Latécoère Enters into an Agreement to Acquire Bombardier’s Electrical Wiring Interconnection System Business in Querétaro

Provided by Bombardier Inc/CNW

December 31, 2019Source: Bombardier Business Aircraft

  • Latécoère to acquire EWIS activities and related assets as well as a skilled workforce specializing in harnessing and electrical sub-assemblies in Querétaro
  • Agreement promotes long-term relationship with Latécoère and supports the optimization of Bombardier Aviation  
  • Bombardier continues to produce major structures at its high-tech main campus in Querétaro, including the aft fuselage for the Global family of jets

TOULOUSE, France and MONTREAL, Dec. 31, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Latécoère and Bombardier announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement, whereby Latécoère will acquire Bombardier’s electrical wiring interconnection system (EWIS) assets in Querétaro, Mexico. The two companies also concluded a long-term supply agreement that will see Latécoère supply Bombardier with electrical wiring interconnection systems.

The transaction is subject to customary conditions and approvals and is expected to close in the first half of 2020.

Approximately 700 skilled employees are dedicated to the manufacture of EWIS at Bombardier’s facility in Querétaro. Under the long-term supply agreement, Latécoère will continue to supply the EWIS for all Bombardier Aviation platforms, including GlobalChallenger and Learjet aircraft from the current location to support Bombardier’s requirements. The annual turnover of the business is anticipated to be around USD 80 million.

“This acquisition reflects our willingness to emerge as a leading player in the global consolidation movement in the aeronautics sector,” said Yannick Assouad, CEO of Latécoère. “We keep deploying our manufacturing footprint on an international scale with a strong desire to strengthen our presence in the areas closest to our customers,” she added.

“This agreement exemplifies Bombardier’s focus on streamlining its activities to foster a strong and efficient aviation franchise,” said Paul Sislian, Chief Operating Officer, Bombardier Aviation. “With Latécoère’s reputation for excellence, this new partnership will result in a winning combination for both our companies.”

Under the terms of the transaction, Latécoère will pay Bombardier a cash consideration of USD 50 million. The transaction further supports Bombardier Aviation’s transformation and sharpens the company’s focus on its core manufacturing capabilities. The skilled employees who manufacture the main harnesses and electrical subassemblies in Querétaro will bring years of experience and value to Latécoère. The sale will not impact the remainder of Bombardier’s operations at its Querétaro site, which will continue to produce major structures for Bombardier aircraft, such as the aft fuselage for the Global family of business aircraft – including the company’s flagship Global 7500 jet – the most complex aircraft component manufactured in Mexico.

Air Canada passengers stuck in plane for hours at Montreal airport — not once, but twice

News provided by CBC News – link to full story and updates

‘We’ve been here for 14 hours,’ said one passenger after family gets on and off plane throughout day

Isaac Olson · CBC News · Posted: Dec 31, 2019

From waiting in the plane, to waiting in lines, passengers were weary-eyed and exhausted by the end of the ordeal. (Jaela Bernstien/CBC)

Amanda Keslassy says her family spent about five hours on a plane, Monday, but didn’t leave Montreal until Tuesday morning.

“It was hot,” she said. “There was a lot of stress.”

Her Air Canada flight was scheduled to take off for the Dominican Republic at 8:15 a.m., but she and her family were told to disembark three hours after loading. They were handed some food vouchers and told to board again at 2 p.m.

So that’s what they did, but still the plane never took flight.

By 4 p.m., after two more hours of roasting among crying children and grumbling adults, they were told there was a mechanical issue.

“We were sitting in the plane with no air, because the motor wasn’t running,” Keslassy said, noting her disabled mother was among the passengers.

They had to disembark once again. Loading was rescheduled for 5 p.m.

Amanda Keslassy and her daughter described a hot and frustrating wait on the plane that never took off from Montreal’s airport Monday. (CBC)

“When we got at the gate at five, they say the flight is cancelled,” she said. “They say there’s a plane, but no pilot.”

Not knowing what to do, Keslassy waited in a line for two hours to speak with an agent. She was told Montreal residents had to go home, and those from out of town were given a room for the night.

When she arrived at the hotel, she discovered it was fully booked and got little sleep.

On Tuesday morning, Keslassy told CBC Montreal’s Daybreak there was no shuttle bus to get her family to the airport and they had to pay for a taxi out-of-pocket.

At the airport, they were each given $10 to buy breakfast, but that’s the only compensation they’ve seen so far. 

Keslassy’s flight finally left Tuesday morning. Now, she and other passengers have started a petition in hopes of getting compensation and an apology from the airline. 

“The customer service of Air Canada is terrible,” she said.

Family vacation fiasco

Jordan Soppit and his young family woke up early, making sure to get to the airport at 5 a.m. so they wouldn’t miss their flight.

They were looking forward to celebrating the new year on the white sandy beaches of Puerto Plata where they had a rented condo for the week.

Instead, they spent the day waiting. If not on the plane, they were waiting in lines.

“We got on the plane by 8:15. By like 11, they took us off the plane,” Soppit said.

“They gave us a couple $10 vouchers. We waited in line for 20 minutes for the vouchers, then they told us we had to be back on the plane in 10 minutes. We ended up buying bags of chips.”

Later, Soppit’s wife and children waited in line for a hotel room. Then they were stuck in another line for a shuttle.

One of Jordan Soppit’s young daughters fell asleep in her mother’s arms, while another rode the luggage cart as the family waited for a shuttle to a nearby hotel. (Jaela Bernstien/CBC)

“We’ve been here for 14 hours,” he said. “We’re supposed to be on vacation.”

A spokesperson for the airline issued a brief statement to CBC News, saying Air Canada Rouge flight 1822 experienced a mechanical issue during takeoff and was subsequently taken out of service for repairs.

All passengers have been rebooked on a new flight for Tuesday morning, the statement says.

The airline did not respond to further questions.

Seeking compensation

Passenger rights activist Gábor Lukács says passengers should begin seeking compensation immediately. The first step, he said, is to contact the airline to seek up to $1,000 under new federal regulations that came into force on Dec. 15.

However, the new air travel rules allow airlines to dodge compensation if the delays were caused by issues out of their control, such as mechanical problems.

European Union regulations for flight delays cover most mechanical issues. Some critics have expressed concern that Canada’s more limited rules mean many passengers will get nothing for their delayed flight as airlines can use mechanical issues as an excuse.

Lukács said he is among those concerned the airline will “weasel out of its obligation to pay monetary compensation to passengers.”

But he said passengers can still lean on the Montreal Convention for help when seeking compensation for money spent in advance on lodging, cruise tickets or anything else.

“I suggest passengers take the airline to small claims court,” said Lukács, founder of the non-profit advocacy group, Air Passenger Rights.

With files from Antoni Nerestant and Jaela Bernstien

Abbotsford International Airport celebrates 1 million passengers in 2019

News provided by the Vancouver Sun – link to full story and updates and City News 1130 – link to full story and updates

According to figures shared by airport officials and the city, more than 1 million passengers departed or arrived at YXX this year, an 18.7 per cent increase over the previous year.

POSTMEDIA NEWS Updated: December 30, 2019

More than 1 million passengers opted to fly out of Abbotsford International Airport this year, continuing the Fraser Valley airport’s growth. HANDOUT / PNG

More than 1 million passengers opted to fly out of Abbotsford International Airport this year, continuing the Fraser Valley airport’s growth.

According to figures shared by airport officials and the city, more than 1 million passengers departed or arrived at YXX this year, an 18.7 per cent increase over the previous year.

“I’m proud of the careful and strategic management of this asset and I know that YXX welcoming its 1 millionth passenger is one of many exciting achievements at the Abbotsford International Airport; with many more to come,” said Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun.

YXX passenger growth since 2015:

  • 2015 – 487,833 passengers
  • 2016 – 530,643 (8.8% increase)
  • 2017 – 677,653 (27.7% increase)
  • 2018 – 842,212 (24.3% increase)
  • 2019 – 1 million plus (18.7% to date)

The airport, while small in comparison to the nearby Vancouver International Airport, hosts four national airlines including WestJet, Swoop Airlines, Flair Airlines, and seasonal service on Air Canada Rouge. The regional Island Express Air also transports passengers to other parts of B.C.

Direct routes are available to Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Nanaimo, Victoria, Las Vegas and London, Ont., while seasonal direct service is available to Toronto, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.


YXX welcomed one-millionth passenger

BY RIA RENOUF, Dec 30, 2019

Patricia Lovatt is the one-millionth passenger through the Abbotsford International Airport. (Courtesy, Abbotsford International Airport)

ABBOTSFORD (NEWS 1130) — The one-millionth passenger has made her way through Abbotsford International Airport.

Maple Ridge’s Patricia Lovatt found out after flying in from Edmonton on Sunday.

To celebrate, she received a $1000 voucher to use on any of the flights at YXX.

Mayor Henry Braun notes how long it took to get to this point.

“This airport has been waiting for this day for 23 years,” he says. “I think that we will hit 2 million within the next two to five years.”

Lovatt was selected at random from a group of passengers waiting for their bags.

Airline passengers furious after diverted Halifax-Hamilton flight strands them in Montreal

News provided by Global News – link to full story and updates

BY DAN SPECTOR GLOBAL NEWS Posted December 30, 2019

 A Hamilton-bound flight from Halifax was rerouted to Montreal as a cocktail of winter weather pelted Quebec and Ontario. As Global’s Dan Spector reports, the situation went from bad to worse as passengers tried to get to their final destinations and many are now seeking compensation.

WATCH: Link to Video

Dozens of flights at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport have been delayed or cancelled because of the weather, but one group of passengers was particularly angry.

Their Swoop flight was from Halifax to Hamilton, but they ended up having a long, anxiety-filled surprise visit to Montreal.

“It’s very frustrating. It’s a feeling of being abandoned and like they didn’t really care,” said Linda Withers, who was on the plane.

The flight left Halifax just after midnight Atlantic time, destined for Hamilton, before bad weather forced a diversion to Montreal. The plane landed at Trudeau airport just after 2:30 a.m.

“Basically, they gave us a number to call but it didn’t open till 8 o’clock Mountain Time when we were getting off the plan at around 3:00 a.m.,” Withers recounted.

The passengers say they were left guessing just how they’d get to Hamilton.

At about 5:30 a.m., Swoop sent an email to the passengers, saying transportation was scheduled for them at 7:00 a.m. Then, at 6:30 a.m, another email came in saying two buses would arrive to pick them up at 9:30 a.m. to drive them to Hamilton, but there wasn’t going to be enough room for everyone.

“They did the women-and-children-first thing; there was a pregnant lady who got on, which I totally agree with,” said Brad Durant, another passenger who had been visiting the Maritimes for the holidays.

Seeing she likely wouldn’t get on the buses, Withers decided to book another flight to London, Ontario.

“It got cancelled. So, my luggage is somewhere here in this airport and it’s probably going to go to London,” she told Global News.

Many of the passengers stood in the same airport hallway for hours while waiting, and some said airport staff were not welcoming to them.

“People were snapping,” said Durant. “There was a woman and a man at the information booth and they were mad that we were standing around, which was kind of insulting because at the point that happened we were there for about six hours.”

“They probably saw us as a bunch of squatters.”

A spokesperson for the airport said passengers were given water bottles by airport staff.

Finally, two more buses left for Hamilton around 12:30 p.m, 10 hours after the flight landed in Montreal.

“Now we have this seven-hour drive to go on and it’s very unpleasant,” said Durant, just before the bus left.

The passengers are demanding a refund.

In a statement, Swoop cited the bad weather and said “travelers were re-accommodated in accordance with our flight interruption policy,” and apologized for the frustration and inconvenience.

Withers says she may cancel her New Year’s Eve plans.

“I was supposed to go to Niagara Falls for the Bryan Adams concert,” she said. “I don’t know if I feel up to that right about now.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Snow, freezing rain prompt flight cancellations in Montreal and Ottawa

News provided by The Globe and Mail – link to full story and updates


Eric Atkins. Transportation Report, December 30, 2019

People wait around during flight cancellations and delays at the Montreal Trudeau Airport on Dec. 30, 2019.ANDREJ IVANOV/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

An icy end to 2019 has thrown air travellers’ holiday plans into chaos, as snow and freezing rain caused the cancellation of dozens of flights in Ottawa and Montreal.

More than 70 departures were cancelled and several flights were delayed on Monday at Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport amid freezing rain and snow. Marie-Claude Desgagnés, a spokeswoman for the Montreal hub, said the snowy weather in Ontario and the northeastern United States has slowed or stalled flights at the airport, Canada’s third-busiest.

Environment Canada issued a snowfall alert for Montreal and the surrounding region, warning of strong winds and saying 15 to 20 centimetres of snow could accumulate between Monday afternoon and Tuesday night. Ottawa is under a warning of freezing rain or ice pellets, hazards that could change to snow later on Monday, Environment Canada said.

Airlines and airport operators are advising travellers to call their carriers to check on the status of their flights, and to arrive at the airport well in advance of their flight to leave time for lengthy check-ins.

Krista Kealey, a spokeswoman for Ottawa International Airport, said airlines cancelled a combined 42 of 262 arrivals and departures amid freezing rain on Monday. Some flights were cancelled ahead of the storm, she said. “It’s the cumulative effect of what’s happening at other airports and the weather in other cities,” Ms. Kealey said. “The system, once it gets disrupted, there’s a ripple effect that goes through the system and it takes a while to get it back on track, but hopefully the freezing rain will stop and we can play catch-up.”

Peter Fitzpatrick, an Air Canada spokesman, said freezing rain poses a greater safety risk than snow because it gets into every niche on a plane and must be melted with de-icing fluid.

The storm caused the Montreal airport to limit Air Canada to 15 flights an hour on Monday, down from the usual 36 to 40, for safety reasons, he said. This meant the carrier had to select which flights to scrub. Typically, the airline will cancel shorter flights and protect long-haul flights on larger planes to avoid inconveniencing greater numbers of holiday travellers, and will try to fly bigger jets on other routes to get as many people to their destinations as possible. The airline also implemented its no-charge rebooking policy.

WestJet Airlines said it cancelled 33 Monday flights in Eastern Canada before the storm arrived, including three between Montreal and Toronto and one between Montreal and Calgary. “We continue to closely monitor the system and additional cancellations and delays are possible,” said Morgan Bell, a spokeswoman for the Calgary-based airline.

In an e-mail, Sunwing Airlines said it expects delays but no cancellations because of the bad weather in Ontario and Quebec. “As a leisure vacation provider, it’s extremely rare to cancel our flights, and we are doing everything within our control to ensure our customers’ vacations plans are not disrupted,” Sunwing said.

Travellers out of Montreal are also bracing for a possible strike on Jan. 1 by the workers who fuel the planes at Trudeau and Mirabel airports. The employees of Swissport Canada, represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union, on Friday rejected a tentative contract proposal. The vote sets up a possible walkout on Wednesday.

Swissport said in a statement it is “surprised and disappointed” by the contract’s rejection. “Travellers, customers, stakeholders and airport authorities can rest assured that our team will dedicate every effort to reach an agreement and continue the refuelling service during this busy period as we go back to the negotiation table,” Swissport said.

After Alberta honeymooners’ fight, transportation agency says WestJet’s compensation policies for flight changes aren’t clear enough

News provided by The Star – link to full story and updates

By Rosa Saba Star Calgary Mon., Dec. 30, 2019

CALGARY—WestJet’s rules around compensation for changed flights aren’t clear enough, the Canadian Transportation Agency said Monday – underscoring a situation brought to light earlier this year by a pair of Alberta honeymooners.

Chelsea Williamson and her husband, Sean Fitzpatrick, became perhaps the first test case of Canada’s new air passenger protection regulations in July, when their WestJet honeymoon flight was changed without their knowledge.

The first part of the new regulations had come into effect just one week earlier, and seemed to imply the couple would be owed between $900 and $2,400 each for a case of “denied boarding.”

WestJet offered the pair $125 “WestJet dollars” each instead. Williamson took her complaint to the CTA, and the couple eventually settled with the airline in September for $900 each. In an email at the time, a WestJet spokesperson said the company recognized it had not met its obligations to Williamson and Fitzpatrick.

On Aug. 16, the CTA announced it was launching an inquiry into “whether the terms of WestJet’s tariff dealing with schedule changes and irregularities are just and reasonable” under the new regulations.

After Monday’s ruling, the CTA is ordering WestJet to revise its compensation tariffs to comply with the new regulations by March 18.

It said in a news release the current tariffs are not clear, and that after receiving a revision by WestJet, the agency will proceed with assessing the tariff itself.

The second part of the new Canadian regulations came into effect on Dec. 15. The new rules include details about passenger rights during tarmac delays, definitions of cases such as “denied boarding,” accessibility and lost or damaged baggage, among other things.

More to come (from The Star).

Pilot shortage can’t be addressed by existing programs, documents suggest

News provided by the Vancouver Sun – link to full story and updates

THE CANADIAN PRESS Updated: December 30, 2019

OTTAWA — Federal officials combing through skills training programs have concluded major changes are needed if they’re to be used to address a shortage of airline pilots.

A July briefing note to a senior official at Employment and Social Development Canada says that existing government programs “are not well suited” to help train more pilots.

Nor do the programs address the high cost to earn a commercial license in Canada, according to a briefing note obtained by The Canadian Press.

Instead, officials suggest a public-private partnership similar to other countries may be a way for Canada to address a growing need for pilots.

Industry estimates say Canada will need 7,300 new commercial pilots by 2025 — a challenge facing both domestic carriers and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Worldwide, estimates are that the global demand for new pilots will hit 255,000 by 2027.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 30, 2019.

Impending snowstorm in Montreal leads to flight cancellations

News provided by Global News – link to full story and updates

BY KALINA LAFRAMBOISE GLOBAL NEWS December 30, 2019

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall area for parts of southern Quebec.
 Environment Canada has issued a snowfall area for parts of southern Quebec. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Dozens of flights have been cancelled and delayed in Montreal early Monday morning ahead of a impending snowstorm and freezing rain in the area.

The Montreal-Trudeau International Airport reports that as of 9 a.m., at least 74 flights have been cancelled for the day.

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for a swath of southern Quebec starting Monday afternoon through Tuesday evening.

The weather agency says up to 25 centimetres of snow is expected for several regions, including Montreal, the Laurentians, the Eastern Townships and the Quebec City area.

“In addition, moderate to strong easterly winds may occasionally reduce visibility in blowing snow, especially over exposed areas,” Environment Canada said.T

The bout of winter weather could make travel difficult, according to Environment Canada. Drivers should be careful on the roads as weather conditions change.

The Société de transport de Montréal, the city’s public transit agency, is asking commuters to carefully plan more time for their trips due to the snow.

— With files from the Canadian Press© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Hydraulic issue forces Air Canada flight to divert to Moncton early Saturday

News provided by the Vancouver Sun – link to full story and updates

THE CANADIAN PRESS. December 28, 2019

MONCTON, N.B. — An Air Canada Express flight with 16 passengers on board was forced to make an emergency landing at the Greater Moncton Romeo LeBlanc International Airport early Saturday as a result of an issue with its landing gear.

Flight 8724, operated by Jazz, was enroute from Gaspe in Quebec to the Magdalen Islands when the crew noticed a problem with a hydraulic system.

Teri Udle, a spokeswoman for Jazz, says as a precautionary measure, the flight was diverted to Moncton, N.B., and landed safely without incident.

Udle says the Dash 8 aircraft is equipped with multiple hydraulic systems and passengers were not at risk.

An airport spokeswoman, Julie Pondant, says emergency response crews were on scene when the plane landed around 3 a.m.

Another flight was arranged to take the passengers to their destination later in the day.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec 28, 2019.

Montreal airport refuelling workers poised to strike as early as Tuesday

News provided by the Montreal Gazette – link to full story and updates

Strikes could begin as soon as Dec. 31 at Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau and Mirabel airports and significantly curtail air travel in Montreal.

FRÉDÉRIC TOMESCO, Montreal Gazette, December 28, 2019

A ground crew worker fuels a jet at Montreal’s Trudeau airport. ALLEN MCINNIS / MONTREAL GAZETTE FILES

Workers who refuel aircraft flying out of Montreal’s Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau and Mirabel airports are planning to walk off the job by New Year’s Day if they can’t reach a deal with their employer.

A 72-hour strike notice was officially given to Swissport Canada Saturday, Guillaume Valois, a spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said in a telephone interview. This means that a strike could begin as soon as Dec. 31, at an as-of-yet unspecified time.

Negotiations between the parties are set to resume Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in downtown Montreal, under the supervision of a government mediator.

Ninety per cent of Swissport’s unionized workers rejected a tentative deal Friday night that had been put to a vote by their union, opening the possibility of a strike that could significantly curtail air travel in Montreal. They had originally threatened to go on strike on Christmas Day, but the contract offer postponed any walkout until New Year’s Day at the earliest.

Swissport is the lone fuel supplier for aircraft at both airports. The employees affected by the contract include refuelling personnel, machinists, mechanics dispatchers and maintenance staff.

STORY CONTINUES BELOW

The workers have been without a contract since last August. Salaries and improved work-life balance are among the main issues to be settled in the negotiations.

“They want their work conditions to reflect the level of responsibility and the risks they are exposed to day after day,” union executive Peter Tsoukalas said in an e-mailed statement. “They want to be able to do their jobs safely, have a decent income, job security and the respect of their employer. Right now, they are convinced that the only way to get that is through a strike.”

With files from Presse Canadienne