Federal government changes course, backs airport on Polo Park development plan

News from CBC News – link to story

Move by Ottawa likely sends massive residential development plan to provincial municipal board

Sean Kavanagh · CBC News · Posted: May 28, 2020

Communication from Transport Canada hours before Friday’s council meeting appears to contradict a statement it made earlier in May. (Cadillac Fairview)

A letter from Transport Canada to the City of Winnipeg may set back a residential development plan for the Polo Park area by months or even years and is a major victory for the Winnipeg Airports Authority.

It could potentially scuttle the development entirely. 

Late Thursday, the city’s legal department sent city councillors a memo from Transport Canada confirming the Winnipeg Airports Authority “is fully authorized by Transport Canada to speak to local issues affecting the airport.”

The letter appears to contradict a statement from Transport Canada it provided to CBC News earlier this month saying the authority “cannot speak on the government of Canada’s behalf.” 

The WAA has opposed a proposed change to what is known as the Airport Vicinity Protection Area Secondary Plan — a planning framework that restricts development around the airport in order to limit residential noise complaints.

Cadillac Fairview and Shindico Reality Inc. have proposed to build residential units around the Polo Park mall — a plan worth potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in construction and economic activity.

The WAA has objected to the development, believing it could threaten its 24-7 takeoff and landing status because of the noise complaints.

With mere hours before city council was set to vote on changing the zoning to allow the development, the city’s legal department received the communication from Transport Canada.

“Under the ground lease, Transport Canada has delegated to WAA the authority and responsibility to file an objection to a proposed change to the AVPA and to make representations before the provincial municipal board to voice its concern regarding the proposed land use plan and the potential impact on airport operations,” wrote Sheri Currie, Transport Canada’s regional director general.

The city’s legal department has advised councillors the letter from the federal government “constitutes a valid objection” from the WAA and recommends city council hold the matter over indefinitely and allow it to be heard by the provincial municipal board.

Winnipeg Airports Authority says development could impair its 24-7 takeoff and landing status. (CBC)

The late intervention by the federal government has exasperated the developers, who believed a majority of councillors were prepared to approve the zoning changes and allow the project.

“We believe that the city heard the evidence presented by Cadillac Fairview and by the airport, weighed those arguments, and the airport lost on the merits … we are also disappointed the federal government has flip-flopped and decided retroactively to say the WAA is in effect the voice of the federal government. We continue to believe that is fundamentally wrong,” wrote Shindico general counsel Justin Zaranowski.

CBC News had canvassed most of the councillors earlier this month and it appeared there were enough votes to change the zoning and allow the project to start.

Moving the plan to the municipal board could take more than a year.

The WAA had promised to do a noise study as early as 2016 but it was never completed. Economic Development Winnipeg made a similar promise to councillors in late 2019, but it has not materialized either.

A spokesperson for the WAA says “a proper planning process ensures Winnipeg can avoid the friction caused by incompatible residential development and airport operations seen in other cities across Canada and around the world,” and promised to work with all levels of government and stakeholders.

“Since 1997, WAA has been a partner to the city and province on land-use decisions that impact the airport and we want to continue a positive relationship,” wrote WAA vice-president Tyler MacAfee.

Tap Air Portugul Recommences Service from North America as Portugal Completes Phased Re-opening

From Tap Air Portugal

— TAP Also Inaugurating 3 New Routes from Boston and Toronto

to the Azores, and from Montreal to Lisbon —

New York (May 28, 2020) – Following Portugal’s completion of its three phases of re-opening next week, TAP Air Portugal is recommencing air service from North America from June 4, with twice weekly flights between Newark Liberty and Lisbon.

TAP plans to recommence additional service in July with flights to Lisbon from Boston, Miami, and Toronto, each with two flights per week.

In addition to reinstating previous routes, TAP is inaugurating three new routes this summer.   On July 1, TAP will start three flights per week between Boston and the Azores’ Ponta Delgada.   On July 2, TAP will add twice weekly service from Toronto to Ponta Delgada.  Finally, TAP also will introduce three weekly flights between Montreal and Lisbon on July 30.

By July, TAP will have returned to 19 percent of its previous global network program, or 247 flights per week, including connecting service to 21 European destinations.  Also, within Portugal, Madeira will have twice daily connections from Lisbon and twice weekly from Porto.  In the Azores, Ponta Delgada will have daily service from Lisbon, while Terceira will have three flights per week.  In Algarve, Faro will also have twice daily service from Lisbon.

The airline has developed and implemented TAP Clean & Safe, a new and demanding standard of hygiene, health and sanitary safety in line with the guidelines of EASA, IATA, DGS and UCS.  For more information on these procedures and recommendations, please visit https://www.flytap.com/pt-pt/recomendacoes-covid-19.

magniX and AeroTEC Announce Successful First Flight of the World’s Largest All-Electric Aircraft

From magniX

The inaugural flight of the all-electric Cessna 208B Grand Caravan marks another milestone ushering in the new era of electric aviation

MOSES LAKE, Wash., May 28, 2020 /CNW/ — magniX, the company powering the electric aviation revolution, and AeroTEC, a leading independent company focused on aerospace testing, engineering and certification, today announced the successful flight of an all-electric Cessna Grand Caravan 208B. The successful flight of the eCaravan, magnified by a 750-horsepower (560 kW) magni500 propulsion system, took place at the AeroTEC Flight Test Center at the Grant County International Airport (KMWH) in Moses Lake, Washington this morning. As the world’s largest all-electric commercial aircraft, this is a significant milestone in disrupting the transportation industry and accelerating the electric aviation revolution.

The world's largest all-electric aircraft flew for 30 minutes in Moses Lake, WA. The eCaravan is magnified by the magniX magni500, a 750-horsepower electric propulsion system. (PRNewsfoto/magniX)
The world’s largest all-electric aircraft flew for 30 minutes in Moses Lake, WA. The eCaravan is magnified by the magniX magni500, a 750-horsepower electric propulsion system. (PRNewsfoto/magniX)

“The iconic Caravan has been a workhorse of industry moving people and transporting goods on short routes for decades,” said Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX. “This first flight of the eCaravan is yet another step on the road to operating these middle-mile aircraft at a fraction of the cost, with zero emissions, from and to smaller airports. These electric commercial aircraft will enable the offering of flying services of people and packages in a way previously not possible.”

“I’m proud of the pioneering work performed by our engineers, technicians and flight test team,” said Lee Human, President and CEO of AeroTEC. “There’s no roadmap for testing and certifying electric aircraft – this is a new frontier and AeroTEC is on the front lines developing the processes and best practices that will pave the way for electric aviation.”

The flying of the eCaravan serves as another critical step in the certification and approval process of the magni500 propulsion system, enabling future conversions of additional aircraft to magniX’s all-electric propulsion technology.

The historic flight was captured via livestream and watched by people around the world. Following the flight, a virtual press conference was held in the Test Center’s hangar. To view images, recording of the virtual press conference and videos of the first flight of the world’s largest all-electric aircraft, please visit: https://magnix.aero/ecaravan/

Pearson airport restricted to only travellers starting June 1

News from City News – link to story

BY NEWS STAFF | MAY 28, 2020

Toronto Pearson Airports departures area sits empty on April 14, 2020. CITYNEWS/Tony Fera

Pearson International Airport officials are limiting the number of people who will be allowed to enter the terminal starting next week.

According to a directive sent by the Greater Toronto Airport Authority, “meeters and greeters” will not be allowed to accompany passengers arriving and/or leaving in to the airport. An exception will be made for anyone who is travelling as an unaccompanied minor or assisting anyone with disabilities.

The restriction also applies to those individuals who work at Pearson.

“Airport workers who need to meet with family members or other acquaintances for any reason before, during or after their workday, must do so outside the terminal buildings,” reads the directive. “Family members or acquaintances are not permitted inside the terminals for any reason until further notice from the GTAA.”

All airport workers are asked to maintain a two metre distance between colleagues and passengers wherever possible in the terminal.

Also as of June 1, all passengers and airport workers will be required to wear a face covering at all times when in public areas of the airport including security screening, parking facilities, sidewalks and curbs outside the terminal and other outdoor public areas.

The directive says you may be asked to remove the face covering for identification purposes or if you are seated and physically distanced when eating or drinking.

Since April 20, people flying to or from Canadian airports have been required to wear face covering following a Transport Canada directive.

When it comes to enforcing the new measures, the GTAA says Peel Regional Police, security guards and the airport’s public safety officers will be “politely educating” staff and passengers who are not following the new requirements.

Aimia to Vigorously Defend Injunction Application Related to Transaction with Kognitiv

From Aimia Inc

TORONTO, May 28, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – Aimia Inc. (TSX: AIM) (“Aimia” or the “Company”) announced that it and Kognitiv Corporation (“Kognitiv”) intend to vigorously defend themselves against an application for injunctive relief filed today with the Quebec Superior Court (Civil Division) in the District of Montreal by Air Canada and Aeroplan. 

The application relates to the proposed combination of Aimia’s Loyalty Solutions business, which includes Intelligent Shopper Solutions (ISS) and the Air Miles Middle East program, with a subsidiary of Kognitiv, a Waterloo-based B2B technology company, which was announced on April 29, 2020.  The application alleges that the transaction will result in breaches of certain non-competition and confidentiality provisions entered into by Aimia in connection with the sale of Aeroplan in November 2018.

Aimia denies the allegations and believes the application is entirely without merit and an abuse of process. Aimia and Kognitiv intend to close the transaction during the week of June 8, 2020.

Bombardier Releases its 2019 Activity Report, Highlighting Sustainability Milestones and Objectives

From Bombardier Inc.

MONTREAL, May 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bombardier (TSX: BBD.B) today released its 2019 Activity Report, reaffirming its commitment to sustainability and highlighting the Company’s progress over the past year towards achieving its environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.

“As a company entrusted to safely move millions of people around the globe every day, Bombardier is proud to be a leader in sustainable business practices,” said Éric Martel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier Inc. “Moreover, the current global health and economic crisis has demonstrated that sustainability is more important today than ever before. With this Activity Report, we hope to send a clear message reaffirming our commitment to pursuing ambitious ESG goals as we look to move beyond the current crisis.”

Recognized among Corporate Knights’ Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World, Bombardier is committed to developing efficient, cost-effective and innovative products, efficiently managing resources in its operations and across its supply chain, and transparently and annually reporting on its progress.

The Company also believes that the manner in which it delivers its results is as important as the results it achieves, which includes maintaining the highest ethical standards, creating a people-centric and healthy work environment and supporting the communities where it operates.  

Bombardier’s 2019 Activity Report highlights the Company’s progress in integrating ESG considerations across the organization. Notable achievements from the past year include playing a leadership role in promoting the adoption and availability of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in business aviation; exceeding its goal of providing more than 1,000 paid internships in Canada and launching an updated Code of Ethics, Supplier Code of Conduct and enhanced ethics and compliance program.

In 2020, Bombardier expects to announce and deploy a renewed global sustainability strategy, overseen by its Board of Directors, to create value for stakeholders and further the company’s goal of building a world-class, sustainable business for the long-term.

Bombardier has published reports about its sustainability performance since 2008. Read the full 2019 report here: https://www.bombardier.com/en/sustainability.html

Airports in B.C.’s Interior see ‘devastating’ decrease in passenger traffic in April

News from CBC News – link to story

Traffic down more than 96 per cent in Kamloops, Kelowna and Prince George

CBC News · Posted: May 27, 2020

The Kelowna International Airport saw about 155,000 passengers in April 2019. Last month, there were 5,706 passengers, a drop of about 96 per cent. (YLW)

Passenger traffic is significantly down at airports throughout B.C.’s Interior due to COVID-19 and travel restrictions around the globe — Kamloops, Kelowna and Prince George’s airports all saw drops of at least 96 per cent in April compared to 2019. 

Last year, two million passengers passed through the Kelowna International Airport, making it one of the busiest airports in the country. Approximately 155,000 of those passengers travelled in April 2019. 

In April 2020, 5,706 passengers were recorded, equalling a drop of about 96 per cent.

“It’s been devastating,” airport director Sam Sammadar told Daybreak South host Chris Walker.

“I’ve been at the airport 28 years and seeing our traffic grow steadily. We’re one of the top-performing airports in the country.”

Kelowna’s airport is down to eight flights per day, and Sammadar said they’ve let go 80 per cent of staff.

Sammadar said the airport is projecting 2020 numbers to be similar to those of 1997. He doesn’t expect traffic levels to be restored to 2019 levels until the winter of 2023.

Traffic at the Prince George Airport in northern B.C. is also down by 96 per cent, but unlike Kelowna, no staff have been laid off, according to CEO Gordon Duke.

“Pretty tough to see, but not totally unexpected given what we saw happening across the industry not only in Canada, but globally,” Duke said. 

He anticipates recovery to begin, in a small way, in June.

The decrease is highest in Kamloops. In April 2019 the airport saw 28,299 passengers and in the same period this year, a mere 493, a decrease of 98.3 per cent. Year to date, the airport is down 29 per cent.

Airport director Ed Ratuski expects minimal improvement in numbers for May, and said recovery is largely dependent on travel restrictions being loosened.

With files from Daybreak South and Daybreak North

Cargojet Wins Carrier of Choice Award

From Cargojet Inc

MISSISSAUGA, ON, May 28, 2020 /CNW/ – Cargojet once again is excited to announce that it has been awarded the Shipper’s Carrier of Choice Award by the Canadian Shipper magazine, a leading industry publication.  Cargojet continues to surpass shipper expectations as well as the industry benchmark in the total Industry Sector Average and particularly in the key areas of On-time Performance, Leadership in Problem Solving, Ability to Provide Value-Added Services, Customer Service, Quality of Equipment & Operations, Competitive Pricing, and Sustainable Transportation Practices. Cargojet’s total aggregate score was 166.49 which was measured against the overall 2019 benchmark of excellence of 153. Cargojet is the only Canadian Air Cargo carrier to receive this honour for the eighteenth year.

“Cargojet continues to exceed the expectations of our customers by delivering a premium product into the marketplace. We remain focused on exceeding our customers expectation and provide them value-added services.  This award is a testament to the  Cargojet team’s dedication, hard work and loyalty.   Our professional team is truly the driving force of Cargojet,” says Dr. Ajay K. Virmani, President & CEO.

Cargojet is Canada’s leading provider of time sensitive overnight air cargo services and carries over 1,300,000 pounds of cargo each business night. Cargojet operates its network across North America each business night, utilizing a fleet of all-cargo aircraft. 

Air Canada Announces Pricing of Offering of Shares and Convertible Senior Notes

From Air Canada

MONTREAL, May 28, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada (TSX: AC) (the “Company”) today announced that it has priced both its previously announced underwritten marketed public offering of 30,800,000 Class A Variable Voting Shares and/or Class B Voting Shares of the Company (“Shares”) at a price to the public of C$16.25 per Share (the “Share Offering”), for aggregate gross proceeds of C$500,500,000 and its concurrent marketed private placement of convertible senior unsecured notes due 2025 (“Convertible Notes”) for aggregate gross proceeds of US$650,000,000 (the “Convertible Notes Offering” and together with the Share Offering, the “Offerings”).

The Convertible Notes will bear interest semi-annually in arrears at a rate of 4.000% per annum and will mature on July 1, 2025, unless earlier repurchased, redeemed or converted. The initial conversion rate of the Convertible Notes is 65.1337 Shares per US$1,000 principal amount of Convertible Notes, or an initial conversion price of approximately US$15.35 per Share. The Convertible Notes will be convertible into cash, Class A Variable Voting Shares and/or Class B Voting Shares of the Company or a combination thereof, at the Company’s election.

The Company has granted the underwriters of the Share Offering an option to purchase up to an additional 15% of the Shares in the Share Offering, exercisable in whole or in part at any time until 30 days after closing of the Share Offering, and has granted the initial purchasers of the Convertible Notes Offering an option to purchase up to an additional 15% of the Convertible Notes in the Convertible Notes Offering, exercisable in whole or in part at any time until 13 days after closing of the Convertible Notes Offering.

The Offerings are expected to close on or about June 2, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions.

The Company will use the net proceeds from the Offerings to supplement the Company’s working capital and other general corporate purposes. The net proceeds from the Offerings will serve to increase Air Canada’s cash position, thereby allowing for additional flexibility both from an operational standpoint and in the implementation of its planned mitigation and recovery measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Shares offered in the Share Offering are being offered by way of a short-form prospectus in all provinces and territories of Canada and may also be offered in the United States to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”).

The Convertible Notes offered in the Convertible Notes Offering are being offered on a private placement basis and are not being offered by way of a prospectus in Canada.

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Introducing JetAssure by AirSprint: The Optimal Supplemental Lift Solution

From AirSprint Inc

Exclusively for Whole Aircraft Owners and Corporate Flight Departments

TORONTO, May 28, 2020 /CNW/ — AirSprint has expanded its service offering with a custom-made supplemental lift solution for whole aircraft owners and corporate flight departments. JetAssure by AirSprint launched this May. JetAssure provides full access to AirSprint’s fleet with the exclusive option to benefit from AirSprint’s purchasing power for the customer’s own aircraft. Participants in JetAssure will receive a turnkey, cost-certain supplemental lift solution that offers guaranteed access to the aircraft whenever they need it, fueled up, and ready to go.

“We are excited to introduce JetAssure to Canadian corporate flight departments and whole aircraft owners who have until now been struggling to find the optimal partner and supplemental lift solution,” said James Elian, President of AirSprint. “As the Canadian leader in Fractional Aircraft Ownership, AirSprint is uniquely able to provide an all-encompassing private aviation solution that combines guaranteed access and pricing, aircraft and use flexibility, and meaningful cost savings for existing aircraft owners.”

With over 20 years of private aviation experience, AirSprint is uniquely positioned to fill the gaps that can exist with whole aircraft ownership. JetAssure participants will no longer experience downtime due to mechanical failure, scheduled maintenance or pilot availability. Nor will they succumb to the costly headaches of repositioning their aircraft along with avoiding the struggles of needing their aircraft in two places at once. Participants will have access to North America’s newest and Canada’s largest fleet of fractional aircraft.

How Does JetAssure by AirSprint Work?

With JetAssure by AirSprint, participants have guaranteed access to the fractional fleet of aircraft with 24 hours’ notice, anywhere in North America. There is a two-year aircraft lease commitment, with a deposit that is fully refunded at the end of the term. The lease deposit and overhead fees are proportionate to the number of hours the participant would like to fly during the term; shares begin at 100 hours and increase in increments of 50 hours. Hours can be used at any point in time during the two-year lease – no black-outs or restrictions. Participants will benefit from fixed pricing with no fluctuation in costs; this will allow for predictable pricing and budgeting.

JetAssure participants only pay for their time on-board; there are no additional costs for positioning or one-way flights. Finally, participants will also have access to AirSprint’s purchasing power for their own aircraft, significantly improving their overall economics.

JetAssure by AirSprint Highlights:

  • Guaranteed access, anywhere in North America, with 24 hours’ notice;
  • 24/7 support with a dedicated Personal Flight Concierge;
  • Zero black-out or reserve calendar days;
  • Option to upgrade or downgrade – get the right jet for the right mission;
  • Locked-in pricing for the two-year term;
  • No positioning, hold fees, crew costs, etc. (one-way flights involve no position fees);
  • Access to AirSprint’s Purchasing Program for their current aircraft – 10-50% discount potential;
  • Access to AirSprint’s Empty Legs – flights at 50% off.

About AirSprint

AirSprint has offices in Toronto, Montréal and Calgary. AirSprint maintains the largest fractional fleet of private aircraft in Canada, including the Embraer Legacy 450, Cessna Citations CJ3+, and Cessna Citations CJ2+. AirSprint proudly flies Canadians from coast to coast, including service from Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, and the Maritimes. AirSprint provides discerning Canadians with a better choice for optimizing their time by enhancing the private jet ownership experience with industry-leading safety standards, exceptional turnkey service, and increased flexibility; personalized for the owners’ individual needs. All at a fraction of the cost. AirSprint.com