WestJet revitalizes commitment to Kelowna with CEO visit to region

March 17, 2023 – News Release

WestJet Group Chief Executive Officer Alexis von Hoensbroech today joined Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas and Airport Director Sam Samaddar to meet with valued partners and leaders across Kelowna’s business, travel and tourism sectors. Those gathered discussed the importance of WestJet’s investments in the region and the airline’s renewed focus on Kelowna as the airline’s ambitious growth strategy takes flight.    “WestJet is a highly valued partner at Kelowna International Airport and for our entire City,” said Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas. ”I am excited to see this relationship continue to grow through additional air service to support development of our local community” 

This summer, through the resumption of service to popular domestic destinations and enhanced frequencies on existing routes, WestJet’s total seat capacity to Kelowna International Airport will increase by 28 per cent compared to 2022 and further strengthen the region’s visitor and business economies. Through today’s visit to the region, WestJet remains committed to continuing to work alongside key partners to further build upon its 27-year legacy of serving the community.    “WestJet has been part of the Kelowna community for 27 years,” said Samaddar. “WestJet’s commitment to Kelowna has allowed us to grow exponentially to become the 10th busiest Airport in the country.” 

“WestJet is incredibly proud of our longstanding history of investment in Kelowna which has spanned across our 27-years of serving Canadians,” said von Hoensbroech. “Ensuring that we take the time to connect with our airport and community partners is a vital aspect of our new strategy as we work to collectively ensure that Kelowna continues to benefit from affordable air travel and enhanced connectivity to popular destinations across WestJet’s growing network.”   

Details WestJet’s Summer Schedule from Kelowna:  

Kelowna – Calgary        8x daily      Daily  Kelowna – Edmonton      35x weekly      Daily   Kelowna – Regina      2x weekly      Sunday, Thursday  Kelowna – Saskatoon      2x weekly      Monday, Friday  Kelowna – Vancouver      7x daily      Daily  Kelowna – Victoria      1x daily       Daily  Kelowna – Winnipeg      3x weekly      Monday, Wednesday, Friday  

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Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Named One of World’s Best by Skytrax World Airport Awards

Toronto (March 16, 2023) — Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) has once again been ranked among the world’s best by the Skytrax World Airport Awards, a global benchmark of airport excellence voted on by nearly 14 million passengers worldwide. Ranking eighth in the World’s Best Airports (under five million passengers) category and ninth in the Best Regional Airports (North America) category – this represents the eighth year that Billy Bishop Airport has won a prestigious Skytrax award.

The 2023 Awards are based on millions of airport survey questionnaires completed by more than 100 different nationalities of air travellers, covering 550 airports worldwide. In the independent survey, passengers continued to rank Billy Bishop Airport highly across 39 key performance indicators, including fast check-in times, ease of access to the terminal, and the courtesy and efficiency of airport staff.

“What an incredible honour to be named one of the best airports in the world by Skytrax World Airport Awards,” said RJ Steenstra, President and Chief Executive Officer of PortsToronto, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. “To be recognized by Skytrax speaks volumes about our approach to customer service, our unbeatable convenience, and the passenger experience that makes YTZ truly unique. Further, this international ranking demonstrates how well Billy Bishop Airport serves its passengers and the value it brings to Toronto as a downtown airport, supporting trade and tourism, providing connectivity and unlocking opportunities that make our city world class.”

For more information on Skytrax World Airport Awards click here

About the Skytrax World Airport Awards
The World Airport Awards are the most prestigious accolades for the airport industry, voted by customers in the largest, annual global airport customer satisfaction survey. The survey and awards process is independent and free of any airport influence or interference in final results. The World Airport Awards are a global benchmark of airport excellence, and widely known as the Passengers Choice Awards.

About Billy Bishop Airport Toronto City Airport
Offering service to more than 20 cities in Canada and the U.S., with connection opportunities to more than 80 international destinations via our airlines’ networks, Billy Bishop Airport is an important international gateway and a key driver to Toronto’s economy which traditionally welcomes approximately 2.8 million passengers per year. Billy Bishop Airport is renowned for its unique travel experience, efficiency and customer service and has won a series of passenger-driven awards. With a focus on cleaner, greener and quieter operations, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has made significant upgrades in recent year to achieve its sustainability goals which are reported on an annual basis. Billy Bishop Airport is owned and operated by PortsToronto.

YVR and Unity accelerate digital transformation in aviation with YVR’s Digital Twin platform

March 16, 2023 · Richmond, B.C.

Today, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and Unity (NYSE: U), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to commercialize YVR’s Digital Twin powered by Unity, for the global aviation industry. This strategic collaboration aims to bring YVR’s Digital Twin model to the broader aviation market so other airports can advance their digital transformation.

YVR’s Digital Twin is the first major product out of YVR’s Innovation Hub which was launched in 2021 as a people-first technology to advance the airport’s vision to power the future through innovation and sustainable technology solutions. It’s a powerful tool that facilitates optimization, future planning, simulation, training, testing, and more by aggregating and visualizing data across disparate sources. Through the integration of sensors, historical and real-time data into the platform, the Digital Twin strategically presents key information in 2D and 3D, enabling data-driven decision-making and collaboration which has never been available before.

From the beginning, YVR’s Digital Twin has been centered around our people – employees, passengers and the community,” said Lynette DuJohn, VP of Innovation and CIO at Vancouver Airport Authority. “In bringing our Digital Twin to the global aviation market, we look forward to working with other airports, and industry partners, to positively transform the way they serve their passengers through the possibilities this exciting technology offers.”

This big step wouldn’t be possible without the support of the airport’s partner Unity – the world’s leading platform for creating and growing interactive, real-time 3D (RT3D) content and its professional service group, Accelerate Solutions.

“I am very excited about Unity and YVR’s joint go-to-market plan for an airport Digital Twin platform,” said Ryan Peterson, VP, Accelerate Solutions, at Unity. “The last three years have seen a tremendous amount of collaboration, boldness and vision from both organizations, and I believe this Digital Twin platform can provide incredible value to airports around the world. Accelerating aviation’s digital transformation will have a massive, positive impact on our society, with the goal of driving efficiencies in the transport of people and goods.”

Since 2021, the YVR Digital Twin platform has addressed various operational challenges amid changing aviation and travel realities. During the 2022 peak summer travel season, YVR’s Guest Experience Team used the Digital Twin to relieve passenger congestion at security checkpoints. To support YVR’s decarbonization goals and help the aviation industry reach net zero emissions by 2030, YVR is working in collaboration with carrier partners to build a greenhouse gas calculation model that monitors, maps out and analyzes more efficient aircraft movements with the aim to reduce airside emissions.

As part of its reconciliation efforts, YVR will provide access to training opportunities to Musqueam students through a Unity certification program designed to advance future career placements within the digital twin and gaming industries. YVR and Musqueam are located in the same community on land that is Musqueam traditional territory. YVR is also exploring the possibilities in digitizing the airport’s extensive Indigenous art collection, so as to share Indigenous culture, art and language with the world. 

YVR has a long history of designing industry-leading travel technology to transform the passenger experience, deliver operational efficiencies and bring these solutions to airports globally, most recently with its BORDERXPRESS kiosks. In the coming months, YVR will be working closely with airports and sector partners to advance digital twin technology and make it available to partners in Canada and around the world.


Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is a diverse global hub that connects people, cargo, data, and ideas and serves as a platform for our community to come together and thrive. We are motivated by supporting regional economic development and making a positive difference in the lives of British Columbians. We do this with a focus on serving our passengers, partners, workers, and community through digital modernization, climate leadership, reconciliation, and financial sustainability.

Skytrax 2023 World Airport Awards: YUL Employees Recognized as Best in North America

MONTRÉAL, March 16, 2023 /CNW/ – Once again, ADM Aéroports de Montréal is proud to announce that YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport has been recognized at the 2023 Skytrax World Airport Awards. The airport’s employees won first place in the Best Airport Staff Service category in North America.

“With a strong recovery in aviation activity in 2022 creating many challenges for our industry, I am very proud that the excellent work of our airport community employees has been recognized. YUL has distinguished itself for many years by the way it welcomes people and for its commitment to championing the passenger experience. To the 13,000 people who are dedicated to serving passengers every day and who, above all, have continued to smile during the most difficult times over the past year, I say thank you and, above all, bravo!” said Philippe Rainville, President and CEO of ADM.

YUL was also recognized in this category in 2019 after a change had been initiated over the years to provide passengers with a more memorable and pleasant experience as soon as they arrive at the airport.

Montréal-Trudeau came in fifth in the overall Best Airports in North America category, after holding the 10th position for many years. Only one other Canadian airport is present in this category. In the Top 100 International Airports ranking, YUL was ranked 45th, up 21 places from last year, as voted by travellers around the world.

The Skytrax World Airport Awards are regarded as the benchmark for quality in the global airport industry. The awards are based on a customer service and facilities evaluation process involving more than 550 airports and millions of travellers worldwide. The survey period ran from August 2022 to February 2023.

About Aéroports de Montréal

ADM Aéroports de Montréal is the airport authority for the Greater Montréal area responsible for the management, operation and development of YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, certified 4-stars under the Skytrax World Airport Star Rating program, and YMX International Aerocity of Mirabel.

Ottawa Airport Statement Regarding Menzies Ground-Handling Services

Release date:  Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The Ottawa International Airport Authority (OIAA) has in recent weeks observed a degradation of service levels associated with ground-handling activities for Sunwing and Flair airlines.

Both airlines contract Menzies, a third-party ground handling firm, for their aircraft marshalling and baggage handling activities. Following written warnings to Menzies, the issues reached untenable levels in the past week, leading the OIAA to provide Menzies with a 30-day notice of termination of its operating license at the airport on Monday, March 13.

The service levels passengers from both airlines have had to endure do not meet the customer experience threshold the OIAA is committed to facilitate. We will continue to work with the airlines to ensure that their passengers enjoy smooth, efficient travel when flying to and from the Ottawa International Airport.