WestJet brings back the heat this Winter

Airline to return 17 sun and leisure routes suspended during pandemic to destinations across the Caribbean, Mexico and U.S.

CALGARY, AB, Aug. 8, 2022 /CNW/ – WestJet today celebrated the return of 17 sun routes to its network this winter. The returning routes which were suspended for more than two years, bring enhanced connectivity and vacation options for Canadians and communities across the airline’s network.

“The restart of these routes is another positive step in the restoration our network as we solidify WestJet as the reliable, friendly and affordable airline we are known to be,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer. “We recognize the past three winters have been disruptive to our guests travel plans and we look forward to reconnecting Canadians to some of the warmer destinations they have missed the most.”

The airline today also announced new six-times weekly regional service between Penticton, B.C., and Vancouver beginning on February 17, 2023 on WestJet Link along with the restart of domestic connectivity between Edmonton and Nanaimo, B.C.

Highlights from WestJet’s winter schedule release:

Sun and Leisure, Transborder and Transatlantic:

  • Restart of 17 sun and leisure routes suspended since 2019
  • 45 per cent increase to sun and leisure flights from winter 2021
  • 60 per cent increase in transborder flights from winter 2021
  • 25 per cent increase in transatlantic flights from winter 2021

WestJet’s investments in sun, transborder and leisure flying are growing across the country with:

  • A 50% increase in flights from Central/Eastern Canada from winter 2021
  • A 55% increase in flights from Western Canada from winter 2021

Network-wide:

  • 65 per cent increase in flights to/from Winnipeg (YWG) from winter 2021
  • 50 per cent increase in flights to/from Edmonton (YEG) from winter 2021
  • 35 per cent increase in flights to/from Vancouver (YVR) from winter 2021
  • 30 per cent increase in flights to/from Calgary (YYC) from winter 2021
  • 10 per cent increase in flights to/from Toronto (YYZ) from winter 2021

Domestic:

  • New domestic connection between Vancouver and Penticton, B.C., on WestJet Link
  • Restart of Edmonton-Nanaimo route suspended since 2019
  • 25 per cent overall increase in flights network-wide domestically from winter 2021

Transborder Restarts:

RouteRestart DatePeak FrequencyOperated By
Kelowna – PhoenixNovember 16, 20221x WeeklyWestJet
Saskatoon – Las VegasNovember 10, 20222x WeeklyWestJet
Saskatoon – Orlando*December 16, 20221x WeeklyWestJet
Regina – Las VegasNovember 10, 20222x WeeklyWestJet
Regina – OrlandoDecember 16, 20221x WeeklyWestJet
Vancouver – OrlandoNovember 12, 20221x WeeklyWestJet
Winnipeg – PhoenixOctober 31, 20222x WeeklyWestJet
St. John’s – Tampa BayMarch 19, 20231x WeeklyWestJet
*Operated on very limited basis in 2021

Carribean, Mexico, Central American Restarts:

RouteRestart DatePeak FrequencyOperated By
Calgary – Belize CityNovember 18, 20221x WeeklyWestJet
Calgary – NassauNovember 26, 20221x weeklyWestJet
Calgary – VaraderoNovember 5, 20221x WeeklyWestJet
Comox – Puerto VallartaNovember 5, 20221x WeeklyWestJet
Ottawa – Montego BayNovember 12, 20222x WeeklyWestJet
Regina – Cancun*November 13, 20222x WeeklyWestJet
Toronto – Cayo CocoNovember 5, 20221x WeeklyWestJet
Toronto – SamanaDecember 17, 20221x WeeklyWestJet
Winnipeg – Montego BayDecember 17, 20221x WeeklyWestJet
*Operated on very limited basis in 2021

Domestic Routes:

RouteStart DateFrequencyOperated by
Vancouver – Penticton*February 17, 20236x WeeklyWestJet Link
Edmonton – NanaimoOctober 30, 20223x WeeklyWestJet Encore
*new route

About WestJet  

In 26 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 hygiene program. 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.  

Air Canada’s Summer 2022 Schedule Adjustments

2 July 2022 – Air Canada 🔗

This week, Air Canada announced changes to its summer schedule to support unprecedented and unforeseen strains on our organization. International flights are unaffected, with a few timing changes to reduce flying at peak times. Flights adjusted are to and from our Toronto and Montreal hubs. These will be mostly frequency reductions, affecting primarily evening and late-night flights by smaller aircraft, on transborder and domestic routes. Four routes will be temporarily suspended.

Temporary Route Suspensions:

Montreal – Kelowna
Montreal – Baltimore
Montreal – Pittsburgh
Toronto – Fort McMurray

Frequency Reductions

Toronto – Deer Lake: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 1 flight daily
Toronto – Saint John: reduce 2 frequencies, now operating 1 flight daily
Toronto – Charlottetown: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Toronto – Quebec City: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 4 flights daily
Toronto – North Bay: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 1 flight daily
Toronto – Timmins: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Toronto – Sudbury: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Toronto – London, ON: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 4 flights daily
Toronto – Windsor: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Toronto – Winnipeg: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 5 flights daily
Toronto – Edmonton: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 7 flights daily
Toronto – Calgary: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 11 flights daily
Toronto – Vancouver: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 14 flights daily
Toronto – Boston: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 6 flights daily
Toronto – LaGuardia: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 9 flights daily
Toronto – Newark: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 6 flights daily
Toronto – Baltimore: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Toronto – Philadelphia: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Toronto – Washington (DCA): reduce 1 frequency in August, will operate 2 flights daily (3 flights remain for July)
Toronto – Miami: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 1 flight daily
Toronto – San Francisco: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Montreal – Moncton: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Montreal – Fredericton: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Montreal – Saint John: reduce 1 frequency, now operating total 1flights
Montreal – Halifax: reduce 1 frequency in August, will operate total 3 flights daily (4 flights remain through August 3)
Montreal – Ottawa: reduce 2 frequencies, now operating 6 flights daily
Montreal – Quebec: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 4 flights daily
Montreal – Toronto (Island): no weekend operations and Friday reduced to 3 flights daily
Montreal – Edmonton: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Montreal – Calgary: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 4 flights daily
Montreal – Boston: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Montreal – LaGuardia: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 4 flights daily
Montreal – Newark: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Montreal – Fort Lauderdale: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Ottawa – Toronto (Island): no weekend operations

Route Retimes:

Montreal – Los Angeles
Montreal – Las Vegas
Montreal – Punta Cana
Montreal – Fort Lauderdale
Montreal – Winnipeg
Montreal – Edmonton
Toronto – Manchester
Toronto – Edinburgh
Toronto – Copenhagen
Vancouver – Portland
Vancouver – Regina
Vancouver – Cranbrook

KF Centre for Excellence welcomes the arrival of historic wooden Mosquito warplane

The restored WW2 bomber flew from Vancouver (YVR) to Kelowna (YLW) to join the KF Centre for Excellence aircraft collection launching this August.

The restored WW2 bomber flew from Vancouver (YVR) to Kelowna (YLW) to join the KF Centre for Excellence aircraft collection launching this August.
June 30, 2022—Kelowna—KF Aerospace is excited to welcome a wartime legend to the Okanagan Valley. The historic de Havilland 98 Mosquito (VR796), featuring a unique wooden airframe, was flown by pilot Mike Spalding to Kelowna on Thursday, June 30th.

Arriving from Vancouver International Airport, the Mosquito settled into its new home as part of the KF Centre for Excellence aviation museum and conference centre, opening in late August. It is one of 30 Mosquitos remaining worldwide, and one of two currently airworthy.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to give this incredibly legendary aircraft a home in the Okanagan Valley at the KF Centre for Excellence,” says Executive Director, Paula Quinn. “The fascinating story of this aircraft is something that will be shared and appreciated by visitors and community members of all ages.”

Introduced by the RAF in 1941, the Mosquito, affectionately known as ‘Mossie’ was used extensively as an Allied night-fighter against the German Luftwaffe and quickly became one of the fastest operational aircraft in the world, clocking speeds over 640km per hour.

The Mosquito’s original wooden frame is made from BC Sitka Spruce, carefully preserved thanks to a five-year restoration project completed by Victoria Air Maintenance. It was also one of many Mosquitos operated by Spartan Air Services in the 1950’s and 60’s to conduct high altitude aerial cartography missions all over Canada.

“It tells an absolutely amazing Canadian story,” says Quinn. “The aircraft flew around the country for years, mapping out the northernmost reaches of the landscape in a way that was never before possible.”

The Mosquito will be featured as part of an historic aircraft collection at the KF Centre for Excellence, which will include a Hawker Tempest MK2, the Odyssey DC-3 and a Convair CV580 among others.

About the KF Centre for Excellence

The KF Centre for Excellence is a legacy project of KF Aerospace Founder and Owner, Barry Lapointe. Shaped in the form of an aircraft, the state of the art 60,000 sq. ft. mass timber building includes two dedicated hangar wings featuring an historic aircraft collection while the building’s fuselage houses an interactive exhibition that tells the story of aviation in the Okanagan Valley. The building’s second floor features an airfield viewing gallery and conference facilities for businesses and events in the region. Welcoming visitors, residents, schools and businesses, the Centre will promote the advancement of aviation, in Kelowna and beyond.

To learn more visit www.kfcentre.ca

Pacific Coastal Airlines Resumes Flights Between Cranbrook and Kelowna

June 7th, 2022

Richmond, BC – Pacific Coastal Airlines will be resuming service between Cranbrook (YXC) and Kelowna (YLW) effective September 12, 2022

“Pacific Coastal Airlines is excited to resume service between Cranbrook and Kelowna. We have received significant customer feedback requesting the return of this 55-minute non-stop flight.” Johnathan Richardson – VP, Customer & Commercial Services | Pacific Coastal Airlines

“I’m once again delighted to see Pacific Coastal Airlines commitment in the east Kootenay air travel market. In 2013, Pacific Coastal Airlines connected the East Kootenay and the Okanagan with direct non-stop air service to Kelowna, essential for health services, tourism and business development. Today’s announcement to resume this service is cause for great celebration.”  Tristen Chernove – CEO | Elevate Airports Inc.

 “We are so pleased to see this route with Pacific Coastal return between Kelowna and Cranbrook. It is important that we are able to once again provide these regional connections for BC residents.” Sam Samaddar – Airport Director | Kelowna Airport.

The non-stop flight service will operate three days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, using the 19-passenger pressurized turboprop Beech 1900. The aircraft offers comfortable seating, 6-foot cabin height, and generous cargo capacity.

Flight schedule:

RouteFrequencyFlight #DepartingArrivingEffective
Cranbrook to KelownaMonday, Wednesday, and Friday8P65510:50 a.m.10:45 a.m.12-SEP-2022
Kelowna to CranbrookMonday, Wednesday, and Friday8P65611:50 a.m.1:45 p.m.12-SEP-2022

Tickets are now available for purchase. To book a flight visit pacificcoastal.com, contact our Call Centre at 1-800-663-2872, or speak with your travel agent. Pacific Coastal Airlines is currently offering 10% off flights between Cranbrook and Kelowna with promo code YXCYLW10Visit our website for more information.

 About Pacific Coastal Airlines
Pacific Coastal Airlines is a privately-owned British Columbia based regional airline operating from Vancouver International Airport’s South Terminal (YVR) that currently flies to 18 airports in British Columbia. Connecting to additional destinations along the south coast of British Columbia through its affiliate airline Wilderness Seaplanes, located in Port Hardy on northern Vancouver Island. Pacific Coastal is also the operator of WestJet Link, providing service from its base in Calgary to Cranbrook, Lethbridge, Lloydminster, and Medicine Hat.

Swoop Expanding Service to Kelowna

The ultra-not-expensive airline introduces flights between Edmonton, AB and Kelowna, BC

KELOWNA, BC, May 5, 2022 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost airline, launched its new daily, non-stop, flights between Kelowna and Edmonton with inaugural flight WO213 taking off from Edmonton International Airport at 8:35 a.m. MT and arriving at Kelowna International Airport at 10:45 a.m. local time. 

“We’re pleased to be adding new flights between Edmonton and Kelowna, providing more ultra-low-cost connectivity for the Okanagan region,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial and Finance, Swoop. “With summer fast approaching, we’re seeing record demand for domestic travel, and we’re proud to meet that demand by introducing more convenient and affordable air travel options.”

Today’s inaugural flight marks nearly three years of Swoop bringing ultra-affordable air service to the region. Canada’s leading ULCC introduced service between Kelowna and Winnipeg in May 2019.  The ULCC will restart service between these two markets tomorrow, May 6, with its inaugural flight WO502 from Kelowna to Winnipeg. In addition to connecting Kelowna with both Edmonton and Winnipeg, Swoop will also continue serving Toronto with four flights per week. 

“We know how important affordable air travel is to the recovery of the tourism economy and are proud to mark this occasion,” continued van der Stege. “Swoop is thankful for the ongoing support the residents of Kelowna and the Okanagan region have demonstrated over the past three years.”

“YLW is excited to see this new route from Swoop providing daily service to/from Edmonton,” says Sam Samaddar, Kelowna Airport Director. “Swoop first came to YLW three years ago and we are happy to see them continue to expand their destinations, providing affordable options for Okanagan residents.”

With introductory fares from Kelowna to Edmonton starting at just $49 CAD, Swoop is showing Canadians just how affordable and easy experiencing the Okanagan region can be this summer.

RouteFrequencyTotal Price (CAD)     Base Fare(CAD)          Tax(CAD)     
Kelowna to Edmonton     Daily$49.00$10.59$38.41
Edmonton to Kelowna“”$49.00$0.59$48.41
Kelowna to Winnipeg3x weekly$79.00$39.16$39.84
Winnipeg to Kelowna“”$79.00$26.16$52.84
Kelowna to Toronto4x weekly$89.00$48.69$40.31
Toronto to Kelowna“”$89.00$37.69$51.31

 
For travel between September 1 – October 15, 2022 | Seasonal start and end dates apply and are indicated in the booking flow. | Fares are valid until May 19, 2022 (11:59 p.m. MT) or while seats last.   

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 ten Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft will grow to 16 with the addition of six Boeing MAX-8 in 2022. At FlySwoop.com travellers can quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight. 

Lynx Air Celebrates Launch of Flights to Kelowna

To kick off the celebration, Lynx is offering up to 50% off all Kelowna flights.

KELOWNA, BC, May 2, 2022 /CNW/ – Today, Kelowna International Airport (Kelowna Airport) welcomed Lynx Air (Lynx) CEO Merren McArthur for an official ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate Lynx’s launch of services to Kelowna.

Lynx is currently operating two flights a week from Kelowna to each of Calgary and Vancouver. As of June 29, Lynx will increase its service to Calgary to three flights per week, taking the airline’s total flights in and out of Kelowna to 10 flights and 1,890 seats per week. As part of Lynx’s commitment to making air travel affordable for all Canadians, the airline is offering fares as low as $39* to and from Kelowna.

Lynx took to the skies just over three weeks ago and has been rapidly expanding its network since.  Canadians can now book flights to 10 destinations coast to coast across Canada including Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Hamilton, Halifax, and St. John’s. The airline operates a fleet of brand-new, fuel-efficient Boeing 737 aircraft and plans to grow its fleet to more than 46 aircraft over the next five to seven years.

To commemorate Lynx’s growing presence in Kelowna, the airline has launched a limited-time seat sale and is offering up to 50 per cent off all base fares to and from Kelowna.  The sale will run from May 2 and will end on May 4 at 10:59 PST.  For full sale details, and to reserve discounted seats, please visit FlyLynx.com.

“We are proud to be the airline that links Canadians to wonderful destinations like Kelowna,” said Merren McArthur, CEO of Lynx.  “Whether you are traveling to catch up with friends and family, or to experience the natural beauty of the Okanagan region, Lynx will ensure a great flying experience for an affordable price.”

“We are so happy to be able to welcome Lynx Air to YLW and provide our passengers with more options when flying out of Kelowna,” says Sam Samaddar, Kelowna Airport Director. “I am pleased to see that Lynx is already expanding their service offerings to Calgary, which is one of our most popular routes.”

Lynx’s full flight schedule includes:

Round Trip MarketService StartsWeekly Frequencies
Calgary, AB to Vancouver, BCApril 7, 20227x
14x (from May 20)
Calgary, AB to Toronto, ONApril 11, 20224x
7x (from April 18)12 x (from June 28)
Vancouver, BC to Kelowna, BCApril 15, 20222x
Calgary, AB to Kelowna, BCApril 15, 20222x
3x (from June 29)
Calgary, AB to Winnipeg, MBApril 19, 20222x
4x (from May 5)
Vancouver, BC to Winnipeg, MBApril 19, 20222x
Vancouver, BC to Toronto, ONApril 28, 20227x
Toronto, ON to Winnipeg, MBMay 5, 20222x
Calgary, AB to Victoria, BCMay 12, 20222x
3x (from June 22)
Toronto, ON to St. John’s, NLJune 28, 20222x
7x (from July 29)
Calgary, AB to Hamilton, ONJune 29, 20222x
4x (from July 29)
Toronto, ON to Halifax, NSJune 30, 20223x
5x (from July 30)
Hamilton, ON to Halifax, NSJune 30, 20222x
Edmonton, AB to Toronto, ONJuly 28, 20227x
Please note that dates are subject to change. Visit the website for full schedule details.
* Available for a limited time; fares are accurate at time of release and include taxes and fees; fares vary by destination and date

 Tickets are on sale now at FlyLynx.com

About Lynx Air

Lynx Air (Lynx), is Canada’s leading ultra-affordable airline and is on a mission to make air travel accessible to all with ultra-affordable fares, a fleet of brand-new state-of-the-art Boeing 737 aircraft and a great flying experience. Lynx is a privately owned Canadian airline with the financial backing and industry expertise required to transform the Canadian aviation landscape. To learn more visit FlyLynx.com or connect with Lynx on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

Ultra-reliable and energy-efficient, Lynx Air’s fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft are serviced and operated by one of the most experienced teams in the business. The aircraft offer advanced aerodynamics and highly efficient engines, which result in significant fuel savings that cut the airline’s CO2 emissions by an estimated 14 per cent over even the most efficient single-aisle planes. These are vital improvements that decrease Lynx’s carbon footprint and help make it one of Canada’s greenest and most sustainable airlines. All Lynx aircraft meet the highest internationally certified safety standards and are certified by Transport Canada.

Turbulent times: How climate change could dampen future summer air travel

From Global News 🔗 link to source story and video

By Saba Aziz  Global News • April 9, 2022

Click to play video: 'Tips on booking flights as more people eager to travel'
WATCH: Tips on booking flights as more people eager to travel – Mar 20, 2022

As Canadians look ahead and book their summer trips this year, scorching temperatures amid potential heat waves could dampen travel plans.

The country experienced record-breaking temperatures in 2021. And raging wildfires in British Columbia and other parts of western Canada forced a number of flight cancellations.

Heat-related travel disruptions are nothing new, but climate change being blamed for more intense heat waves, the travel industry is in for a turbulent path ahead, experts say.

“Airports, airlines, and also passengers have to just understand that we need to plan for these sorts of events because they’re becoming more common and they can impact timely travel,” said Kent Moore, professor of physics at the University of Toronto, Mississauga.

According to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on Monday, without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, limiting global warming to 1.5°C (34.7F) is “beyond reach.”

It’s ‘now or never’ to thwart climate disaster, says new UN report

The airline industry will also feel the effects of the soaring temperatures as the planet warms up. Intense heat makes it difficult for planes to take off or land because the warm air gives less lift to the aircraft, Moore explained.

A record-breaking heat wave in southwestern United States last year forced some flights at Las Vegas’ airport to be cancelled. Meanwhile, back in 2017, temperatures nearing 120 degrees in Phoenix resulted in dozens of flight cancellations.

“When it’s hot, planes can’t carry as much fuel or as much people just because they’re heavier and they don’t have as much lift,” he told Global News.

This means planes have to either reduce the amount of fuel they can carry, which affects how far they can travel, or they have to limit the number of passengers, Moore added.

Airlines told Global News they have several provisions and mechanisms in place in the event of heat waves and other extreme weather events.

Aircraft manufacturers are already working to make planes lighter and more fuel-efficient, which is helpful during heat waves.

In 2015, Boeing created what it claimed to be the “lightest metal ever” – made up of 99.99 per cent air.

“Strength and record-breaking lightness make it a potential metal for future airplanes and vehicles,” the U.S. aerospace company says.

What Canada’s evolving COVID requirements means for spring and summer getaways.

The other issue is that hot conditions reduce the efficiency of ground operations, with staff suffering heat strokes and stress. Airports also have lots of asphalt which can really heat up, and that can be a “big problem,” said Moore.

When it comes to wildfires, visibility can be a challenge particularly for smaller, private planes because the smoke makes it difficult to see the runway.

A special class of thunderstorms, called pyrocumulonimbus clouds, which are quite dangerous to the aircraft, are also triggered by wildfires and then planes have to divert and fly around them. The intense heat of the wildfires causes the warm air to rise which can trigger the formation of a cloud that releases heat, Moore explained.

“The release of heat warms the air even more and this can trigger the thunderstorm,” he said.

A pyrocumulonimbus cloud is generated by the intense Orroral Valley bushfire burning to the south of Canberra. The rising heat from the intense bushfires can create massive, powerful clouds that produce their own weather. January 31, 2020 in Canberra, Australia.
A pyrocumulonimbus cloud is generated by the intense Orroral Valley bushfire burning to the south of Canberra. The rising heat from the intense bushfires can create massive, powerful clouds that produce their own weather. January 31, 2020 in Canberra, Australia. Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

Planning ahead

Airlines and airports in Canada say they are preparing ahead for another heat wave this summer.

In a statement to Global News, Air Canada said it has a “robust contingency planning process and mechanisms in place that allow us to respond quickly and effectively to any situation, with the safety of customers and employees always the foremost consideration.”

Canada’s second-largest carrier WestJet said it experienced several cancellations last summer due to the B.C. wildfires impacting operations across local regions.

“While rare, we do have several provisions in place to support our operations in instances of extreme weather, including heat waves to ensure the safety of our guests and employees,” said Denise Kenny, a spokesperson at the Calgary-based airline, in a statement to Global News.

In Kelowna, where wildfires forced mass evacuations of residents, airport operations at YLW were affected throughout the month of August due to airspace restrictions near active fires, as well as visibility issues from smoke.

Some 2021 Okanagan wildfire causes determined; other investigations ongoing – Mar 31, 2022

However, there were no direct impacts to airport operations from the heat wave, said Phillip Elchitz, senior manager of airport operations at the Kelowna International Airport.

“In preparation for the 2022 season, YLW continues to work with BC Wildfire Service, NavCanada and Transport Canada to mitigate potential issues and incorporate learning from previous years,” he told Global News in an email.

“There is always the potential of weather-related disruptions to air service.”

To ensure the safety of staff at Vancouver International Airport, a YVR spokesperson said team members limit the time they spend exposed to extreme heat and have access to electrolyte beverages throughout their shifts.

“As extreme weather in our region becomes a more frequent occurrence, we continue to look at the potential effects of climate change on our operations in an integrated manner,” the spokesperson told Global News.

After a two year hiatus from travelling for most people, Kelowna International Airport is getting busier as demand for air travel grows – Mar 18, 2022

Meanwhile, the Calgary Airport Authority (YYC) is also looking at ways to tackle extreme weather events.

“We conducted a climate change risk assessment that identified both wildfires and heat waves, as well as other climate change factors, as impactful to our operations,” said Carmelle Hunka, vice-president of People, Risk, and General Counsel at The Calgary Airport Authority.

Because heat waves are relatively easy to forecast, that helps with short-term planning by scheduling more people to work or reducing operations, said Moore.

“I think the bigger problem, of course, is that as we continue to warm the planet, heat waves are going to become more common,” he said. And that will require better planning.

“If airline operators and airports aren’t planning, they should begin to plan,” said Moore.

Government of Canada announces over $18.8 million in support for the air transportation ecosystem in British Columbia

Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI) funding will help maintain regional connectivity and jobs

KELOWNA, BC, Feb. 22, 2022 /CNW/ – In a country as large as Canada, air connectivity is critical to the prosperity of all Canadians. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted regional air transportation ecosystems, affecting economies, communities and businesses across the country.

The Government of Canada’s Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI), launched in March 2021, is fostering access to air transportation and supporting regional ecosystems.

BC's regional airports get an economic boost (CNW Group/Pacific Economic Development Canada)
BC’s regional airports get an economic boost (CNW Group/Pacific Economic Development Canada)

Regional air ecosystem to benefit from funding

Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, announced RATI funding of over $18.8 million in federal support for 11 airports and two air carriers in B.C.

Regional airports and carriers provide a vital service, providing commercial flight access, supporting critical supply chains and promoting economic growth. They connect patients to needed medical care and enable essential work travel. They provide important emergency services and cargo operations to supply businesses and frontline workers.

This funding will ensure airports and carriers can continue essential routine maintenance and facility operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will help maintain employment and restore growth in the region as we work to build back from the pandemic.

Regional air transportation is key to the economic development of communities and businesses across Canada. This investment shows the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting economic development across the country and fostering sustainable, inclusive growth for all.

Quote(s)

“Air transportation is essential to community well-being and regional economic development. Today’s announcement will not only enhance airport safety and support our essential services but will also create jobs that British Columbians can rely on and bolster regional growth as we recover from the effects of the pandemic.”

–       The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“It is essential that different levels of government partner to stimulate the economy as we recover from COVID-19. The Kelowna International Airport plays a critical role in supporting economic development in Kelowna and the region.”

–        Mayor Basran, City of Kelowna

“Thank you to the federal government for providing funding to these regional airports and airlines in B.C. This funding is critical to maintain and rebuild connectivity throughout Canada.”

–       Monette Pasher, Interim President, Canadian Airports Council 

“In my role as Airports Council International – North America Chair, I am working with my colleagues across North America as our industry recovers from COVID-19. Investments in aviation, such as the one being made by the federal government today, not only support the recovery of these airports and airlines, but also their surrounding communities.”

–       Sam Samaddar, Director, Kelowna International Airport

Projects being funded:

Legal NameCityFunding
Stikine Airport Society-Dease Lake AirportDease Lake$328,322
Regional District of Alberni-Clayoquot-Tofino / Long Beach AirportTofino$328,322
City of Abbotsford-Abbotsford International AirportAbbotsford$2,320,000
Kelowna International AirportKelowna$3,261,330
Town of Smithers-Smithers Regional AirportSmithers$505,616
City of Williams Lake-Williams Lake Regional AirportWilliams Lake$130,000
Pacific Coastal Airlines LimitedRichmond$5,098,602
Central Mountain Air Ltd., 580741 British Columbia Ltd.Smithers$5,000,000
The City of Castlegar-West Kootenay Regional AirportCastlegar$524,200
The Corporation of the City of Cranbrook-Canadian Rockies International AirportCranbrook$609,584
Northern Rockies Regional Municipality-Northern Rockies Regional AirportFort Nelson$328,322
Cariboo Regional District-Cariboo Regional AirportAnahim Lake$54,720
City of Quesnel-Quesnel Regional AirportQuesnel$326,518
Total:$18,811,536

Quick facts

  • The Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI) has a national budget of $206 million.
  • The initiative supports regional air ecosystems—which include regional air carriers and airports, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises and non-profit organizations—in developing and implementing enhanced services for improved regional connectivity.
  • It is delivered by regional development agencies across Canada, including Pacific Economic Development Canada, the new regional development agency dedicated to British Columbia.
  • RATI complements measures implemented by Transport Canada.

Associated links

Airports Across Canada Collaborate with #NotInMyCity to Help Disrupt and End Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking

Airports are taking a united approach towards creating awareness and encouraging education among staff

CALGARY, AB, Feb. 22, 2022 /CNW/ – Today, on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, #NotInMyCity is pleased to announce a number of airports across the country are standing in solidarity to help raise awareness about sexual exploitation and human traffiicking.

#NotInMyCity has been working with airports to provide #NotInMyCity human trafficking awareness materials and access to a customized e-learning course to help airport staff identify the risk factors of those being trafficked and moved through airports across Canada.

According to the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking1, transportation corridors are frequently used by traffickers, and once a victim has been recruited, traffickers will often move them from city to city to maximize profits, access new markets and avoid competition. It also helps keep control of the victim who may not know where they are, or how to get help, making it easier for traffickers to evade detection by police. Victims of labour trafficking may also enter Canada by way of air travel, under the false promise of a job or educational opportunity.

Based on experiences shared by survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, many were regularly transported throughout the country and from city to city by their traffickers. Says one Indigenous survivor of sexual exploitation, “As a youth, I was moved from city to city and was targeted, groomed and sold to men because of what they desired as an “exotic” look. Their fantasy became my trauma. Exploitation of people just like me is happening in our cities, and it must end.” 

One mother, Jennifer Holleman, whose daughter Maddison was lured into sexual exploitation, indicated that her daughter was moved by her traffickers throughout Canada. She says, “What started as new friendships for my teenage daughter turned into a life of pain, coercion and exploitation, and eventually led to her death. My daughter was a victim of human trafficking, right here in Canada. No human should have to go through what she went through.”

National Human Trafficking Day brings attention to Canada’s fastest growing crime and second largest source of illegal income worldwide. In Canada, 21 per cent of trafficking victims are under the age of 18. Despite Canada’s Indigenous population accounting for just 4 per cent of the country, it is estimated that 50 per cent of all Canadian trafficking victims are Indigenous.

#NotInMyCity has developed the customized educational program leveraging North American best practices, helping airport employees identify individuals who may be victims of trafficking, and taking action with a “do no harm” approach.

“Creating broad awareness and educational opportunities lead to positive change,” says Natalie Muyres, Program Manager at #NotInMyCity. “We want awareness of human trafficking risk factors to become second nature to airport staff. By working with their safety teams, embedding human trafficking education into their culture and providing skills and confidence, teams will know what to do if they see something that doesn’t seem right. It could very well save lives.”

Examples of how airports are helping to disrupt these crimes by working in collaboration with #NotInMyCity are provided below. Other Canadian airports are invited to access #NotInMyCity resources and materials to implement within their operations.

1 https://www.canadiancentretoendhumantrafficking.ca/the-role-of-the-transportation-sector-in-the-fight-against-human-trafficking-in-canada/

The Fort McMurray Airport Authority has implemented the #NotInMyCity educational course into their onboarding process, shared information and training materials with their terminal partners and have placed #NotInMyCity human trafficking awareness materials on digital screens, posters and in washrooms throughout the terminal. Every employee who has completed the e-learning wears a yellow pin and has a lanyard card with the operations phone number and risk factors to watch.

“We want to do everything we can to ensure the safety and well-being of all passengers and visitors,” says RJ Steenstra, President & CEO of Fort McMurray Airport Authority, “By working with #NotInMyCity, we are able to leverage the well-researched e-learning already in place, while adding enhanced screening tools and skills for our airport employees to use in their daily duties, staying vigilant and taking action when appropriate.”

The Calgary Airport Authority initially launched awareness campaigns with #NotInMyCity in 2018. In 2021, they launched the #NotInMyCity e-learning course to more than 50 employees, and has future campaigns in the works using #NotInMyCity human trafficking awareness materials.

Toronto Pearson International Airport recently launched its awareness campaign on February 18, with a kick-off awareness event and presentation for employees and terminal partners, which will be followed by an external campaign within its terminals using #NotInMyCity human trafficking awareness materials.

Says Deborah Flint, President and CEO of Toronto Pearson International Airport, “As Canada’s largest airport we have a responsibility to take action and do our part to help vulnerable passengers as they travel through Pearson. By partnering with #NotInMyCity, we’re able to educate airport workers on how to spot human trafficking as it’s happening and step in to respond appropriately. We’re happy to be joining other airports across Canada in this important cause.”

At Kelowna International Airport, effective January 1, 2022, the #NotInMyCity e-learning program became part of the onboarding process for all new airport employees. #NotInMyCity human trafficking awareness materials will be launching in the terminal in the coming months.

Ottawa International Airport kick started an awareness presentation in conjunction with #NotInMyCity on February 17 as part of their monthly security tabletop meeting. They provided security and other Airport Authority personnel with an overview of the e-learning program which they are rolling out to the rest of their team effective today.

London International Airport is now promoting the #NotInMyCity e-learning course to their employees and are in the process of launching an awareness program leveraging the #NotInMyCity human trafficking awareness materials.

“It is sadly not uncommon for airports to be used as transportation hubs for human traffickers, making it all the more important for airport staff and passengers to be aware of signs of human trafficking and also how to safely report a suspected case” says Scott McFadzean, President & CEO of London International Airport. “We are proud to support and partner with #NotInMyCity as they do invaluable work to disrupt and end human trafficking in Canada.”

The Edmonton International Airport has launched a number of awareness programs in collaboration with a number of agencies. Says Steve Maybee, Vice President, Operations and Infrastructure, Edmonton International Airport, “Trafficked/sexually exploited people aren’t always hidden in dark rooms, away from the public eye. They’re often transported from one place to another and use public transportation. At EIA, safety and security is our top priority. We’re proud to continue our work with #NotInMyCity to make sure our airport is a place where traffickers are not welcome.”

Additional airports who have initiated partnerships with #NotInMyCity to deliver the e-learning course and posting #NotInMyCity human trafficking awareness materials broadly include Halifax Stanfield International Airport and Vancouver International Airport.

In December 2021, #NotInMyCity launched an allyship with Flair Airlines, which included the launch of the #NotInMyCity e-learning program for all employees, drawn on international aviation best practices. The airline currently employs more than 500 people.

For the general public, #NotInMyCity offers a free interactive e-learning course for anyone interested in learning more about the issue of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Canada. It was developed in collaboration with provincial, national and international thought leaders. Upon completion of the free 30-minute e-course, participants are awarded with a certificate. Thousands of individuals have completed the course so far. Notinmycity.ca is also home to information and educational videos about the issue.

In Canada, anyone can call the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010 if they believe they witness or are experiencing human trafficking or sexual exploitation. In Alberta, individuals can also call 2-1-1.  If anyone is ever in immediate danger, it is recommended to call 9-1-1. To learn more visit notinmycity.ca.

About #NotInMyCity

#NotInMyCity is a facilitative organization that is raising awareness and taking collective action to prevent, disrupt and end sexual exploitation and trafficking, focusing on children and youth. The #NotInMyCity movement is growing. We are working in alliance with key stakeholders, creating awareness, educating others and mobilizing a strategic, integrated plan to bring about transformational and sustainable change at all levels. Visit notinmycity.ca or follow us @NIMCAlly.