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As of November 2019, First Air has now merged with Canadian North.

First Air, also known as Bradley Air Services Limited, was an airline headquartered in Kanata, a suburb of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The airline operated services to 34 communities in Nunavut, Nunavik, and the Northwest Territories and its main base was located at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport. Other hubs included Rankin Inlet Airport, Iqaluit Airport and Yellowknife Airport. First Air Canada offered flights to a number of destinations in the Arctic.

First Air had codeshare agreements with Air Greenland, Calm Air and Canadian North. The majority of its fleet is available for charters worldwide and consists of Aerospatiale and Boeing 737. In 2016 First Air/Bradley Air Services celebrated its 70th anniversary, and was the oldest airline in Canada still operating under its original name. First Air was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Makivik Corporation since 1990. Makivik Corporation was established in 1978, by way of special legislation of the Province of Quebec that gave the corporation the mandate to receive and administer compensation monies on behalf of the Inuit of Northern Quebec and to oversee the proper implementation of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA). The JBNQA was signed in 1975 and was the first of Canada’s Aboriginal land claim settlement agreements.


First Air and Canadian North now have combined schedules. Canadian North operates flights using the First Air branding. First Air flies to many destinations including Edmonton, Vancouver, Churchill, Winnipeg, Fort Simpson, Hay River, Inuvik, Norman Wells, Yellowknife, Arctic Bay, Baker Lake and many others.

First Air/Canadian North fly to the following destinations in Canada:

  • Nunavut: Arctic Bay, Arviat, Baker Lane, Cambridge Bay, Cape Dorset, Chesterfield Inlet, Clyde River, Coral Harbour, Gjoa Haven, Hall Beach, Igloolik, Iqaluit, Kimmirut, Kugaaruk, Kugluktuk, Naujaat, Pangnirtung, Pond Inlet, Qikiqtarjuaq, Rankin Inlet, Resolute, Taloyoak and Whale Cove.
  • Manitoba: Churchill, Winnipeg
  • Alberta: Edmonton
  • Northwest Territories: Fort Simpson, Hay River, Inuvik, Ulukhaktok, Yellowknife
  • Quebec: Kuujjuaq, Montréal
  • Ontario: Ottawa
  • Yukon: Whitehorse

Cabin Classes

The only cabin class available for First Air flights is Economy Class.

Economy Class

Economy Class is the only cabin for this airline, meaning all passengers have the same cabin experience.

Economy Class Facilities

The airline offers complimentary food and drink on flights, with hot meal options also available

Although no in-flight entertainment system, the airline does give passengers a selection of reading material, including its latest in-flight magazines.

Economy Class Seats

The seat specifications are dependent on the aircraft flying in, for example on the Boeing 737 400 and Boeing 737 400 COMBI, the seats are arranged in a 3-3 formation, with an aisle in the middle. This provides ample room for passengers for their flights. On the ATR 42-300 and ATR 42-500, passengers are arranged in a 2-2 formation, allowing even more room between other passengers and their seats.

Baggage Policy

When flying with First Air, you will need to follow the following rules around baggage allowances.

Carry-on Baggage

First Air Canada passengers are permitted one piece of hand luggage with a maximum weight of 10kg and with total dimensions of no more than 10in x 18in x 22in (26cm x 46cm x 56cm).

Checked Baggage

The baggage allowance for First Air Canada flights varies according to the ticket class purchased. For "Saver" customers, the first checked bag is free. On jet flights including flights to/from Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal, Yellowknife, Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet, Norman Wells, Inuvik and Kuujjuaq, passengers are allowed 2 pieces of baggage per fare-paying passenger with a maximum weight of 32kg per piece. On turboprop flights, including flights to/from Cape Dorset, Hall Beach, Igloolik, Pangnirtung, Kimmirut, Qikiqtarjuaq, Clyde River, Pond Inlet, Arctic Bay, Resolute Bay, Hay River, Fort Simpson, Kugluktuk, Ulukhaktok, Gjoa Haven, Taloyoak, Kugaaruk and Cambridge Bay passengers are entitled to 2 pieces of baggage per fare-paying passenger.


To check-in for your First Air flight, you can do so online or at the airport.

Online Check-In

Online check-in is available via the First Air Canada website where you can book pre-reserved seating at no additional charge.

Airport Check-In

Customers checking in at the airport are required to check in at least 60 minutes before the scheduled departure time.

Alternatives to First Air

Please click on the logos below to find out more about these airlines that fly similar routes to First Air.

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Hub Airport

Yellowknife International Airport

Yellowknife Airport is located in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. The airport is part of the National Airports System, and is operated by the Government of the Northwest Territories. The airport has regularly scheduled passenger services and a number of freight services. Airlines that fly from and to Yellowknife Airport include Air CanadaAir Tindi and Westjet.


The First Air Canada fleet contains 13 Aérospatiale ATR 42 and 4 Boeing 737 aircraft.


1st April 2018

First Air show their funny side!

First Air took to their socials today to show that they had a good sense of humour. Inspired by April fool's day, First Air released a post informing loyal followers of their 'new way' for tourists to experience the Arctic: "First Air is thrilled to announce its plan to launch a new way for tourists to experience the Arctic. Get up close and personal with wildlife and stunning Arctic Landscapes in this fully customized patent pending DroneTour© On sale April 1, 2018" Of course, this was met well by the airline community.

10th January 2018

First Air introduce new everyday fares

First Air plan to stomp out the competition by loweing their everyday fare rates to and from the Canadian city of Inuvik! Flights going between Inuvik and both Edmonton and Yellowknife will have record low one-way fares for the airline. First Air hopes that this marketing strategy will help boost passengers on these routes.