Swoop Celebrates Three Years of Painting the Skies Magenta

Swoop Celebrates Three Years of Painting the Skies Magenta

Airline launches new route between Hamilton and Kelowna and invites travellers to the party with 30% off SWOOPONS in recognition of third birthday

Calgary, A.B. – June 20, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low- cost airline is celebrating three years of making air travel more accessible and affordable for Canadians with their unbundled, ultra-low fare flights.   Since the airline’s first flight on June 20, 2018, Swoop has proudly served three million travellers, connected Canadians to 17 destinations, operating over 20,000 flights to Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean.   

Swoop was founded in 2018 with a mission to make air travel more affordable, introducing the ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) model to Canadians and saving travellers more than $159 million in direct fare savings in 2019 alone*. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the airline maintained domestic service, ensuring Canadians had continued access to affordable flight for essential air travel coast to coast.   

“The last 15-months have demonstrated how important air travel is for the connectivity and economic stability of the communities we serve,” said Charles Duncan, President of Swoop. “We are so pleased to be able to celebrate our third birthday with the positivity of new route announcements and a renewed demand for air travel.”

As the airline that always has affordable flights, Swoop is celebrating with extra savings on already ultra-low fares. Travellers can save 30% off base fare with the promo code SWOOPON when booking by June 24, 2021 for travel between July 8, 2021 and April 30, 2022. Travellers can visit FlySwoop.com/deals for more information. 

Today’s celebration will also see Swoop operate its inaugural flight from Hamilton, ON to Kelowna, BC, connecting Canada’s wine countries from east to west. Scheduled to arrive in Kelowna at 10:25 a.m. local time, the flight will be welcomed on the ground by a water cannon salute and greeted by representatives from both Swoop and Kelowna International Airport. 

“Today’s inaugural flight is another milestone for Swoop as we continue in our recovery efforts to re-build our network,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial and Finance, Swoop. “Swoop’s success would not be possible without the support of our airport partners just like John C. Munro Hamilton Airport and Kelowna International Airport as well as our Swoopsters who share in our mission of making air travel more affordable for all.” 

“We are proud to welcome Hamilton non-stop to YLW this summer,” said Sam Samaddar, Airport Director, Kelowna International Airport. “Swoop’s additional destinations will allow Canadians more direct options to the Okanagan this summer season.” 

“Looking back to Swoop’s very first flight from Hamilton International Airport to Abbotsford on June 20, 2018, it’s amazing to know our partnership is now three years strong as we celebrate Swoop’s 3rd birthday!” said Cathie Puckering, President and CEO, John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. “Today, another milestone is proudly celebrated with new service from Hamilton to Kelowna, connecting one wine country to another!”  

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

*Swoop Economic Impacts 2019, a study conducted by Chris Lowe Group in January 2020.  

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 nine Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity has safely carried more than 3 million travellers in three years of operation.

Swoop ‘seeing light at the end of the tunnel’ after incredibly difficult 15 months

From CBC News – link to source story

‘People are clearly willing and able to book that long-awaited trip,’ airline executive says

Desmond Brown · CBC News · Jun 18, 2021

Swoop, operated by WestJet, launched in Hamilton back in 2018 with a trip from Hamilton to Abbotsford, B.C. for just $129. (Swoop)

Low-cost airline Swoop is on the rebound, head of commercial and finance Bert van der Stege said Friday, after being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to van der Stege, the carrier lost more than 90 per cent of its revenue and roughly 90 per cent of its passenger volume over the course of the pandemic. 

“The past 15 months or so have been incredibly difficult,” van der Stege said during an executive exchange held virtually with Hamilton International Airport.

“It’s been a difficult 15 months [but] we believe we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel now and have reached a turning point.”

Van der Stege said a “great demand” for seats is “slowly coming back”. 

“We’ve seen a period of record sales again now. People are clearly willing and able to book that long-awaited trip,” he said.

This summer we expect to serve five destinations within Canada from Hamilton airport, and then as we approach the following winter season we will be adding five international destinations from Hamilton.- Bert van der Stege, Swoop Airline

Van der Stege said Swoop will initially focus on domestic travel as it emerges from the fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that’s where they expect the rebound to start. 

He said sales and forecast passenger numbers “are picking up really nicely, in particular in and out of jurisdictions that have outlined a clear path to recovery, easing travel restrictions, [and] a path to open up based on science.”

After that initial period of domestic recovery and domestic travel, van der Stege said Swoop will once again partner with Hamilton International Airport and open up international travel.

“This summer we expect to serve five destinations within Canada from Hamilton airport, and then as we approach the following winter season we will be adding five international destinations from Hamilton.”

Swoop will launch a new flight from Hamilton to Kelowna this Sunday, while the winter schedule will include the following:

  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
  • Cancun, Mexico.
  • Montego Bay, Jamaica
  • Orlando and Tampa Bay, Florida.
Swoop’s head of commercial and finance Bert van der Stege. (CBC)

Swoop, operated by WestJet, launched in Hamilton back in 2018 with a trip from Hamilton to Abbotsford, B.C. for just $129.

Since its inception the airline has carried more than one million passengers in and out of Hamilton airport. In total, Swoop has transported more than three million passengers.

The airline has also created more than 500 direct jobs at Hamilton’s John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport

“With the two brands, WestJet and Swoop being present here in Hamilton, we believe that we can assist in the recovery of the tourism and hospitality industry sector, not just focusing on getting Hamiltonians out of Hamilton using Hamilton airport, but also bringing visitors back,” van der Stege said.

With the airline seeing sales “on par with pre-COVID levels,” van der Stege said they will be adding another Boeing 737 to the fleet by the end of the year.

Cathie Puckering, president and CEO of Hamilton’s John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. (CBC)

Cathie Puckering, president and CEO of Hamilton’s John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport, said the number of passengers that Swoop has put into the market in such a short time “was amazing.”

She said Hamilton experienced almost a 70 per cent decline in passenger volumes last year due to COVID-19.

Puckering said this year is just as hard but she is confident that things will get back to normal.

“The aviation industry has had shocks and has been hurt before [but] it has been resilient and we have bounced back,” Puckering said.

“So as long as we continue with the vaccine rollout and we continue to follow the restrictions and the measures … travel will recover and we’re optimistic about what the future will hold and Swoop’s growth in Hamilton.”

Canadian airlines return to Puerto Vallarta after 4-month hiatus

From Mexico Daily News – link to source story

Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit are looking forward to the Canadians coming back. Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit are looking forward to the Canadians coming back.

Canadian airlines return to Puerto Vallarta after 4-month hiatus

One airline has already reactivated flights, and three more have confirmed dates

Published on Thursday, June 17, 2021

Canadian airlines are reactivating flights to Puerto Vallarta after a four-month suspension.

Westjet reinitiated its flights to the Jalisco beach destination on June 5, and Air Canada will be next with the reopening of its Vancouver route on August 1.

Low cost airline Swoop plans to restart its Hamilton and Edmonton flights October 5, and its Abbotsford and Toronto routes on November 3. It will also inaugurate a new route from Winnipeg on November 4.

Transat will relaunch flights from Toronto and Montreal in November.

Sunwing is still yet to inform clients of its plans to reopen, but has previously announced it hopes to reestablish its Mexico routes in December.

Marc Murphy, lead of the Riviera Nayarit Visitors and Conventions Office, said Canadians would be happy for the change of climate. “Each year, thousands of Canadians travel to this region to escape the intense winter cold and find an enviable climate, the most beautiful beaches … and a great quality hotel offering,” he said.

With reports from Reportur

Air Transat unveils its winter 2021-22 program

Nearly 50 destinations on three continents will be offered, including two new ones: Miami and Fort Myers

MONTREAL, June 16, 2021 /CNW/ – Air Transat is proud to present its winter 2021-22 flight program. Starting November 1, it will offer flights to nearly 50 destinations throughout the CaribbeanMexicoCentral and South Americathe United States and Europe.

This program also features two new destinations in Florida—Miami and Fort Myers, with direct flights from Montreal—in addition to flights already scheduled for Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.

“We know that our clients are eager to travel, whether it’s to visit loved ones or for a change of scenery,” says Annick Guérard, President and CEO of Transat. “And we are sure to meet this strong, pent-up demand with the rich variety of destinations we are offering this winter. Plus, by adding Miami and Fort Myers to our program, we are consolidating our position in the United States, a popular sun destination for Canadian travellers.”

Starting December 2021, Air Transat will fly to Miami four times a week, and to Fort Myers twice a week.

Flights to three continents this winter

To quench Canadians’ wanderlust, direct flights will be offered from eight Canadian cities: Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, London, Halifax and Moncton.

In addition to flights to the South, Air Transat will also offer vacationers a selection of South packages, featuring 290 properties and four collections: LuxuryOut of OfficeFamily and Solo.

From Montreal, Air Transat will operate direct flights to Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Martinique, Panama, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, El Salvador and the United States.

Travellers from Toronto will be able to fly direct to Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, St. Maarten and the United States.

From Quebec City, seven sunny destinations will be accessible by direct flight to Cuba, the United States, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

And lastly, to allow Canadians to travel across their country and to increase connecting opportunities to international destinations, Air Transat will also operate domestic flights between Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto and Vancouver.

As for Europe, Air Transat will gradually offer direct flights from Montreal to France, Portugal, Spain and Italy. There will also be direct flights from Toronto to the United Kingdom, Portugal, the Netherlands, Ireland and Italy, and from Quebec City to France.

It is important to note that, should the situation change and force the company to alter its flight schedule, clients affected by cancellations would be eligible for a refund.

For travel inspiration and details on routes offered, travellers are invited to visit the dedicated page on the Air Transat website.

About Air Transat

Air Transat is Canada’s number one leisure airline. It flies to some 60 international destinations in more than 25 countries in the Americas and Europe, offers domestic and connecting flights within Canada, and carries some 5 million passengers every year. Air Transat is a business unit of Transat A.T. Inc., a leading integrated international tourism company specializing in holiday travel and offering vacation packages, hotel stays and air travel. Transat was awarded Travelife certification in 2018 in recognition of its commitment to sustainable development. Its head office is located in Montreal.

Recent distinctions and awards

  • World’s Best Leisure Airline at the Skytrax World Airline Awards
  • Ranked 2nd Travel and Leisure Company and 57th overall on Forbes World’s Best Employers List
  • Best Tour Operator and Favourite Overall Supplier at the Agents’ Choice Awards presented by Baxter Travel Media

Swoop Announces Three New Destinations Ahead of Third Anniversary

Airline to Swoop into San Diego, Orlando (Sanford) and Tampa Bay (St. Pete-Clearwater) this winter 

CALGARY, AB, June 16, 2021 /CNW/ – Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC), today unveiled plans to add three new U.S. destinations to its network with non-stop flights to San Diego (SAN), St. Pete-Clearwater (PIE) and Orlando Sanford (SFB) beginning this winter.

“Swoop is celebrating three years of bringing ultra-low fares to Canadians and we are thrilled to continue expanding on our success with the introduction of San Diego, Orlando Sanford and St. Pete-Clearwater to our network,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial & Finance, Swoop. “We are pleased to be providing our travellers looking to explore the U.S. this winter with even more choice and affordable options.”

The addition of the three new sun destinations to Swoop’s network comes as the airline readies to celebrate its third anniversary of flying on June 20. Since introducing the ultra-low-cost air travel model in Canada, the airline has served 3 million travellers, establishing itself as the ultra-low-cost carrier of choice for Canadians. As provincial vaccinations and phased re-opening plans progress, Swoop continues to see an increase in demand as Canadians look to book that long awaited winter getaway south of the border. 

Swooping into Central Florida

Non-stop service to Orlando Sanford International Airport will be available from Toronto beginning October 9, from Hamilton beginning November 1 and from Edmonton beginning November 5.

“We are very pleased Swoop selected Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) to access the Orlando market,” said Tom Nolan, President & CEO, Sanford Airport Authority. “In addition to the great service Swoop provides passengers, our new major terminal improvements will be greatly appreciated by all Canadian visitors and local residents that seek a convenient and comfortable airport experience travelling between Central Florida and multiple cities in beautiful Canada.”

Non-stop service to San Diego

Travellers from Edmonton looking to explore the vibrant city and sandy beaches of San Diego can find direct flights beginning October 31.  

“It’s great news that San Diego International Airport will be getting a new carrier and a new international route in October,” said Kimberly Becker, President & CEO, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. “We were in talks with Swoop pre-pandemic and are happy they are still committed to providing non-stop service between Edmonton and San Diego. We anticipate this route will be popular for Canadians as they look to escape the snow and take in the Southern California sunshine.”

“We know many people are eager to return to travel and are booking now for future travel. We want to thank Swoop for bringing back some important non-stop sunny vacation destinations to our community as well as two new destinations San Diego and Orlando Sanford. We all look forward to return to travel and health and safety will continue to be our focus at Edmonton International Airport.” 

Tom Ruth, President and CEO Edmonton International Airport

Say hello to sunny St. Pete-Clearwater

With non-stop flights and its proximity to Tampa Bay, Swoop’s service to sunny St. Pete-Clearwater will begin on November 5 from Toronto and on November 9 from Hamilton.

“We are excited to welcome Canada based Swoop to our family of airlines”, said St. Pete-Clearwater International (PIE) Airport Director, Tom Jewsbury.  “Canadians will have a convenient, non-stop option to fly to our award-winning destination from Toronto and Hamilton, Canada, and many will want to visit as the borders reopen!  Being one of only a few of Swoop’s U.S. destinations, we are confident that sunny St. Pete-Clearwater area will be a popular one.  We want to thank our partners at Visit St. Pete/Clearwater and Volaire Aviation for helping us make this possible.”

“We are delighted to see Swoop add ultra-low-cost options to the Sunshine State from Hamilton for the upcoming winter travel season. Travelling between airports like Hamilton International, Orlando Sanford and St. Pete-Clearwater has become increasingly appealing to passengers looking for a comfortable travel experience that a smaller airport can offer,” said Cathie Puckering, President & CEO, John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. “Hamilton International remains committed alongside Swoop to serving the local community and ensuring people can return to the skies comfortably and get to where the need to go with confidence.”

Details of Swoop’s new service currently for sale:

Service BetweenServices Start DatePeak Weekly Frequency
Edmonton – Orlando (Sanford)Nov 5, 20212x (Mon, Fri)
Edmonton – San DiegoOct 31, 20213x (Tue, Thu, Sun)
Hamilton – Orlando (Sanford)Nov 1, 20212x (Mon, Fri)
Hamilton – St. Pete-Clearwater  Nov 9, 20212x (Tue, Sat)
Toronto – Orlando (Sanford)Oct 9, 20214x (Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat)
Toronto – St. Pete-ClearwaterNov 5, 20213x (Mon, Fri, Sat)

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

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 nine Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity has safely carried more than 3 million travellers in three years of operation.

Swoop Responds to Growing Demand for Ultra-Low-Cost Travel

Airline announces fleet expansion and winter flying as new daily bookings return to pre-pandemic levels

CALGARY, AB, June 10, 2021 /CNW/ – Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost carrier, today released its expanded winter schedule including increased non-stop domestic service and the re-introduction of flights to the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Following a sustained pattern of new daily bookings on par with pre-pandemic levels, the airline also announced it will proceed with planned fleet growth, inducting its tenth Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft into service this winter.  

The first Canadian airline to fully re-enter its entire fleet into service, Swoop will operate all nine of its aircraft domestically during peak summer. The airline’s winter schedule will provide travellers with ultra-low-cost flights across Canada, as well as to sun and fun destinations including Montego Bay in Jamaica, Las Vegas and Mesa/Phoenix in the U.S., and Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán in Mexico.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in demand for travel this summer, most especially in provinces where vaccination and re-opening plans are on track and clearly outlined,” said Charles Duncan, President of Swoop. “With the release of our winter schedule, those who are planning further ahead or dreaming of a vacation abroad can find our always affordable flights and Getaway packages available for booking through April 2022.”

As the airline that always has deals on already affordable flights, Swoop will offer scheduled winter service to 14 destinations, with ultra-low fares starting from just $40 CAD † total price in the example of a one-way Abbotsford to Edmonton flight. The addition of a tenth aircraft in time for the winter flying season will allow Canada’s leading ULCC to add new routes, destinations, and frequencies in pace with demand.

“Consumer confidence is coming back, and the message is clear, Canadians are ready to start planning that long overdue trip,” continued Duncan. “When travellers are ready, we look forward to safely welcoming them back onboard our aircraft.”

Details of Swoop’s Winter 2021 Schedule and flights currently for sale:

Domestic RoutesPeak Season
Frequency
Days of WeekService start dates
Toronto – Edmonton14x weekly2x DailyAlready in Service
Toronto – Abbotsford7x weeklyDailyJun 20
Toronto – Halifax7x weeklyDailyJul 16
Toronto – Kelowna7x weeklyDailyAlready in Service
Toronto – Victoria6x weeklyDaily, except
Saturday
Jun 24
Hamilton – Edmonton7x weeklyDailyAlready in Service
Hamilton – Abbotsford14x weekly2x DailyAlready in Service
Hamilton – Halifax4x weeklyMon, Thu, Fri, SunJun 24
Hamilton – Winnipeg4x weeklyTue, Thu, Fri, SatAlready in Service
Hamilton – Kelowna6x weeklyDaily, except
Saturday
Jun 20
Edmonton – Abbotsford14x weekly2x DailyAlready in Service
Edmonton – Winnipeg2x weeklyMon, FriNov 1
Edmonton – Victoria7x weeklyDailyAlready in Service
Winnipeg – Abbotsford7x weeklyDailyAlready in Service
Winnipeg – Kelowna3x weeklyTue, Thu, FriJun 24
Transborder RoutesPeak Season
Frequency
Days of WeekService start dates
Edmonton – Mesa/Phoenix4x weeklyMon, Wed, Fri, SatSept 17
Edmonton – Las Vegas5x weeklyMon, Tue, Thu, Fri,
Sun
Sept 23
Toronto – Mesa2x weeklyTue, ThuNov 2
Winnipeg – Mesa/Phoenix2x weeklyMon, FriNov 1
International RoutesPeak Season
Frequency
Days of WeekService start dates
Toronto – Puerto Vallarta2x weeklyWed, SunNov 3
Toronto – Cancun4x weeklyMon, Wed, Fri, SunSept 18
Toronto – Montego Bay3x weeklyTue, Thu, SatSept 11
Hamilton – Puerto Vallarta2x weeklyTue, FriOct 5
Hamilton- Cancun3x weeklyMon, Wed, SatOct 2
Hamilton – Montego Bay 1x weeklyFridayOct 15
Edmonton – Cancun3x weeklyMon, Wed, SatOct 2
Edmonton-Puerto Vallarta3x weeklyTue, Fri, SunOct 5
Edmonton – Mazatlán2x weeklyWed, SatOct 23
Winnipeg – Cancun3x weeklyTue, Thu, SunNov 7
Winnipeg – Puerto Vallarta2x weeklyMon, ThuNov 4
Abbotsford – Puerto
Vallarta
2x weeklyWed, SatNov 3

†One-way flight from Abbotsford (YXX) to Edmonton (YEG) when you book by June 20, for travel between October 31 – November 10, 2021.  Restrictions may apply, for full details see FlySwoop.com/deals.

To learn more about Swoop and find ultra-low fare flights, please visit FlySwoop.com.

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 nine Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity has safely carried more than 3 million travellers in three years of operation.

Porter in talks with Pearson, other airports for passenger jet service

By ERIC ATKINS, TRANSPORTATION REPORTER & ANDREW WILLIS & NICOLAS VAN PRAET | MAY 20, 2021

A Porter Airlines flight makes its final approach as it lands at the airport on July 2, 2019 in Ottawa. ADRIAN WYLD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Porter Airlines has approached Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and other airports in southern Ontario about establishing a passenger jet service postpandemic, sources say, a shift in strategy for the carrier that is blocked from flying jets at its base on the Toronto Islands.

Porter’s move comes as the carrier is reportedly buying 30 passenger jets from Embraer of Brazil.

Porter has long sought to fly jets out of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, but those plans have been prevented by the federal government owing to concerns that include noise, pollution and the impact of the longer runway that would be required.

“We’re not relocating from Billy Bishop to any airport,” said Brad Cicero, a Porter spokesman, who declined to address a question about seeking slots at Toronto Pearson.

Porter’s founder and executive chairman Robert Deluce did not respond to interview requests. Porter declined to make Michael Deluce, the founder’s son and current chief executive, available for an interview.

Porter’s talks with the airport authorities are preliminary, according to two people familiar with the matter whom the Globe and Mail agreed not to name because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

In addition to Toronto Pearson, Porter has approached airports including Ottawa, Hamilton, Kitchener and London, one of the sources said. The airports declined to comment or did not respond to interview requests.

On May 13, trade publication Airfinance Journal reported Porter is the buyer of 30 Embraer E195 E2 jets, a narrow-body medium-range jet that seats as many as 150 people. Embraer declined by e-mail to name the buyer of the jets.

Porter flies a fleet of 29 Bombardier Q400 turboprop planes that hold about 65 to 78 people.

Mr. Cicero would not answer questions about the reported purchase of the Embraer planes. “This isn’t our order,” he said. “We have no plans to switch our fleet. Our focus continues to be on relaunching operations in 2021 with the existing Dash 8-400 fleet.”

John Gradek, who teaches aviation leadership at McGill University, said Porter has no room to grow at its Toronto island airport base, and is forced to fly planes at less-than capacity owing to the short, 3,900-foot runway. He speculated the airline is relaunching itself with a new fleet prior to a sale. (Porter’s public offering in 2010 failed.)

“It’s a radical departure from the airline that we know,” said Addison Schonland of boutique aerospace consultancy AirInsight. “The business model looks like it is changing.”

Porter in 2013 placed a $2-billion conditional order for as many as 30 Bombardier CSeries jets, now known as the Airbus A220. The airline sought to extend the island airport runway by 200 metres to accommodate the larger aircraft but faced stiff local opposition.

In 2015, then transport minister Marc Garneau blocked Porter’s plans to fly jets from the island.

That decision stands, a spokeswoman for current Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said. “Our government has no plans to amend the tripartite agreement between the federal government, the City of Toronto and PortsToronto to allow jet aircraft to use Billy Bishop Airport,” Allison St-Jean said.

“There are no plans or negotiations to discuss jets at Billy Bishop Airport with either of our tripartite partners,” said Deborah Wilson, a spokeswoman for PortsToronto, the government agency that owns and operates the airport.

An Airbus spokeswoman said: “While we of course would welcome more Canadian carriers to select the Canadian designed and built A220, we do not comment on discussion we may or may not be having with airlines.”

Porter’s 2013 order is not part of Airbus’s backlog list, which had 494 planes ordered but not yet built at the end of April, 2021. Airbus is building A220 jets at a rate of five a month in factories in Mirabel, Que. and Mobile, Ala., with plans to expand output when appropriate to a maximum of 14 planes a month.

Porter, which has not flown since March 21, 2020, owing to the pandemic, recently pushed back its relaunch date to July 20.

Privately-owned Porter, which employed 1,500 before the pandemic, flies to several Canadian, U.S. and holiday destinations, but is perhaps best known for business travel given its proximity to downtown Toronto. Business travel is expected to recover from the pandemic last, after family-related flights and tourism.

In good times, Porter accounts for 85 per cent of plane traffic at the island airport, while Air Canada makes up the rest. Porter sold the airport terminal to Nieuport Aviation, controlled by New York-based J.P. Morgan Asset Management Inc., in 2015 for more than $700-million.

Neil Pakey, CEO of Nieuport, declined to comment on Porter’s plan for jets at other airports. Mr. Pakey said he and the airline are focused on Porter’s restart in July.

Porter’s talks come as it continues discussions with the federal government over financial aid to blunt the effects of the pandemic on the business. In March, 2020, the airline received a $135-million loan through Export Development Canada and indicated earlier in May that it is in negotiations for more aid. The government has said any help from the taxpayer comes with conditions that include “protecting jobs across the air sector.”

Sunwing offers residents of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area more departure options this winter with convenient flights from Hamilton

TORONTO, May 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sun-seekers in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area will now have even more departure gateways to choose from, as Sunwing has announced they will be returning to John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport for the 2021-2022 winter season. Flights will commence at the beginning of December 2021, right in time for Canadians looking to head down south for the holidays, and will operate until mid-April 2022 with service to CancunPunta CanaMontego BayVaraderoCayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria.

“We are excited to be resuming operations from John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport,” said Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations for Sunwing. “The airport offers residents of Hamilton and the surrounding GTHA with friendly service, shorter lines and economical parking options just a short drive from their homes. Our convenient flight service from the local airport will provide travellers with even more frictionless vacation experiences under our wing.”

The flight schedule from Hamilton will be as follows:

  • Between Hamilton and Punta Cana, Fridays from December 10, 2021 until April 15, 2022
  • Between Hamilton and Cayo Santa Maria, Fridays from December 10, 2021 until April 15, 2022
  • Between Hamilton and Montego Bay, Saturdays from December 11, 2021 until April 16, 2022
  • Between Hamilton and Varadero, Saturdays from December 11, 2021 until April 16, 2022
  • Between Hamilton and Cancun, Sundays from December 12, 2021 until April 17, 2022
  • Between Hamilton and Cayo Coco, Sundays from December 12, 2021 until April 17, 2022

“With demand building for tropical getaways, we are delighted that Sunwing will be returning to Hamilton International Airport this winter,” commented Dina Carlucci, Director Business Development & Customer Experience for John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. “Sunwing flights have been consistently popular amongst Hamiltonians for almost a decade and residents will have plenty of options to choose from, with six popular destinations offered right from their doorstep.”

Travellers headed to the Cancun area can stay on the pristine white-sand shores of Playa Mujeres at Riu Dunamar, a top-rated family resort that features an exciting on-site water park. Another popular choice for families is Royalton White Sands Montego Bay in Jamaica, which is home to its own private island and a range of amenities for all ages including fun-filled kids and teen clubs. Vacationers looking to soak up the sun on world-famous shores may choose to stay at Grand Memories Varadero where they can try out a range of water sports like windsurfing and catamaran rides.

Plus, customers who book their tropical getaway at select resorts by May 31, 2021 for travel between November 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022 will receive up to $1,000 per couple in value during the tour operator’s extended Freedom 21/22 Sale, including complimentary Price Drop Cash Back of up to $800 per couple at select resorts and the flexibility to change or cancel their plans with ease.

About Sunwing

The largest integrated travel company in North America, Sunwing has more flights to the south than any other leisure carrier with convenient direct service from airports across Canada to popular sun destinations across the U.S.A., Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. This scale enables Sunwing to offer customers exclusive deals at top-rated resorts in the most popular vacation destinations as well as cruise packages and seasonal domestic flight service. Sunwing customers benefit from the assistance of the company’s own knowledgeable destination representatives, who greet them upon arrival and support them throughout their vacation journey. The company supports the communities where it operates through the Sunwing Foundation, a charitable initiative focused on the support and development of youth and humanitarian aid.

Innotech-Execaire Aviation Group Launches its Prestige Concierge Service

MONTREAL, May 17, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Innotech-Execaire Aviation Group (“IEAG”) announced today that it has expanded the Concierge services capability of both of its Aircraft Management and Charter operating units for the benefit of its clients via the introduction of its Prestige Concierge Service by IEAG.

With aircraft based across Canada including Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, Windsor, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver, the Prestige Concierge Service will help IEAG engage its customers by opening doors to high-touch personalized service, a wealth of special offers, as well as access to extraordinary experiences. This service expansion speaks to IEAG’s unwavering commitment to improving the customer experience and establishing a true travel support capability for our valued clients.

This Prestige Concierge Service is a true testament to our customer service philosophy and our efforts to consistently and continuously improve the travel experience for our clients, said Michael Fedele, President, Innotech-Execaire Aviation Group.

Since 1967, corporate aircraft owners have trusted IEAG to manage their aircraft with a fully-integrated service offering and unique capability that supports its customers throughout their aircraft life-cycle.

This new Service will allow IEAG clients to benefit from offers and privileges worldwide across a wide range of lifestyle services, including hotels and villas, VIP experiences, culinary adventures, exquisite vacation packages and more.

We have been providing dedicated Concierge services to our client for years, however we are extremely excited to be launching this service enhancement in response to our clients’ growing full-service travel needs. This is an important milestone in our services evolution and reinforces our 100% commitment to providing a true lifestyles support experience for our customers, said Michael Fedele, President, Innotech-Execaire Aviation Group.

About Innotech-Execaire Aviation Group

IEAG is a leading full-service provider of aviation and technical support services to business aircraft OEMs, owners, operators, and commercial airlines. Based in Montreal, Quebec, IEAG offers a full range of aircraft interior/exterior refurbishment and technical services, including non-destructive testing, and has maintenance capabilities and FBO services at airports across Canada including a long history supporting Cessna aircraft from our Authorized Service Facility at Toronto Pearson for over 40 years. With a comprehensive fleet of business aircraft under management, IEAG has complete flight operations capabilities, as well as a large portion of its business jet fleet available for charter under the Execaire and Image Air brands.

IEAG is a business unit of IMP Group, a Halifax-based company focused on global sustainable growth, and with over 3,500 experienced people delivering service, quality and value to customers across diverse sectors, such as aerospace, aviation, healthcare, information technology, hospitality, and property development.

Swoop Returns to Winnipeg

Airline brings more choice and ultra-low fares back to Manitoba

WINNIPEG, MB, April 25, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop marked its return to Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG). The airline’s reintroduction of its ultra-low fares now connects Winnipeg with Hamilton’s John C. Munro International Airport (YHM) and Abbotsford International Airport (YXX), with operations to Kelowna International Airport (YLW) set to begin in June.

“We are thrilled to reaffirm our commitment to Manitoba through our return to Winnipeg,” said Shane Workman, Head of Flight Operations, Swoop. “Our affordable fares are now available to those travelling for essential reasons and Swoop will be here to support the economic recovery of the region and connect Manitobans to their family and friends when the time comes.” 

Today’s announcement marks another milestone for Swoop as the airline continues its recovery efforts in conjunction with partners like Winnipeg’s James Armstrong Richardson International Airport to bring affordable and accessible air travel to all Canadians. The airline remains optimistic that as Canada continues its vaccine rollout, a safe restart of domestic air travel is on the horizon.

“We are pleased to welcome Swoop back to Winnipeg as we continue to plan for the safe return of domestic travel as vaccination levels increase across the country,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “Swoop’s return is an important milestone in our plan to rebuild the region’s connectivity and provides a low-cost option for essential travel today while helping to drive Manitoba’s economic and social recovery when the time is right for further travel.”

For flights from Winnipeg and to learn more about Swoop visit  FlySwoop.com.

About Swoop: Established in 2018, Swoop is Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost airline, independently operated as part of the WestJet Group of companies, offering scheduled service to destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. Swoop offers completely unbundled products and services, creating the unique opportunity for travellers to control their costs and customize their experience by purchasing only the extras they desire.  

Swoop operates a modern fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity. Flyswoop.com allows travellers to quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight.