great Slave Helicopters - $998,000

  • GSH Partners-

    • Dehcho Helicopters - $90,000

    • Denendeh Helicopters - $86,000

    • Gwichin Helicopters - $75,000

    • K'ahsho Got'ine Helicopters - $61,000

    • Sahtu Helicopters - $79,000

  • Hoarfrost - $27,000

  • Landa Aviation - $187,000

  • Simpson Air - $45,000

  • South Nahanni Airways  - $100,000

  • Summit Air - $990,000

Conditions for the funding require the airlines and rotary wing operators to continue to apply for any supports they may qualify for from the GNWT and the Government of Canada. Each airline would also agree not to provide management bonuses, dividends, or shareholder distributions for the period. In addition, there are provisions in the scheduled passenger services airline agreements to ensure a minimum level of routes.


“We recognize the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have on people and the economy and that certain sectors, such as the air transportation industry, have suffered tremendously. The plunge in air travel demand because of the coronavirus and travel restrictions aimed to stop its spread have put a harsh financial burden on an industry so critical in the north. We want to provide relief for this important industry as it struggles to remain in operation and as the NWT continues to depend on them for commerce and connectivity.

Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Finance


“The Northwest Territories’ aviation industry plays a critical role in the economic and social well-being of our residents. In addition to keeping our people and communities connected, the aviation industry provides essential services, including community resupply, air ambulance, search and rescue, forest fire response, and much more. Continuing to find ways to support this industry, especially during this difficult time, remains a priority for our government and I am pleased that we are able to make this announcement today.”

-Diane Archie, Minister of Infrastructure

Quick Facts

  • Today’s funding announcement covers the period of January 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021.
  • Previously announced supports for the NWT aviation industry include the waiving of all landing fees at NWT airports (March 20, 2020 to December 31, 2020), as well as waiving of leases, licences, and concession fees for all businesses operating at NWT airports (April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020).
  • Previously, the GNWT announced the following amounts in direct support for NWT airlines and rotary wing companies:
    • $11.6 million in financial support for the March to June 2020 period ($8.7 million or 75% provided by Canada); and
    •  $20.145 million in financial support for the July to December 2020 period ($17.124 million or 85% provided by Canada).



Media Inquires

Todd Sasaki
Senior Communications Officer
Department of the Finance
Government of the Northwest Territories
5003 49 St Yellowknife NT X1A 1P5
Tel: (867) 767-9168 ext. 15015
Fax: (867) 873-0235