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 Affirms Market Leadership by Expanding its North American Network this Summer as Recovery Accelerates

  • Seven New Routes launching from three Canadian hubs
  • Restoration of 41 North American routes, return to 11 North American cities
  • Air Canada offers the most seats, frequencies of any Canadian carrier with 90% of its pre-pandemic North American capacity this summer
  • Air Canada’s leadership and unique extensive network will stimulate the recovery of the travel and tourism industry

MONTREAL, Feb. 22, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada today announced an expansion of its North American network for Summer 2022 as the carrier’s recovery from COVID accelerates. With the launch of new service on four transborder and three domestic routes, as well as the restoration of 41 North American routes, Air Canada will operate to 51 Canadian and 46 U.S airports this summer and offer customers the largest network and most travel options of any Canadian carrier.

New services will be launching to the U.S. from Montreal to Atlanta and Detroit, Toronto to Salt Lake City, and Vancouver to Austin. Within Canada, three new routes will begin between Montreal and Gander, Calgary and Fort St John, and Vancouver and Halifax. Additionally, service will be restored on 41 North American routes, including: 13 routes from Toronto, nine from Montreal, five from Ottawa, five from Vancouver, four from Calgary, three from Halifax, and two from Edmonton. The routes are timed to connect with Air Canada’s domestic, U.S. and international network at the airline’s global hubs in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal 

“Canadians are ready to travel, and we’re excited to be offering a very significant growth in our schedule this summer. With our recovery accelerating and North American flying reaching 90% of pre-pandemic levels this summer, we are offering more options across the continent, including seven new city pairs from our Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver hubs, and the resumption of 41 suspended or previously announced new routes. These changes will also grow and cement our position as the leading carrier of choice in the transborder market, with the most non-stop flying between Canada and the U.S. and as the foreign carrier with the most service to the U.S. Moreover, our revitalized North American network, designed to connect easily with our global network, gives customers by far the widest choice of routings and destinations of any Canadian carrier this summer,” said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada.

“To match our unrivalled network, we are also enhancing our award-winning airport and onboard services. All 23 of our Maple Leaf Lounges are now open, with new features such as ordering from your seat for safety and greater convenience, and we have introduced a range of touchless airport services that make the check-in and boarding process more convenient. Customers can also benefit from our transformed Aeroplan program, which offers members greater value and flexibility when redeeming reward travel. And, of course, all customers will enjoy Air Canada’s industry leading customer service, recognized at the most recent Skytrax World Airline Awards, where our people won for Best Airline Employees in Canada and in North America.”

Award Winning Service

Select routes will feature wide-body aircraft with Air Canada Signature Class, with lie flat seating, and Premium Economy. Seats in all cabins are available for purchase now at aircanada.com, via the Air Canada App, Air Canada’s Contact Centres, and travel agents.

Air Canada’s onboard services on flights greater than two hours feature new Economy Class Bistro selections, including products by Canadian brands and partners, such as meals inspired by celebrated Montreal Chef Jerome Ferrer.

All customers can collect and redeem points through Aeroplan, Canada’s leading loyalty program, when travelling with Air Canada, and eligible customers have access to priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounges, priority boarding and other benefits.

New Transborder and Domestic Routes 

Flight From To Frequency Start Date 
AC 799 Toronto Salt Lake City Thu, Sat, Sun 02 JUN 
AC 8567 AC 8569 Montreal Atlanta  Double Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8581 AC 8583 Montreal Detroit Double Daily 01 JUN 
AC 1062 Vancouver Austin Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun 01 JUN 
AC 7900 MontrealGander Daily 25 JUN 
AC 362 Vancouver Halifax Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun 01 MAY 
AC 8453 Calgary Fort St. John Daily 01 MAY 

Returning and Previously Announced New Routes

Flight From To Frequency Start Date 
AC 8680 AC 8682 Toronto Baltimore Double Daily 15 MAY 
AC 8745 AC 8747 Toronto Charlotte Double Daily 01 MAY 
AC 8705AC 8707Toronto Cincinnati Double Daily 01 MAY 
AC 8895AC 8897 Toronto Indianapolis Double Daily 15 MAY 
AC 513 Toronto Portland Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri 27 JUN 
AC 8795 AC 8797 Toronto St. Louis Double Daily 07 MAY 
AC 8590 Toronto Hartford Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8917 Toronto Milwaukee Daily 01 JUL 
AC 8677 Toronto New Orleans Daily 01 JUL 
AC 8865 Toronto Kansas City Daily 01 JUL 
AC 1941 TorontoFort McMurrayTues, Thu, Sat03 MAY
AC 1975Toronto NanaimoMon, Wed, Fri29 JUN 
AC 8410TorontoGanderDaily01 JUN 
AC 8791 Montreal Pittsburgh Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8735 Montreal Raleigh Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8759 Montreal Baltimore Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8771 Montreal Nashville Thu, Fri, Sat 02 JUN 
AC 1285 Montreal Phoenix Tue, Sat 03 MAY 
AC 527 Montreal San Diego Wed, Fri, Sun 20 MAY 
AC 515 Montreal Seattle Daily 31 MAY 
AC 1685 Montreal Victoria Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat 03 JUN 
AC 8543 Montreal ReginaDaily 01 MAY 
AC 8545 Montreal Saskatoon Daily 01 MAY 
AC 532 Vancouver Boston Daily 04 JUN 
AC 8596VancouverSacramentoDaily01 JUN
AC 539 Vancouver Anchorage Daily 07 MAY 
AC 8482 Vancouver Yellowknife Daily 01 JUN 
AC 1870 Vancouver Quebec Mon, Wed, Fri 02 MAY 
AC 8869 Ottawa Washington-Reagan Daily 01 MAY 
AC 8109 Ottawa Winnipeg Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8182 Ottawa Charlottetown Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8098 Ottawa Quebec City Daily 01 JUN 
AC 7701 AC 7705 AC 7709 AC 7711 Ottawa Toronto Island Up to 4 times Daily01 MAY 
AC 8661 Halifax Boston Daily 24 JUN 
AC 8549 Halifax Goose Bay Daily 30 APR 
AC 584 Calgary New York-Newark Daily 01 MAY 
AC 392 Calgary Halifax Daily 30 APR 
AC 1872 Calgary Quebec Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun 01 MAY 
AC 8289 Calgary Castlegar Daily 01 MAY 
AC 8563 Edmonton San Francisco Daily 01 MAY 
AC 8113 Edmonton Yellowknife Daily 01 JUN 

Air Canada may continue to adjust its schedule as more opportunities arise or based on COVID-19’s trajectory and the further easing of government travel restrictions.

Travel Policy: Book with confidence

Air Canada’s new refund policy is applicable to all tickets purchased. It offers customers the option of a full refund to the original form of payment, an Air Canada Travel Voucher or the equivalent value in Aeroplan Points with a 65% bonus should the airline cancel or reschedule a flight by more than three hours.

To book your next trip and for most updated schedule, visit aircanada.com.

Travelling internationally? Visit our Travel Ready Hub for the latest government entry requirements. Customers are responsible for ensuring they meet all government entry requirements, including holding the correct travel documents, visas, any required health certificates, and all other eligibility requirements for any flights they purchase. Government requirements may change with little notice.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline, the country’s flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking from the independent U.K. research firm Skytrax, which in 2021 also named Air Canada as having the Best Airline Staff in North America, Best Airline Staff in Canada, Best Business Class Lounge in North America, as well as an Excellence award for its handling of COVID-19. Also in 2021, Air Canada was named Global Traveler’s Best Airline in North America for the third straight year. In January 2021, Air Canada received APEX’s Diamond Status Certification for the Air Canada CleanCare+ biosafety program for managing COVID-19, the only airline in Canada to attain the highest APEX ranking. Air Canada has also committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. 

WestJet flights between Dawson Creek and Calgary take off

Air service returns to Dawson Creek as WestJet Link connects city to WestJet’s global hub

CALGARY, AB, Sept. 8, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, WestJet launched its newest route with the departure of WestJet Link flight 3027 connecting Calgary and Dawson Creek, B.C. The inaugural marks a new link for the regions’ business, travel and tourism markets as WestJet becomes the only carrier to provide nonstop service between the Peace River Region and its largest hub in Calgary, where the airline is the largest carrier, offering the most seats and flights.

“Our guests in both Calgary and the Peace River Region have been patiently awaiting this important milestone and we are thrilled to bring air service to the community,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “As we continue to build back our network, Dawson Creek will benefit from lower fares and connectivity across our network as we strive to reconnect Canadians for business and leisure.”

Upon flight 3027’s arrival in Dawson Creek, the inaugural service was celebrated by Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead alongside Chris Hedlin, WestJet’s Vice-President of Network Planning and key regional business leaders.

“The City of Dawson Creek is so pleased to welcome WestJet into our city and the entire South Peace region of Northeast BC. This new direct service to Calgary is so important to the economic development of our city,” said Dale Bumstead, Mayor, Dawson Creek. “The Energy, Forestry and Mining sectors are all very important to our region and this new service will be a welcome addition for industry while also providing our residents with nonstop air service to WestJet’s global hub in Calgary for their leisure and business travel.”

The new service and new route for WestJet operates four times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.  WestJet Link flights are operated through a capacity purchase agreement with Pacific Coastal Airlines using its fleet of WestJet-branded 34-seat Saab 340 aircraft.

With the addition of Calgary-Dawson Creek service, WestJet Link now operates five routes between Calgary and Cranbrook, Lethbridge, Lloydminster and Medicine Hat and three between Vancouver and Cranbrook, Nanaimo and Comox.

Details of WestJet’s service between Calgary and Dawson Creek:

RouteFrequencyStart DateDepartureArrival
Calgary – Dawson Creek4x weeklySeptember 8, 20213:30 p.m4:37 p.m
Dawson Creek – Calgary4x weeklySeptember 8, 20215:15 p.m8:13 p.m

Additional quotes

“With many development projects happening across western Canada, the addition of WestJet’s Calgary to Dawson Creek, B.C. route is an important connection that supports economic development, benefiting both provinces,” said Chris Miles, Vice President, Operations & Infrastructure for The Calgary Airport Authority. “This route also provides guests in Northern B.C. direct access to Alberta and destinations across the country with YYC’s extensive connecting flight network.”

“We are very excited to be a part of the new air service to Dawson Creek,” says Pacific Coastal Airlines President, Quentin Smith. “We are pleased to see WestJet Link grow and look forward to our continued partnership and linking communities to the WestJet network.”

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

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All promise. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com

Multiple crews tackle brush fire southwest of Nanaimo Airport

From CKPGToday.ca – link to source story – thanks CW

Crews are fighting a small wildfire southwest of Nanaimo Airport in the Mt. Hayes area. (submitted photo/Mark Stewart)

By NanaimoNewsNOW Staff | August 19, 2021

NANAIMO — Crews from the BC Wildfire Service and local volunteer fire departments are dealing with a small fire southwest of Nanaimo Airport.

Reports of the fire began around 1 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 19 with a visible plume of smoke extending from the forest west of Hwy. 1 in the Mt. Hayes area.

Gordon Robinson, Coastal Fire Centre information officer, told NanaimoNewsNOW the fire is two hectares in size and burning out of control approximately 2.5 kilometres west of the highway.

“It is not currently threatening any structures but BC Wildfire Service is responding with ten personnel, four helicopters, two water tenders and air tankers.”

Robinson said the fire is considered a rank 2-3 fire, which means “the fire is not smoldering on the ground, it’s actively burning on the surface maybe in places starting to make its way up into the trees.”

The fire is not currently threatening any structures and no evacuations are being considered.

Crews from multiple local volunteer fire departments are augmenting the provincial resources.

North Oyster Volunteer Fire Department said they have a duty officer on scene with one engine working up Mt. Hayes. Other departments were called to the scene for a variety of firefighting and support roles.

Witnesses on scene said two helicopters arrived early to fight the fire, along with a bomber plane dropping fire retardant.

A thick plume of smoke is visible from near Nanaimo Airport stemming from the Mt. Hayes fire, southwest of the runway. (submitted photo/Jen Kennedy)

Despite a higher-than-normal year for fire starts in the Coastal Fire Centre, the number of hectares burning is down signficantly.

The only other fire currently listed on the mid-Island is the on-going Copper Creek fire, which crews have under control and have held at 32 hectares since it sparked Friday, Aug. 6.

— More to come.

Vancouver Island airports part of $11.7-million federal injection package

From Comox Valley Record – link to source story – Thanks CW

The Victoria International Airport is one of three Vancouver Island regional airports receiving federal funding this summer, the government announced July 30. (Black Press Media file photo)

The Victoria International Airport is one of three Vancouver Island regional airports receiving federal funding this summer, the government announced July 30. (Black Press Media file photo)

Funding aims to help Victoria, Nanaimo, Comox Valley airports maintain regional connectivity

PENINSULA NEWS STAFF | Jul 30, 2021

Victoria International Airport is among 11 B.C. airports receiving an injection of federal dollars this summer.

In a statement Friday (July 30), the government announced $11,721,721 in funding through its regional air transportation initiative to help ensure connectivity and jobs to and from smaller regions in the province.

The Victoria airport (YYJ) will receive the largest sum, nearly $3 million.

“This funding announcement is welcome news which will assist YYJ to reinstate lost air service, attract new air service, build passenger demand and continue to operate a safe and efficient airport with world class safety and health standards,” said Victoria Airport Authority president/CEO Geoff Dickson.

“Air connectivity is a key to economic prosperity and we look forward to help building back the visitor economy.”

YYJ has seen an enormous drop in traffic during the pandemic, plummeting from nearly two million passengers through its doors in 2019 to less than 600,000 in 2020. Although there has been a small degree of bounce back in the last couple of months, numbers continue to sit at record lows. In June, 12,746 passengers went through the airport, compared to 169,825 in 2019.

Nanaimo will receive funding in two areas: approximately $1.38 million for the airport commission and $346,000 for the Port Authority. The Comox Valley Airport Commission has funding of about $1.1 million heading its way.

The remaining regions include Prince Rupert, Bella Coola, Prince George, Kamloops, Fort St. John, Golden, Terrace and Cassidy.

“Regional airports and infrastructure are critical components of the B.C. economy, both for trade and for the travel that many Canadians are starting to look forward to as we emerge from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will go a long way towards getting these assets back on their feet,” said Terry Beech, parliamentary secretary to the fisheries and economic development ministers.

Eleven regional airports in British Columbia receiving up to $11.7 million to maintain regional connectivity and jobs

Targeted Government of Canada support will be provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada

VANCOUVER, BC, July 30, 2021 /CNW/ – Regional air transportation is crucial to ensure merchandise circulates, supply chains are maintained, and regional economic growth continues. The pandemic has had major impacts on regional air transportation ecosystems, affecting economies, communities, and local businesses.

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

The Government of Canada’s Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI), launched in March 2021, fosters access to air transportation and supports regional ecosystems. In particular, it enables regional air carriers and airports to remain operational in these difficult times and to continue to contribute to regional economic growth, while adapting to new post-COVID-19 realities and requirements.

B.C. airports to benefit from funding

With this in mind, Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (B.C.), on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, announced $11,721,721 in RATI funding for 11 regional airports in B.C.

This funding will enable these airports to overcome challenges that were brought on by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regional air transportation is key to the economic development of communities and businesses across Canada. Since it helps draw Canadians to rural and remote communities to work and raise their families, while also providing reliable connectivity with urban centres, it plays a crucial role in a just, inclusive recovery for all, throughout the country.

Quotes

“It is important to protect our regional air transportation for the thousands of workers employed by this sector and for the many businesses and communities that depend on it. Air connectivity makes our regions accessible to Canadians who want to settle there and is key in moving our businesses’ products to their destination markets. That’s why, as part of our plan for a strong economic recovery, our government supports this connectivity, indispensable to healthy, inclusive growth.”

–       The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“Regional airports and infrastructure are critical components of the B.C. economy, both for trade and for the travel that many Canadians are starting to look forward to as we emerge from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will go a long way towards getting these assets back on their feet and ready to deliver on the needs of British Columbians as we look towards a brighter future.”

–       Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (B.C.)

“Victoria International Airport is a vital economic generator for the Greater Victoria Region. The pandemic has been financially devastating to the airport industry and aviation sector as a whole. This funding announcement is welcome news which will assist YYJ to reinstate lost air service, attract new air service, build passenger demand, and continue to operate a safe and efficient airport with world class safety and health standards. Air connectivity is a key to economic prosperity and we look forward to help building back the visitor economy.”  

–       Geoff Dickson, President and CEO, Victoria Airport Authority

“We are grateful for this funding. It is essential to help continue our operations and ensure that we continue to be the gateway to Northern British Columbia. The Prince George Airport is a hub for not only passenger services but also medevac, RCMP, aerial search and rescue, and wildfire fighting services for Northern and remote communities.”

–       Gordon Duke, President and CEO, Prince George Airport Authority

Projects being funded:

Legal NameCityFunding
Prince Rupert Airport AuthorityPrince Rupert$503,427
Comox Valley Airport CommissionComox$1,094,406
Victoria Airport AuthoritySidney$2,998,672
Central Coast Regional DistrictBella Coola$328,322
Prince George Airport Authority Inc.Prince George$1,297,965
Kamloops Airport Authority SocietyKamloops$1,256,378
North Peace Airport SocietyFort St. John$1,212,750
The Corporation of the Town of GoldenGolden$120,000
Terrace-Kitimat Airport SocietyTerrace$1,183,053
Nanaimo Airport CommissionCassidy$1,380,916
Nanaimo Port AuthorityNanaimo$345,832
Total:$11,721,721

Quick facts

  • The RATI, administered by the regional development agencies (RDAs), 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.
  • The RATI complements measures implemented by Transport Canada.

Associated links

WestJet launches new routes to multiple Vancouver Island airports

From CHEK News – link to source story – thanks to CW

July 1, 2021 NICHOLAS PESCOD/CHEK NEWS

NICHOLAS PESCOD/CHEK NEWS

WestJet recently launched four new non-stop flights from three Vancouver Island airports and restored previously cancelled service on six other Island routes.

As travel restrictions continue to loosen across the province, the nation’s second-largest airline has launched four new routes to airports across Vancouver Island.

WestJet recently launched four new non-stop flights from three Vancouver Island airports and restored previously cancelled service on six other Island routes.

The new direct routes are Comox–Toronto, Victoria–Ottawa, Victoria–Saskatoon, and Victoria–Winnipeg.

WestJet has also restored service on its Comox–Edmonton, Comox–Vancouver, Nanaimo–Vancouver, Victoria–Toronto, and Victoria–Kelowna routes, which they had cancelled due to the pandemic.

The airline also brought back long-desired direct flights between Nanaimo and Edmonton, following a five-year hiatus.

All of the routes are now in operation, with Victoria–Toronto flights resuming June 30.

“We have been talking to a lot of people and we are listening to what investments Vancouver Island wants and needs and all of these routes have been planned in advance,” Morgan Bell, media spokesperson for WestJet, told CHEK News. “It’s exciting that they are now going to fully take flight.”

With British Columbia reopening and the demand for domestic travel slowly increasing, Bell says it’s only natural for the company to not only restore cancelled routes but launch new ones.

“Canadians are going to travel domestically this summer and inbound tourism to Vancouver Island is important,” Bell explained. “While I know everybody loves to stay on Vancouver Island, there are also people from Vancouver Island that want to get back out and connect with friends and family across the country and other places.”

Comox gets direct flights to Toronto, Edmonton flights return to Nanaimo

Perhaps the most eye-catching of the new routes is the non-stop service between Comox and Toronto, which operates on a weekly basis — at least for now.

“The hope is that as more and more people begin flying again and these flights get full, we’ll add more service,” said Bell.

The new route launched June 26 — just as Air Canada restarted non-stop service between Canada’s most populated city and nearby Nanaimo — and brings the total number of airports on Vancouver Island with direct Toronto flights to three.

“It’s going to be great to see a major city like Toronto connect directly into Comox,” said Bell.

Another notable route is Nanaimo to Edmonton, which began operations on June 25 and runs twice a week. Although it was listed as a new route in the company’s press release, WestJet briefly operated non-stop flights between the two cities in early 2016 but cancelled them after only three months due to the economic downturn in Alberta.

Bell says WestJet is thrilled to restart service after more than five years, explaining that there has been no shortage of demand for service between the two regions.

“There’s so much interest in northern Alberta that’s coming through the Edmonton airport from Nanaimo, and also guests from Vancouver Island going into Edmonton,” she said. “There are pretty strong connections between the two cities, so it’s great to see that route come back.”

While the restoration of old routes and the addition of new routes, may seem like a lot, Bell says WestJet is still operating well below pre-pandemic levels.

“We’re still at 60 per cent reduction in terms of capacity from what would have been 2019. In July 2019, we were operating about 600 flights a day, and this July, we’re only looking at about 300,” she said. “We still have a really long way to go.”

Airport, flying experience will be different amid the pandemic

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With an increasing number of people becoming comfortable with the idea of getting on a plane after more than a year on the ground, Bell says those who are planning on taking to the skies should be prepared for some changes.

“It’s definitely very different. I took my first flight today in six months, and it felt very different,” she said.

That’s because airports have implemented new rules and safety measures throughout the pandemic such as mandatory mask-wearing, dedicated entrance and exit flow, and increased cleaning throughout terminals. Victoria International Airport, for example, is limiting access to its terminal building to just passengers with tickets, though there are some exceptions.

“While we’re restoring all this and people are excited to get on the move again, we also understand that it’s going to be a new experience for them,” said Bell. “I mean, people haven’t been in an airport for potentially 18 months.”

“I think it’s going to be a good experience, but it’s also going to be something that people need to prepare for and be ready for.”

As a result, Bell suggests people read all the rules and travel requirements well before their flight and arrive at the airport even earlier than the recommended 90 minutes prior to departure.

“We’re still in the pandemic, there are new rules, and there are different screening points and security points to get through,” she said. “So, I would just always say give yourself extra time and just be willing and flexible to adapt to any changes that come your way.”

Direct flights to Toronto resume at Nanaimo Airport

Thanks to CW

Nanaimo, British Columbia (June 21, 2021)

As Canadian vaccination programs make significant progress, direct flights to Toronto are scheduled to resume on a limited basis in July at the Nanaimo Airport.

Air Canada’s flights are part of a measured reopening of the economy. They will boost Vancouver Island’s vital tourism and hospitality sectors and make it easier for Islanders to visit and host family and friends from Eastern Canada via the Toronto Pearson International Airport.

“Air Canada is a valued partner that supported Nanaimo Airport during the pandemic and continues to support us during reopening,” says Dave Devana, President and CEO of Nanaimo Airport Commission. “We share a commitment to safety and have comprehensive plans to ensure passengers can travel safely while reconnecting with family and friends.”

The non-stop flights start July 4, after B.C.’s July 1 planned reopening date for domestic travel within Canada. One flight a week is scheduled initially. The schedule may expand in August depending on the reopening plans and success of the vaccination programs in Canada.

Air Canada will also resume its service to Calgary starting July 1, with five flights planned per week. The airline’s Nanaimo services will return to all three airports it served in summer 2019: Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.

“With Canada’s ongoing vaccine roll-out acceleration together with various provincial governments’ reopening plans that include travel, this summer is looking brighter. As customers are ready to travel, Air Canada is taking a leadership position to support our partners in Canada’s tourism and hospitality sector with service to 50 destinations from coast to coast, the re-start of regional services and new, non-stop flights. We are thrilled to resume our non-stop flights from Nanaimo to both Toronto and to Calgary, offering additional choices to and from Vancouver Island,” said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada.

Travellers on the Nanaimo-Toronto route will fly aboard an Air Canada mainline narrow-body aircraft. It offers a choice of two classes of service, complementary inflight entertainment at every seat and options to purchase wi-fi to stay connected.

This flight signals the restart of air travel and the domestic tourism and hospitality sectors on Vancouver Island, Devana says. “The direct flight to Toronto shows that Air Canada has a vested interest in Nanaimo Airport by putting this route on our schedule as we prudently look to reopen our economy,” he says.

Nanaimo Airport will resume its role as the central Island’s gateway, thanks to connecting flights that put domestic destinations, business markets and employment opportunities within easy reach.

“Air access to Vancouver Island is a critical component for the long-term recovery of the tourism industry in our region,” says Anthony Everett, President and CEO of Tourism Vancouver Island. “It is a positive sign to see a major carrier making this investment in the Mid-Island as the restart of travel begins.”

The airport is a key economic driver for the region. Its operations directly and indirectly support thousands of jobs that provide livelihood for Central Island families.

Nanaimo Airport Commission is taking a leadership position to help fuel the region’s economic recovery, with a $28.8-million infrastructure capital plan.  The investment over the next five years will enhance airport infrastructure to provide additional route development options, including seasonal sun destinations.

The airport will welcome passengers back to its award-winning terminal building. The terminal expansion project won the Community Institutional Award of Excellence in the 2021 Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. The terminal earlier won an Illuminating Engineering Society award for interior lighting design.

WestJet reconnecting routes across British Columbia

Airline to restart eight routes and inaugurate new flights between nine communitiesby early July

CALGARY, AB, June 25, 2021 /CNW/ – WestJet is further restoring British Columbia’s domestic and interprovincial connectivity with the restart of eight routes to and from destinations across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. The airline is also set to inaugurate 10 new routes by July 5, 2021. Full schedule details and resumption dates are outlined below.

“We continue to work towards the restoration of our pre-COVID domestic network to ensure that when our guests are ready to travel, we are there for them,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “WestJet remains committed to building back stronger for the betterment of all Canadians and as we look ahead to reconnecting friends, family and loved ones, the safe restart of travel is essential to Canada’s economic recovery.”

WestJet’s investments are critical to ensuring British Columbia’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and by the end of June, the airline is set to inaugurate new flights between Abbotsford and Prince George and restore WestJet Link service between Vancouver and Cranbrook.

“As a leader in aviation, WestJet has been working with industry, tourism and business across the province to ensure their voices are being heard as we safely restart travel. We thank Premier Horgan and his government for prioritizing travel as a critical component of the government’s restart plan. While progress has been made in British Columbia, we continue to advocate for safe travel framework from the Government of Canada,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President.

This July, WestJet will offer non-stop service from Vancouver to 18 cities, from Victoria to eight cities, from Kelowna to seven cities, from Comox to four cities and from Nanaimo to three cities. From the communities of Kamloops, Penticton and Prince George, the airline will connect to two communities non-stop.

Love Where You’re Going Again – WestJet’s Latest Video

For more than 17 months, Canadians from coast-to-coast have been separated from the people and places they love. WestJet’s latest brand moment is a reminder to Canadians that it’s time to love where they’re going, again.

British Columbia route restarts between now and June 30, 2021

RoutePeak FrequencyRoute restart date
Victoria – Winnipeg *3x weeklyJune 24, 2021 
Kelowna – Regina *2x weeklyJune 24, 2021 
Nanaimo – Vancouver  2x dailyJune 25, 2021 
Nanaimo – Edmonton *2x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Comox – Vancouver  2x dailyJune 25, 2021 
Kelowna – Saskatoon *2x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Kelowna – Victoria  4x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Vancouver – Cranbrook  1x dailyJune 25, 2021 
Abbotsford – Prince George *2x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Prince George – Calgary  4x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Victoria – Ottawa * 1x weeklyJune 26, 2021 
Comox – Edmonton 5x weeklyJune 26, 2021 
Comox – Toronto *1x weeklyJune 26, 2021 
Victoria – Saskatoon *2x weeklyJune 27, 2021 
Victoria – Toronto2x weeklyJune 30, 2021
Penticton – Edmonton * 2x weeklyJuly 4, 2021
Kamloops – Edmonton *2x weeklyJuly 5, 2021
Vancouver – Fort St. John 4x weeklyJuly 13, 2021
*New Route

About WestJet 

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

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All 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.

WestJet reconnecting Alberta routes

Airline to restart 10 routes across province and inaugurate new service from Edmonton to Penticton, Kamloops and Nanaimo

Non-stop service between Calgary-Charlottetown to launch on July 29

CALGARY, AB, June 25, 2021 /CNW/ -WestJet is further restoring Alberta’s domestic and interprovincial connectivity with the restart of 10 routes to and from destinations across British Columbia, the Yukon, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia from Calgary, Edmonton and Medicine Hat. The airline will also start operation of three new routes to and from Edmonton and begin non-stop service between Calgary and Charlottetown. Full schedule details and resumption dates are outlined below.

“We continue to work towards the restoration of our pre-COVID domestic network to ensure that when our guests are ready to travel, we are there for them,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “WestJet remains committed to building back stronger for the betterment of all Canadians, and as we look ahead to reconnecting friends, family and loved ones, the safe restart of travel is essential to Canada’s economic recovery.”

Connecting Alberta to Prince Edward Island non-stop

After being delayed due to the pandemic, WestJet will bridge new domestic connections between the east and the west with the introduction of new twice-weekly, non-stop service between Charlottetown, P.E.I., and Calgary, beginning July 29. The service connecting the two provinces was previously scheduled to start in June 2020.

WestJet’s investments are critical to ensuring Alberta’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and this July, WestJet will offer non-stop service from Calgary to 42 cities and from Edmonton to 16 cities. 

“This week’s meeting with more than 70 Northern Alberta industry partners demonstrates the value of listening to our partners as we enter the recovery phase of the pandemic. We thank Premier Kenney and his government for leading the safe restart of travel for Albertans. While progress has been made in Alberta, we continue to advocate for a safe travel framework from the Government of Canada,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President.

Love Where You’re Going Again – WestJet’s Latest Video

For more than 17 months, Canadians from coast-to-coast have been separated from the people and places they love. WestJet’s latest brand moment is a reminder to Canadians that it’s time to love where they’re going, again.

Alberta route restarts between now and July 6, 2021

RoutePeak FrequencyRoute restart date
Edmonton – Nanaimo*2x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Regina 6x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Comox 5x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Calgary – Prince George4x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Calgary – London, Ont.4x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Winnipeg 6x weeklyJune 30, 2021
Calgary – Windsor2x weeklyJune 26, 2021
Calgary – Whitehorse2x weeklyJune 27, 2021
Calgary – Medicine Hat5x weeklyJune 27, 2021
Edmonton – Halifax 2x weeklyJuly 1, 2021
Edmonton – Penticton*2x weeklyJuly 3, 2021
Edmonton – Kamloops*2x weeklyJuly 4, 2021
Edmonton – Saskatoon 6x weeklyJuly 6, 2021
Calgary – Charlottetown *2x weeklyJuly 29, 2021
*New route

About WestJet 

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

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All 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.