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Schools give plan high marks

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (May 21/01) - Canadian North has come up with a program aimed at benefitting Kivalliq schools.

The company's customer service manager in Rankin Inlet, Randy Miller, says the airline has high hopes for its new Sky Marks for School program.

"The program has started off a little slow in the Kivalliq," said Miller.

"There's still a few schools which haven't received the information they need yet, but it's a pilot project which we'll fine tune for the coming school year."

Both staff members and students, whenever they travel on Canadian North, are given a stub to fill out and return to the airline.

A log is kept of their trips and once they reach the pre-set target (12 for staff members and 30 for students), the school earns a free flight.

"Once a student or a staff member reaches one of those thresholds, they simply fax in their list to us and we give them authorization for a free ticket.

"Points from the pilot program will be allowed to be carried over to the next school year."

The reward tickets are only good for Canadian North flights.

Choose a destination

Schools that earn free travel can choose between such destinations as Yellowknife, Edmonton, Fort Smith, Hay River, Norman Wells, Inuvik, Cambridge Bay, Rankin Inlet, Iqaluit and Ottawa.

Miller said the airline has tried to be involved with schools in the past and the Sky Marks for Schools program is a way Canadian North can help schools cut their travel costs.

"Schools are always looking for support from the community, but we've found they don't always approach our airline.

"We came up with a way we could initiate one program to help a number of schools at once."

The pilot program runs until Aug. 26 and will be re-evaluated at that time.

Miller said with the cost of travel in the North, every free trip is significant.

"The different sports groups and other student organizations within the school often have to do their own fund-raising and, hopefully, this will ease their burden a bit and offer them a little bit of a reward for travelling with Canadian North."