Air Transat Unveils Its Ambitious Winter 2022-2023 Program

The airline is diversifying and expanding its winter offering to the South, the United States and Europe by leveraging its growing network

MONTREAL, May 19, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ –  Air Transat, named World’s Best Leisure Airline in 2021 by Skytrax, is proud to announce today that it is diversifying and expanding its international offering for winter 2022–2023. For the first time in its history, it will fly to more than 350 destinations worldwide, about 50 of which will be served by its own aircraft and some 300 others through its exclusive virtual interlining service, connectair by Air Transat, as well as its code-sharing agreements.

“Our customers want and need to travel,” says Michèle Barre, Vice President, Network, Revenue Management and Pricing of Air Transat. “Our response to their expectations is unique, of high quality and rich in options. We are offering an unprecedented range of destinations on four continents for this coming winter as we continue to develop and strengthen our air network.”

Air Transat continues to grow in Quebec while consolidating its position in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces with flights to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America, the United States, Canada and Europe.

Sunshine at will: more options for the South from Montreal and Toronto

Air Transat will offer direct flights from eight cities across the country: Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, London, Halifax and Moncton. In addition to its flights to the South, Air Transat will also offer vacationers a selection of packages at more than 290 properties.

Out of Montreal, Air Transat will expand its services on the South, including to Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico (to Puerto Vallarta and Cancun), as well as in the Dominican Republic, to Punta Cana. It will also operate direct flights to Guadeloupe, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Panama, the Caribbean, and El Salvador, as well as Cuba, where direct flights to Havana are back in service.

Travellers out of Toronto will also have plenty of choice to enjoy the sun and beaches of the South. Air Transat will offer direct flights to Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the United States, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, the Dominican Republic and St. Maarten.

From Quebec City, nine sun destinations will be accessible by direct flight to Cuba, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Weekly Flights – South

DestinationFrom MontrealFrom Quebec CityFrom Toronto
ACAPULCO – Mexico1
CANCUN – Mexico14510
CARTAGENA – Colombia32
CAYO COCO – Cuba423
FORT-DE-FRANCE – Martinique2
GUANACASTE – Costa Rica33
HAVANA – Cuba3
HOLGUIN – Cuba314
LA ROMANA – Dominican Republic11
MONTEGO BAY – Jamaica36
POINTE-A-PITRE – Guadeloupe2
PORT-AU-PRINCE – Haiti1
PUERTO PLATA – Dominican Republic414
PUERTO VALLARTA – Mexico512
PUNTA CANA – Dominican Republic12510
RIO HATO – Panama22
SAMANA – Dominican Republic412
SAN JOSÉ – Costa Rica33
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico11
SAN SALVADOR – El Salvador1
SANTA CLARA – Cuba322
ST. MAARTEN – St. Maarten21
VARADERO – Cuba424

Major increase in service to the United States

Air Transat is also pursuing its ambitious development in the U.S. market, announcing a major increase in its offering from Montreal to Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Orlando and resuming its direct flights to Tampa. It will also maintain its service to New Orleans and extend service to Los Angeles year-round.

Weekly Flights – U.S.

DestinationFrom MontrealFrom Quebec CityFrom Toronto
FORT LAUDERDALE – Florida957
LOS ANGELES – California3
MIAMI – Florida5
NEW ORLEANS – Louisiana2
ORLANDO – Florida624
TAMPA – Florida2

Easy access to Europe: London year-round from Montreal and Marseille for the holidays

As for Europe, Air Transat will offer direct flights between Montreal and France, Portugal and Spain, as well as England, and offer year-round flights to London. It should also be noted that it will now offer its non-stop flights to Marseille for the holidays until January 8, 2023, and the following day for the flight back to Montreal.

In addition, there will be direct flights from Toronto to the United Kingdom, Portugal, the Netherlands, Scotland, and Italy, as well as from Quebec City to France.

Weekly Flights – Europe

DestinationFrom MontrealFrom Quebec CityFrom Toronto
FARO – Portugal1
GLASGOW – United Kingdom2
LISBON – Portugal22
LONDON – United Kingdom37
MALAGA – Spain2
MANCHESTER – United Kingdom2
MARSEILLE – France2
PARIS – France121
PORTO – Portugal1

In Canada

Air Transat will also operate domestic flights between Montreal and Toronto as well as between Montreal and Vancouver.

Weekly Flights – Domestic

DestinationNumber of flights
MONTREAL–TORONTO7
MONTREAL–VANCOUVER6

Global network expansion

To enable Canadians to simplify their travel itinerary and increase international connections, Air Transat is enhancing its offering with trusted partners through its code-sharing agreements as well as its virtual interlining service, connectair by Air Transat. In total, more than 350 destinations are available for booking.

The innovative connectair by Air Transat platform lets travellers combine Air Transat’s flights with those of seven partner airlines for more than 240 additional destinations in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Central and South America and Canada.

The winter 2022–2023 flight program is available for booking today on the airtransat.com and transat.com websites and from all travel product distributors. New destinations will be announced in a few weeks. See you in June!

About Air Transat

Founded in Montreal 35 years ago, Air Transat is a leading leisure travel brand. Voted World’s Best Leisure Airline by passengers at the Skytrax World Airline Awards, it flies to international and Canadian destinations, striving to serve its customers with enthusiasm and friendliness at every stage of their trip or stay, and emphasizing safety throughout. It is renewing its fleet with the greenest aircraft in their category as part of a commitment to a healthier environment, knowing that this is essential to its operations and the magnificent destinations it offers. Air Transat is a business unit of Transat A.T. Inc., a world-renowned holiday travel provider that achieved Travelife certification in 2018 in recognition of its sustainability commitments.

Recent distinctions and awards

  • World’s Best Leisure Airline at the Skytrax World Airline Awards
  • Named to Forbes World’s Best Employers List
  • Best Tour Operator and Favourite Overall Supplier at the Agents’ Choice Awards presented by Baxter Travel Media
  • Ranked as Canada’s 21st best corporate citizen by Corporate Knights

Lynx Air Announces Major Expansion out of Halifax

To celebrate, Lynx is launching a two-day 50 per cent off seat sale.

HALIFAX, NS, May 10, 2022 /CNW/ – At a press event in Halifax today, Lynx Air (Lynx) announced the addition of two Halifax routes to its network, creating links from Halifax to each of Calgary and Edmonton. These services are in addition to the previously announced services between Halifax and each of Hamilton and Toronto, which will commence on June 29, 2022 and June 30, 2022, respectively.

As of July 14, 2022, Lynx will commence five through-flights a week each way from Calgary to Halifax. On July 30, 2022, the airline will commence two through-flights a week each way from Edmonton to Halifax.  At that point, Lynx will be flying a total of 14 flights a week in and out of Halifax, which is more than 2,600 seats weekly.  The Edmonton and Calgary “through-flights” will operate via Toronto or Hamilton, providing a seamless service with a single boarding pass and the ability to check bags through to the final destination.  Fares to and from Halifax start from as low as $59.00* one way, including taxes.

Today’s announcement comes just one day after Lynx announced an expansion of services to St John’s.  The airline reported that the expansion of its Halifax and St. John’s route network is in response to strong demand for flights to Atlantic Canada. 

The new Halifax flights are now on sale and to celebrate, Lynx is launching a limited time seat sale, offering up to 50 per cent off base fares on all Halifax routes.  The sale will run for 48-hours starting May 10, 2022, at 12 noon ADT and will end on May 12, 2022 at 11:59pm ADT.  For full sale details and to reserve a discounted seat, please visit FlyLynx.com.

Canada’s new ultra-affordable airline launched its first flight just over a month ago and has been rapidly ramping up of its network in the lead-up to the busy summer period.  Lynx tickets are on sale now for 10 destinations coast to coast across Canada, including Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto Pearson, Hamilton, Halifax and St. John’s. The airline operates a fleet of brand-new, fuel-efficient Boeing 737 aircraft and plans to grow its fleet to more than 46 aircraft over the next five to seven years.

“Lynx is proud to be bringing competition and choice to beautiful Atlantic Canada,” says Merren McArthur, CEO of Lynx. “Halifax is Canada’s second largest coastal city, and gateway to beautiful Nova Scotia, renowned for its fresh seafood, striking lighthouses and stunning natural landscapes. We are excited to be offering more ultra-affordable travel options for people to visit this wonderful region.”

Lynx’s full flight schedule includes:

Round Trip MarketService StartsWeekly Frequencies
Calgary, AB to Vancouver, BCApril 7, 20227x
14x (from May 20)
Calgary, AB to Toronto, ONApril 11, 2022
7×12 x (from June 28)
Vancouver, BC to Kelowna, BCApril 15, 20222x
Calgary, AB to Kelowna, BCApril 15, 20222x
3x (from June 29)
Calgary, AB to Winnipeg, MBApril 19, 20224x
Vancouver, BC to Winnipeg, MBApril 19, 20222x
Vancouver, BC to Toronto, ONApril 28, 20227x
Toronto, ON to Winnipeg, MBMay 5, 20222x
Calgary, AB to Victoria, BCMay 12, 20222x
3x (from June 29)
Toronto, ON to St. John’s, NLJune 28, 20222x
7x (from July 14)
Calgary, AB to Hamilton, ONJune 29, 20222x
4x (from July 29)
Hamilton, ON to Halifax, NSJune 29, 20222x
Toronto, ON to Halifax, NSJune 30, 20223x
5x (from July 30)
Edmonton, AB to Toronto, ONJuly 14, 20225x7x (from July 30)
Edmonton, AB to St John’s, NL**July 14, 20225x
Calgary, AB to Halifax, NS **July 14, 20225x
Calgary, AB to St John’s, NL**July 16, 20222x
Edmonton, AB to Halifax, NS**July 30, 20222x
Please note that dates are subject to change. Visit the website for full schedule details.
Available for a limited time; fares are accurate at the time of release and include taxes and fees; fares vary by destination and date
** Denotes a Through Flight operating via Toronto

Tickets are on sale now at FlyLynx.com

About Lynx Air 

Lynx Air (Lynx), is Canada’s leading ultra-affordable airline and is on a mission to make air travel accessible to all with ultra-affordable fares, a fleet of brand-new state-of-the-art Boeing 737 aircraft and a great flying experience. Lynx is a privately owned Canadian airline with the financial backing and industry expertise required to transform the Canadian aviation landscape. To learn more visit FlyLynx.com.

Ultra-reliable and energy-efficient, Lynx Air’s fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft are serviced and operated by one of the most experienced teams in the business. The aircraft offers advanced aerodynamics and highly efficient engines, which result in significant fuel savings that cut the airline’s CO2 emissions by an estimated 14 per cent over even the most efficient single-aisle planes. These are vital improvements that decrease Lynx’s carbon footprint and help make it one of Canada’s greenest and most sustainable airlines. All Lynx aircraft meet the highest internationally certified safety standards and are certified by Transport Canada.

Nova Scotia Government Invests in Halifax Stanfield International Airport

May 6, 2022

The Halifax International Airport Authority will be able to attract more air routes and passengers to Nova Scotia with the help of a $13-million investment from the Province.

Susan Corkum-Greek, Minister of Economic Development, announced the funding today, May 6, during an event at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

“Our airports are a key part of Nova Scotia’s economic growth and prosperity. Air access helps increase trade and competitiveness, brings new investment and supports our tourism sector,” said Minister Corkum-Greek. “This funding underscores the government’s commitment to helping our businesses become even more competitive in global markets, strengthening our transportation links and promoting Nova Scotia’s many unique attributes to the world.”

The investment will go toward the airport authority’s Air Access Fund, used for incentives to airlines to establish new routes at Halifax Stanfield.

Quotes:

We’re grateful for this additional financial support from the provincial government to help us re-establish a strong air service network for our communities. Air service connections will be critical in supporting regional economic recovery, and now more than ever, we need to partner with our airlines to ensure service is returned to our region in a timely manner, allowing our tourism markets to gain back the momentum they’ve lost since COVID-19.Marie Manning, Vice-President, Business Development and Chief Commercial Officer, Halifax International Airport Authority

Quick Facts:

  • the funding is part of a $19.3 million investment in Nova Scotia’s two largest airports, with the Sydney Airport Authority receiving $6.3 million for its new Air Access Fund and infrastructure upgrades
  • Brian Comer, MLA for Cape Breton East and Minister responsible for the Office of Addictions and Mental Health, was at the J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport today on behalf of Minister Corkum-Greek to announce the funding for its airport authority
  • air access funds help the airport authorities attract new routes by offering incentives to reduce airlines’ financial risk of allocating airplanes and other supports to a route
  • the Halifax airport authority’s fund was originally intended to attract United States and international flight routes, but now, the authority can use a portion of the funds to attract domestic routes as Canadian carriers re-establish services cut during the pandemic

Air Transat and WestJet launch Transatlantic codeshare

MONTREAL and CALGARY, AB, April 28, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Today, Air Transat and WestJet have launched a new transatlantic codeshare. WestJet’s “WS” code is now activated for sale on select Air Transat operated flights to/from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, and Croatia. Connections via Montreal and Toronto are now available for flight dates beginning May 17, 2022.

On May 4, 2022, Air Transat’s “TS” code will be activated on select WestJet flights, and from that date Air Transat will also offer itineraries connecting select WestJet flights with appealing Air Transat European destinations. 

“We are very excited to launch this codeshare agreement with WestJet,” said Michèle Barre, Vice President, Network, Revenue Management and Pricing of Air Transat.  “The complementarity of our respective networks allows us to offer more alternatives to our customers, providing them with a quality and affordable product. This partnership is part of Air Transat’s development strategy, enhancing our long-standing presence in the transatlantic market.”

“This new codeshare with Air Transat complements our growing global network, allowing WestJet to offer guests exciting new destinations in Europe,” said John Weatherill, Chief Commercial Officer, WestJet.  “As our guests return to travel, these new options will connect North America and Europe in new ways and benefit guests on both sides of the Atlantic.” 

With this new codeshare, guests now have more options for their transatlantic travel, and will enjoy conveniences such as a single purchase for connecting flights, the ability to check in for all flights at their first departure, and baggage checked through to their final destination.

Once activated, both Air Transat and WestJet codeshare ticket sales will be available via the carriers’ websites and call centers, as well as via major GDS systems and travel agencies.

Subject to connectivity between their scheduled flights, Air Transat and WestJet will both offer the following transatlantic routings:

WestJet
Operated Flights
Air Transat “TS”
Codeshare
Applied
Connection
Via
Air Transat Operated Flights
WestJet “WS” Codeshare Applied
Deer Lake
St. John’s
Halifax
Sydney
Fredericton
Moncton
Charlottetown
Montreal
Quebec City 
London, ON
Ottawa
Thunder Bay
Toronto
Winnipeg
Regina
Saskatoon
Boston
N.Y. LaGuardia
Montreal

Toronto
France:  Bordeaux, Marseille, Nantes, Nice 

Italy:  Lamezia, Rome

Spain: Malaga  

Portugal:  Faro

Switzerland: Basel-Mulhouse

Croatia: Zagreb

About Air Transat

Founded in Montreal 35 years ago, Air Transat is a leading leisure travel brand. Voted World’s Best Leisure Airline by passengers at the Skytrax World Airline Awards, it flies to international and Canadian destinations, striving to serve its customers with enthusiasm and friendliness at every stage of their trip or stay, and emphasizing safety throughout. It is renewing its fleet with the greenest aircraft in their category as part of a commitment to a healthier environment, knowing that this is essential to its operations and the magnificent destinations it offers. Air Transat is a business unit of Transat A.T. Inc., a world-renowned holiday travel provider that has achieved Travelife certification in 2018 in recognition of its sustainability commitments.

About the WestJet Group of Companies 

In 26 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

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

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

Swoop Celebrates Start of Service to Ottawa

Canada’s leading ultra-low fare airline now serving Ottawa from Edmonton, with non-stop service to Halifax and Winnipeg starting in June

OTTAWA, ON, April 25, 2022 /CNW/ – Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost airline, celebrated its first inaugural flight between Edmonton International Airport (YEG) and Ottawa International Airport (YOW). Swoop flight WO 510 took off from Edmonton this morning at 10:50 a.m. MT and arrived at 4:30pm local time in Ottawa.

Swoop crew members Maricris Manalo , Captain Corey Howatt, Jeri Blair, First Officer Darius Duplessis, and Marilyn Beasley celebrate the inaugural service at Edmonton International Airport. (CNW Group/Swoop Inc.)
Swoop crew members Maricris Manalo , Captain Corey Howatt, Jeri Blair, First Officer Darius Duplessis, and Marilyn Beasley celebrate the inaugural service at Edmonton International Airport. (CNW Group/Swoop Inc.)

“Today’s inaugural service to Ottawa marks the first of many new routes for Swoop this summer, and we’re thrilled to be celebrating this non-stop connection between Edmonton, our Western Canada base, and Ottawa, our Nation’s Capital” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial and Finance, Swoop. “We’re proud to be connecting more Canadian travellers to key destinations across the country with our ultra-affordable and convenient air travel options.”

The inaugural service signals not only a continued commitment to service in Edmonton, but also brings new, ultra-affordable air travel options to residents of Ottawa. Later this summer, Swoop will add more ultra-low fare non-stop service from Ottawa to Halifax, Nova Scotia and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“At a time when the demand for air travel is reaching unprecedented heights, we know these new routes will play an important role in helping Canadians reconnect with friends and family this summer and assist in the recovery of the tourism economy” continued van der Stege.

Today, at FlySwoop.com, travellers can find one-way flights starting from $59 all-in.

RouteStart DatePeak Weekly FrequencyOne-way total price (CAD)Base Fare (CAD)Taxes & Fees (CAD)
Ottawa to EdmontonApril 25, 20225x weekly$59$6.14$52.86
Ottawa to HalifaxJune 19, 2022Daily$59$6.14$52.86
Ottawa to WinnipegJune 19, 20224x weekly$59$6.14$52.86
For travel between May 1 and June 15, 2022 (Edmonton) and July 1 to August 31, 2022 (Halifax and Winnipeg) | Seasonal start and end dates apply and are indicated in the booking flow. | Fares are valid until May 5, 2022 (11:59 p.m. MT) or while seats last.

”As Mayor of Ottawa, I’m pleased by this new air service offering from Swoop, which will see a number of direct flights added from the nation’s capital to key destinations across Canada. Swoop’s services will increase options and affordability for leisure and business travellers, as the demand for new flights continues to grow at YOW.” – Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa 

To learn more about Swoop and for flight schedules and bookings, please visit FlySwoop.com. For information on how Swoop is ensuring a safe and healthy travel experience visit FlySwoop.com/traveller-safety.

Additional Quotes

  “Ottawa Tourism welcomes Swoop’s direct service from Edmonton, as travel gains momentum and Canadians from coast to coast to coast seek to visit inspiring destinations like Ottawa,” says Michael Crockatt, President, and CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “As Canada’s capital, Ottawa tells the stories of Canada, and we look forward to welcoming travellers from Western Canada and beyond.”

“Congratulations to Swoop Airlines for providing fliers with an affordable new option for travelling across our country and to our nation’s capital,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “As we return to travel and sightseeing, I encourage everyone to make Ontario a part of their travel plans – where they can experience and enjoy the many incredible ways Ontario offers the world in one province.” 

“We are delighted to welcome Swoop to Canada’s Capital,” said Joel Tkach, Vice President, Business Development and Marketing for the Ottawa International Airport Authority. “YOW’s passengers are looking for the flexibility and choice Swoop offers, and our tourism partners are ready to showcase the exceptional experience Ottawa-Gatineau offers now that domestic travel recovery in Canada is in full swing.”

“Non-stop service to our national capital is a priority and I want to thank Swoop for providing more options for passengers. Service to Ottawa is important for our business community but as summer approaches we look forward to tourism opportunities going in both directions and welcoming visitors to our region and Jasper.” – Myron Keehn, Vice-President, Air Service and Business Development, Edmonton International Airport

About Swoop

Swoop is on a mission to make travel more affordable and accessible for all Canadians. Established in 2018 as an independent subsidiary of the WestJet Group of Companies, Swoop is Canada’s ultra-not-expensive airline. Offering scheduled service to destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean, Swoop’s unbundled fares put travellers in control of purchasing only the products and services they desire. 

Swoop’s modern fleet of ten Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft will grow to 16 with the addition of six Boeing MAX-8 in 2022. At FlySwoop.com travellers can quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight. 

Air Canada and Air Canada Cargo Inaugurate Freighter Service Into Halifax

  • High frequency, direct freighter capacity from Nova Scotia to Air Canada Cargo’s global network

MONTREAL, April 20, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada and Air Canada Cargo today operated the first dedicated freighter flight into Halifax Stanfield International Airport using the second Boeing 767-300ER to enter service. The addition of this aircraft will allow Air Canada Cargo to start high frequency, direct freighter capacity from Halifax to Air Canada Cargo’s global network, including service to Frankfurt, Cologne, Istanbul, and Madrid, starting in May.

Air Canada's Boeing 767-300ER freighter receives a water cannon salute on its first arrival into Halifax on April 20, 2022 (CNW Group/Air Canada)
Air Canada’s Boeing 767-300ER freighter receives a water cannon salute on its first arrival into Halifax on April 20, 2022 (CNW Group/Air Canada)

Today’s flight from Toronto arrived in Halifax with freight coming from around Air Canada’s global network and destined for Atlantic Canada. It will be loaded up with fresh lobster, fish, aerospace parts, and pharmaceuticals for its journey back to Toronto, from where those goods will be shipped to their final destinations around the globe.

“We have always enjoyed a long-standing and strong bond with Atlantic Canada and the Nova Scotia community, and we are thrilled to introduce direct freighter capacity to the market. Atlantic Canada’s economy has experienced important growth in the last few years, with increased demand from North America, Europe, and beyond. Nova Scotia is a key element of our growth strategy and Halifax being one of our first Canadian markets with the freighters further emphasizes the importance we place on our partnerships in the community. We are pleased to increase our support to the robust and growing trade sector in the region,” said Jason Berry, Vice President, Cargo at Air Canada.

“Having stronger air links opens the door for more trade and investment in our province. It means we can build on the already strong relationship with our trading partners and create new ones,” said Premier Tim Houston. “This is an important step forward for many of our businesses who will benefit from this exciting growth of Air Canada’s freighter network.”

“This exciting Air Canada Cargo expansion will increase capacity at Halifax Stanfield, providing Nova Scotia businesses and industries with more opportunities to ship their products efficiently by air,” said Joyce Carter, President & CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority. “We are thrilled with Air Canada’s continued investment in Halifax and look forward to their future growth to meet the needs of communities across the region.”

The new service to Halifax complements Air Canada Cargo’s regular freighter service to Latin American cities.

Atlantic Canada Schedule from Toronto

  • To Halifax: Five flights per week starting today

European Schedule from Toronto Starting in May

  • To Frankfurt: Two flights per week
  • To Cologne: One flight per week
  • To Istanbul: One flight per week
  • To Madrid: Three flights per week

About Air Canada

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

About Air Canada Cargo

Air Canada Cargo is an award-winning provider of air cargo services. It is Canada’s largest air cargo provider as measured by cargo capacity, with a presence in over 50 countries and self-handled hubs in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago, London, and Frankfurt. As the dedicated air freight division of Air Canada, Air Canada Cargo offers reliable air freight lift and connectivity to hundreds of destinations across six continents using Air Canada’s domestic and international passenger flights, cargo-only flights with its fleet of Boeing 767-300ER freighter aircraft, and trucking services. For more information, please visit: aircanadacargo.com 

Flair Airlines to jet from Windsor to Tucson, Halifax and Montreal

From CBC News 🔗link to source story

Flights from southwestern Ontario border city will begin this July

CBC News • April 05, 2022

Flair Airlines spokesperson Eric Tanner, Windsor International Airport CEO Mark Galvin and Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens stand inside of the airport’s terminal following an announcement Tuesday for new flights departing from Windsor. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

Windsor International Airport is offering new flights to Tucson, Halifax and Montreal this summer on Flair Airlines, the company announced Tuesday. 

The Edmonton-based discount carrier said the twice-weekly services to Halifax will begin July 8 and twice weekly to Montreal on July 7. The cost of a one-way ticket including taxes is set to be $29 to Montreal and $49 to Halifax from Windsor. 

The company will also offer weekly, $99 flights from Windsor to Tucson, Ariz., from Dec. 1, 2022, to March 23, 2023.

Tuesday’s announcement ushers in the first direct flight connecting Windsor to the east coast. 

“I think that’s really important,” said airport chief executive officer Mark Galvin. 

“We tend to get into travel patterns and I think COVID actually had a positive — people experienced new places and did new things … The destinations we were talking about were the same destinations Flair was talking about.”

Galvin said he’s thrilled by the addition of new destinations and will keep pursuing more to bring to the airport. 

When asked how the airline is able the keep prices so low, a representative said Flair runs efficient routes for flights and crews. 

Flair Airlines will offer flights to Tucson, Ariz., Halifax and Montreal from Windsor. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

“Our goal is to stimulate demand,” said Eric Tanner, director of network planning and scheduling for Flair Airlines.

“Our biggest competition as an airline is the couch. We want to get people off the couch and bring a long-weekend culture to Canada, where people say ‘I’ve got no plans this weekend what do you want to do? Let’s go to Halifax, let’s go to Montreal.'”

Tanner said the company wants to see if passengers are willing to travel, before Flair considers opening more routes elsewhere from the city. 

“This is our beta test for Windsor and we’re really excited about it, and we’re quite confident it will work.” 

Galvin said he hopes this is the beginning of pre-pandemic travel for the airport. 

Gordon Orr, CEO of Tourism Windsor-Essex Pelee Island, said he’s also looking at ways to market the city to outside travellers, especially those conducting business. 

“We do see great opportunities, for sure,” said Orr. 

“The direct flight opportunities are paramount and I think they’re a great opportunity to promote that to the U.S. market. 

“To encourage them to come here and either add a day or two on either side of their trip and or stay overnight prior to their departure has great benefits so we’ll definitely be marketing it to the U.S. for sure.”

Air Canada To Launch Transatlantic Freighter Routes

From Routes 🔗 link to source story

The carrier plans to have eight converted Boeing 767 freighters in its fleet by next year.

A second Boeing 767-300ER converted freighter is joining Air Canada’s fleet.

By Aaron Karp • 4 April 2022

Air Canada will commence all-cargo transatlantic flights in May, connecting Toronto (YYZ) to four European cities.

The new cargo routes are made possible by the delivery of the carrier’s second Boeing 767-300ER converted freighter. The airline’s first converted 767 freighter was delivered by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in December, and Air Canada has used that aircraft to operate cargo flights to Latin America.

“The entry into service of our second freighter is yet another exciting milestone in the growth of our freighter network and provides more options and services to the cargo community,” MD commercial-cargo Matthieu Casey said in a statement.

Starting in May, Air Canada will launch 767-300ER freighter service from YYZ to Cologne (CGN), Frankfurt (FRA), Istanbul (IST) and Madrid (MAD). The routes to CGN and IST will be operated 1X-weekly, while the YYZ-FRA route will be flown 2X-weekly and the YYZ-MAD service will be operated 3X-weekly.

Air Canada will also launch two domestic all-cargo routes from YYZ: 5X-weekly service to Halifax (YHZ) from April 19 and 6X-weekly flights to St. John’s (YYT) from May 1.

The Canadian flag-carrier entered the permanent freighter business by sourcing eight 767-300ERs from its passenger fleet and contracting with IAI to convert the aircraft into freighters. The first of the converted freighters joined the airline’s fleet in December. Three more will come in the 2022 third quarter and the final three will be delivered in 2023. 

YYZ serves as the hub for Air Canada’s new freighter fleet. The carrier has said it is operating all-cargo flights from YYZ to Guadalajara (GDL) and Mexico City (MEX) in Mexico; Lima (LIM) in Peru; and Quito (UIO) in Ecuador.  

Air Canada VP of cargo Jason Berry told Routes when the first converted freighter was delivered that the airline is fully committed to maintaining a dedicated freighter fleet for the long term. “This is not a fly-by-night charter or ad hoc operation,” Berry said. “It really is about stability and growth for our cargo business.” 

Berry said the freighter fleet will differentiate Air Canada from other major North American airlines that do not have dedicated all-cargo flights. “We’ll be the only [passenger/cargo] combination carrier with a widebody freighter fleet that has a hub in North America,” he noted.

As post-pandemic travel reopens, direct flights from N.L. to Europe still not on the itinerary

From CBC News 🔗 link to source story

St. John’s Airport Authority and WestJet say flight network planning and local demand are major factors

Jonny Hodder • CBC News • March 19, 2022

St. John’s International Airport is the largest airport in Newfoundland and Labrador. (CBC)

With pandemic restrictions lifting across much of Canada and in many other parts of the world, lots of folks are itching to take that long-delayed vacation or business trip.

And while it’s become increasingly easy to hop on a non-stop flight from St. John’s to numerous cities and provinces within Canada, the same cannot be said for international destinations.

For most of the past two years, the only consistent, direct, international flight landing at St. John’s International Airport originated from the French islands of St-Pierre-Miquelon, west of the Burin Peninsula. 

Air Saint-Pierre was granted an exemption to the 2020 travel ban that allowed it to send medevac flights to St. John’s. As some restrictions eased through 2021, that service expanded to include two weekly commercial flights, according to Lisa Bragg of the St. John’s International Airport Authority.

But even as international travel opens up, transatlantic flights from the province’s largest airport to the United Kingdom and continental Europe are still not on the itinerary.

Lisa Bragg is director of business development and marketing for the St. John’s International Airport Authority. (Patrick Butler/Radio-Canada)

Bragg compares the situation to a restaurant offering a limited number of top-selling and high-profit menu items. 

She says airlines have seen significantly lower passenger volumes and reduced routes over the past two years, so as they try to recover the focus has to be on higher-traffic routes.

“While we’re very proud of having lots of passengers, and we’re the capital city airport, right now many of the airlines do need to focus on the hubs. And hopefully it will come back to us. But right now that’s one of the reasons we don’t yet have the European connection back,” Bragg said.

A long history of international flights

Weekly flights from St. John’s to the United Kingdom were the norm not too long ago.

St. John’s International Airport has offered direct flights to the U.K. and continental Europe since the 1940s, according to Bragg. (CBC)

In fact, according to Bragg, St. John’s has a history of direct European flights going back more than 70 years.

“There’s actually been a direct or a non-stop, year-round flight flight to Europe since the 1940s until about 2006,” she said.

More recently, Air Canada operated a direct flight to London’s Heathrow Airport from 2010 to 2019, while WestJet offered direct flights to Dublin, from 2014 to 2018, and London’s Gatwick airport from 2016 to 2018.

The Air Canada flight was suspended in early 2019, after the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircrafts were grounded worldwide due to safety concerns after a couple of highly publicized crashes. 

When asked if there are any plans to reinstate the route, Air Canada said in a series of emailed statements that the pandemic forced the company to extend the suspension of that flight route until further notice. 

“At this time, Air Canada does not have plans to add any international flying out of St. John’s,” one statement read. 

As for WestJet’s flights to the U.K., public relations manager Morgan Bell said the decision to end those in 2018 comes down to the numbers.

“Cancelling flights is essentially always our last resort,” she said. “That route simply wasn’t performing to expectations. Frankly, there wasn’t enough guests on that plane to continue to operate it, so unfortunately it was cancelled.”

Halifax becoming ‘Atlantic Gateway’ to Europe

Both WestJet and Air Canada say there are no immediate plans to bring back a direct flight between St. John’s and the U.K. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

From a geographical point of view, it’s easy enough to look at a map and think St. John’s, as the easternmost point in Canada and therefore the shortest distance to our neighbours across the pond, would make a logical location for a direct flight to Europe.

Instead, WestJet has positioned Halifax’s Stanfield Airport as what it calls the “Atlantic Gateway” to Europe.

Bell says the decision to make Halifax the centre for European flights goes beyond the specific demands of the St. John’s market, and has more to do with large scale scheduling for a complicated “hub and spoke” network of interprovincial and international flights.

“When you ultimately are starting at that very, very eastern point of the country, you’re missing all of those westbound connections,” she said. “The frequency and connections and timing of flights that land in that region pull in people from east and west at all times of the day.”

And as borders open up, Halifax will continue to act as WestJet’s European gateway, offering flights to Paris, London Gatwick, Dublin, and Glasgow, in some cases multiple times per week, beginning in May. 

WestJet also recently announced that it will begin weekly seasonal service from St. John’s to Orlando on April 2. 

N.L. flights to Europe a ‘huge’ potential market

The irony of having very few international flights servicing an airport with “International” in its name is not lost on Lisa Bragg.

As COVID-19 travel restrictions ease, St. John’s International Airport is looking forward to seeing more passengers and air traffic. (Gary Locke/CBC)

She said the airport authority has ongoing conversations with domestic and international carriers, looking for opportunities to bring more routes to the people of this province.

That process, however, takes time. 

Pre-pandemic, Bragg says new international routes could take a couple of years to set up. But that’s changing with the lifting of international travel restrictions. 

She says airlines are speeding up their timelines for planning new flights, which could actually work to the benefit of an airport ready and eager to welcome more direct flights to and from other countries.

“We’ve done our homework. Businesses really want to see that, let alone visiting friends and relatives and tourism, which is also a huge market.”