In 1977, Air North Charter and Training was founded by Joe Sparling and Tom Wood. The airline offered charter flights for the mining industry, as well as flight training services. Now, Air North Charter and Training is operating as Air North, Yukon’s Airline from its main base Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport, offering scheduled passenger, cargo, charter, and ground handling services throughout the Yukon, with flights to the Northwest Territories, Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia,and Ontario.
In the early 1980s, Air North fleet had grown from a single Cessna 206 to include a variety of Cessna, de Havilland, and Beechcraft aircraft on wheels, floats, and skis, as well as the famous and world-tested Douglas DC-3 and DC-4 aircraft.
In the mid-1980s, Air North was able to start offering scheduled flights within the Yukon, and into Alaska.
In the mid-1990s, the fleet of piston-powered aircraft was replaced with more modern turboprop aircraft. On September 23, 1996, the first of two newly-acquired Hawker Siddeley 748 turboprops flew Air North’s Whitehorse – Dawson City – Old Crow route for the first time.
By 2000, Air North was operating a mix of scheduled and charter flights with a fleet consisting of one Beechcraft Model 99 and three Hawker Siddeley 748.
In November 2000, the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation of Old Crow, through their development corporation, acquired a 30% interest in Air North by purchasing shares from co-founder Tom Wood. In late 2001, the Vuntut Development Corporation completed their purchase of Tom Wood’s stock. Today, the Vuntut Development Corporation holds 49% of the voting stock in the company.
In 2002, the acquisition of two Boeing 737-200 jets allowed Air North to begin competing on the Yukon-south routes with the mainline carriers. The airline started scheduled service between Whitehorse and Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary. Also then, the airline’s growth was mirrored in the new branding, and the company adopted its current operating name – Air North, Yukon’s Airline.
In the second half of the 2000s, the Beechcraft 99 was sold, and a fourth Hawker Siddeley 748 and a Boeing 737-200 combi were acquired. Soon after its acquisition, a gravel kit was installed on the 737 Combi, allowing the aircraft to operate on the northern routes and the airline to expand charter capabilities.
In 2007, in conjunction with Harper Street Publishing, Air North, Yukon’s Airline launched its in-flight magazine, Yukon, North of Ordinary.
In 2010, as part of a plan to expand and modernize its fleet, Air North, Yukon’s Airline acquired a larger B737-400 and a winglet equipped B737-500 and retired one B737-200.
In 2012, a fifth Hawker Siddeley 748 with a large freight door and a second B737-500 were acquired.
In 2013, Air North, Yukon’s Airline expanded its route network to include Kelowna and, the following year, an ambitious new flight connecting Whitehorse with Yellowknife and Ottawa.
In 2014-2015, the third B737-500, sporting an updated livery, joined the fleet, and the last non-combi B737-200 was retired. The fleet expansion and modernization plan, which is expected to be completed over the next few years, includes the acquisition of a fourth B737-500, as well as a gradual replacement of the aging Hawker Siddeley 748 fleet with ATR or Dash-8 aircraft.
In 2016, Air North, Yukon’s Airline expanded its fleet with one Boeing B737 and two ATR 42 300 turboprop aircraft. The ATR 42 300s are gravel runway certified and used primarily for scheduled passenger service on the Northern routes.
In 2018, Air North, Yukon’s Airline expanded its network with two new routes: twice-weekly scheduled Boeing B737 jet service beginning May between Whitehorse, Yukon, and Victoria, British Columbia, and scheduled service between Whitehorse and Mayo beginning June with ATR 42 turboprop aircraft.
There is only one deadly accident involving a passenger flight recorded in Air North’s history: on September 20, 1987, a Piper PA-31 Navajo crashed into a glacier at 4,500 ft (1,400 m) on a flight from Whitehorse to Juneau, Alaska killing all five on board, the pilot and four passengers. The other two deadly accidents involved a ferry flight, respectively a cargo flight, and took place in 1995, respectively 1996, and each of them caused the death of one crew member.