Charlottetown Airport moving to bilingual services

‘All the jobs will be maintained’

Charlottetown Airport should be offering bilingual services by 2023. (Maggie Brown/CBC)

Changes coming to the Charlottetown Airport could make things easier for French-speaking passengers.

The federal government is spending $70 million to offer bilingual services at 600 federal service points, and that will include Charlottetown Airport. It means some airport employees will have to get training so they can offer services in English and French.

Mélanie Joly, federal minister of tourism, official languages and La Francophonie, said no one will lose their jobs as a result of the shift.

It would be very rare for us to get a complaint over not offering either a service or some sort of communication in French.— Charlottetown Airport Authority CEO Doug Newson

“All the jobs will be maintained but we’re adding services,” she said.

“What we’ll be doing is training the personnel, but also making sure that new jobs are created to ensure that francophones can have access to services in French.”

Ottawa is aiming to have bilingual services offered at the airport by 2023.

Doug Newson, CEO of the Charlottetown Airport Authority, said finding bilingual employees might be a challenge in places with a small French population base. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

Doug Newson, CEO of the Charlottetown Airport Authority, said offering signage printing material is doable, though it would cost more money. He said the challenge for small airports in small cities like Charlottetown, with a small French population, will be to find bilingual employees.

“If our restaurant or taxi service or car rental companies had to go out and hire staff in both official languages, I think we will find it to be a challenge,” he said.

Newson said he understands the government’s intent. He said the lack of services in French at Charlottetown Airport has not been an issue in the past.

“It would be very rare for us to get a complaint over not offering either a service or some sort of communication in French,” he said.

Swoop resumes flights to U.S. after final operating approval

A Swoop Airlines Boeing 737 on display during a media event on June 19, 2018, at John C. Munro International Airport in Hamilton, Ont.


Swoop is resuming all scheduled flights to the U.S. after receiving its final operating approval.

The discount subsidiary of WestJet Airlines says flights that have been cancelled will resume starting Saturday.

The affected flights were from Hamilton, Ont., and Abbotsford, B.C., to Las Vegas and various cities in Florida. An inaugural flight from Edmonton to Mesa, Ariz., will take off Saturday as originally scheduled.

Flights between Edmonton and Las Vegas were not affected by the cancellations because Swoop temporarily leased a WestJet aircraft for that route.

Toronto’s Billy Bishop airport ends free snacks for waiting passengers after upgrades to main lounge

Porter airplanes at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.Dave Thomas/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency

So long, free espresso.

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is eliminating complimentary beverages such as cappuccino and soft drinks, and most snacks including almonds after modernizing its main departure lounge. Porter Airlines, the Canadian carrier that operates a majority of flights at Billy Bishop, confirmed the move in a series of Twitter messages Thursday.

“These changes have come about with the new lounge upgrades and opening of new restaurants and cafes in mid-October,” Porter said in one of several Twitter messages to customers. “Passengers have asked for more choices in food and shopping, and these new options address their needs.”

Porter said it will continue to offer free beer, wine and snacks aboard its aircraft. The free in-flight beverages, along with snacks in its airport lounges, were a key marketing tool used by Porter when it started a dozen years ago to compete with Air Canada and WestJet Airlines Ltd. Porter now flies to about 20 destinations in the U.S. and Canada, including Boston, Chicago and Newark, New Jersey.

Billy Bishop, the second-largest airport in Canada’s most populous city, is situated on an island in Toronto’s harbour and connected to the mainland by a pedestrian tunnel with moving walkways. Closely held Nieuport Aviation owns and operates the passenger terminal, which was recently refurbished with new restaurants and coffee bars.

Airport Owners

Nieuport is still offering a complimentary cookie to passengers and water refill stations at Billy Bishop, Porter added. Investors in Nieuport include AGF Management Ltd. and Larry Tanenbaum, part owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team.

“While we appreciate your feedback, Porter does not operate the lounges” at Billy Bishop, the airline said in response to a Twitter message from a customer. “They are owned by Nieuport. You can send your thoughts on the new upgrades” to the airport owner, Porter said.

Nieuport began operating the terminal in 2015, taking over from Porter. Traffic at Billy Bishop has surged this decade to about 2.8 million passengers last year, from 1.5 million in 2010.

Earlier this month, Nieuport opened three restaurants and three retail stores inside the passenger terminal, while improving the wine selection. About $50 million (US$38 million) has been spent on modernizing the airport in the last few years, according to Rebecca Thompson, a spokeswoman for Nieuport.

“Passengers have long asked for choice,” Thompson said by telephone. “Now they have hundreds of options with regards to food, beverage and shopping.”

Sunwing Introduces Servive to Grenada


26 OCT 2018: Sunwing announced the addition of a seasonal flight service from Toronto to the Caribbean island of Grenada for the first time. Direct flights from Toronto will operate on Sundays starting December 16, 2018 until April 21, 2019 inclusive.

Known as the island of spice, Grenada is home to lush mountains, rainforests and waterfalls. Vacationers who choose this destination can explore one of the island’s numerous beaches, including the sparkling shores of Grand Anse Beach, Pigeon Point Beach and Castara Bay.

The island is also a popular spot for adventurous travellers, with impressive dive sites and rugged landscapes that are perfect for nature walks and hiking.

Transat cancels Nicaragua program in wake of civil unrest

Friday, October 26, 2018 Posted by 

MONTREAL — Transat has confirmed that it is cancelling its Nicaragua flights in light of civil unrest in the country.

The company was set to offer Nicaragua as part of its 2018/2019 winter Sun lineup, with flights out of Toronto and Montreal to Managua.

“We initially scheduled two flights a week out of Toronto and once a week out of Montreal from Dec. 20 to the end of March,” says Transat spokesperson Debbie Cabana.

“As a result of the ongoing civil unrest and the subsequent weak demand, we have decided to remove the flights to Managua, Nicaragua from our 2018-2019 winter program.”

She adds that clients who had booked flights to this destination may modify their booking or obtain a full refund.

Delta Air Lines takes delivery of its first Airbus A220

Becomes first airline in North America to receive A220Airbus-A220-100-first-take-off

Mirabel, Quebec; October 26, 2018:  Airbus today welcomed Delta Air Lines as the first U.S. carrier to take delivery of the Airbus A220 aircraft.  On hand for the delivery ceremony at the aircraft’s assembly line in Mirabel were members of the A220 team as well as government officials and executives from Delta, Airbus, Bombardier and Investissement Quebec.

“It is with great pride that we take delivery of our first, state-of-the-art A220-100,” said Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian. “We have big plans for our A220 fleet and are confident that Delta customers and Delta people alike will be delighted with the in-flight experience provided by this thoroughly modern and efficient aircraft. We value our longstanding partnerships with Airbus and Bombardier and are grateful for the great design and manufacturing work done by the team here in Mirabel.”

Delta’s A220 will enter service in early 2019, making Delta the fourth global airline to operate the aircraft previously known as the Bombardier C Series. The C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP) welcomed Airbus as lead partner earlier this year, prompting the change of name to the Airbus A220.  Delta is the largest A220-100 customer, with a firm order for 75 aircraft.

Guillaume Faury, President of Airbus’ commercial aircraft business, said, “We at Airbus are dedicated to providing our customers the right products for a marketplace that needs modern, efficient and passenger-friendly aircraft – and the remarkable A220 certainly delivers. When a great airline like Delta puts a new aircraft into service as a platform for their outstanding passenger service, the entire industry takes note. The A220 team is gratified by the confidence that the Delta family has placed in this excellent, Canadian-born aircraft.”

The A220-100 delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency. It brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft.

With an order book of over 400 aircraft to date, the A220 has all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market, estimated to represent at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.

WestJet celebrates 15 years in Nova Scotia

Premier Stephen McNeil visits Calgary campus

WestJet-787CALGARYOct. 26, 2018 /CNW/ – Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeiljoined WestJet President and CEO Ed Sims at WestJet’s Calgary campus today to celebrate 15 years of investment in the province, creating jobs, driving economic growth and furthering the region’s strategic business and tourism objectives.

“WestJet’s presence in Nova Scotia has made a significant, positive impact regionally, nationally and internationally,” said Premier McNeil. “That commitment to our province enhances trade, investment and business growth while helping attract more students, immigrants, and visitors. We congratulate the WestJet team for the past 15 years of growth and look forward to even more success in the years ahead.”

“WestJet is a significant driver of economic growth in Nova Scotia,” said Ed Sims. “We are pleased to help make Atlantic Canada the preferred choice for international commerce coming to or leaving the east coast of North America.”

WestJet by the numbers:

  • The year WestJet brought service to Nova Scotia: 2003
  • Average number of weekly flights from Halifax and Sydney (combined): 182
  • Number of non-stop destinations available from Nova Scotia: 17
  • Growth of service (flights) to and from Halifax in past five years: 160 per cent
  • Increase in the number of seats to and from Halifax in past five years: from 918,000 to 1.9 million
  • Total economic impact (direct, indirect and induced aggregate): $354 million (2016)

“WestJet has significantly increased connectivity to, from and within the province, particularly in recent years, and we are grateful for the support of Nova Scotians,” added Ed Sims. “We are the only Canadian carrier serving Vancouver and Winnipeg from Halifax, and our non-stop services from Halifax to GlasgowParis and London Gatwick have strengthened economic ties with the European Union.”

“At Halifax Stanfield, we continuously strive to advance business and economic development,” said Joyce Carter, President & CEO of HalifaxInternational Airport Authority. “WestJet has demonstrated their commitment to Nova Scotia by growing their route network, increasing air service at our airport, and championing opportunities for growth. Their introduction of service to Paris and London Gatwick this year alone are examples of that dedication. We thank them for their leadership as we work collaboratively to create prosperity for our region through flight.”

“WestJet has contributed positively to air travel to and from Cape Breton Island these last few years and both the increased access and competition has helped make air travel to and from Cape Breton much more attractive to more people, which in turn has contributed to our growing tourism sector,” said Mary Tulle, Chief Executive Officer of the Cape Breton Destination Association.

Swoop, WestJet’s ultra-low-cost carrier, also serves Nova Scotia with six flights per week between Halifax and Hamilton.

Air Canada is acquiring four A330s

Air Canada has just revealed an interesting fleet update for 2019.

In 2019, Air Canada will acquire four Airbus A330s. All four of these planes are being acquired from TAP Air Portugal, which actually acquired these planes from Singapore Airlines in 2017. However, with TAP Air Portugal taking delivery of A330-900neo aircraft over the coming months, they’ll no longer need these A330s.

These A330s will feature Singapore Airlines interiors, meaning that they’ll have angled seats in business class. We’re not talking about a mild angled either, but rather quite a steep angle.

The style of business class seats on these planes (though this is a Fiji Airways cabin)

The plan is for the first of these planes to enter service with Air Canada in the second quarter of 2019. The plane will immediately feature the new livery, but won’t have the interiors updated until the end of 2019.

Logically you might be thinking “well that seems like an awful business class product, given that Air Canada otherwise has direct aisle access from every seat.” That’s indeed the case, so until these planes are reconfigured, Air Canada will simply sell these business class seats as premium economy, which is a treat.

For example, this is already scheduled for one route — Montreal to Algiers shows as being operated by this A330 as of June 6, 2019.

As you can see based on the seatmap, premium economy books into the business class cabin (and for an extra $27 over economy, that’s a very good deal):

Air Canada is reconfiguring all A330s

The above raises the question of how these A330s will be reconfigured. As it stands, Air Canada has reverse herringbone seats on all of their 787s and 777s.

Air Canada reverse herringbone business class

Meanwhile their A330s and 767s feature herringbone seats in business class.

Air Canada herringbone business class

Towards the end of 2019, Air Canada plans to start reconfiguring all A330s with reverse herringbone seats. This will include the four A330s being acquired from TAP Air Portugal/Singapore Airlines.

Air Canada is retiring mainline 767s

This might bring up the question of why Air Canada is acquiring four A330s. It’s because Air Canada plans to retire their existing fleet of 767s. As of now the airline has six of these in their mainline fleet, and in 2019 they’ll be retiring these planes.

Meanwhile 767s continue to be the plane that Air Canada uses for longhaul flights on their Rouge subsidiary.

Air Canada Rouge 767 cabin

Bottom line

Overall I’d consider this to be good news, both in the short term and long term. Air Canada will have a more consistent fleet, as they eliminate mainline 767s in favor of some extra A330s.

In the short term, premium economy passengers will be getting an excellent product. In the long term, all A330s will feature reverse herringbone seats in business class, which is excellent.

Early morning power outage at YVR impacts flights, services BY HANA MAE NASSAR Posted Oct 25, 2018

An outage at Vancouver International Airport’s domestic terminal left a number of people in the dark, and impacted some flights on Thursday morning. (Courtesy @digimnomad via Twitter)

A power outage at YVR’s domestic terminal Thursday morning affected some flights and services

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Some flights out of Vancouver International Airport were affected by a power outage Thursday morning.

The outage was contained to the domestic terminal, and also impacted some services in that wing.

Power has since been restored, but it’s unclear what caused the outage.

Passengers ‘left in the dark’

Meantime, some travelers have expressed their frustration, taking to social media in some cases.

Travis Sheppard is based out of Vancouver and was trying to catch a flight out to Toronto.

“It was a pain in the butt,” he tells NEWS 1130. “It caused delays to security, food stations that are open early.”

He says few details were being shared with passengers.

“There’s no support from YVR itself,” he claims. “People are just wondering what’s happening, why it’s happening, and there’s no information. The airline just said that ‘we’re not boarding until the lights come on.’”

Sheppard admits the whole situation is kind of eerie, and even funny.

“Vancouver has some of the highest airport taxes and they can’t even keep the lights on.”

Some flights were forced to reschedule their departures, and YVR asks — as always — that passengers check with their carriers for updated flight times before leaving for the airport.

Transat adds Santiago de Cuba to its list of Sun destinations

livree2012_2Montreal, October 24, 2018 — Transat is pleased to announce that Santiago de Cuba has been added to its Sun portfolio, which now features 35 destinations. Air Transat, named World’s Best Leisure Airline at the Skytrax World Airline Awards, will be flying to the Cuban city out of Toronto every Wednesday as of December 19, 2018. Transat will offer travellers a selection of hotels with something for every budget, as well as its first South Your Way tour and a Duo package that combines beach and city.

New destination to discover

Santiago de Cuba, the country’s second-largest city after Havana, has the perfect balance of beachside idyll and urban bustle. As with Transat’s other five Cuban destinations, the city offers the trademark Caribbean white-sand beaches. Diving aficionados already know: the waters in the area are a perfect place to pursue their passion. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, Santiago de Cuba is rich in history, with myriad treasures to discover, including numerous palaces and cathedrals, symbols of its colonial past.