UK government to inject £12 million in Bombardier’s Belfast facility


Bombardier’s UK facility in Belfast will receive local government funding worth nearly £12 million ($15.8 million) to develop thrust-reversers for an Airbus A320neo nacelle.

The UK Treasury says that the funding will “help the company secure long-term manufacturing jobs in Belfast” and “cement the UK’s role as a leading manufacturer of high-tech aircraft components”.

Chancellor Philip Hammond revealed the effort during a visit to Bombardier’s Short Brothers subsidiary in Belfast on 25 July. He told UK broadcaster ITV that the funding is about “the future of Bombardier”, and represents “the British government’s support for Bombardier”.

Part of the financial support will be provided by regional development agency Invest Northern Ireland.

Bombardier disclosed late last year that its Aerostructures and Engineering Services division had won a contract from Airbus to produce thrust-reversers for nacelles of Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-powered A320neos.

Airbus is developing the equipment in competition against current geared-turbofan nacelle producer United Technologies.

At the Belfast site, Bombardier also produces wings for the A220 programme, over which Airbus took control earlier this month.

In 2017, Bombardier’s Belfast facility generated a $20 million operating loss.

Canada asks fighter bidders for sustainment information


As Canada formulates requirements for a future fighter to replace Boeing CF-18 Hornets, the government is now asking six potential bidders for information about their capabilities to maintain the new fleet.

A letter of interest sent to bidders on 23 July broadens the Canadian government’s year-long series of engagements with industry suppliers.

The letter asks the six potential bidders to provide feedback on how the government plans to divide the sustainment responsibilities between industry and the Department of National Defence.

“Please indicate any barriers or challenges that you would need to address to allow you to undertake this work for a future fighter fleet,” the letter states.

Sustainment practices among the six potential bidders vary widely. Lockheed Martin’s F-35A, for example, consolidates sustainment planning and support in a central hub, feeding data and parts to several regional depots stationed among the global partners. Other potential bidders, including the Boeing F/A-18E/F, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab Gripen, offer services ranging from turn-key maintenance support to varying levels of direct and indirect support.

All six potential bidders signed on to the official Supplier’s List in February. Their presence on the list allows the suppliers to continue engaging with the Canadian government about the acquisition, but does not commit them to submit a bid.

The Royal Canadian Air Force plans to award a contract in 2021 or 2022 for 88 new fighters, with deliveries scheduled from 2025 to 2031.

A Conservative Canadian government selected the F-35 in 2009, but that plan was scrapped after the Liberal party ascended to power in Ottawa in 2015.

Prime minister Justin Trudeau’s government initially selected the F/A-18E/F for an interim contract for 24 aircraft, while it continued to evaluate options on a permanent CF-18 replacement. But Trudeau cancelled a plan to sign the interim contract last summer after Boeing filed a trade complaint against Bombardier with the US Department of Commerce.

Meanwhile, Trudeau’s government launched an acquisition process for the Future Fighter Capability in December 2017.

Air Canada Reports Second Quarter 2018 Results


  • Second quarter EBITDAR of $646 million and operating income of $226 million
  • Record second quarter operating revenues of $4.333 billion
  • Record unrestricted liquidity of $5.064 billion
  • Leverage ratio of 2.1

MONTREAL, July 27, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada today reported second quarter 2018 EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, impairment and aircraft rent) of $646 million compared to second quarter 2017 EBITDAR of $681 million. Air Canada reported operating income of $226 million compared to operating income of $292 million in the second quarter of 2017. The airline reported adjusted pre-tax income of $163 million in the second quarter of 2018 compared to adjusted pre-tax income of $229 million in the prior year’s quarter. On a GAAP basis, in the second quarter of 2018, Air Canada reported a loss before income taxes of $71 million, compared to income before income taxes of $314 million in the second quarter of 2017. The second quarter of 2018 included a loss on disposal of assets of $186 million and losses on foreign exchange of $25 million while the second quarter of 2017 included gains on foreign exchange of $68 million and a gain on sale and leaseback of assets of $26 million.

“I am pleased to report another solid quarter of revenue growth, cost containment and unrestricted liquidity, in the face of significantly higher fuel prices. Our record revenues this quarter demonstrate the appeal of Air Canada’s brand and underscore the continuing strong demand for air travel in all of our main markets. I thank our 30,000 employees for their hard work and dedication in taking care of our customers, which was recognized this month when Air Canada was named the Best Airline in North America for the second consecutive year at the Skytrax World Airline Awards celebrated in the U.K. Winning the award for the seventh time in nine years is a testament to the sustained progress we have made, something which all our employees should be very proud of, as I am,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada.

“During the second quarter, passenger revenue climbed 10.4 per cent to a record $3.921 billion and we generated EBITDAR of $646 million. We reported a solid 2.7 per cent increase in passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM), primarily driven by a higher yield, and also delivered a 1.0 per cent decrease in adjusted cost per available seat mile. Our unrestricted liquidity totaled a record $5.064 billion at quarter-end. We achieved these results despite contending with a 31 per cent rise in jet fuel price per litre from a year ago, showing the strength of our business plan.

“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. Nevertheless, we believe that the impact is short-term, that our robust business will enable us to stay on track and, as a result, we continue to expect to achieve our longer-term targets that were communicated at our last Investor Day. 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.

“Everywhere, our ongoing strategy was on full display this past quarter. We launched 25 new routes this summer, introduced Air Canada Signature Service for North American premium customers, began offering satellite Wi-Fi on our wide-body international fleet, and we were recognized as one of the top five brands to work for in Canada. We also completed a complex joint venture agreement begun four years ago with Air China, making Air Canada the first North American carrier to negotiate a joint venture with a Chinese airline. This gives us unrivalled access from North America to the fastest growing and soon-to-be largest aviation market in the world, said Mr. Rovinescu.

“The Skytrax Award shows that our customers appreciate our progress and are rewarding us with their loyalty, with our aircraft flying 83.1 per cent full on average during the quarter. I thank our customers for choosing to fly Air Canada and we are committed to giving them ever more reasons to keep doing so,” concluded Mr. Rovinescu.

Second Quarter Income Statement Highlights

In the second quarter of 2018, on capacity growth of 7.5 per cent, record system passenger revenues of $3.921 billion increased $371 million or 10.4 per cent from the second quarter of 2017. The increase in system passenger revenues was driven by traffic growth of 8.2 per cent and a yield improvement of 2.0 per cent, despite an increase in average stage length of 2.4 per cent which had the effect of reducing system yield by 1.4 percentage points. On a stage-length adjusted basis, system yield increased 3.4 per cent year-over-year.

In the business cabin, system passenger revenues increased $98 million or 13.7 per cent from the second quarter of 2017 on traffic and yield growth of 10.3 per cent and 3.1 per cent, respectively.

In the second quarter of 2018, operating expenses of $4.107 billion increased $489 million or 14 per cent from the same quarter in 2017, mainly driven by higher fuel prices year-over-year and by the increase in capacity.

Air Canada’s cost per available seat mile (CASM) increased 5.6 per cent from the second quarter of 2017. The airline’s adjusted CASM decreased 1.0 per cent from the prior year’s quarter, better than the 0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent increase projected in Air Canada’s news release dated April 30, 2018. Air Canada’s better than projected adjusted CASM performance was largely driven by the acceleration of aircraft lease extensions (mainly from the third quarter of 2018) which resulted in a decrease to maintenance provisions, the impact of cost reduction initiatives related to Air Canada’s cost transformation program, and other operating expense reductions.

Air Canada recorded adjusted net income(1) of $114 million or $0.41 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2018 compared to adjusted net income of $226 million or $0.82 per diluted share in second quarter of 2017. On a GAAP basis, the airline reported a second quarter 2018 net loss of $77 million or $0.28 per diluted share compared to second quarter 2017 net income of $311 million or $1.13 per diluted share. In the second quarter of 2018, Air Canada recorded a loss on disposal of assets of $186 million related to the expected sale of 25 Embraer aircraft and losses on foreign exchange of $25 million. In the second quarter of 2017, Air Canada recorded gains on foreign exchange of $68 million and a gain of $26 million on the sale and leaseback of two Boeing 787 aircraft.

Financial and Capital Management Highlights

At June 30, 2018, unrestricted liquidity (cash, short-term investments and undrawn lines of credit) amounted to $5.064 billion, the highest level in Air Canada’s history (December 31, 2017 – $4.181 billion).

At June 30, 2018, adjusted net debt of $6.111 billion decreased $5 million from December 31, 2017. In the second quarter of 2018, an increase in long-term debt and finance lease balances of $889 million was largely offset by an increase in cash and short-term investment balances of $866 million and a decrease in capitalized operating lease balances of $28 million. At June 30, 2018, Air Canada’s leverage ratio was 2.1, unchanged from December 31, 2017.

Net cash flows from operating activities of $853 million in the second quarter of 2018 improved $24 million compared to the second quarter of 2017. Negative free cash flow (1) of $13 million in the second quarter of 2018 represented a decrease of $318 million from the second quarter of 2017 mainly due to Air Canada having received proceeds of $371 million from the sale and leaseback of aircraft in the second quarter of 2017 while no such sale and leasebacks were effected in the second quarter of 2018.

For the 12 months ended June 30, 2018, return on invested capital (ROIC) was 13.7 per cent, significantly higher than Air Canada’s weighted average cost of capital of 7.5 per cent.

Primera announces 2nd Canadian gateway; WOW ups Europe sked ex YYZ, YUL

Thursday, July 26, 2018 | Posted by Travelweek Group

TORONTO — Two long-haul low-cost carriers are adding new routes from Canada’s two biggest cities.

Starting Oct. 28 Primera Air will operate a new route between Paris and Montreal, on the carrier’s new Airbus A321neo fleet. Fares start at $169 one-way.

Montreal – Paris will be Primera Air’s third transatlantic route to the Canadian market after flights between Toronto (YYZ), London (STN) and Paris (CDG), which started earlier this summer.

“We have already done 500 flights between Toronto and Europe. Both our London and Paris routes have been performing very well, and this has encouraged our plans to increase presence in the Canadian market,” said Primera’s CCO, Anastasija Visnakova.

Earlier this month Primera Air received its second Airbus A321neo unit for the Paris base, which means that now all transatlantic flights to Toronto, New York and Boston will be operated on the new A321neo fleet. In June Primera announced it would have to suspend its Birmingham flights from Toronto and New York because of Airbus delivery delays.

The new Montreal-Paris flights are seasonal, starting Oct. 28 from Paris and running four times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays through March 30.

The Toronto-Paris flights are scheduled to operate Oct. 31 – March 30 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The three times weekly Toronto-London flights will continue into December and start again in March.

Meanwhile another long-haul LCC, WOW air, is ramping up its Europe offering from Canada with new flights to Milan out of Toronto and Montreal, starting this November.because of Airbus delivery delays.

WOW air’s routes out of Canada currently include Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Dublin, Edinburgh and Tel Aviv. In May the low-cost carrier announced it was adding India flights ex Toronto and Montreal, starting in December.

The Government of Canada invests in transportation infrastructure at the London International Airport

LONDON, ON, July 25, 2018 /CNW/ – The quality of Canada’s transportation infrastructure and the efficiency of the country’s trade corridors are key to the success of Canadian firms in the global marketplace. The Government of Canada supports infrastructure projects that create quality middle-class jobs and boost economic growth.

Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, on behalf of the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced an investment of $3.3 million for a project that will help local businesses compete by strengthening the safety and sustainability of airport infrastructure.

The project involves removing and rebuilding London International Airport’s Taxiway G which will help to ensure consistency in the services provided by this airport, while also helping to improve the flow of goods and passengers. Rebuilding the taxiway will also reduce potential runway hazards, therefore increasing safety for passengers, airlines and airport staff.

This project will help to ensure consistency in the services provided by this airport, while also helping to improve the flow of goods and passengers. Rebuilding the taxiway will also reduce potential runway hazards, therefore increasing safety for passengers, airlines and airport staff.

The Greater London International Airport Authority is contributing $3.3 million to the project.

This project is expected to have important economic and employment benefits for the region by creating an estimated 65 jobs during construction.

The Government of Canada is supporting infrastructure projects that contribute to Canada’s continued success in domestic and international commerce. For example, projects being funded will:

  • upgrade critical safety infrastructure at National Airports System airports with annual passenger flows below 600,000;
  • support economic activity and the physical movement of goods or people in Canada;
  • help the transportation system withstand the effects of climate change and make sure it is able to support new technologies and innovation;
  • address transportation bottlenecks and congestion along Canada’s trade corridors; and
  • increase the fluidity of Canadian trade around the world through our ports, airports, roads, railways, intermodal facilities, bridges and border crossings.
    Provincial, territorial and municipal governments, Indigenous groups, not-for-profit and for-profit private-sector organizations, federal Crown Corporations, Canadian Port Authorities, and National Airport System Airport Authorities are all eligible for funding under the National Trade Corridors Fund.

Quick Facts

  • This project will strengthen the safety and sustainability of the London International Airport, which is part of the National Airports System. The 26 airports in the National Airports System serve about 95 percent of all scheduled passenger and cargo traffic in Canada, and handle almost all of Canada’s international trade flows by air.
  • Transportation is an important element of Canada’s trade with other countries. In 2017, total international merchandise trade amounted to $1.1 trillion. The United States continued to be Canada’s top trade partner, with $703 billion in trade ($415 billion exported, $288 billion imported), accounting for 63.5 per cent of total Canadian trade in 2017.
  • The Government of Canada places a strong emphasis on exports because of the connection between trade and good, well-paying jobs, as industries that are export-intensive pay wages that are, on average, more than 50 per cent higher than industries that are not.

Aireon(SM) System Deployment Continues with Seventh Successful Launch

65 Aireon Payloads Are Now in Orbit As Game-Changing Global Air Traffic Surveillance Service Nears Debut

MCLEAN, Va., July 25, 2018 /CNW/ — Aireon announced today the seventh successful launch and deployment of its space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) payloads, hosted by the Iridium® NEXT satellite constellation. At 04:39:30 AM PDT (11:39:30 UTC), a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and placed 10 new Iridium NEXT satellites into low earth orbit, bringing the total number of Aireon payloads in orbit to 65. This leaves just a single launch of 10 more Iridium NEXT satellites and their Aireon payloads before the launch campaign concludes later this year. The Aireon system is scheduled to go live in 2018 with operational deployment beginning shortly after that domestically in the Edmonton and Gander Flight Information Regions. Operational trials in oceanic airspace over the North Atlantic will begin in early 2019.

Upon completion of the new network, the Aireon system will enable never-before possible capabilities for air navigation service providers (ANSPs), air traffic controllers, airline operators and industry stakeholders. Oceanic and remote airspace will, for the first time, have real-time air traffic surveillance, allowing further enhanced safety, as well as on-the-fly route adjustments, more direct flightpaths and increased predictability.

“We’re getting closer to the finish line,” said Don Thoma, CEO of Aireon. “Perhaps most exciting though is that the system has been functioning beyond expectation, resulting in even greater coverage redundancy than initially planned. We’re seeing double coverage, and in many cases triple redundancy from our payloads before the constellation is even completed. With this seventh successful launch completed, we’re now preparing to begin a new era for the aviation industry.”

The Iridium NEXT satellite constellation will consist of 66 low-earth orbit crosslinked satellites that blanket the earth with pole-to-pole coverage. When pairing the Aireon service with the real-time communications capabilities offered by Iridium, such as Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) or Iridium SATCOM Voice, pilots flying oceanic and remote routes will be in real-time contact with air traffic controllers enabling them to obtain route adjustments and maximizing the benefits of Aireon’s air traffic surveillance. Iridium is the only satellite communications provider that covers the entire globe, ensuring that wherever an aircraft may fly, it will always remain in coverage with real-time communication. This capability has become increasingly important as airlines fly more routes over the North Pole, dramatically reducing flight time and fuel cost.

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Proposal by Air Canada, TD, CIBC and Visa to Acquire Aimia’s Aeroplan Loyalty Business

Benefits both Aeroplan members and Aimia shareholders

  • Allows for smooth transition of Aeroplan members’ points to Air Canada’s new loyalty program launching in 2020
  • Provides value to all Aimia stakeholders and a viable solution to Aimia’s current business and financial challenges
  • Represents a total purchase price of $2.25 billion, including $250 million in cash and the assumption of approximately $2 billion of Aeroplan points liability
  • Proposal implies approximate value of $3.64 per Aimia Inc. common share, a 52.3% 30-day VWAP premium and a 45.6% premium to spot closing price as of July 24, 2018, when added to value of Aimia’s other assets

TORONTO, July 25, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada, The Toronto-Dominion Bank (“TD”), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (“CIBC”), and Visa Canada Corporation (“Visa”), on behalf of a corporation to be formed, have made a proposal to Aimia Inc. (“Aimia”) to acquire its Aeroplan loyalty business (including approximately $2 billion of Aeroplan points liability at March 31, 2018) for $250 million in cash (the “Proposed Transaction”), representing a total purchase price of approximately $2.25 billion.

The Proposed Transaction, if accepted by Aimia, will ensure value and continuity for their members as well as customers of Air Canada, TD, CIBC and Visa. The proposal implies an estimated market equivalent value of $3.64 per Aimia share, a 52.3% premium to the 30-day VWAP and a 45.6% premium to spot closing price as of July 24, 2018. The market equivalent value is comprised of the Aeroplan loyalty business proposal value of $1.64 per Aimia common share plus non Aeroplan loyalty program net assets valued at $2.00 per common share based on fair market value estimates contained in Mittleman Investment Management’s Q1 2018 investor letter.1

The parties have requested a prompt response from Aimia regarding the proposal, which has an expiry date of August 2, 2018. The Proposed Transaction is subject to the satisfactory conclusion of transaction documents and certain other customary conditions, including due diligence, receipt of customary regulatory approvals and the negotiation and satisfactory completion of credit card agreements between Air Canada and each of TD and CIBC.

If completed, the Proposed Transaction would result in a positive outcome for Aimia shareholders and Aeroplan members, allowing for a smooth transition of Aeroplan members’ points to Air Canada’s new loyalty program launching in 2020, safeguarding their points and providing convenience and value for millions of Canadians.

Given Aimia’s current situation and future prospects, the Proposed Transaction delivers value to Aimia’s stakeholders. Air Canada, TD, CIBC and Visa are committed to engaging with Aimia’s board to complete a transaction and trust that Aimia’s Special Committee and Board of Directors, in discharging their fiduciary duties, will respond promptly by August 2, 2018. A timely completion of the transaction is essential for the continued participation of the parties.

Thomas Cook And Condor: Great Airline Choices For Canadians

Thomas Cook Airlines is a growing force in the Canadian market, as is Condor Airlines.

Travel Pulse Canada | Jim Byers | JULY 24, 2018 — Thomas Cook Airlines and Condor Airlines are steadily growing their presence in Canada, giving Canadians more ways to fly in comfort to great destinations in Europe and around the world.

“We are a leisure carrier who wants to offer our customers the smartest choice for their transatlantic travels, from Canada to Europe,” said a spokeswoman for Thomas Cook Airlines.

With a fleet of 100 aircraft, the airline carries 18.5 million customers per year to more than 130 destinations. Its 8,500 employees put the customer at the heart of everything they do.

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Sunwing wins Consumer Choice Award in the GTA for fifth consecutive year

FlySunwing_Mobile-SUNWINGSunwing has received the Consumer Choice Award in the Greater Toronto Area in the category of Best Charter Airline and Vacation Provider for the fifth consecutive year. This latest accolade comes after receiving the award for the first time this past year in Halifax, St. John’s, Regina and Saskatoon. The tour operator has also earned the award for the past three consecutive years in Vancouver.

Established in 1987, the Consumer Choice Award is the only organization in Canada to conduct independent market research surveys to determine brand reputation and customer satisfaction. This award is only bestowed upon a very select group of business owners and entrepreneurs recognized by customers for their business excellence. Companies are ranked based on over 1,250 customer surveys carried out by some of the largest, independent Canadian-owned research companies.

“For the fifth year in a row, Sunwing been voted in the GTA as the top Vacation Service Provider. It is a testament to not only the quality of Sunwing’s vacation offerings and service levels, but also to their consistency, that enabled them to win this prestigious award for a fifth consecutive year. Consumer Choice Award is proud to have its brand associated with a company that year over year demonstrates Business Excellence, and offers its heartfelt congratulations to the team at Sunwing.” says Jack McFadden, President of Consumer Choice Award.

The news was also welcomed by Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations for Sunwing who commented, “Our entire team is honoured to have been recognized for our long-standing history in providing GTA residents with value-added vacation packages to top-rated resorts across the sunny south. We believe that our passion in delivering an excellent customer experience – from convenient direct flights and award-winning inflight service to exclusive perks and privileges such as Kids Stay, Play and Eat FREE deals all year round is what sets us apart and makes us truly the #1 the sun.”

Swoop releases domestic winter schedule

Third aircraft in position to inaugurate service between Edmonton and Abbotsford

Logo_Swoop_4CCALGARY, July 24, 2018 /CNW/ – Today Swoop released its domestic winter schedule with flights available for booking from October 27, 2018 to April 27, 2019. Swoop also welcomed its third aircraft for the inaugural flight from Abbotsford International Airport (YXX) to Edmonton International Airport (YEG), departing July 25, 2018 at 7:10 a.m. Service between Edmonton, AB and Abbotsford, BC will be offered three-times daily.

The airline, which started operations on June 20, 2018 has been warmly received by Canadian travellers, with steady bookings and noticeably full flights.

“Swoop has been endorsed by Canadian travellers in the way that matters most, they are buying seats,” said Michael Claeren, Senior Leader of Revenue and Pricing. “With strong sales going into the fall and full aircraft throughout the summer, we are proud to offer non-stop ultra-low-cost flight options from coast-to-coast.”

The extended schedule continues to serve Swoop’s five markets of Halifax, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Abbotsford.

Service Between Service Offered Weekly Frequency
Edmonton and Hamilton Daily 11 x per week
Edmonton and Abbotsford Daily 16 x per week
Hamilton and Halifax Daily, except Saturday 6 x per week
Hamilton and Winnipeg Daily, except Saturday 6 x per week
Hamilton and Abbotsford Daily 10 x per week

“We are thrilled to welcome Swoop’s new daily service to Abbotsford,” said Tom Ruth, President and Chief Executive Officer of Edmonton International Airport. “We know there is a strong demand for service to Abbotsford and we are very happy to see Swoop respond with an excellent three times daily service schedule.”

“In the past few years, the Abbotsford International Airport has seen unprecedented growth in passenger volumes and flight options, providing convenience and low-cost opportunities to an increasing number of destinations,” said Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun. “This announcement will provide greater connectivity between Alberta and British Columbia, continuing to support economic development across the Fraser Valley Region.”

To celebrate the route launch between Edmonton and Abbotsford, Swoop will be offering a web-only seat sale beginning on July 25, 2018.

Service Between Air transportation charges base fare from Taxes, fees and charges Total one-way price from
Edmonton and Abbotsford $0.02 $38.98 $39.00 †CAD
Abbotsford and Edmonton $1.45 $7.55 $9.00 †CAD

†Book by July 26, 2018 (11:59 p.m. MDT) for travel between September 5-December 13, 2018. 2000 seats available. Some blackout dates and restrictions apply. For more details, please visit, and spend the savings on yourself.