Canada’s National Airlines React to the Federal Government’s Fall Economic Statement

OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 30, 2020 /CNW/ – The National Airlines Council of Canada, representing Canada’s largest air carriers, (Air Canada, Air Transat, Jazz Aviation LP and WestJet), issued the following statement by President and CEO Mike McNaney, in response to the Fall Economic update presented in the House of Commons today by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland:

As the government has stated on previous occasions over the past several months and repeated in the Economic Statement today, it is still working on establishing a process with major airlines regarding financial assistance. 

Thus while other countries around the world moved forward months ago to provide sectoral support for airlines, Canada remains a global outlier and is ostensibly stuck at Stage Zero on the government planning process. This lack of action does not reflect the economic importance of the sector to Canada’s overall recovery, nor the need to ensure Canada’s largest carriers can continue to compete internationally.   

Due to the pandemic Canada has lost an astounding 85% of its air connectivity, with flights significantly reduced or eliminated in every region of the country as carriers take every measure possible to preserve finances and remain in operation.  While we note the government has affixed a $206 million budget to its support for regional air transportation, the government has yet to provide details of the new Regional Air Transportation Initiative and how such an initiative will, in practice, support the continued existence of regional air services. 

NACC members have spent years and invested billions of dollars building regional and international networks to create the level of connectivity needed to support hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country and in every sector of the economy.  Those jobs and investment are now being eroded, as is Canada’s ability to establish an overall path to recovery.

In addition to urgently addressing liquidity, we need the federal government to rapidly move forward with a clear and effective testing regime at airports to support the continued safe restart of the sector and address border and travel restrictions. NACC members and our airport partners have launched testing programs in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver to enable science-based and data-based decision making concerning quarantine and testing measures. 

Governments around the world have provided their domestic aviation sectors approximately US$173 Billion in support, precisely because a healthy aviation industry is critical to overall economic recovery. We have also seen countries such as the United Kingdom embracing a science-based approach to testing and reducing quarantine measures.

As other countries continue to provide a clear path forward, now that the Fall Economic Statement has been issued it is time for the federal government to follow the global approach and move urgently to finalize Canada’s path to supporting financial assistance for airlines, and in turn ensure aviation can support Canada’s overall recovery.  Hundreds of thousands of jobs in communities large and small across the country, will be impacted by how the government proceeds. 

Cargojet CEO Sells a Portion of his Personal Holdings for Diversification, Estate Planning and Charitable Giving Purposes

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 30, 2020 /CNW/ – Cargojet (“Cargojet” or the “Corporation”) (TSX: CJT) said today that during the permitted open period, Dr. Ajay Virmani, President and Chief Executive Officer, sold 445,000 common voting shares held through The Virmani Family Trust. The sale was facilitated by a consortium of Canadian investment dealers (RBC Capital Markets, Scotiabank and CIBC Capital Markets) through a block trade arrangement.

After this sale, Dr. Virmani will continue to retain 54% of his current holdings in Cargojet (including equity awards). “The ongoing pandemic tested our resilience, our business model and our ability to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. As a key enabler of e-Commerce and ensuring that essential goods keep moving, Cargojet has found a renewed sense of purpose. I am thrilled to be leading Cargojet at this historic moment and continue to hold a meaningful equity stake as we build the next phase of our growth story,” said Dr. Ajay Virmani, President and CEO.

The proceeds from the sale of shares are intended for diversification, estate planning and to fund Dr. Virmani’s family foundation for charitable giving.

CUPE asks the government to support struggling airline workers

Nov 27, 2020

CUPE joined a labour roundtable hosted by NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and MP Scott Duvall on Friday to discuss the challenges facing workers in the airline and aerospace sectors, which have been ravaged by the economic fallout of COVID-19.

“The jobs lost in these sectors represent thousands of families who have lost their ability to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. We need immediate action now to save these jobs and help these families,” said Singh to open the discussion.

CUPE was represented by Chantale Grenon-Nyenhuis, Assistant Director of Organizing and Regional Services, who underscored the urgency of federal support for struggling airline workers. “The pandemic has hit our members hard,” said Grenon-Nyenhuis. “This industry and the tens of thousands of Canadian jobs that depend on it need a lifeline from the federal government yesterday.”

In addition to federal financial support for airline workers, CUPE has also lobbied the federal government to implement rapid testing at airports. Offering pre-boarding COVID-19 tests “would make flying safer for workers and the public alike, and also give peace of mind to Canadians who must continue to travel during the pandemic,” said Grenon-Nyenhuis.

“If there is no federal intervention, tens of thousands more jobs will be lost,” said Scott Duvall, the NDP’s critic for labour issues. Despite calls for help, our prime minister is nowhere to be seen.”

CUPE represents 15,000 flight attendants at nine different airlines across Canada. Roughly two-thirds of CUPE’s airline members are currently on furlough, awaiting a return to work.

CAE closes $345 million public offering and concurrent $150 million private placement of common shares

CAE Inc. (“CAE” or the “Corporation”) today completed its previously announced bought deal offering (the “Offering”) of common shares (the “Common Shares”), including the full exercise of the over-allotment option (the “Over-Allotment Option”), and private placement (the “Concurrent Private Placement”) of Common Shares for aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $495 million. 

The syndicate of underwriters co-led by Scotiabank, RBC Capital Markets and TD Securities fully exercised the Over-Allotment Option to purchase an additional 1,509,000 Common Shares at the offering price of $29.85 per share. Including the exercise of the Over-Allotment Option, the Corporation sold an aggregate of 11,569,000 Common Shares for total gross proceeds of approximately $345 million. 

In addition, the Corporation issued an aggregate 5,025,126 Common Shares, at a price of $29.85 per share, through the Concurrent Private Placement with a subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec for aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $150 million.

Proceeds of the Offering and the Concurrent Private Placement will be used for general corporate purposes, including to fund future potential acquisition and growth opportunities, which includes the funding of the previously completed acquisition of Flight Simulation Company B.V. and the recently announced agreement to acquire TRU Simulation + Training Canada Inc. Pending such uses, CAE intends to invest the net proceeds from the Offering and Concurrent Private Placement, hold them as cash or cash equivalents, or repay indebtedness outstanding under its credit facilities, which may be withdrawn again as opportunities arise.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the common shares, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

New infrastructure at Pitt Meadows Airport

Hangars are being sold in a new complex off Baynes Road. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Hangars are being sold in a new complex off Baynes Road. (Neil Corbett/The News)

From Maple Ridge News – link to source story

Rebuilt terminal building one of many projects at YPK

NEIL CORBETT ~ Nov. 30, 2020

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport is one of the busiest in the country in both development, and takeoffs and landings.

For a long time it has been one of the country’s most active in terms of aircraft movements, said airport manager Guy Miller. In the month of July, for example, Statistics Canada listed Pitt Meadows as the fifth busiest in the country, with 13,120 takeoffs and landings.

Also, pilots would have to fly a long way to find an airport with as much construction activity as YPK is seeing right now. The city has announced millions in airport improvement projects in recent years, and they are mostly going ahead despite a downturn in the economy, Miller explained.

The list of projects is long, and Miller said there is no other airport in the province with so much development underway.

“They’re all going ahead,” said Miller, and it’s easy to see that site work is being done, and foundations are being poured.

“They are wonderful upgrades that will benefit not just the airport and the tenants, but the entire community, as well,” he said.

Three major projects worth a combined $60 million were announced in October 2018.

A heli park in the northwest corner of the property will see five buildings, each 55,000 square feet in size, for maintenance and repair, and hangar space. Laplante Holdings is the company.

A Sky Helicopters expansion of approximately 20,000 square feet for helicopter and business jet storage, studio rental, and office space, and a headquarters for their Coastal Drones business.

And, Hangar One Aviation announced a new building with 20,000 square feet for aircraft storage and another 12,000 for office space and aviation-related businesses.

Then the city announced a main terminal rebuild early in 2019, to replace five double-wide trailers that served as the terminal for two decades. The $8-million project will be approximately 40,000 square feet on two levels.

It is being constructed by Pacific Airport Services, which is also building a 30,000-square-foot commercial hangar.

Vancouver Aviation College is pouring the foundation of a new 15,000-square-foot aviation training facility next door.

Golden Arrow properties is building a new commercial building and hangar of 48,000 square feet.

Four general aviation hangar buildings are being constructed on the east side of the airport off Baynes Road by Cross Roads Venture.

There are also plans for a seaplane terminal and restaurant on the banks of the Fraser River, but that project has been put on the backburner by the economic downtown, said Miller, who emphasized it is not cancelled.

The airport is putting new fencing around the entire perimetre – the latest of upgrades that have included runway curtains and lighting. Miller said it is important work.

“It has a significant impact. When you put resources into rebuilding tired infrastructure, it rejuvenates the entire airport,” he said, adding that the new airport board, and in particular mayors Bill Dingwall of Pitt Meadows and Mike Morden of Maple Ridge have both been supportive.

“We’ve really moved the needle forward,” said Miller. “Pitt Meadows Airport was ready for it. Its time had come.”

COVID-19 has been a disaster for the airline industry, and the number of aircraft movements in July dropped 37 per cent across the country compared with 2019.

“Everyone has to get through COVID, but I think the future is pretty bright for the Pitt Meadows Airport.”

Bombardier Appoints Bart Demosky Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

MONTREAL, Nov. 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bombardier (TSX: BBD.B) announced today the appointment of Bart Demosky as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately. Bart will report to Éric Martel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier Inc., replacing John Di Bert who will be leaving the Company.

“We are very excited to welcome Bart to the Bombardier leadership team,” said Éric Martel. “He is an accomplished leader with broad financial experience and an impressive track record of success at some of Canada’s largest corporations. Bart’s deep knowledge and expertise in all aspects of corporate finance will serve us well as we complete our strategic repositioning to a leaner, more focused company. I’m confident that Bart will provide strong leadership as we manage through the current economic challenges and continue to position Bombardier for the future.” 

Bart brings over 30 years of experience leading organizational transformations and building high-performing financial organizations in the transportation, energy, infrastructure and services industries. His previous leadership roles include serving as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Rail Systems Inc., Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Canadian Pacific Railway and Chief Financial Officer for Suncor Energy. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Calgary and is an Honours graduate from the University of Calgary’s Management Development Program.

“As we welcome Bart to the Bombardier team, I also want to acknowledge and thank John Di Bert for his many contributions to Bombardier,” Martel added. “We wish John continued success in all his future endeavours.”

WIAA Launches Fundraising Campaigns

November 26, 2020

WIAA, Women in Aviation Association, has launched their very first Fundraising Campaigns through GoFundMe and PayPal this month! Their goal is to raise funds to help women in the aviation industry. With the help from the funds being donated ; they will be setting mentorship programs, events, and with a goal to directly fund the education of ATPL Airline Transport Pilot License programs in affiliation with IPA, International Pilot Academy

“We need more women in the flight deck…WIAA encourages more females to become professional pilots. Our team is committed to their success.” says Jules Selwan, the President of IPA.

Having less than 6% of airline pilots be women in the world, there needs to be a pivot, but also awareness towards women who are currently flying. Many women don’t think of flying as an option, due to the high fees associated with training, and lack of job opportunities once they do complete their license certification.  

WIAA will be working actively with airlines to ensure that these women get a job with their license, and can do so while also having a life outside of their careers. Some women who are actively showing the lifestyle, such as @pilotmaria have come onboard as brand ambassadors to help spread the world. They’re created a movement around #IAMWIAA ; an empowering slogan that shows women they can be in the pilot’s seats, too. 

To support the movement and donate please follow the following links;

PayPal – Accessible Internationally

GoFundMe – Only accessible to GoFundMe affiliated countries 

Thirteen new B.C. flight exposures added on Saturday

From The Vancouver Sun – link to source story

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control added thirteen new flights in or out of Vancouver to its COVID-19 exposures list.

Harrison Mooney  •  Nov 29, 2020

RICHMOND,BC:AUGUST 5, 2020 -- Airline passengers wearing face masks make their way around Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, BC, August, 5, 2020. (Richard Lam/PNG) (For ) 00062150A [PNG Merlin Archive]
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control added thirteen new flights in or out of Vancouver to its COVID-19 exposures list. PHOTO BY RICHARD LAM /PNG

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control added 13 new flights in or out of Vancouver to its COVID-19 exposure list.

Some flights added Saturday took place two weeks ago. Air Canada 45 from Delhi to Vancouver and Air Canada 114 from Vancouver to Toronto both flew on Nov. 15.

Others are more recent. Air Canada 8417 from Kelowna to Vancouver flew Nov. 27.

Flights added on Saturday include:

• Nov 15: Air Canada 45, Delhi to Vancouver.
• Nov 15: Air Canada 114, Vancouver to Toronto.
• Nov 17: Air Canada 314 , Vancouver to Montreal.
• Nov 17: Air Canada 8421, Kelowna to Vancouver.
• Nov 18: Air Canada 202, Vancouver to Calgary.
• Nov 19: Air Canada 103, Vancouver to Toronto.
• Nov 19: Air Canada 114 , Vancouver to Toronto.
• Nov 19: Air Canada 225 , Calgary to Vancouver.
• Nov 20: Flair 8102, Calgary to Vancouver.
• Nov 22: Air Canada 1126, Kelowna to Vancouver.
• Nov 25: Cathay Pacific 865, Vancouver to Hong Kong.
• Nov 25: United Airlines 1641, Denver to Vancouver.
• Nov 27: Air Canada 8417, Kelowna to Vancouver.

Those on-board an international flight flagged for a COVID-19 exposure are required to self-isolate and watch for symptoms for 14 days. Those on-board a domestic flight flagged for a COVID-19 exposure aren’t required to self-isolate but must monitor themselves closely for possible symptoms.

Exposure events of this nature are relatively common in B.C. The province has averaged more than one a day since October.

More than 100 domestic and international flights with a case of COVID-19 have flown in or out of Vancouver in the last two months.

CAE’s Marc Parent appointed to the Order of Canada

Marc Parent, CAE’s President and CEO, appointed to the Order of Canada

CAE is proud to announce that its President and CEO, Marc Parent, has been appointed Member of the Order of Canada by the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada. The Order of Canada is one of the country’s highest honours, recognizing extraordinary Canadians whose service shapes our society. Mr. Parent is receiving the Order of Canada “for his achievements that have greatly contributed to the development and growth of the aerospace industry in Canada”.

“Being appointed to the Order of Canada is the honour of a lifetime. I am truly humbled,” said Mr. Parent. “I will wear the Order’s insignia with great pride and recognition of the many people at CAE, within the aerospace industry, and at charitable organizations with which I have worked, who have energized and motivated me every step of the way.”

“Mr. Parent is a trailblazer in the Canadian aerospace industry and continues to pursue its growth worldwide. Under his leadership, CAE has become a Canadian symbol of excellence globally, with a noble purpose to make the world a safer place,” said the Honourable John Manley, Chair of CAE’s Board of Directors. “Through his business and philanthropic endeavours, Mr. Parent has made an exemplary contribution to our country, and his appointment to the Order of Canada is richly-deserved.”

Mr. Parent started his career as an engineer at Bombardier Canadair in 1984 and was recognized as one of “Canada’s Top 40 under 40” leaders in 1999. He joined CAE in 2005 and was appointed President and CEO in 2009, leading a drive for innovation that has seen the company become a world leader in training for civil aviation, defence & security, and healthcare. Over the past 40 years, he has been a passionate advocate for the Canadian aviation industry, serving on the boards of Aéro Montréal, the Canadian Association of Defense and Security Industries (CADSI) and the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC). He has also dedicated himself to the community, leading several successful Centraide/United Way campaigns, and serving on the board of the McGill University Health Centre Foundation and as co-chair of its 2020 Dream Big Campaign. 

Recipients of the Order of Canada will be invited to accept their insignia at a ceremony to be held at a future date.

About the Order of Canada

Created in 1967, the Order of Canada is one of our country’s highest honours. Presented by the governor general, the Order honours people whose service shapes our society, whose innovations ignite our imaginations, and whose compassion unites our communities.

Close to 7,500 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order of Canada. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and have taken to heart the motto of the Order: DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (“They desire a better country”). The striking, six-point white enamel insignia they wear symbolizes our northern heritage and our diversity, because no two snowflakes are alike.

Appointments are made by the governor general on the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada. For more information about the Order of Canada or to nominate someone, visit

WestJet-YVR COVID-19 Testing Study Launches

UBC and Providence Health Care lead voluntary research for departures at YVR.

RICHMOND, BC, Nov. 27, 2020 /CNW/ – Today marked the launch of the WestJet-YVR COVID-19 Testing Study, a collaborative effort between researchers from UBC and Providence Health Care and project sponsors WestJet and Vancouver Airport Authority. The study—the first of its kind in Canada—is investigating a method of COVID-19 rapid testing to help inform the safest and most efficient way of testing departing passengers at Vancouver International Airport (YVR).

The study is located at WestJet’s domestic check-in area and includes three simple steps: registration and informed consent, testing, and results. The study is open to WestJet guests who are residents of British Columbia, between the ages of 19 and 80, and who have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days. Guests must be flying domestically, and testing is available on the day of travel only.  

Researchers from UBC and Providence are responsible for collecting samples in a ready-made testing station. A positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19 and participants who test positive will be required to undergo Health Canada-approved testing using the RT-PCR diagnostic test. For these guests, WestJet will rebook or cancel flights at no charge. Participants who test negative will continue their travel journey and are still required to follow all existing COVID-19 requirements.

Prior to live implementation at YVR, researchers conducted laboratory evaluation and validation of several rapid antigen tests that use nasopharyngeal (nose) swabs and oral rinses for deployment in the study. Rapid antigen tests can provide results within 15 to 20 minutes, making them a feasible option for study in the live airport environment.

Upon study completion, the researchers will submit the results for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The results will then be shared with public health officials in an effort to contribute to a future testing framework for the aviation industry.

The study will operate Monday to Friday during peak morning hours. For more information on the study, please visit WestJet guests who meet the criteria noted above can register for the study at


“We are committed to doing our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19, while instilling confidence in those who need to travel. Together with WestJet, UBC and Providence, we have embarked on this new study to complement other testing initiatives we are seeing across the country.” — Tamara Vrooman, President & CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority.

“WestJet is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring the safety of air travel through initiatives such as the WestJet-YVR COVID-19 Testing Study. We are proud to work with our partners at Vancouver Airport Authority in support of this important research being conducted by UBC and Providence Health Care. With just three simple steps, we encourage eligible guests to consider taking part while contributing to findings that may influence travel and public health in the future.” — Billy Nolen, Vice-President Safety, Security and Quality, WestJet

“While the world awaits the deployment of safe and effective vaccines for COVID-19, there is an urgent need for strategies to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. Our study will inform whether a rapid screening program is a practical and effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 amongst travellers.” — Dr. Marc Romney, Co-principal Investigator; Clinical Associate Professor, UBC Faculty of Medicine; Medical Leader for Medical Microbiology and Virology at St. Paul’s Hospital, Providence Health Care.

“We know that asymptomatic carriers exist but what we don’t know is exactly how common it is and how much they contribute to the spread of COVID-19. This study will not only help support aviation safety, but will also help public health leaders better understand to what degree asymptomatic individuals are contributing to the spread of COVID-19.” — Dr. Don Sin, Co-principal Investigator; Professor, UBC Faculty of Medicine; Respirologist, Providence Health Care.


Vancouver Airport Authority is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that manages Vancouver International Airport (YVR). We are committed to creating an airport that British Columbia can be proud of: a premier global gateway, local economic generator and community contributor.


Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All hygiene programs. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit


The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world. Since 1915, UBC’s entrepreneurial spirit has embraced innovation and challenged the status quo. UBC encourages its students, staff and faculty to challenge convention, lead discovery and explore new ways of learning. At UBC, bold thinking is given a place to develop into ideas that can change the world.


Providence Health Care (PHC) is one of Canada’s largest faith-based health care organizations, operating 17 health care facilities in Greater Vancouver. PHC is home to one of two adult academic health science centres in the province – St. Paul’s Hospital – and performs cutting-edge research in more than 30 clinical specialties. PHC focuses its services on six “populations of emphasis”: cardio-pulmonary risks and illnesses, HIV/AIDS, mental health, renal risks and illness, specialized needs in aging and urban health. It is also home to the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

SOURCE Vancouver Airport Authority