Canadian North Launches New Arctic Capital Express Route

Canadian North is an airline that largely services Northern Canada. Most of its flights are based from Yellowknife (YZF) and Iqaluit (YFB), but the airline also operates flights to Edmonton (YEG), Calgary (YYC), Winnipeg (YWG), Ottawa (YOW), and Montreal (YUL).

The airline has just announced that as of June 8, 2023, it will launch the “Arctic Capital Express” route, which will provide convenient same-day service between Ottawa (YOW), Iqaluit (YFB), and Yellowknife (YZF) in either direction.

As it turns out, the Arctic Capital Express route could also make for a very compelling Aeroplan redemption, that you may want to book sooner rather than later.

Canadian North’s New Arctic Capital Express Route

Canadian North has announced the upcoming launch of the Arctic Capital Express route. This new service will provide same-day travel between Ottawa (YOW), Iqaluit (YFB), and Yellowknife (YZF).

One of the intentions behind the launch is to reduce the need for overnight stops along the way, which will surely be a boon for passengers who frequently travel between these cities. Flying around Northern Canada often requires lengthy layovers, especially if weather is a factor.

The route is set to begin on June 8, 2023. Travel will take place in either direction on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with flight times as follows:

  • 5T 119 Ottawa (YOW) to Iqaluit (YFB), departing 9:40am and arriving at 12:50pm, to Yellowknife (YZF), departing 1:40pm and arriving at 3:20pm
  • 5T 118 Yellowknife (YZF) to Iqaluit (YFB), departing 11am and arriving at 4:40pm, to Ottawa (YOW), departing 5:45pm and arriving at 9pm

If you’re up for taking the long way around to Ottawa (YOW), or if you’d like to fly to Iqaluit (YFB) without an overnight connection, you can also originate your journey in either Calgary (YYC) or Edmonton (YEG) and make your way onward from there. The airline has scheduled early-morning flights from either city that will connect to 5T 118.

However, with multiple direct flights available between Alberta’s two largest cities and Ottawa, it’s not very likely that many people would book this type of journey.

Similarly, Canadian North has scheduled flights from Yellowknife (YZF) back to Edmonton (YEG) and Calgary (YYC) that will connect from 5T 119. The most likely application of this is returning from Iqaluit (YFB) to either city without an overnight connection.

The flights are loaded onto Canadian North’s website, and can be booked throughout the schedule

Can You Book the Arctic Capital Express Route with Aeroplan Points?

Travelling to Canada’s territories is typically a very expensive endeavour. However, you may recall that Canadian North is one of Aeroplan’s partner airlines.

While it’s possible to earn Aeroplan points on flights with Canadian North, it’s also possible to redeem Aeroplan points on Canadian North flights.

Furthermore, as a partner airline, Canadian North flights are subject to fixed pricing, which provides a very intriguing opportunity to score a very valuable redemption.

For example, a cash fare for flights from Ottawa (YOW) to Yellowknife (YZF) with Canadian North start at around $1,900 (CAD), and can venture all the way up to $3,100 (CAD).

In the opposite direction, tickets start at around $1,700 (CAD), but can rise all the way up to $3,500 (CAD) for a last-minute booking.

No matter which direction you’re travelling, it’s going to come at a bit of a steep price.

However, if you were to instead book these flights using Aeroplan points, you’ll always pay the same number of points based on the total distance flown.

Let’s use the same example of a one-way booking from Ottawa (YOW) to Yellowknife (YZF). According to Great Circle Mapper, the total distance flown amounts to around 2,716 miles.

On the Aeroplan Flight Reward Chart, this falls within the third distance band on the “Within North America” chart. As displayed, booking with partner airlines will cost a predictable 12,500 Aeroplan points in economy.

Indeed, a search result confirms our suspicions, and also shows that there is a modest amount of $87 (CAD) in taxes and fees to pay as well.

Compared to a cash price of $1,930 (CAD) for the same flights on the same dates, you wind up scoring a redemption value of 14.7 cents per point (cpp) by using points instead of cash.

We value Aeroplan points at 2.1cpp. Clearly, if you’re able to find award flights that fit your schedule, you stand to get considerable value from your points by redeeming them on flights with Canadian North.

As for award space, it tends to get booked up, and you aren’t likely to find any last-minute space for the next few months.

However, if you’re planning a trip far in advance, the availability patterns tend to be much more favourable. You’ll predictably find up to six award seats available, which can be a great deal for a family or group trip.

Canadian North award availability is shown on ExpertFlyer, which also lets you search for award seats one week at a time.

Lastly, should you wish to fly from Calgary (YYC) to Ottawa (YOW) via Yellowknife (YZF) and Iqaluit (YFB), you’ll be happy to know that you can also book this with Aeroplan points.

The total distance of these flights measures around 3,500 miles, which should correspond to the fourth distance band on the Aeroplan Flight Reward Chart and a fixed price of 22,500 points…

Compared to the cash price of $2,234 (CAD) for the same flights, you’re once again looking at an outstanding, if not very unorthodox, redemption.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that Aeroplan has signalled that its Canadian regional partner airlines, such as PAL Airlines, Air Creebec, Calm Air, and Canadian North, will have their own reward chart at some point in 2023.

This likely means that redemption prices are going up. Therefore, we’d suggest booking flights with Canadian North, and any other regional airline for that matter, sooner rather than later.


Canadian North has launched the Arctic Capital Express route, which will provide a same-day service between Ottawa (YOW), Iqaluit (YFB), and Yellowknife (YZF) in both directions. The flights are set to begin on June 8, 2023, and travel will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

These flights are already loaded onto Canadian North’s own engine, and are available for bookings.

Since Canadian North is an Aeroplan partner, you can also redeem Aeroplan points on the Arctic Capital Express route. As cash prices on this route tend to run quite high, you stand to benefit from fixed pricing using Aeroplan points, which can result in a spectacular redemption value.

Just be sure to make your booking sooner rather than later, as we expect Canadian North flights to be subject to a new redemption chart later this year.

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