Support to Canada’s Air Transportation Sector

From: Department of Finance Canada ~ 30 March 2020

Backgrounder

The Government of Canada recognizes the unprecedented disruption to the air transportation sector resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, air passenger traffic has declined significantly as governments around the world impose border restrictions and advise their citizens to avoid unnecessary travel as a measure to slow the progression of the disease.

Support to Airports

Airports rely on fees paid by airlines and passengers to sustain their operations. As passenger traffic declines, airports are seeing their revenues fall, while at the same time they need to ensure safe operations.

To help airports reduce cost pressures and preserve cash flow as they deal with the effects of COVID-19 on their revenue, the government is waiving rents paid on ground leases for the 21 airport authorities that form part of the National Airport System and that pay rent to the government. The government will waive rent payments for March 2020 through December 2020.  The government is also providing comparable treatment for PortsToronto, which operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, by waiving payments made to the federal government on revenues generated by the airport. This will provide relief up to $331.4 million, reflecting payments in the same period of 2018.

By waiving ground lease payments, the government is helping these airport authorities to preserve cash flow during the disruption. This will allow them to redeploy cash to help maintain their operations and to support recovery strategies. This approach is consistent with actions taken to support the sector during previous major disruptions, such as the SARS outbreak in 2003.

The 21 National Airport System airport authorities covered by this measure are not-for-profit, non-share capital corporations that pay rents to operate airports in Canada under long-term leases with Transport Canada. Rents are based on revenues earned from operating the airports and related lands, which are owned by the government.

The 21 airport authorities that will receive relief are:

  • St. John’s International Airport Authority
  • Gander International Airport Authority Inc.
  • Halifax International Airport Authority
  • Charlottetown Airport Authority Inc.
  • Saint John Airport Inc.
  • Greater Moncton International Airport Authority Inc.
  • Fredericton International Airport Authority
  • Aéroport de Québec Inc.
  • Aéroports de Montréal
  • Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority
  • Greater Toronto Airports Authority
  • Greater London International Airports Authority
  • Thunder Bay International Airports Inc.
  • Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc.
  • Regina Airport Authority
  • Saskatoon Airport Authority
  • Edmonton Regional Airports Authority
  • Calgary Airport Authority
  • Prince George Airport Authority Inc.
  • Vancouver International Airport Authority
  • Victoria Airport Authority.

PortsToronto operates the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and pays an annual charge to Transport Canada based on the revenues it earns under the terms of its letters patent.  PortsToronto revenues include those generated from operating Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

WestJet: 29 March Update

Received directly from WESTJET

NETWORK AND SCHEDULE CHANGES – WestJet announces schedule updates through May 4 and select seasonal route start dates

On Thursday, March 26 WestJet marked the last day of our planned transborder (U.S.) and international (Europe, Mexico, Central America, Caribbean) flying due to the COVID-19 crisis and the closing of international borders.

This is a difficult time as we temporarily say goodbye to these airports that have helped WestJet grow beyond our domestic borders and brought the pleasure and ease of worldwide travel to millions of Canadians.

We thank all of our airport partners, our contractors and our guests for their support and we look forward to resuming flights when we emerge from these turbulent times.

INTERNATIONAL AND TRANSBORDER

As the crisis continues, we have now updated our international and transborder schedule to temporarily remove flying through May 4, 2020. For our guests who have booked their travel after April 22 through May 4, we are proactively notifying you of your travel options.

Seasonal international route starts dates have been updated as follows:

  • Toronto – Barcelona starts June 5, 2020
  • Calgary – Rome starts June 4, 2020
  • Halifax – Manchester has been cancelled for summer 2020. WestJet will be reaccomodating guests on Halifax – London (Gatwick)

DOMESTIC

Our domestic schedule has also now been updated through May 4. Details remain the same as communicated earlier this week (see schedule below) with the exception of Grande Prairie. Due to newly reduced airport operating hours, we have reduced the daily Calgary – Grand Prairie schedule by two flights. WestJet will continue to fly once daily. In addition, Edmonton – Grande Prairie has been suspended until further notice.

Select seasonal domestic routes will start July 3, 2020 including:

  • Calgary – Whitehorse
  • Calgary – Dawson Creek
  • Calgary – Windsor
  • Toronto – Deer Lake
  • Halifax – Gander

For our guests who have booked their travel prior to July 3, we are proactively notifying you of your travel options.

We understand the uncertainty our guests, WestJetters and partners face, and we thank them for their continued patience.

WestJet domestic schedule March 22 – May 4, 2020:

ALBERTA AND NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

Domestic RoutePlanned Operations
Calgary-Abbotsford3x daily
Calgary-Comox2x daily
Calgary-Cranbrook2x daily
Calgary-Fort St. John2x daily
Calgary-Kamloops1x daily
Calgary-Kelowna4x daily
Calgary-Nanaimo1x daily
Calgary-Penticton1x daily
Calgary-Prince George1x daily
Calgary-Vancouver6x daily
Calgary-Victoria2x daily
Calgary-Edmonton6x daily
Calgary-Fort McMurray3x daily
Calgary-Grande Prairie1x daily (UPDATED)
Calgary-Lethbridge2x daily
Calgary-Lloydminster6x weekly
Calgary-Medicine Hat2x daily
Calgary-Yellowknife1x daily
Calgary-Brandon1x daily
Calgary-Regina4x daily
Calgary-Saskatoon4x daily
Calgary-Winnipeg4x daily
Calgary-Hamilton4x weekly
Calgary-Kitchener/Waterloo3x weekly
Calgary-Ottawa4x weekly
Calgary-Toronto5x daily
Calgary-Montreal3x weekly
Calgary-Halifax4x weekly
Edmonton-Kelowna1x daily
Edmonton-Vancouver2x daily
Edmonton-Calgary6x daily
Edmonton-Fort McMurray2x daily
Edmonton-Grande PrairieTemporarily postponed
Edmonton-Regina4x weekly
Edmonton-Saskatoon3x weekly
Edmonton-Winnipeg1x daily
Edmonton-Toronto1x daily

BRITISH COLUMBIA AND YUKON

Domestic RoutePlanned Operations
Abbotsford-Calgary3x daily
Comox-Calgary2x daily
Cranbrook-Calgary2x daily
Fort St John-Vancouver1x daily
Fort St John-Calgary2x daily
Kamloops-Calgary1x daily
Kelowna-Vancouver3x daily
Kelowna-Calgary4x daily
Kelowna-Edmonton1x daily
Nanaimo-Calgary1x daily
Penticton-Calgary1x daily
Prince George-Vancouver3x daily
Prince George-Calgary1x daily
Terrace-Vancouver2x daily
Vancouver-Fort St John1x daily
Vancouver-Kelowna3x daily
Vancouver-Prince George3x daily
Vancouver-Terrace2x daily
Vancouver-Victoria2x daily
Vancouver-Calgary6x daily
Vancouver-Edmonton2x daily
Vancouver-Toronto3x daily
Victoria-Vancouver2x daily
Victoria-Calgary2x daily

ONTARIO

Domestic RoutePlanned Operations
Hamilton-Calgary4x weekly
Kitchener/Waterloo-Calgary3x weekly
London, ON-Toronto1x daily
Ottawa-Calgary4x weekly
Ottawa-Toronto5x daily
Ottawa-Halifax1x weekly
Thunder Bay-Winnipeg1x daily
Thunder Bay-Toronto1x daily
Toronto-Vancouver3x daily
Toronto-Calgary5x daily
Toronto-Edmonton1x daily
Toronto-Winnipeg3x daily
Toronto-London, ON1x daily
Toronto-Ottawa5x daily
Toronto-Thunder Bay1x daily
Toronto-Montreal5x daily
Toronto-Quebec City1x daily
Toronto-Charlottetown3x weekly
Toronto-Fredericton1x daily
Toronto-Halifax4x daily
Toronto-Moncton1x daily
Toronto-St. John’s1x daily

SASKATCHEWAN

Domestic RoutePlanned Operations
Regina-Calgary4x daily
Regina-Edmonton4x daily
Saskatoon-Calgary4x daily
Saskatoon-Edmonton3x weekly
Saskatoon-Winnipeg1x daily

MANITOBA

Domestic RoutePlanned Operations
Brandon-Calgary1x daily
Winnipeg-Calgary4x daily
Winnipeg-Edmonton1x daily
Winnipeg-Saskatoon1x daily
Winnipeg-Thunder Bay1x daily
Winnipeg-Toronto3x daily

QUEBEC

Domestic RoutePlanned Operations
Montreal-Calgary3x weekly
Montreal-Toronto5x daily
Montreal-Halifax1x weekly
Quebec City-Toronto1x daily

NEW BRUNSWICK

Domestic RoutePlanned Operations
Fredericton-Toronto1x daily
Moncton-Toronto1x daily

NOVA SCOTIA

Domestic RoutePlanned Operations
Halifax-Calgary4x weekly
Halifax-Ottawa1x weekly
Halifax-Toronto4x daily
Halifax-Montreal1x weekly
Halifax-St. John’s (Nfld.)2x daily
Halifax-Sydney1x daily
Sydney-Halifax1x daily

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

Domestic RoutePlanned Operations
Charlottetown-Toronto3x weekly

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

Domestic RoutePlanned Operations
St. John’s (Nfld.)-Toronto1x daily
St. John’s (Nfld.)-Halifax2x daily


The following links may also be helpful:

Summit Air to lay off 45 employees as a result of COVID-19 slowdown

News provided by CBC News – link to full story and updates

Affected employees are located in Yellowknife, Edmonton and Calgary

CBC News · Posted: Mar 27, 2020

A Twin Otter operated by Summit Air. The Yellowknife-based airline announced Friday that it will lay off 45 of its approximately 170 employees due to the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic. (Summit Air)

Yellowknife-headquartered airline Summit Air has announced it will be laying off over a quarter of its workforce due to the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a news release Friday, the airline announced that 45 of its 170 employees will be leaving on “temporary involuntary leaves.” The layoffs impact all aspects of the business, including management, flight crews, administration, and mechanics.

The affected employees are located in Yellowknife, Edmonton and Calgary, the company said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the temporary closure or reduced operation of many of our customers’ businesses and operations, resulting in significant reductions in Summit Air’s revenue and flying hours,” Chief operating officer Lane Zirnhelt said in the release. 

“To preserve our business for the future we made the difficult decision to cut operating costs in the short term.”

The release notes that operations of Summit Air’s sister company, Summit Helicopters, are not impacted by the announcement.

Summit Air is the second northern airline to announce major layoffs in the last two days, with Whitehorse-based Air North announcing Thursday that it would lay off more than half its employees.

Last week, Yellowknife-based Air Tindi announced it would lay off approximately 45 of its employees.

In the release, Zirnhelt noted that the company’s business model remains strong, and that Summit Air hopes “to be fully operational again once our clients resume their work.”

A look at how travel restrictions are affecting Edmonton International Airport: ‘It’s quiet’

News provided by Global News – link to full story and updates

BY NICOLE STILLGER GLOBAL NEWS Posted March 26, 2020

 WATCH ABOVE: As travel restrictions tighten up around the world, the Edmonton International Airport is seeing a major slowdown. Nicole Stillger reports.

It is eerily quiet at the Edmonton International Airport these days.

Travel restrictions have tightened up around the world in the fight against COVID-19 and as a result, many airports are, naturally, seeing a major slowdown.

“People aren’t travelling much,” said Steve Maybee, EIA’s vice-president of operations and infrastructure.

“They’re staying home, as directed by federal government and provinces.”

Maybee noted that in his almost three decades with EIA, he has never seen the airport this quiet.

“We’re at 10 per cent of our normal traffic,” he said. “Numbers are way down and that’s expected across the board — across aviation as a whole.”

Maybee said the airport has emergency plans in place for operating in tough situations, but “this is unprecedented.”STORY CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

“We don’t have any history to go off of,” he said.

“It’s learning each day from the health authorities — understanding what we have to do, to put in place — and a little bit of trial and error on a few things.

“At the end of the day, it’s about making people safe and employees safe and securing the airport.”

Last week, the federal government announced EIA would temporarily no longer be allowed to accept international flights as part of the country’s effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Flights from the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean and Saint Pierre and Miquelon will not be affected by the rules.

The only four Canadian airports where international flights can land right now are Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary.

Like Edmonton, notices are up throughout many airports recommending to people returning home after travelling that they self-isolate for 14 days.

As of Thursday, the Quarantine Act makes that mandatory for travellers.

Reminder at EIA baggage carousel to practise physical distancing.
 Reminder at EIA baggage carousel to practise physical distancing. Nicole Stillger / Global News
Alert for travelers posted throughout EIA.
 Alert for travelers posted throughout EIA. Nicole Stillger / Global News

“If you do not comply with these instructions, you could face serious fines and even prison time,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday morning.

As part of that federal mandate, travellers with symptoms will need to isolate in the city where they arrive.

Those who don’t have symptoms can carry on to their final destination and isolate there.

For now, at EIA, the lack of traffic has not resulted in layoffs, but like many other businesses, airpoert officials are looking at their financial situation, according to Maybee.

He said the airport is also going to start turning its attention to a rebound.

“This will turn around,” he said. “Airports and aviation is resilient — it has proven to be over the years.”

The timeline for that turnaround, however, is uncertain.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

WESTJET DAILY MEDIA BRIEF – March 25, 2020 (Aircraft fogging, changes to inflight service, aircraft parking)

Provided directly from WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership

WESTJET DAILY MEDIA BRIEF – March 25, 2020 

COVID-19 AIRCRAFT FOGGING 

WestJet is now fogging all 737 and Q400 aircraft in YYC with disinfection spray as part of our enhanced overnight cleaning and sanitization regimen for COVID-19.  

We expect to bring this process to Edmonton (end of week) and Toronto (early next week).

This process consists of fogging an entire aircraft (inside) to provide a complete disinfection using a hydrogen peroxide-based solution cleaner.  

The process takes 15 minutes to complete and product dissipates within 20 minutes.  

Fogging enables us to thoroughly disinfect an aircraft due to a possible COVID-19 case and allows us to load guests and continue flying with little disruption. 

CHANGES TO INFLIGHT SERVICE  

As of yesterday (March 24), we have made changes to our inflight service: 

  • Hot drinks, hot meals and fresh food service has been suspended – mini buy-on-board are now available on demand only. 
  • Guests in Economy will receive water service and complimentary snack.  
  • Crews will continue to serve drinks and cold food in Premium using single-use cutlery and cups. 

AIRCRAFT PARKING BY THE NUMBERS (please note this list is inclusive of the MAX) 

  • Calgary, YYC: 56 
  • Toronto, YYZ: 25 
  • Vancouver, YVR: 14 
  • Edmonton, YEG: 11 
  • Arizona, MZJ: 10 (Boeing MAX) 
  • Kelowna, YLW: 5 
  • Winnipeg, YWG: 2 
  • Northwest Regional Airport, YXT: 1 
  • Sault Ste. Marie, YAM: 1 
  • Halifax, YHZ: 1 

AFFECTED FLIGHTS – visit the blog 

The safety of our guests and crews is our top priority. It is our goal to be open and transparent throughout this rapidly evolving situation. This page will be updated regularly with information on COVID-19 impacted flights in our network.

Guests in affected rows of the below flights are considered close contacts and may be at risk for exposure. Public health officials recommend that affected individuals self-isolate for 14 days after arrival and monitor symptoms. Guests are advised to contact their primary care provider, or their local public health unit if they are concerned that they may have been exposed to or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

All guests who were on the listed flights, but not in the affected rows are advised to self-monitor for signs of cough, fever or respiratory issues and to call their local health authorities if symptoms arise within the next 14 days.

March 19

WestJet Flight 10 (WS10)
Calgary (YYC) to Paris (CDG)
Affected rows: N/A

March 16

WestJet Flight 9 (WS9)
Paris (CDG) to Calgary (YYC)
Affected rows: 2-6

WestJet Flight 2311 (WS2311)
Cancun (CUN) to Calgary (YYC)
Affected rows: ALL

WestJet Flight 3456 (WS3456)
Toronto (YYZ) to Moncton (YQM)
Affected rows: ALL

March 15

WestJet Flight 3016 (WS3016)
Calgary (YYC) to Medicine Hat (YXH)
Affected rows: 8-14

WestJet Flight 1571 (WS1571)
Denver (DEN) to Calgary (YYC)
Affected rows: ALL

March 14

WestJet Flight 3300 (WS3300)
Calgary (YYC) to Regina (YQR)
Affected rows: ALL

WestJet Flight 202 (WS202)
Calgary (YYC) to Winnipeg (YWG)
Affected rows: 20-24

WestJet Flight 1511 (WS1511)
Los Angeles (LAX) to Calgary (YYC)
Affected rows: 15-19

March 13

WestJet Flight 1501 (WS1501)
Las Vegas (LAS) to Calgary (YYC)
Affected rows: 13-19

WestJet Flight 1100 (WS1100)
Toronto (YYZ) to Los Angeles (LAX)
Affected rows: ALL

March 12

WestJet Flight 490 (WS490)
Winnipeg (YWG) to Toronto (YYZ)
Affected rows: 5-9

WestJet Flight 667 (WS667)
Toronto (YYZ) to Calgary (YYC)
Affected rows: 11-17

WestJet Flight 2 (WS2)
London Gatwick (LGW) to Calgary (YYC)
Affected rows: 24-30

WestJet Flight 1447 (WS1447)
Las Vegas (LAS) to Edmonton (YEG)
Affected rows: 2-8

WestJet Flight 665 (WS665)
Toronto (YYZ) to Calgary (YYC)
Affected rows: 19-27

WestJet Flight 1201 (WS1201)
New York LaGuardia (LGA)  to Toronto (YYZ)
Affected rows: 3-9

WestJet Flight 2311 (WS2311)
Cancun (CUN) to Calgary (YYC)
Affected rows: 32-38

WestJet Flight 3240 (WS3240)
Edmonton (YEG) to Grande Prairie (YQU)
Affected rows: 1-6

WestJet Flight 118 (WS118)
Vancouver (YVR) to Calgary (YYC)
Affected rows: 19-25

March 11

WestJet Flight 4 (WS4)
London Gatwick (LGW) to Toronto (YYZ)
Affected rows: 10-16

WestJet Flight 1771 (WS1771)

Phoenix (PHX) to Vancouver (YVR)

Affected rows: 5-9

WestJet Flight 302 (WS302)

Vancouver (YVR) to Regina (YQR)

Affected rows: 5-9

WestJet Flight 670 (WS670)
Calgary (YYC) to Toronto (YYZ)
Affected rows: 16-22

March 10

WestJet Flight 232 (WS232)
Calgary (YYC) to Winnipeg (YWG)
Affected rows: 18-22

WestJet Flight 445 (WS445)
Toronto (YYZ) to Calgary (YYC)
Affected rows: 6-12

WestJet Flight 3326 (WS3326)
Vancouver (YVR) to Kelowna (YLW)
Affected rows: 10-16

WestJet Flight 4 (WS4)
London Gatwick (LGW) to Toronto (YYZ)
Affected rows: N/A

March 9

WestJet Flight 1681 (WS1681)
New York (JFK) to Calgary (YYC)
Affected rows: ALL

WestJet Flight 2643 (WS2643)
Liberia Costa Rica (LIR) to Toronto (YYZ)
Affected rows: N/A

March 8

WestJet Flight 271 (WS271)
Winnipeg (YWG) to Calgary (YYC)
Affected rows: ALL

WestJet Flight 1680 (WS1680)
Calgary (YYC) to New York (JFK)
Affected rows: ALL

March 7

WestJet Flight 1226 (WS1226)
Toronto (YYZ) to Orlando (MCO)
Affected rows: ALL

WestJet Flight 271 (WS271)
Orlando (MCO) to Winnipeg (YWG)
Affected rows: ALL

WestJet Flight 1157 (WS1157)
San Juan Puerto Rico (SJU) to Toronto (YYZ)
Affected rows: 2-6

WestJet Flight 2644 (WS2644)
Toronto (YYZ) to Liberia Costa Rica (LIR)
Affected rows: N/A

WestJet Flight 3440, March 7 (WS3440)
Toronto (YYZ) to Moncton (YQM)
Affected rows: 7-11

March 5

WestJet Flight 2 (WS2)
London Gatwick (LGW) to Calgary (YYC)
Affected rows: 36-40

March 3

WestJet Flight 2 (WS2)
London Gatwick (LGW) to Calgary (YYC)
Affected rows: 7-14

February 28

WestJet Flight 1199 (WS1199)
Phoenix (PHX) to Toronto (YYZ)
Affected rows: 18-22

Where should I go to find out more information?

Public Health Agency of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health.html

Government Travel Advice and Advisories: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories

Government of Canada Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

IATA – Air transport communicable diseases: https://www.iata.org/en/programs/safety/health/diseases


We recently updated our affected flights blog as the safety of our guests and crews is our top priority. It is our goal to be open and transparent throughout this rapidly evolving situation.  

All information on affected flights is posted here as it becomes available: https://blog.westjet.com/operational-updates-coronavirus-covid-19/  

Bringing Canadians home – An update from WestJet

Information from WestJet website – 21 March 2020

Bringing Canadians home - An update from WestJet

WestJet has repatriated more than 1800 Canadians on extra flights this week.

During this continued time of uncertainty, WestJet continues to repatriate Canadians from around the world.

Today, the airline announced that between Monday, March 23 and Wednesday, March 25 WestJet will operate 34 repatriation flights to international and transborder destinations to ensure the safe return of WestJet guests and Canadians who remain abroad. Flights will operate empty as positioning flights from Canada.

These new flights are in addition to the 10 flights that WestJet has operated this week after the Prime Minister announced it was time to come home. WestJet will continue to add flights as the need is identified.

“In the face of this global crisis, WestJetters are dedicated to bringing Canadians home,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “WestJet is known for its caring spirit and will do the right thing for our country, for our guests and for our people.”

WestJet and WestJet Vacations guests with current reservations on or after March 23 will receive, if they have not already, an email notification of their schedule change. All guests are urged to check the status of their flight and their emails for the most up-to-date information pertaining to their revised departure.

Any remaining seats on these flights are now also available for booking to the Canadian public and are capped at our lowest economy fare for Canadians who require transportation home. We encourage guests to make reservations through westjet.com before contacting the contact centre for assistance.

Canadians abroad are also encouraged to register with Global Affairs Canada online at travel.gc.ca. We are working with the Government of Canada to facilitate additional flights to global destinations should they be required. WestJet will provide details as they become available.

For the safety of our guests, crew and all Canadian citizens, current public health measures will apply for all guests boarding a WestJet flight home.

Extra flights scheduled between March 23-25, 2020

DateFlight #DepartureArrivalDepartureArrival
23 Mar 1875 Lihue, Kauai Vancouver 22:40 7:20 
23 Mar 1883 Kona, Hawaii Vancouver 22:50 7:35 
23 Mar 1853 Maui, Kahului Vancouver 22:55 7:30 
23 Mar 1175 Fort Myers Toronto Pearson 14:00 17:05 
23 Mar 1221 Fort Lauderdale Toronto Pearson 14:20 17:34 
23 Mar 1465 Phoenix Edmonton 16:00 20:20 
23 Mar 2425 Cancun, Mexico Toronto Pearson 12:15 17:15 
23 Mar 2755 Nassau, Bahamas Toronto Pearson 13:55 17:26 
23 Mar 2691 Varadero, Cuba Toronto Pearson 14:30 18:02 
23 Mar 2625 Holguin, Cuba Toronto Pearson 14:40 18:39 
23 Mar 2513 Bridgetown, Barbados Toronto Pearson 14:45 20:45 
23 Mar 2601 Kingston, Jamaica Toronto Pearson 14:00 19:25 
23 Mar 2643 Liberia, Costa Rica Toronto Pearson 13:40 21:00 
23 Mar 2289 San Jose del Cabo, Mexico Calgary 14:10 19:40 
23 Mar 2153 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Vancouver 15:25 19:38 
23 Mar 2383 Ixtapa, Mexico Calgary 15:35 21:08 
23 Mar 2247 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Calgary 16:25 21:22 
23 Mar 2661 Montego Bay, Jamaica Toronto Pearson 18:00 23:12 
24 Mar 2507 Puerto Plata, Dominican Toronto Pearson 14:25 18:50 
24 Mar 2653 St. Martin Toronto Pearson 15:05 20:16 
24 Mar 2795 Aruba  Toronto Pearson 15:30 20:55 
24 Mar 2599 San José, Costa Rica Toronto Pearson 13:30 20:57 
24 Mar 2793 Mérida, Mexico Toronto Pearson 13:35 19:38 
24 Mar 2379 Huatulco, Mexico Calgary 15:25 20:31 
25 Mar 2643 Liberia, Costa Rica Toronto Pearson 13:40 21:00 
25 Mar 2619 Belize City Toronto Pearson 13:45 20:10 

Extra flights also operating between March 23-25, 2020 that are currently full

Date Flight # Departure  Arrival Departure Arrival 
23 Mar 1891 Maui, Kahului Vancouver 
23 Mar 2251 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Calgary 
23 Mar 1865 Honolulu, Oahu Vancouver 
24 Mar 1875 Lihue, Kauai  Vancouver 
24 Mar 1883 Kailua-Kona Vancouver 
24 Mar 1853 Maui, Kahului Vancouver 
24 Mar 2213 Mazatlán, Mexico Calgary 
25 Mar 2739 St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda Toronto Pearson 

Air Canada suspends flights between Yellowknife and Calgary, Vancouver

Provided by CBC News – Link to full story and updates

Flights between Yellowknife and Edmonton do not appear to be affected

Sidney Cohen · CBC News · Posted: Mar 19, 2020

An Air Canada plane arrives at the Whitehorse airport in winter. The airline plans to suspend flights between Yellowknife and Calgary and Yellowknife and Vancouver as part of major service reductions due to COVID-19. (Mike Rudyk/CBC)

Air Canada will soon suspend flights between Yellowknife and Calgary, and Yellowknife and Vancouver as part of major cuts to service in response to the novel coronavirus.

The Calgary-Yellowknife route will be suspended from March 23 to April 30, and the Vancouver-Yellowknife route will be put on hold between April 1 and April 30.

Flights between Yellowknife and Edmonton do not appear to be affected.

Susan Rintoul and her family are hoping to get back to Yellowknife on one of Air Canada’s Calgary-Yellowknife flights this weekend, right before the suspension goes into effect.

We just want to get back home.- Susan Rintoul

The family is in Deep River, Ont., near Ottawa, for a funeral. Yesterday they learned their return flight home with Air North was cancelled, but they were able to secure seats with Air Canada.

In the current climate, however, nothing is certain.

“We’ve been following Facebook all the time and we’ve been watching flights closing down, everybody declaring an emergency state in the provinces,” said Rintoul.

After their Air North flight was cancelled, Susan, Briar and Dan Rintoul are booked to fly back to Yellowknife on one of Air Canada’s last Calgary-Yellowknife flights. (Submitted by Susan Rintoul)

Rintoul is nervous about travelling through large airports in Ottawa and Calgary, but says the family is taking precautions: washing their hands and carrying Lysol wipes. They say they’ll self-monitor for symptoms when they get back to Yellowknife. 

“We just want to get back home back to our dog and our cat and our life.”

The Calgary and Vancouver routes are among 42 domestic routes the airline plans to suspend during the COVID-19 pandemic. Air Canada has slashed its domestic network from 62 airports to 40 for the month of April. It could cut more airports if passenger demand drops further, or upon direction from the federal government.

Still, the airline says it intends to keep serving all provinces and territories. 

“Our immediate focus is on ensuring the safety and well-being of our employees, customers and communities,” said Calin Rovinescu, president and chief executive of Air Canada, in a statement on the airline’s website.

We are working around the clock to deal with the impact for our customers.- Calin Rovinescu, Air Canada president

“At the same time, we are exploring with the government of Canada possibilities to maintain essential operations,” Rovinescu said.

“We are working around the clock to deal with the impact for our customers and our business of the various travel restrictions that are being made by governments at unprecedented speed without advance warning.” 

As of 1 p.m. Thursday, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Northwest Territories.

WestJet to cut domestic service by about 50 per cent

WestJet has not posted any changes to Yellowknife flights on its website, but a spokesperson confirmed Thursday that the airline plans to cut its domestic service by about 50 per cent. It hasn’t yet revealed which routes will be affected.

The airline is suspending all commercial international flights for a 30 day period after Sunday.

“After that, we will be operating rescue and repatriation flights with our partners,” reads a statement from Ed Sims, WestJet president and CEO, on its website.

Air Canada plans to suspend the majority of its international flights by March 31, including flights to the U.S.

Canadian North focusing on freight

Canadian North says it’s taking a hit with fewer people travelling in light of COVID-19. As a result, it’s prioritizing freight transportation. 

The airline says it will maintain “minimum passenger service levels” for every community in its network.

“We are confident that the steps we are taking will ensure the viability of our business, for the benefit of everyone who depends on us,” said Canadian North President and CEO Chris Avery, in a statement on its website.

Flair Airlines offers three-month unlimited travel pass for $700 as discount competition heats up

News provided by the Vancouver Sun – link to full story and updates

Low-cost carrier takes on Swoop in battle for best deals

ZEBA KHAN – February 5, 2020

Flair Airlines Ltd is offering a three-month unlimited pass from February to May. BRENT LEWIN/BLOOMBERG

Flair Airlines is offering a three-month unlimited travel pass as competition in the discount air space heats up.

Flair’s Go Travel Pass, which runs from Feb. 13 to May 13, offers two options. The basic pass for $499 allows unlimited travel for three months with Fridays and Sundays excluded and some blackout days. The unlimited pass offers unlimited travel for all days of the week at $699 with no blackout dates.

The airline travels to Vancouver, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto. It does not fly to Quebec.

“We are thrilled to offer our passengers the freedom and flexibility to travel with our unlimited pass.  Whether you are a student who needs to visit home, a small business owner on a budget, a family needing to connect or an adventure seeker looking for your next thrill; all Canadians deserve to travel without hesitation,” Sarah Riches, director of commercial for Flair Airlines said in a press release Wednesday.

Flair is one of only two ultra-low cost airlines in Canada. WestJet affiliate Swoop Airlines is the second.

And competition has been fierce. Earlier this month Swoop held a loonie seat sale where the base cost for a seat was only a dollar before taxes, fees and extras.

Last year the Competition Bureau launched an investigation into Swoop over allegations that “predatory pricing” was used to try to crowd Flair out of some routes.

Flair last year sold a stake of its company to a U.S. private investment firm in a bid to boost its fleet to compete against its rival.

With file from Julia Mastroianni

Swoop celebrated its two-millionth traveller

Provided by Swoop/CNW

In less than two years, Canada’s ultra-low-cost carrier embraced a milestone achievement

CALGARY, Jan. 6, 2020 /CNW/ – Over the weekend, Swoop, Canada’s ultra-low-fare airline and subsidiary of WestJet Airlines Ltd., proudly announced that it has carried two million travellers since its first flight took off in June 2018. To commemorate this milestone achievement, Swoop presented an unsuspecting guest with a round-trip flight to anywhere Swoop flies. The lucky traveller, Travis Pickering, was surprised by Swoop on-board a flight from Edmonton International Airport (EIA) to McCarran International Airport with his wife and two children.

Onboard a flight from Edmonton to Las Vegas on January 4, Swoop marked an exciting milestone, having flown more than two million travellers since taking to the skies on June 20, 2018.
Swoop surprised unsuspecting travellers onboard flight WO 752 from Edmonton to Las Vegas on January 4, with an inflight pop-up party to celebrate having flown 2 million travellers in just over 18 months. (CNW Group/Swoop)
Swoop surprised unsuspecting travellers onboard flight WO 752 from Edmonton to Las Vegas on January 4, with an inflight pop-up party to celebrate having flown 2 million travellers in just over 18 months. (CNW Group/Swoop)
To celebrate their two millionth traveller milestone, Swoop surprised unsuspecting travellers with treats and giveaways on January 4, 2020. Congratulations to Travis Pickering - the winner of round-trip flights for two anywhere Swoop flies - who was on his way from Edmonton to Las Vegas with his family. (CNW Group/Swoop)
To celebrate their two millionth traveller milestone, Swoop surprised unsuspecting travellers with treats and giveaways on January 4, 2020. Congratulations to Travis Pickering – the winner of round-trip flights for two anywhere Swoop flies – who was on his way from Edmonton to Las Vegas with his family. (CNW Group/Swoop)

“Reaching this milestone of having flown two million travellers in this short timeframe affirms the need for Canadians to have affordable air travel options,” said Shane Workman, Head of Flight Operations, Swoop. “Swoop is humbled for the opportunity to be part of so many Canadians’ travel plans. Whether they were travelling to visit family, take a vacation or for business, we are honoured that Swoop has been the airline of choice for two million travellers.”

Since its launch, Swoop’s network has grown to serve 14 domestic, 10 transborder and four international markets, rapidly expanding the airline’s network across North America. Fulfilling a need in the Canadian marketplace, Swoop continues to make a positive impact in the aviation industry, becoming Canada’s leading domestic, transborder and international ultra-low-cost carrier, with the new 2020 summer schedule set to increase Swoop’s frequency to 328 ultra-low fare weekly flights.

The low-cost, unbundled model that Swoop has introduced to the Canadian air travel landscape, ensures fares remain ultra-low, with a base fare that starts with just the seat, giving travellers the power to add the things they want, and nothing they don’t.

In addition to the round-trip flight giveaway, Swoop also provided all travellers on the flight from Edmonton to Las Vegas with cookies, champagne and some fun Swoop swag. You can watch the surprise and celebration here: https://youtu.be/vbet2z1-xag

“Congratulations to Swoop on its great milestone. We’re happy that Edmonton International Airport can share in this achievement,” said Tom Ruth, president & CEO for EIA. “We look forward to Swoop’s continued success offering more flights to more places for our passengers.”

“Since launching Las Vegas routes in 2018, Swoop has been an incredible partner in expanding affordable opportunities for Canadians to experience our world-class destination,” said Chris Jones, chief marketing officer for McCarran International Airport. “In 2019, we celebrated serving 50 million passengers for the first time in a single year thanks in part to Swoop passengers.  We are honored to return the favor by helping to welcome its 2 millionth passenger.”

“Swoop has been a welcome addition to the Las Vegas market and we are proud to celebrate this milestone with them,” said H. Fletch Brunelle, vice president of marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “Canada is our number one source for international visitors and it’s important to have convenient and affordable service to Las Vegas through airlines like Swoop to further encourage Canadians to visit. With nearly $17 billion in new development including new resorts, convention and meeting space, sports and entertainment venues and more, there’s no better time to visit Las Vegas. The airline has been a great partner for us, and we’re excited to continue working with them to increase connectivity to showcase all the new amenities the destination has to offer.”

The past 18 months has seen Swoop grow tremendously. From an initial fleet of three aircraft and a network of five Canadian cities, the airline now boasts nine aircraft and service to 20 destinations throughout Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. Swoop also has plans for additional fleet and service to more destinations in 2020.

Report ranks WestJet most punctual airline in Canada, Air Canada 20th worldwide

News provided by The Star – link to full story

By The Canadian Press Fri., Jan. 3, 2020

A travel data provider ranks WestJet Airlines Ltd. as the most punctual airline in Canada.

OAG’s annual report regarding on-time performance says the Calgary-based carrier placed sixth among low-cost carriers in North America last year.

The report also lists WestJet at No. 15 among low-cost carriers worldwide with 79 per cent of its flights arriving on-time.

Air Canada squeaked into the so-called punctuality league, placing 20th among “mega airlines” behind the big four U.S. carriers as well as British Airways, Lufthansa, and Air China.

The report says the Toronto-based airline’s on-time performance was 66 per cent.

Calgary and Edmonton were the only Canadian airports to reach the top 20 for on-time performance, placing 17th and 20th in the large and medium categories, respectively.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 3, 2020.