Air Canada Adding Extra Cargo Capacity Into Vancouver to Help Maintain British Columbia’s Economic Supply Chain

  • In response to flooding that disrupted transportation supply chain network in the province
  • 586 tonnes of additional capacity added into and out of YVR, an increase of 45% over originally planned levels
  • Air Canada Express Dash 8-400 aircraft being converted into special freighter configuration to transport cargo

MONTREAL, Nov. 22, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada announced today that it has significantly increased cargo capacity into and out of Vancouver between November 21 and 30 from its hubs in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary as it works to ensure that the vital economic supply chain links in British Columbia are maintained following the impacts of last week’s flooding. In total, Air Canada is adding 586 tonnes of cargo capacity, representing 3,223 cubic metres to support B.C.’s economic supply chain and the needs of its communities. The additional capacity is equivalent in weight to approximately 860 adult moose.

“The economic supply chain is vital, and to help support the urgent transport of goods into and out of British Columbia, we have increased capacity to our YVR hub by using the flexibility of Air Canada’s fleet to reschedule 28 passenger flights from narrow-body aircraft to be operated with wide-body Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Boeing 777, and Airbus A330-300 aircraft. These changes will allow an additional 282 tonnes of goods to be moved across the country on our scheduled passenger flights,” said Jason Berry, Vice President, Cargo, at Air Canada.

“Additionally, Air Canada Cargo will operate an additional 13 all-cargo flights between our Toronto, Montreal and Calgary cargo hubs and YVR using widebody aircraft, providing approximately 304 tonnes of additional capacity. These aircraft will help move mail and perishables such as seafood, as well as automotive parts and other industrial goods,” concluded Mr. Berry.

Air Canada is also working with its regional partner Jazz Aviation to provide additional regional cargo capacity by temporarily converting an Air Canada Express De Havilland Dash 8-400 from its normal passenger configuration into a special freighter configuration. This Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighter operated by Jazz can carry a total of 18,000 lbs. (8,165 kg) of cargo and will be deployed to transport critical goods, as well as consumer and industrial goods and will be in service as early as this week.

Last week, as the impact of the devastating floods became apparent, Air Canada quickly added capacity to the Air Canada Cargo network by substituting larger widebody aircraft on 14 passenger flights into Vancouver.

Additional capacity added for passengers

In addition to the extra cargo capacity, Air Canada had also increased the number of seats available for customers in Kelowna and Kamloops since November 17, adding approximately 1,500 seats into both communities by utilizing larger aircraft on routes. This enabled people affected by the highway closures to fly into and out from these airports, and through the cargo capacity of these passenger aircraft, also allowed for the important transport of emergency medical supplies into these regions.

Air Canada continues to monitor the situation in British Columbia very closely and will adjust its passenger and cargo schedule accordingly.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline, and in 2019 was among the top 20 largest airlines in the world. It is Canada’s flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax. In 2020, Air Canada was named Global Traveler’s Best Airline in North America for the second straight year. In January 2021, Air Canada received APEX’s Diamond Status Certification for the Air Canada CleanCare+ biosafety program for managing COVID-19, the only airline in Canada to attain the highest APEX ranking. Air Canada has also committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. 

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

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.

MPs call for international flights to resume at Kelowna, B.C. airport

From Global News – link to source story

By Darrian Matassa-Fung, Global News | October 28, 2021

Link to Video: https://globalnews.ca/video/rd/2d13c16c-3852-11ec-b654-0242ac110004/?jwsource=cl

MP’s calling for international flights to resume at YLW

Two Members of Parliament are calling upon the federal government for clarity regarding resuming international flights at Kelowna International Airport.

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Tracy Gray and Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola MP Dan Albas have been vocal expressing the need for international flights to resume service for the region.

“I’ve heard from communities in the Similkameen Valley, for example Keremeos and Princeton, who have both contacted me with concerns. I met with the mayor and council of West Kelowna this week specifically about YLW. All we’ve heard from Transport Canada is that everything will be fixed in due course,” said Albas.

The shutdown of international flights has severely impacted the tourism sector, according to Albas.

“I’ve heard from people that offer tourism and accommodations that say they’ve had (customers) say ‘sorry’. Time is money and (the customers) don’t want to take different flights to get to their destinations,” said Albas.

“Some long-time visitors, who come every year, are choosing to go elsewhere.”

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Tracy Gray said there have been inconsistencies with which Canadian airports have been given international flights.

“YLW has higher volumes than some of the other airports they have granted,” said Gray.

“If the government is not able to give the rationale (on which airports get chosen), they should immediately allow Kelowna International Airport an international designation.”

Kelowna International Airport officials said the resumption of international flights is critical for economic recovery from the pandemic.

“There is a direct impact (of no international flights) and to the airport itself. We are going to lose $2.5 million in direct revenue and then you spin off that and our partners in the community, who rely on tourism, the hotels, the restaurants, all of those folks who rely on that during the winter period, they lose that business,” said Sam Samadar, Kelowna International Airport’s director.

Transport Canada did not respond in time for broadcast and has not given a responses to the two MP’s questions about YLW.

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

Pacific Coast Airlines announces Summer 2022 Schedule

Thanks to MW

30 October 2021

Check Out our Summer 2022 Flight Schedule

Take advantage of additional flight options. Book your summer trip today.

Origin and DestinationSunMonTueWedThuFriSatWeekly FlightsHighlights
Vancouver – Victoria4x4x4x4x4x4x1x21 Improved minimum connection times between YYJ and other destinations
Vancouver – Powell River4x4x4x4x4x4x2x26
Vancouver – Bella Coola1x1x1x1x1x1x1x7New daily service
Vancouver – Trail2x2x2x2x2x2x1x13
Vancouver – Williams Lake2x1x2x1x2x1x1x10
Vancouver – Comox2x2x2x2x2x2x0x20All non-stop flights (no more stops in YBL )
Vancouver – Campbell River3x3x3x3x3x3x2x12All non-stop flights (no more stops in YQQ)
Vancouver – Port Hardy1x2x1x2x1x2x1x10Evening flight Sunday to Friday will operate on Saab
Vancouver – Bella Bella1x1x1x1x1x1x1x7New daily service – all flights will operate on Saab
Vancouver – Tofino1x1x1x1x1x1x1x7Flights will operate on Saab, Sunday to Friday. New Saturday service.
Victoria – Kelowna2x2x1x2x2x2x0x11
Victoria – Prince George1x1x1x1x1x1x0x6
Vancouver – Cranbrook1x1x1x1x1x1x0x6
Vancouver – Masset1x1x1x1x1x1x1x7New daily service – all flights will operate on Saab
Vancouver – Penticton1x1x1x1x1x1x1x7New daily service
Vancouver – Kamloops1x1x1x1x1x1x0x6

Book With Greater Peace of Mind.

We’re offering unlimited ticket changes for customers who purchase flights by January 31, 2022. Travel worry-free. Learn more.

For ultimate peace of mind and the ability to cancel and receive a refund to the original form of payment, we recommend booking a refundable Encore Fare.

WestJet to return to 95 destinations this winter

Airline continues to restore sun, transborder and domestic routes as Canadians confidence in travel grows

CALGARY, AB, Oct. 25, 2021 /CNW/ – This winter, WestJet is set to restore service and connectivity to more than 95 destinations across the airline’s domestic, transborder, sun and international network as of December.

“As Canadians confidence in travel grows, the return of service to 95 destinations marks a major milestone in rebuilding our network to pre-pandemic levels,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “We have our sights set on restoring our global network to reach more than 100 destinations and continue to focus on alleviating the current travel barriers in place for our guests.”

“These investments demonstrate our commitment to restoring routes and connectivity to communities across Canada,” continued Weatherill. “Travel advisories are evolving in real-time and it is critical that policies implemented prior to the widespread availability of vaccines are recalibrated to accelerate Canada’s economic recovery and to reflect the new fully-vaccinated travel journey.”

Strengthening sun service and transborder flights from Toronto

With the addition of seven returning flights from Toronto, WestJet will offer non-stop service to 55 destinations including 26 international, 17 domestic and 12 transborder this winter from Toronto.

  • Toronto – Boston
  • Toronto – Miami
  • Toronto – Grand Cayman
  • Toronto – Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Toronto – San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Toronto – Roatan
  • Toronto – Kelowna*

Increasing sun flights and non-stop options to Hawaii from Calgary

As the airline with the most flights this winter from Calgary, WestJet is set to offer non-stop service to 61 destinations from Calgary including 30 domestic, 19 transborder and 12 international destinations from YYC with the addition of the following non-stop flights.

  • Calgary – Fort Lauderdale
  • Calgary – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  • Calgary – Lihue
  • Calgary – Kona

WestJet continues to be the Canadian carrier that offers the most flights to Hawaii to the four major islands from Western Canada.

New non-stop sun flights for Winnipeg and Regina connectivity

WestJet is adding non-stop options to Cancun and Orlando with the return of international flights to Winnipeg. The airline will also restore four-times weekly non-stop service between Regina and Winnipeg.

  • Winnipeg – Cancun
  • Winnipeg – Orlando
  • Winnipeg – Regina

Connecting Edmonton and Honolulu non-stop

WestJet will connect guests between Edmonton and Honolulu beginning December 18, 2021. This winter the airline will serve 24 domestic, international and transborder destinations non-stop from Alberta’s capital city.

  • Edmonton – Honolulu, Hawaii

Service between Kelowna and Toronto to return for peak holiday travel

WestJet is increasing Kelowna’s non-stop options with the return of three-times weekly service between Toronto and Kelowna from December 17 to January 5, 2022.

  • Kelowna – Toronto*

Full schedule details are available online here.

Frequency and start dates of returning service added to WestJet’s winter schedule:

Route Frequency Start Date  
Toronto – Boston 4x weekly  December 17
Toronto – Miami 4x weekly  December 16
Toronto – Grand Cayman 1x weekly  December 16
Toronto – Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago 2x weekly  December 17
Toronto – Roatan  1x weekly  December 19
Toronto – San Juan, Puerto Rico 1x weekly  December 18
Toronto – Kelowna* 3x weekly  December 17 –
January 5, 2022
Calgary – Fort Lauderdale  1x weekly  December 18
Calgary – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 1x weekly  December 18
Calgary – Lihue 1x weekly  December 19
Calgary – Kona 1x weekly  December 19
Winnipeg – Cancun Up to 3x weekly  December 17
Winnipeg – Orlando 1x weekly  December 18
Winnipeg – Regina 4x weekly  December 16
Edmonton – Honolulu, Hawaii  1x weekly  December 18
Kelowna – Toronto*   3x weekly  December 17 –
January 5, 2022

To ensure guests are equipped and prepared with the information they need to enjoy a smooth and safe return to travel the airline has created its Travel Ready Series. 

About WestJet 
In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

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

Flair Airlines grows schedule 33% in Canada and the U.S. with four new aircraft

  • Service will launch in Spring 2022 to San Francisco, Nashville, and Denver in the U.S., between Toronto and Victoria and to Comox, B.C., in Canada
  • Canadian ULCC adds four aircraft to bases in Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver
  • 150 new jobs created from schedule and fleet growth

Edmonton, Alberta, Oct. 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Flair Airlines, Canada’s only independent ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), continues its unprecedented growth with the deployment of four brand new 737 MAX aircraft in April and May 2022. Two additional aircraft will be added to Flair’s Toronto base, bringing the total there to five.  A second aircraft will be added to Flair’s Edmonton base and a third aircraft to its Vancouver base. Flair’s Spring 2022 schedule will expand from twelve aircraft to sixteen, delivering 33% schedule growth.

A whopping 14 new routes will be added, including service to four fantastic new destinations. Three new cities will be added to Flair’s network in the US, allowing Canadians to finally travel affordably to San Francisco, Nashville, and Denver.  Flair will also launch Comox as a second gateway to Vancouver Island, complementing existing service to Victoria and allowing visitors to explore even more of the island.

“Travelling and reconnecting with friends will be among the top priorities for many Canadians in the coming months, and Flair is continuing our growth by adding more aircraft and routes so we can bring sustainably low fares to even more iconic destinations across North America,” said Stephen Jones, President and CEO, Flair Airlines. “Whether you’re looking for a weekend break on Vancouver Island or hiking in the Rockies, Flair will get you there affordably.”

With the addition of these four aircraft, Flair will create 150 new jobs for flight attendants, pilots and operational support staff. Flair is currently recruiting for 100 pilot positions to meet the needs of its growing fleet.

Flair is adding new 737 MAX aircraft as it strives to achieve the lowest cost per seat mile of any Canadian airline. The aircraft deliver fuel savings and reduce the airline’s CO2 emissions by 14%. Lower per passenger emissions are a vital step in lowering Flair’s carbon footprint as it works to become Canada’s greenest and most sustainable airline.

Fares to US destinations start between $99 and $129 CAD one-way and several of the new domestic Canadian routes have fares as low as $49 CAD one way, including taxes and fees. All routes and schedule details can be viewed at https://www.flyflair.com.

Flair is also starting service to 6 US destinations this Fall and currently serves 18 destinations in Canada. Flair is growing to serve 28 destinations by spring 2022. 

Toronto Pearson Base Grows to 5 Aircraft

The addition of two aircraft based in Toronto will grow Flair’s footprint to five aircraft. Flair will be providing low fares on nonstop flights to 19 destinations from Toronto Pearson Airport.

“We are excited to welcome Flair’s new routes as they expand their network and offer Canadians more options to travel to the U.S. as well as the picturesque destination of Victoria, BC. Passengers travelling through Pearson can do so confidently with many measures in place to keep them safe, such as no- and low-touch check-in and bag drop, improved air quality and contactless shopping and dining options,” said Craig Bradbrook, Chief Operating Officer, Greater Toronto Airports Authority.

Edmonton Base Opening in December

In December, Flair will be opening a base in Edmonton with the addition of a new aircraft and adding new nonstop service to Hollywood-Burbank, Las Vegas, Palm Springs and Phoenix-Mesa. The spring addition of routes to Nashville, San Francisco, Comox, Regina, Montreal, Winnipeg and Saskatoon will join the nonstop flights Flair currently provides to 7 domestic destinations from Edmonton.

“Grab a guitar and get ready to go! Edmonton loves country music and we’re excited to have Nashville joining our list of non-stop destinations. All new and added service supports our recovery which is important for both our business community and leisure travellers. I want to thank Flair for adding these American destinations along with significant increases in service for several Canadian cities. I’m confident our community will embrace these flights and this increased service from Flair,” said Tom Ruth, President and CEO, Edmonton International Airport.

Additional Vancouver Growth

Adding a third aircraft to the Vancouver base allows Flair to expand service in Western Canada. The nonstop flights to San Francisco and Kelowna will follow new service starting this Fall that includes nonstop flights from Vancouver to Hollywood-Burbank, Palm Springs, Phoenix-Mesa and Las Vegas.

“We are thrilled to support the growth of Flair’s network from YVR. This latest announcement will mean new options out of YVR to popular destinations to BC’s interior and south of the border,” said Russell Atkinson, Director, Air Service Development, Vancouver Airport Authority. “With more people being vaccinated and travel measures easing, we look forward to continued increased service from Flair which will benefit the community and the economy that supports it.”

ULCC Growth Benefits Canadian Travellers

With the addition of new aircraft and more capacity, Flair is providing more affordable air travel options across Canada and to the USA. As travel returns, Flair’s low fares will help kickstart tourism and reconnect families.  

“We’re excited to welcome Flair Airlines to Nashville International Airport®, which means more connectivity between Nashville and Canadian destinations,” said Doug Kreulen, Nashville International Airport president and CEO. “Edmonton is an outstanding new addition to BNA’s® portfolio of international flights, and more service to Toronto is great news for everyone. We look forward to welcoming Flair passengers to Nashville next April with ultra-low fares.”

“Expanding Denver’s global connectivity not only aids in our economic recovery, it also continues to elevate our city as a global hub,” Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “As borders reopen and we begin to welcome back international travel, the investment by Flair into Denver is a big boost for our community and local businesses.”

“We’re excited to see our partnership with Flair continue to evolve as we work to restore in-demand travel options interrupted amid the pandemic,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “The return of this route will provide travellers with additional, convenient options when flying between Winnipeg and Edmonton, whether to visit family and friends or pursue business or study opportunities. We look forward to welcoming back this popular route, meeting our community’s needs through services at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport.”

“Skyxe is excited to be expanding our relationship with Flair Airlines. Edmonton is a high traffic market for Saskatoon, and we hope the addition of Flair’s low cost service option will allow many of our residents to visit friends and family in Edmonton more often,” said Stephen Maybury, CEO of Skyxe Saskatoon Airport.

“We’re very excited that Flair Air has chosen Comox as the gateway to central Vancouver Island,” said Mike Atkins, CEO of the Comox Valley Airport Commission. “As air travel continues to rebound, Flair’s service to Calgary and Edmonton will provide incredible low-cost options to visitors, businesses and friends and family alike. We can’t wait to share the beauty of Vancouver Island with Flair’s passengers.” 

“We are delighted to see more options for passengers on the very popular Vancouver – Kelowna and Victoria – Kelowna routes as we continue to see more growth by Flair out of Kelowna,” said Sam Samaddar, Airport Director, Kelowna International Airport.

About Flair Airlines

Flair Airlines is Canada’s only independent Ultra Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC) and is on a mission to liberate the lives of Canadians by providing affordable air travel that connects them to the people and experiences they love. With an expanding fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, Flair is growing to serve 28 cities across Canada and the U.S. For more information, please visit http://www.flyflair.com.

New Destinations for March & April 2022:

USA

  • Nashville, TN (BNA)
  • Denver, CO (DEN)
  • San Francisco, CA (SFO)

CANADA

  • Comox, BC (YQQ)

New Routes

USA

  • Toronto – Nashville (YYZ-BNA) – 2x weekly starting April 14, 2022
  • Toronto – Denver (YYZ-DEN) – 3x weekly starting April 15, 2022
  • Edmonton – Nashville (YEG-BNA) – 2x weekly starting April 14, 2022
  • Edmonton – San Francisco (YEG-SFO) – 2x weekly starting April 14, 2022
  • Vancouver – San Francisco (YVR-SFO) – 3x weekly May 17, 2022

CANADA

  • Calgary – Comox (YYC-YQQ) – 3x weekly starting March 29, 2022
  • Edmonton – Comox (YEG-YQQ) – 3x weekly starting March 29, 2022
  • Edmonton – Regina (YEG-YQR) – 2x weekly starting April 14, 2022
  • Edmonton – Montreal (YEG-YUL) – 3x weekly starting April 15, 2022
  • Edmonton – Winnipeg (YEG-YWG) – 3x weekly starting April 15, 2022
  • Edmonton – Saskatoon (YEG-YXE) – 3x weekly starting April 15, 2022
  • Toronto – Victoria (YYZ-YYJ) – 1x weekly starting May 7, 2022
  • Vancouver – Kelowna (YVR-YLW) – 3x weekly starting May 16, 2022
  • Kelowna – Victoria (YLW–YYJ) – 3x weekly starting May 16, 2022

Kelowna airport at risk of losing $2.5M over stagnation of international travel

From Summerland Review – link to source story

(File photo)

(File photo)

Despite international travel resuming at less busy airports, YLW’s future is still up in the air

Aaron Hemens | October 7, 2021

With no concrete timetable for when international travel will resume at Kelowna International Airport (YLW), the airport is at risk of losing $2.5 million in revenue as a result, according to the airport’s director.

YLW director Sam Samaddar said that he was advised by WestJet that if the status surrounding the airport’s access to international travel is not sorted out soon, the airline company will have to decide whether or not to cancel a number of Sun destination flights scheduled for early December.

“If we lose these flights, they’re not coming back,” said Samaddar. “WestJet will not put on flights in the middle of winter and January and February for Sun destinations, because they know people will have already made their decisions on what they’re doing.”

YLW ceased international travel services on April 9, 2020, to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Samaddar said that last summer, the airport proposed to meet with the federal government regarding the vaccine mandate for both employees and travellers, as well as the requirement of vaccination cards for travel.

“We involved the various parties — the International Civil Aviation Organization, the World Health Organization and the International Air Transport Association. Globally, we put together a number of documents to best handle this between countries and states in order to resume air travel once that got started,” he said.

“At every turn on these discussions, we kept getting turned back.”

READ MORE: COVID-19: No more international flights at Kelowna International Airport

Although YLW is the 10th busiest airport in the country, Québec City’s Jean Lesage International Airport was recently given the green light to accept international travel, despite being the 12th busiest airport based on 2019 passenger numbers. Similarly, the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on Toronto Islands — the ninth busiest airport in the country in 2019 — was also granted permission to accept international travel.

“The fact that we’ve gone through these difficult 16, 17 months as it is, not having these services for our flying community is just unacceptable,” said Samaddar.

The decision to open YLW to international travel, however, is not a call that can be made by the airport alone. Samaddar said that there are three agencies involved: the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency and Transport Canada.

“In many discussions and dialogue with them, we’ve asked for what is the criteria and what is the timeline for opening up our airport back to accept international flights. We have not got an answer on any of that,” he said.

“We asked to give us the criteria for what was used for Quebec City and Toronto Island with Billy Bishop Airport, and they weren’t willing to provide that either.”

He added that if a decision can be made for the airports at Quebec City and Toronto Islands, a decision can be made for Kelowna as well.

“What we’re doing right now is by picking certain communities over other communities, we’re allowing an uneven playing field for the recovery of those communities as it relates to the economy,” he said.

In July, Kelowna-Lake Country MP-elect Tracy Gray wrote to the federal Minister of Transport asking the ministry what metrics are being used to determine which airports in Canada are allowed to re-open to international travel.

“Despite writing to the Minister in July, I have heard nothing but silence from the Minister or his department,” said Gray.

“The people of Kelowna—Lake Country deserve to hear from this government what metrics are being used to keep Kelowna International Airport closed, and what the timeline for re-opening is.”

Flair Airlines Extends Schedule Through Summer 2022

Canada’s favorite ULCC is confident in travel demand growth over the coming year and expands schedule in core Canadian and US markets

Edmonton, Alberta, September 9, 2021 – Flair Airlines, Canada’s only true ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), continues its surge to bring low fares to Canadians and has extended its flight schedule through Summer 2022 in core Canadian and US markets.

“As we grow our fleet and expand our service, we see the demand for Flair’s low fare travel continuing to explode across Canada. We are absolutely focused on rescuing Canadians from the bloated prices they have long suffered in flying,” says Stephen Jones, President and CEO, Flair Airlines. “Flair is committed to helping reunite families and make travel accessible for everyone, and our schedule extension will help passengers prepare for 2022 by knowing they can explore and connect without breaking the bank.”

The schedule expansion extends the booking period into Summer 2022. Many year-round and seasonal routes will see an increase in service including flights departing from Edmonton (YEG), Kelowna (YLW), Halifax (YHZ), Kitchener (YKF), Abbotsford (YXX), Winnipeg (YWG), Toronto (YYZ), Saint John (YSJ), Vancouver (YVR), Calgary (YYC), Victoria (YYJ), Charlottetown (YYG), Thunder Bay (YQT), and Montreal (YUL).

Flair’s confidence in Canadian travel continuing to grow in 2022 is reflected in the ultra-low fares where cost efficiency and demand allow for pricing to start at just $29 CAD one-way on some routes. All routes and schedule details can be viewed at https://www.flyflair.com. More low fares and exciting summer route announcements will be coming soon! Be among the first to know by signing up for Flair’s newsletter https://www.flyflair.com/newsletter.

Flair is rapidly growing to serve Canadians with low fare flights, the extended schedule allows for more efficient planning for customers and airline partners. Deliveries of new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft throughout 2021 and 2022 continue to grow the fleet as Flair achieves its goal of 50 aircraft in five years. Flair continues to bring more jobs to the market and is hiring more staff and flight crew as it meets the growth demands of the airline.

About Flair Airlines

Flair Airlines is Canada’s only independent Ultra Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC) and is on a mission to liberate the lives of Canadians by providing affordable air travel that connects them to the people and experiences they love. With an expanding fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, Flair is growing to serve 26 cities across Canada and North America. For more information, please visit http://www.flyflair.com

‘We thought we were going down’: Passenger recalls terror of flight through thick wildfire smoke

From CBC News – link to source story and the video

Pilots are trained to handle turbulence and reduced visibility of wildfire conditions, aviation experts say

Rhianna Schmunk · CBC News · August 19, 2021

Airplane passenger shows ‘terrifying’ wildfire conditions above Kelowna, B.C.

Michelle Gregoire shot video of blood-red skies from wildfires, as her flight unsuccessfully tried to land in Kelowna Sunday afternoon. They eventually flew back to Vancouver. 

Michelle Gregoire saw it begin from her window seat behind the plane’s right wing.

She was nearing the end of her flight to Kelowna, B.C., on her way home from Vancouver on Sunday when she noticed the clear, mid-afternoon sky had darkened, turning to a burnt yellow. As the sky grew darker and darker, the cabin filled with the bitter smell of smoke.

“All of a sudden, it just starts to go from red to black and the turbulence started,” Gregoire recalled in an interview. “People were starting to scream. There was a lady in front of me that just reached her hand out across the aisle to a young girl that was travelling by herself.”

Gregoire’s flight jolted into the Okanagan around 4:30 p.m. PT on what would become one of the more intense nights of this year’s wildfire season, with wind sending blazes stampeding through the region and forcing hundreds to evacuate their homes in a matter of hours.

Pilots trained for wildfire conditions

In the sky, towering clouds of black smoke reached airliner altitude and blotted out the sun.

Former pilots and aviation safety experts agree an experience like Gregoire’s would be harrowing but said commercial pilots who find themselves caught over wildfires are trained to handle extreme turbulence and low visibility.

Gregoire estimated the pilots fought for five agonizing minutes before abandoning the landing attempt and returning to Vancouver. She posted a brief video from the flight on Facebook.

“I actually had a woman reach out to me that saw the video … she said, ‘You know, we thought, in our row, that this is it. We thought we were going down,’ ” Gregoire said.

“It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life, absolutely.”

Thick smoke fills the air and nearly blocks out the sun just before 3 p.m. PT as a motorist on Highway 97 travels past an area burned by the White Rock Lake wildfire in Monte Lake, east of Kamloops, B.C., on Sunday. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Airborne hazards 

Under general Transport Canada restrictions, pilots cannot fly within roughly nine kilometres of a forest fire unless they are 3,000 feet above ground level. Airlines are known to delay or cancel flights during fire season if weather and visibility are poor.

Still, pilots can get caught mid-air if fires suddenly shift. They’ll face two immediate hazards: turbulence and reduced visibility. 

Fires can generate enough extreme heat to create their own weather, which can lead to violently bumpy flights like Gregoire’s. While that kind of turbulence is scary and unpleasant, aviation experts agree large commercial jetliners and their pilots are equipped to handle it. 

“It can handle, if necessary, the turbulence inside a thunderstorm,” said Edward McKeogh, who flew military jets and commercial aircraft for more than 40 years before joining Canadian Aviation Safety Consultants. 

A helicopter carrying a water bucket flies past a pyrocumulus cloud, also known as a fire cloud, produced by the Lytton Creek wildfire burning in the mountains above Lytton, B.C., on Sunday. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

The greater hazard, experts said, would be poor visibility when it comes time to land.

“As in the video that you saw, visibility can rapidly change from six miles plus, down to almost zero visibility in smoke,” said Barry Wiszniowski, a career pilot and president of Aviation Safety Management Experts.

It is possible for pilots to land with next to zero visibility if the plane is equipped with advanced instruments and the arrival airport has state-of-the-art navigational systems designed to communicate with the inbound flight.

Major airports like Vancouver International Airport have systems in place to guide those arrivals, but that’s not always possible at smaller B.C. airports.

Protocols for smoke and fog

If pilots can’t land due to smoke, they follow the same protocols as they would in the fog: they would execute what’s called a “missed approach” for landing and head for their alternative airport.

Wiszniowski called this “the right decision and the most conservative decision and the safest decision.”

“The crew, they know what they’re doing and if they take care of themselves, they’re taking care of their passengers.”

Most pilots would try to stay clear of smoke and fires as a general rule.

“The wise choice would be to avoid areas where the smoke is most dense,” said McKeogh, the veteran former pilot. 

As an aside, Wiszniowski said he believes the most dangerous threat during fire season doesn’t have anything to do with the weather. 

“[It’s] drone pilots that are getting in the way,” he said.

Drones have been known to slow down helicopters and water bombers trying to fight fires in B.C. Flying a drone anywhere near a fire can lead to a fine of up to $25,000 or up to 18 months in jail.

After spending an extra night in Vancouver, Gregoire flew back to Kelowna on Monday. She made it home safely to Vernon, B.C., a city just to the north, and hugged her two teenaged children.

“It was very nerve-wracking,” she said, regarding her second flight. “There were some eyes closed and armrest clenching, for sure.”