Swoop Announces Major Expansion and Investment in Edmonton and Brings Nine New Routes to Alberta Capital

  • Ultra-low fare airline announces its largest expansion ever with eight new domestic routes as part of summer schedule and new non-stop service to Palm Springs
  • Brings enhanced connectivity to Atlantic Canada with first ever non-stop flights from Edmonton to New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island and new non-stops to Nova Scotia
  • Reaffirms commitment to city by naming its newest aircraft #Edmonton
Tom Ruth, President and CEO of Edmonton International Airport welcomes Swoop's newest aircraft #Edmonton (CNW Group/Swoop)
Tom Ruth, President and CEO of Edmonton International Airport welcomes Swoop’s newest aircraft #Edmonton (CNW Group/Swoop)

EDMONTON, AB, Nov. 15, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low fare airline, reaffirmed its commitment to the Edmonton Metropolitan Region with the announcement of new service to one U.S. and eight domestic destinations from its Western Canadian base. The airline’s significant new investments were celebrated this morning alongside the unveiling of Swoop’s newest aircraft, which will fly with the name #Edmonton.

The airline’s growth will see Swoop’s flight capacity in Alberta’s capital increase 76% compared to pre-pandemic levels, supporting the creation of 140 additional direct and spin-off jobs and an anticipated $120M of economic output activityi in 2022.

From left to right (Juanita Marois, CEO, Métis Crossing, Tom Ruth, President & CEO, Edmonton International Airport, Charles Duncan, President of Swoop, Rajan Sawhney, Alberta Minister of Transportation, Rick Smith, Deputy Mayor of Leduc County, Tim Cartmell, City Councillor, City of Edmonton) (CNW Group/Swoop)
From left to right (Juanita Marois, CEO, Métis Crossing, Tom Ruth, President & CEO, Edmonton International Airport, Charles Duncan, President of Swoop, Rajan Sawhney, Alberta Minister of Transportation, Rick Smith, Deputy Mayor of Leduc County, Tim Cartmell, City Councillor, City of Edmonton) (CNW Group/Swoop)

“This is a major milestone for Swoop as we underscore our commitment to leading the way for ultra-low fare air travel in Canada and reaffirm our position as the airline with the most destinations from Edmonton,” said Charles Duncan, President of Swoop. “With a strong focus on growth and Edmonton as our partner, we will continue to provide our travellers with more non-stop flights and ultra-low fares while supporting the recovery of Canada’s travel and tourism economy.”

New non-stop flights to eight Canadian cities 

The addition of eight new Canadian destinations to Swoop’s summer schedule will see non-stop service from Edmonton to Charlottetown, Comox, Halifax, Kelowna, Moncton, Ottawa, Regina and Saskatoon. Swoop will be the first carrier to bring non-stop connectivity from Edmonton International Airport to Charlottetown and Moncton and the airline’s summer schedule will also see the restoration of service to London, Ont. 

Hello, Palm Springs!

Beginning December 16, Swoop’s transborder presence is growing from Edmonton with the addition of new service to Palm Springs. The scheduled non-stop service to Palm Springs will operate twice weekly.

#Edmonton

To commemorate its history and commitment to Edmonton, Swoop celebrated the naming of its newest aircraft #Edmonton alongside key government leaders and business stakeholders at Edmonton International Airport.

Following the event, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft entered service for the operation of flight WO 770 departing Edmonton at 12:00 local time, en route to Phoenix (Mesa), Arizona with a scheduled arrival of 3:30 PM local time. Edmontonians can expect to see #Edmonton operating several of Swoop’s newly announced routes.

Full schedule details of Swoop’s service from Edmonton can be found below.

 Domestic Routes

RoutePeak Weekly
Frequency
Start DateTotal one-
way fare
(CAD)
 †
Base Fare
(CAD)
Taxes and
Fees (CAD)
 
Edmonton – Halifax*5x weeklyMay 1, 2022$159$104.35$54.65
Edmonton – Charlottetown*2x weeklyJune 16, 2022$159$104.35$54.65
Edmonton – Kelowna*7x weeklyMay 5, 2022$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Ottawa*4x weeklyApril 25, 2022$59$9.12$49.88
Edmonton – Comox*3x weeklyJune 9, 2022$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Regina*2x weeklyJune 16. 2022$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Saskatoon*2x weeklyJune 14, 2022$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Moncton*2x weeklyJune 17, 2022$159$104.35$54.65
Edmonton – London3x weeklyJune 2, 2022$59$9.11$49.88
Edmonton – Winnipeg4x weeklyContinuing$160$105.30$54.69
Edmonton – Toronto14x weeklyContinuing$59$9.12$49.88
Edmonton – Hamilton7x weeklyContinuing$60$10.06$49.94
Edmonton – Abbotsford7x weeklyContinuing$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Victoria7x weeklyContinuing$60$12.06$47.94
†Special introductory fares are limited quantity. Book by November 29, 2021 for travel between May 2 and June 22, 2022.

Transborder Routes

RoutePeak Weekly
Frequency
Start DateTotal one-
way fare
(CAD)
 †
Base Fare
(CAD)
Taxes and
Fees (CAD)
 
Edmonton – Las Vegas7x weeklyContinuing$99$8.84$90.16
Edmonton – Phoenix (Mesa)1x weeklyContinuing$110$18.36$91.63
† Book by November 29, 2021 for travel between May 2 and June 22, 2022.

New Service to Palm Springs

RoutePeak Weekly
Frequency
Start DateTotal one-
way fare
(CAD)
 †
Base Fare
(CAD)
Taxes and
Fees (CAD)
Edmonton – Palm Springs*2x WeeklyDecember 16, 2021$99$7.89$91.11
†Special introductory fares are limited quantity. Book by November 29, 2021 for travel between January 10 and February 19, 2022.

Supporting Quotes

“Swoop’s commitment to Edmonton is a clear sign that there is confidence in Alberta’s Recovery Plan. The new routes across Canada and to Palm Springs open up exciting opportunities for tourism and business.”

  • Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Transportation

“I want to thank Swoop for supporting the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. Having increased connections across Canada and beyond through Edmonton International Airport is vital for our region. As a major city contributing to Alberta’s recovery, strong air service will help us create jobs and grow our economy.”

  • Amarjeet Sohi, Mayor of Edmonton

“Next time you hear a plane passing over, look up, look way up, and you just might see #Edmonton flying by. Thank you Swoop for naming one of your fleet after our great community, we’re honoured you will help carry the name Edmonton across Canada and North America. Your dedication to the Edmonton Metropolitan Region is helping bring more low-cost travel options for our passengers and we can’t wait for these new destinations to start.”

  • Tom Ruth, President and CEO, Edmonton International Airport

To learn more about Swoop please 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 ten 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. 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.     

Source: Swoop 2022 Edmonton International Airport Economic Impacts performed by the Chris Lowe Group

Swoop celebrates return of international departures from Abbotsford and Hamilton

Airline operating southbound international flights in November, reaccommodating northbound travellers through approved airports until NOTAM updates are in effect

CALGARY, AB, Nov. 3, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop resumed international flight departures from Abbotsford International Airport with flight WO 602 bound for Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Earlier this week, the ultra-low-cost carrier also resumed transborder flying from John C. Munro Hamilton Airport with its inaugural flight to Orlando Sanford International Airport. 

Prior to yesterday’s federal government announcement adding eight airports to the approved international list, Swoop made the decision to proceed with scheduled southbound flights, arranging for northbound travellers to be re-routed or reaccommodated through approved airports until at least November 29, 2021. 

“We welcome this important and overdue update allowing for international passenger arrivals in Hamilton, Abbotsford and Victoria as of November 30,” said Charles Duncan, President of Swoop. “We know how eager Canadians are to travel and we are going to great lengths to prevent further disruption or delay to our travellers’ plans.”

Travellers returning from Orlando to the Hamilton area are being reaccommodated on Swoop flights operating to Toronto Pearson International Airport, while travellers returning from Puerto Vallarta are connecting in Edmonton before carrying on to Abbotsford. 

“As Canada transitions to a fully-vaccinated air sector and to ensure the right measures are in place for Canadians to safely and affordably travel this winter, we urge the federal government to next update the advance PCR/molecular testing requirements and implement a new practical policy for travelling children under-12 returning to Canada,” continued Duncan. 

On November 30, Swoop will operate its St. Pete-Clearwater to Hamilton flight as scheduled, marking Hamilton Airport’s first international arrival since February 6, 2020. The airline will also begin transborder flights between Victoria and Puerto Vallarta starting December 19. 

To learn more about Swoop and find ultra-low fare flights to destinations in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, please visit FlySwoop.com. Find out more on how Swoop is ensuring a safe and healthy travel experience at 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 ten 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. 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. 

Government of Canada announces additional Canadian airports accepting international passenger flights

Transport Canada

OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 2, 2021 /CNW/ – The Government of Canada is prioritizing the health and safety of all people in Canada by continuing to take a risk-based and measured approach to re-opening the border. Canada’s phased approach to easing border measures is informed by the available data and scientific evidence, including the vaccination rate of Canadians, and the improving epidemiological situation.

The strict vaccine travel requirements that will be fully phased in by November 30, and the pan-Canadian proof of vaccination credential now available for travel, are creating opportunities for safe travel for vaccinated Canadians.

As a next step in increasing travel opportunities, Transport Canada is easing the restriction on international flight arrivals. The department is expanding the scope of the existing Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that currently directs international passenger flights into 10 Canadian airports.

Effective on November 30, 2021, international flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at the following additional Canadian airports:

  • St. John’s International
  • John C. Munro Hamilton International
  • Region of Waterloo International
  • Regina International
  • Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International
  • Kelowna International
  • Abbotsford International
  • Victoria International

These airports, in cooperation with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency and Transport Canada, are working to implement the measures necessary to start safely welcoming international passengers as of November 30.

Consideration will be given to adding additional airports as conditions dictate, based on demand, operational capacity, the epidemiological situation in Canada, and recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The Government of Canada continues to work closely with airports and aviation operators to ensure appropriate procedures are put in place to protect travellers and workers.

Border and public health measures remain subject to change as the epidemiological situation evolves.

Quote

“Increased vaccination levels have allowed us to safely re-open these additional Canadian airports to international passenger flights. This measure will help ensure that travellers are able to access more regional airports for their international travels this winter, while continuing to support the Government of Canada’s measured approach to re-opening our border.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

Quick Facts

  • The 10 Canadian airports currently accepting international flights are: Halifax Stanfield International, Québec City Jean Lesage International, Montréal-Trudeau International, Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International, Toronto Pearson International, Billy Bishop Toronto City Centre, Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International, Edmonton International, Calgary International, and Vancouver International.

Associated Links

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news or stay connected through TwitterFacebookYouTube and Instagram to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.

Swoop Arrives at Orlando Sanford International Airport

Inaugural flight from Toronto Pearson International Airport marks exciting milestone for Canada’s ultra-not expensive airline as it grows U.S. network 

TORONTO, Oct. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ – Today, Swoop celebrated its first flight to Orlando Sanford International Airport. The ultra-low-cost airline’s inaugural service took off from Toronto Pearson International Airport at 8:00 a.m. EST and safely arrived at 11:00 a.m. local time.

From left to right: Shane Workman, Head of Flight Operations, Swoop | Elizabeth Brown, CEO, Sanford International Inc. | Tom Nolan, President of Sanford Airport Authority (CNW Group/Swoop)
From left to right: Shane Workman, Head of Flight Operations, Swoop | Elizabeth Brown, CEO, Sanford International Inc. | Tom Nolan, President of Sanford Airport Authority (CNW Group/Swoop)
Swoop flight WO740 arriving at Sanford International Airport (CNW Group/Swoop)
Swoop flight WO740 arriving at Sanford International Airport (CNW Group/Swoop)

“We are thrilled to be expanding our U.S. network with the launch of today’s inaugural flight to Orlando Sanford International Airport,” said Shane Workman, Head of Flight Operations, Swoop. “We know Canadians are eager to travel south to sunny Florida this winter and Orlando Sanford International Airport’s convenience, accessibility and proximity to nearby attractions make it the perfect gateway to the region.”

Today’s inaugural kicked off the first of four new non-stop routes to Orlando Sanford International Airport for the ultra-low-cost airline. In the coming months, additional non-stop service to Orlando Sanford is set to begin from Hamilton, ON, Winnipeg, MB and Edmonton, AB.

Details of Swoop’s service to Orlando Sanford

RoutePlanned Start DatePeak Weekly Frequency
Toronto (YYZ) – Orlando Sanford (SFB)October 9, 20213x Weekly
Hamilton (YHM) – Orlando Sanford (SFB)November 1, 20212x Weekly
Edmonton (YEG) – Orlando Sanford (SFB)December 3, 20212x Weekly
Winnipeg (YWG) – Orlando Sanford (SFB)December 10, 20212x Weekly

To celebrate this new route, Swoop’s Head of Flight Operations, Shane Workman, was joined by Tom Nolan, President of Sanford Airport Authority and Elizabeth Brown, President & CEO, Sanford Internal Inc., for an inaugural ceremony upon arrival at Sanford International Airport. Travellers were also treated to inflight refreshments and giveaways. 

To learn more about Swoop and for flights to Orlando Sanford please 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 ten 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. 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. 

Swoop targeting November return for international flights from Hamilton’s airport

From Global News – link to source story

By Don Mitchell  Global News | Posted October 6, 2021

A Boeing 737 (737-800) jetliner, belonging to WestJet Airlines low-cost carrier Swoop, lands at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nv., on Thur., Feb. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Larry MacDougal .
A Boeing 737 (737-800) jetliner, belonging to WestJet Airlines low-cost carrier Swoop, lands at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nv., on Thur., Feb. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Larry MacDougal .

The president of ultra-low-cost air carrier Swoop says it’s setting its sights on a November resumption of international passenger service out of Hamilton’s John C. Munro airport.

Charles Duncan says a pair of Florida destinations — St. Pete/Clearwater and Orlando — are the targets next month with the hopes of expanding flights to Mexico and the Caribbean in December, assuming they can get clearances from Ottawa.

“We do need some help from the federal government, from Transport Canada, to make that a reality,” Duncan told 900 CHML’s Good Morning Hamilton.

“We’re just getting all of the horses aligned, if you will, to make that happen.”

Duncan says the airline is awaiting an update to the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) from the Trudeau government which restricted direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada and from a number of international destinations following advice from public health amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, parent company WestJet and Swoop hosted a 90-minute restart roundtable in Hamilton to get a vision of what travel would be like for the entities post-pandemic.https://omny.fm/shows/good-morning-hamilton/charles-duncan-joined-gmh-w-rick-zamperin/embed?style=cover

In the darkest days of COVID, staff revealed a 90 per cent decrease in demand for passenger service and in revenue — worse than what was seen amid SARS and 9-11.

The impact to Hamilton’s international passenger service was a 66 per cent decrease in visits between 2019 and 2020 contributing to Ontario’s loss of $5.2 billion in tourism overall since the start of COVID-19 restrictions.

A recent economic impact study from the airlines revealed, pre-pandemic, the two contributed $80 million in GDP for the city which included 500 full-time jobs.

The unprecedented decline in demand for flights in the industry as a whole saw WestJet lay off over 9,000 of its pre-pandemic workforce of 14,000 between March and June of 2020.

Up until the summer of 2021, Swoop only had three weekly flights from Hamilton International Airport, to Edmonton and Abbotsford, but saw a return of flights to Kelowna, Winnipeg and Halifax in June.

The international restart for Swoop largely depends on travel advisory changes from Ottawa tied to COVID-19 vaccination rates, changes to mandatory testing when reentering Canada, child travel policies and the restoration of full service to the county’s airports.

“The federal government has been mandating that all of our employees — and that’s every single employee — be fully vaccinated by the end of this month,” Duncan said.

“They’re also rolling out a requirement for full vaccination of all of the travellers who are on all modes of transportation, not only airlines but via rail and others.”

As of October, only 10 airports across Canada have approval from Ottawa to continue international service. Duncan said WestJet and Swoop are “angling” to ensure that Hamilton is the 11th.

The future is already looking a bit brighter in terms of employment for Swoop, which began training recalls and new staff in anticipation of a restart in the months ahead.

“Just this week on Monday, we have 33 new flight attendants from the Hamilton area who were training to join Swoop later next month,” Duncan said.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Government of Canada supporting John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport with new funding

Transport Canada

HAMILTON, ON, Aug. 11, 2021 /CNW/ – Helping airports mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is part of the Government of Canada’s strategy to ensure that our air transportation system provides Canadians with choice, connectivity and affordable air travel.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, and the Minister of Labour and Member of Parliament for Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, announced more than $5 million to help the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support continued air services and important transportation infrastructure projects at the airport.

The Government of Canada is providing this airport with close to $2 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Critical Infrastructure Program for critical infrastructure projects to enhance airport safety, including the replacement of an aircraft rescue firefighting (ARFF) vehicle and airfield rehabilitation.

In addition to the funding for the critical infrastructure projects, the Government of Canada is also providing the airport with over $2.6 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Relief Fund to help it maintain continued airport operations and essential air services for residents and workers in the Greater Hamilton Area and its surrounding communities.

The John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport will also receive a Government of Canada investment of $500,000 through FedDev Ontario’s Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI) to provide necessary personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies. This project will contribute to efforts to safely reinstate regional air routes and maintain jobs in the Hamilton region.

Quotes

“Canada’s airports are major contributors to our economy, and play a crucial role in sustaining the social and economic well-being of our communities. This financial support will ensure that, as Canada works towards recovery and travel restart post pandemic, the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport will be able to provide regional accessibility, and safe, reliable and efficient air services for travellers and businesses in the Greater Hamilton Area.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

“The John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport is a key transportation hub not just for the Greater Hamilton Area, but for much of Southwestern Ontario. It connects us with family and friends, helps us discover new destinations, and is a pivotal trade corridor for many Hamilton businesses. This funding will enhance airport safety for travellers, air crews and airport workers, while supporting jobs and our regional economy.”  

The Honourable Filomena Tassi
Minister of Labour and Member of Parliament for Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas

“It is important to protect our regional air transportation ecosystems for the thousands of workers employed by this sector and for the many businesses and communities that depend on it. We know that air connectivity to all regions is essential to healthy, inclusive economic growth, and supporting it is part of our plan to build back a stronger, more resilient economy.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly
Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario

“Hamilton is proud of its international airport which today is a key driver of our local economy and will only become more important to the regional and national economy in the future. The federal government understands this and has been a wonderful partner in helping to ensure John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport continues to grow. Thank you Minister Alghabra, Minister Joly, and Minister Tassi for your leadership in assisting Hamilton and its international airport reach its potential.”

Mayor Fred Eisenberger
City of Hamilton

“Hamilton International Airport is an integral part of the regional and national economy and is a vital gateway in the community and strategic transportation corridor that it serves. This important funding announcement by the Government of Canada is critical to rebuild the Airport’s low-cost leisure air travel and sustain continued growth in the cargo and goods movement sector. We look forward to supporting a robust recovery for Canada, the province, and the City of Hamilton by ensuring critical infrastructure and essential services are maintained in a safe, healthy, reliable and efficient manner.”

Cathie Puckering
President and CEO
John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport

Quick Facts

  • The Airport Critical Infrastructure Program, launched in May 2021, will distribute $489.6 million in funding over five years to airports to support eligible infrastructure projects related to safety, security or connectivity to mass transit systems.
  • The federal contribution for the Airport Critical Infrastructure Program projects will be up to 50% of total eligible project expenditures. The John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport will provide the remaining funds for the projects.
  • The Airport Relief Fund, launched in May 2021, will provide $64.8 million in funding in 2021-2022 for targeted airports whose 2019 revenues were less than $250 million.
  • The amount of funding to each targeted eligible Airport Relief Fund recipient was calculated using a tiered formula-based approach, based on 2019 revenues.
  • Funding provided from the Airport Relief Fund must be used to cover activities that are directly related to the airport’s operations and to ensure that it remains open to travellers and surrounding communities.
  • First introduced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the Airport Critical Infrastructure Program and the Airport Relief Fund are part of a federal stimulus recovery plan designed to build a stronger, more inclusive and more resilient economy post-COVID-19.
  • The Government of Canada introduced the Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI) to help businesses and organizations in regional air transportation ecosystems, including regional air carriers and airports, to remain operational throughout the pandemic, while continuing to support economic growth and regional connectivity.
  • With a national budget of $206 million over two years, Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) are delivering this support, with FedDev Ontario delivering $24.2 million in southern Ontario. The RATI complements the measures in Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and measures implemented by Transport Canada.

Related Products

Associated Link

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca.

More domestic flights returning to Okanagan with B.C. again welcoming Canadian travellers

From CBC News – link to source story

Despite loosened travel restrictions, it’s still uncertain when international flights will return to Kelowna

Winston Szeto · CBC News · Jul 06, 2021

The Kelowna International Airport is welcoming back domestic flights under the third phase of B.C.’s restart plan, which allows British Columbians to travel across the country for recreational purposes. (YLW)

The major airport serving B.C.’s Okanagan region has seen far more flights coming and going since the reopening of the province, but it’s still unknown when international flights will return. 

Since the province entered the third phase of its reopening plan on July 1, British Columbians have been able to travel across the country for recreational purposes. Before that, they could fly to and from Kelowna International Airport (YLW), but were advised not to unless it was essential travel. 

Sam Samaddar, director of YLW, says travellers can now fly to 14 Canadian destinations from Kelowna, with Montreal, Ottawa, Hamilton, Kitchener, Ont., Regina and Saskatoon recently added to the list. 

Due to international travel restrictions, the Kelowna airport hasn’t yet resumed operation of routes to Seattle, Cancun, Los Cabos, and Varadero, which accounted for up to 30 per cent of the airport’s traffic before the pandemic. 

In 2019, two million passengers passed through Kelowna International Airport, making it one of the busiest airports in the country. 

Samaddar says he cannot predict when the airport will provide international air services again. 

“We have international flights only designated to come into … the four major airports in the country, so we’re not even allowed to accept international flights at this point,” he said Monday to Dominika Lirette, guest host of CBC’s Daybreak South.

Under the federal government’s travel restrictions, international flights can only land in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. Foreign non-essential air travellers are still prohibited from entering Canada, and Canadians are still discouraged from travelling overseas for non-essential purposes.

International flights are currently allowed to land in four Canadian airports only, including Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The travel restrictions between Canada and the United States preventing all non-essential trips are to remain in place until at least July 21.

But international border restrictions started to loosen on Monday. Canadians and permanent residents who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada are now able to forgo the 14-day quarantine, which has been a requirement since March of last year. 

Samaddar says even if Canada reopens borders with the United States and other countries, it may take years before international business travellers return.

“Businesses are having to recover themselves and they’re also trying to understand the landscape before they send their staff abroad or internationally to do business or in person,” he said. “They don’t want to risk their staff … putting them in an environment where they may not know what the outcome is in terms of the safety of their employees.”

With files from Daybreak South

COVID-19: Kelowna International Airport seeing increase in passenger traffic

From Global News – link to source story

By Travis Lowe, Global News | June 22, 2021

Kelowna International Airport is seeing an increase in air traffic passengers.
Kelowna International Airport is seeing an increase in air traffic passengers. Kelowna International Airport

After almost a year-and-a-half of COVID-19, Canadians are ready to pack their bags and go on vacation.

The director of Kelowna’s airport, Sam Samaddar, said there’s already been an increase in the number of people looking to fly the friendly skies, thanks to the loosening of some travel restrictions.

“We’re expecting a very, very busy summer,” Samaddar told Global News.

“We’re anticipating by July 1, the province is going to make the announcement that they are going to welcome Canadians from coast to coast to British Columbia.”

Staff at Kelowna International Airport are already dealing with what’s being called a “pent-up demand” by passengers looking to take a vacation from COVID-19 quarantining.

“On a daily basis, we were down to about 300,” said Samaddar. “We’re seeing now at least our outbound numbers are up 1,000.”

Samaddar says those passenger numbers will only rise as the number of domestic routes is set to increase at YLW.

“Prior to COVID, we had nine destinations in Canada that we flew to,” Samaddar said.

But as air traffic takes off at YLW once again, that number will rise to 16, including a connection to Canada’s other wine region, Niagra.

Click to play video: 'Planned fee change will raise the cost of most taxi rides to Kelowna’s airport'Planned fee change will raise the cost of most taxi rides to Kelowna’s airport – May 18, 2021

Just this past Sunday, YLW also saw the inaugural flight of Swoop’s new non-stop service to Hamilton.

Swoop is an ultra-low-fare airline.

And besides Toronto and Hamilton, next Sunday, June 27, Swoop will add another YLW route to its list of destinations: Kelowna to Winnipeg.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Halifax woman calls out low-cost airline for lack of public health enforcement'Coronavirus: Halifax woman calls out low-cost airline for lack of public health enforcement – Dec 28, 2020

YLW will also see flights expanded to include Kitchener-Waterloo and Ottawa in August.

But the big expansion in service that Samaddar is excited about is Quebec with Air Canada on June 26.

“We are going to launch Montreal to Kelowna — a tremendous opportunity for the region and a tremendous opportunity for the people of our region to go to Montreal and Quebec,” Samaddar said.

Click to play video: 'Ottawa lays out how funding for airports will be distributed amid COVID-19 pandemic'Ottawa lays out how funding for airports will be distributed amid COVID-19 pandemic – May 11, 2021

But YLW’s director wants to remind the public that COVID-19 has likely changed air travel forever.

And, as such, travellers will have to be patient as the industry continues to ensure the safety of its passengers.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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.”