Edmonton airport prepares for return of international travel: ‘It is really important to us’

From Global News – link to source story and video

By Caley Ramsay  Global News | July 20, 2021

Click to play video: 'Edmonton International Airport ready to welcome the world back'
The border closure and loss of global flights came at a huge cost to the Edmonton International Airport, but as Tom Vernon explains, the reopening means work is underway to bring back lost connections.

The Edmonton International Airport is preparing to welcome back more travellers, after Monday’s announcement about the easing of border restrictions.

On Monday, the federal government announced American citizens and permanent residents who want to come to Canada for non-essential reasons and are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be allowed to do so starting on Aug. 9.

Fully vaccinated travellers from other countries will be allowed to come as of Sept. 7.

That means EIA is just weeks away from accepting and offering international flights for the first time in 16 months. On Aug. 9, EIA will once again be open to international travel.

“It is really important to us,” said Traci Bednard, VP of corporate and digital communications with EIA.STORY CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

The airport took a huge hit when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and shut down international flights to the facility. The airport typically offers between 53 to 55 non-stop destinations, but that dropped to 13 when the pandemic hit.

Click to play video: 'International flights returning to Edmonton airport'International flights returning to Edmonton airport

Passenger numbers plummeted as a result.

“On a normal day we might serve about 10,000 departing passengers. In COVID, during really difficult times, we might serve about 300. But we’re up to about 5,000 departing passengers a day now,” Bednard said.

In just the last couple of weeks, Bednard said activity at the airport has gradually begun to increase. Airlines have announced new routes within Canada, but Bednard said it will take some time and work to attract back more of the international flights.

“We’ll need to continue to work hard for some key business destinations in the U.S. and our international services,” she explained.

“We have never stopped talking, advocating to the airlines. Really for us, what we see as quite optimistic is our community has come forward and the region has made an investment in an air service fund.”

Click to play video: 'Edmonton won’t receive international flights starting Wednesday'Edmonton won’t receive international flights starting Wednesday

The City of Edmonton recently committed $10 million to that fund, which aims to attract more international destinations to the airport. Surrounding municipalities have also pitched in.

“We’re also working with our chambers of commerce and businesses to demonstrate that collectively air service is the key economic recovery priority for this region and that’s an important message to airlines,” Bednard said.

“Whether it’s companies trying to import product, whether it’s companies trying to get to the U.S. or international destinations to visit their customers, we really need to see that restoration.”

Know before you go

As travel ramps up across the country, EIA recognizes that many people haven’t travelled since last March and there have been a lot of changes, particularly when it comes to international travel.

Permanent residents and citizens of Canada and U.S. citizens who are fully vaccinated will need to download the ArriveCan app before they depart back to Canada. Then they need to upload their proof of vaccination to the app before they return to Canada, as well as show proof of a negative PCR test.

“For many of us, we haven’t flown for a year and a half and of course now with border restrictions easing, we’ll be able to travel internationally and there are things people need to know.”

On its website, the airport is offering EIA Travel School 101, which will help passengers learn what’s changed and what they need to know before they take their trip.

As of Aug. 9, airports in Halifax, Quebec City, Ottawa and Winnipeg will also be added to the list of Canadian cities where international flights are permitted to land.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Government of Canada announces easing of border measures for fully vaccinated travellers

From: Public Health Agency of Canada

News release

International flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at five additional Canadian airports

July 19, 2021 | Ottawa | Public Health Agency of Canada

The Government of Canada is prioritizing the health and safety of everyone in Canada by taking a risk-based and measured approach to re-opening our borders. Thanks to the hard work of Canadians, rising vaccination rates and declining COVID-19 cases, the Government of Canada is able to move forward with adjusted border measures.

On September 7, 2021, provided that the domestic epidemiologic situation remains favourable, the Government intends to open Canada’s borders to any fully vaccinated travellers who have completed the full course of vaccination with a Government of Canada-accepted vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and who meet specific entry requirements.

As a first step, starting August 9, 2021, Canada plans to begin allowing entry to American citizens and permanent residents, who are currently residing in the United States, and have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering Canada for non-essential travel. This preliminary step allows for the Government of Canada to fully operationalize the adjusted border measures ahead of September 7, 2021, and recognizes the many close ties between Canadians and Americans.

Subject to limited exceptions, all travellers must use ArriveCAN (app or web portal) to submit their travel information. If they are eligible to enter Canada and meet specific criteria, fully vaccinated travellers will not have to quarantine upon arrival in Canada.

To further support these new measures, Transport Canada is expanding the scope of the existing Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that currently directs scheduled international commercial passenger flights into four Canadian Airports: Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport.

Effective August 9, 2021, international flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at the following five additional Canadian airports:

  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport;
  • Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport;
  • Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport;
  • Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport; and
  • Edmonton International Airport.

These airports, in cooperation with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency and Transport Canada, are working to implement the measures necessary to safely welcome international passengers as soon as possible after August 9, as conditions dictate.

All travellers, regardless of vaccination status, will still require a pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test result. However effective August 9, 2021, the Government of Canada is adjusting its post-arrival testing strategy for fully vaccinated travellers. Using a new border testing surveillance program at airports and land border crossings, fully vaccinated travellers will not need a post-arrival test unless they have been randomly selected to complete a Day 1 COVID-19 molecular test. There are no changes to the mandatory testing requirements for unvaccinated travellers.

This strategy allows the Government of Canada to continue monitoring variants of concern in Canada and vaccine effectiveness. Using these layers of protection, the Government of Canada can monitor the COVID-19 situation in Canada, respond quickly to threats, and guide decisions on restricting international travel.

Finally, with the advent of increased vaccination rates in Canada, declining COVID-19 cases and reduced pressure on health care capacity, the three-night government authorized hotel stay requirement will be eliminated for all travellers arriving by air as of 12:01 A.M. EDT on August 9. Fully vaccinated travellers who meet the requirements will be exempt from quarantine; however, all travellers must still provide a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine, in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet the necessary requirements.

While Canada continues to trend in the right direction, the epidemiological situation and vaccination coverage is not the same around the world. The Government of Canada continues to advise Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada – international travel increases your risk of exposure to COVID-19 and its variants, as well as of spreading it to others. Border measures also remain subject to change as the epidemiological situation evolves. As Canada looks to welcome fully vaccinated travellers from the U.S., the federal government will continue to monitor the situation and provide updated travel advice to Canadians.

Quotes

“Canadians’ safety and security always come first. With rising vaccination rates and fewer cases in Canada, we can begin to safely ease border measures. A gradual approach to reopening will allow our health authorities to monitor the COVID-19 situation here and abroad. Canadians have worked hard and sacrificed for each other, and because of that work, we can take these next steps safely.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

“The health and safety of Canadians remains our top priority. Using a risk-based and measured approach to easing border measures will allow for non-essential international travellers who meet vaccination and other requirements to enter Canada. Working collaboratively with provinces, territories, Indigenous partners, and others to encourage Canadians to get vaccinated and follow public health advice is enabling us to begin welcoming more travellers back to Canada. Our government will continue to work with Canadian and international partners to ensure the border reopening is done in a safe and responsible way.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

“The Government of Canada recognizes that people have been anxiously awaiting a re-opening of the border to the world. We have been fully engaged with our American counterparts given the deep economic and family ties between our two countries. Today’s announcement is another big step in our approach to easing border measures which is guided by facts, scientific evidence and the advice of our public health experts.”

The Honourable Bill Blair
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“Thanks to the extraordinary commitment of Canadians to getting vaccinated and following public health advice, we are seeing improvement in the public health situation in Canada. As a result, today we announced new steps in our re-opening approach, including that international flights carrying passengers will be allowed to land at five more Canadian airports.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport Canada

“Thanks to the incredible progress that Canadians have made in our fight against the pandemic, we are now able to take the next step in Canada’s gradual reopening of the border. We look forward to welcoming fully vaccinated Americans shortly, followed by travellers from the rest of the world in early September. Not only will this make a big difference for Canada’s travel and tourism industry and all those whose jobs depend on it, it will also make it easier for those with a Confirmation of Permanent Residence letter to come to Canada and play a role in our recovery from the pandemic.”

The Honourable Marco Mendicino
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

“The easing of Canada’s border measures is welcome news for tourism businesses across the country, the thousands of Canadians employed by the sector and the communities who rely on it. It has been a challenging year as we balance the need to protect both the health of Canadians and our economy but tourism businesses have demonstrated incredible resilience. Our government has been proud to be by their side since the beginning of this crisis and we will continue to be there as they prepare to begin to welcome vaccinated travellers from around the world to our beautiful shores.”

The Honourable Melanie Joly
Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Quick Facts

  • To be eligible to enter Canada for discretionary travel on the basis of vaccination status, travellers must use the ArriveCAN app or web portal. Travellers must ensure that mandatory requirements are met prior to departing for Canada. In addition, some provinces and territories may have their own entry restrictions in place. Check and follow both the federal and any provincial or territorial restrictions and requirements before travelling.
  • In addition to receiving a full series of a vaccine authorized by the Government of Canada, fully vaccinated travellers must also: provide COVID-19-related information electronically through ArriveCAN (app or web portal) including proof of vaccination prior to arrival in Canada; meet the pre-entry testing requirements; be asymptomatic upon arrival; and have a paper or digital copy of their vaccination documentation in English or French (or certified translation) ready to show a government official on request as evidence.
  • A person who submits false information on vaccination status could be liable to a fine of up to $750,000 or six months imprisonment or both, under the Quarantine Act, or prosecution under the Criminal Code for forgery. Violating any quarantine or isolation instructions provided to travellers by a screening officer or quarantine officer when entering Canada is also an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to a $5,000 fine for each day of non-compliance or for each offence committed, or more serious penalties, including six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines. Non-compliant air travellers may also be subject to fines of up to $5,000 for each offence committed under the Aeronautics Act.
  • Based on public health advice, Transport Canada has extended the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that restricts all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India for an additional 30 days (i.e. until August 21, 2021, at 23:59 EDT). All direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India are subject to the NOTAM. Cargo-only operations, medical transfers or military flights are not included. Transport Canada has also extended the requirement related to third-country pre-departure COVID-19 tests for travellers to Canada from India via an indirect route. This means that passengers who depart India to Canada via an indirect route will continue to be required to obtain a COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country other than India before continuing their journey to Canada.

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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.”

Flair Airlines Starting Service as the First True Ultra Low-Cost Carrier in Victoria With Fares Less Than $30

EDMONTON, Alberta, July 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Flair Airlines, Canada’s only independent ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), continues its growth with the inaugural service at Victoria International Airport (IATA: YYJ) in British Columbia starting today. The ULCC is adding ultra-affordable, non-stop flights between Victoria and 3 Canadian cities: Kitchener-Waterloo, Calgary, and Edmonton.

“It is quickly becoming known that the residents of British Columbia have been gouged on air travel for years,” says Stephen Jones, President and CEO, Flair Airlines. “Additional competition in the Victoria market is critical to ensuring a sustainable future of low-fares remains available for people in the region. Connecting people with the places, people, and experiences they love is at the heart of what we do. At Flair, we believe those connections should not be capitalized on by legacy airlines who refuse to keep their costs in check. The time for change and the lowering of Canadian airfares is now, and Flair is here to make that happen.”

“We’re pleased to welcome the return of Flair Airlines to Victoria and congratulate them today on their inaugural flight to Kitchener-Waterloo. We thank Flair for their commitment to YYJ and wish them the best of success with this new innovative service,” said Geoff Dickson, Victoria Airport Authority, President and CEO.

Victoria is among several new destinations Flair is adding to its network as the airline grows to serve 20 Canadian cities. Fares are available for less than $30 one-way. With an ambitious goal to grow to 50 aircraft in 5 years, Flair is rapidly expanding as it brings ULCC service to Canadians.

About Flair Airlines

Flair Airlines is Canada’s only independent Ultra Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC) and is on a mission to liberate the lives of Canadians by providing affordable air travel that connects them to the people and experiences they love. With an expanding fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, Flair is growing to serve 20 cities across Canada. For more information, please visit http://www.flyflair.com

The Comox Valley Airport welcomes WestJet Link and an enhanced summer schedule

From Comox Airport – Thanks CW

25 June 2021

Today marks the re-start of WestJet’s service to Vancouver and Edmonton, along with a new summer schedule that includes non-stop Saturday service to Toronto.

“The Comox Valley Airport has been well served by WestJet in the past, but this new summer schedule brings us to a whole new level. WestJet Link features the comfortable 34 Seat Saab Turboprop to Vancouver’s main terminal, which along with the return of non-stop service to Edmonton, and increased frequency to Calgary connects YQQ to Western Canada’s three domestic hubs,” said Airport CEO, Mike Atkins. “The new schedules have been optimized to provide better connectivity, allowing passengers to travel to and from Vancouver Island without overnight delays.”

YQQ has seen an upswing in passengers since the regional travel restrictions lifted on June 16th. “We have the capacity to bring families together again this summer, but need the domestic travel restrictions to be lifted to allow those planes to be filled”, said Atkins. “It is our hope that this recovery will be given the go-ahead July 1st.”

  • WestJet Link service 2x daily to Vancouver
  • WestJet Encore service 3x daily to Calgary, 5 weekly non-stop flights to Edmonton
  • WestJet non-stop to Toronto on Saturdays
  • For additional information please Click Here

As always, safety is the number one priority for the Comox Valley Airport, and enhanced cleaning, physical distancing and other pandemic protocols will remain in place until further notice. For more information please visit our website at www.comoxairport.com YQQ Ready.

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.

WestJet reconnecting Atlantic Canada routes

Airline to restart seven routes across Atlantic Canada by July 2

New non-stop service between Calgary-Charlottetown to launch on July 29

CALGARY, AB, June 25, 2021 /CNW/ -WestJet is further restoring Atlantic Canada’s domestic and interprovincial connectivity with the restart of seven routes to and from destinations across Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. The airline today also announced it will launch its new non-stop service to Charlottetown from Calgary on July 29. 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 Prince Edward Island to Alberta 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 Atlantic Canada’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and by the end of June, the airline is set to restore commercial air service to Sydney, N.S., Deer Lake and Gander, Nfld., with the restart of flights from Halifax and Toronto.

“As WestJet leads the restart of travel across the Atlantic region, it is critical that we get clarity and guidance on travel policies from the federal government. The safe return of visitors to and from the region is key to recovery and we thank the Atlantic Premiers and their governments for the work they have done to prioritize the safe restart of travel. WestJet remains committed to affordably connecting Atlantic Canada to the rest of the country and the world,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President.

This July, WestJet will offer non-stop service to Atlantic Canada from Halifax to six cities, from St. John’s to three cities, from Charlottetown to two cities and from Moncton, Fredericton, Deer Lake, Gander and Sydney to one city.

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.

Atlantic Canada route restarts

Route Peak FrequencyRoute restart date
Charlottetown – Toronto  4x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Fredericton – Toronto 1x dailyJune 26, 2021 
Deer Lake – Toronto 4x weeklyJune 27, 2021 
Halifax – Sydney 1x dailyJune 28, 2021 
Gander – Halifax 3x weeklyJune 30, 2021 
Moncton – Toronto 1x dailyJuly 1, 2021 
Halifax – Edmonton2x weeklyJuly 2, 2021
Charlottetown – Calgary *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.

WestJet reconnecting Saskatchewan routes

Airline to restore non-stop service to Edmonton and inaugurate new flights from Saskatoon and Regina

CALGARY, AB, June 25, 2021 /CNW/ – WestJet is further restoring Saskatchewan’s domestic connectivity with the restoration and inauguration of five routes to and from destinations across Alberta and British Columbia from Saskatoon and Regina. 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 Saskatchewan’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and by the end of June the airline will begin its new non-stop flights from Saskatoon to Kelowna and Victoria.

“We have spent time listening to our valued government, airport, tourism and related industry partners in Saskatchewan as we enter the recovery phase of the pandemic. We thank Premier Moe and his government for prioritizing travel in their restart plan. While progress has been made in Saskatchewan, we continue to advocate for a safe travel framework from the Government of Canada,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President.

This July, WestJet will offer non-stop service from Saskatoon to seven cities and five cities from Regina.

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 momentis a reminder to Canadians that it’s time to love where they’re going, again.

Saskatchewan route restarts between now and July 6, 2021

RoutePeak FrequencyRoute restart date
Regina – Kelowna *2x weeklyJune 24, 2021
Regina – Edmonton6x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Saskatoon – Kelowna *2x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Saskatoon – Victoria *2x weeklyJune 27, 2021
Saskatoon – Edmonton6x weeklyJuly 6, 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 speaks with stakeholders about future of travel in and out of Edmonton

From Global News – link to source story and video

By Julia Wong, Global News | June 23, 2021

Click to play video: 'Westjet speaks with stakeholders about future of travel in and out of Edmonton'
Westjet held a roundtable on Wednesday to discuss the future of travel in and out of the Edmonton International Airport, moving forward in the pandemic. Julia Wong reports.

Link to video

The future of air travel in and out of Edmonton was the main topic of discussion on Wednesday at a roundtable held by a major airline.

Westjet hosted the two-hour session with approximately 80 business leaders, airport officials and officials from all three levels of government.

The goal of the session was to figure out a path forward as Alberta transitions into the next phase of the pandemic.

Andy Gibbons, vice president of government and regulatory affairs for WestJet, said the airline connected with stakeholders to determine how to build back the airline’s network and connectivity.

“From the business community, it was the international connectivity and it was to better understand where we were as a company and how we saw the Edmonton market and our commitment to it.”

Gibbons said the airline also heard from stakeholders about the importance of U.S. and international flights for the tourism economy and for major events.

Westjet is lobbying for the federal government to re-think quarantine policies.

As of July 5, fully vaccinated Canadians will no longer have to quarantine upon arrival in the country; the airline wants to see that policy extended to all who are fully vaccinated, not just Canadians.

Click to play video: 'Mandatory quarantine rules for Canadian travellers are about to change'Mandatory quarantine rules for Canadian travellers are about to change

“We continue to push for a plan. The plan’s important because it takes time for us to restart. We have to put our investments, we have to put our aircraft in place so the more time we have the and the more policy certainty we have, the better we can deliver for Edmonton and for the airport and for the region,” Gibbons said.

Jeffrey Sundquist, president and CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, participated in the roundtable and said a strong economy requires a strong airport.

“If you take a look at our members and the need to move goods and services in and out of the market, direct air service is critically important.

“We need to get those U.S. destinations and the international destinations back.”

Sundquist said the risk of being relegated to a regional — as opposed to an international — airport, would hurt investment and business retention.

“If people cannot get in and out efficiently with the market, that changes behaviours and patterns… The importance of direct air service provides confidence to the market for convention business, for sporting events… in order for us to compete effectively, we need to have efficient and reliable air service,” he said.

The Edmonton International Airport (EIA), which also participated in the roundtable, has been hit hard the last 16 months; the airport previously serviced 53 destinations – it now services 13.

“For us, we’re quite encouraged at the domestic routes we’re seeing airlines introduce and we know there is demand for that kind of travel,” said Traci Bednard, vice president of corporate communications at EIA.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton airport working to attract lost international flights'Edmonton airport working to attract lost international flights – Jun 8, 2021

“I think the work our community has committed to do to work with our airline partners is to build and attract as soon as possible those U.S., international routes in order to really generate the economic recovery that our region needs.”

In a statement to Global News, Air Canada said it is supporting partners in the tourism and hospitality sectors with service to 50 Canadian cities.

The statement also said the airline is working with various provinces and stakeholders to call on the federal government to safely reopen international travel.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.