Month: September 2018

Bombardier CRJ Series Certified for Higher Maintenance Intervals

September 24, 2018 Montréal – Commercial Aircraft, Press Release

CRJ900 Aircraft

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced today that the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) has granted approval for the maintenance intervals escalation of the CRJ700, CRJ900 and CRJ1000 aircraft. The line maintenance interval (A-check) is extended to 800 flight hours, and the heavy maintenance interval (C-check) at 8,000 flight hours.

“With the longest maintenance intervals on the regional jet market, the CRJ aircraft family continues to deliver more value to operators, along with its excellent reliability and its proven outstanding operational capability”, said Charles Comtois, Head of CRJ Series Program, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “We are thrilled that our operators are benefitting from our continuous improvement mindset as with this evolution, the CRJ Series operators can now take advantage of 14 per cent less maintenance days, meaning more days of revenue flying.”

The maintenance intervals have doubled since the launch of the CRJ aircraft family. The new maintenance intervals are applicable for new production deliveries as well as all CRJ700, CRJ900, and CRJ1000 aircraft in service

Air Canada President and Chief Executive Calin Rovinescu Given CEO Lifetime Achievement Award by the Airline Passenger Experience Association

Air_Canada_Logo

  • First CEO from the Americas to receive APEX’s lifetime recognition
  • Air Canada to also receive APEX’s 2019 Five Star Official Airline Rating Global Award

BOSTON, Sept. 24, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada President and Chief Executive Officer Calin Rovinescu is being recognized with the CEO Lifetime Achievement Award at the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) EXPO opening in Boston today. Mr. Rovinescu is the first CEO from the Americas to be presented with the award by APEX, an international association dedicated to enhancing the passenger experience.

“I am pleased to accept this award on behalf of all Air Canada’s 30,000 employees who work hard every day to deliver a superior customer experience, and who are committed to continuing to improve it. This award is significant because APEX is an international association and it further affirms our status as a leading global carrier,” said Mr. Rovinescu. “This award also validates the investments we have made in fleet renewal, our onboard amenities and in the services we provide in airports.”

In presenting the award, APEX cited Air Canada’s significant global expansion and many product enhancements during Mr. Rovinescu’s tenure as well as the large investments made by the carrier to make the customer experience world class.

“As CEO and President of Air Canada, Calin Rovinescu successfully advanced the airline to new heights while having an incredibly positive impact on air travel in Canada, North America, and the world. Air Canada was the first North American airline with lie flat seats, in-seat screens, signature service, and special inflight entertainment options for those with disabilities,” said Joe Leader, APEX CEO. “In a continuously selfless manner, Calin served this decade as the Chairman of the largest airline association in the world and also as Chairman of the largest airline alliance in the world. For these reasons and so many more, we are honored to present Calin the APEX CEO Lifetime Achievement Award.”

At the award ceremony, Mr. Rovinescu will also accept APEX’s 2019 Five Star Official Airline Rating for Global Airlines Award. Air Canada is the only airline in Canada to be rated by APEX with a Five Star Global Award which is based solely on customers’ verified feedback.

The APEX CEO Lifetime Achievement Award is one of several leadership awards Mr. Rovinescu has won as President and CEO of Air Canada. In July, he won the Executive Leadership Award at the 2018 Airline Strategy Awards. Previously, he was named Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year (2016) and was selected by the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business as Canada’s Best CEO (2013). In June of 2018 he was named a Member of The Order of Canada.

Air Transat signs partnership with SNCF to offer TGV AIR, an air-rail combo, boosting its France and Belgium product offering year-round

AirTransatLogo  

MONTREAL, Sept. 24, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Transat, named the World’s Best Leisure Airline at the 2018 Skytrax World Airline Awards, is set to offer passengers a new product combining air and rail travel, in partnership with SNCF, France’s national rail service. The airline’s customers will be able to purchase a single ticket comprising a flight to Paris plus TGV AIR service enabling them to complete their journey on the TGV high-speed rail network within France or to Brussels, Belgium.

Air Transat and SNCF promise a simple service delivering several benefits: a single booking, a single fare and a single ticket. It will be available as of January 2019, and travellers will be able to book from Canada starting in December.

“We are the leading air carrier connecting Canada and France in summer, with our direct flights to eight French cities,” says Annick Guérard, Chief Operating Officer, Transat. “With TGV AIR, we want to make life easier for travellers and broaden their horizons year-round, making it easy for families, friends and holidayers to get where they want to go in France or Belgium, experiencing new destinations and reaching them faster. We are pleased to be the first airline in mainland North America to offer this service in partnership with SNCF. TGV AIR is the perfect complement to our range of direct flights to France and Belgium,” she adds.

Rémi Habfast, Voyages SNCF’s Commercial Director for TGV NORD, says: “With this new TGV AIR partnership with Air Transat, we are making high-speed rail service departing from and arriving at Paris–Charles de Gaulle station available to even more customers. SNCF is known all over the world for its TGV, its reliability and its quality service. This agreement also strengthens SNCF’s presence and visibility outside France.”

From the Paris-CDG 2 TGV station at Paris–Charles de Gaulle airport, served by Air Transat’s direct flights out of Montreal (daily), Quebec City, Toronto and Vancouver, TGV AIR service will connect passengers with 19 cities in France as well as Brussels. Depending on their departure date, travellers will be able to enjoy TGV AIR service year-round or take advantage of the carrier’s direct flights to and from France and Belgium.

Christophe Pouille, head of the TGV AIR product at Voyages SNCF, is delighted that “Air Transat passengers flying from Canada will now benefit from direct access to the TGV AIR network with a single ticket combining air and train travel. This partnership will provide yet more ways for travellers to reach their final destination, and ensure that international customers can explore France’s many regions.”

Bombardier Delivers First 90-seat Q400 Aircraft to SpiceJet

September 21, 2018 Toronto Commercial Aircraft, Press Release

SpiceJet becomes the first airline to take advantage of the Q400 aircraft’s increased profit potential
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft today announced the delivery of its first 90-seat Q400 aircraft. The aircraft was handed over to India’s SpiceJet Limited (“SpiceJet”) the launch operator for the extra-capacity, 90-seat aircraft.

“We are excited to induct the 90-seat Q400 aircraft into our fleet,” said Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet. “The additional seats and performance improvements will result in substantial reduction in unit costs and also we will be able to address our market needs in the regional space.”

“The delivery of the first 90-seat Q400 aircraft showcases the commitment of Bombardier’s Q Series turboprop program to respond to customer requirements as they address traffic growth in regional markets,” said Todd Young, Head of the Q Series Aircraft Program, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

“I thank and congratulate the employees and suppliers who have worked tirelessly to deliver this most recent enhancement to the Q400 aircraft, and I also thank our customer, SpiceJet for its strong support and collaboration in this continuous improvement program.”

“This is a very important milestone for the Q400 aircraft program because the 90-seat option demonstrates the increased profitability potential that this unique turboprop has to offer,” said
Colin Bole, Senior Vice President, Commercial, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “The increased passenger capacity allows 15 per cent reduction of seat cost compared to the previous standard Q400 aircraft and provides an enormous benefit for airlines. We are thrilled that SpiceJet will be the first operator to showcase the unique capabilities and unbeatable productivity of our turboprops.”

Air Canada to allow pilots to have beards thanks to research from SFU

Air Canada B787-9NEWS 1130 – BY PETER WAGNER AND ESTEFANIA DURAN  Posted Sep 23, 2018 5:58 pm PDT

BURNABY (NEWS 1130) – Air Canada will be changing its policy about beards and pilots thanks to research out of Simon Fraser University.

The previous prohibition on facial hair had nothing to do with style, but whether the pilot’s oxygen masks would still work with a beard, according to the airline.

But, when a Sikh man — who couldn’t cut his beard for religious reasons — applied to be a pilot, AirCanada asked SFU Director of Environmental Medicine and Physiology Sherri Ferguson to put the long-held belief to the test.

“They realized that potentially this could be a human rights issue if they did not have research behind their decision-making policies,” Ferguson said, noting the rules had been based on papers that had been written in the 70s and 60s. “So they called us and asked us if we could design a way to tests the masks.”

Her team tested whether beards would prevent masks from properly keeping away toxic fumes or providing pilots with oxygen if needed.

“We were able to confirm that regardless of beard length, providing the mask was in positive pressure mode, it protected them 100 per cent from any drop in blood-oxygen saturation level,” she said.

Positive pressure mode, also known as “free flow” mode, is when the mask is constantly flowing some oxygen so the pressure inside the masks is higher than the surrounding pressure, Ferguson explained.

She said their research is getting a lot of attention, noting she was surprised about how much the findings meant to some of the non-Sikh pilots too. Ferguson said their findings have also caught the attention of other industries.

“That took me back more than the results of our study,” she said.

Air Canada will now be changing their policy based on this research.

WestJet told NEWS 1130 that its pilots have been able to have short beards for about a year now.

‘It’s time,’ says first Indigenous woman in Canada to own airline

Teara Fraser, who is Métis from a remote community, says airline will travel to hard-to-reach areas

Angela Sterritt · CBC News · Posted: Sep 23, 2018


Teara Fraser inspects the plane outside the hangar at the South Terminal of YVR in Richmond, B.C. (Angela Sterritt )

It’s not every day you become the first Indigenous woman to own an airline in Canada.

“Even today it’s hard to imagine that I am launching an airline,” said Teara Fraser, who grew up in a remote town in the Northwest Territories, and plans to fly her airline to hard-to-reach Indigenous communities.

On Friday, Fraser announced the start of Iskwew Air, based at Vancouver International Airport, which she says will start flights next March.

Fraser, 47, is Métis whose family is from Fort Chipewyan, Alta. She raised her two adult children in Metro Vancouver.

A pilot for 15 years, she previously flew for Hawkair, a Terrace-based regional airline, flying to towns such as Masset and Prince Rupert. She’s also owned her own businesses, including Kîsik Aerial Survey.

The name, Iskwew, is a Cree word for woman, and Fraser wants it to to eventually be known for its Indigenous food and philosophies.

Humble start with big vision

For now, Fraser has just one cabin-class, twin-engine aircraft, but she envisions a full fleet that will specifically provide charter services.

The plane received a blessing Friday from the elders from Musqueam, whose territory the Vancouver International airport is on.

Teara Fraser inspecting the first plane of Iskwew Air in what she hopes will be a large fleet in the future. (CBC)

“When I close my eyes I see flight attendants, a busy ramp, I see connecting people to the land,” Fraser said.

Her idea to build an Indigenous airline from scratch came during the 2010 winter Olympics when tourists from all over the world came to Vancouver.

Many wanted a first-hand look at First Nations communities in B.C.

“There was a vision to connect those international travellers to Indigenous communities and showcase B.C.’s First Nations,” she said.

But there were few airlines with the capability to travel to remote communities.

“When they identified a barrier, I thought that was a way I could support Indigenous tourism,” she added.

Heather Bell (far left), chair of the British Columbia Aviation Council says Teara Fraser is making moves in aviation that will have an impact for generations. Also pictured L-R; Nicola Humphries with Iskwew Air, Kiana Alexander, Teara’s daughter and with Iskwew Air and Jumbo Fraser, Teara’s uncle. (asdas)

Boost to women in aviation

Heather Bell, chair of the British Columbia Aviation Council, has been in the industry for 35 years and said it’s nice to see a female entering the male-dominated field.

“It’s great to see an Indigenous woman making this kind of statement, it’s fabulous and I’m very excited,” said Bell.

Research conducted by the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association and the Canadian Aviation Historical Society indicate that there has never been an airline owned by an Indigenous woman.

“There are woman that have been in high levels in the aviation industry, but even that is very rare,” Bell said.

Remote communities to be focus of airline

Fraser wants to break barriers that have kept women and Indigenous people away from aviation, but she said there is is shortage of pilots, especially those willing to fly to small, remote areas.

“We are facing a global, national and local pilot shortage that is worsening and I am worried about those fly-in communities,” she said.

“I worry that those services wont be available to remote communities that depend on services for basic needs,” she added.

Fraser was born in Hay River, N.W.T. and her Métis family comes from Fort Chipewyan, Alta., a fly-in only community.

Jumbo (Fred) Fraser, right, looks at his niece Teara with pride saying he hopes she will considering moving or at least doing business in their Fort Chipewyan homelands. (Teara Fraser)

“We have just a winter road and the only way to get there is by boat or by plane,” said Jumbo Fraser, Teara’s uncle who came from Fort Chipewyan to witness the blessing.

‘It’s time’

Teara’s daughter, Kiana Alexander, an Iskwew team leader, said she’s most excited about the Indigenous focus of the airline.

“Reclaiming language and matriarchal ways of being in a non-traditional field like aviation is powerful,”  Alexander said.

The plane will be ready to provide charter services out of the South Terminal at Vancouver Airport on International Women’s Day on March 8, 2019.

“It’s time,” said Fraser.

“Time to show the world what is possible.”

Passenger rights advocate files complaint against new low-cost airline Swoop over baggage fees

BRETT BUNDALE | THE CANADIAN PRESS | 21 September 2018

Swoop
AppleMark

An air passenger rights advocate has filed a regulatory complaint against Swoop Inc. claiming the new low-cost airline is unlawfully charging baggage fees.

In a complaint to the Canadian Transportation Agency, Gabor Lukacs says the commercial carrier is flouting Canadian law by failing to offer passengers a basic fare that includes a carry-on and a checked bag.

The Canada Transportation Act requires domestic airlines to offer a basic fare for travel within the country that has no restrictions with “reasonable baggage.”

Karen McIsaac, a spokeswoman for the Calgary-based airline, says Swoop provides travellers with “à la carte service” where they pay a low base fare and add on features such as a checked bag for a fee.

She says the airline has specifically designed the self-booking website and mobile app to be extremely clear around what is provided in the fare and what the optional fees and added features entail.

But Lukacs, the Halifax-based founder of the independent non-profit organization Air Passenger Rights, calls the airline’s approach “deceptive.”

“I find it deceptive to tell people, ‘We have very cheap tickets but by the way if you want to have a carry on it’s $80 plus tax,“’ he said.

According to the airline’s website, carry-on luggage is about $35 if paid in advance, $50 if paid at the time of check-in at the airport and $80 at the gate.

Swoop was announced by WestJet last September and offers service to Hamilton, Halifax, Edmonton, Abbotsford and Winnipeg, as well as some U.S. destinations.

McIsaac says Swoop is catering to a demand for more travel options.

“We are confident that Canadians are appreciative of the ability to be in control of what they pay for and what they don’t, as our aircraft have been more than 90 per cent full since day one of operations,” she says in an e-mail.

While Lukacs says he supports airlines offering different options to passengers, he says one of those options must be a basic fare that includes baggage.

“If you look at Air Canada, for example, they have a number of different fare classes and that’s perfectly fair game,” he says.

“There is no law that says you have to always offer baggage with every fare but rather you have to have one fare which is unrestricted and includes transportation for an adult with reasonable baggage.”

Higher demand predicted for Bombardier Global 7500 business jet after certification

ALLISON LAMPERT | MONTREAL | REUTERS | SEPTEMBER 20, 2018

BBD_Logo_Bk_largeCanadian aircraft leasing company Global Vista, one of the largest customers for Bombardier’s long-range Global 7500 business jet, said on Thursday it expects greater demand for the plane after Canadian and U.S. regulators certify the aircraft.

Bombardier expects Canadian certification this month, a necessity if the Montreal-based plane-and-train maker is to begin delivering its flagship business jet to clients, Reuters reported this week citing sources. Regulator Transport Canada has the final say on timing.

“My personal belief is that after the aircraft is certified there will be pent-up demand because people want to see a certified aircraft,” Vista Global Chairman Thomas Flohr said in a phone interview.

The Global 7500, which is sold out until 2021, is expected to enter service this year and is crucial to Bombardier’s turnaround efforts after it sold a majority stake in its CSeries commercial jetliner program to Europe’s Airbus.

Bombardier has not disclosed the number of orders it has received for the Global 7500, which will challenge U.S rival Gulfstream Aerospace’s dominance of the top end of the market for long-range corporate planes.

The aircraft has a range of 7,700 nautical miles and carries up to 19 passengers and crew.

Flohr said Vista Global, a business aviation group that operates separate divisions aimed at services like leasing and chartering aircraft on a pay-for-hours structure, said he expects to begin taking deliveries from Bombardier in September 2019.

Flohr said he would make delivery slots for the 7500 available to customers through Vista Global’s leasing arm in 2020.

His remarks came after privately held Vista Global on Thursday agreed to buy California-based charter XOJET, which offers on-demand access to its 43 corporate planes through membership programs.

Vista Global expects further consolidation in the fragmented corporate charter market, as part of an industry trend that would help reduce costs and create more uniform standards for private jets.

Flohr would not disclose the deal’s value, or Vista Global’s revenues.

While a hefty supply of used aircraft has prompted planemakers to cut production of new corporate jets in recent years, some forecasters expect sales to pick up between 2019-2027, in line with global GDP growth. Buyers include individuals and corporations, but also owners of fleets who sell either on-demand programs, or equity in a plane through fractional ownership.

Passenger satisfaction has improved in two years at Canada’s three largest airports

THE CANADIAN PRESS September 19, 2018

TORONTO — A J.D. Power survey says passenger satisfaction has improved in two years at Canada’s three largest airports.

Vancouver International’s score rose five points to 781 on a 1,000-point scale that measured satisfaction with check-in; food, beverage and retail; accessibility; terminal facilities and baggage claim.

Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport scored 774, up from 760 in 2016.

Toronto’s Pearson International Airport received 761 points, up from 745 two years ago. Calgary’s score was unchanged at 756.

Overall airport satisfaction at North America’s 64 largest airports reached a record high of 761 points, 12 points higher than in 2017 and 30 points above 2016 when Canadian airports were last measured.

Increased scores are primarily driven by higher satisfaction with food, beverage, retail and security checks.