After my last post on air transportation costs (and to be clear I think the high cost of air travel up here is a social justice issue, and it is high time the different levels of government, and others start thinking of it as such) I got to thinking about how best to put travel costs in perspective. Now I know there are many ways to make comparisons, and this is just one way, but here is a breakdown on air fares by cost per kilometre.
A note on the information. All of the Northern/Nunavut fares were taken from First Air's Website. There are other carriers that service some of these destinations. Vancouver to Halifax and Toronto to Sydney Australia fares are from Air Canada's website. London England to Ascension Island and Copenhagen to Nuuk Greenland were taken from comments on my last post, and I did not check them further. Fares and distance were based on Return flights, departing March 4th, 2009, returning April 4th, 2009 or dates close to that. The cheapest fares found are the ones used. Mileage is "as the Raven flies" and calculated from this site, or in the case of London to Ascension Island on Google Earth. Whew.
Arctic Bay to Iqaluit: 2420 kms at $2188 = $.90/km
Arctic Bay to Ottawa: 6220 kms at $3642 = $.59/km
Resolute to Iqaluit: 3150 kms at $2384 = $.76/km
Pond Inlet to Iqaluit: 2126 kms at $1452 = $68/km
Cape Dorset to Iqaluit: 784 kms at $598 = $.76/km
Pangnirtung to Iqaluit: 594 kms at $412 = $.69/km
Iqaluit to Ottawa: 4194 kms at $1852 = $.44/km
Moving out of the Baffin Region but staying in the north we find the following...
Rankin Inlet to Iqaluit: 2352 kms at $1366 = $.58/km
Cambridge Bay to Yellowknife: 1700 kms at $1216 = $.72/km
Cambridge Bay to Edmonton: 3738 kms (via Yellowknife) at $1732 = $.46/km
Kugluktuk to Yellowknife: 1194 kms at $870 = $.73/km
Kugluktuk to Edmonton: 3232 kms (via Yellowknife) at $1508 = $.47/km
Yellowknife to Edmonton: 2038 kms at $494 = $.24/km
And finally a couple of southern domestic and international flights...
Vancouver to Halifax: 8858 kms at $568 = $.06/km
Toronto to Sydney Australia: 31,108 kms at $1466 = $.05/km
Copenhagen Denmark to Nuuk Groenland: 7068 kms at $2412 = $.34/km
London England to Ascension Island: 13400 kms at $3664 = $.27/km
For the most part I'll let you make what you will from this. It is a pretty basic comparison and I realize that other factors fall into play. Now I didn't check any other Baffin fares (perhaps I should) but obviously within this data Arctic Bay (Nanisivik) has the highest fares within the context of price per kilometre of travel (and for this service I'll point out that you get a box lunch - my last two were frozen). The Vancouver to Halifax fare is for Air Canada's Tango service which is pretty bare bones, however if you were to ask me whether I'd prefer bare bones at six cents a kilometre to get from here to Ottawa or half bare bones at sixty cents a kilometre I wouldn't have to think about my choice to hard.
I was actually quite surprised at the costs for Cape Dorset and Pangnirtung, as I thought they'd be better deals per kilometre. The other northern surprises for me was the CamBay and Kugluktuk legs to Yellowknife. Again I thought they were fairing better. They of course get the benefit of the low Yellowknife to Edmonton leg, should they be venturing farther south.