WestJet welcomes former JetBlue executive, Captain Jeffrey Martin as Chief Operating Officer

CALGARY, Aug. 31, 2018 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced the appointment of Captain Jeffrey (Jeff) Martin to the position of Chief Operating Officer. Jeff will join WestJet on September 24, 2018, subject to Canadian immigration approval.

WestJet welcomes former JetBlue executive, Captain Jeffrey Martin as Chief Operating Officer (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

“Jeff is a highly accomplished aviation executive and an outstanding addition to our team,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “As WestJet continues to transform into a global airline, Jeff’s extensive international experience will help ensure our continued success.”

Reporting to Ed Sims, Jeff will oversee more than 11,000 WestJetters in WestJet’s Flight Operations (including the Operational Control Centre), Guest Experience (Contact Centre and Inflight), Airports, Technical (Maintenance) Operations, Continuous Improvement, and the business strategy and execution of WestJet Encore.

“For years I have admired the WestJet culture and I am thrilled to become part of it,” said Jeff Martin. “Joining WestJet at this pivotal point in its transformation to a global network airline is such an exciting opportunity. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a real game changer to WestJet’s growth as it makes its mark on the world stage.”

Jeff brings more than 28 years of commercial aviation and operational experience to WestJet. He comes from JetBlue, where he most recently served as Executive Vice-President of Operations, responsible for Technical Operations, System Operations, Safety, Security, Flight Operations, Training and Regulatory Compliance for the sixth largest airline in the U.S. Prior to that he spent 22 years at Southwest Airlines, where he began his commercial career as a pilot, and took on various leadership roles, eventually serving as Vice President of the Operations Coordination Centre.

Throughout his career, Jeff has maintained his currency as a pilot and civilian flight instructor and continued to fly. He maintains an Airline Transport Pilot Licence and is captain qualified on the DC-10, Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 aircraft. He also served in the United States Air Force flying KC-10s prior to beginning his commercial aviation career.

In addition to his work in the aviation industry, Jeff has been a board member at LaSalle Hotel Properties since October 17, 2016.

Aimia Announces Class Action Settlement

MONTREAL, Aug. 31, 2018 /CNW/ – Aimia (TSX: AIM) today announced it has entered into an agreement to settle the class action relating to changes made to the mileage expiry and accumulation rules of the Aeroplan program announced on October 16, 2006.

Pursuant to the proposed terms of the settlement, Aimia has agreed to deposit a set amount of Aeroplan miles into the account of eligible members. The Company’s June 30, 2018 financial statements reflect the direct costs associated with the settlement. While the company believes its position was reasonable, reaching a settlement agreement is a positive resolution for members and stakeholders. The settlement remains subject to the approval of the Superior Court of Quebec.

Invasion of the LCCs continues with Primera’s latest Europe route ex YYZ

Thursday, August 30, 2018 – Posted by Travelweek Group

TORONTO — Low-cost carrier Primera Air is expanding its network out of Canada with new service to one of Europe’s biggest capital cities starting June 2019.

The LCC says it will begin direct long-haul flights to Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL) out of Toronto as well as New York and Boston next summer.

Flights will be operated on the carrier’s new Boeing MAX 9 fleet. Introductory fares start at €149 one-way.

“Berlin has been one of the key bases in our strategy, as it is one of the major European cities and we can bring a lot of tourists from North America, who otherwise could not afford to travel there,” says Primera’s Chief Commercial Officer, Anastasija Visnakova.

Primera already operates direct flights from London and Paris to Toronto and Montreal as well as New York, Boston, Washington D.C.

Swoop to offer direct flights between Edmonton and Winnipeg this fall


New domestic route added to winter schedule

CALGARY, AB – August 29 2018 /CNW/ – Today Swoop announced a new domestic route providing direct service four times weekly between Edmonton International Airport (YEG) and Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (YWG). Service begins October 11, 2018 through to April 27, 2019.

“This is a welcome addition to our western base of Edmonton.”

“This is a welcome addition to our western base of Edmonton,” said Steven Greenway, President of Swoop. “We are witnessing a positive response to our ultra-low-cost model in both Edmonton and Winnipeg. Connecting these two cities is a natural progression of our network strategy as we continue to stimulate more travel, more often for our savvy travellers.”

“This new flight will be an excellent option that enhances connectivity between two major western Canadian city-regions,” said Tom Ruth, EIA President and CEO. “Swoop is helping to connect travellers across Canada who are flying to, from or through the Edmonton Metro Region.”

“The new flights from Swoop are just the latest in the expansion of services at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “WAA’s growing partnership with Swoop is creating new opportunities to share our city and gives Manitobans more options to connect with family and friends.”

Flights are now available for booking through to April 27, 2019.

Service Between

Service starts

Service Offered


Edmonton and Winnipeg October 11, 2018 Mon, Thu, Fri, Sun 4x weekly


Flair Airlines reports record breaking summer, will lease Boeing 737-800s

Flair Airlines Ltd--Flair Airlines Announces ExpansionWordAirlineNews – 29 August 2018

Flair Airlines has announced that, after doubling its summer flying, the privately-held Flair Airlines surpassed load factor projections.

“It’s been a delightfully busy summer for us” stated David Tait, Flair’s Executive Chairman. “Since mid June – when we more than doubled our capacity and expanded our network to 10 cities from Victoria to Halifax – our fleet of seven aircraft has carried more than a quarter million passengers and we’re currently enjoying load factors in excess of 90%.”

Flair AirlinesHaving led the way as the nation’s first low fare airline, among other initiatives, Flair is working closely with Edmonton’s community at large to firmly establish its position asthe city’s‘hometown airline.’Already,some 75% of the airline’s flights go through Edmonton International Airport EIA.Throughout the coming months, Flair will continue to relocate staff to its new HQ building at EIA, as well as hire for new positions from the local labor pool.

Tait added that, “As one of the founders of Virgin Atlantic Airways, I’ve played the David versus Goliath role before – and won! The tenacity of the Flair team, their spirit and determination to ensure that air travel becomes an affordable reality for all Canadians is really quite remarkable. I am truly proud to be of a part of this dynamic team, and, as Yogi Berra would have said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

Flair recently announced low fare service (starting in December) out of Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto (YYZ), to Palm Springs,Phoenix/Mesa, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando and St. Pete/Clearwater.

Tait added that, “Going forward, our robust fleet expansion plans should see up to 20 newer, more fuel efficient and longer-range aircraftby the end of 2020. The first additions will start arriving in early 2019 as our current aircraft are rapidly phased out.”

Flair is intending to phase out its older Boeing 737-400s.

In other news, Flair will lease Boeing 737-800s from Air Transat to support its expansion.

Save With Emirates until Sept 3

Travelpulse CanadaMARSHA MOWERS  | AUGUST 29, 2018

Earlier this month, Emirates Airline introduced two additional flights to its Toronto (YYZ) service on Saturdays and Sundays, bringing the total of weekly frequencies from three to five daily (except Tuesdays and Thursdays) with an additional 65 per cent capacity increase on the route. Both flights will be operated by the iconic Emirates A380 with private suites in First Class, lie flat seats in Business Class and spacious seats in Economy Class.

To celebrate the additional flights to the YYZ route, Emirates is sharing a special offer from August 28 to September 3 where travellers can book flights between September 1 and December 2 on Emirates.com by using code CA2WRLD to receive an extra $50 CAD off in Economy and $70 off in Business.

– Toronto (YYZ) – Dubai (DXB): $1,049
– Toronto (YYZ) – Tehran (IKA): $939
– Toronto (YYZ) – Bengaluru (BLR): $1,159
– Toronto (YYZ) – Nairobi (NBO): $1,219

– Toronto (YYZ) – Hyderabad (HYD): $5,299
– Toronto (YYZ) – Delhi (DEL): $4,799
– Toronto (YYZ) – Cape Town (CPT): $5,499
– Toronto (YYZ) – Dhaka (DAC): $5,999

The additional Toronto (YYZ) flights will depart on Saturdays, leaving Toronto at 2:25 p.m. and arrive in Dubai at 11:40 a.m. the next day. On Sundays, flights will leave Toronto at 2:30 p.m. and arrive in Dubai at 11:25 a.m. Departure flights on both Saturday and Sunday leave from Dubai at 3:30 a.m. and will arrive in Toronto at 9:30 a.m.

Travellers will be able to enjoy their flight on the revolutionary Emirates A380 which recently celebrated its 10 years of operations. Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the A380 aircraft which includes spaciousness and comfort with iconic products like the OnBoard Lounge, a social area at 40,000 feet. Since its inception, over 120 million meals have been served across all classes and includes the multi-award winning in-flight entertainment system with 3,500 channels.

Passengers from Canada will be able to take advantage of the additional flights to travel to popular destinations like Dubai, Delhi, Dhaka and Cape Town. The flights will further boost inbound tourism for Canada and meet growing demands from travellers from key destinations in United Arab Emirates, India, Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh and South Africa.

Since the inaugural flight in October 2007, Emirates has carried over 1.4 million passengers through its Toronto – Dubai route.

Low-cost carriers Swoop, Flair duke it out in Edmonton

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 – Posted by Travelweek Group

EDMONTON — Low-cost carrier Flair Airlines says it’s working with Edmonton to establish its position as the city’s ‘hometown airline’, just as Swoop announces new service ex Edmonton, its western base.

About 75% of Flair’s flights go through Edmonton International Airport (EIA), says Flair’s Airlines Executive Chairman David Tait.

Tait says Flair’s summer load factors have “surpassed projections”, with loads in excess of 90%.

“It’s been a delightfully busy summer for us,” he adds. “Since mid June – when we more than doubled our capacity and expanded our network to 10 cities from Victoria to Halifax – our fleet of seven aircraft has carried more than a quarter million passengers and we’re currently enjoying load factors in excess of 90%.”

In the coming months Flair will continue to relocate staff to its new HQ building at EIA, as well as hire for new positions.

“Going forward, our robust fleet expansion plan should see up to 20 newer, more fuel efficient and longer-range aircraft by the end of 2020. The first additions will start arriving in early 2019 as our current aircraft are rapidly phased out.”

Airports served by Flair report an increase in new and first-time travellers, he added.

From 10 coast-to-coast gateways, Flair currently operates some 200 weekly domestic flights.

Meanwhile LCC competitor Swoop has added a new domestic route to its winter schedule: direct service four times weekly between Edmonton and Winnipeg.

Service begins October 11, 2018 and runs through to April 27, 2019 on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

“This is a welcome addition to our western base of Edmonton,” says Swoop President Steven Greenway. “We are witnessing a positive response to our ultra-low-cost model in both Edmonton and Winnipeg. Connecting these two cities is a natural progression of our network strategy as we continue to stimulate more travel, more often for our savvy travellers.”

Flights are now available for booking through to April 27, 2019.

Air Canada mobile app breached, data of 20,000 customers may have been accessed

Some 20,000 Air Canada customers woke up Wednesday to learn their personal information may have been compromised after a breach in the airline’s mobile app, which prompted a lock-down on all 1.7 million accounts until their passwords could be changed.

Air Canada said it detected unusual login activity between Aug. 22 and Aug. 24 and tried to block the hacking attempt, locking the app accounts as an additional measure, according to a notice on its website.

Mobile app users received an email Wednesday morning alerting them as to whether their account had been affected.

The app stores basic information including a user’s name, email and phone number.

Any credit card data is encrypted and would be protected from a breach, Air Canada said.

But Aeroplan numbers, passport numbers, birth dates, nationalities and countries of residence could have been accessed if users saved them in their account profile, the company said.

Air Canada declined to respond to questions, referring The Canadian Press to its website.

The risk of a third party obtaining a passport in someone else’s name is low if the user still has their passport and supporting documents, according to the federal government.

Users can reactivate their account along stricter password guidelines by following instructions emailed to them or prompts when logging in.

Some users reported problems with the process on social media, likely due to the volume of customers trying to unlock their account.

Air Canada advised anyone looking to access the app to keep trying.

In March, the airline said some customers who booked hotels through its former travel partner Orbitz may have had their personal data stolen.

Nearly 2,300 bookings through Air Canada hotel options could have been involved in a data breach of hundreds of thousands of records that Orbitz reported earlier this year, Air Canada said.

The Expedia-owned travel website operator, whose platform Air Canada no longer uses, disclosed on March 20 that hackers may have accessed personal information from about 880,000 payment cards in 2016.

Sunwing returns to Bonaire and reintroduces flight services to St. Maarten

sunwing-logo-newSunwing – 27 August 2018  – sunwing.ca

  • Bonaire with new accommodation and diving options this winter

After a successful inaugural season, Sunwing is pleased to announce it will be returning to the Caribbean island of Bonaire and offering travellers more accommodation and diving options to choose from this winter. Sunwing is the only Canadian tour operator to offer direct flights to Bonaire. Weekly Sunday flights from Toronto to Bonaire will resume December 16, 2018 and will run until April 14, 2019.

Consistently rated as one of the top diving destinations in the world, Bonaire is a favourite vacation hotspot among those who enjoy all types of water sports. Recognized for its commitment to sustainable tourism practices and coral preservation, the tropical oasis boasts 86 dive sites which are home to 57 different corals and some 350 fish species. On land, adventures are equally varied and range from hiking up the island’s tallest peak, Brandaris, for stunning ocean views to relaxing in the diminutive and colourful capital, Kralendijk.

President of Tour Operations, Andrew Dawson, commented on the news, “We are very pleased to return to Bonaire for another season and to be adding even more accommodation choices together with new diving packages. We’re sure that giving our customers the option to pre-book their diving experiences and pay in Canadian dollars will be well received.”

Maurice Adriaens, General Manager of Tourism Corporation Bonaire also commented. “We are excited to welcome Sunwing once again this winter season as we continue our partnership. By providing more accommodation and diving options we look forward to welcoming many more Canadians and ensure the island is amongst the top Caribbean destinations to visit this winter. Bonaire declared itself as the World’s First Blue Destination, it has always been a worldwide leader in recognizing the important aspects and developments of sustainability as well as sustainable economic growth opportunities. The protection of its nature resources has always been a priority, therefore assuring a great outdoor experience, such as diving or eco-activities.”

  • Reintroduces flight services to St. Maarten for the upcoming winter

The tour operator will once again be the exclusive vacation package provider for Sonesta Resorts

Sunwing is pleased to announce that St. Maarten will be offered as a vacation destination once again for this coming winter. The travel company will be resuming year-round, weekly direct flight services from both Montreal and Toronto. The first flights from both cities will depart Thursday February 28, 2019.

Offering Dutch charm in an incomparable Caribbean setting, St. Maarten offers travellers everything from colourful markets and elegant boutiques to lagoons and beaches. The island also boasts over 50 unique dive sites; while activities above the water include windsurfing, sea kayaking and deep sea fishing. Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations for Sunwing commented, “St. Maarten offers excellent accommodation options for both families and couples and is perennially popular amongst our clientele. We are delighted to be reintroducing vacation packages here this coming winter so that our customers can once again enjoy this varied island destination.”

Customers who take advantage of the new flight services can be among the first guests to experience two of the tour operator’s top-rated resorts, Sonesta Ocean Point Resort and Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, which have both been completely renovated coming back “Stronger and Brand New” revealing a new contemporary design.

Air Canada, WestJet raising checked baggage fees for lowest-fare passengers


Many Canadians will be forced to spend a little more to travel after Air Canada and WestJet Airlines Ltd. said they are increasing fees for passengers to check their bags.

The country’s two largest airlines are raising the fee for the first checked bag to $30 from $25, and for the second bag to $50 from $30.

The moves were made swiftly after major U.S. airline JetBlue Airways Corp. hiked its fees for checked bags and to change a ticket.

“This is the first change since 2014 and will help offset overall increasing costs and keep overall ticket prices competitive,” Air Canada spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur wrote in an email.

The new baggage fees apply on flights across Canada, to and from the United States, the Caribbean and Mexico, departing on or after Oct. 5.

WestJet’s changes apply on flights starting Oct. 1 for domestic bookings made as of last Friday, and as of Tuesday on flights to the U.S. and international destinations.

“By raising fees for optional services, such as checked bags, we can continue to maintain the lower fares our guests expect,” added WestJet spokeswoman Lauren Stewart.

She said its fares and fees allow passengers to pay for services that matter most to them.

The fees apply to the lowest fare classes at both airlines.

Air Canada economy flex and economy comfort fares will continue to receive a first checked bag free of charge as will elite members and those who booked Air Canada Vacations packages. Military personnel with identification have up to three free checked bags, regardless of destination.

Fees are waived for WestJet Plus passengers, gold and silver rewards members or those booking with RBC World Elite Mastercards.

Porter Airlines says its fees aren’t changing.  Air Transat and Sunwing couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

Airlines have been adding fees for a decade and now charge for seats with more legroom, early boarding, upgrades, food and beverages, entertainment and wireless access. Air Canada earned more than $1 billion from these payments last year while WestJet collected about $440 million.

The world’s top 10 airlines collected US$29.7 billion in revenues from ancillary fees last year, up from US$2.1 billion a decade ago, according to IdeaWorksCompany, a U.S. research company that tracks airline revenue.