The Hay River-based charter company Landa Aviation has recently transitioned from strictly charter flights to now offering year-round passenger flights.

May 28th was their first day operating the new flights, says operations manager Tyler King.

“It’s been going okay, but we definitely don’t have enough people yet to keep going, we’re kind of just plugging away,” King says.

“We’ve had a lot of support from local businesses,” says King.

Landa Aviation is a family-owned air charter company that has been operating out of Hay River since 1979.

“It’s myself, my wife and also my dad, my father works here as well plus we have two other pilots and another AME coming now just to help with the scheduling,” said King.

“It’s been a little bit of a learning curve, trying to fit everything into the day,” said King.

The company’s new flights aim to fill a gap for medical travel currently lacking in many northern communities. With same day flights in and out of Hay River, patients will be able to return home sooner after travelling to Yellowknife for medical treatments. The Yellowknife to Hay River route is already serviced by First Air, but King said Landa’s flights stagger existing ones to give people more options for travel times.

“When I set up our times I kind of took them into mind because with check-in times being around 4 o’clock with First Air, I believe they said that a lot of times they’d have to keep people overnight,” said King.

“So our check-in time is at 5:30 to depart at 6 and they liked that idea so that’s why I went with that.”

Landa now offers two round trips on weekdays and one on Saturdays. Monday to Friday, flights will leave Hay River for YK at 7:45 and 9 a.m. and YK for Hay River at 4:15 and 6 p.m. On Saturday, the flight will depart Hay River at 10 a.m. and YK at 11:15.

A one-way ticket will cost $350 while the return will run $600. Quick tickets, with a minimum purchase of 10, will be $250.