To contact us our e-mail address is = CdnAviationNews@rogers.com
Airport Log — Last update 1505 – 21 Nov – 2017
Photo Gallery — Last update 1100 – 21 Nov – 2017
Nostalgia Gallery — Last update 2345 – 30 Mar – 2017
A319s –Last update — Oct 19-2016
A320s –Last update — Jul 16-2015
A321s –Last update — Apr 10-2017
A330s–Last update — Sep 18-2017
E-190s–Last update — Jul 07 -2017
E-175s–Last update — Jun 27-2017
B767s – Last update — Aug 24-2017
B787s –Last update — Oct 25 -2017
B737-MAX Updated — Nov 01, 2017 (New addition)
B777s — Last update — Nov 19 – 2017
CRJ’s — Last update — Aug 09 -2017
DHC-8s –Last update–Sep 20 -2017
Beech 1900’s –Last update –Mar 11-2017
Air Transat – 08 Nov
CanJet – 09 Jan
CargoJet – 15 Mar
Flair Airlines – 12 Oct
Porter – 24 Mar
Sunwing – 14 Nov
WestJet – 17 Nov
CAE USA awarded subcontract from Lockheed Martin to support development of C-130J weapon systems trainers
Tampa, Florida, USA, November 20, 2017 – (NYSE: CAE; TSX: CAE) – CAE USA has been awarded subcontracts from Lockheed Martin to support the design, development and manufacture of six C-130J weapon systems trainers (WSTs) for the United States Air Force and Air National Guard.
The orders for these six C-130J WSTs were booked during CAE’s second quarter of fiscal year 2018 and included in the quarterly earnings announcement done on November 10, 2017.
“We are pleased to continue our long-standing partnership with Lockheed Martin on the design and development of training systems for the C-130J Super Hercules,” said Ray Duquette, President and General Manager, CAE USA. “The high-fidelity capabilities of these C-130J weapon systems trainers allow the Air Force to increase the amount of synthetic training used throughout the overall training curriculum, which ultimately enhances safety, efficiency and mission readiness for the aircrews.”
The C-130J WSTs are full-motion, full-mission simulators that accurately simulate the aircraft and its various missions. The simulators recreate the sounds, motion, virtual environment and all other systems required to provide a high-fidelity, realistic flight training environment. These six C-130J WSTs will be delivered to various air bases during 2020 and 2021.
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 20, 2017 /CNW/ – Air Georgian’s SOAR program for aviation career awareness, recruitment and retention continues to grow with the addition of Ornge to their operator partnerships. The partnership provides a career pathway for pilots at Ornge to become First Officers with Air Georgian and an entry point into the Air Canada network. After joining Air Georgian, pilots are guaranteed an interview with Air Canada through their Pilot Mobility Agreement (PMA).
“At Ornge, pilots gain valuable experience flying in diverse conditions and geography, while at the same time making a difference in their community,” said Dr. Andrew McCallum, President & CEO, Ornge. “As many of our pilots seek advancement in their career, this partnership helps us better manage our pilot human resources, resulting in more reliability. It’s a clear win for both organizations, and ultimately, the patients we serve.”
The ultra low cost airline world got more crowded on Thursday with the announcement that Canada Jetlines plans to launch June 1 with fares of less than $100. But the airline will need to tap into the potential of new regulations that allow up to 49 percent foreign ownership of airlines. CEO Stan Gadek is quoted by BNN as telling an investor conference on Tuesday that he’ll look outside the country for capital to launch the airline because domestic investors don’t have any experience with the low-fare model.
Canada Jetlines is expecting to be based in Hamilton and serve mainly secondary market airports with really low fares. It wants to start with four Boeing 737s and hopes to add four a year to a total of 24. It’s up against some major competition with WestJet’s Swoop starting about the same time and Flair Airlines already in operation and looking to establish a big enough bridgehead to weather Swoop’s entry.
New hires in Montreal to work on aircraft interiors
Bombardier is hiring about 1,000 workers in the Montreal area to work on its new Global 7000 business aircraft program, the company said Friday. The workers will be hired over the next 18 months for interior completion work on the aircraft, the company said.
- Bombardier signs deal to sell up to 24 C Series jets to EgyptAir
- Bombardier secures new C Series order, but says it will deliver fewer of them this year
Final assembly on the Global 7000 takes place in Toronto, but Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare said the company has decided to do the interior completion work in the Montreal area. Scheduled to enter into service in the second half of 2018, the Global 7000 is designed to carry up to 19 people with a maximum range of 13,700 kilometres. The new plane has a price in the range of $70 million to $72 million US, and the company has said it has orders booked up through 2021.
Bellemare said during a press conference that the company will have “a little challenge” to recruit people, but he sounded confident on being able get the necessary workers. “The good news is we have talent” in the Montreal area, he said during a press conference at a facility in Pointe-Claire, Que., where the company is investing about $83 million. David Coleal, the president of Bombardier’s business aircraft division, said there will be a “full-court press” on hiring. Bombardier Business Aerospace currently employs about 5,500 people in the Greater Montreal area.
As part of Friday’s announcement, Bombardier said production on its Global 5000 aircraft will be shifted to Wichita, Kan., with Bellemare saying that no jobs will be lost in Montreal in conjunction with the transfer. The hiring news comes after Bombardier laid off more than 14,000 people around the world from its aerospace and transportation divisions as it restructured.
A union leader sounded optimistic over the company’s plans. “After a few difficult years in which we have seen job cuts, the union is delighted that soon the recall list, which currently has about 100 members, will not have a single one anymore and that hiring will follow,” Renaud Gagné, Unifor Quebec director, said in a release. “It secures our jobs for future years, quality jobs, and creates others. We are certainly enthusiastic.”
Agrisoma Biosciences Inc.
GATINEAU, QC, Nov. 17, 2017 /CNW/ – Farmers in Australia will soon be growing a Canadian oilseed used to make bio jet fuel thanks to a new “farm to flight” deal between Quebec-based Agrisoma Biosciences Inc., and Qantas Airlines.
The partnership is the first of its kind in Australia and will see Agrisoma work with Australian farmers to grow the Carinata seed, a non-food, industrial type of mustard seed that produces high-quality oil ideal for renewable aviation jet fuel and renewable diesel fuel.
“Our long-term goal with this partnership is to grow the crop at a target of 400,000 hectares which will ultimately produce more than 200 million litres of bio jet fuel for the airline, says Steven Fabijanski, Agrisoma’s Ph.D. President and CEO. In 2018, to demonstrate the benefits of Agrisoma’s biofuel, Qantas will operate the world’s first bio-fuel flight between the United States and Australia.
“We are constantly looking for ways to reduce carbon emissions across our operations but when it comes to using renewable jet fuel, until now, there has not been a locally grown option at the scale we need to power our fleet,” says CEO Qantas International, Alison Webster. Renewable jet fuel is chemically equivalent to and meets the same technical, performance and safety standards as conventional jet fuel.
How it Works
Carinata is a ‘drop-in’ crop and requires no specialised production or processing techniques, uses little water. Field trials in Gatton, Queensland and Bordertown, South Australia, have demonstrated it should do very well in the Australian climate. It is sown either in fallow areas where crops fail or in-between regular crop cycles, known as “cover cropping.” Rotational or cover cropping improves soil quality, reduces erosion for food crops and provides farmers with additional annual income.
The Australian plan is based upon Agrisoma’s current commercial production of Carinata being grown in the USA and South America supplying the European renewable fuels market and Non-GMO animal feed demand.
When crushed, the seed also produces a secondary benefit to farmers; a high protein, non-GMO meal for the expanding Australian livestock, dairy and poultry market.
The biggest construction project in the airport’s history delivered on time and on budget
QUEBEC CITY, Nov. 16, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ – Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) completed a major step in its development today with the inauguration of YQB 2018, the biggest construction project in its history. It involved the investment of $277 million, years of preparation, months of work and the talent of thousands of people in order to deliver a major, complex but necessary upgrade on time and on budget. Thanks to the 550,000 hours worked on-site since 2015, the YQB 2018 project has made it possible to position the airport as a world-class facility that is second to none, ready to welcome the two million passengers who will pass through its doors between now and 2020. The terminal is scheduled to open to the public on December 11.
“The successful completion of this project is based in large part on the commitment and support of the business community in the greater Québec City area and the assistance received from political and business leaders in the region. I would like to thank the governments of Canada and Québec for believing in our plan and renewing their support for our organization, with investments of $50 million from each level of government. I also thank the City of Québec, with which we will work more closely in the future to ensure the strategic development of our infrastructures, for the benefit of the region as a whole. And to all business people in the region I say thank you for creating the conditions for our success and acting as ambassadors for our vision,” says André Fortin, chairman of the board of directors of Aéroport de Québec Inc.
“Inspired by our vision of Passenger First, we have chosen to create a world-calibre infrastructure to join the top 10 of the country’s most visited airports. YQB 2018 will accelerate the transformation of our organization and drive our growth, for the benefit of all our passengers. By extending and investing in the airport, we will stimulate competition between carriers, and this will be reflected in the price of your ticket,” adds Gaëtan Gagné, president and CEO of Aéroport de Québec Inc.
A sustainable approach, an intuitive process, and cutting-edge technology
YQB 2018 involved a dozen interlinked construction and information technology projects, including the resurfacing of the airport’s runways. The project will provide four new passenger gates, self-serve check-in kiosks, automated self-service customs kiosks, charging stations for smartphones and tablets, bigger food courts offering a wider range of meals, more baggage carrousels serving international flights, a more user-friendly and better-designed customs area, a duty-free store that is four times larger, a larger capacity luggage area, automated baggage drop-off facilities, and dynamic communications and signage systems, including the YQB mobile application.
YQB 2018 was implemented using an innovative Building Information Modeling (BIM) approach, for the first time ever in Québec for such a large project. It will raise the stakes in terms of sustainable development, since it relies on geothermal heat, automated lighting, heat recovery and the controlled intake of fresh air.
In the meantime …
Despite the ongoing work, YQB has continued to grow, with passenger numbers reaching 1.6 million in 2016. The airport has been expanding at an average rate of 6.3% per year since 2000, and now has over 420 flights per week to around thirty direct destinations, as well as worldwide access through other hubs. It also helps generate thousands of jobs and substantial economic benefits.
“Today, we are ready as never before to respond to the rapid growth in worldwide travel, to attract new players and, above all, to offer an outstanding passenger experience. I would like to thank my team and the thousands of workers who have brought this vision to life. Your talent and enthusiasm, fuelled by your focus on excellence and new methods, have made it a privilege to work alongside you! We can now concentrate on our next goal: a US customs preclearance facility to accelerate our growth and make us the country’s 9th largest airport,” concludes Mr. Gagné.
BANGALORE, India, Nov. 15, 2017 /CNW/ – Magellan Aerospace (“Magellan”) hosted a traditional groundbreaking ceremony today for the company’s new manufacturing and assembly facility in India. Magellan was honoured to have Canada’s federal minister of International Trade, The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne participate in the event that was also attended by an esteemed group of customers, government officials and local business colleagues. The new 140,000 square foot building will be constructed on seven acres in Hitech Defence and Aerospace Park (Aerospace SEZ Sector) in Devanahalli, Bengaluru, near the BangaloreInternational Airport.
Already an established presence in India’s aerospace sector for more than a decade, Magellan will invest more than CDN $28 millionin this state-of-the-art manufacturing and assembly plant. Construction of the plant will be in two phases with the first phase planned to become operational near the end of 2018. The plant will employ approximately 120 high technology and support positions, and will be equipped with a comprehensive range of high speed 4 and 5-axis machining centres, selected to optimise manufacturing efficiency.
“Canada’s world-class aerospace sector is an international success story that symbolizes excellence and provides more jobs for the middle class for both Canada and India. We are proud of Magellan’s long-standing presence in the Indian market and today’s expansion illustrates how Canadian companies have always been at the forefront of aerospace innovation. Continued commercial engagement in this region is at the core of our progressive trade agenda which helps contribute to stronger and more innovative economies for both Canada and India.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade Canada
Mr. Haydn Martin, Vice President, New Business Development of Magellan Aerospace said, “Magellan is excited to officially launch this important new venture in India. Together, with our two longstanding Joint Venture relationships in India; API Surface Treatments and Triveni Aeronautics PVT Limited, MagellIndiaan is positioned to be one of the largest suppliers of ‘Make in India‘ manufactured commercial aircraft components. This new facility, coupled with Magellan’s extensive machining operations in Europe and North America, will give us a highly competitive offering for our customers.”
This facility supports Magellan’s major North American and European OEM customers’ drive to grow the ‘Make in India‘ content on their aircraft and demonstrates Magellan’s on-going commitment to play a major role in developing the supply chain in India.
Montreal, October 31, 2017 – Discovery Air Defence Services Inc. (“DA Defence”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Discovery Air Inc., today announced it has been awarded through a competition the long-term Contracted Airborne Training Services (CATS) contract by the Government of Canada. This contract is for 10 years with 1 two-year option and a second 17-month option. DA Defence will deliver CATS services to the Canadian Armed Forces from permanent operating bases located in four different Canadian provinces using a fleet of modernized Alpha Jet and Learjet aircraft.
“It is an honour to be selected as Canada’s long term partner for the provision of CATS by offering a true made-in-Canada solution,” said Paul Bouchard, President of DA Defence. “Our outstanding team of highly experienced CF-18 pilots and fighter weapons instructors combined with our team of dedicated maintenance, engineering and support personnel will continue to deliver the world’s most comprehensive airborne training to prepare the Canadian military for ever-changing challenges and threats to Canada and its allies beyond 2030.
“Over the course of the past 12 years, we have exceeded all customer expectations to become Canada’s trusted provider of airborne training,” said Didier Toussaint, Group President and Operations Manager of DA Defence. “Our proven track record of safety, experience and innovation will continue to serve the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces well into the future. I am also very proud that this long-term CATS award will support ongoing economic and technological benefits in the Montreal aerospace supercluster and boost Canada’s Key Industrial Capabilities in aerospace on the world stage.” oth Messrs. Bouchard and Toussaint are also former CF-18 fighter weapons instructor pilots.
DA Defence is the most experienced provider of turnkey tactical airborne training in the world. With eight Main Operating Bases across three continents, DA Defence operates the world’s largest privately-owned fleet of aggressor and combat support aircraft. With an unparalleled safety record, including 66,000 accident-free flight hours, DA Defence, along with their wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary, Top Aces Corp., is the exclusive contracted airborne training service provider to the Canadian, German, and Australian armed forces. DA Defence’s unique mix of modern fighter and special mission aircraft equipped with representative 4th generation threat capabilities delivers the mission profiles, flexibility, and availability demanded by the Canadian Armed Forces and the world’s leading air forces.
CALGARY, Nov. 15, 2017 /CNW/ – WestJet, Air France and KLM today announced the redemption phase of their reciprocal frequent flyer agreement. Flying Blue Miles can now be redeemed for WestJet flights and WestJet dollars can now be redeemed for flights within the Air France and KLM global network.
The announcement comes on the heels of the airlines’ successful launch of the earn phase of the reciprocal frequent flyer agreement and further complements their long-standing code share cooperation.
“We are very proud to be partnered with airlines of the caliber of Air France-KLM,” said Ed Sims, WestJet Executive Vice-President Commercial. “This is a fantastic step for our WestJet Rewards members and reflects our commitment to expand WestJet’s network reach and offer Canadians the world. We also look forward to continuing to welcome Flying Blue members on board to experience the growing WestJet network and caring guest experience.”
“We are thrilled to have come full circle reciprocity-wise with the Flying Blue and WestJet Rewards programs, which now jointly offer our members the possibility to earn and redeem tickets on our combined networks worldwide,” said Jean-Noël Rault, Vice-President and General Manager of Air France-KLM Canada. “It’s a new milestone in our relationship with our Canadian partner, providing direct benefits for our customers and guests.”
Members of WestJet Rewards can now redeem WestJet dollars on Air France-KLM destinations in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Members of Air France-KLM’s Flying Blue program can now redeem their Flying Blue Miles to WestJet destinations throughout Canada, the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.
More information on WestJet Rewards Member Exclusive fares can be found at westjet.com. Flying Blue members are invited to visit flyingblue.com for information on how to redeem Miles on WestJet flights.
NAC will provide an operating lease to Jambojet Ltd who will be the operator of the aircraft in Kenya.
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft today announced that it concluded a firm purchase agreement for two new Q400 turboprops with Nordic Aviation Capital (“NAC”) in September 2017. NAC will lease these two Q400 aircraft to Jambojet Ltd, based in Nairobi, Kenya. With the addition of these aircraft, NAC has increased its Q400 portfolio to 87 aircraft, and remains the largest fleet owner and lessor of the type in the world, while Jambojet will now operate three Q400 aircraft on lease from two lessors. Based on the list price of the Q400 aircraft, the firm order is valued at approximately $64 million US.
“The Q400 aircraft offers the perfect balance of passenger comfort and operating economics with a reduced environmental footprint,” said Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “The demand for turboprop aircraft worldwide is tremendous and the Q Series aircraft are ideally positioned to meet the needs of regional airlines as they offer a unique ability to serve diverse and challenging environments. NAC’s continued acquisition of the Q400 is a strong endorsement of the value, in-service performance and reliability the aircraft provides. We are thrilled that leasing companies continue to recognize the Q400 aircraft as a high-quality asset, as evidenced by this order.”
“We are delighted to have placed an order with Bombardier to grow our fleet of Q400 aircraft,” said Martin Møller, Chairman of Nordic Aviation Capital. “We warmly welcome Jambojet as a new client and the opportunity to increase our global footprint on the African Continent. We are pleased to have partnered with the Jambojet management team in their efforts to grow and modernise their fleet. The Q400 is a high-quality asset with proven operational capability and performance, and we are confident that it will enable them to meet and exceed their performance targets. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with the Jambojet team in the years ahead.”
“The Q400 aircraft’s performance and economics have been exceptional as we position ourselves for rapid growth. Its proven operational capability in Africa’s hot and diverse landscape is an excellent asset in our portfolio,” said Willem Hondius, CEO, Jambojet. “Our passengers are enjoying the experience and the aircraft continues to deliver significant value to the airline,” he added. “We are looking at retiring our narrowbody fleet and transitioning to an all-Q400 fleet by end of this year. We are confident that the Q400 aircraft will allow us to implement our growth strategy as we strive to launch new routes and to respond to the anticipated increase in demand.”
“We are proud that the Q400 is the leading turboprop in Africa as it fits its diversified and growing customer base. The Q400 aircraft is exceptionally versatile and can be adapted to a variety of business models, which makes it ideally suited for operators such as Jambojet,” said Jean-Paul Boutibou, Vice President, Sales, Middle-East and Africa at Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
Bombardier’s customer support network for commercial aircraft in Africa includes a Regional Support Office (RSO) and spare parts depot, co-located in Johannesburg, South Africa as well as Authorized Service Facilities in South Africa and Ethiopia. The latter is a duly authorized and approved Commercial Authorized Service Facility (CASF) for Q Series aircraft and operates the only Q400 flight simulator in Africa. Operating from the company’s regional office located in the United Arab Emirates, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft’s sales and marketing team is well positioned to provide industry-leading solutions to its current and prospective customers.
This order relates to a previously undisclosed customer and had been accounted for in our Q3 orderbook.
First Canadian carrier with a Skill for Amazon’s intelligent voice service
MONTREAL, Nov. 15, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada is offering customers additional convenience by becoming the first Canadian airline to develop a skill for Amazon’s popular voice service, Alexa. Devices with Alexa will use machine learning and artificial intelligence to respond to spoken questions about such things as fare quotes and the status of Air Canada flights.
“Advances in innovative and new technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing have great promise to deliver more convenience for our customers,” said Mark Nasr, Vice President of Loyalty and eCommerce at Air Canada. “We’re thrilled to be working with artificial intelligence start-up RozieAI to launch this capability so that customers across Canada can access AC services quickly and simply, using their voice.”
Simply by asking, Air Canada customers will be able to obtain useful travel information from their devices with Alexa. The skill developed by Air Canada will initially enable Alexa to tell customers the status of their flight, provide fare quotes, and which baggage carousel to go to pick up baggage after a flight, with further topics to be added in the future. Additionally, Alexa will provide general answers about Air Canada’s mobile app, required travel documents, TSA precheck availability and certain ticket policies.
MONTREAL, Nov. 14, 2017 /CNW/ – Discovery Air Defence Services Inc. (“DA Defence”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Discovery Air Inc., today announced that it has now flown its first fast jet training mission in support of the Australian Defence Force’s Fast Jet Trial contract.
Two DA Defence upgraded Alpha Jets and four Air Affairs Learjets participated in air-to-air missions as Red Air aggressors near RAAF Williamtown, New South Wales. The jets were participating in the Royal Australian Air Force 81 Wing workups for future exercises.
“This inaugural fast jet mission is a great milestone for everyone involved in our new Australian program,” said Steven “Bunt” Nierlich, DA Defence Program Manager and a highly-experienced former CF-18 pilot. “Discovery Air Defence and Air Affairs Australia are committed to delivering the world’s best adversary training to the Australian Defence Force.”
“This mission marks the achievement of initial operating capability (IOC) in our Australian fast jet program,” said Paul Bouchard, President of DA Defence. “Working closely with our partner Air Affairs Australia, also an expert in providing both jet and unmanned target services, we look forward to training the Australian Defence Force with highly-representative adversary threats beyond this trial and into the future.”
DA Defence is the most experienced provider of turnkey tactical airborne training in the world. With eight Main Operating Bases across three continents, DA Defence operates the world’s largest privately-owned fleet of aggressor and combat support aircraft. With an unparalleled safety record, including 66,000 accident-free flight hours, DA Defence, along with their wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary, Top Aces Corp., is the exclusive contracted airborne training service provider to the Canadian, German, and Australian armed forces. DA Defence’s unique mix of modern fighter and special mission aircraft equipped with representative 4th generation threat capabilities delivers the mission profiles, flexibility, and availability demanded by the world’s leading air forces.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, November 12, 2017 (NYSE: CAE; TSX: CAE) – CAE announced today at the 2017 Dubai Airshow aviation that it has sold one Airbus A320NEO full-flight simulator and one flight training device to support the training needs of Kuwait Airways.
The CAE 7000XR full-flight simulator, equipped with the CAE Tropos 6000XR visual system offering unprecedented realism, and the CAE 500XR flight training device will be delivered to the airline’s training centre in Kuwait City, Kuwait. The innovative XR Series training equipment suite will be ready for training at the end of year.
“CAE has been a tremendous training partner over the years, providing state-of-the-art training equipment but also playing a key role in the development and training of our future Captains,” said Ebrahim A. Al Khuzan, Chief Executive Officer of Kuwait Airways. “Choosing CAE once again was a matter-of-course; we are glad that our pilots will train on CAE’s innovative equipment for our latest A320NEO fleet addition”.
“It is a pleasure to support Kuwait Airways’ growth and its training needs for its latest A320NEO fleet,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE Group President, Civil Aviation Training Solutions. “With about 30,000 new airline pilots needed in the region over the next 10 years, we are honoured to play a central role in the creation of future pilots; we’re glad that our airline partner continues to entrust us with our ability to provide comprehensive innovative training solutions.”
CAE and Kuwait Airways share a relationship that spans over two decades, with the delivery of innovative training equipment, to the provision of cadet to captain training, including Airbus A320 and Boeing 777 pilot training at the Emirates-CAE Flight Training centre in Dubai. Since the beginning of the year, CAE has also been supporting Kuwait Airways’ need for professional pilots through the selection, assessment, and type-rating training of cadets. The airline’s future pilots began ground-school training at CAE Oxford, will follow with flight training at CAE Phoenix, and will be completing their type-rating training at CAE London Gatwick. The airline will be recruiting more than 100 CAE-trained pilots over the next 2 years.
The sale of the Airbus A320NEO FFS was included as part CAE’s first quarter fiscal 2018 results dated August 10, 2017.
Transat A.T. Inc. has announced its Air Transat business unit has signed an agreement with AerCap for the long-term (12-year) leasing of 10 Airbus A321neo long-range aircraft (above). The aircraft are to be delivered between spring 2019 and fall 2020, and will replace Transat’s Airbus A310s, which will be gradually retired from the fleet (below).
Air Transat will be among the first carriers to operate the new long-range (LR) variant of the Airbus A321neo (new engine option). The A321neo LR has the longest range of any single-aisle jetliner, capable of flying up to 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km). It is ideally suited for Transat’s combination of routes. Specifically, its size gives major flexibility in terms of flight commercialization and frequency while its fuel efficiency will keep cost per seat as low as possible, while reducing its carbon footprint.
Air Transat’s fleet currently consists of 31 permanent aircraft in a unique flexible-fleet model that allows it to deploy more wide-body aircraft in summer for the high transatlantic season, and narrow-body aircraft in winter for the high Sun destinations season.
The A321neo LRs will be deployed on both Sun destinations and transatlantic routes. Combined with the Airbus A330s and Boeing 737s, they will serve Transat’s entire network in an efficient and cost-effective way. Air Transat’s A321neo LRs will be configured for 200 seats across both classes: Club and Economy. All seats will be equipped with individual touch screens offering an extensive choice of entertainment for all.
- This deal covers 12 firm orders and 12 purchase rights
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced today, from the Dubai Airshow, that it has signed a letter of intent (LOI) for up to 24 CS300 aircraft with EgyptAir Holding Company, of Cairo. This includes 12 CS300 aircraft with purchase rights for an additional 12 aircraft.
Based on the list price of the CS300 airliner, a firm-order contract would be valued at approximately $1.1 billion US. Should EgyptAir also exercise the 12 purchase rights for CS300 aircraft, the contract value would increase to nearly $2.2 billion US.
In the presence of His Excellency Minister of Civil Aviation of Egypt Mr. Sherif Fathi, a press conference was held at the Dubai Airshow where Safwat Musallam, Chairman and CEO of EgyptAir Holding Company and Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft celebrated the signature of the letter of intent, which opens a new chapter in the relationship between the two companies.
“It is our pleasure to have this new partnership with Bombardier, which came as a continuation of our fleet modernization strategy. We undertook a thorough evaluation process of our fleet and realized that the CS300 would fit perfectly into our business plans and growth strategy,” said Safwat Musallam.
“We selected the C Series aircraft because its excellent range will allow us to best serve domestic and regional destinations, including neighboring Arab cities, the Middle East as well as several European destinations. This is in addition to the CS300 aircraft’s exceptional economics and outstanding cabin. We look forward to expanding our network with the CS300 and we are happy to see that the partnership announced with Airbus will bring added support to the C Series program.”
“We’re thrilled that EgyptAir selected the CS300 aircraft to renew its fleet,” said Fred Cromer. “Bombardier’s 20-year market outlook foresees demand for 450 airplanes in the 60- to 150-seat category for the region and this LOI confirms the need for right-sized aircraft in the Middle East. We are confident that our small single-aisle C Series is ideally-suited to serve the hot temperature environments of the region and will undoubtedly provide performance and economics that will drive higher profitability.”
MONTREAL, Nov. 13, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ – With 375 partners and guests in attendance at its facilities at Montréal–Trudeau airport, Transat A.T. Inc., Canada’s largest integrated tourism company, today celebrated its 30th anniversary, taking the opportunity to unveil its new fleet livery, which, like the company, blends innovation with continuity. “I feel a great sense of pride when I look at how far we’ve come since November 14, 1987, when our first flight took off From Montreal bound for Acapulco,” said Jean-Marc Eustache, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transat. “And our journey is far from over. While our tour operating business and our aviation operations are tried and tested, our services continue to evolve to meet the expectations of travellers today and in the future. We have plenty of innovations coming up, including the new fleet livery that we are unveiling this evening, and the new hotel division that we are about to create, all in pursuit of our goal of remaining at the forefront of the travel industry.”
Throughout its 30-year history, Transat has stayed true to the vision of its founders: that of a leisure travel company open to the world. Today, Transat offers customers 60 destinations in two major markets: transatlantic (Europe and the Middle East) and South, out of 21 Canadian airports. It commercializes its flights to Canada in 13 European countries, as well as in Israel, the United Statesand at its Sun destinations. It boasts 5,000 passionate employees worldwide, who help brighten the everyday with the joy of vacations for more 4.5 million passengers every year. And it is working to build a better future for the planet, through engagement with communities and investments in sustainable development.
“The story of Transat’s growth over the past 30 years is a remarkable one,” said Dominique Anglade, Deputy Premier of Quebec, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation, and Minister Responsible for the Digital Strategy, in her address. “Today, Transat isCanada’s leading integrated tourism company, and Air Transat is the country’s number one leisure carrier. Transat also attracts some 500,000 European travellers each year to Quebec and the rest of Canada, notably from France and the United Kingdom, two major tourism markets. Through its operations, this first-class employer generates substantial economic benefits for all of Quebec.”
Air Transat’s new colours
Unveiled during the evening, the new Air Transat fleet livery reflects the recent evolution of the Transat brand image and remains faithful to the company’s promise: to brighten the everyday with the joy of vacations. The star symbol, recognized emblem of Transat, is proudly displayed on the tail and the rear side fuselage and also on the wingtips. To mark the 30th anniversary, the design uses touches of grey, a nod to Air Transat’s very first livery. That livery features gradated shades of blue, to evoke the transformative power of holidays. Finally, the Air Transat name appears on the side and underside of the fuselage, ensuring its visibility even when the aircraft is in flight.
Bombardier’s sales chief has sought to reassure UK staff over the Canadian planemaker’s alliance with Airbus.
Fred Cromer said last month’s surprise announcement that Airbus would take control of its C-Series aircraft “would only strengthen Bombardier”. The aerospace and rail company employs 4,000 people in Belfast, with about 1,000 making C-Series wings. Speaking at the Dubai Airshow, he said the Airbus deal meant higher production and “more wings coming out of Belfast”.
“My message to all employees on the C-Series programme, and certainly in Belfast, is to keep doing what you’re doing. You are producing in Belfast amazing wing technology,” the president of Bombardier’s commercial aircraft division told the BBC. The aircraft is at the centre of a US-Canada dispute. Production of the C-Series has gone over-budget and been dogged by delays. US manufacturer Boeing has complained that the aircraft is being subsidised and sold below cost in the US.
Earlier this year the US Department of Trade sided with Boeing that C-Series sales in the US should be slapped with import duties of up to 300%. A final ruling is expected early next year. That put a question mark over the future of the programme and a sale of 75 jets to US airline Delta. Then last month, Bombardier announced that Boeing rival Airbus would take a majority stake in the C-Series, putting its production and marketing muscle behind the aircraft.
Airbus is to expand its production plant in Alabama, which will increase US content of the aircraft and help cut costs. Mr Cromer said this move was “about increasing volume of the aircraft, and that should make people feel good in Belfast”. The Alabama expansion would create more jobs at Bombardier, he said. “It is not a replacement of jobs. The US production line will give us bigger volume and give us access to the US marketplace.”
Delta has already said it will not pay the huge import tariffs on its Bombardier aircraft. Mr Cromer acknowledged that the delivery timetable for the Delta order could be adjusted if the trade dispute holds up the order. He said that an unnamed European airline was considering buying 61 C-Series aircraft, a deal that he hoped would be finalised by the end of this year. That potentially could help Bombardier if it was forced to reschedule the Delta deal.
Mr Cromer said Delta was committed to the aircraft and was prepared to wait if necessary, although the airline was unhappy with Boeing’s action. Other C-Series customers include Air Canada, Lufthansa and Latvia’s AirBaltic.
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft will celebrate the CS300 exceptional first year in service by showcasing airBaltic’s newest aircraft at the 2017 Dubai Airshow from November 12 to 16.
“We are very proud to bring a C Series in airBaltic’s livery at this year’s Dubai Airshow, and to celebrate alongside airBaltic the recent launch of the new route between Riga and Abu Dhabi with a CS300 aircraft,” said Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “We are thrilled to see our CS300 aircraft exceeding performance targets and opening up new opportunities for our operators.”
Bombardier also lands with a forecast of growth for airlines in the Middle East region over the next 20 years. During the Dubai Airshow, Bombardier will update customers and media alike on its forecast of 450 aircraft deliveries in the 60- to 150-seat category to Middle East operators.
“Middle East airline capacity continues to grow despite decreasing yields due to emergence of low-cost carriers in the region.” said Jean-Paul Boutibou, Vice President, Sales, Middle-East and Africa. Right-sizing of the fleet will lead to market penetration and profitability in an increasingly competitive Middle East airline market, which will create an equivalent demand for efficient aircraft such as the C Series aircraft.”
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft’s footprint has grown steadily in the Middle-East with about 15 operators and over 70 aircraft. The high-performing Q400 turboprop has notably enabled operators in the region to successfully improve intra-regional connectivity, and the new C Series family of aircraft is a great complement to the region’s widebody fleets, and provides unique growth opportunities.
Bombardier will also emphasize its presence at the airshow with a display of Q400 aircraft in the colours of Falcon Aviation, as well as a super-midsize Challenger 650 jet and an ultra-long range Global 6000 business aircraft.
Travelers can fly, dine and play virtually on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner from the comfort of their chair
MONTREAL, Nov. 9, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada is the first Canadian airline to use virtual reality technology to simulate the experience of flying on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner for travel agents and potential customers. Through a fully immersive, interactive experience, users can explore all three cabins of service offered on board the aircraft, including enjoying a virtual International Business Class meal complete with wine in an Executive Pod.
“Air Canada is always developing new ways to enhance the customer experience and to engage partners such as the travel agent community, which plays a key role in helping our customers select the travel options best suited to them. Virtual reality enables us to familiarize thousands of travel agents and potential customers with Air Canada’s offerings through the magic of an interactive, virtual tour,” said Duncan Bureau, Vice President, Global Sales at Air Canada. “We have already seen an increase in bookings since we began using this technology.”
With the headset on, and controls in hand, the journey begins with an overview of Air Canada’s global route network followed by an exploration of the new Air Canada livery. On the trip users can experience all three cabins: Economy, Premium Economy or International Business. Amenity kits, an Air Canada enRoute magazine, tray tables, and in-flight entertainment are just some of the elements that can be touched, opened and moved, guided by an audio-based flight attendant. Interactive experiences such as dinner service add an extra element of fun.
To complement the Virtual Reality Experience, Air Canada has produced 360 degree videos of the 787 cabin that can be accessed on a mobile device or desktop at https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/fly/onboard/cabin-features.html.
Air Canada’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner virtual reality experience will be available at the following events:
- Air Canada Pop-Up Poutinerie, Shoreditch, London (UK), until November 11, 2017.
- True Patriot Love Gala, Toronto, November 9, 2017;
- BAZAR ED, Santiago, Chile. November 22 to 26, 2017;
- WX Top 100 Leadership Summit, Toronto, November 23, 2017;
- EY Entrepreneur of the Year National Gala, The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, November 30, 2017.
Canadian flight simulator and training supplier CAE anticipates continued growth in the global civil air transport training market, the company said Friday as it released its fiscal 2018 second quarter results.
CAE reported total revenue of C$646 million ($509 million) for the quarter compared with C$635.5 million in the second quarter last year. Net income was C$65.2 million compared to C$48.3 million last year. Excluding the gain on the sale of its stake in the Zhuhai Flight Training Center (ZFTC) in China, net income in the second quarter would have been C$58.2 million.
Second quarter total segment operating income was C$109.3 million ($95.0 million before ZFTC gain) compared with C$85.8 million in the second quarter last year. “Our performance in the quarter continues to support our full year outlook,” CAE president and CEO Marc Parent said. “The high level of business activity we are experiencing adds to our confidence. In the quarter, we had continued strong results in civil.”
Second quarter civil revenue was C$349 million, down 2% compared to the same quarter last year. Segment operating income was C $77.1 million, which includes a gain on the ZFTC divestiture. Excluding this gain, segment operating income would have been C$62.8 million, up 16%.
During the quarter, civil signed training solutions contracts with a value of C$387.6 million, including long term training contracts with Iberia Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Endeavor Air. Also during the quarter, civil sold 11 full-flight simulators (FFSs), including a Boeing 777X FFS to Lufthansa Aviation Training, an Airbus A320NEO FFS and Boeing 737MAX FFS to Korean Air, and a Boeing 737MAX FFS to Fiji Airways. Civil sold 19 FFSs in the first half of the fiscal year.
CAE said it expects to see continued good growth in fiscal year 2018. In civil, the company expects to generate low-double digit percentage segment operating income growth.
BRESLAU — Travelers who use the Region of Waterloo International Airport are worried a schedule change to the only remaining domestic passenger flight by a national airline will steer more people away from an airport struggling to keep commercial traffic. WestJet recently switched the popular Waterloo Region to Calgary flight to a 6:15 a.m. departure and a red-eye overnight return, similar to changes made at airports in London, Ont., and Hamilton. That replaces flights that previously left at 6:45 p.m. and returned at 1 p.m.
Critics complain that WestJet, a company with annual sales of $4.1 billion, made the change to squeeze more revenue out of its fleet by not having planes sit idle overnight. Some are worried it means travelers will simply choose other airports with more convenient flights. “We’re held ransom by WestJet,” said Elmira’s Mary Jane Lennox, who has used the flight for the past 10 years to visit family in Calgary. “It feels very arbitrary. I just can’t believe this is going to be very good for our airport. I don’t think they thought about the human side of this.”
She and her husband, Duncan Lennox, also used the Calgary flight to bring their grandkids to Waterloo Region for vacations. They say they won’t put children on a red-eye flight and are looking for other options. “Somebody got their spreadsheet out and decided they could make a few extra bucks,” said Duncan.
WestJet said the changes were made to “allow for more connectivity in Calgary to our sun destinations and the broader WestJet network,” according to an emailed statement from the company. “We understand that these types of changes to schedule can be disappointing and we thank the community for their strong support over the years,” the airline added. WestJet said passenger volumes have “softened” since the change, but it expects the numbers to go back up around Christmas and January. The airline said it’ll be watching passenger volumes closely to decide the timing for the summer schedule. But some passengers worry that unless another carrier disrupts WestJet’s monopoly at the local airport, there’s little incentive for the airline to offer more attractive flight times. Victoria’s Katherine Dedyna, who flies home to Kitchener regularly to care for her 93-year-old mother, said she feels “betrayed” by the airline. “It’s a profound sign of disrespect to the size of our region. We are not a hick town that should be grateful for anything that WestJet sends us,” she said. “It now means you’re awake in the middle of the night, both ways. It makes it something to really dread as an ordeal. You know that when you go, you’re going to be utterly baked when you get to Kitchener.”
Airport officials are also watching to see what impact the change will have on their traffic numbers. They argue the Calgary flight was so popular — often 90 per cent full or more — WestJet could have added a second daily flight.
Chris Wood, the airport’s general manager, thinks passengers will enjoy the early-morning flight into Calgary, which opens up more connection options and gets you to that city in time for the business day. He’s also happy WestJet has extended it service to seven days a week, instead of five. But he expects the red-eye return flight, which leaves Calgary at midnight, will be less popular among travelers. According to a study by the airport, about 80 per cent of those flying to Calgary were on leisure, not business, trips. “I think when we were first told about this, our inclination was that inbound flight will be a tough sell,” Wood said. “Obviously, we don’t want to see our passenger numbers diminish. We’d love to have more service with WestJet. It would have been nice if this was an additional flight. We’re the 10th largest community in the country, with one flight a day. That doesn’t make any sense.”
The change means airport staff now have to start their shift at 3:30 a.m. It’s not yet known what it will mean for spinoff businesses, such as car rentals and food services. The airport has struggled to grow passenger numbers since American Airlines stopped its Chicago flights in 2016, and smaller carriers NextJet and Bearskin Airlines pulled out. Nolinor, an Arctic charter that flew to Baffin Island, also left last year. Sunwing Airlines offers a winter route to the Dominican Republic. WestJet stopped offering its weekly flights to Orlando this winter. This week, FlyGTA started flying between the airport and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Some passengers say they’re already cancelling plans to use the local airport because of the new schedule. Isobel Mackay, a former University of Waterloo employee, said she was “shocked” to find the Calgary flight had been “turned upside down.”
She doesn’t understand why such a radical change was needed to fix a flight that was already full with passengers.
“(It’s) bad enough flying in regular hours in the winter, but the prospect of two nights with little or no sleep and a battle with the weather in the dead of night was too much for me. I shelved my travel plans,” she said.
Airline increases traffic by 4.5 per cent and flies a record number of guests in October
CALGARY, Nov. 9, 2017 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced October 2017 traffic results with a record load factor of 81.7 per cent, an increase of 2.0 percentage points year over year. Revenue passenger miles (RPMs), or traffic, increased 4.5 per cent year over year, and capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASMs), grew 1.9 per cent over the same period. The airline flew a record 2.0 million guests in October, a year-over-year increase of 9.4 per cent or approximately 169,000 additional guests.
“We are very pleased with our fifth consecutive month of record load factors, as we also flew a record number of guests in October,” said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. “My sincere thanks go out to our over 13,000 WestJetters for their continuing passion and commitment as we transition into the busy holiday season.”
October 2017 traffic results
In October, WestJet announced it will begin non-stop service between John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, effective December 29, 2017. Service between Hamilton and Las Vegas will operate twice weekly beginning December 29, 2017, through April 27, 2018. This winter, WestJet has a total of 63 weekly flights to Las Vegas from eight cities across Canada including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto and Hamilton.
Delivering regional aviation to the world
- Q3 adjusted EBITDA1 of $83.4 million.
- Q3 adjusted net income1 of $48.6 million, or $0.39 per basic share.
- Q3 net income of $79.1 million, or $0.64 per basic share, including an unrealized foreign exchange gain of $31.1 million.
- Chorus’ leased fleet diversifies and grows to 60 upon completion of announced leasing transactions for 19 regional aircraft to date by Chorus Aviation Capital.
- Jazz Technical Services completed the second Extended Service Program on Dash 8-300 aircraft.
HALIFAX, Nov 8, 2017 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR) today announced solid financial results for the third quarter of 2017. –
“I’m pleased with our financial performance in the third quarter, delivering increases in all key financial metrics including growth in adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net earnings of 19.2% and 68.9% respectively over the same period in 2016,” said Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus. “In a short period of time, we have consummated significant transactions around the world, establishing a strong market position in the regional aircraft leasing sector. Aside from the 41 regional aircraft under lease in the CPA we have announced an additional 19 aircraft. Upon closing previously announced transactions, we will have 60 regional aircraft on lease, valued at over one billion dollars. We are making progress towards our goal of becoming one of the largest global players focused on regional aircraft.”
“We are transitioning our business with contracted leases and margins on attractive regional aircraft,” continued Mr. Randell. “We are differentiated from our competitors as we can deliver customers a complete suite of regional aviation services including contracted flying, aircraft engineering, maintenance, repair and overhaul, parts provisioning and aircraft leasing solutions by leveraging the strengths in Jazz and Voyageur.”
Q3 2017 Overview
Chorus remains focused on its vision of delivering regional aviation to the world. Chorus delivered solid financial results, in line with management’s expectations, and showing progress in its growth and diversification initiatives.
Chorus Aviation Capital (‘CAC’) is executing on the regional aircraft leasing strategy through the acquisition of aircraft and leases with new, well-established customers located in seven countries across five continents, and a diversified fleet comprising five of the best regional jet and turbo-prop offerings from Bombardier, ATR and Embraer.
To date CAC has completed the acquisition of:
- four CRJ1000s on lease to Air Nostrum;
- six ATR 72-600 aircraft on lease to Flybe and Virgin Australia;
- three Bombardier Q400s leased to Falcon Aviation Services;
- two Embraer 190s on lease to KLM Cityhopper and to Aeromexico Connect; and
- two Embraer 195s leased to Azul Brazilian Airlines.
CAC also expects to complete the acquisition of two additional E190s on lease to Aeromexico Connect in the fourth quarter. Upon completion of pending aircraft acquisitions, CAC will have grown Chorus’ fleet of regional aircraft, outside of the Capacity Purchase Agreement (‘CPA’), with Air Canada, to 19 aircraft with the average age of this fleet being under three years old.
During the quarter, Jazz Technical Services completed the Extended Service Program on one additional Dash 8-300 aircraft, bringing the total to two that are now being leased into the CPA operation. In October, Voyageur delivered a fourth Dash 8-100 on lease to Wasaya Airways.
Financial Performance – third quarter 2017 compared to third quarter 2016
In the third quarter of 2017, Chorus reported adjusted EBITDA of $83.4 million versus $70.0 million in 2016; an increase of $13.4 million or 19.2%.
The $13.4 million increase in adjusted EBITDA was primarily driven by:
- a $10.9 million increase related to incremental margin mainly attributed to non-CPA aircraft leasing;
- increased aircraft leasing under the CPA with Air Canada of $3.5 million;
- additional income from international ACMI flying in the Voyageur operation contributed $0.7 million; and
- a reduction in other expense of $1.9 million, including $1.5 million related to a reduction in contingent consideration payable.
These increases were partially offset by:
- a decline of $2.2 million in CPA performance incentive revenue; and
- an increase of $1.4 million in stock-based compensation expense.
Adjusted net income was $48.6 million for the quarter, an increase from the third quarter of 2016 of $19.8 million, or 68.9%. The change was a result of the $13.4 million increase in adjusted EBITDA previously described, plus a $15.2 million decrease in income taxes; partially offset by:
- $5.9 million of additional depreciation primarily related to new aircraft;
- $5.9 million of interest costs related to increased aircraft debt and the convertible units; and
- $3.0 million of foreign exchange gains related to working capital.
Net income was $79.1 million for the quarter, an increase of $59.0 million from the third quarter of 2016. The increase was primarily due to the previously noted $19.8 million increase in adjusted net income plus an increase of $39.6 million in unrealized foreign exchange gains on long-term debt.
Year to date 2017 compared to year to date 2016
For the nine months ended September 30, 2017, Chorus reported adjusted EBITDA of $203.0 million versus $178.7 million in 2016; an increase of $24.3 million or 13.6%.
The $24.3 million increase in adjusted EBITDA was primarily driven by:
- a $20.1 million increase related to incremental margin attributed to non-CPA aircraft leasing and maintenance, repair and overhaul;
- increased aircraft leasing under the CPA with Air Canada of $14.2 million; and additional income from international ACMI flying in the Voyageur operation of $2.0 million.
These increases were partially offset by:
a decline of $5.6 million in CPA performance incentive revenue;
an increase of $4.0 million, mostly attributable to increased crew costs including travel and training related to incremental flying activity; and an increase of $2.4 million in stock-based compensation expense.
Adjusted net income was $91.1 million for the period, an increase from 2016 of $20.3 million, or 28.6%. The change was a result of the $24.3 million increase in adjusted EBITDA previously described, plus a $17.6 million decrease in income taxes and a $4.7 million foreign exchange gain related to working capital, partially offset by:
$14.2 million of interest costs related to increased aircraft debt and the convertible units.
$12.0 million of additional depreciation primarily related to new aircraft.
Net income was $146.6 million for the period, an increase of $47.5 million, or 47.9% from the same period of 2016. The increase was due primarily to the previously noted $20.3 million increase in adjusted net income plus:
- an increase of $25.7 million in unrealized foreign exchange gains on long-term debt;
- no signing bonuses in the first nine months of 2017, versus $5.5 million in signing bonuses in the same period of 2016; and
- foreign exchange gains of $1.6 million on US dollar denominated cash held on deposit for investment in the aircraft leasing business.
This was offset by $9.4 million in employee separation program costs in the first nine months of 2017, versus $3.7 million in the same period of 2016.
This photo provided by the Dutch Defense Ministry shows storm damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, in Dutch Caribbean Sint Maarten, on Sept. 6, 2017. (Gerben Van Es / Dutch Defense Ministry via AP)
MONTREAL — Canadian travellers hoping to vacation in St. Maarten this winter will have to make alternative plans after hurricane damage forced several airlines to suspend service for the season.
Air Canada issued an advisory on its website saying that damage caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria has resulted in its suspension of all flights to the Caribbean island and Puerto Rico. Affected customers can obtain a refund.
The storms had deadly consequences for island residents but no material impact on the airline’s results even though it sent several flights to pick up stranded passengers.
AirTransat also said it has suspended service for the season that was expected to run from Dec. 23 to April 28.
“Due to the impacts of hurricanes, the tourism infrastructure on the island has suffered greatly,” the tour company which operates Air Transat wrote in an email.
“Many hotels have been severely damaged and customer demand has also been affected.” Meanwhile, WestJet said in an email late Monday that it would resume service to the Caribbean island in May. Spokeswoman Lauren Stewart said WestJet operated about 16,000 seats to St. Maarten last winter with four weekly flights. Sunwing couldn’t be immediately reached for comment. Published reports in St. Maarten say Princess Juliana International Airport sustained up to US$100 million in damages, including to the terminal roof. The airport has been using temporary facilities since it reopened to commercial traffic Oct. 10.
Other islands that were battered by hurricanes are preparing to welcome Canadian travellers.
Montreal-based Transat said it will begin flights from Toronto and Montreal to Puerto Rico in mid-February, instead of Dec. 24, while its normal service has resumed to most of Cuba. Transat also said its cruise line partners are reviewing winter itineraries in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean. Revisions are expected to be announced within weeks, but dates of voyage won’t change. The weather-related disruptions have prompted Air Transat to expand its offerings to popular sun destinations in Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Florida, and parts of Cuba and Mexico. The airline carries Canadians to 35 sun destinations from 22 Canadian cities.
MONTREAL, Nov. 7, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada and Sky Regional Airlines said today they have concluded a 10-year extension to their existing capacity purchase agreement (CPA), effective April 1, 2017.
“This 10-year extension to the existing capacity purchase agreement with Sky Regional Airlines underscores our confidence in our Air Canada Express partner to provide a seamless operation and customer experience on behalf of Air Canada in a number of our key domestic and transborder regional markets on a cost competitive basis,” said Kevin Howlett, Senior Vice President, Regional Markets and Government Relations at Air Canada. “With its fleet comprised exclusively of Embraer 175 jet aircraft that has grown to 25 in recent years, Sky Regional strengthens Air Canada’s competitive position in the rapidly evolving North American regional markets as low cost operators continue to grow, both in Canada and the United States.”
“We are very pleased that Air Canada has recognized our commitment to the passenger experience, and are looking forward to continued success as Air Canada offers more regional options for Canadians,” said Russell Payson, Chairman, Sky Regional Airlines. In addition to Sky Regional, Air Canada has capacity purchase agreements with its other regional airline partners, Jazz, Air Georgian and EVAS, that operate regional Air Canada Express flights on behalf of Air Canada.