Category: Hamilton YHM

Swoop points to Boeing 737 Max ripple effect after wave of flight cancellations

News provided by CTVNews.ca – link to full story

A Swoop Airlines Boeing 737-800
A Swoop Airlines Boeing 737-800 is on display during a media event, June 19, 2018 at John C. Munro International Airport in Hamilton, Ont. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tara Walton)

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.

‘Unscheduled maintenance’ strands Vegas-bound Swoop passengers in Hamilton airport

News provided by CBC News – link to full article

Samantha Craggs · CBC News · Posted: July 05, 2019

A Swoop flight from Hamilton to Las Vegas – and by extension, from Las Vegas to Hamilton – was cancelled yesterday because of “unscheduled maintenance.” (Andrew Collins/CBC)

Disgruntled passengers who thought they were going to Las Vegas are stranded in Hamilton because of the “unscheduled maintenance” of a Swoop jet.

A Swoop flight headed from Hamilton to Las Vegas on Thursday was cancelled, the carrier says, because the airline has to do maintenance to one of its twin-jet Boeing 737s. It’s also impacted the flight from Las Vegas to Hamilton.

The plane was “involved in an incident requiring a maintenance inspection,” Swoop said on its website. “We sincerely apologize to our travellers for the interruption in their plans however safety will always be at the forefront of our decision making.”

“We are working on re-accommodations and will send emails to the travellers once everything is finalized.”

Swoop said it’s arranged a “recovery flight” from Hamilton to Vegas for 6:30 p.m. today. It will run a flight from Las Vegas to Hamilton at 9 p.m. 

“Affected travellers will be provided accommodation, meal and transportation vouchers, as needed and those that wish to cancel can do so for a full refund,” it said.

Jaimie Singleton of Toronto was on the 7:30 p.m. flight Thursday. She and her friend hoped to make it to Las Vegas to join friends for fourth of July fireworks, but it didn’t happen.

Singleton said they sat on a sweltering plane for about 40 minutes and saw a flight attendant require medical attention for what looked like heat stroke. Then they were shuffled off the plane and spent the evening trying to get more information. At one point, the departure screen showed that their flight had already left, which “obviously had not happened.” 

Around 11 p.m., the carrier paid for a room at the Sheraton in downtown Hamilton, she said, and gave them meal vouchers worth $10 each.

Singleton said she and her friend will only be in Las Vegas until Sunday, and now they’re losing a whole day of that trip. 

It’s “disappointing,” said Singleton. But “it’s not the end of the world. We’ll have fun regardless.”

Hamilton police were called to the airport just after 10 p.m. Thursday to help Swoop manage passengers, said Const. Lorraine Edwards.

There were allegations a crew member heard a metal object enter the airplane engine, she said, but there’s “no evidence to suggest this happened.”

“As of last night, there was nothing criminal in nature brought forward to us.”

Air Transat is synonymous with Sun to travellers in Ontario

Provided by Transat A.T. Inc/CNW

The airline is strengthening its position as a leader in holiday travel this winter with new Sun destinations in the South and Europe

MONTREAL, July 4, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Transat is pleased to present travellers in Ontario with its winter 2019-2020 program for Sun destinations in South and Central AmericaMexicoFlorida, the Caribbean and Europe. The addition of new Airbus A321neoLRs to its fleet next winter will allow the carrier greater flexibility to offer a broader choice of destinations to travellers. Named the 2019 World’s Best Leisure Airline by Skytrax, Air Transat will offer 36 destinations in the South and Europe from Toronto. The most scenic beaches in the South will be accessible to passengers flying out of Ottawa, London and Hamilton as well.

More flights to the most popular Sun destinations  
Toronto region beachgoers will be spoilt for choice between 25 favourite Sun destinations in 10 different countries. From London, Ontario, Air Transat will add a new direct flight to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. And from Hamilton, there will be a new direct flight to Santa Clara, Cuba, as well as a second weekly direct fight to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Europe in winterFrom Toronto, along with its daily flight to London, United Kingdom, Air Transat will offer two direct flights a week all year long to Glasgow and Manchester, UK, respectively. Plus, the airline will extend to mid-January its flights to Barcelona, Spain, and Rome, Italy, with two direct flights a week to each city. Travellers will be able to fly to Portugalfrom Toronto, with two weekly direct flights to Lisbon, and one direct flight to Porto. It is also good to know that Air Transat is the only airline offering a direct flight from Toronto to Faro, in the Algarve, during the winter (one flight a week).

Discovering Canada and Europe with domestic and connecting flights 
Air Transat’s domestic flights, which link some major Canadian cities, will allow Ontarians to explore other regions in Canada as well as transatlantic destinations accessible via connecting flights. The airline will continue its daily flights between Toronto and Montreal, in addition to its five weekly direct flights between Toronto and Vancouver.

From Toronto: 36 South and Europe destinations

SouthNumber of flights (during peak season)
Caribbean
Montego Bay, Jamaica4 direct flights a week
St. Maarten1 direct flight a week
Cuba
Cayo Coco4 direct flights a week
Cayo Largo1 direct flight a week
Cayo Santa Maria4 direct flights a week
Holguin4 direct flights a week
Santiago de Cuba                  1 direct flight a week
Varadero6 direct flights a week
Dominican Republic
La Romana1 direct flight a week
Puerto Plata4 direct flights a week
Punta CanaDaily direct flights
Samana1 direct flight a week
Santo Domingo1 direct flight a week
Mexico
Cancun-Riviera MayaDaily direct flights
Cozumel1 direct flight a week
Huatulco1 direct flight a week
Puerto Vallarta2 direct flights a week
South and Central America
Cartagena, Colombia1 direct flight a week
Liberia, Costa Rica2 direct flights a week
San Jose, Costa Rica2 direct flights a week
Roatan, Honduras2 direct flights a week
Rio Hato, Panama2 direct flights a week
United States
Fort Lauderdale, Florida5 direct flights a week
Orlando, Florida3 direct flights a week
San Juan, Puerto Rico1 direct flight a week
EuropeNumber of flights (during peak season)
France
ParisDaily flights via Montreal
Italy
Rome2 direct flights a week (until mid-January)
Portugal
Faro1 direct flight a week
Lisbon2 direct flights a week and 2 flights a week via Montreal
Porto1 direct flight a week
Spain
Barcelona2 direct flights a week (until mid-January)
Madrid3 flights a week via Montreal
Malaga3 flights a week via Montreal
United Kingdom
Glasgow2 direct flights a week
LondonDaily direct flights
Manchester2 direct flights a week

From Toronto: domestic flights

Canada
Vancouver5 direct flights a week
MontrealDaily direct flights

From London: 3 South destinations

Dominican RepublicNumber of flights (during peak season)
Puerto Plata1 direct flight a week
Punta Cana1 direct flight a week
Mexico
Cancun-Riviera Maya1 direct flight a week

From Hamilton: 6 South destinations

SouthNumber of weekly flights (during peak season)
Cuba
Cayo Coco1 direct flight a week
Cayo Santa Maria1 direct flight a week
Varadero1 direct flight a week
Dominican Republic
Puerto Plata1 direct flight a week
Punta Cana2 direct flights a week
Mexico
Cancun-Riviera Maya2 direct flights a week

From Ottawa: 7 South destinations 

SouthNumber of weekly flights (during peak season)
Cuba
Cayo Coco1 direct flight a week
Cayo Santa Maria1 direct flight a week
Varadero1 direct flight a week
Dominican Republic
Puerto Plata1 direct flight a week
Punta Cana3 direct flights a week
Samana1 direct flight a week
Mexico
Cancun-Riviera Maya2 direct flights a week

Canada’s Airlines, Airports Among World’s Worst For Delays, And It Could Soon Get Worse

News provided HuffingtonPost.ca – link to full article – with a hint from P.N.

By Daniel Tencer 4 July 2019

Under a new “passenger bill of rights,” airlines will be able to leave passengers stuck on the tarmac for longer than the current standard.
An airplane taking off at Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International
An airplane taking off at Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport.

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.

Canada's Airlines, Airports Among World's Worst For Delays, And It Could Soon Get

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.

Canada's Airlines, Airports Among World's Worst For Delays, And It Could Soon Get

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.

Airlines themselves have been pushing for longer tarmac delays. Air Canada extended its maximum tarmac time to four hours in 2018.

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.

Swoop releases its 2019 Winter schedule, adds Los Cabos to its network

Provided by Swoop/CNW

Airline brings more sun flying to Canadians this winter, adds three aircraft to its fleet

AppleMark

CALGARY, June 25, 2019 /CNW/ – Today Swoop released its 2019 winter schedule with non-stop flights available for booking from June 25, 2019 through April 25, 2020. The schedule boasts 28 winter getaway routes, including the enticing new destination of Los Cabos, Mexico.

As part of the winter schedule, Swoop announced three-times weekly service between Edmonton International Airport (YEG) and twice-weekly service between Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (YWG) and Los Cabos International Airport (SJD). The Los Cabos routes start November 2, 2019 and November 17, 2019, respectively.

“The 2019 winter schedule adds Las Cabos and expands service at existing domestic locations,” said Steven Greenway, President of Swoop. “This past year we’ve learned that our network is solid and now we’re tweaking it using our next three planned aircraft deliveries. Our travellers have been asking for more sun-service and we have responded by adding routes from Winnipeg, Edmonton and London, Ont.”

Swoop’s service in Winnipeg will increase from 16 to 26 weekly flights at the height of the winter schedule, 14 of which will serve transborder and international destinations. Winnipeg will enjoy new service toPuerto Vallarta and Los Cabos, Mexico; Las Vegas, Nevada; Mesa, Arizona; and Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa Bay, Florida.

Edmonton will add service to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, Los Cabos and Cancun, Mexico.

New sun-service from London, Ontario includes Cancun, Mexico; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Orlando, Florida.

Swoop has maintained its growth plan and will be accepting the delivery of three more aircraft by the end of 2019, bringing its fleet total to 10 Boeing 737-NG 800s.

Flights are now available for booking through to April 25, 2020.  

Details of Swoop’s winter schedule 

Domestic 
Markets
Service StartsService 
Offered
Weekly 
Frequency
Air 
Transportation 
Charges (ATC) 
base fare from
Taxes, 
Fees and 
Charges
Total One-
Way Price 
From *
Abbotsford 
and London
June 25Daily except 
Saturday
6x$87.17$11.83$99CAD
Abbotsford 
and Winnipeg
June 25Monday, 
Wednesday 
& Friday
3x$115.73$13.26$129CAD
Edmonton 
and 
Abbotsford
June 25Daily16x$19.07$39.93$59CAD
Edmonton 
and Winnipeg
June 25Monday, 
Wednesday 
& Friday
3x$19.07$39.93$59CAD
Edmonton 
and Hamilton
June 25Daily except 
Saturday
6x$76.21$42.79$119CAD
Edmonton 
and London
June 25Daily except 
Saturday
6x$57.17$41.83$99CAD
Hamilton and AbbotsfordJune 25Daily except 
Saturday
6x$108.59$50.41$159CAD
Hamilton and 
Winnipeg
June 25Daily except 
Thursday
6x$46.64$42.36$89CAD
Hamilton and 
Halifax
June 25Tuesday, 
Thursday, 
Friday & 
Saturday
4x$55.49$43.51$99CAD
Transborder 
Markets
Service StartsService OfferedWeekly 
Frequency
Air 
Transportation 
Charges (ATC) 
base fare from
Taxes,
Fees and 
Charges
Total One-
Way Price 
From *
Abbotsford 
and Las 
Vegas
June 25Thursday & 
Sunday
2x$38.44$60.56$99CAD
Kelowna and 
Las Vegas
June 25Thursday & 
Sunday
2x$18.44$80.56$99CAD
Edmonton 
and Las 
Vegas
June 25Daily7x$27.49$91.51$119CAD
Edmonton 
and Orlando
June 25Monday & 
Friday
2x$65.58$93.41$159CAD
Edmonton 
and Mesa
June 25Wednesday & 
Sunday
2x$85.00$94.39$179.39CAD
Winnipeg and Las VegasNovember 15Monday & 
Friday
2x$51.53$87.47$139CAD
Winnipeg and 
Orlando
November 15Tuesday & 
Friday
2x$51.53$87.47$139CAD
Winnipeg and 
Fort 
Lauderdale
November 16Monday & 
Saturday
2x$70.58$88.42$159CAD
Winnipeg and 
Tampa Bay
November 17Thursday & 
Sunday
2x$51.53$87.47$139CAD
Winnipeg and 
Mesa
December 15Thursday & 
Sunday
2x$89.63$89.37$179CAD
London and
Las Vegas
October 3Thursday & 
Sunday
2x$69.00$70.00$139CAD
London and 
Orlando
October 26Wednesday & 
Saturday
2x$69.00$70.00$139CAD
Hamilton and 
Las Vegas
June 25Monday, 
Thursday, 
Friday & 
Sunday
4x$68.68 $90.32$159CAD
Hamilton 
and Orlando
June 25Monday, 
Wednesday, 
Thursday & 
Saturday
4x$30.58$88.42$119CAD
Hamilton and 
Tampa Bay
June 25Monday, 
Wednesday & 
Sunday
3x$30.58$88.42$119CAD
Hamilton and 
Fort 
Lauderdale
June 25Monday, 
Friday & 
Saturday
3x$30.58$88.41$119CAD
International 
Markets
Service StartsService 
Offered
Weekly 
Frequency
Air 
Transportation
Charges (ATC) 
base fare from
Taxes, 
Fees and Charges
Total One-
Way Price
From *
Abbotsford 
and Mazatlán
June 25Wednesday 
& Friday
2x$95.27$63.91$159.18CAD
Abbotsford 
and Puerto 
Vallarta
June 25Monday & 
Saturday
2x$135.27$63.91$199.18CAD
Edmonton
and Los 
Cabos
November 2Tuesday, 
Thursday & 
Saturday
3x$83.59$95.41$179CAD
Edmonton 
and Puerto 
Vallarta
October 19Monday & Saturday2x$83.59$95.41$179CAD
Edmonton 
and Cancun
October 24Thursday &
Saturday
2x$83.59$95.41$179CAD
Edmonton 
and Mazatlán
November 2Wednesday & 
Saturday
2x$83.59$95.41$179CAD
Winnipeg and
Los Cabos
November 17Wednesday & 
Sunday
2x$108.84$90.16$199CAD
Winnipeg and 
Puerto 
Vallarta
November 27Tuesday2x$88.84$90.16$179CAD
London and 
Cancun
October 24Thursday & 
Saturday
2x$107.18$71.82$179CAD
Hamilton and 
Puerto 
Vallarta
June 25Wednesday, 
Friday & 
Sunday
3x$87.02$92.16$179.18CAD
Hamilton and 
Cancun
June 25Tuesday, 
Thursday & 
Saturday
3x$47.02$92.16$139.18CAD
Hamilton and Montego BayJune 25Wednesday & 
Saturday
2x$37.63$111.36$149CAD
*Every day low fares. Lower promotional fares may be available during select travel periods.   

“Our growing partnership with Swoop is creating more options for Winnipeg travellers while giving new visitors the opportunity to come explore our great city,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “These new non-stop direct routes enhance Winnipeg’s network for the benefit of our community.”

“We want to thank Swoop for increasing its service to the Edmonton Metro Region and helping bring those warm, sunny destinations a little closer,” said Tom Ruth, President and CEO Edmonton International Airport. “Our market is always looking for new ways to explore the world.”

“We’re excited to offer passengers non-stop ultra-low-cost flights to Cancun, Las Vegas and Orlando from London” says Michael Seabrook, CEO at London International Airport. “These added flights are further indications of Swoop’s success in London. With the combination of great flight dates and ultra-low-cost fares, we hope travellers in Southwestern Ontario make the most of these new flights this winter!”

Additional Quotes

“We are thrilled to see routes to Winnipeg and Las Vegas launch this year with Swoop,” said Sam Samaddar, Airport Director, Kelowna International Airport. “We’ve heard from the community that they want more non-stop destinations from Kelowna and working with Swoop is just one way we are making this happen.”

“Abbotsford is home to YXX, one of Canada’s fastest growing airports. I’m pleased to see that this winter, YXX will see Swoop bring back a suite of international flights to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, Las Vegas and extend their domestic service to include London, Ontario and Winnipeg through the winter season,” said Henry Braun, Mayor of Abbotsford. “YXX and Swoop provide a significant regional benefit, offering travellers safe and accessible air travel options from the hub of the Fraser Valley.”

“To complement Swoop’s year-round services from Hamilton International to various destinations in Canada, the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean, we are excited to welcome back the seasonal destinations of Tampa Bay and Puerto Vallarta this winter,” said Cathie Puckering, President and CEO, John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. “Swoop’s affordable travel options to its growing list of southbound destinations will allow Canadians to escape the cold winter months ahead and travel more often from Hamilton – Swoop’s Eastern Canadian base.”

Porter plane makes emergency landing in Hamilton

News provided by CTV News/The Canadian Press (link to full article) – with a hint from P.N.

porter airlines

The Canadian Press – Published Tuesday, June 18, 2019 12:57PM EDT 

A Porter Airlines flight travelling from Montreal to Toronto has made an emergency landing in Hamilton.

Hamilton International Airport says fire officials attended and there were no reported injuries,

It says one of its runways is currently closed.

The Porter Airlines website shows flight PD458 left Montreal at 9:10 a.m. and was diverted to Hamilton, where it landed at 10:30 a.m.

Government of Canada invests in transportation infrastructure at John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport to move goods to market

Provided by Hamilton International Airport

Four-year, $38.8 million infrastructure project will support continued cargo and passenger traffic growth.

HAMILTON, ON (June 14, 2019) – John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport will undergo an Airfield Rehabilitation and Modernization Project to fully restore its two main runways, supporting taxiways and lighting systems over the next four years, starting in 2019. These projects will improve the efficiency, reliability and safety of airport operations, accelerate investment to accommodate the increasing use of larger wide-body aircraft for domestic and long-haul traffic to support current and future growth through Hamilton International.

“Modernization of Hamilton International’s runways, taxiways and lighting systems will ensure longevity of this critical infrastructure, and position the Airport to continue serving a strategic transportation and trade corridor, and the many businesses who rely on connections to port, train, major route highway and U.S. border routes to access new markets for Canadian imports and exports,” said President & CEO, Cathie Puckering.  “We look forward to completing these critical infrastructure improvements so that Hamilton International can continue to deliver on its vision to be the best global gateway in Canada for affordable travel and goods movement and continue to be a key economic contributor in our region.”

The investment of critical transportation infrastructure includes four major elements: 

  • Strengthen the Airport’s primary runway: Runway 12-30 is one of Southern Ontario’s longest runways, and investment will facilitate current and future heavy freighter traffic. Rehabilitation of instrument landing and low visibility systems will improve overall reliability.
  • Strengthen the Airport’s secondary crosswind runway: Investments will be made to improve the efficiency of Runway 06-24, which serves as the alternative approach and departure path for diversion flights during inclement weather.
  • Upgrade taxiways systems: The airfield’s support system of taxiways connecting to the runways will be upgraded to accommodate growing 24/7 aircraft operations.
  • Upgrade airfield lighting: Advanced LED lighting technology will be implemented on the airfield to improve reliability, promote efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Hamilton International Airport Cargo Centre, courtesy of Hamilton International Airport

The total project cost is $38.89 million, and Transport Canada’s National Trade Corridor Fund (NTCF) will contribute $18.54 million, with the balance funded by airport operator TradePort International Corporation, as part of its capital investment plan. To minimize closures and interruption to existing 24/7 operations, airfield work will be completed in phases.

Hamilton International is an economic engine for the City of Hamilton and the surrounding region. Its latest Economic Impact Study demonstrated that in 2017, the Airport generated almost 3,500 jobs in the region (a 25% increase since 2013), labour income of $243 million, a GDP of $385 million and industry activity of $1.2 billion.  Through the investment announced today, these Airport projects will create more than 350 construction jobs, with an additional 863 full-time jobs to be created over the next five years, representing an additional $149 million in labour income. The Airport anticipates that the NTCF’s investment will facilitate approximately $2.1B in economic activity annually.

“On behalf of our board of directors, employees and business partners of Hamilton International, a sincere thank you to the Government of Canada and the Honourable Minister Marc Garneau for recognizing the need for infrastructure investment to further promote continued growth in our region,” Puckering said. “Our Member of Parliament, the Honourable Minister Filomena Tassi, has graciously endorsed the Airport for its many economic benefits to our community, and this next step ensures that the momentum continues.”

“Hamilton is proud to be home to Canada’s fastest growing and largest overnight express cargo airport. On behalf of the City of Hamilton, I would like to thank our Federal partners for their contribution towards this exciting restoration project at John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. With this investment, our airport will see hundreds of new jobs created, critical new safety measures implemented and further promotion of talent and services available in Hamilton.” – His Worship Fred Eisenberger, Mayor of Hamilton

Hamilton International remains Canada’s largest overnight express cargo airport and hub for ecommerce. In the last two years, air cargo business has grown by 20%, while passenger traffic has experienced 118% growth to more than 725,000 passengers served in 2018.   Exceptional growth in both segments of its business and public/private investment towards invaluable airport infrastructure are clearly placing Hamilton International Airport in an optimal position to continue toward its company vision in being recognized by the world as the best global gateway in Canada for affordable travel and goods movement.

Air Transat announces the new features of its winter 2019-2020 flight program

Provided by Air Transat A.T. Inc/CNW

The carrier will add New Orleans, Louisiana, to its list of destinations and will serve Madrid and Malaga, Spain, year round

MONTREAL, June 6, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Transat today announced the new features of its flight program for winter 2019–2020, effective November 1, and is continuing to develop its service to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America, Florida and Louisiana, offering over 30 Sun destinations as well as several European regions. In addition, the carrier will add new Airbus A321neoLR aircraft to its operations this winter.

“Bringing our Airbus A321neoLRs into our fleet in winter 2019–2020 will give us greater flexibility, which will help us reinforce our leadership in Quebec, strengthen our presence in Ontario and return in force in the Canadian West,” says Annick Guérard, Chief Operating Officer, Transat. “We will therefore be adding new destinations out of Vancouver, including Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as well as Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica,” she adds.

Even more new routes and destinations 
This winter, the airline will introduce new destinations and routes out of several regions of the country. Air Transat will now be the only airline to offer a direct flight from Montreal to New Orleans, Louisiana, with two direct flights per week beginning in November.

In the West, Air Transat will refocus a significant portion of its operations on Vancouver, becoming the only carrier to serve Fort Lauderdale, Florida (two direct flights a week). In addition, the airline will offer new flights to San José and Liberia, Costa Rica (two flights a week), and reintroduce a direct flight to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

In Ontario, the carrier will increase its presence, including a new direct flight to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, from London. A new direct flight to Santa Clara, Cuba, from Hamilton will also be added, as well as an additional direct flight to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, for a total of two direct flights a week.

More flights to Florida and sustained frequency to the Dominican Republic and Mexico
Air Transat will be investing in Florida, with a focus on Fort Lauderdale. Daily direct flights will now be offered from Montreal during peak season as well as an increased frequency from Quebec City (five direct flights a week).

Air Transat will enhance its program with an additional direct flight to Puerto Plata out of Montreal (five direct flights weekly). Punta Cana will also benefit from an additional direct flight out of Hamilton (two direct flights a week), in addition to existing daily direct flights out of Montreal and Toronto.

To Mexico, Air Transat will be offering an additional direct flight to Puerto Vallarta out of Calgary, for a total of four direct flights a week, in addition to its daily direct flights to Cancun/Riviera Maya from Montreal and Toronto.

Winter in Europe
Beginning in winter 2019–2020, Air Transat will fly year-round to Madrid and Malaga, Spain, out of Montreal (two direct flights a week, respectively) as well as out of Toronto and Vancouver through connecting flights in addition to its daily direct flight from Montreal to Paris, France.

Out of Toronto, the airline will offer its two weekly direct flights to Glasgow and Manchester, United Kingdom, year-round and will extend the flight season until mid-January for Barcelona, Spain (two flights a week), and Rome, Italy (two direct flights a week), in addition to offering daily flights to London, United Kingdom.

Domestic and connecting flights for more options
Air Transat’s domestic flights program, which connects several of Canada’s major cities, will offer a wider choice of transatlantic destinations through connecting flights and will also give Canadians a chance to discover their own vast country. The carrier will continue its daily flights between Montreal and Toronto, in addition to its seven direct flights a week between Vancouver and Toronto and its three weekly direct flights between Montreal and Vancouver.

Swoop carries its one-millionth traveller

Provided by Swoop/CNW

Less than a year since its first flight, the airline marks a milestone record

CALGARY, May 31, 2019 /CNW/ – Swoop celebrated its one-millionth traveller on a flight from Edmonton to Hamilton earlier this week. William and Emily Burchat were surprised to be selected as the lucky recipients of a round-trip for two on Swoop and a commemorative, Swoop branded, model aircraft. The pair were travelling to Hamilton with their twin infant daughters who were meeting their grandparents for the first time.

“It was an awesome experience. They were all super helpful, every single one of them,” said William of his first Swoop flight. “Their prices are cheap, but the quality isn’t. We save as much money as we can to give them (the twins) a better future. Every penny counts with them.”

“Both of us and the girls flew here for half the price it would have cost,” said Emily about why they chose Swoop. “We wouldn’t have been able to actually make the trip. It’s hard to travel as a family.”

A small Swoop team was on hand in Edmonton to kick-off the festivities, which included celebratory décor and refreshments at the gate. Travellers were encouraged to record their favourite travel stories at the Swoop Stories Video Booth to be shared on the Swoop social channels. Every traveller received an exclusive Swoop luggage tag, promo code and the hugely popular, Swoop piggy bank.

Swoop President Steven Greenway was waiting in Hamilton to surprise the millionth traveller.

Check out the action here!

“We suspected the millionth traveller would be flying this week, so we decided to have some fun and share the experience with an entire flight,” said Steven Greenway, President of Swoop. “After all, every traveller is equally as valued and we were eager to show our appreciation in a unique way.”

“The best compliments we receive are affirmations from word-of-mouth referrals,” said Karen McIsaac, Sr. Advisor of Communications for Swoop. “Of those who try us, more than 94 per cent say they would fly with Swoop again. † This kind of awareness and endorsement has been our biggest ally in bringing more affordable air travel to everyone.”

Based on a 2019 Swoop survey of 23,830 participants.

“Swoop’s success at EIA shows they are meeting the needs of the travelling public,” said Tom Ruth, President and CEO of Edmonton International Airport. “Their growing list of Canadian and US routes include some of the most sought-after destinations for residents of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region.”

“Reaching one million passengers is a monumental achievement for Swoop and affirms that Canadians are embracing low-cost travel,” said Cathie Puckering, President & CEO, John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. “This accomplishment is particularly impressive considering the airline has only been operating for 11 months. We are so thrilled to be Swoop’s base in Eastern Canada and look forward to welcoming even more Swoop passengers to our airport in the coming years.”

Swoop is a month shy of reaching one full-year of operation, having begun flights on June 20, 2018 with an initial fleet of three aircraft and a network of five Canadian cities. Since then, the airline has quickly expanded service to include 16 destinations across four countries. The Edmonton base has seen an exponential increase in weekly flights and now employs 104 Swoopsters. Hamilton has almost quadrupled its weekly flights since launch and currently employs 166 Swoopsters.

Swoop’s highly anticipated winter schedule is expected to be released in the coming weeks, which is welcome news for travellers who are looking to book their holiday travel early.

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

Norwegian Inaugurates Hamilton to Dublin Route this Weekend

Provided by Hamilton International Airport

First transatlantic route from Hamilton to be operated by 737-800 to Ireland

NEW YORK CITY (March 29, 2019) – Norwegian, the World’s Best Low-Cost Long-Haul Airline, will launch its inaugural flight from John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport to Dublin this Sunday, March 31. The airline’s first-ever transatlantic route from Canada will be summer seasonal, with flights operating four times weekly on a Boeing 737-800.

Boeing 737-800

The aircraft replaces the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft originally scheduled to operate this new route. Fares to Dublin start as low as C$209 one-way including tax and are available to book on Norwegian.com/en-ca. The lowest fares can always be found on Norwegian’s low fare calendar.

Passengers on Norwegian’s flights are eligible to join Norwegian Reward, the airline’s award-winning loyalty program to earn CashPoints every time they fly, book a hotel or rent a car. Starting 2019, free WiFi will be available on transcontinental flights, another reason to fly the most-awarded low-cost airline, Norwegian.