Category: Edmonton YEG

Stronger growth in tourism expected this year after a weak 2018

Provided by Conference Board of Canada/CNW

OTTAWA, Jan. 17, 2019 /CNW/ – The number of overnight visits from both within Canada and international markets is projected to increase by 2.0 per cent in 2019, according to The Conference Board of Canada’s Travel Markets Outlook reports.

While Canadian households are expected to face growing economic and financial challenges heading into 2019, domestic travel volumes are still projected to increase. According to our travel intentions survey, a growing share of Canadian households plan to take a winter vacation, and among those, a slightly higher share plan to stay in Canada for their longest-duration trip. Meanwhile, growth from the U.S. and overseas markets is expected to strengthen in 2019, as travel price inflation eases and a favourable exchange rate for many international markets remains.

“Tourism activity in 2018 was weighed down by a number of factors, including rising travel prices, the weaker economic environment and lack of major events like those that happened in 2017,” said Greg Hermus, Associate Director for The Conference Board of Canada’s Canadian Tourism Research Institute. “Fortunately, 2019 should see stronger growth in tourism activity thanks to more modest increases in travel prices and easing uncertainty surrounding trade negotiations.”

The recently issued travel advisory for Canada from the Chinese government presents a downside risk to the tourism forecast. International markets represent the strongest growth prospects for overnight visits to the country and China is Canada’s second most important overseas market.

Regional Highlights
Among the 10 Canadian cities covered in the Travel Markets Outlook: Metropolitan Focus, growth in overnight visits is expected to average between 1.6 per cent and 3.3 per cent this year. Vancouver will experience the strongest growth in 2019 and will be the only city where tourism activity expands by more than 3 per cent.

Travel to Halifax should be boosted by the city’s hosting the 2019 Memorial Cup and the World Under-19 Men’s Floorball Championships. Overnight visits are projected to average 2 per cent over the next few years.

Tourist activity in 2019 will be stimulated by the city’s hosting of World Summit AI—a major artificial intelligence summit. Events like this, coupled with major infrastructure coming into service and an expanding local economy, will help overnight visits to grow at a healthy clip over the next few years, averaging 2.3 per cent per year.

Québec City
Québec City saw a strong increase in overnight visits in 2018, thanks to a boost from hosting the G7 Summit, strong growth from the U.S. and overseas markets, and a strong local economy. With continuing gains expected from international arrivals, overnight visits should expand at annual rates of growth of around 2 per cent over the next few years.

The number of overnight visits to Ottawa fell in 2018 but should pick up this year, thanks to new infrastructure, and growth in international visits. Major investments such as renovations to the Ottawa International Airport terminal, and the addition of a light-rail station at the airport, are expected to pay dividends in the years to come.

Coming off a modest year, tourism activity in Toronto should pick up speed in 2019. The city has marketed itself as a stopover destination for international travellers and should see a rebound in U.S. and overseas visits this year. A major upgrade to its public transit system should benefit tourist activity in the years to come. Overnight visits are projected to increase by 2.6 per cent in 2019.

St. Catharines-Niagara
Tourism activity in St. Catharines-Niagara region will benefit from the expanded direct air capacity in neighbouring Toronto. In all, overseas visits are expected to grow by a stronger 2.2 per cent in 2019 and will increase at a steady pace over the next few years.

Following strong growth in 2018, overnight visits to Winnipeg are expected to moderate this year. Tourism activity should get a strong boost in 2020 as Manitoba celebrates the 150th anniversary of its joining Confederation.

Pleasure travel will receive a boost with the city’s hosting of large events in 2019, including the Grey Cup and the Canadian Country Music Awards. In all, overnight visits to Calgary are expected to grow by 2.8 per cent this year.

Edmonton will see growth of 2.3 per cent in overnight this year. Domestic visits should get a boost as the city hosts a leg of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) Mixed Relay Series and the World Triathlon Series. Meanwhile, visits from the U.S. and overseas are projected to pick up speed.

The projected robust economic growth in the province and strong influx of tourists from overseas markets will continue to be the major sources of growth for tourism in Vancouver. One potential challenge to future growth would be the worsening wildfires, which don’t directly impact Vancouver but leave a heavy lingering haze over the city and surrounding areas during fire season. In all, overnight visits are forecast to grow by 3.3 per cent this year.

The Travel Markets Outlook: National Focus provides a tourism forecast for each of the 10 provinces and Yukon. The Travel Markets Outlook: Metropolitan Focus analyzes and provides a forecast for the tourism industry in Canada, and in 10 metropolitan areas.

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SOURCE Conference Board of Canada

Swoop inaugurates the first commercial flight from Hamilton to Puerto Vallarta

News provided by Swoop/CNW


CALGARY, Jan. 8, 2019 /CNW/ – Today Swoop celebrates its first of four inaugural flights to Mexico.  Flight WO660 departs John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport (YHM) at 8:00 a.m. EST and arrives at the Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR) at 12:28 p.m. CST.

This is the first time an airline has offered service to Puerto Vallarta from the Hamilton International Airport. Travellers can also enjoy flights from Hamilton to Cancun beginning January 14, 2019 and Abbotsford to Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán beginning January 12, 2019 and January 20, 2019 respectively.

The Puerto Vallarta International Airport and tourism partners are welcoming the arrival of the first Swoop aircraft and its travellers with a water arch, refreshments, gift bags and a lively mariachi band.

“Not only are we celebrating Swoop’s entry into its fourth country in under six months of operation, but also a brand-new route for the Hamilton airport”, said Karen McIsaac, Senior Advisor of Communications at Swoop. “Swoop continues to write a progressive narrative in the history of Canadian air travel, benefitting the thousands of Canadians that choose to fly with us every day and influencing growth in the tourism industry.”

“Today’s inaugural flight on Swoop from Hamilton to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is an exciting one for the Airport and our customers,” said Cathie Puckering, President & CEO, John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. “Puerto Vallarta is a brand-new destination offered for the first time from Hamilton and is a popular destination for Canadian and U.S. customers heading south to escape the cold winter weather. Hamilton is proud to fulfil this demand and see its list of sun destinations continue to grow in 2019.”

“Puerto Vallarta’s airport has been enjoying a continual increase in flights in the past two seasons and these new flights are a sign on the continuous interest in Puerto Vallarta’s tourism offerings,” said Javier Aranda Pedrero, General Director, Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board. “Our guests will find that Puerto Vallarta can offer an exceptional warm and sunny vacation at every budget.”

Flights are now available for booking through to April 27, 2019.

Details of Swoop’s service to Mexico: 

Service BetweenService OfferedWeekly FrequencyTotal One-Way
Price From*
Hamilton and Puerto
2 x per week$139 CAD
Hamilton and CancunMonday, Friday, 
3 x per week$139 CAD
Abbotsford and Puerto 
2 x per week$159 CAD
Abbotsford and MazatlánThursday,
2 x per week$159 CAD
*Every day low fares. Lower promotional fares may be available during select travel periods.

Flair Airlines Expands to the USA

Provided by Flair Airlines/Globe Newswire

The addition of six US destinations nearly doubles the airline’s route network for the winter

17 December 2018 – Flair Airlines (Edmonton, AB): Flair, Canada’s only independent low-fare airline, is the first carrier in the history of  both Edmonton International Airport and Winnipeg International Airport to offer non-stop service to Miami, Florida.  In addition to Miami, Flair launched non-stop flights from Winnipeg, Edmonton and Toronto to destinations like Orlando, Phoenix/Mesa, Las Vegas, St.Pete/Tampa Bay, and Palm Springs this weekend.

Over the last twelve months, Flair has rapidly expanded its network and fleet to include newly leased Boeing 737-800NG aircraft. Two of these three aircraft are presently operating flights to the US. Since June, Flair has also welcomed almost 100 new staff to accommodate this rapid growth.  This winter, to destinations like Las Vegas, the airline offers US flights for as low as $99*one-way.

Flair’s Executive Chairman, David Tait, commented, “We’ve been overwhelmed by the terrific support of Canadians and are delighted to offer six popular – snow-free – southern destinations; all with low fares.”

“Flair has been a welcome addition to Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, and these new routes exemplify their commitment to our city,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “Our mission is to connect Winnipeg and the surrounding region to the world. As a result of our partnership with Flair, travellers now have more options, to more sunny destinations this winter and beyond.”

“Fresh on the heels of its inaugural US service to Las Vegas, Flair’s announcement of four new US routes is creating exceptional travel options for the Edmonton Metro Region,” said Tom Ruth, President and CEO of Edmonton International Airport. “Multiple routes and low fares make air travel more accessible while supporting tourism, business growth and continued investment in our region.”

“We proudly welcome Flair and its new routes to the Miami service area,” said Lester Sola, Miami-Dade Aviation Department Director and CEO. “South Florida residents can now choose from multiple options for travel to Canada.”

As a scheduled airline, Flair has flown more than 1.3 million passengers throughout Canada. Today is a significant milestone as the independently owned airline makes major strides into the U.S.

WestJet says it’s co-operating with predatory pricing probe by Competition agency

WestJet says it’s co-operating with predatory pricing probe by Competition agency

News provided by Canadian Press

12 December 2018, The Canadian Press, CALGARY — WestJet Airlines Ltd. says it is co-operating with a probe by Canada’s competition watchdog following accusations of predatory pricing from a competitor.

The Calgary-based carrier said in an email Wednesday it is “compiling information” in response to an investigation from the Competition Commissioner.

Edmonton-based Flair Airlines has accused WestJet and low-cost offshoot Swoop of undercutting its business by pricing fares at or below cost and flooding certain routes with flights, contrary to competition legislation that protects new entrants from more dominant carriers.

Flair chief executive Jim Scott tells The Canadian Press that the ultra-low-cost carrier lost about $10 million between mid-June and mid-October as a result.

He says WestJet offered tickets starting at $39 for flights between Edmonton and Abbotsford, B.C., a move that cost Flair $2 million between June 20 and Oct. 15.

Scott says it was reassuring to see media reports that the Federal Court of Canada on Tuesday ordered a WestJet vice-president to appear before the Competition Commissioner to explain the airline’s tactics.

Companies in this story: (TSX:WJA)

The Canadian Press

Competition watchdog launches predatory pricing probe of WestJet

News provided by The Globe and Mail

Canada’s Competition Commissioner has launched a predatory pricing investigation of WestJet Airlines Ltd., after receiving a complaint the Calgary-based carrier and its Swoop division are undercutting competitors with below-cost fares in violation of the Competition Act.

The commissioner filed a motion in the Federal Court of Canada outlining its investigation as it sought a court order that a WestJet vice-president be required to appear before the commissioner to explain the airline’s pricing, planning and scheduling and other information relevant to the inquiry.

The competition watchdog launched its inquiry in November after meeting with representatives of Kelowna-based Flair Airlines Ltd. which alleged WestJet and its newly launched Swoop brand were offering seats on some routes at prices designed to force competitors out of the market.

Flair alleged Swoop’s “anti-competitive conduct” made it stop flying its Edmonton-to-Hamilton route, and could force it out of the Canadian market entirely.

“WestJet and Swoop are presently compiling information in answer to the bureau’s inquiry and will not be providing further comment at this time,” WestJet spokeswoman Lauren Stewart said.

The watchdog’s request for a court order complaint was first reported by Ottawa publication Blacklock’s Reporter.

According to the application made by the Department of Justice to Federal Court, Swoop allegedly priced its Edmonton-to-Abbotsford route at as little as $39, which equals 2 cents after taxes, fees and travellers security charges.

Swoop offered one-way fares to Hamilton from Edmonton for $69, including taxes and other fees, for an effective fare of $28.59. Flair said its lowest all-inclusive price for the same route in 2017 was $149. Flair left that route, and Swoop is the only airline flying it at this time, the court document says.

“Based on the commissioner’s inquiry to date, the commissioner has reason to believe that the parties have engaged in conduct that constitutes an abuse of dominant position,” the watchdog said in the court document.

On Tuesday, the Chief Justice of the Federal Court granted the commissioner’s motion and ordered WestJet vice-president John Weatherill to testify at a later date before the competition inquiry. The justice also ordered the airlines to provide all documents requested by the Competition Commissioner.

Swoop reveals core summer schedule with fares priced from $59

News provided by CNW/Swoop

Airline extends key routes in preparation for its full summer schedule release

CALGARY, Nov. 27, 2018 /CNW/ – Today Swoop released its core summer schedule with flights available for booking from April 28, 2019 through to October 26, 2019. The release extends many routes and sets the stage for the publication of the full summer schedule in the next few months, which is expected to add both frequency and new markets.

“The schedule released today confirms our commitment to serving our core airports through the summer of 2019,” said Karen McIsaac, Senior Advisor of Communications at Swoop. “Our ability to continue offering these routes substantiates our success and aids Swoop in acquiring the loyalty of our travellers in these markets.”

The schedule extends service in Swoop’s five domestic markets of Halifax, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Abbotsford as well as the transborder destination of Las Vegas.

Service BetweenService OfferedWeekly FrequencyTotal One-Way
Price From*
Edmonton and HamiltonDaily10 x per week$139 CAD
Edmonton and AbbotsfordDaily12 x per week$59 CAD
Edmonton and WinnipegDaily7 x per week$69 CAD
Edmonton and Las VegasDaily7 x per week$99 CAD
Hamilton and HalifaxDaily7 x per week$119 CAD
Hamilton and WinnipegDaily7 x per week$89 CAD
Hamilton and EdmontonDaily10 x per week$139 CAD
Hamilton and AbbotsfordDaily14 x per week$99 CAD
Abbotsford and EdmontonDaily12 x per week$59 CAD
Abbotsford and HamiltonDaily14 x per week$99 CAD
Winnipeg and EdmontonDaily7 x per week$69 CAD
Winnipeg and HamiltonDaily7 x per week$89 CAD
Halifax and HamiltonDaily7 x per week$119 CAD
*Every day low fares. Lower promotional fares may be available during select travel periods.

In the coming months, Swoop will finalize the remaining additions to the schedule including incorporating plans for their seventh aircraft, which is expected to be delivered in May of 2019. For now, travellers can get ahead of booking their summer travel at ultra-low-fares starting at $59 CAD all-in.

To learn more about Swoop’s destinations, schedule and ultra-low-cost model visit  or connect with Swoop on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  

Flair Airlines Launches First US Flight

Low Fare Airlines hosts huge party for an on-time departure to its first US flight to Vegas

November 08, 2018 13:10 ET | Source: Flair Airlines

Edmonton – Las Vegas, Nov. 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — November 8, 2018

Flair Airlines (Edmonton, AB): Flair, Canada’s low-fare airline, today, launched its first US-bound flight when Flight 777 left Edmonton International Airport for Las Vegas, Nevada. As Edmonton’s ‘hometown airline’ Flair’s inaugural trip to ‘Sin City’ was sold-out with a crowd of excited passengers.

Flair’s Executive Chairman, David Tait, stated, “Today is a momentous day in our history as it the first of our multiple new trans-border services.” In December Flair will begin flying to Palm Springs, Miami, Orlando and Phoenix/Mesa.

“EIA is honoured to host Flair’s first scheduled US flight,” said Tom Ruth, Edmonton International Airport President and CEO. “Las Vegas is an incredibly popular destination with travellers from the Edmonton Metro Region, Western Canada and the North.”

Flair also announced that on the return flight from Vegas to Edmonton the airline will host some 30 Nevada delegates who will attend the Alberta-Nevada B2B Matchmaking Program, hosted by Alberta Economic Development and Trade, in cooperation with Edmonton International Airport, Edmonton Global, Calgary Economic Development, the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and the Nevada Institute of Autonomous Systems.

The B2B Alberta-Nevada all-day meeting on Nov. 9th was inspired by the offer extended from Flair to fly US government and business delegates from Las Vegas to Edmonton – as the airline’s guests.  “We’re delighted that so many international trade delegates and State Senator James Ohrenshall have taken advantage of our offer to enhance the business relationship between Alberta and Nevada,” stated Tait.

Flair Airlines flight 777 was welcomed in Vegas to the salute of water cannons, Elvis, and Showgirls.  “We are pleased to welcome Flair Airlines to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and wish it great success with these new air service offerings from Edmonton,” said Chris Jones, chief marketing officer for the Clark County Department of Aviation.

“We are excited to welcome new seasonal flights from Canada with our latest travel partner, Flair Airlines,” said Cathy Tull, chief marketing officer for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “Canada has nearly 1.5 million visitors to Las Vegas annually and as such represents our largest source of international visitors. Flair’s new service will provide further access and convenience for our Canadian friends to see why Las Vegas is the perfect escape this winter.”

Air Canada Inaugurates Two New Transborder Routes From Alberta

  • EdmontonLas Vegas 
  • CalgaryPalm Springs

MONTREALOct. 28, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada today launched two new daily, seasonal transborder routes.  Celebrations were held prior to the departure of the inaugural flights from Edmonton to Las Vegas and from Calgary to Palm Springs.

“We are delighted to offer more travel options to Albertans with the addition of daily, seasonal services from both Calgary and Edmonton, which means golf, entertainment and the desert sun are a short flight away every day this fall and winter. With our flexible and diverse North American fleet, we are continuing to strategically add services to popular destinations,” said Mark Galardo, Vice President, Network Planning at Air Canada.

“EIA is very excited to welcome Air Canada Rouge to the Edmonton Metro Region with their inaugural flight to Las Vegas,” said Tom RuthEdmontonInternational Airport President and CEO. “We know Las Vegas is a popular destination for both leisure and business travellers and the addition of this service will increase options for passengers and support strong business ties.”

“Sun-seekers travelling from YYC Calgary International Airport are excited to have another direct link to Palm Springs, California,” said Bob Sartor, the Calgary Airport Authority’s President and CEO. “Working with our partner, Air Canada, we’re creating effortless ways to enjoy the stunning Coachella Valley.”

The Edmonton to Las Vegas and Calgary to Palm Springs flights are onboard Air Canada Rouge A319 and Air Canada A320 aircraft respectively, both offering premium and economy cabins.

Flights are timed to connect with Air Canada’s extensive domestic schedule, provides for Aeroplan accumulation and redemption, Star Alliance reciprocal benefits, and for eligible customers, priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounge access at Canadian airports, priority boarding and other benefits.







Las Vegas


Air Canada Rouge Airbus A319

Oct 28/18 – Apr 30/19


Palm Springs


Airbus A320

Oct 28/18 – Apr 30/19


Swoop resumes flights to U.S. after final operating approval

A Swoop Airlines Boeing 737 on display during a media event on June 19, 2018, at John C. Munro International Airport in Hamilton, Ont.


Swoop is resuming all scheduled flights to the U.S. after receiving its final operating approval.

The discount subsidiary of WestJet Airlines says flights that have been cancelled will resume starting Saturday.

The affected flights were from Hamilton, Ont., and Abbotsford, B.C., to Las Vegas and various cities in Florida. An inaugural flight from Edmonton to Mesa, Ariz., will take off Saturday as originally scheduled.

Flights between Edmonton and Las Vegas were not affected by the cancellations because Swoop temporarily leased a WestJet aircraft for that route.

Air Canada To Open New Facility For Ground Support Equipment Services And Cargo At Edmonton International Airport

  • 50,000 square-foot (4,645 square metres) building scheduled to open in September 2019

EDMONTONOct. 25, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada broke ground today for a new facility that will house its ground support equipment service and cargo teams at Edmonton International Airport (YEG), allowing the airline to further enhance its operational capabilities and reinforcing the airline’s commitment to Alberta’s capital city.

The 50,000 square foot (4,645 square metres) building will be constructed by Terracap Group. Air Canada has signed a 15-year lease for the multi-tenant facility, representing an investment of $19 million by the airline over the term of the lease.

Air Canada’s Ground Support Equipment team will utilize 30,000 square feet (2,787 square metres) of the new facility, while Air Canada Cargo will occupy the remaining 20,000 square feet (1,858 square metres). The new facility is expected to open in September 2019.

“We look forward to this new facility at Edmonton International Airport which will support two of our important operations comprising ground support services and cargo.  The new building means our Edmonton ground support equipment team can continue ensuring the approximately 167 vehicles and motorized ground support equipment Air Canada operate at the Edmonton International Airport are maintained to the highest safety, environmental and operational standards in a modern facility,” stated Kevin Howlett, Senior Vice President, Regional Markets & Government Relations.  “Additionally, Air Canada Cargo has significant business in Alberta and Western Canada, and with air freight and logistics being a rapidly growing sector, we have a strong focus on infrastructure improvement across our network.  Our goal is to provide world-class service and a brand-new facility goes a long way in creating an enhanced experience for our customers and for our employees.”

The new facility will include five spacious maintenance bays to facilitate the upkeep of Air Canada’s approximately 167 airport vehicles in use at Edmonton International Airport, comprising pushback tugs to bag tractors and other vehicles. The building has separate, dedicated areas for maintaining an ever-increasing fleet of baggage carts and container dollies, as well as for welding and machining operations and enables equipment painting year-round regardless of the season.  Other features include a dedicated area for electricians to carry out specialized electrical repairs and a training room that will support continuous learning by keeping mechanics current with the latest technology. Air Canada will continue to meet environmental requirements efficiently through a dedicated area to effectively handle hazardous materials.

The new building will also provide modern, upgraded facilities for Air Canada Cargo which will enable the integration of technology infrastructure and enhanced space usage for the optimal flow of goods. In 2017, Air Canada Cargo handled 3.2 million kilograms of goods, including pharmaceuticals, mail, art, and oil and gas industry equipment through its Edmonton cargo facility.

“By growing its investment at the Edmonton International Airport, Air Canada is demonstrating confidence in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region and its competitiveness as part of the airline’s extensive global network,” said Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton

“Air Canada is a strong partner,” said Tom RuthEdmonton International Airport President and CEO. “In addition to their San Francisco and Las Vegas route expansions from Edmonton International Airport this year, they are further committing to the Edmonton Metro Region with their investment into this new facility, helping to grow our airport and our Airport City.”

“The Terracap Group of Companies prides itself on its relationship with great tenants, so we are more than fortunate to be able to construct a new state-of-the-art building for Air Canada. The airline has been such an integral part of the airline industry in Canada, so we are very proud to be a part of such a great initiative at the Edmonton International Airport and look forward to building on the relationship with Air Canada and the team at the Edmonton International Airport,” said Larry Krauss, President and CEO of the Terracap Group of Companies.

This fall from Edmonton, Air Canada will offer more than 290 flights each week (up to 44 daily flights) to 12 destinations (14 in winter) in North America, including one daily flight to Las Vegas which will launch on October 28, and the daily non-stop flights to San Francisco which began earlier this year. The carrier will offer an average of 1,770 additional seats per week from Edmonton International Airport this fall and winter, when compared to the same period last year.