Canada’s airlines respond to TRAN committee report

Ottawa, ON, February 28, 2023 – Jeff Morrison, President and CEO of the National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC), which represents Canada’s largest air carriers (Air Canada, Air Transat, Jazz Aviation LP and WestJet), issued the following statement regarding the recent release of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure, and Communities (TRAN) report entitled “Enhancing the Efficient, Affordable Operation of Canada’s Airports”:

“Overall, this report is good news for the aviation industry, and contains several important recommendations that will strengthen Canadian air travel and lead to a more competitive and sustainable system for years to come.

“Last spring, NACC appeared before the TRAN committee calling for the federal government to review, with industry input, all third-party fees and charges imposed on Canadian airlines and travellers. The end goal should be that taxes and fees imposed on industry either directly related to services for passengers or otherwise be reinvested into the air travel system.

“NACC is pleased to see this recommendation included in the report, in addition to recommendations to reduce administrative delays in securing necessary clearances for all staff in airports and airlines, and a need to invest in technological solutions to improve and expedite the traveller journey.

“It is critical that the Canadian airline industry remains competitive globally now and for decades to come and that travellers have confidence that their journey is predictable, timely and enjoyable, with clear service standards across the ecosystem.

“The importance of a strong and thriving commercial aviation sector to Canada’s overall economic recovery cannot be overstated, and NACC looks forward to the implementation of the report recommendations by the federal government.”

About the National Airlines Council of Canada:

The National Airlines Council of Canada represents Canada’s largest national and international passenger air carriers:  Air Canada, Air Transat, Jazz Aviation LP and WestJet.  It promotes safe, sustainable, accessible and competitive air travel by advocating for the development of policies, regulations and legislation to foster a world-class transportation system.  Pre-pandemic our members collectively carried over 80 million passengers annually, directly employed over 60,000 people and served as a critical component of Canada’s overall air transport and tourism sector, which supported more than 630,000 jobs.

Air Canada Comments on Toronto-Pearson

MONTREAL, Feb. 28, 2023 /CNW/ – Air Canada today issued the following statement in response to reports about the Greater Toronto Airport Authority imposing limits on carrier operations at Toronto-Pearson airport.

Air Canada was first advised of the GTAA’s plans in August 2022, and so it designed its 2023 winter schedule with these limitations taken into account and anticipates no significant changes to its schedule for the March Break travel period. It subsequently received information about GTAA’s plans for summer 2023 and similarly designed this coming summer’s schedule to meet those parameters. 

It is Air Canada’s policy to work with its industry partners to meet the requirements of airports and other third parties to drive operational improvements and support the smooth running of Canada’s air transport system. This includes, as in this case, adapting its schedule as required to ensure operational stability, and is a normal process.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest airline, the country’s flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 51 airports in Canada, 51 in the United States and 88 internationally. It holds a Four-Star ranking from Skytrax. Air Canada’s Aeroplan program is Canada’s premier travel loyalty program, where members can earn or redeem points on the world’s largest airline partner network of 45 airlines, plus through an extensive range of merchandise, hotel and car rental rewards. Its freight division, Air Canada Cargo, provides air freight lift and connectivity to hundreds of destinations across six continents using Air Canada’s passenger flights and cargo-only flights with its fleet of Boeing 767-300 freighters. Air Canada has committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050.

Advance Declaration now available at Ottawa International Airport and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

Submit your customs declaration in advance and save time at the airport

OTTAWA, ON, Feb. 28, 2023 /CNW/ – The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is exploring safe, secure and innovative ways to deliver a better and faster border experience for travellers entering Canada.

Starting today, Advance Declaration  is available to all travellers arriving on international flights at the Ottawa International Airport (YOW) and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ). Express lanes will also be available in both airports’ customs areas, allowing travellers who complete their Advance Declaration to skip long line-ups for Primary Inspection Kiosks (PIK).

The Advance Declaration provides travellers with the option to submit their customs and immigration declaration, up to 72 hours in advance of their arrival in Canada. Travellers can now spend less time at PIKs when they arrive at the airport, resulting in shorter wait times at the border.

In an effort to modernize and expedite the travel experience, Advance Declaration is already available to travellers arriving on international flights at the following Canadian airports:

  • Toronto Pearson
  • Montreal-Trudeau
  • Winnipeg Richardson
  • Vancouver
  • Halifax Stanfield
  • Québec City Jean-Lesage
  • Calgary

The digital tool will also become available to travellers arriving at Edmonton International Airport in the coming weeks.  

Advance Declaration is part of CBSA’s Traveller Modernization initiative, which is being implemented over the coming years. Modernizing the travel experience includes the use of digital technologies and tools for both travellers and border services officers.


“With Advance Declaration and express lanes now available at Billy Bishop Toronto City and Ottawa International Airports, we are keeping our border secure while providing a better and faster experience for travellers. This is another example of how the CBSA is modernizing the border and we are happy to be working with Ports Toronto and Ottawa International Airport Authority to make this option available to travellers.”

Eric Lapierre, Regional Director General, Northern Ontario Region, CBSA and Lisa Janes, Regional Director General, Greater Toronto Area Region, CBSA

With travel demand growing, we anticipate a busy March break travel season at YOW. I’m confident that travellers will welcome this feature to make the arrival process easier and faster.”

Mark Laroche, President and CEO, Ottawa International Airport Authority

“Passengers arriving at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport from the United States who choose to use the Advance Declaration feature will enjoy a faster arrivals experience thanks to Express Lane access. We are pleased to partner with the Canada Border Services Agency to offer this improved service to travellers at Billy Bishop Airport.”

RJ Steenstra, President and CEO of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and PortsToronto

Quick facts

  • Early usage data shows that using the Advance Declaration feature in ArriveCAN cuts the amount of time a traveller spends at a PIK or eGate by roughly one third.
  • A traveller can submit a customs and immigration declaration at any point within 72 hours before their arrival in Canada. Travellers can also edit their declaration, if needed, at the airport kiosk once they arrive. The declaration is not finalized until it has been confirmed at the airport kiosk. 
  • Personal information provided by travellers through ArriveCAN is protected under the Privacy Act. For more information, see the ArriveCAN privacy notice. Advance CBSA Declaration has an additional privacy notice that is presented to users upon accessing the feature. It offers end-to-end encryption for information the traveller transmits to the CBSA in advance of their arrival in Canada.

Associated links

Air Canada Proudly Salutes its Black Employees, Wraps Black History Month with Celebration Flight

Flight AC660 from Montreal to Halifax was operated and supported by Black pilots, flight attendants, managers and ground teams

MONTREAL, Feb. 28, 2023 /CNW/ – Air Canada wrapped Black History Month today with its second annual Black History celebratory flight. Flight AC660 from Montreal to Halifax was planned, supported and operated by Black pilots, flight attendants, managers and employees on the ground and behind the scenes at Montreal Trudeau International Airport and on arrival at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

Flight AC660 from Montreal to Halifax was planned, supported and operated by Black pilots, flight attendants, managers and employees on the ground and behind the scenes at Montreal Trudeau International Airport and on arrival at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. (CNW Group/Air Canada)
Flight AC660 from Montreal to Halifax was planned, supported and operated by Black pilots, flight attendants, managers and employees on the ground and behind the scenes at Montreal Trudeau International Airport and on arrival at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. (CNW Group/Air Canada)

“Air Canada salutes its Black employees who have proudly championed their identity and pride to showcase their achievements and contributions to aviation. This is the second year in a row we have applauded Black excellence with a celebration flight and we are thrilled to highlight our employees’ professional achievements. They are incredible ambassadors and role models for the next generation of Black youth,” said Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer and Public Affairs at Air Canada.

On today’s flight are some Air Canada employees and special guests who will visit Africville to learn more about the rich Black cultural heritage, and the long and deep Black history roots in the Halifax area.

Comments from airline professionals involved in Air Canada’s Black Celebration Flight:

“Being asked to help lead and organize this second Black Excellence Flight for Air Canada is an honour that I cannot express in words. I am proud of the example we are setting and showing as a Black community and as an Air Canada family. We are highlighting to aspiring young Black kids that there are people in the aviation industry that look like them and that they, too, can be a part of this incredible industry.  We are demonstrating to them that Air Canada celebrates Black History and that ‘You are Black History’,” said Andrew Free, Manager, STOC Oversight for Montreal and Quebec City.

“To me, being a Black aviation professional means having the responsibility to mentor the next generation of young aviators. I am extremely fortunate today because of the efforts of the few Black pilots that came before me. I appreciate and thank all the many hard-working professionals who have contributed to the success of the day,” said William Batson, Manager, Line Operations, Flight Operations in Toronto, and Captain of flight AC660.

“Throughout the years, I have had the opportunity to work on many amazing projects within Air Canada, which always been ahead of the trends. I have never felt that my skin colour slowed me down at the airline. Some of my best memories are when I meet little Black kids and I see how their eyes light up when they realize that not only am I working on their flight, I am the one in-charge,” said Mendoza Jolly, Service Director, Air Canada.

“My love for aviation started when I was young, with my brother bringing me to the airport to see airplanes, so working at Air Canada was a natural transition for me. Now as a lead station attendant and Health and Safety coordinator, I am proud to be part of a company that recognizes and celebrates my heritage,” Keyon Burke, Health and Safety Coordinator.

“My aviation career feels like a family tradition as I followed the footsteps of my late father, who joined TransCanada Airlines in 1957. As a Black woman and an ambassador for the Air Canada brand, it is wonderful to see Air Canada providing leadership on a project as important as Black History Month,” said Sharyn Prevost, Air Canada Customer Experience Specialist, Halifax.

Hear more about what Air Canada’s Black employees have to say about the importance of being seen, and about race and adversity in these three short videos.

Air Canada has been named one of Canada’s best Diversity Employers for multiple consecutive years. Its Corporate Sustainability Report (CSR) details the airline’s diversity and community initiatives.

In its internal voluntary surveys, 684 Air Canada employees self-identified as Black, and work in senior management, leadership, specialized professional positions, and across all work groups including pilots, flight attendants, customer service agents, maintenance technicians and ground support crews.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest airline, the country’s flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 51 airports in Canada, 51 in the United States and 88 internationally. It holds a Four-Star ranking from Skytrax. Air Canada’s Aeroplan program is Canada’s premier travel loyalty program, where members can earn or redeem points on the world’s largest airline partner network of 45 airlines, plus through an extensive range of merchandise, hotel and car rental rewards. Its freight division, Air Canada Cargo, provides air freight lift and connectivity to hundreds of destinations across six continents using Air Canada’s passenger flights and cargo-only flights with its fleet of Boeing 767-300 freighters. Air Canada has committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050.

Government of Canada invests in next generation of aerospace workers

Government of Canada invests over $3.8 million for McMaster University to train and upskill nearly 340 workers in southern Ontario’s aerospace sector

February 27, 2023  Hamilton, Ontario

The aerospace sector is an important pillar of the economy and a driver of innovation in Canada. The thousands of highly qualified people who work in this sector are developing innovative products that will ensure Canada remains a global leader. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting job growth and skills development to create a strong and resilient economy that works for everyone.

Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and Member of Parliament for Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas; along with Lisa Hepfner, Member of Parliament for Hamilton Mountain; and Chad Collins, Member of Parliament for Hamilton East–Stoney Creek, announced an investment of over $3.8 million for McMaster University. With this investment, McMaster University will deliver a two-year targeted training program that is designed and instructed in collaboration with industry for aerospace professionals in southern Ontario, to help SMEs in this sector strengthen the workforce and grow our economy.

Through partnerships with organizations like Mohawk College Enterprise, Downsview Aerospace Innovation and Research, the Ontario Aerospace Council, Women in Aerospace Canada, as well as employers and industry experts, the curriculum will deliver the best results possible. The program will help participating employers and SMEs improve productivity and efficiency through training and upskilling focused on the integration of technology in the workplace, allowing them to better understand their environmental impact and make efforts in greening their operations.

McMaster University is working with Indigenous organizations to help make outreach, engagement and participation easier for Indigenous people in manufacturing and aerospace training programs, with the intent of making skilled jobs more accessible. Additionally, a series of short courses based on a reconciliation toolkit for business leaders is being developed to increase awareness of regional Indigenous communities and their culture as well as how to attract and retain Indigenous talent.

Through this project, it is anticipated that nearly 340 aerospace professionals will receive the training and tools they need to grow in the industry, 100 of which will be Indigenous learners. All of the program participants will then go on to make the changes needed to help the aerospace industry excel and meet the demands on today’s global supply chain.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting southern Ontario’s aerospace sector by providing businesses and organizations the support they need to grow, create and maintain jobs, and contribute to economic growth in a more environmentally sustainable and inclusive way. These investments affect the workers at the heart of the aerospace sector that drive innovation and build a strong economy that works for everyone.


“Our government is investing in the potential of workers in the aerospace industry and ensuring they have the resources to contribute to a strong and growing economy. This new program delivered through McMaster University is equipping workers and businesses across southern Ontario with the skills and training they need to soar into the future. I am proud to be supporting them as we work together to grow an economy that works for everyone.”
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and Member of Parliament for Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas

“Through this important investment, McMaster University will be able to equip nearly 340 employees in the aerospace sector with the tools they need to succeed.”
– Lisa Hepfner, Member of Parliament for Hamilton Mountain

“It is important that we continue to provide our aerospace SMEs the means to integrate technologies and green their operations so that they contribute to a more inclusive and sustainable future.”
– Chad Collins, Member of Parliament for Hamilton East–Stoney Creek

“This funding is a testament to McMaster’s ongoing commitment to creating opportunities for diverse and inclusive upskilling and micro-credential programming, and to FedDev Ontario’s foresight in supporting and investing in programs that are guaranteed to enhance Canada’s competitiveness and build on southern Ontario’s competitive advantage.”
– David Farrar, President, McMaster University

Quick facts

  • McMaster University is consistently ranked among Canada’s top research intensive universities, with a reputation as a hotspot for discovery and innovation. With aerospace as a key area of focus, the University is becoming a highly desired research partner in this sector.
  • Ontario’s aerospace industry has over 200 firms, employs more than 44,000 workers and is responsible for more than $6 billion in revenues.
  • Delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies, the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative (ARRI) is part of a Government of Canada strategy that includes measures being implemented by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada to boost the aerospace industry. With a national budget of $250 million over three years, FedDev Ontario is delivering $67.5 million in support in southern Ontario. 
  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested nearly $160 million in 34 aerospace projects across southern Ontario, creating over 900 jobs and maintaining over 1,000 jobs.

Associated links

Porter developing modern passenger terminal at convenient Montréal Saint-Hubert Airport and launching new air service

Only airline to offer extensive flights from Montréal’s Trudeau and Saint-Hubert airports

LONGUEUIL, QC, Feb. 27, 2023 /CNW/ – Porter Aviation Holdings Inc. (PAHI) is entering a partnership with Montréal Saint-Hubert Airport (YHU) to develop a new terminal capable of serving over 4 million passengers annually. Construction will commence in mid-2023, with a scheduled completion by late 2024, providing a second airport for Porter Airlines (Porter) to serve the Montréal market.

Porter will continue expanding its existing operations at Montréal’s Trudeau Airport (YUL), while also introducing a Canada-wide network at the convenient YHU airport. More than 10 potential YHU routes have been initially identified, spanning from Vancouver in the west to St. John’s, N.L., in the east. The airline also intends to connect YHU with both of its Toronto hubs – Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) and Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ). This will provide Porter with the most compelling and convenient flight offering between Canada’s two largest cities. Routes will be served with a combination of 78-seat De Havilland Dash 8-400 and 132-seat Embraer E195-E2 aircraft.

The YHU terminal development is modelled after the successful revitalization of Billy Bishop that Porter has been a part of for the last 17 years. After decades of declining passenger service, Porter’s commitment to YTZ was the catalyst for route developments and infrastructure investments that led to the airport serving nearly three million passengers annually, across more than 20 routes and producing $3 billion dollars of annual economic impact. The YHU terminal will provide faster passenger processing, resulting in travel time savings to go along with a comfortable departure lounge environment that Billy Bishop travellers are familiar with. PAHI originally designed and built the modern terminal at YTZ that is in use today.

“Saint-Hubert has incredible potential as a complementary secondary airport for Montréal, with a convenient location for a significant portion of the local market and also easy access to downtown Montréal,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO, PAHI. “We have proven this concept at Billy Bishop, now one of the world’s best urban airports, and look forward to working with our partners at Saint-Hubert to help create a similar success story.”

The new terminal will be open to other airlines, including Pascan Aviation. Pascan’s current YHU network focuses on regional Québec flights. Porter and Pascan intend to develop a codeshare partnership that facilitates seamless movement of passengers between their respective airlines. This provides increased opportunities for travellers to move within the province of Québec and other regions of Canada.

“Montréal Saint-Hubert Airport is proud to welcome Porter Airlines,” said Yanic Roy, managing director, Montréal-Saint-Hubert Airport. “With an ambitious fleet plan, latest generation aircraft and an established airport management track record, Porter is the perfect match for the Montréal Saint-Hubert Airport. This new partnership will provide world-class air services to the Greater Montréal population and the Québec regions. It will also ease air travel between the province and the rest of Canada, and be a key item for the development of the Longueuil aerospace cluster.”

The investment in YHU will result in over 500 permanent jobs, including full-time positions within terminal and airline operations, and the establishment of a new pilot and flight attendant crew base.

Terminal overview

  • Modern design aesthetic, featuring natural light and high-quality materials
  • 21,000 sq. m. (225,000 sq. ft.)
  • 9 bridged aircraft gates
  • Lounge-style seating for all passengers
  • Food and beverage concessions, and retail vendors
  • A Net-Zero facility with all building systems to fully operate on electric power
  • State-of-the-art passenger and baggage processing, and security installations

The terminal is being designed by Scott Associates Architects.

About Porter

Since 2006, Porter Airlines has been elevating the experience of economy air travel for every passenger, providing genuine hospitality with style, care and charm. Porter’s fleet of Embraer E195-E2 and De Havilland Dash 8-400 aircraft serves a North American network from Eastern Canada. Headquartered in Toronto, Porter is an Official 4 Star Airline® in the World Airline Star Rating®. Visit

Montreal – Saint-Hubert Airport: Construction of a Terminal and Innovation in Aeronautics

LONGUEUIL, QC, Feb. 27, 2023 /CNW/ – Montreal  Saint-Hubert Airport (YHU) is pleased to announce the construction of a new terminal, which is in line with its desire to create a true aeronautical hub, bringing together companies in the sector, flight schools, university research laboratories, air carriers and passengers.

The first step in this development is materialized today: the offer of services at Montreal – Saint-Hubert Airport will increase as of 2024. Flights to Canadian destinations such as Vancouver, Calgary and Halifax will be offered by Porter, and more regional flights will be offered by Pascan. Other carriers that will also launch flights from YHU will be announced soon. With an initial investment of $200 million from the private sector, a new modern terminal will be built, and the airport’s infrastructure and facilities will be upgraded. A new hotel with 130 rooms and meeting facilities will also be built near the terminal to accommodate travelers, researchers, students and business people.

With this new development vision, YHU will not only be a very important player in the Canadian airline industry, but also the leading model of an airport in harmony with its community.


“The development of an aeronautics hub is a promising project for Quebec. Our terminal meets a growing need to ensure a service of quality for travelers in Quebec. We also intend to contribute to the development of new technologies in the field of aviation.

Furthermore, we are committed to meeting the highest standards of sustainable development and I am convinced that the airport will play a major role in the sustainable economic and tourism development of the community.

For my part, I intend to ensure an effective and pragmatic management of this development, with our partners in a spirit of understanding and respect.”

-Yanic Roy, Chief executive officer, Montréal – Saint-Hubert Airport

“The construction of this new terminal is amazing news for the communities this airport will serve in Quebec and across the country. As the air sector continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the addition of the new services that come out of this new development will ensure our air sector is more competitive. As the population in the region continues to grow, it is essential that airports like this one are equipped to continue to serve the population in the years to come. In addition to the benefits for regional connectivity, this new terminal will help reduce bottlenecks, ensure that Canadians are better served in this region, strengthen our supply chain and create good jobs for Canadians.”

– The Honorable Omar Alghabra, Federal Minister of Transport

These investments will improve and diversify air service in the Greater Montreal area. We are delighted to see that this project will also facilitate access to new destinations. This is excellent news for the economic and tourism development of our regions. “

-Geneviève Guilbault, Vice-Premier and Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility

“Finally, we have in our hands a development plan for the airport that responds to the concerns of the population by ensuring that the quality of life of citizens is respected and that our environmental objectives are met, thanks to the social acceptability parameters established between the City and YHU as part of the February 2 announcement. In addition, the strengthening of our aerospace cluster through YHU’s contribution to the supply of available land strategically positions us for the establishment of a formal innovation zone by the Quebec government. This will make our city more attractive to companies in the sector, thereby meeting our economic development targets, another key factor in the population’s support, as highlighted in the report by the Office de participation publique de Longueuil (OPPL).”

-Catherine Fournier, Mayor of Longueuil

“Investing in a new passenger terminal at Montreal – Saint-Hubert Airport is a catalyst for Porter to develop a network of flights at YHU connecting with cities across the country. Longueuil will benefit from substantial economic development and Greater Montreal travelers will have additional, convenient options.”

– Michael Deluce, President and CEO, Porter Aviation Holdings Inc.

“We have been operating commercial flights at YHU for 20 years, and this is the most structuring project we have seen here at the airport.  With this development plan, coupled with our commercial agreement with Porter, we will be able to enhance our air service and improve the service offering for regional residents.”

      – Yani Gagnon, Co-Owner of Pascan Aviation

“One of the strategic axes of the CCIRS is the fluidity of the transportation of people and goods. In this context, the development of the Montreal – Saint-Hubert Airport is essential. I welcome the announcement of the construction of the new terminal, which will certainly create jobs and contribute to the revitalization of the airport area, all in accordance with the major priorities of the territory we serve,”

          – Isabelle Foisy, President of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce and Industry

About YHU

Welcome to YHU: where dynamism and innovation drive our actions. In harmony with its environment, YHU is committed to providing modern, efficient, and accessible airport services to passengers, airlines and the various aviation professions. Thanks to its strategic geographic location, the airport regularly welcomes business and prestige flights. Located 15 minutes from downtown Montreal, it has direct access to major roadways and public transit.