Air Transat’s Manchester flights to resume earlier than planned

From TravelWeek – link to source story

Air Transat’s Manchester flights to resume earlier than planned

Date: Sep 14 2021

By: Travelweek Group

MONTREAL — Air Transat is resuming operations to Manchester, England earlier than originally planned in anticipation of significant passenger demand for the United Kingdom.

Following eased travel restrictions in the U.K., with Canada now on its green list of approved countries, the airline will start offering direct flights to Manchester from Toronto on Oct. 19.

Air Transat is also resuming direct flights between London Gatwick and Toronto on Sept. 15 after months of inactivity. Flights will initially operate three times weekly between the two hubs and will gradually increase over the coming months.

Direct flights from Glasgow to Toronto are also scheduled to resume on Dec. 16.

Air Transat previously announced that it will fly to nearly 50 destinations as part of its winter 2021/2022 flight program. It previously celebrated its return to the skies on July 30, following a six-month pause in operations due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Summer travel surge has WestJet and Air Canada asking for volunteer help

From CBC News – link to source story

Passenger traffic has reached its highest point since pandemic began

Kyle Bakx · CBC News · September 16, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has ground an unprecedented number of flights in Canada and around the world. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

A surge in summer travel across the country has forced Canada’s two biggest airlines to ask staff to help volunteer at airports to overcome staffing challenges — a move that is creating pushback from unions.

In an email to all employees, WestJet described how the rapid growth in passenger numbers is causing operational problems at several airports, including its flagship airport in Calgary.

The “growing pains of recovery requires all-hands-on-deck,” read the message, which included an open call for any staff members to sign up to volunteer to help guests requiring wheelchair assistance at the Calgary International Airport.

Meanwhile, Air Canada has needed extra personnel at Toronto’s Pearson airport since “airport partners are stretched beyond their capacity, which led to significant flight cancellations and missed connections,” read an internal memo.

In late August and early September, air passenger traffic reached its highest point since the pandemic began. The increase in business is critical to the aviation industry, which was devastated early on in the crisis as many countries restricted international travel.

The industry is not immune to the staffing challenges faced by many sectors as lockdowns started to lift; airlines continue to cope with changing government restrictions, while also following a variety of COVID-19 protocols at domestic and international airports.

In the U.S., American Airlines and Delta Air Lines also asked staff to volunteer at airports this summer.

At Toronto’s Pearson, the international arrival process can take up to three hours, as passengers are screened by Canada Border Services Agency and Public Health Agency of Canada agents, collect bags and possibly take a COVID-19 test.

“As the technology for sharing and displaying vaccine documents improves, passengers become more comfortable with the new process and vaccine-driven changes in border protections take effect, we hope to see further improvement in wait-time conditions in the terminals,” a Pearson spokesperson said in an email statement, which highlighted other steps to reduce delays.https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/mrCsu/1/

Union objections

But several unions have advised their members to avoid volunteering for a variety of reasons.

CUPE, which represents flight attendants at WestJet, declined to comment. However, in a letter, it told members that “the company is imploring you to provide free, volunteer and zero-cost labour. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.”

The Air Line Pilots Association, which represents WestJet’s pilots, also declined to comment. But in a message to members, it highlighted how “if you are injured doing this work, you may not be covered by our disability insurer.”

Unifor, which represents customer service agents at both of Canada’s major airlines, said its members were upset about the call for volunteers and the union wasn’t happy that there wasn’t any advanced warning or conversation.

“Take a group of workers that is already very stressed by the kind of operation that’s going on, the quantity of passengers, the amount of extra processes that are in place because of COVID in order to travel — and then adding these pieces on is not helpful,” said Leslie Dias, Unifor’s director of airlines.

During the pandemic, WestJet decided to outsource the work of guest-service agents, who would help passengers that require wheelchairs, assist with check-in kiosks and co-ordinate lineups.

But the contractor is struggling to provide enough workers, said Dias, and that’s why there was a call for volunteers.

After flying more than 700 flights daily in 2019, WestJet flew as few as 30 some days during the pandemic. Currently, there are more than 400 flights each day.

“WestJet, as is the case across Canada and across many industries, faces continued issues due to labour hiring challenges as a result of COVID-19,” said spokesperson Morgan Bell in an emailed statement.

“As WestJet looks ahead to recovery, we continue to work toward actively recalling and hiring company-wide, with the current expectation we will reach 9,000 fully trained WestJetters by the end of the year, which is more than twice as many WestJetters as we had at our lowest point in the pandemic some five months ago,” she said.

Air Canada said it only asked salaried management to help volunteer at Pearson airport. 

Unifor said the airline was short of workers because the company didn’t have enough training capacity to accommodate recalled employees and couldn’t arrange restricted-area passes on time.

Thousands of airline workers lost their jobs, were furloughed or faced wage reductions last year, although the carriers are bringing back workers as travel activity increases.

Officials at Toronto’s Pearson airport say they are trying to reduce delays and wait times by bringing back the international-to-domestic connection process, which helps some arriving international passengers that are connecting onward in Canada to complete the customs process faster and go directly to their next flight. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Returning staff

At WestJet, its customer service agents have been recalled, according to Unifor. Many employees in other positions, though, remain out of work, including about 500 furloughed pilots.

Air Canada said it has been continually recalling employees since last spring, including more than 5,000 in July and August.

Asking for volunteers is an “unusual” occurrence in the industry, said Rick Erickson, an independent airline analyst based in Calgary. But he said it’s not surprising since cutting a workforce is much easier than building it back up.

Airlines have to retrain staff, secure valid certification and security passes, and find new hires as well.

Erickson said he even spotted WestJet CEO Ed Sims helping at the check-in counter in Calgary in recent weeks, as passenger activity was at its peak so far this year.

“This has been the most challenging time, honestly, in civil aviation history; we’ve never, ever seen anything approaching 90 per cent of your revenues drying up,” said Erickson, noting that airlines still have to watch their finances closely.

WestJet CEO Ed Sims is shown at the airline’s headquarters in Calgary. He’s been helping at the check-in counter at the Calgary airport in recent weeks. (Kyle Bakx/CBC)

Asking employees to volunteer isn’t illegal, but it does raise some questions, said Sarah Coderre, a labour lawyer with Bow River Law LLP in Calgary. 

“Whether or not it’s fair, and the sort of position it puts the employees in, if they choose not to volunteer, that would be concerning for me from a legal standpoint,” said Coderre.

Air Canada is currently operating at about 35 to 40 per cent of its 2019 flying capacity, but said one bright spot on the horizon is bookings for winter getaways toward the end of this year and the beginning of 2022.

“When looking to the sun leisure markets, we are very optimistic about our recovery,” a spokesperson said by email. “We are currently observing demand growth that is above 2019 levels.”

Swoop Heats Up Winter Schedule with New Service from Winnipeg to Orlando Sanford

Ultra-low cost airline to connect Winnipeg to sunny Central Florida just in time for winter travel

WINNIPEG, MB, Sept. 16, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop announced new service between Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (YWG) and Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) to its winter schedule, reaffirming Swoop’s commitment to bringing more ultra-low cost service from Winnipeg to domestic and transborder destinations. Seats from Winnipeg to Orlando Sanford are on sale now, with non-stop service set to begin in December.

“We are thrilled to be bringing more ultra-low fares and connectivity to Winnipeg through the addition of non-stop service to Orlando Sanford just in time for the winter season,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial & Finance at Swoop. “Winnipeg is an important part of our network and as we continue to recover our operations, we remain committed to supporting the recovery of inbound and outbound air travel to the region.”

Details of Swoop’s Winter Service between Winnipeg and Orlando Sanford

RoutePlanned Start DatePeak Weekly FrequencyTotal one-way price (CAD)Base Fare (CAD)Taxes and fees (CAD)
Orlando Sanford – WinnipegDecember 9, 20212x Weekly$139 † CAD $101.02$37.80
Winnipeg – Orlando SanfordDecember 10, 20212x Weekly$139 † CAD $38.13$100.87

†Special introductory fares are limited quantity. Book by Sep 22, 2021 (11:59 p.m. ET) or while seats last, for travel between December 9, 2021 and April 30, 2022. Blackout dates between December 16, 2021 and January 6, 2022, March 11, 2022 – April 4, 2022.

With demand for both transborder and international travel returning, today’s announcement signals another strong sign of recovery for the airline as it gears up for the winter season. Orlando Sanford marks the fourth sun-destination for Winnipeggers to choose from when looking to book a warm-weather getaway. Swoop’s always affordable low fares from Winnipeg to Phoenix Mesa, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta are all available for booking now, with flights set to begin this November.

“We’re proud to be teaming up with Swoop to restore service interrupted amid the pandemic and help our community gain access to more in-demand travel destinations,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “Today’s exciting announcement from Swoop is welcome news and further demonstrates the strong demand for travel in the Winnipeg market as more routes continue to return to serve the region.”

 “We are pleased that Swoop will be increasing the number of destinations to accommodate all the pent-up air travel between Canada and Florida.”

–  Tom Nolan, President and CEO Orlando Sanford International Airport

To learn more about Swoop, visit FlySwoop.com and for information on how Swoop is ensuring a safe and healthy travel experience, visit FlySwoop.com/traveller-safety.

About Swoop

Swoop is on a mission to make travel more affordable and accessible for all Canadians. Established in 2018 as an independent subsidiary of the WestJet Group of Companies, Swoop is Canada’s ultra-not-expensive airline. Offering scheduled service to destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean, Swoop’s unbundled fares put travellers in control of purchasing only the products and services they desire.

Swoop’s modern fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity has safely carried more than 3 million travellers in three years of operation. Flyswoop.com allows travellers to quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight.  

Swoop Heats Up Winter Schedule with Addition of Los Cabos

Ultra-low cost carrier brings back non-stop service to the Baja Peninsula from Edmonton and announces new direct route from Toronto       

CALGARY, AB, Sept. 15, 2021 /CNW/ -Today, Swoop announced the addition of non-stop service to Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) to its winter schedule from both Edmonton and Toronto, bringing more choice to Canadians looking to travel south of the border at an affordable price. Swoop’s non-stop service will operate twice weekly from Toronto and once weekly from Edmonton.  

“We are thrilled to expand our winter schedule just in time for our travellers in Toronto and Edmonton to book that long-awaited vacation to Los Cabos, Mexico,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial & Finance, Swoop. “With non-stop flights available for as low as $139.00 †  one-way, we are pleased to be offering even more affordable travel options to Canadians, while strengthening our position as Canada’s ultra-low cost carrier with the most flights to popular sun destinations.”

Los Cabos joins Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán as the fourth Mexican destination available for booking this winter, all at Swoop’s always available ultra-low fares. With demand for international travel and all-inclusive Getaway packages returning, today’s announcement signals another strong sign of recovery for the airline as it gears up for further growth through the addition of its tenth aircraft, expected to enter service this winter.

Details of Swoop’s Winter Service to Los Cabos

RoutePlanned Start DatePeak Weekly FrequencyTotal one-way price (CAD)Base fare (CAD)Taxes and Fees (CAD)
Edmonton – Los CabosNovember 20, 20211x Weekly$139 † CAD $43.10$95.90
 Los Cabos – EdmontonNovember 20, 20211x Weekly$139 † CAD $64.83 $74.17
Toronto – Los CabosDecember 4, 20212x Weekly$139 † CAD $40.70$98.30
Los Cabos – TorontoDecember 4, 20212x Weekly$139 † CAD $64.83$74.17
†Special introductory fares are limited quantity. Book by Sep 22, 2021 (11:59 p.m. ET) or while seats last, for travel between November 20, 2021 and April 30, 2022. Blackout dates between December 16, 2021 and January 6, 2022, March 11, 2022 – April 4, 2022.

“Thank you Swoop for supporting the return of international flights to EIA. We’re thrilled to add another sunny location to our growing list of non-stop destinations. Health and safety continue to be our top priorities for our passengers as they access the world, non-stop from EIA.”

– Myron Keehn, Vice-President, Air Service and Business Development, EIA

“Los Cabos International Airport has been one of the most resilient airports in Mexico. As the recovery continues, we are glad to welcome Swoop with their brand-new route, Toronto, and the return of Edmonton”, said Raúl Revuelta Musalem, CEO of Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico. “Just in July, we experienced a 25% rate of growth in the international segment compared with 2019, and we are confident that Swoop will be a key player to keep Cabos in the international spotlight.”

To learn more about Swoop visit FlySwoop.com and for information on how Swoop is ensuring a safe and healthy travel experience visit FlySwoop.com/traveller-safety.

About Swoop

Swoop is on a mission to make travel more affordable and accessible for all Canadians. Established in 2018 as an independent subsidiary of the WestJet Group of Companies, Swoop is Canada’s ultra-not-expensive airline. Offering scheduled service to destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean, Swoop’s unbundled fares put travellers in control of purchasing only the products and services they desire.

Swoop’s modern fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity has safely carried more than 3 million travellers in three years of operation. Flyswoop.com allows travellers to quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight.

The WestJet Group announces Harry Taylor as interim President and CEO

Jennifer Bue to step in as interim Chief Financial Officer

CALGARY, AB, Sept. 15, 2021 /CNW/ – The WestJet Group today announced that Harry Taylor will assume the interim role of President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with a transition period taking place between late November and mid-December 2021. Current CEO Ed Sims announced his retirement on June 9, 2021.

The WestJet Group announces Harry Taylor as interim President and CEO (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

“I am extremely pleased Harry has agreed to take on this interim role,” said the WestJet Group Board Chair Chris Burley. “Our global search for a permanent CEO continues, and on behalf of WestJet and the board, we are grateful Harry has stepped up to help us through this critical transition. Harry has been an integral part of our pandemic planning and recovery, and it is his painstaking attention to our finances and his unique perspective that helped us through. As we continue to navigate our way through the remainder of the pandemic, Harry’s experience in the industry, combined with his deep appreciation and understanding of the WestJet culture will be a tremendous asset as we work to rebuild our airline and deliver on the five-year plan for our people and our guests.”

“It is a tremendous honour to be asked to serve as interim CEO for the WestJet Group, and I look forward to leading our organization through this crucial phase of our recovery,” said Harry Taylor. “There is much work to be done, while we continue our search for a permanent CEO. I am confident my experience as CFO through this crisis, combined with my tenure at WestJet, will set us up for success until such time as we welcome our new CEO.”

Harry Taylor joined WestJet in 2015 as Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). During this time, he led the airline’s inaugural U.S. bond issue, negotiated the purchase of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Boeing MAX aircraft, and was instrumental in the sale of WestJet to Onex. Through the pandemic, Harry led the Finance team in managing WestJet’s liquidity to ensure sustainability with little to no revenue coming in.

While Harry serves as interim CEO, Jennifer Bue, WestJet’s current Vice-President, Finance Planning & Analysis will serve as interim CFO. Jenn joined WestJet in 2008 and has held various leadership roles in corporate planning, treasury, accounting and was head of finance at Swoop. Prior to WestJet, Jenn worked at Deloitte and at RBC in equity research. Jenn holds designations as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and has a Master of Professional Accounting (MPAcc) and a Bachelor of Commerce (BComm).

“With my transition into my new role, I am delighted Jenn Bue has agreed to become our interim CFO,” continued Harry Taylor. “Jenn’s knowledge and experience, combined with her invaluable leadership throughout the pandemic, will enable her to be a terrific leader as we continue to rebuild our airline and deliver on our growth strategy.”

About WestJet 
In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

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 promise. 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 westjet.com

The first production of SAF sustainable aviation fuel developed in Canada

MONTRÉAL, Sept. 14, 2021 /CNW/ – The SAF+ Consortium (“SAF +”) is proud to announce one of the first productions of sustainable aviation fuel PtL (Power to Liquids) in North America. This production took place in its pilot factory, located at the ParaChem industrial site, east of Montreal. SAF+ aims to bring to market, by 2025-2026, synthetic kerosene whose carbon footprint is reduced by 80% compared to fossil kerosene. The PtL sector consists of producing a synthetic liquid fuel by capturing and combining CO2 from industrial sources to green hydrogen produced in Quebec. 

“These first liters of e-fuel represent a historic moment and an important milestone for SAF+” declared Mr. Jean Paquin, President and CEO of the SAF+ Consortium, within the framework of the 27th Montreal Conference presented by the International Economic Forum of the Americas.

“As the airline industry aims to reduce its carbon footprint and reduce kerosene consumption, SAF + stands out as a pioneer in the field of sustainable aviation fuel in Canada. For us, e-fuel is the way to go in the aviation industry if we want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions substantially”, added Mr. Paquin. 

“The PtL path is one of the most promising for the decarbonization of sustainable fuels”, declared Alexandru Iordan, head of operations of the SAF+ Consortium, “by using green hydrogen, it accelerates the development of this important energy sector in the years to come”. 

A collective effort for an optimal energy transition  

“I would like to warmly thank all the members of our consortium, the governments of Quebec and Canada who contributed to making this important step a real success. With their support and knowing that the demand for SAF in the aviation industry will almost double every year for the next 30 years; such solutions will position Montreal as a hub for responsible aviation in Canada, thus contributing to an energy transition underway, while helping our governments to achieve their reduction targets in terms of climate change”, concluded Mr. Paquin. 

Quotes From Consortium Members

“Airbus is fully committed to the decarbonization of air transport and believes that Sustainable Aviation Fuels (“SAF”) have the potential to become a major driver in reducing CO2 emissions in commercial aviation – for existing fleets and future. The SAF is a ready-to-use solution for the airline industry today. Our planes are already capable of integrating a mixture of up to 50% of SAF and our goal is to achieve 100% compatibility by 2030, knowing that these SAFs can today reduce emissions by 80% of CO2 (over the life cycle) and be close in the future to 100% with e-fuels produced with green hydrogen and carbon capture”, said Steven Le Moing, head of the New Energies program at Airbus.

“This is why we are particularly proud to work with the SAF + Consortium because supporting SAF innovation and production around the world is at the heart of Airbus’ decarbonization strategy”.

“We are very happy to support this structuring initiative for Montreal since the beginning. The Consortium is now taking a first-rate milestone that will lead to a concrete sustainable aviation fuel solution, that we will be the first user of when it goes to market. We strongly believe in the future of SAF because, at present, it is one of the most promising ways to reduce our carbon emissions and we must accelerate its development. We are staying the course on our strong and lasting commitment to minimize our impact on climate change”, said Jean-François Lemay, President and CEO of Air Transat. 

“These first steps allow us to position Quebec as one of the leaders in a green and sustainable recovery. By capturing the CO2 that would have been released into the atmosphere to give it a second use, we confirm the ecosystem’s desire to be bold and creative to accelerate our transition to more sustainable aerospace industry. We are also helping to create a pool of innovative and unprecedented jobs for the next generation of workers”, said Suzanne Benoît, President and CEO of Aéro Montréal.

“ADM is committed to working actively with its partners to support initiatives that help to reduce the environmental impact of aviation activities and that promote Quebec know-how internationally. As a member of the consortium, our organization is proud to support this innovative CO2-based clean fuel technology. This first delivery lets us predict the start of a small and most positive revolution in the industry”, said Martin Massé, Vice-President, Sustainable Development at ADM Aéroports of Montréal.

“An aviation revolution, that is the essence of today’s announcement. By tackling polluting discharges from the sector, through the Valorisation Carbon Québec (PVCQ) project, Polytechnique Montréal’s chemical engineering research group has placed its expertise at the service of highly strategic innovation for climate action. We thank the Government of Quebec for the financial assistance granted to the PVCQ as part of the 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan. Support for research and development of technological solutions for capturing and recovering carbon dioxide is essential to open up new markets for the Quebec economy and help large emitters reduce their greenhouse gas emissions”, mentioned Louis Fradette, professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Polytechnique Montreal.

“SAF +’s technological approach offers a significant reduction in GHGs and will greatly contribute to the effort to decarbonize the economy. As an expert consulting engineering firm, BBA is determined to be part of the business plan for our planet. We are proud to participate once again by helping ingenious and passionate minds like SAF+ to implement their innovative technologies that will shape a more resilient world”, said Lyne Ricard, Business Line Director – Sustainable Fuels, oil and gas at BBA.

About SAF + CONSORTIUM   
SAF+ CONSORTIUM is a Quebec company specialized in the development of clean fuels produced using the capture of CO2 emissions from industrial sources. It brings together leading players spanning the entire aviation value chain to provide Canadians with a sustainable business solution for low-carbon flights. For more information, visit safplusconsortium.com 

Bombardier Proudly Introduces the New Challenger 3500 Aircraft, the Industry’s Best Super Mid-size Business Jet

  • New aircraft offers innovative technology features from cockpit to cabin that further define Challenger’s leadership status
  • Fully redesigned Challenger 3500 aircraft cabin introduces Bombardier’s revolutionary Nuage seat and has a lower cabin altitude
  • Newest member of the renowned Challenger family is designed through a sustainable lens in line with Bombardier’s environmental objectives
  • Entry-into-service is expected in the second half of 2022

MONTRÉAL, Sept. 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bombardier is proud to present the industry’s best super mid-size business jet, the new sustainably designed Challenger 3500 aircraft. The latest evolution of Bombardier’s hugely successful Challenger platform was introduced to the market today during an exclusive celebration in Montréal, Canada, and through a worldwide virtual launch.

The next-generation Challenger 3500 aircraft, the evolution of the Challenger 350 aircraft, introduces a redesigned interior with intelligent and sustainably minded cabin features crafted to combine comfort with function. Further elevating the passenger experience, Bombardier’s exclusive and patented Nuage seat is included in the aircraft’s standard configuration – the first time a seat of this calibre is available in the super mid-size segment. As part of an overall focus on passenger wellness, this new business jet will provide a reduced cabin altitude of 4,850 ft at 41,000 ft, representing a 31% improvement compared to its predecessor.

The Challenger 3500 aircraft also introduces several innovative technological features, such as the industry’s first voice-controlled cabin to manage lighting, temperature and entertainment systems, the first wireless chargers throughout the cabin and the only 24-inch, 4K display in its class. In the cockpit, Bombardier introduces a standard-equipped autothrottle system to the Challenger 3500 flight deck, which offers the most baseline features in its class. This new business jet is expected to enter service in the second half of 2022.

“We are thrilled to launch a business jet that features all the best-selling elements of the Challenger platform – impressive performance, consistent reliability, exceptional smooth ride – while elevating the cabin experience for our customers,” said Éric Martel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier. “Building on the success of the unrivalled Global 7500 business jet cabin, the Challenger 3500 aircraft prioritizes what our customers value most: a truly exceptional cabin experience.”

As Bombardier once again raises the bar for business jet excellence, the company continues to rely on a rich pool of talented suppliers around the world, including FACC operating in Austria and in Laval, Canada, which manufactures the cabinets and other key cabin components for the Challenger 3500 business jet such as the sidewalls, headliners, bulkheads and passenger service units.  

The latest Challenger aircraft was also designed through a sustainable lens. Following Bombardier’s recent groundwork on making the Global 7500 aircraft the first business jet ever to receive an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), the Challenger 3500 aircraft will be the first business jet in the super mid-size segment to have an EPD. In addition to this important declaration of the aircraft’s life cycle environmental footprint, other environmentally conscious initiatives include the option for customers to choose from a selection of high-end sustainable materials for the cabin.

Another sustainable initiative is the introduction of the first eco app* solution in business aviation. The eco app is developed by SITA, a leading specialist in air transport communications and information technology, using its existing eWAS Pilot with OptiFlight® solution. The innovative tool is designed to specifically optimize flight plans and reduce fuel burn, further decreasing the aircraft’s environmental footprint.

In line with Bombardier’s environmental objectives, the Challenger 3500 flight test program is using an innovative sustainability approach designed by World Fuel Services. The solution removes some of the carbon emissions from the fuel of the test flights by using book-and-claim Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) purchases and then attains carbon neutrality by retiring offsets to balance the remaining carbon emissions from the jet fuel.

The new Challenger 3500 business jet is the latest example of Bombardier’s innovative spirit and approach to continuous improvement. Like its predecessor, the Challenger 3500 business jet is expected to have a strong market presence worldwide and will be a significant economic driver in North America.

About Bombardier
Bombardier is a global leader in aviation, creating innovative and game-changing planes. Our products and services provide world-class experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.

Headquartered in Montréal, Canada, Bombardier is present in more than 12 countries including its production/engineering sites and its customer support network. The Corporation supports a worldwide fleet of more than 4,900 aircraft in service with a wide variety of multinational corporations, charter and fractional ownership providers, governments and private individuals.

Bombardier, Challenger, Challenger 350, Challenger 3500, Global 7500 and Nuage are unregistered or registered trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.

*Subject to availability. Subscription fees may apply. eWAS Pilot with OptiFlight® is a solution from SITA.

Sunwing announces its return to Cuba – a perennial favourite among Canadians – with flights from gateways across the country

TORONTO, Sept. 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Amid easing entry requirements and soaring vaccination rates in Cuba, along with competitive pricing for pre-departure PCR tests at $30 USD per person, Sunwing is pleased to announce that it will be offering weekly flights to the Canadian favourite destinations of Varadero and Cayo Coco. Flight service will be available from several gateways across Canada starting in October and November, including Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton. As winter progresses, more Canadian departure gateways and popular Cuban destinations are expected to be added to reflect evolving consumer demand.

“We’re thrilled to be helping our customers head back to the sunny shores of Cuba this fall under our wing,” commented Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations at Sunwing. “Cuba has been an integral part of our operations ever since our inaugural flight took off from Toronto to Varadero in 2005. Our Cuba program has continued to grow since then, and has been one of our most popular destinations over the past decade. The resort towns of Varadero and Cayo Coco both offer serene beach locations and secluded tourist areas for a relaxing retreat, away from the hustle and bustle of larger cities.”

The flight schedule will be as follows:

  • Between Toronto and Varadero, Fridays starting October 8, 2021
  • Between Toronto and Cayo Coco, Saturdays starting October 9, 2021
  • Between Montreal and Varadero, Fridays starting October 8, 2021
  • Between Montreal and Cayo Coco, Saturdays starting October 16, 2021
  • Between Calgary and Varadero, Tuesdays starting November 2, 2021
  • Between Edmonton and Varadero, Tuesdays starting November 2, 2021

With its pristine beaches, warm weather and a wide variety of resorts for every travel style, it’s no wonder that Canadian sun-seekers return to Cuba year after year. Grand Memories Varadero is a popular choice with fun-filled activities and a sprawling beach that’s perfect for soaking up the sun and building sandcastles. Vacationers headed to Cayo Coco may choose to stay at Iberostar Selection Playa Pilar, with oceanfront suites and the area’s only water playground; or Memories Flamenco Beach Resort, offering a range of water sports like snorkelling and catamaran rides.

Plus, all vacation packages booked by October 15, 2021 for departures between now and October 31, 2021 will include complimentary COVID-19 coverage at no additional charge.

About Sunwing
The largest integrated travel company in North America, Sunwing has more flights to the south than any other leisure carrier with convenient direct service from airports across Canada to popular sun destinations across the U.S.A., Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. This scale enables Sunwing to offer customers exclusive deals at top-rated resorts in the most popular vacation destinations as well as cruise packages and seasonal domestic flight service. Sunwing customers benefit from the assistance of the company’s own knowledgeable destination representatives, who greet them upon arrival and support them throughout their vacation journey. The company supports the communities where it operates through the Sunwing Foundation, a charitable initiative focused on the support and development of youth and humanitarian aid.

Air Canada crew held in Hong Kong after ‘positive’ COVID test

From the Toronto Sun – Link to source story – Thanks MB

The four-person cargo plane crew were detained Sept. 9 after a pilot allegedly tested positive for COVID-19

By Bryan Passifiume  •  Sep 13, 2021

An Air Canada 787 passenger plane takes off at Pearson International Airport on Jan. 24, 2021.
An Air Canada 787 passenger plane takes off at Pearson International Airport on Jan. 24, 2021. PHOTO BY JACK BOLAND /Postmedia Network

Air Canada is working with the Canadian government to secure the release of members of a  flight crew detained last week in Hong Kong.

An internal memo obtained by the Sun, dated Sept. 10, said the four-person flight crew of an Air Canada cargo flight was detained by Chinese authorities last Thursday after one of the pilots allegedly tested positive for COVID-19 — despite testing negative before leaving Canada.

“Rest assured, Air Canada is working with all stakeholders, including the Canadian government, to facilitate an expeditious return of this crew to Canada,” said the memo, which was obtained by the Toronto Sun.

Sources said Chinese authorities are holding the crew in a government facility, and that officials from Canada’s Consulate General in Hong Kong are now involved in securing their release.

Global Affairs Canada confirmed they’re aware of the situation.

“Consular officials are in contact with local authorities and are providing consular assistance to the affected individuals,” a GAC spokesperson told the Sun.

“Consular officials will continue to monitor their health and well-being closely.”

An Air Canada spokesperson said pilot’s viral load was low, and was asymptomatic during the flight.

“The pilot was fully vaccinated and had received a negative PCR test result prior to leaving Canada,” the spokesperson said, adding the three other pilots subsequently tested negative.

“Because of the new government-imposed restrictions in Hong Kong, all four crew members need to quarantine.

Those restrictions also prompted Air Canada to, effective Monday, end all direct service to Hong Kong with future flights routed with a crew stopover in Seoul.

Regulations in Hong Kong mandate a minimum quarantine for 21 days.

A spokesperson for the Air Canada Pilots Association declined to comment.

Safran Gets Wheels, Brakes Order From Canada’s Flair Airlines

From MarketWatch.com – Link to source story – Thanks CW

By Olivia Bugault | September 13, 2021

Safran SA said Monday that it will supply wheels, brakes and carbon heat sinks to Canadian low-cost airline Flair Airlines to equip its fleet of Boeing Co. 737NG and 737MAX aircraft.

Safran Landing Systems, a subsidiary of the French aerospace-and-defense company, will produce the aircraft equipment at its plant in Walton, Ky., and will also partner with Canada’s Hope Aero Propeller & Components to provide logistics and maintenance services for the wheels and carbon brakes, the company said.

Safran didn’t specify the financial details of the deal.