THUNDER BAY, ON – June 2, 2015 – Nine (9) First Nation communities are pleased to announce a change in their supply chain. These communities have identified significant cost-efficiency improvements in the air freight-handling component of their existing food and everyday needs supply chain by partnering with North Star Air of Thunder Bay. To complete the supply chain, their partner North Star Air has also entered into an agreement with The North West Company.
This contract driven by the nine (9) First Nation communities will bring long term benefits to all respective parties but most importantly to all First Nation communities served under this contract. First Nation community benefits will include improvements with on-time delivery, security of supply and overall service level improvements. The core value of this new relationship is to improve the quality of life for the First Nation communities.
North Star Air’s Basler BT-67 aircraft is a game changer for servicing the northern communities’ air freight needs and has the capability of flying and landing in extreme conditions and is uniquely fitted for ice, snow and land. Other key competitive advantages are its reliability, safety and operational costs efficiencies. North Star Air is a rapidly expanding air freight provider in partnership with numerous Northwestern Ontario First Nation communities with a fleet of eight aircraft operating out of its bases in Thunder Bay, Sioux Lookout, Red Lake and Pickle Lake.
The other vital link in the supply chain is The North West Company (North West), a leading retailer of food and everyday needs to rural and urban neighborhoods across Canada, Alaska, the South Pacific and the Caribbean. North West traces its roots back over 200 years and recognizes that the needs and requirements of each community are different. North West’s respectful growing relationship with the north has been built on delivering fresh foods and quality everyday goods to its Northern store shelves and through their active commitment to community engagement and sponsorship.
Chief Rosemary Mckay of Bearskin Lake says, Spokesperson for the nine (9) First Nation communities, “We are excited about the new business relationships and the benefits it will bring to each and every First Nation community members.“
“This Basler BT67’s will bring unparalleled short haul air freight reliability and economics for the northern communities” says Frank Kelner, President/CEO of North Star Air. “Today, we are proud to affirm our full commitment and support to First Nations’ economic vision.”
Chief Rosemary Mckay and Chief Gordon Beardy of Muskrat Dam jointly stated, “We strongly support that The North West Company utilize North Star Air’s cargo and freight transportation solutions. To sum this up, it just makes good business sense and it’s good for the communities.”
About the Nine (9) First Nations
The nine (9) First Nation communities referenced in this media release are Bearskin Lake First Nation (also known as Michikan Lake), Cat Lake First Nation, Deer Lake First Nation Kashechewan First Nation, Muskrat Dam First Nation, Neskantaga (also known as Lansdowne House), North Caribou Lake (also known as Weagamow and Round Lake), Poplar Hill First Nation and Sachigo Lake First Nation. The nine (9) First Nations are part of Nishnawbe Aski Nation and their respective Tribal Councils are Independent First Nations Alliance, Keewaytinook Okimakanak, Matawa First Nations, Mushkegowuk Council and Windigo First Nation Council
About North Star Air
Beginning in 1997 as a floatplane service North Star Air has steadily evolved its service capabilities and transformed its fleet. In 2012 North Star Air underwent new ownership changes. Today, Cargo North and North Star Air are amalgamating into one airline to enhance service. North Star Air is one of the leading Northern Ontario full-service airlines with bases and locations in Pickle Lake, Red Lake, Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay. As a leading provider of charter, passenger and freight/cargo services they make it their passion and commitment to safety, affordability and reliability. They are well positioned and ready to service the growing demands of the businesses, industries and communities of Northern Ontario and beyond. Their mission is to connect Northern Ontario communities and their vision is to provide the best possible customer experience throughout their entire journey.