Edmonton, Alberta, Sept. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Flair Airlines, Canada’s only truly independent low cost airline, is pleased to report an average passenger load factor of 92% for July & August 2019.
“We are delighted with the rapidly growing number of Canadians who have flocked to Flair this summer” said CEO Jim Scott. He continued ,“After only one year as an exclusively scheduled carrier we have established Flair as the place to go for low fares, great service and are already recognizing many return customers.”
During the summer, Edmonton-based Flair flew from Vancouver, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Halifax. Flair successfully initiated daily non-stop service between Toronto (YYZ) and Vancouver as well as between Toronto and Calgary.
Over the last few months, as part of it’s fleet renewal program, Flair has added three newer Boeing 737-800NG aircraft and is gradually phasing out it’s older B737-400’s. All three additions sport Flair’s distinctive new livery and logo.
By next summer Flair plans to be operating a single-type fleet of B737-800 NG‘s, which are more fuel efficient and also have longer range capabilities. Flair’s unified fleet will open up a number of exciting southern destinations offered at accessible rates.
While Flair’s year-to-date on-time performance has been one of the best in Canada, the younger aircraft should serve to make it even better.
Mabata Honesty Shop has no staff on site — just a mailbox for cash and card reader for payment
Frances Willick · CBC News · Posted: Jul 20, 2019
Two Halifax-area entrepreneurs are banking on the honesty of their customers.
Najib Faris and Francesco Stara opened a kiosk at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport last week offering sandwiches, snacks, kombucha and other fare made with local ingredients.
What makes the Mabata Honesty Shop different from other vendors, though, is that the shop has no staff on site.
There is no one waiting to take your cash or process your payment — customers are trusted to take what they want and pay using the tablet and card reader or by dropping cash in a mailbox.
“We took a leap of faith and invested our trust in people,” said Faris.
The idea sprang from visits that Faris and Stara made to nearby farms to pick up produce for their Bedford restaurant, Mabata Glocal Eatery.
“We were so surprised with the idea — you know, you grab a sack of potatoes and drop in 10 bucks in the bucket and leave. And we’re like, wow, this is amazing.”
The pair believed the honesty system often employed at farm-gate stands could easily be exported to an urban setting. And they thought Halifax was the perfect place to give it a try.
“Nova Scotia has always been known as a place where honesty goes above all and a place where people really still hold onto the true core values of humanity — which is rare these days in the world.”
Faris said his trust in Nova Scotians stems from both his interactions with people and the results of a lost-wallet experiment. That experiment, conducted by Atlantic Credit Unions in December 2017, saw 12 wallets each containing $100 left in public places around Atlantic Canada. Nine of the 12 were returned with the money untouched.
So far, Faris’s trust has been well placed. The kiosk has seen a 100 per cent payment rate and no theft since it opened on July 10.
Some customers have even left thank-you notes or a gift card.
“It’s that level of honesty that we’re so, so humbled and proud to see in this city,” said Faris.
The Mabata Honesty Shop has received support from Saint Mary’s University’s Entrepreneurship Centre, which provided the kiosk and some consultation free of charge.
“We thought it was pretty far out, to be honest,” said Jason Turner, the centre’s senior project manager, of the idea of trusting unsupervised customers to pay for their food.
But the enthusiasm of Faris and Stara was enough to convince the centre’s staff to support the project.
“We thought if they’re pretty keen on it — and they certainly were, you know, kind of came out as guns blazing with this idea — we thought, ‘What the heck? Let’s give it a shot.'”
Honesty shops worldwide
The kiosk at the airport is not the only example of a so-called “honesty shop.”
Faris said he has heard of a grocery store in Japan, a bottled-water kiosk in Dublin and an art shop in Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Art that also operate on the honesty system, as well as cafés that sell self-serve coffee on the honour system.
Some honesty shops, however, have not fared so well.
One such shop located in the lobby of the Manila Police Department’s headquarters — just a few metres away from a security guard — had to be closed after someone repeatedly raided the cash box.
The Mabata Honesty Shop will be open until August, but Faris said he’s in discussions with the airport to maintain a permanent presence there.
He said if the project continues to be successful, he would like to expand it to schools, universities, hospitals and shopping centres.
Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press – Published Monday, July 8, 2019
Swoop airline is facing a backlog of flights after engine trouble on an aircraft touched off a four-day wave of flight disruptions that has left passengers stranded and angry.
Passengers who had booked flights with the ultra-low-cost airline were left scrambling after it cancelled 23 flights between July 5 and July 10 due to “unscheduled maintenance” on a defective engine.
Swoop policy requires the low-cost subsidiary of WestJet Airlines Inc. to reroute passengers on other airlines if it cannot rebook them on its own flights “within a reasonable amount of time.”
The policy applies to events “within Swoop’s control,” which the maintenance issues were, according to spokeswoman Karen McIsaac.
She said the vast majority of passengers were rescheduled on Swoop flights and that it would deal with requests for rebooking on another airline “on a case-by-base basis.”
The company partly blamed the Boeing 737 Max aircraft grounding for preventing it from chartering other aircraft to accommodate stranded travellers.
“We are exploring options to charter aircraft to assist with the relief, however there are few options to do so as availability is limited in light of the MAX grounding,” McIsaac said in an email.
Authorities across the globe banned the Boeing aircraft from their skies last spring after two crashes — in Indonesia in October and Ethiopia in March — killed all 346 passengers aboard, including 18 Canadians.
Frustrated travellers took to social media, complaining that the carrier rebooked them on Swoop flights up to five days later and that its customer care centre was closed over the weekend.
The Canadian Transportation Agency, asked whether it would launch an investigation, said it “is monitoring the situation.”
The transportation watchdog said it has received two complaints so far, but noted that “what constitutes ‘a reasonable amount of time’ might depend on the situation, and this may have to be determined by the agency.”
McIsaac said Swoop is providing affected passengers with accommodation, meals and transportation “as needed.”
“Those that wish to cancel can do so for a full refund,” she added.
The maintenance problem affected one of Swoop’s seven aircraft, requiring an engine replacement due to a leaky oil seal on a Boeing 737-800 jetliner, McIsaac said. “This requires a significant amount of work and disassembly in order to fully repair the issue.”
The aircraft has a capacity of 189, meaning more than 4,300 passengers would be affected if all 23 flights were booked up.
The disruption is affecting flights from Edmonton, Halifax, Hamilton, Orlando, Fla., and other cities.
Gabor Lukacs, head of the Air Passenger Rights advocacy group, said that under federal rules intended to beef up air traveller protections and set to take effect this year, Swoop passengers would receive no compensation due to a regulatory “loophole.”
The rules impose no obligation on airlines to pay customers for delays or cancellations if they were caused by mechanical problems discovered in a pre-flight check — walking around the aircraft before takeoff looking for defects — rather than during scheduled maintenance required after 100 hours cumulatively in the air.
“They’re saying the aircraft broke down, basically, that this is a maintenance issue,” Lukacs said, referring to Swoop.
“This is exactly why the new aircraft rules are a failure. In this case, under the new rules, passengers would not get compensation. They would not see a dime.”
The past week hasn’t gone smoothly for Swoop. On Thursday night, local police were called to Hamilton airport — “just to keep the peace,” said spokeswoman Const. Lorraine Edwards — after a flight bound for Las Vegas was cancelled and rescheduled for Friday evening.
Halifax has joined popular destinations such as Iceland, Finland and Lisbon, Portugal as Canada’s newest stopover destination, connecting several North American and European cities to Halifax.
The Stopover Halifax program opens the door for arriving and connecting passengers at Halifax Stanfield to enjoy unique experiences. Designed for travellers with as little as seven hours up to seven days, the program promotes experiences such as strolling along Halifax’s bustling boardwalk, hiking scenic trails at the ocean’s edge, dining on fresh lobster, exploring iconic Peggy’s Cove and more.
“We know that Halifax’s location on Canada’s East Coast provides a great opportunity for travellers to experience the best of Halifax on their journey between Europe and North America,” said Erica Pellerin, vice-president, marketing and visitor experience, Discover Halifax. “This program will help make our region more accessible, affordable and desirable to visitors who we know are interested in travelling here.”
Discover Halifax continues to develop and focus on experiences and experiential tourism – a growing global trend – through initiatives such as the newly launched Handpicked Halifax program and custom “stress-free” experience packages for layover travellers. Discover Halifax and Halifax International Airport Authority have been working closely over the last six months to create this new Stopover Halifax program, with the help of Canadian airline partner WestJet.
“As WestJet’s global network continues to grow, we’re looking forward to our guests experiencing everything Halifax has to offer through the Stopover Halifax Program,” said Brian Znotins, WestJet vice-president, Network Planning and Alliances. “As the carrier with the most transatlantic flights from YHZ and convenient options from destinations across Canada and US, WestJet is proud to support tourism opportunities across Nova Scotia and we’re thrilled to provide our guests greater access into and out of Halifax Stanfield.”
There are two ways WestJet guests can book a Stopover to Halifax: booking directly through their travel agent or booking through WestJet.
“We’re thrilled to work with Discover Halifax, WestJet and our program partners to enhance the experiences of arriving and connecting passengers at Halifax Stanfield with a stopover,” said Tiffany Chase, director, Public Affairs & Marketing, Halifax International Airport Authority. “Stopover programs are offered by many destinations and airlines around the world – with more international air access than ever before, Halifax Stanfield is serving more domestic and international passengers and it makes perfect sense to give them additional reasons to stay a little longer in our beautiful part of Canada.”
Halifax Stanfield International Airport served a record 4.3 million passengers last year, a 20% increase from 2013.
“As we further develop this program, we’re confident it will continue to drive Halifax’s tourism momentum, bringing more passengers to Halifax Stanfield and visitors to experience all our region has to offer,” said Pellerin. “We want more people to fall in love with Halifax and Nova Scotia – that’s what this really is all about.”
Under a new “passenger bill of rights,” airlines will be able to leave passengers stuck on the tarmac for longer than the current standard.
MONTREAL ― Canadian airports and airlines are some of the worst performers worldwide when it comes to flight delays, and new federal rules that allow passengers to be stuck on the tarmac for longer could make things worse.
All but one of Canada’s major airlines rank in the bottom half for on-time performance in a new survey from travel data provider OAG.
Canada’s best performer, WestJet, ranks 57th out of 125 airlines surveyed, with 77.1 per cent of all flights arriving on time. The country’s worst performer, Sunwing, ranks as the second-worst airline in the world, 124th out of 125, with only 57.8 per cent of flights on time.
Sunwing experienced numerous flight glitches in recent years, including major delays in Toronto and Montreal in April, 2018, that led to a fine from the Canadian Transportation Agency.
Looking at airports, Canada doesn’t fare much better. Our best airport, in Grande Prairie, Alta., ranks 108th out of 505 airports surveyed.
Toronto’s two commercial passenger airports, Pearson and Billy Bishop, rank as the two worst airports in Canada and among the worst in the world ― 475th and 489th, respectively.
Interestingly, there is a yawning east-west divide, with western Canadian airports performing better than others.
The survey comes as Canada is about to launch a new “passengers’ bill of rights” that some critics say will make it easier for airlines to delay flights.
Under the new regulations, airlines will be able to keep passengers stuck on the tarmac for up to three hours, plus an additional 45 minutes if the airline believes takeoff is imminent.
Currently, Canada has no government-enforced limits on tarmac delays, but airlines themselves had standards built into their tariffs. The industry standard was 90 minutes, which is also what a Senate committee recommended be the rule in the new passenger bill of rights. The government rejected that recommendation.
Additionally, it will be very difficult to get compensation from airlines in most cases where flights are delayed or passengers are denied boarding, said Gabor Lukacs, a prominent consumer advocate who has challenged airline practices in courts.
Watch: Here are the budget airlines in Canada. Story continues below.
Lukacs said he worries about the possibility of longer delays under the new rules because “when something becomes legal, they will do it. On the other hand, the counterargument is it’s in the airline’s best interest to get passengers to their destination as quickly as possible.”
Lukacs’ advocacy group, Air Passenger Rights, has accused the government of letting the airline industry dictate the new passengers’ bill of rights.
A spokesperson for Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the tarmac delay rule was decided “based on operational realities and international best practices. For example, in the United States, air carriers are required to offer the option to disembark after a three hour delay on domestic flights, and a four hour delay on international flights.”
While airlines frequently blame weather for flight delays, data from the U.S. federal government shows that extreme weather events are responsible for fewer than 5 per cent of flight delays in the U.S. The most common reason for delays was late-arriving aircraft, meaning flights delayed because earlier flights were delayed. This accounted for nearly 42 per cent of U.S. delays. Canada does not currently keep track of this type of data.
But Lukacs points out that Canada has much harsher weather than most of the U.S., so it may not be a fair comparison. And Toronto’s worst-in-the-country Billy Bishop Airport has unique issues to deal with because it’s on an island.
“This may be an apples to oranges comparison,” he told HuffPost Canada by phone.
Nonetheless, Canada’s poor weather doesn’t explain why Alaska Airlines has a higher on-time percentage than any Canadian airline (80.7 per cent) and is the third best among U.S. airlines.
Lukacs argues these on-time rankings are incomplete: There isn’t enough data to determine, for instance, whether it’s a particular airport or a particular airline that’s behind delays in a given place.
Either way, airlines should be taking bad weather into account when planning their schedules, Lukacs said.
“If airlines and airports ignore the weather realities, then you have guaranteed, built-in failure,” he said.
Toronto-Saint John, NB, Flights to be operated by Air Canada Rouge starting this winter
Halifax-Calgary year-round service on Air Canada starting March 1, 2020
Toronto-Charlottetown Air Canada Rouge service now year-round
Halifax-Gander additional daily flight
Moncton, Fredericton-Toronto flights now operated year-round by Air Canada Rouge
MONTREAL, July 3, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada today announced a host of enhancements to Atlantic Canada services starting this winter. Overall capacity will increase by 8% as some routes will transfer to Air Canada Rouge, and other Air Canada Rouge and mainline services will be extended to year-round.
“Leisure travellers and business customers alike will benefit from these service enhancements which clearly demonstrate our commitment to these markets as we increase capacity on numerous routes in Atlantic Canada, which we have been serving year-round since 1942, longer than any other carrier,” said Mark Galardo, Vice President of Network Planning at Air Canada. “With the introduction of Air Canada Rouge service to Saint John, NB, the extension of Rouge on Charlottetown-Toronto and the expansion of Halifax-Calgary flights to year-round service, Atlantic Canada will enjoy an improved product and convenient connections throughout Air Canada’s extensive North American and global network.”
“Air Canada has been a valued partner for many years,” said Saint John Airport President and CEO Derrick Stanford. “Their decision to enhance YSJ’s current offering with bigger aircraft will mean more capacity, business-class service and faster flight times to connection banks like Toronto, something our business passengers have come to depend on. We look forward to working together to serve the Saint John community for many years to come.”
“We are very pleased with Air Canada’s announcement today of Air Canada Rouge service in Charlottetown for Winter 2019/2020. These larger Air Canada Rouge jets will offer added capacity on the Charlottetown-Toronto route and is a direct response to demand in the PEI market in the winter time”, said Doug Newson, CEO of the Charlottetown Airport Authority. “This will result in more travel options for Islanders and those wishing to visit or do business here. The increased capacity to and from Air Canada’s Toronto hub also means Islanders have more options to connect to Air Canada’s extensive global network.”
Beginning October 27, 2019, twice daily Saint John-Toronto flights will be operated year-round by Air Canada Rouge using an Airbus A319, replacing the Bombardier Q400s. This represents a 16% increase in available seats, while also offering an upgraded customer experience on the A319 which features Premium Rouge and Economy cabins, as well as streaming in-flight entertainment.
Air Canada operates out of four airports in New Brunswick with roughly 1,600 daily seats available for travellers. Also continuing year-round will be Air Canada Rouge service from Toronto to Moncton (three times a day) and Fredericton(twice a day), also operated by an Airbus A319, representing a 16% capacity increase through the winter season.
Charlottetown-Toronto flights operated by Air Canada Rouge in the summer will become year-round service as of December 16, 2019, with two daily flights operated with an Airbus A319. Air Canada offers nonstop flights from Charlottetown to Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto.
Air Canada is also adding a second daily flight between Gander, NL and Halifax during the winter season. Flights between Halifax and Gander will be operated year-round on the Bombardier Q400.
From Halifax, Air Canada mainline will operate year-round non-stop service to Calgary on an Airbus A319 beginning March 1, 2020.
Air Canada also recently inaugurated non-stop service between Montreal and Sydney, Nova Scotia, for the summer season.
All flights provide for Aeroplan accumulation and redemption, Star Alliance reciprocal benefits and, for eligible customers, priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounge access, priority boarding and other benefits.
Air Canada in the Community
The Air Canada Foundation is active in several charitable organizations throughout Atlantic Canada, helping a variety of organizations.
In New Brunswick, the Foundation assists The Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Saint-John, the Canadian Cancer Society (Saint John), the Atlantic Wellness Community Centre and Moncton Headstart.
Nova Scotia organizations includes the IWK Foundation in Halifax, the Canadian Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Foundation in Orleans and Dreams Take Flight.
In Prince Edward Island, the Foundation is involved with the heart and stroke Foundation, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of P.E.I and The kidney Foundation of Canada.
Similarly, in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Foundation also assists the Big Brothers and Big Sister as well as The Janeway Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Eating Disorder Foundation and the Easter Seals.
Woman’s flight from Calgary to Toronto collided with bird shortly after takeoff, leading to missed connection
CBC News · Posted: Jun 25, 2019
A Halifax grandmother who missed a connecting flight home because her first plane was delayed by a bird strike says she was stranded in Toronto overnight without a credit card and without any compensation for a hotel or transportation from the airline.
Norma Greene, who is diabetic and doesn’t carry a credit card, says her flight home after visiting her son in Calgary left her feeling stranded and helpless.
Greene says she was left to fend for herself overnight with no compensation from WestJet after the plane flying from Calgary to Toronto collided with a bird shortly after takeoff.
The incident led to a 3½-hour delay in Calgary. She said she was assured by a WestJet agent that someone in Toronto would meet her to give her a new itinerary and arrangements.
But that didn’t happen, and it was too late to board the Halifax flight.
Greene says she wasn’t too worried at first because a handful of passengers getting off an Edmonton plane had also missed the Halifax connection, and she noticed WestJet staff giving them vouchers for taxis and hotels for the evening.
“I just kind of took a deep breath and I was shaking and I was sweating. And when I got to the desk, I told the guy I was diabetic and if they could do something to get me situated quickly. And he said, ‘I’m very sorry, there is nothing we can do for you,'” she said.
Greene was told the Edmonton passengers were delayed because of airplane maintenance, whereas her delay was due to an act of nature, so therefore she was not entitled to vouchers.
Gabor Lukacs, founder of the advocacy group Air Passenger Rights, says the airline is operating within the rules — both as they now exist and under a new set of regulations about to take effect.
Regulations take effect July 15
The Canadian Transportation Agency’s new air passenger protection regulations are set to start coming into force this summer. The regulations will be launched in two phases, with some taking effect on July 15, and others not until Dec. 15
Broadly, flight disruptions — tarmac delays, flight cancellations and denials of boarding — that are within an airline’s control require compensation be paid, standards of treatment be upheld and the passenger’s itinerary be completed.
Flight disruptions within an airline’s control but needed for safety reasons will not require compensation but airlines will have to maintain a standard of treatment and complete a passenger’s itinerary.
Situations outside an airline’s control that cause a flight disruption will only require the airline to ensure the passenger’s itinerary is completed.
“The bird strike is something entirely, entirely out of their control and, unfortunately, unlike in Europe, where you would be entitled to accommodations and meals, in Canada, something like a bird strike or a snowstorm, for example, you are, unfortunately, not entitled to the kind of compensation we are discussing,” Lukacs said.
Canada lagging behind Europe
He said even with the new regulations coming in to effect, Canada’s rules are lax compared with Europe.
“Europe is the gold standard in passenger rights,” he said.
“If this incident had happened in Europe, under the European regulations, she would be entitled not only to financial compensation but to accommodation, ground transportation and meals, because in Europe, even if there is a volcanic eruption, the airline has to at least provide accommodations and meals.”
Greene’s son booked her a Toronto hotel room on his credit card and had a meal delivered to her via Skip the Dishes.
WestJet says the airline’s guest support team is still looking into Greene’s experience.
Travellers’ stories tell the difference ultra-low-cost travel has made in their lives
CALGARY, June 20, 2019 /CNW/ – Today marks a year of ultra-low-cost flying for Swoop and its travellers. Since June 20, 2018, the ultra-low-cost airline grew from five to sixteen destinations, spanning four countries including the U.S., Jamaicaand Mexico. As part of its 2019 summer schedule, the airline also recently expanded its domestic network to include London, ON and Kelowna, BC.
“With 365 days of flying and over one million travellers flown, we are proud to be Canada’s preferred ultra-low-cost airline, enabling dreams, reunions and providing the pleasure of ultra-low-cost travel to both new and repeat travellers,” said Steven Greenway, President of Swoop. “Our travellers’ stories speak for themselves and we have so many reasons to be thankful for their trust and support. We can’t wait to see what year two brings.”
As part of the birthday celebration, Swoop today also released a video that features stories from Swoop travellers sharing the opportunities that ultra-low-cost travel has made possible this past year. See the difference Swoop is making here.
Since its first flight, Swoop has welcomed more than one million travellers onboard, proving that Canadians were waiting for a more affordable air travel option and that Swoop’s value proposition has resonated with its travellers.†
89 per cent of surveyed Swoop travellers have already recommended Swoop to a friend or colleague.
94 per cent of surveyed travellers like Swoop’s unbundled service model.
90 per cent of surveyed travellers felt their Swoop travel experience provided good value.
92 per cent of surveyed travellers said Swoop met or exceeded expectations.
†Based on a 2019 survey of 23,830 Swoop travellers.
To celebrate and thank travellers for their support, the airline is offering a web-only birthday sale.
Air transportation charges base fare
Taxes, fees and charges
Number of seats
Total one-way price from
London (YXU) – Halifax (YHZ)
Abbotsford (YXX) – London (YXU)
Winnipeg (YWG) – Abbotsford (YXX)
Hamilton (YHM) – Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
Hamilton (YHM) – Orlando (MCO)
Hamilton (YHM) – Montego Bay (MBJ)
Edmonton (YEG) – London (YXU)
Kelowna (YLW) – Winnipeg (YWG)
†Book by June 24, 2019 (11:59 p.m. MDT) for travel between September 4, 2019 – October 27, 2019. 1600 seats available. Some blackout dates and restrictions apply. For more details, please visit FlySwoop.com/deals.
HALIFAX — American Airlines has brought back its popular Halifax-Philadelphia nonstop service, giving Maritimers direct access to Philly and several connecting cities.
The carrier last serviced Halifax in early 2017 and says it is “confident” in this strategic return. It announced 18 additional routes in late 2018, with Halifax being added as a destination from Philadelphia and New York LaGuardia (launching later this week).
“In addition to the direct links the new flights provide to two of the U.S.’s biggest cities, travellers can also enjoy easy connections to hundreds of destinations throughout North America, Europe, Latin, America and the Caribbean from American’s hubs in Philadelphia and New York,” said Jose Maria Giraldo, Director Mexico & Canada, American Airlines. “Canada also is filled with important businesses and exciting leisure destinations, and American is so pleased to return to Halifax.”
The once-daily flight to Philadelphia departs YHZ at 2:38 p.m. and arrive at PHL at 3:45 p.m. Return, it departs PHL at 10:40 a.m. and arrive at YHZ at 1:58 p.m. The route uses an Embraer 175 aircraft featuring a 12-seat First Class cabin and a 64-seat main cabin. Plus, passengers flying to Philadelphia can utilize Halifax Stanfield’s U.S. Preclearance Facility, which enables passengers flying to the U.S. to clear customs and Border Protection in Halifax before departing.
“Utilizing nonstop routes and pre-clearing U.S. customs is one of the many benefits of flying from Halifax Stanfield,” said Joyce Carter, President & CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA). “We encourage the community to leverage this unique advantage to pre-clear customs at Halifax Stanfield so they can continue their journey quickly and easily upon arrival at their U.S. destinations, including Philadelphia.”