Month: July 2018

Sunwing expands services from Thunder Bay; adds direct flights to Punta Cana for the first time

FlySunwing_Mobile-SUNWINGSunwing is returning to Thunder Bay for a ninth season this coming winter and adding a new direct flight service to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for the first time. With the introduction of this new service, vacationers departing from Thunder Bay will enjoy convenient and direct access to three of the travel company’s most popular vacation destinations. Along with adding new weekly flights to Punta Cana operating between December 19, 2018 and March 27, 2019, the travel company is bringing back its popular winter flight services to Varadero, Cuba and Cancun, Mexico that will be available between November 6, 2018 and March 26, 2019 and December 24, 2018 and April 1, 2019 respectively.

Emirates and Etihad get increased capacity to Toronto

31 JUL 2018: Etihad Airways and Emirates Airlines just got what they wanted from Canada. On Monday following an agreement to increase capacity between the UAE and Canada the two airlines will each be adding two flights to and from Toronto. That increases their weekly service to and from Toronto to five times a week each and comes after years of persistent efforts by the UAE to do just that. There was no announcement from Transport Canada.

In June, Sultan Al Mansouri, the UAE’s Minister of Economy, met with Marc Garneau, the Canadian Minister of Transport, in Ottawa to discuss cooperation in the air transport field.

In a statement on Monday, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said that the meeting culminated in an agreement to increase air traffic rights, allowing both Etihad and Emirates to raise frequencies to five times a week from the current three.

Emirates will add new flights from August 18 while Etihad’s additional services will start from October 28.

The agreement also stipulates an increase in cargo flights to four times a week from two.

“The increasing of flights will contribute greatly to facilitate travel and support economic growth, and will provide new investment opportunities, especially in light of the economic agreements signed between the two countries recently through the joint economic committee,” said Al Mansouri, who also serves as chairman of GCAA.

Etihad will continue to operate a Boeing 777 on the route, including on the additional flights, while Emirates will continue deploying an Airbus A380.

Continue reading “Emirates and Etihad get increased capacity to Toronto”

Air Canada forces runway shut down in Tokyo

31 JUL 2018: An Air Canada flight from Montreal, mistakenly entered a half-paved taxiway at Tokyo Narita airport in Japan on Monday, forcing it to close one of its two runways. The Boeing 787 Air Canada flight from Montreal, carrying about 210 passengers and crew, was stranded for hours on the taxiway under construction alongside the runway.

Narita airport, the country’s main international gateway, shut down the runway when the plane entered the wrong taxiway after landing, local media reported.

There were no reports of injuries.

Work began to tow away the aircraft five hours after it entered the partially-paved taxiway, according to public broadcaster NHK.

WestJet reports second quarter net loss of $20.8 million

WestJet_logo_rgbCALGARY, July 31, 2018 /CNW/ – WestJet (TSX: WJA) today announced its second quarter results for 2018, with a net loss of $20.8 million, or $0.18 per fully diluted share. This result compares with net earnings of $48.6 million, or $0.41 per fully diluted share reported in the second quarter of 2017. Based on the trailing twelve months, the airline achieved a return on invested capital of 7.7 per cent, down from 9.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2017. Year-to-date, WestJet recorded net earnings of $16.4 million, or $0.14 per fully diluted share.

“The impact of the threat of industrial action, in combination with the dramatic increase in fuel price and competitive capacity provided particularly significant challenges in the second quarter.” Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “While we are disappointed with these results, all WestJetters can take great satisfaction from the successful delivery of key strategic initiatives like Swoop and WestJet Link.”

Operating highlights (stated in Canadian dollars)

Q2 2018 Q2 2017 Change
Net earnings (loss) (millions) ($20.8) $48.6 (142.7%)
Diluted earnings (loss) per share ($0.18) $0.41 (143.9%)
Total revenue (millions) $1,087.6 $1,058.3 2.8%
Operating margin (2.5%) 7.4% (9.9 pts.)
ASMs (available seat miles) (billions) 7.922 7.564 4.7%
RPMs (revenue passenger miles) (billions) 6.646 6.260 6.2%
Load factor 83.9% 82.8% 1.1 pts.
Segment guests 6,276,226 5,908,876 6.2%
Yield (revenue per revenue passenger mile) (cents) 16.36 16.91 (3.2%)
RASM (revenue per available seat mile) (cents) 13.73 13.99 (1.9%)
CASM (cost per available seat mile) (cents) 14.08 12.95 8.7%
Fuel costs per litre (cents) 81 62 30.6%
CASM, excluding fuel and employee profit share (cents)* 10.30 9.88 4.3%

*Refer to reconciliations in the accompanying tables for further information regarding calculations.

Dividend declaration
On July 30, 2018, WestJet’s Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.14 per common voting share and variable voting share for the third quarter of 2018, to be paid on September 28, 2018, to shareholders of record on September 12, 2018. All dividends paid by WestJet are, pursuant to subsection 89(14) of the Income Tax Act, designated as eligible dividends, unless indicated otherwise. An eligible dividend paid to a Canadian resident is entitled to the enhanced dividend tax credit.

Disembarkment Slip WestJet being sued

WestJet_logo_rgbFrom travelindustrytoday, 30 JUL 2018: A Calgary woman was on a WestJet flight from Calgary to Phoenix when she slipped on water that had accumulated by the door as she stepped on the gangplank. Her foot was fractured and after two surgeries it had to be amputated. She is suing the airline and the airport authority.

Having just undergone surgery on her right foot Jaqueline Dyk waited for other passengers to disembark at the stopover in Vancouver.

She claims she was not provided with any assistance getting off the plane, though it’s not clear if she even requested help.

She lost her footing while stepping on the gangplank and rolling her right ankle.

After two surgeries her right foot became infected and was amputated.

Dyk has launched a $2.7 million lawsuit against WestJet and the Vancouver Airport Authority claiming pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life as well as lost income and costs of medical treatment.

WestJet has filed a statement of defence, denying fault and requesting that the lawsuit be dismissed. The Vancouver Airport Authority had not yet filed a statement of defence.

Alberta is also listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit, seeking to recover more than $160,000 in medical expenses from the airline and airport authority.

Air Canada to Reduce Flights from Gander to Halifax

From travelindustrytoday.com |30 JUL 2018: The Gander and Area Chamber of commerce says Air Canada’s plans to cancel their late night and early morning flights from Gander to Halifax doesn’t bode well for the local business community. It says the airline plans to reduce flights at Gander International Airport starting October 28th and continuing to May 1st of next year.

Chamber spokesperson Sonja Maloney says people needing to travel to Halifax on business must have the option of leaving on the same day.

She adds that central Newfoundland has become a major tourist destination after the success of the Broadway show ‘Come From Away,’ as well as the popularity of the Fogo Island Inn and the province’s iconic icebergs.

Etihad Airways to increase frequency to Canada

Effective October 28, 2018, Etihad Airways will increase its flights from Abu Dhabi to Canada’s largest city, Toronto, from three to five weekly services.

The flights will be operated by Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, featuring 40 seats in Business Class and 340 in Economy Class.

Etihad Airways inaugurated services to Toronto on October 2005, and since then the route has proved very successful for the airline, recording consistently strong demand to and from both cities.

Approximately 45,000 Canadian citizens reside in the UAE, with over 150 Canadian companies registered across the country. Citizens of both countries now enjoy visa-free entry for business and tourism on stays of up to six months.

Etihad Airways has a codeshare partnership in place with Air Canada, with the Canadian flag carrier placing its ‘AC’ code on Etihad services from Toronto to Abu Dhabi and from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi. Under the agreement, Etihad Airways places its ‘EY’ code on Air Canada’s multiple daily services from Toronto to points across Canada including Montreal, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, St.Johns, Halifax, Regina, and Fort McMurray.

The additional frequencies will also benefit Etihad Cargo customers who can expect greater schedule flexibility and a 60 per cent cargo capacity increase on the route.

Abu Dhabi – Toronto schedule:

Effective 28 October 2018 (Timings local):

Flight No. Origin Departs Dest Arrives Aircraft Freq
EY141 Abu Dhabi 10:05 Toronto 16:30 Boeing 777-300ER Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
EY140 Toronto 22:55 Abu Dhabi 19:40+1 Boeing 777-300ER Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun

14-year-old pilot sets Guinness World Record at Langley, BC airport

From Miranda Gathercole, Langley Times


Mohd Shaikhsorab, 14, believes he has set the world record for youngest pilot to fly solo. He is now waiting on confirmation from Guinness World Records.

He isn’t old enough to drive a car, to vote or to drink alcohol, but Mohd Shaikhsorab could soon be named the world’s youngest pilot to fly solo.

The 14-year-old, who is training to become a pilot at Langley Regional Airport, believes he set the Guinness World Record for youngest pilot to fly solo after having accumulated the least number of flying hours.

On July 19, Shaikhsorab completed his first independent flight with only 16.4 hours of flying time under his belt.

Guinness World Records confirmed that Shaikhsorab has submitted an application, and it is under review by their records management team. There is no current record holder with this title, a spokesperson said.

Continue reading “14-year-old pilot sets Guinness World Record at Langley, BC airport”

Canada expands air transport agreements with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates

OTTAWA, July 27, 2018 /CNW/ – From visiting friends and family to getting goods to markets around the world, Canadians rely on a robust aviation industry with diverse international air services. Expanding Canada’s existing air transport relationships allows airlines to improve their service offerings, which means more options and convenience for passengers and businesses.

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, today announced the successful conclusion of expanded air transport agreements with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

The Canada-Egypt air transport agreement has been expanded to allow designated airlines to operate up to seven passenger flights per week, up from four. In addition, designated airlines now can serve any city in the other country’s territory.

The expanded Canada-United Arab Emirates air transport agreement allows each government to allocate 68 per cent more capacity among its designated air carriers (i.e. the number of seats that carriers can sell). This agreement also now contains four dedicated frequencies for all-cargo flights for the first time.

The new rights under the expanded agreements are available for use by airlines immediately.

Quotes

“These expanded air transport agreements with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are a positive development for air transport relations between our countries. We are pleased to expand these relationships with additional flexibility for airlines to serve these growing markets. These expanded agreements will continue to facilitate tourism, trade and investment between Canada and these countries and help our businesses grow and succeed.”
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Canada’s Minister of Transport

“Canada’s commercial relationships with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are strong and growing. These expanded agreements will help Canadian companies grow and diversify their markets by making the movement of goods and people faster and easier.”
The Honourable Jim Carr
Minister of International Trade Diversification

Quick Facts

  • These expanded agreements with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates were reached under Canada’s Blue Sky policy, which encourages long-term, sustainable competition and the development of international air services.
  • Under the Blue Sky Policy, the Government of Canada has concluded new or expanded air transport agreements covering 104 countries.
  • Two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Egypt was valued at $1.3 billion in 2017.
  • In 2017, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and the United Arab Emirates totalled $1.8 billion.

Air Canada vows to start own loyalty program despite Aimia bid

Greg Keenan | The Globe and Mail with The Canadian Press | Published July 27, 2018

Air Canada will establish its own loyalty program whether or not Aimia Inc. accepts a bid led by the airline to buy the loyalty company’s Aeroplan business for $250-million and the assumption of $2-billion in liabilities.

“We have not abandoned our plan to launch our own loyalty program in 2020,” Air Canada chief executive officer Calin Rovinescu said Friday on the carrier’s second-quarter financial results conference call.

Air Canada-Air Canada Celebrates Launch of Montreal-Tokyo Narita

Air Canada, Toronto Dominion Bank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Visa Canada Corp. made the offer to buy the Aeroplan business earlier this week, about a year after Air Canada said it was ending its existing deal with Aimia and setting up its own plan—an announcement that caused Aimia’s share price to plunge.

If Aimia accepts the bid, Aeroplan miles would be converted to the new Air Canada program, Mr. Rovinescu said.

If Aimia rejects the bid, Air Canada will resume its negotiations with credit card companies and conclude an agreement in the fourth quarter, he said in his first public comments since the offer was made earlier this week.

He noted, however, that the choice for Aimia’s board is to “reject this proposal and adopt a go-it-alone strategy for Aeroplan, maintaining the $2-billion liability without Air Canada as a redemption partner, or accept our consortium proposal, which looks after all of their stakeholders.”

He said Air Canada believes there is no other party willing to assume the $2-billion liability.

In the most recent quarter, Air Canada experienced a 31 per cent increase in the price of jet fuel compared with last year’s second quarter and will offset some of the impact with higher fares and other initiatives, Mr. Rovinescu said.

The Montreal-based airline did well in terms of revenue, which was up 10.4 per cent compared with last year’s second quarter, but adjusted earnings dropped to $114 million or 41 cents per share.

That was only about half as much as Air Canada’s adjusted earnings of $226 million or 82 cents per share in the second quarter of 2017, but still better than analyst estimates of 28 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

Air Canada’s revenue for the three months ended June 30 was in line with estimates at $4.33 billion, up from $3.91 billion in the second quarter of 2017.

Rovinescu said its strong revenues demonstrated the appeal of Air Canada’s brand and the continuing strong demand for air travel in all of its main markets.

“We did, however, revise our 2018 guidance for certain key financial metrics given the rapid increase in fuel prices in the first half of 2018,” Rovinescu said in a statement.

Air Canada is now estimating jet fuel will cost 80 cents per litre in the third quarter and 78 cents per litre for the full year. The previous full-year estimate was 75 cents per litre.

“We estimate that we will be able to mitigate approximately 75 per cent of the expected 2018 annual fuel price increase through fare increases, other commercial initiatives and our cost transformation program.”

Air Canada also reported a $77-million net loss, or 28 cents per share, which included a $186-million loss on the expected sale of 25 Embraer planes and a $25-million loss on foreign exchange.

In the same period last year, it had a $26-million gain on a sale of assets and a $68-million gain on foreign exchange.