Pacific Coastal Winter Holiday Schedule is Now Available

14 October 2022

More flight options & flexibility to help plan your holiday season. 

Additional flights are available to destinations like Powell River, Trail, Williams Lake, Cranbrook, Victoria, Kelowna and Prince George.  Learn more about the holiday schedule flight options at https://flights.pacificcoastal.com/en/winter-holiday-schedule

From December 16, 2022 to January 03, 2023

  • Up to four daily flights between Kelowna and Victoria
  • Daily flights between Prince George and Victoria
  • Additional daily flight between Cranbrook and Vancouver
  • Up to four daily flights between Powell River and Vancouver
  • Additional second flight on Saturdays between Trail and Vancouver
  • New flight between Cranbrook and Kelowna (starts 14 Nov 2022)

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.