04/11/2014 03:40 EDT | Updated 06/11/2014 05:59 EDT

Canadian North, First Air plan 'merger of equals'

The owners of Canadian North and First Air have confirmed they are proposing to merge the two northern airlines. 

NorTerra Inc. and Makivik Corporation issued a joint news release Friday saying they are in talks that could lead to a "merger of equals, subject to the successful conclusion of negotiations and regulatory review."

Canadian North and First Air fly to communities in N.W.T. and Nunavut. 

The two Inuit-owned companies said a merger would improve the "sustainability" of their operations. 

The potential merger would create a single airline entity. The companies say the merger would not result in job losses.​

They said flights and services of both airlines will be unaffected during the negotiations.

The companies have set up a website with information on the merger talks.

NorTerra is now wholly owned by the Inuvialuit Development Corporation, after the IDC recently bought out Nunasi Corporation's 50 per cent share.

Makivik Corporation is owned by the Inuit of Northern Quebec.