The Royal Air Forces’ acrobatic team headed to Vancouver next
Evan Taylor, September 27, 2019 – Abbotsford News
The Red Arrows, the Royal Air Forces’ acrobatic team, arrived in Victoria right on schedule Thursday. Their display saw them fly by the British Columbia Parliament Building.
The display could be seen from quite far away, so it’s difficult to put an exact figure on how many watched the Red Arrows but hundreds crowded the Inner Harbour during the event.
The flyby was brief, the whole thing only lasted a few seconds. The Red Arrows did treat the spectators to a bit of showmanship, by deploying red, white and blue smoke.
After their routine, they flew off to Vancouver, their final stop in Canada on their North American tour. There the pilots visited children at the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. They will also be speaking with local students to promote careers and education in the fields of aviation and aeronautic engineering.
The tour has included stops in three other Canadian cities starting in Halifax, then stopping in Ottawa and Toronto.
TORONTO, Sept. 27, 2019 /CNW/ – Canadians looking for a tropical escape that’s easily accessible from their local airport have even more options to choose from this coming winter thanks to a new agreement between leading tour operator, Sunwing, and ultra-low-cost airline, Swoop.
Sunseekers departing from Hamilton, London, Abbotsford, Edmonton and Winnipeg can now book vacation packages with the tour operator that include a Swoop flight.
Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations for Sunwing, commented on the news, “Saving our customers time and money by providing convenient, direct flight services from their local airport has always been a key priority for us. Sunwing Airlines already offers flights to over 45 of the most popular sun destinations from over 30 departure airports coast to coast. With this new agreement, even more Canadians will be able to experience our top-rated resorts (including leading chains such as Royalton Luxury Resorts, RIU Hotels & Resorts, Planet Hollywood Hotels & Resorts) as part of a valued-added vacation package departing from their local airport.”
All Sunwing vacation packages with Swoop flights include one complimentary item of checked luggage, round-trip airport to hotel transfers, assistance from Sunwing Experiences representatives throughout, the option to benefit from savings by pre-purchasing Sunwing Experiences excursions at the time of booking and more.
“It’s a privilege to be entrusted with carrying Sunwing travellers onboard Swoop flights to our extensive network in Mexico,” said Steven Greenway, President, Swoop. “Partnering with a well-respected tour operator who shares our vision of making travel affordable and more accessible is a welcome opportunity for Canadians who want to travel more.”
Sunwing customers that take advantage of Swoop’s extensive network of flight services can now benefit from even greater access to some of Mexico’s most popular vacation destinations. A new departure airport now available as part of this agreement is Abbotsford, where travellers can take advantage of twice-weekly flights to Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. The popular vacation destination of Cancun is now within easy reach for Sunwing customers in London if they choose to take advantage of the twice-weekly Swoop flight service as part of their vacation package. Vacationers departing from Hamilton can now select from both Sunwing’s and Swoop’s regular flight services to Cancun – giving them the choice of four different departure days each week (including both Saturday and Sunday). Vacationers from Edmonton will enjoy additional weekend departure options to reach Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. Finally, the addition of Swoop flight services from Winnipeg to Los Cabos has tripled the choice of departure days for customers travelling from the region, with new flights options departing Sundays and Wednesdays.
For more information on Sunwing packages or to book, visit www.sunwing.ca or contact your travel agent.
Canadian’s have always gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to cheap air fare, but that finally might be changing!
Swoop Airlines is a new discount airline that has launched in selected (smaller) airports throughout Canada, and they are offering some sweet ticket prices.
Living in Kelowna, I don’t have a lot of choices when it comes to direct flights. I’ll be honest, YLW airport sucks in its offering of non-stop destinations. When I first moved to Kelowna we at least had a direct to San Francisco and Los Angeles, but they slowly fizzled out and left us with just a few direct options.
However, Swoop Airlines just moved in and they are offering a few direct flights that caught my eye! Winnipeg for $79 and Las Vegas for $99. Those are some INCREDIBLY low prices for direct flights out of Kelowna.
My brother Cody lives in Winnipeg, but I can’t say I’m regularly tempted to fly over to visit him. (Sorry bro!) A one-way flight on WestJet or Air Canada is usually $250-$450 and all flights have at least one stop-over. The moment I saw I could get to Winnipeg for $79, I booked the flight instantly! $450 is a hard sell for me, but $79 I can do!
Now here is where people get concerned with a low-cost airline. They start to worry about the maintenance of the planes, how uncomfortable it might be in-flight, or how many extra fees will get tacked on for bags, water, or even breathing.
I’ve got you covered.Here is everything I experienced during my recent flight on Swoop from Kelowna to Winnipeg on September 18th 2019.
Swoop Airlines Review
Is Swoop’s website easy to use?
The site is super easy to use and very straight forward. It looks like any other major airline website and wasn’t sneaky or hard to understand in anyway.
They allow you to choose a seat (paid) add carry-on or checked baggage (paid) or you can hold off to do that at check-in or at the airport. Just know, if you buy baggage or seats DURING your initial booking, it will be cheaper. But more on that later.
Does Swoop have hidden fees in the fare pricing?
The price advertised was $79 and that’s what it was at the end of the day. The airfare was actually only $48, then after taxes and fees, came out to a total of $79. Great! No surprises there! I was half expecting it to double in price by the time I had just run through taxes, fees, and weird hidden surcharges – but thankfully that never happened.
Can you bring ANY type of luggage on Swoop for Free?
YES! They allow a free ‘personal item’ on board.
They classify this as something that can fit under the seat in front of you, like a small backpack, purse, laptop bag, or briefcase.
If you can pack a super smart bag, you could likely get away with just using this personal item allowance for a short trip.
Here are the official dimensions they allow for your personal item: 16” x 6” x 13” (41cm x 15cm x 33cm)
How much is CARRY-ON BAGGAGE with Swoop?
Now here is where you can start to rack up a bill with Swoop, but truth be told, it’s STILL cheaper than flying with Canada’s other two carriers, even if you buy all the add-ons.
Carry-on baggage starts at $35.
I was visiting my brother in Winnipeg on my way down south for the winter. Since I had to carry everything I needed for 6 months with me on this trip, I had no choice but to purchase BOTH the carry-on bag and the checked bag through Swoop. If I was just flying there for a weekend to see him, I could make it work with just the free personal item.
My carry-on bag from Kelowna to Winnipeg was $35 CAD.
Carry-on Baggage weight and size restrictions:
If you are considering buying a carry-on bag for a Swoop flight, know that it MUST fit within these dimensions: 21” x 9” x 15” (52cm x 23cm x 38cm).
But here is a fun tip – Swoop does NOT limit how much your carry-on bag can weigh.
Fees for carry-on bags on Swoop:
The cost for carry-on baggage will vary depending on two things:
If your flight is within Canada, or going to the states
If you purchase it at booking, or later on at check in or at the airport
You can buy a carry-on bag for as low as $35 as long as you do it at the time of booking.
Each moment that your flight draws closer it goes up in price. If 30 seconds after you book your flight you decide you want to buy a carry-on bag, it’s now $40. When you go to check-in for your flight 24 hours before departure, it’s now $45. If you wait until you reach the check-in counter at the airport, it’s now gone up to $50. The worst price is definitely if you wait until last minute until the gate, about to board your flight – here they will charge you a whopping $70 for your carry-on bag.
How much is CHECKED BAGGAGE with Swoop?
Checked baggage is around the same cost as carry-on baggage. It starts at $35.
Checked Baggage weight and size restrictions:
Your checked baggage with Swoop can weigh 50lbs MAX
Maximum dimensions: 157 cm (62 in.) total combined dimension (length + width + height)
You obviously get a bigger dimension allowance, but be warned, they are STRICT about their 50lb maximum weight policy.
As I was in line at the check-in counter I saw them make a girl who was only 2lbs over take items out of her luggage.
I was sweating with nerves because I knew my checked bag was shoved full of stuff for the next 6 months of travel. I don’t have a scale at home, so I crossed my fingers and prayed I would be okay.
When I put my bag up on the scale at the counter it weighed 55.3lbs. DANG!
She gave me two options: I could either find 5.3 lbs of stuff to take out of my checked bag OR I could pay the $106 overweight fee. There was NO way I was paying $106 for 5lbs, so I dug out 2 sweaters and my leather jacket and put them on over my t-shirt. Yep, I felt like Chandler from friends. I was still 1.5 lbs overweight, so I had to take out some items and shove them into my already brimming carry-on.
I put my checked luggage back on the scale and low and behold it came in at EXACTLY 50.0lbs. Success! The check-in attendant told me it’s better to buy a 2nd checked bag for $50 at time of booking instead of the $106 over-weight charge for next time.
Fees for Checked Bags on Swoop:
The cost for checked baggage will vary depending on two things:
If your flight is within Canada, or going to the states (states is $5 more)
If you purchase it at booking, or later on at check in or at the airport
Just like the carry-on baggage, the checked baggage is also on a sliding tier scale. You will get the lowest price ($35) for your checked bag at time of booking, and it will go up to $70 by the time you reach the gate.
How does Seat Selection work on Swoop?
FREE: You will be automatically assigned a random seat upon check-in. This random selection is free, so if you are budget conscious, just roll the dice.
PAY: To pick ANY seat on the plane ahead of time, even the worst one, it will cost you. Prices for seat selection at time of booking range from $10-$50, and if you wait until check in you will pay anywhere from $20-$70. (approx $10 more per seat if you wait.)
Since my TOTAL bill for a direct flight to Winnipeg was only $150, even after buying both a checked bag and a carry-on bag, I decided to really go all out and buy a seat in the emergency row. Of course, I waited until check-in so I could give Swoop some extra money.
The emergency row seat cost me $40 at check-in, 24 hours before the flight.The best part of buying this seat was that no one else on my flight decided it was worth the extra $40. I had the entire row to myself, including the row across the aisle. Most of the regular seats on the flight were full, which made it extra luxurious to have the entire area to myself.
Here is the pricing tier for seat selections on Swoop:
Are the seats really crowded on Swoop?
Swoop says their normal seats give 74-76 cm of leg room (that’s 29-30 inches).
If we compare that to other flights heading to Winnipeg, WestJet has one flight with 76 cm and one with 79 cm. Air Canada also ranges from 76 cm up to 81 cm depending on the type of aircraft.
So, if you’re on a Swoop flight with 76 cm in their ‘base’ seat, you might find the exact same leg room on certain WestJet and Air Canada flights also providing 76 cm. (Usually a Bombardier Dash-8).
If you fly a 737 or an a320 on WestJet or Air Canada, you’ll likely have 79 cm to 81cm, making them much roomier than Swoop.
Now, I did fly in the emergency row which gave me lots of extra room. Swoop’s website says their ‘extra-pitch’ seats give 86 cm to 96 cm of legroom(34-38 inches). While I didn’t whip out my measuring tape to see exactly what mine was, it felt extremely spacious.
By the way, seats have a USB plug and 110v plug, which makes any small seat a little more comfortable.
Does Swoop charge for water?
You bet! And I’m cool with that. I would rather score a ticket for $79 and have to pay for my own water than pay $450 for the same flight that offers free water or pop. In reality, we should all be bringing empty re-usable bottles through security and filling them up for free at the many water fountains.
Does Swoop serve food and drinks?
Yes they do, of course for a fee. The prices are pretty decent considering they are on a flight.
Soft Drinks $1.99
Alkaline Water $3.29
Chocolate Bars $2.99
Hummus and Lentil Crackers $4.49
Beef Jerky $4.49
Mr. Noodles $3.49
Instant Pho $5.49
Snack Plate $6.99
You are allowed to bring your own water, pop, coffee and food on-board to consume if you don’t want to by airplane food. Most food you can bring through security but remember all drinks will have to be purchased post-security.
Is there Wi-Fi on Swoop?
There is Wi-Fi on Swoop flights, for a fee.
They don’t have the prices listed on their website and some forums say it’s based on the type/length of flight. Rates should be around $6.49/1 hour and $8.99/3 hours.
My Personal Swoop Experience
Everything was really equal to flying with any other Canadian airline. Booking, checking in, etc was all pretty similar. If anything, the below observations are because I am looking at Swoop with a very critical “I’m going to write a review about you” eye.
Here are the small differences I noticed flying with Swoop:
• They are hardcore about the 50-pound maximum for checked baggage. Don’t expect to get any leniency with Swoop.
• Post security, at the gate, they seemed a little behind schedule and disoriented. They called for families and anyone needing additional time/assistance to come up first and then held them there for a good 15 minutes without processing any of them through. The plane was there, and it was empty, so I am not sure what caused the delay.
• The flight did depart slightly late, but just a few minutes
•I guess it was a different experience to be nickeled and dimed with each tiny detail of the trip, but I still enjoyed a much lower fare than I would have with the full-service competitors.
• Service levels were not as hands on because the flight attendants don’t come through offering free drinks and pretzels to everyone. You really only see them for the safety demo and if you elect to buy something.
• Were the seats less padded? I couldn’t help but notice my butt didn’t feel as cushioned, but that might be me imagining things. Also, I am kind of a high maintenance flyer and I am usually doing everything I can to find a lay-flat business class seat, so I might just be extremely spoiled and biased. Sorry I have no data to confirm my suspicions on this one.
Once on board I didn’t notice anything different about the actual flight itself. The plane looked and felt like every other 737 I’ve ever been on. Sometimes I think people suspect flying with a budget airline means flying on a lower end plane, but they are really all the same metal tube in the sky. We took off and landed without any events, which is always a blessing. Once we touched down in Winnipeg the plane went right to the gangway and we departed within a few minutes. Baggage came quickly. The entire experience went well!
Where does Swoop Airlines Fly
Swoop is able to keep their prices super low by only flying out of secondary and smaller airports in Canada. The fees and taxes are lower, which helps keep ticket prices down.
However, they still fly to some major airports and top destinations!
International Swoop Destinations:
Domestic Swoop Destinations:
My Rating of Swoop Airlines
I would give my experience with Swoop an 8/10.(taking into consideration it’s a budget economy flight!)
I really didn’t have any kind of a negative experience at all, but of course the main reason for such a high score really boils down to price. I love a good deal, and when I can pair that with cutting my flight down from a 1-stop to a direct flight, even better!
Now that Swoop has a $99 flight from Kelowna direct to Las Vegas, I think that is a great way to get down to the US for cheap, even if Vegas isn’t my final destination. I’m looking forward to trying that service and seeing what it’s like.
Would I recommend Swoop?
I actually did today! My friends are looking to come and visit me in Mazatlan this winter and they can fly DIRECT from Abbotsford to Mazatlan for next to nothing. On WestJet their total cost for 2 round-trip tickets was going to be $1900 and with Swoop it will only be $800. 50% off!
Passenger jet makes emergency landing in Abbotsford after hitting birds
737 aircraft hit flock of birds shortly after takeoff
Patrick Penner, 10 September 2019
A 737 aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing at Abbotsford International Airport Tuesday morning after hitting a flock of birds shortly after takeoff.
Flight number 312 departed from Abbotsford at 8:07 a.m. and was headed for Edmonton under Swoop airlines. It was carrying over 100 people.
People around the city reported hearing a loud boom in the skies and one witness said she saw flames coming out of one of the engines. One passenger reported a burning smell filling the cabin, which the pilot then reported was the result of the birds combusting.
“It’s not in my memory the last time an aircraft landed here due to an emergency tied to a bird-strike,” said the airport’s general manager, Parm Sidhu.
Police cordoned off the area as emergency crews headed to the scene prior to the plane landing.
It without further incident and passengers were escorted to the terminal to await another flight shortly after.
A plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Abbotsford International Airport after a bird strike Tuesday morning
The City of Abbotsford says all passengers are safely back at the YXX terminal after an emergency landing on Tuesday
Witnesses reported hearing loud ‘booms’ and seeing flames from at least one engine after a plane hit some birds near YXX
ABBOTSFORD (NEWS 1130) – There’s been a scare on a flight leaving Abbotsford International Airport.
“There was a bird strike at YXX,” Alex Mitchell with the City of Abbotsford confirmed on Tuesday. “The aircraft has, however, landed safely and passengers have been offloaded into the terminal safely.”
There was a birdstrike at YXX – the Aircraft has landed safely passengers have been offloaded into the terminal safely. Updates will be available in the coming hours.
Edmonton, Alberta, Sept. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Flair Airlines, Canada’s only truly independent low cost airline, is pleased to report an average passenger load factor of 92% for July & August 2019.
“We are delighted with the rapidly growing number of Canadians who have flocked to Flair this summer” said CEO Jim Scott. He continued ,“After only one year as an exclusively scheduled carrier we have established Flair as the place to go for low fares, great service and are already recognizing many return customers.”
During the summer, Edmonton-based Flair flew from Vancouver, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Halifax. Flair successfully initiated daily non-stop service between Toronto (YYZ) and Vancouver as well as between Toronto and Calgary.
Over the last few months, as part of it’s fleet renewal program, Flair has added three newer Boeing 737-800NG aircraft and is gradually phasing out it’s older B737-400’s. All three additions sport Flair’s distinctive new livery and logo.
By next summer Flair plans to be operating a single-type fleet of B737-800 NG‘s, which are more fuel efficient and also have longer range capabilities. Flair’s unified fleet will open up a number of exciting southern destinations offered at accessible rates.
While Flair’s year-to-date on-time performance has been one of the best in Canada, the younger aircraft should serve to make it even better.
The airline cancelled 30 flights during the first 10 days of July alone
CBC News · Posted: Aug 15, 2019
Yet another Swoop flight out of Hamilton has been cancelled, this time stranding a plane-full of people destined for British Columbia.
Flight 109 scheduled to take off at 6:50 p.m. on Wednesday and land in Abbotsford, B.C. at 8:39 p.m. was cancelled, according to the airline’s website. It does not provide an explanation of why.
News of this latest cancellation follows frustration and confusion sparked by a rash of 30 cancellations the airline made during the first 10 days in July that left some customers paying out-of-pocket to salvage travel plans.
Chris Squires says it meant a rocky start to vacation for him and his family, who were supposed to take their first trip back to B.C. in four years on Wednesday.
They live in Kingston, but booked a flight out of Hamilton way back in March.
Squires, along with his wife and two kids, was dropped off by friends at the John C. Munro International Airport. They had made it through customs when he says they received an email saying the flight had been cancelled due to a “mechanical” issue.
After months of planning and a three-hour drive from Kingston, Squires says notice of the cancellation came just two hours before their plane was supposed to take off, leaving little time to come up with a contingency plan.
“We’re going back because my mother-in-law had surgery,” he explained. “We chose Swoop because it seemed to be a great deal. We’re very disappointed.”
The airline did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Squires says he was initially told he and his family were being moved to another flight that wasn’t scheduled to take off for another three days.
Provided by Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB)/CNW
RICHMOND, BC, Aug. 14, 2019 /CNW/ – In the release of its investigation report (A18P0031) today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) found that pilot decision-making and winter weather conditions contributed to a 2018 accident in which a Beechcraft King Air B100, operated by Island Express Air Inc. (Island Express), collided with terrain shortly after take-off from Abbotsford Airport, British Columbia.
On 23 February 2018, the pilot, who was also the owner of Island Express at that time, and nine family members boarded the Beechcraft King Air for a trip to California. Seconds after takeoff, the aircraft experienced an aerodynamic stall resulting from ice contamination on the wings. In an attempt to make an immediate off-field emergency landing, the pilot applied forward pressure on the control column to land the aircraft. The aircraft collided with the terrain and slid to a stop north of the runway. The pilot and five passengers sustained serious injuries while the four remaining passengers received minor injuries. The aircraft was destroyed by the impact.
The investigation found that the decision to take-off came after 14 minutes of exposure to heavy snowfall, which resulted in conditions highly conducive to severe ground icing. The pilot’s decision making was affected by continuation bias, illustrated by his desire to complete the flight with his family and the attempt to take off despite exposure to severe ground icing conditions. The investigation also found that the pilot and one passenger sustained serious head injuries as a result of not wearing available shoulder harnesses.
In addition, the investigation highlights the severity of heavy snowfall conditions from a ground icing standpoint. If pilots rely only on the snowfall intensity reported in aviation routine weather reports or automated terminal information service broadcasts, they will not correctly determine de-icing and anti-icing holdover times (the estimated time that an application of de-icing/anti-icing fluid is effective in preventing frost, ice, or snow from adhering to treated surfaces), increasing the risk of aircraft accidents.
Immediately following the accident, Island Express voluntarily ceased operations, and Transport Canada suspended the company’s operating certificates pending a thorough recertification process. Island Express subsequently changed ownership, made personnel changes, modified procedures and training programs, set higher standards for pilot training, and introduced new operational equipment and processes to improve safety. Following review by Transport Canada, the operating certificate for Island Express was reinstated on 26 June 2018.
By Patrick Penner, The Abbotsford News, August 13, 2019
Early estimates show significant drop in attendence from last year
Despite challenging weather keeping some people at home, the Abbotsford International Airshow was still a success, say airshow organizers.
“Mother Nature threw us some interesting weather on Saturday and Sunday. So that kept our air boss and our announcers tap-dancing for the weekend,” said airshow spokesperson Jadene Mah. Nevertheless, she deemed the event “a great show.”
The rough estimates for attendance for the 57th annual airshow, which ran Friday to Sunday, was 60,000 over the weekend, a decrease from the 90,000 last year.
“People definitely checked the weather forecast before they came out to the show,” Mah said.
Due to unco-operative weather, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds were unable to perform Saturday, but they took to the skies on Sunday.
Mah said the performance scheduling made the road congestion more manageable this year.
“We were able to get in people in faster, certainly on the Friday night.”