VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 30, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Canada Jetlines Ltd. (JET: TSX-V; JETMF: OTCQB) (the “Company” or “Jetlines”) announces that, further to its press release of July 8, 2019, SmartLynx Airlines SIA (“SmartLynx”) and Jetlines have entered into a definitive subscription agreement (the “Agreement”) with respect to the amended terms of the $7.5 million financing by SmartLynx. Under the amended terms of the financing, SmartLynx will provide $7.5 million in financing under the terms of a convertible debenture. The amended offering terms are set to match the financing terms agreed to with InHarv ULCC Growth Fund (“InHarv”).
Details of the Offering
The terms of the offering (the “Offering”) are set out in the Agreement between SmartLynx and Jetlines. The Offering will consist of 7,500 units (each, a “Unit”), with each Unit comprised of one $1,000 principal amount 10.00% senior secured convertible debenture of Jetlines (each, a “Debenture”) and 2,439.02439 variable voting share purchase warrants (each, a “Warrant”), and with each Warrant entitling the holder thereof to acquire one variable voting share of Jetlines (each, a “Warrant Share”) at a price of $0.41 per Warrant Share for a period of 36 months from the date of closing. The Company will issue a total of 18,292,682 Warrants to SmartLynx as part of the Units subscribed for by SmartLynx.
The terms of the Debentures include:
a maturity date on such date that is 36 months from the date of issuance of the Debentures (the “Maturity Date”) and the principal amount of the Debentures (the “Principal Amount”), together with any accrued and unpaid interest thereon, will be payable on the Maturity Date, unless earlier converted in accordance with its terms;
each draw of the Principal Amount will accrue interest (“Interest”) from the drawdown date of such draw at the rate of 10% per annum, which Interest will be payable in cash annually on the anniversary date of the drawdown date of such draw, and on the conversion date or the Maturity Date, as the case may be;
all or a portion of the Principal Amount outstanding is convertible into variable voting shares of the Company (each, a “Share”) at the option of the holder at a conversion price of $0.41 per Share; and
the Debentures are subject to an origination fee of 5%, payable in Shares on each drawdown date at an issue price equal to the market price at the time of such drawdown date.
The funds will be available for drawdown based on the satisfaction of certain conditions.
The gross proceeds of the Offering will be released after Jetlines achieves certain milestones as described below. $5.25 million (70%) of the proceeds shall be released upon the Company raising additional funds (the “Funding Milestone”) from a subsequent financing by September 1, 2019 (such completion date subject to waiver by SmartLynx). The Funding Milestone will be calculated by adding the amount realized through the exercise of previously issued warrants since November 1, 2018 and the final amount committed under the InHarv financing at closing, and subtracting that total number from $40 million. In addition, the Company will be required to receive from the Canada Transportation Agency an order allowing it to sell tickets for airline travel.
The remaining $2.25 million (30%) of the proceeds shall be released upon the receipt by Jetlines Operations of its air operator certificate from Transport Canada.
The obligation of the Company to repay the Principal Amount and all unpaid Interest thereon to SmartLynx will be secured by a security interest granted by Jetlines to SmartLynx over all of the Company’s present and after-acquired property pursuant to a general security agreement to be entered into. These financial terms match the terms agreed to with InHarv. The Company intends to close both the InHarv and SmartLynx financings concurrently, with an expected closing date in August, 2019.
Certain aspects of the relationship between the parties will continue to be governed the framework agreement (the “Framework Agreement”) entered into by the parties in December 2018. The Framework Agreement covers matters including the right of SmartLynx to appoint a single Board member to the Company and Jetlines Operations, rights to participate on Board committees, arrangements regarding the review of aircraft leases, the grant of a pro-rata right to SmartLynx to participate in future financings and certain other rights detailing with operational and expenditure matters of the Company and Jetlines Operations. Certain consequential amendments will be made to the Framework Agreement to reflect the new terms of the Offering.
The closing of the Offering is conditional upon the satisfaction of conditions to closing that will be contained in the Subscription Agreement. These conditions will include, among other things, approval of the TSX Venture Exchange for the Offering, execution of definitive documentation, disinterested shareholder approval and the receipt of all other necessary consents, approvals and authorizations required by either party.
The Company has granted 225,000 stock options to a director of the Company. The stock options have been issued for a five-year term, with one quarter vesting every six months from the date of grant.
Record second quarter operating revenues of $4.757 billion
Operating income of $422 million and EBITDA of $916 million
Leverage ratio of 0.9 and record unrestricted liquidity of $6.907 billion
MONTREAL, July 30, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada today reported second quarter 2019 EBITDA(1) (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and impairment) of $916 million compared to second quarter 2018 EBITDA of $739 million. The airline reported second quarter 2019 operating income of $422 million compared to second quarter 2018 operating income of $308 million. Air Canada reported adjusted net income(1) of $240 million or $0.88 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2019 compared to adjusted net income of $129 million or $0.47 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2018. Second quarter 2019 net income amounted to $343 million or $1.26 per diluted share compared to a second quarter 2018 net loss of $102 million or $0.37 per diluted share. The second quarter of 2019 included foreign exchange gains of $117 million while the second quarter of 2018 included a loss on disposal of assets of $186 million and foreign exchange losses of $82 million.
“I am delighted to report an excellent second quarter, including record operating revenues of $4.757 billion and record liquidity of nearly $7 billion. Although our results exceeded expectations, the Boeing 737 MAX grounding negatively impacted EBITDA growth year-over-year. Our management team and all employees involved with this complex issue did an incredible job implementing creative solutions for our fleet, schedule, network and operations to get passengers to their destinations during the quarter,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada.
“These are impressive results with revenue growth in each market segment and system passenger revenues up 10.7 per cent on capacity growth of 2.3 per cent. We also managed costs well, especially with the challenges of sourcing replacement flying for some of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that are out of service. We have now exceeded our CTP cost savings goal of $250 million and reduced our leverage ratio to 0.9 from 1.2 in the previous quarter. On June 27th, we announced that we had concluded a definitive agreement to acquire Transat A.T. Inc. which, we believe, once closed, will benefit all stakeholders. Already, the merger’s benefits have been recognized by key stakeholders, including Unifor, Aéroports de Montréal, Tourism Montréal, leading travel agencies, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, the Conseil du patronat du Québec and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Québec.
“The impact of the Boeing 737 MAX grounding will be felt more acutely in our very busy summer period and, as a result, third quarter EBITDA is expected to increase approximately five per cent versus the third quarter of 2018. Third quarter projected capacity is expected to decline approximately two per cent compared to the third quarter of 2018, as opposed to an originally planned capacity increase of approximately three per cent. In our planning, we will be removing the Boeing 737 MAX from our schedule until at least January 8th, 2020. This reflects our prudent approach to scheduling, giving customers certainty when booking their Fall and especially their Winter holiday travel. At present, we have no visibility on reliable timing for the return to service of the Boeing 737 MAX as we await regulatory approvals. If the aircraft are returned to service earlier, we would look for opportunities to have some enter the fleet for either replacement flying or as back-ups,” said Mr. Rovinescu.
“Finally, I thank our customers for their loyalty, which they also showed by voting Air Canada Best Airline in North America at the 2019 Skytrax World Airline Awards. This award, which we have won for three consecutive years, speaks directly to the hard work of our employees, who also won Best Airline Staff in Canada from Skytrax. I thank our employees for their dedication to caring for our customers as they transport them safely to their destinations each day.”
Second Quarter Income Statement Highlights
Air Canada began consolidating Aeroplan’s financial results on January 10, 2019, the date of its acquisition of Aeroplan. Air Canada adopted accounting standard IFRS 16 – Leases effective January 1, 2019 and restated 2018 amounts (including for period-over-period comparisons).
On capacity growth of 2.3 per cent, record second quarter system passenger revenues of $4.338 billion increased $417 million or 10.7 per cent from the same quarter in 2018. The increase in system passenger revenues was driven by a yield improvement of 6.8 per cent and traffic growth of 3.6 per cent. The yield improvement reflected incremental higher-yielding local traffic due to the impact of constrained capacity caused by the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and a generally improved pricing environment. The yield increase year-over-year also reflected additional yield earned by Air Canada on Aeroplan redemption revenues which Air Canada began recording subsequent to the Aeroplan acquisition on January 10, 2019. In the second quarter of 2019, EBITDA was negatively impacted by the Boeing 737 MAX grounding, despite the positive yield effect.
In the business cabin, system passenger revenues increased $83 million or 10.2 per cent from the second quarter of 2018 on both traffic and yield growth of 5.0 per cent.
In the second quarter of 2019, operating expenses of $4.335 billion increased $310 million or 8 per cent from the second quarter of 2018.
Air Canada’s cost per available seat mile (CASM) increased 5.2 per cent from the second quarter of 2018. The airline’s adjusted CASM(1) increased 5.9 per cent over the same quarter in 2018. These increases reflected, in large part, the impact of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft grounding which resulted in ASM growth of less than half of what had originally been planned, higher costs associated with replacement aircraft, and on-going operating expenses, including depreciation and
pilot wages that continued to be incurred in relation to the Boeing 737 aircraft despite their grounding. Air Canada had 24 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in its operating fleet at the time of the grounding and was expecting to receive another 12 aircraft for a total fleet of 36 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft by July 2019. Given that the Aeroplan loyalty business was not consolidated in Air Canada’s financial results in 2018, for a more meaningful comparison of the cost performance of the on-going airline business, Air Canada’s adjusted CASM for the second quarter of 2019 excludes the operating expenses of Aeroplan.
Financial and Capital Management Highlights
At June 30, 2019, unrestricted liquidity (cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and undrawn lines of credit) amounted to a record $6.907 billion (June 30, 2018 – $5.064 billion).
At June 30, 2019, net debt of $3.277 billion decreased $1.937 billion from December 31, 2018, reflecting an increase in cash, cash equivalents and short-term and long-term investment balances of $1.467 billion and a decrease in long-term debt and lease liabilities of $470 million. At June 30, 2019, Air Canada’s leverage ratio was 0.9 versus a ratio of 1.6 at December 31, 2018.
Net cash flows from operating activities of $1.090 billion increased $9 million compared to the second quarter of 2018. In the second quarter of 2019, free cash flow(1) of $537 million increased $413 million from the second quarter of 2018, mainly due to a lower level of capital expenditures year-over-year, in large part due to the deferral of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft deliveries.
For the 12 months ended June 30, 2019, return on invested capital (ROIC(1)) was 15.5 per cent, significantly higher than Air Canada’s weighted average cost of capital of 7.2 per cent. In the second quarter of 2019, Air Canada changed its definition of excess cash. Air Canada defines excess cash as total cash and investments in excess of the minimum cash required to support operations. This measure of liquidity includes cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments, short-term restricted cash and long-term investments. Air Canada now uses 20 per cent of trailing 12 months operating revenue as its estimate of the minimum cash required to support on-going business operations. This estimate of minimum cash provides adequate coverage for advance ticket sales and to meet Air Canada’s liquidity needs. Previously, Air Canada used advance ticket sales and the current portion of Aeroplan and other deferred revenue as an estimate of its cash requirements.
Normal Course Issuer Bid
In the second quarter of 2019, Air Canada purchased, for cancellation, a total of 2,770,000 shares at an average cost of $38.83 per share for aggregate consideration of $108 million (a total of 4,314,487 shares at an average cost of $36.77 per share for aggregate consideration of $159 million in the first six months of 2019). At June 30, 2019, a total of 22,645,551 shares remained available for purchase under the existing normal course issuer bid.
In the second quarter of 2018, Air Canada purchased, for cancellation, a total of 859,565 shares at an average cost of $24.92 per share for aggregate consideration of $22 million (914,218 shares at an average cost of $24.78 per share for aggregate consideration of $23 million for the six months ended June 30, 2018).
Because the timeline for the return to service of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft remains uncertain, for planning purposes, Air Canada is removing Boeing 737 MAX flying from its schedule until at least January 8th, 2020. Final decisions on returning the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to service will be based on Air Canada’s safety assessment following the lifting of government safety notices and approval by international regulatory authorities. Air Canada’s projected capital expenditures, which can be found in section 6.6 of Air Canada’s Second Quarter 2019 Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Results, has been updated to reflect its assumption that the remaining 12 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft deliveries scheduled for 2019 will now be delivered in 2020.
Air Canada announced in its March 15, 2019 news release that it was suspending the financial guidance it provided on February 15, 2019 and February 28, 2019 in respect of the 2019 financial year, given the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft until further notice and Boeing’s decision to suspend 737 MAX deliveries to airline customers.
The financial guidance provided for the years 2020 and 2021 with respect to annual EBITDA margin (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and impairment, as a percentage of operating revenue) and annual ROIC, as well as the cumulative free cash flow over the 2019-2021 period, remains in place.
Major Assumptions: Assumptions were made by Air Canada in preparing and making forward-looking statements. As part of its assumptions, Air Canada assumes relatively modest Canadian GDP growth for the third quarter and full year 2019. Air Canada also expects that the Canadian dollar will trade, on average, at C$1.31 per U.S. dollar in the third quarter and at C$1.32 per U.S. dollar for the full year 2019 and that the price of jet fuel will average 78 CAD cents per litre in the third quarter and the full year 2019.
The financial and operating highlights for Air Canada for the periods indicated are as follows:
First Six Months
(Canadian dollars in millions, except where indicated)
Financial Performance Metrics
Income (loss) before income taxes
Net income (loss)
Adjusted pre-tax income (3)
Adjusted net income (3)
Operating margin %
EBITDA margin % (3)
Unrestricted liquidity (4)
Net cash flows from operating activities
Free cash flow (3)
Net debt (3)
Return on invested capital (“ROIC”) % (2)(3)
Leverage ratio (2)(3)
Diluted earnings (loss) per share
Adjusted earnings per share – diluted (3)
Operating Statistics (5)
Revenue passenger miles (“RPM”) (millions)
Available seat miles (“ASM”) (millions)
Passenger load factor %
Passenger revenue per RPM (“Yield”) (cents)
Passenger revenue per ASM (“PRASM”) (cents)
Operating revenue per ASM (cents)
Operating expense per ASM (“CASM”) (cents)
Adjusted CASM (cents) (3)
Average number of full-time equivalent (“FTE”) employees (thousands) (6)
Aircraft in operating fleet at period-end
Average fleet utilization (hours per day)
Seats dispatched (thousands)
Aircraft frequencies (thousands)
Average stage length (miles) (7)
Fuel cost per litre (cents)
Fuel litres (thousands)
Revenue passengers carried (thousands) (8)
Air Canada began consolidating Aeroplan Inc.’s (“Aeroplan”) financial results on January 10, 2019, the date of its acquisition of Aeroplan. Refer to section 9 “Accounting Policies” and section 10 “Critical Accounting Estimates and Judgements” of Air Canada’s Second Quarter 2019 MD&A for additional information.
Air Canada adopted accounting standard IFRS 16 – Leases effective January 1, 2019 with restatement of 2018 amounts. ROIC and leverage ratio as at June 30, 2018 are not meaningful as trailing 12 months financial data is used in the calculation of both measures and 2017 amounts have not been restated for the adoption of IFRS 16 – Leases.
Adjusted pre-tax income (loss), adjusted net income (loss), EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and impairment), EBITDA margin, free cash flow, ROIC, leverage ratio, adjusted earnings (loss) per share – diluted and adjusted CASM are each non-GAAP financial measures and net debt is an additional GAAP measure. Refer to section 16 of Air Canada’s Second Quarter 2019 MD&A for descriptions of Air Canada’s non-GAAP financial measures and additional GAAP measures.
Unrestricted liquidity refers to the sum of cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments and the amount of available credit under Air Canada’s revolving credit facilities. At June 30, 2019, unrestricted liquidity was comprised of cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $5,921 million and undrawn lines of credit of $986 million. At June 30, 2018, unrestricted liquidity was comprised of cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $4,670 million and undrawn lines of credit of $394 million.
Except for the reference to average number of FTE employees, operating statistics in this table include third party carriers (such as Jazz Aviation LP (“Jazz”), Sky Regional Airlines Inc. (“Sky Regional”), Air Georgian Limited (“Air Georgian”) and Exploits Valley Air Services Ltd. (“EVAS”)) operating under capacity purchase agreements with Air Canada.
Reflects FTE employees at Air Canada and its subsidiaries. Excludes FTE employees at third party carriers (such as Jazz, Sky Regional, Air Georgian and EVAS) operating under capacity purchase agreements with Air Canada.
Average stage length is calculated by dividing the total number of available seat miles by the total number of seats dispatched.
Revenue passengers are counted on a flight number basis (rather than by journey/itinerary or by leg) which is consistent with the IATA definition of revenue passengers carried.
WestJet Airlines has extended its route suspensions related to the grounding of Boeing’s Max 8 aircraft and is seeking compensation from the aircraft manufacturer for lost revenue.
The Calgary-based airline, which owns 13 Max 8 planes for a total of seven per cent of its fleet, announced Monday it is now scheduling without the aircraft until at least Nov. 4, as opposed to the previously stated Aug. 29. Affected routes include Halifax-Paris, Vancouver-Regina, Toronto-Kelowna and Toronto-St.John’s.
WestJet is just one of many airlines around the world that has been forced to re-accommodate guests and adjust its summer flying schedule in the absence of the Max 8, which has been grounded globally since March following two fatal crashes.
In an interview Friday, WestJet CEO Ed Sims said while the airline has no intention of flying the plane again until it is “100 per cent safe to do so,” the grounding is lasting longer than anticipated after U.S. officials identified another flaw with the plane’s software in June.
“It’s up to the regulators now to drive that pace,” Sims said. “But I’d be kidding if I said I wasn’t anything other than anxious to get that aircraft back up in the air.”
According to WestJet, the airline had 9,225 Max flights planned since the grounding and has been able to cover off almost 6,000 of them with other aircraft from its fleet. Including all aircraft types, WestJet has been able to maintain 98 per cent of its planned departures since March.
Still, the shortage of aircraft has meant WestJet is flying very full planes and has little flexibility in cases of weather delays or unexpected maintenance. WestJet’s ultra-low-cost carrier Swoop, which typically can borrow aircraft from its parent company in the event its own planes are undergoing maintenance, has been plagued with cancellations this summer since there is no spare capacity to be had.
On Friday, Sims said WestJet is seeking compensation for that lost capacity, though he did not provide details on what form that compensation might take.
“We have been having multiple and significant conversations along those lines. Where those conversations will lead to will remain privy between ourselves and Boeing,” Sims said. “But clearly we are one of two Boeing-exclusive jet fleets in North America and we expect that to be reflected in the conversation we have with Boeing.”
Other airlines around the world, including China’s three largest airlines, Southwest Airlines and Ryanair, are also seeking compensation from Boeing for cancelled Max 8 flights. Boeing said earlier this month it will take an after-tax charge of $4.9 billion U.S. as a result of “potential concessions and other considerations to customers” related to the grounding and associated delivery delays. While the entire estimated amount will be recognized as a charge in the second quarter, Boeing said the actual payouts will be provided over a number of years and take “various forms of economic value.”
“We remain focused on safely returning the 737 MAX to service,” said Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg, in a release. “This is a defining moment for Boeing. Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the flight crews and passengers who fly on our airplanes. The Max grounding presents significant headwinds and the financial impact recognized this quarter reflects the current challenges and helps to address future financial risks.”
The federal government has fired back against airlines in a court battle over its new passenger rights law, saying it has the authority to make rules on how the carriers deal with delayed customers, cancelled flights or lost baggage.
The Attorney-General of Canada, responding to an application by the airline industry to overturn the new rules in the Federal Court of Appeal, said the rules that cover all carriers flying into, out of and within Canada fall within the government’s regulation-making authority, and were written after extensive consultation.
The new regulations are going into effect in two stages – the first set is in force as of July 15, while the second part kicks in on Dec. 15. The rules set minimum compensation for delayed or bumped passengers and lost luggage, in addition to limiting the amount of time airlines can make boarded passengers wait on the tarmac to three hours.
The leave to appeal, filed by industry group International Air Transport Association, Air Canada, Porter Airlines and several foreign carriers, argues the standardized compensation exceeds passengers’ actual losses, and that Canada does not have the authority to impose regulations on foreign airlines.
The court has not yet ruled if it will grant the application to appeal the rules.
The Canadian Transportation Agency wrote the regulations after being granted authority by Transport Minister Marc Garneau, who said in 2016 he would take steps to address issues of safety, competitiveness and customer experiences in the transport industries under his watch.
Passenger regulations that went into effect on July 15 require airlines to compensate passengers up to $2,400 if they are denied boarding for reasons within the carriers’ control; to pay as much as $2,100 for lost or damaged luggage; and to write clear policies on carrying musical instruments.
Beginning Dec. 15, customers whose flights are delayed or cancelled due to non-safety reasons within an airline’s control will be entitled to as much as $1,000. Airlines are required to refund fares to passengers whose flights are delayed, or to rebook them on a competing airline if needed. Airlines also must seat children younger than 14 near their parents at no extra cost.
The rules establish new standards for handling passenger complaints, replacing a patchwork of federal regulations and airline policies that varied and were often negotiated complaint by complaint.
Marc Roy, chief of staff for Mr. Garneau, said the government delayed the implementation by two weeks because the airlines are still struggling to cover their scheduled flights with the Boeing 737 Max planes, grounded since March after two fatal crashes that killed 346 people.
The rules are also being contested by two advocates for the rights of airline passengers and of disabled people. They say a new rule that allows tarmac delays of three hours violates the rights of disabled people by denying them the ability to use an accessible washroom in the airport terminal and by extending their time in plane seats that endanger their health.
In response, the Attorney-General’s office said in its court filing it has the authority to make the three-hour rule, and that the passenger advocates’ argument in an appeal is “bound to fail.”
Mr. Roy said before the three-hour limit was in force, there were no universal rules on how long airlines could make passengers wait on the tarmac. Some had a maximum 90 minutes, while others did not address it. The rules also set standards of care for passengers stuck on the plane, including providing access to bathrooms, water, food, constant communication, the ability to communicate with the outside world and comfortable temperatures.
“If those conditions are not met, there is a necessity to return to the gate as soon as possible,” Mr. Roy said. “But if those conditions are met then the operator can have up to three hours to navigate what problem might be causing the delay.”
“How is the passenger better served if the airplane has to go back to the gate, unload everyone and get them back into the terminal to meet a strict 90-minute limit of tarmac delay, only to … then have to re-embark the plane only to go back to that lineup for de-icing?”
CALGARY – WestJet chief executive Ed Sims says the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max is having a “substantial negative impact” on the airline, even as the company reported robust earnings in its first full quarter without the fuel-efficient jetliner and on the cusp of its acquisition by Onex Corp.
In a phone interview, Sims said the grounding — now expected to continue at least through November — has forced WestJet to increase spending on fuel and cut its routes.
Sims declined to quantify the financial hit, saying he is in discussions with Boeing about the “substantial loss” of WestJet’s 13 Max 8s, which comprise about 10 per cent of the carrier’s seat capacity.
WestJet nonetheless beat analysts’ expectations with a 380 per cent profit increase year over year to $44.3 million last quarter, as a boost in passengers bumped up revenue 11 per cent to $1.21 billion.
Analyst Cameron Doerksen of National Bank of Canada says in an investor note the grounding will hinder capacity growth and raise expenses for Canadian airlines, but that lower jet fuel costs and a stronger Canadian dollar may help offset those headwinds.
On Friday, Alberta’s superior court approved the $3.5-billion deal between WestJet and Onex Corp., which expects to complete the buyout following further regulatory green lights later this year.
Authorities across the globe banned the Boeing aircraft from their skies last spring after two crashes — in Indonesia in October and Ethiopia in March — killed all 346 passengers aboard, including 18 Canadians.
WestJet says it found replacement aircraft for about 700 of the 1,000-plus 737 Max departures scheduled in June, the final month of the second quarter.
Sims said a sale of regional carrier Encore or budget offshoot Swoop are not on WestJet’s agenda at the moment, and that no layoffs of its 14,000 employees will stem from the buyout.
WestJet, founded as a no-frills regional upstart in 1996, has set its sights on Air Canada in recent years, challenging the carrier’s dominance on international routes by adding transatlantic flights, wide-body planes and premium fares.
The airline has also grappled with unionization and higher costs, which have offset some of its revenue growth. The company is expected to earn a per-share profit of $1.24 this year compared to $2.92 in 2015, according to analysts polled by financial markets data firm Refinitiv.
Provided by De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited/CNW
TORONTO, July 29, 2019 /CNW/ – De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (“De Havilland Canada”) and Ethiopian Airlines (“Ethiopian”) celebrated the delivery of the milestone Dash 8-400 aircraft bearing serial number 4600 on Friday, July 26.The aircraft is also the 25th Dash 8-400 aircraft delivered to Ethiopian Airlines.
Senior executives of Ethiopian Airlines, De Havilland Canada and Longview Aviation Capital, the parent company of De Havilland Canada, joined Ethiopian’s aircraft acceptance team and hundreds of De Havilland Canada employees for the celebration held at De Havilland Canada’s facility in Toronto, Ontario, Canada where Dash 8-400 aircraft are manufactured. Her Excellency Nasise Challi Jira, Ethiopian Ambassador to Canada and representatives of the government of Ontario were also in attendance.
“The Dash 8-400 aircraft gives us the performance attributes, capacity and passenger comfort that support our strategic partnerships with regional carriers in Africa and supports our continuing growth strategy in the market,” said Tewolde GebreMariam, Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Airlines Group. “We are honoured to be receiving the milestone aircraft bearing serial number 4600 and we are committed to supporting our fleet and others in our region through our Authorized Service Facility and our Dash 8-400 aircraft simulator.”
“The delivery of the 600th Dash 8-400 aircraft produced at our Toronto facility is a significant moment for De Havilland Canada and we are delighted that Ethiopian Airlines, our largest customer in Africa, is the recipient airline. Since this aircraft will become the 25th Dash 8-400 turboprop in Ethiopian’s fleet, we are celebrating two important milestones,” said Todd Young, Chief Operating Officer, De Havilland Canada. “Growing markets will continue to drive the evolution of our Dash 8-400 aircraft, as well as the suite of services we offer to support our customers. We are very proud that our teams in Toronto and at locations across the globe are well aligned in helping us meet the demand from airlines.”
TORONTO, July 29, 2019 /CNW/ – Canada’s climate plan is working for our planet, and it is working for Canadians. Zero-emission vehicles play a key role in our clean energy future. As families continue to make greener choices, Canada is delivering more options for them to drive where they need to go while reducing pollution and making life more affordable.
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister for Environment and Climate Change Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced an investment of $491,000 for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority for an electric vehicle (EV) charging station project at Pearson International Airport.
The project will build a new fast-charging hub to support a fleet of electric shuttle buses at the nation’s busiest airport. The project will identify barriers and strategies for electric bus adoption and serve as a model for airports across the country.
This is part of the Government of Canada’s $182.5-million investment to build a coast-to-coast charging network for EVs and support other zero- and low-carbon demonstration and deployment projects as well as develop binational (Canadaand the United States) codes and standards. Over 800 EV fast chargers are already built or being planned, with hundreds more expected over the next two years.
Through Budget 2019, a further $130 million is being invested in charging infrastructure, and a new incentive, worth up to $5,000, is available for Canadians who purchase or lease an eligible electric or hydrogen-fuelled vehicle.
Canada’s climate plan includes over 50 measures to protect the environment and leave a healthier planet for future generations, including actions to protect our oceans, phase out coal-fired electricity, invest in renewables and public transit and reduce plastic pollution. Zero-emission vehicles are a key part of Canada’s plan to combat climate change while growing the economy.
“Transportation accounts for almost a quarter of our emissions. Reducing pollution from transportation is essential. Investing in electric vehicles is a practical and effective way for Canada to reduce pollution, fight climate change and make sure we have clean air. Canadians want to be part of the solution to fight climate change by travelling more efficiently. Our government will continue to invest in the infrastructure needed for easy, fast charging and offer purchase incentives for low-emission vehicles — giving Canadians cleaner options on the road.”
Catherine McKenna Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada
“As the largest airport in the country and an important contributor to Canada’s economy, Toronto Pearson appreciates this significant investment in clean technology and electric vehicle innovation. This project compliments Toronto Pearson’s ambitious overall environmental goals as we continue to plan, prepare and build to be an airport that our passengers and the country can count on.”
Pat Neville Vice President, Airport Development and Technical Services, Greater Toronto Airports Authority
29 July 2019 by Alfred Chua, Singapore, FlightGlobal.com
The Airbus A220 test aircraft will be making its way to six points in Asia as part of a demonstration tour
The airframer says the A220-300 will visit Seoul, before flying to Yangon, Hanoi, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Nagoya. The demo tour will last from 29 July to 6 August, it adds.
The A220 deployed for the demonstration tour will be an Airbus flight test aircraft fitted with a typical single class passenger cabin.
Airbus adds: “During the A220 demonstration tour, customers and media will be offered a close up view of the aircraft’s outstanding characteristics, comfort and performance that benefit both operators and passengers alike.”
Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer shows that in the Asia-Pacific region, only Korean Air operates the A220 and it has 10 aircraft in service. Air Vanuatu has four A220s on order.
A nationwide customs outage that caused long waits is over as of late Sunday afternoon, according to Vancouver International Airport.
The airport had said earlier that passengers could expect a long wait at customs due to nationwide outages of Canadian Border Security Agency’s systems.
In an early afternoon tweet, the airport said the primary inspection kiosk and NEXUS system was down and that arriving passengers had to fill out customs forms manually.
The Canadian Border Security Agency did not return a request for comment.
Kiosks are back up and running at YVR. Truly appreciative of everybody’s patience today as we processed arriving passengers, and thankful to the employees who worked hard to help throughout the issue. Sincere apologies to those who were inconvenienced.
Last week, a YouTube video of Naomi Campbell’s airplane routinemade the rounds. While it was fascinating to watch the supermodel prepare for her long-haul flight to Qatar, it was also wholly useless for those of us who spend our time crammed in economy class.
As a freelance travel journalist, I know this all too well. In 2018 alone, I spent 180 hours in the air, flying everywhere from Siberia to Saskatoon for assignments — which doesn’t even begin to account for the time spent connecting to flights or travelling to airports. And yes, I did it all in economy class.
Other than giving me a certain sense of shame for my carbon emissions (or, as the Swedish have branded it, flygskam) it’s also given me the flying prowess of George Clooney’s character in Up in the Air. But while Clooney’s Ryan Bingham may have been a pro at domestic travel, I’ve got the international game on lock-down.
Want to know my secrets to enjoying an economy-class long-haul flight? Well, I don’t have any of those. What I do have, however, are a few tips on how to survive a long-haul flight like a seasoned traveller.
Research your seat ahead of time
There’s nothing worse than boarding your flight with a nearly dead cell phone and finding out that there’s no power outlet, or booking a window seat because you get motion sickness only to discover that you’re crammed beside a wall with no actual window. (It happens, trust me.)
SeatGuru.com is a game-changer. This website takes the guesswork out of the equation. Search for your flight code, find your seat, and SeatGuru will tell you what you can expect to find on-board. It’ll even flag seats that may not recline fully or may be near noisy areas such as the lavatories.
Make getting through security and connections a seamless process—literally
I wear the exact same outfit every time I fly: yoga pants, a long-sleeved tee, and a scarf that’s large enough to be used as a blanket on chilly planes. Far from fashionable, it’s my outfit of choice because it’s nearly seamless. No pockets means nothing to forget in them, and no belt or embellishments means minimal chances of setting off the metal detector.
Create your own personal airplane survival kit
Most people I know stuff their carry-on full of entertainment for their flight: books, magazines, e-readers, crossword puzzle books and the like. Not me. As far as I’m concerned, “stave off boredom” ranks much lower on my priority list than “don’t get sick” and “prevent jet lag.”
As such, my carry-on is more like a mini-pharmacy, designed to maximize hydration and my body’s ability to battle my neighbour’s nasties. Humidity on planes sits as low as 12 per cent, so I ante up the hydration by popping an electrolyte tab into my water bottle. Throughout the flight, I use preservative-free moisturizing eyedrops, and a hypotonic saline nasal spray to help maintain moisture in my nasal cavity. (I also travel with facial mist, which I know is a bit “extra,” but I always feel more human after using it.)
Apart from drinking loads of water, I have no clue if any of this scientifically does anything. But at the very least, pulling out my self-care kit every couple of hours kills time.
On that note, embrace your inner germaphobe
According to a 2018 CBC Marketplace report, the most contaminated surface on a plane is the headrest, followed by the seat pocket. The latter contains high levels of mould and E.Coli, partially due to passengers storing dirty diapers in it.
That’s why the only thing Naomi Campbell and I have in common is that we both wipe down every nook and cranny of our seats with an antibacterial wipe before settling in. (I suppose the one benefit of economy class is that there’s less surface area to wipe down?)
Stretch and move around the cabin
I’m only in my mid-30s and reasonably fit, so I used to scoff at the idea of needing to get up throughout my flight. That all changed last year, when I wound up with a nasty case of sciatica after flying to Australia, back to Canada, and then over to Russia, all in a period of about two weeks.
Stretching is now my religion. The human body is not designed to sit upright for 12 hours at a time. It may sound counter-intuitive, but my advice is to get up when there is a small line for the bathroom — the extra wait time gives you an excuse to get a full stretch in.
Make your flight extra-cozy
As soon as I get on the plane, I ditch my running shoes for a pair of slippers. Not only do they keep my feet warm on notoriously cold planes, they make it so that I don’t have to put on shoes to walk down the aisle. Choose a soft-soled pair that you can throw in the wash immediately following your flight because no, that liquid on the lavatory floor isn’t water.
If, like me, you suffer from extreme flight shame, you can at least reduce the amount of plastic waste you produce when you fly. I travel with my own set of plastic cutlery (available for purchase at most camping supply store—and yes, security will let you take it through), a reusable water bottle, and a reusable coffee cup.
Apart from being handy for coffee, the sippy cup-style lid of KeepCup’s is helpful in case of minor turbulence or bumps from your seatmate. Not just for coffee, I’ve since discovered that flight attendants will happily fill reusable cups to the brim with any drink you request including, yes, wine. Huh. So maybe I do have some advice for how to make a long-haul flight enjoyable, after all.