Category: Ottawa YOW

Flair Airlines Expands East: Bringing Eastern and Atlantic Canada Jet Service and Competitive Airfares

Provided by Flair Airlines/Globe Newswire

Canada’s only independently owned low-cost carrier, Flair Airlines, adds new flights to Ottawa, Saint John, Charlottetown and returns to Halifax

Edmonton, Alberta, Feb. 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Flair is excited to announce its 2020 summer schedule which will expand service into Eastern and Atlantic Canada starting May 2020.  New destinations will include Ottawa, ON; Saint John, NB, Charlottetown, PEI; as well as a returning service to Halifax, NS.

Provided by Jaci Stevens (c) 2020

Sarah Riches, Director of Commercial for Flair Airlines states: “Our Mission is to make air travel accessible, affordable and desirable for all. Eastern and Atlantic Canada have long been plagued by high airfares and undesirable service. Simply put, they have been paying too much for too little and we believe its time for change.”  Jim Scott, CEO of Flair Airlines reports, “We are committed to connecting more Canadians with their families and friends across the country. Our expanded routes into Ottawa and the Atlantic Maritimes are exciting and displays the need Canadians have for affordable air travel.  Having flown nearly one million passengers in 2019 and with plans to fly 1.5 million in 2020, we are proud to be expanding our reach further across the country.”

Passengers aren’t the only ones excited for Flair to start service in their hometowns. Airports were also quick to welcome and offer their support. “Airlines like Flair have changed the aviation landscape worldwide by delivering lower-cost unbundled fares” said Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority. “Every passenger has the choice to pay for the options they value, such as seat assignments, checked bags, as well as in-flight food and beverage. Flair Airlines is a welcome addition to YOW’s offering.”

Saint John Airport President and CEO, Derrick Stanford, expressed similar excitement. “We’re delighted that Flair Airlines has selected Saint John as their exclusive New Brunswick destination. We’re dedicated to finding Saint John travellers the best possible value and options, and with Flair’s unique pricing model almost anyone can afford to fly.”

At the heart of Flair’s new markets is a commitment to support local communities and businesses.  From promoting tourism to placing local food and beverage product on board, Flair strives to contribute to the economic growth of the communities it serves.

“It’s exciting to see Flair return to Halifax Stanfield this summer, providing our passengers with even more choice for travel between Ontario and Nova Scotia,” said Joyce Carter, President & CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority. “The addition of Ottawa as a second destination will complement Flair’s service between Halifax and the Toronto area over the past two years. We know their service offering is appealing to people of all ages and provides a stronger connection between our communities, driving inbound tourism and economic growth – it’s a real win-win.”

Adding Charlottetown to Flair’s route network has also sparked excitement and encouragement. “We are pleased to welcome Flair Airlines as our newest airline partner to Charlottetown,” said Doug Newson, CEO at Charlottetown Airport Authority. “Flair has impressively grown their fleet and route network since their launch in 2017, and we are excited to be a part of this latest expansion into Atlantic Canada.”

In addition to their new Atlantic routes, Flair has also relaunched service between Calgary and Kelowna, a route that passengers voiced their interest in heavily.

To celebrate their new summer schedule and destinations, Flair is offering introductory one-way fares between Toronto and Ottawa starting as low as $59 and fares between Toronto and Saint John for as little as $79 including all taxes and fees (limited seats available for a limited time).

The first new route commences service on April 16 between Calgary and Kelowna, followed by Toronto to Halifax on May 14, Ottawa on June 16, Charlottetown on June 26 and Saint John on June 25.

Details of Flair’s new service:

Service BetweenService OfferedWeekly FrequencyService Run-Time
Toronto, ON to Halifax, NSThursday and Sunday2 x per week, growing to 6xMay 14th, 2020 – October 24th, 2020
Toronto, ON to Saint John, NBTuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sundays4 x per weekJune 25th, 2020 – October 24th, 2020
Toronto, ON to Charlottetown, PEIMonday, Wednesday and Friday3 x WeekJune 26th, 2020 – October 24th, 2020
Toronto, ON to Ottawa, ONMonday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday7 x WeekJune 16th, 2020 – October 24th, 2020
Edmonton, AB to Ottawa, ONMonday, Thursday and Saturday3 x WeekJune 18th, 2020 – October 24th, 2020
Calgary, AB to Ottawa, ONWednesday, Friday and Sunday3 x WeekJune 17th, 2020 – October 24th, 2020
Ottawa, ON to Halifax, NSMonday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday6 x WeekJune 17th, 2020 – October 24th, 2020
Calgary, AB to Kelowna, BCMonday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday5 x WeekApril 16, 2020 – October 24th, 2020

Bookings are now available for the newly announced routes for booking until October 24th, 2020.  Learn more at flyflair.com or connect with Flair on social media @flairairlines

Snow, freezing rain prompt flight cancellations in Montreal and Ottawa

News provided by The Globe and Mail – link to full story and updates


Eric Atkins. Transportation Report, December 30, 2019

People wait around during flight cancellations and delays at the Montreal Trudeau Airport on Dec. 30, 2019.ANDREJ IVANOV/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

An icy end to 2019 has thrown air travellers’ holiday plans into chaos, as snow and freezing rain caused the cancellation of dozens of flights in Ottawa and Montreal.

More than 70 departures were cancelled and several flights were delayed on Monday at Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport amid freezing rain and snow. Marie-Claude Desgagnés, a spokeswoman for the Montreal hub, said the snowy weather in Ontario and the northeastern United States has slowed or stalled flights at the airport, Canada’s third-busiest.

Environment Canada issued a snowfall alert for Montreal and the surrounding region, warning of strong winds and saying 15 to 20 centimetres of snow could accumulate between Monday afternoon and Tuesday night. Ottawa is under a warning of freezing rain or ice pellets, hazards that could change to snow later on Monday, Environment Canada said.

Airlines and airport operators are advising travellers to call their carriers to check on the status of their flights, and to arrive at the airport well in advance of their flight to leave time for lengthy check-ins.

Krista Kealey, a spokeswoman for Ottawa International Airport, said airlines cancelled a combined 42 of 262 arrivals and departures amid freezing rain on Monday. Some flights were cancelled ahead of the storm, she said. “It’s the cumulative effect of what’s happening at other airports and the weather in other cities,” Ms. Kealey said. “The system, once it gets disrupted, there’s a ripple effect that goes through the system and it takes a while to get it back on track, but hopefully the freezing rain will stop and we can play catch-up.”

Peter Fitzpatrick, an Air Canada spokesman, said freezing rain poses a greater safety risk than snow because it gets into every niche on a plane and must be melted with de-icing fluid.

The storm caused the Montreal airport to limit Air Canada to 15 flights an hour on Monday, down from the usual 36 to 40, for safety reasons, he said. This meant the carrier had to select which flights to scrub. Typically, the airline will cancel shorter flights and protect long-haul flights on larger planes to avoid inconveniencing greater numbers of holiday travellers, and will try to fly bigger jets on other routes to get as many people to their destinations as possible. The airline also implemented its no-charge rebooking policy.

WestJet Airlines said it cancelled 33 Monday flights in Eastern Canada before the storm arrived, including three between Montreal and Toronto and one between Montreal and Calgary. “We continue to closely monitor the system and additional cancellations and delays are possible,” said Morgan Bell, a spokeswoman for the Calgary-based airline.

In an e-mail, Sunwing Airlines said it expects delays but no cancellations because of the bad weather in Ontario and Quebec. “As a leisure vacation provider, it’s extremely rare to cancel our flights, and we are doing everything within our control to ensure our customers’ vacations plans are not disrupted,” Sunwing said.

Travellers out of Montreal are also bracing for a possible strike on Jan. 1 by the workers who fuel the planes at Trudeau and Mirabel airports. The employees of Swissport Canada, represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union, on Friday rejected a tentative contract proposal. The vote sets up a possible walkout on Wednesday.

Swissport said in a statement it is “surprised and disappointed” by the contract’s rejection. “Travellers, customers, stakeholders and airport authorities can rest assured that our team will dedicate every effort to reach an agreement and continue the refuelling service during this busy period as we go back to the negotiation table,” Swissport said.

YOW receives Accessibility Gold Rating from the Rick Hansen Foundation

Provided by Ottawa International Airport Authority/CNW

OTTAWA, Dec. 3, 2019 /CNW/ – To mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Ottawa International Airport Authority is thrilled to announce that the Ottawa International Airport (YOW) has received the “Accessibility Certified Gold” rating under the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility CertificationTM (RHFAC) program.

RHFAC is the first program to rate meaningful access, based upon the holistic user experience of people with varying disabilities affecting their mobility, vision and hearing. To date, over 1,200 buildings have been rated through the program.

From the left: Samantha Proulx (Accessible Built Environment Specialist, ABE Factors Inc.) and Julie Sawchuk (Accessibility Strategist and Educator) (CNW Group/Ottawa International Airport Authority)
From the left: Samantha Proulx (Accessible Built Environment Specialist, ABE Factors Inc.) and Julie Sawchuk (Accessibility Strategist and Educator) (CNW Group/Ottawa International Airport Authority)
From the left: Sarah McCarthy (Rick Hansen Foundation), Krista Kealey (Ottawa International Airport Authority), Julie Sawchuk (Accessibility Strategist and Educator), Samantha Proulx (Accessible Built Environment Specialist, ABE Factors Inc.), and Mardelle Woods (Rick Hansen Foundation Ambassador) (CNW Group/Ottawa International Airport Authority)
From the left: Sarah McCarthy (Rick Hansen Foundation), Krista Kealey (Ottawa International Airport Authority), Julie Sawchuk (Accessibility Strategist and Educator), Samantha Proulx (Accessible Built Environment Specialist, ABE Factors Inc.), and Mardelle Woods (Rick Hansen Foundation Ambassador) (CNW Group/Ottawa International Airport Authority)

“The airport terminal, which opened in 2003, was built with accessibility in mind. As building code and accessibility standards have evolved over the years, along with the needs of the community, the Authority has endeavoured to not only keep up, but to exceed these standards as it strives to provide the best possible passenger experience,” said Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority. “We are delighted to have achieved this exceptional level of certification which is a tribute to the Authority’s commitment to an accessible terminal for all passengers, employees and visitors.”

“My sincerest congratulations to the Ottawa International Airport on this remarkable achievement. Your commitment to creating an accessible environment for everyone who travels through the airport – whether it be employees, tourists, or people returning home – demonstrates a true leader in creating a Canada where everyone can go everywhere. Your leadership sets the bar for others across our country and the globe to follow suit,” said Rick Hansen, Founder, Rick Hansen Foundation.

RHFAC is a program that rates the level of meaningful access in commercial, institutional and multi-residential buildings and sites, offering a snapshot of the sites current level of accessibility. For YOW, notable accessibility features include:

  • A strategic wayfinding system that is consistent throughout the building;
  • A variety of seating options, with and without arm rests;
  • Universal washrooms with accessible features such as adult-size change tables and emergency call systems;
  • Roll-up, automatic drinking fountains;
  • A variety of flooring options, in particular carpeting that is easy to roll on; and
  • Parkade facility with accessible parking with direct access to the pedestrian walkways that lead to the elevator lobbies for safe movement.

The Authority is committed to continuing its efforts to ensure that as accessibility needs evolve, so too will the airport’s facilities.

For more information about the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility CertificationTM program, please visit the Rick Hansen Foundation website

Deal of the Year – Tourism – Best Ottawa Business Awards Recognizes Ottawa Airport Hotel Deal

Provided by Ottawa International Airport Authority/CNW

OTTAWA, Nov. 25, 2019 /CNW/ – The Ottawa International Airport Authority and Germain Hotels are pleased to announce that their partnership to build an airport-connected hotel was recognized by the Best Ottawa Business Awards (BOBs) in the category Deal of the Year – Tourism at the annual awards gala on Friday, November 22nd.

Rendering of the Alt Hotel Ottawa Airport. (CNW Group/Ottawa International Airport Authority)
Rendering of the Alt Hotel Ottawa Airport. (CNW Group/Ottawa International Airport Authority)
Joel Tkach (Ottawa Airport Authority) and Hugo Germain (Germain Hotels) receive award from sponsor, Perley-Robertson Hill and McDougall LLP (Representative Megan Wallace). (CNW Group/Ottawa International Airport Authority)
Joel Tkach (Ottawa Airport Authority) and Hugo Germain (Germain Hotels) receive award from sponsor, Perley-Robertson Hill and McDougall LLP (Representative Megan Wallace). (CNW Group/Ottawa International Airport Authority)
Logos: Le Germain Hotels, Alt and Alt+ Hotels (CNW Group/Ottawa International Airport Authority)
Logos: Le Germain Hotels, Alt and Alt+ Hotels (CNW Group/Ottawa International Airport Authority)

Early in 2019, the Authority announced that it had successfully negotiated with Germain Hotels to construct a 180-room hotel under their Alt brand. The hotel, which represents an investment by Germain Hotels of $40 million, will feature a rooftop restaurant with incomparable 360o views of the airport’s operations, a convenient indoor skywalk to connect the hotel with the terminal, and several meeting rooms. Germain Hotels is working with LEMAYMICHAUD Architecture Design to bring its vision of Alt style to life at YOW, including sleek urban design, a welcoming lobby space, a 24/7 fitness facility and well-appointed, comfortable guest rooms complete with ergonomic workstations.

The deal represented important milestones for both organizations and came more than a year after a competitive process which was followed by tremendous due diligence and collaboration on both sides. For Germain Hotels, this represents their 20th property in Canada. For the Authority, it represents an important pillar in its YOW+ terminal enhancement program that is unfolding through 2023. The hotel development, plus LRT connectivity, plus next generation pre-board security screening, plus concession revitalization = a transformed Ottawa International Airport.

Quotes:

“We are honoured to accept the Best Ottawa Business Award for Deal of the Year – Tourism which recognizes our partnership with an exceptional organization like Germain Hotels,” said Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority. “Together, we will meet customer need with a vibrant and modern facility that accommodates the unique needs of today’s traveller. The future of YOW is exciting, and I am proud to say that Germain Hotels is playing a major role as one of four pillars in the YOW+ terminal enhancement program.”

“On behalf of Germain Hotel, I want to thank Best Ottawa Business Awards (BOBs) for this award,” said Hugo Germain, Director of development Germain Hotels. “This recognition confirms that this hotel, which will be our third in Ottawa, fits perfectly within this revitalisation program of the Airport and we couldn’t be happier to be part of it. It is a real pleasure to work with the people at the Ottawa Airport. Their professionalism and teamwork is truly remarkable and I’m convinced that together we will make this project a go-to destination for travellers.”

Ottawa Airport Authority, NAV CANADA and QinetiQ Canada Partner to Trial Drone Detection Technology at YOW

Provided by /Ottawa International Airport Authority/CNW

OTTAWA, Oct. 2, 2019 /CNW/ – Coincident with the release of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on UAS Mitigation at Airports (BRTF)’s Report on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Mitigation at Airports, the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority (the Airport Authority) is pleased to announce that it has partnered with NAV CANADA and QinetiQ Canada (QinetiQ) to trial the company’s Obsidian Counter UAS System at YOW.

According to the findings of the BRTF Interim Report, published July 12, 2019, “the threat of UAS intrusions introduces great risk and highlights the need for solutions that can safeguard airports from rogue UAS and this potentially disruptive technology. Recent UAS incidents at airports raise concerns of gaps in safety and security and underscore the need for airports to have clear policies to manage these incidents.”

The Airport Authority is continually seeking ways to improve YOW’s situational awareness within its vast perimeter, regardless of weather or lighting conditions. QinetiQ’s Obsidian Counter UAS System has been designed specifically for drone detection, and features enhanced scope and coverage to recognize drone features, while avoiding misclassification of non-drone activity such as bird or wildlife movement.

The Airport Authority, NAV CANADA and QinetiQ will be working in cooperation to facilitate the installation and employment of the Obsidian micro-Doppler radar unit with the goal of determining the feasibility of the system to function compatibly in a civilian airport environment.

Several objectives for the trial have been identified, including:

  • Evaluating the accurate and timely detection / early warning of drones or remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS);
  • Assessing the effective utilization of the system to initiate an appropriate response to drone / RPAS detection between the Airport Authority and NAV CANADA;
  • Assessing system compatibility in an international airport environment where other partner systems could cause interference; and
  • Demonstrating YOW’s commitment to promoting innovation and leadership in addressing the challenge of drone detection and mitigation.

Quotes:

Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority
“The trial with QinetiQ’s Obsidian Counter UAS System will provide all parties the opportunity to test a viable detection and mitigation system at an active airport. The trial dovetails perfectly with both the Airport Authority’s Drone Incident Protocol and the recommendations in the BRTF’s Interim and Final reports,” said Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority, and member of the Blue Ribbon Task Force.

QinetiQ Canada
“Obsidian Counter UAS is specifically designed to meet the current and forecast threat of drone incursion upon critical national infrastructure, including daily operations in complex environments such as the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport. This trial will provide all parties with operational evaluation, as well as considerable data to inform future improvements, all the while providing immediate benefits to safety,” said Robert Aubé, Managing Director of QinetiQ Canada.

NAV CANADA
“Establishing drone security measures at airports is a crucial component to mitigating risks and maintaining the safety of our skies. Collaborations like this one are crucial to developing policies and practices that ensure drones are safely integrated in our airspace,” said Neil Wilson, CEO of NAV CANADA, and member of the Blue Ribbon Task Force.

For more information on the Blue Ribbon Task Force, please visit: uasmitigationatairports.org.

Air Canada to Launch Dreamliner Service from Ottawa to London-Heathrow

Provided by Air Canada/CNW

MONTREAL, Sept. 10, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada announced today it will upgrade its non-stop flights from Ottawa to London-Heathrow to operate the daily service with its state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Beginning next spring, customers travelling between Ottawa and London-Heathrow will have the option to fly in Air Canada’s Signature cabin, featuring fully lie-flat suites, as well as the added choice of a Premium Economy cabin. 

“Air Canada is pleased to offer customers travelling between Ottawa and London-Heathrow the added comfort of service aboard our flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Customers love this aircraft whose revolutionary design improves the on-board air quality, which, combined with other features such as our next generation cabin, mood lighting and other amenities, mitigates jet lag. As a result, customers arrive better rested to hit the ground running for either business or pleasure. With the Dreamliner, we are also now offering customers flying between Ottawa and London the additional option of Air Canada’s Premium Economy cabin,” said Mark Galardo, Vice President, Network Planning at Air Canada.  

The 255-seat Boeing 787-8, configured in three cabins of service, will be dedicated year-round to the route beginning March 29, 2020. It will replace a 211-seat Boeing 767-300ER with two cabins of service.

Also today, Air Canada announced it is suspending its summer seasonal, Ottawa-Frankfurt service. The last flight on this route will be operated on October 24, 2019. Customers travelling to Europe from Ottawa next summer will have an additional option to fly to Frankfurt on a new seasonal service provided by our Star Alliance partner Lufthansa, which will begin operating on May 16th, 2020 and end October 24, 2020. 

Lufthansa Group to offer five Canadian gateways in 2020 with Ottawa as new addition

Provided by Lufthansa Group/CNW

  • Lufthansa begins flights to and from Ottawa, Canada – Frankfurt, Germany
  • Canadian passengers will have increased opportunities to experience Lufthansa Group carriers when traveling to Europe and beyond

EAST MEADOW, NY, Sept. 10, 2019 /CNW/ – Great news is coming for Lufthansa Group passengers in the Canadian capital. The group, Europe’s largest aviation company, will increase its number of gateways in Canada, commencing service from Ottawa to Frankfurt, Germany. On May 16th, 2020, Ottawa joins the four other Lufthansa Group Canadian gateways: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary.

The new Ottawa route, beginning on May 16, 2020 and lasting until October 24, 2020, will be a summer seasonal flight with an Airbus A340-300 offering a seat configuration of 30 Business Class seats, 28 Premium Economy Class Seats and 221 Economy Class seats. The flight will operate five times per week, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. LH 473 will depart Ottawa at 5:50pm and arrive the following day at Lufthansa’s Frankfurt hub at 7:15am. The return flight from Frankfurt – LH 472 – will depart at 1:45pm and arrive back in Ottawa at 4:05pm. All times are local.

“These are exciting times for the Lufthansa Group and its expansion, growth and increased capacity in North America. We have been serving Canada for over six decades and the ongoing expansion of our airlines flying to the region, especially the addition of the new Ottawa – Frankfurt route, underscores the Lufthansa Group’s ever-increasing commitment to the Canadian market, its economy and our customers,” said Hans DeHaan, Senior Director of Sales Canada, Lufthansa Group.

Onboard Experience

Lufthansa’s Ottawa service employs the Airbus A330-300 in a three-class cabin configuration. The aircraft includes 30 Business Class, 28 Premium Economy and 221 Economy Class seats to accommodate a total of 279 passengers. Lufthansa’s state-of-the-art aircraft offers customers an onboard experience that includes comfortable seating in all classes, acclaimed culinary offerings, a plethora of in-flight entertainment operations and Wi-Fi throughout the entire journey. As the only five-star-rated airline in the Western Hemisphere (certified by Skytrax), Lufthansa is one of a select group of airlines worldwide to earn the coveted rating.

Frankfurt, Germany’s most international city, offers a rich culture and history, with a population of about 5.6 million. The Frankfurt Rhine-Main metropolitan region is one of Europe’s leading economic centers and a popular travel destination. It is home to a wide range of tourist attractions and sights, including world-class ballet, opera, theaters and art exhibitions. As Germany’s fifth largest city, it is the nation’s financial powerhouse—home to the German Central Bank and the European Central bank, which manages the euro. It is also the gateway to Germany’s robust hi-tech scene.

The Lufthansa Group – with its airlines Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Edelweiss, Eurowings and Swiss International Air Lines – as well as its Star Alliance and joint venture partner Air Canada, additionally offer a large range of options to fly from Canada to Europe and beyond.  Passengers specifically arriving in Frankfurt can connect to over 1,300 destinations worldwide through Lufthansa Group carriers and Star Alliance partners—the world’s largest airline network.

Aside from the new Ottawa route, the Lufthansa Group also serves four other Canadian gateways:

Lufthansa Group in Montreal
Beginning in March 2020, Brussels Airlines will launch its new, non-stop seasonal service between Montréal, Quebec and Brussels, Belgium. With Brussels’ new gateway in Montreal, Lufthansa Group’s passenger airlines will be fully represented in this region, joining Austrian, which was successfully introduced to Montreal in April 2019, as well as Lufthansa and SWISS.

Lufthansa Group in Toronto
Lufthansa offers year-round, daily flights from Toronto to its two hubs in Frankfurt and Munich.

Lufthansa Group in Vancouver
Lufthansa and Edelweiss (a subsidiary of SWISS) fly to Vancouver. Lufthansa flies daily from Vancouver to its two main hubs in Frankfurt and Munich, while Edelweiss offers service from Vancouver to Zurich on a seasonal basis.

Lufthansa Group in Calgary
SWISS’s subsidiary, Edelweiss, offers seasonal flights from Calgary to Zurich. The next timetable runs from May – August 2020.

The New Service in Brief
2020 Summer Schedule (May 16th, 2020 – October 24th, 2020) in local time

FlightFromToDepartureArrivalDays
LH473OttawaFrankfurt17:5007:15 (+1)Mon,Tu,Thu,Sat,
Sun
LH472FrankfurtOttawa13:4516:05Mon,Tu,Thu,Sat,
Sun

Bored at the Winnipeg airport? Volunteer to check in a rescue dog and play with it for free

News provided by Toronto Sun – link to full story and updates

Toronto Sun Published: August 17, 2019

Karen George holds up a puppy. George organizes transportation of dogs from northern communities and is need of volunteers flying from Ottawa to Winnipeg. The volunteers are able to play with the dogs at the Winnipeg airport and George covers the cost of checking the animals. PNimg

If you ever fly on WestJet from Winnipeg to Ottawa and love playing with dogs, you’re in luck.

Karen George organizes a weekly rescue mission of dogs from northern Manitoba to Ottawa and is in need of volunteers to check these dogs, all expenses paid.

The benefit for the traveller, other than the satisfaction of helping stray dogs, is that they can play with each dog in Winnipeg before their flight takes off.

George has several partner organizations, but she is a one-woman show with transportation planning.

“I’m not an organization, I’m just one crazy lady,” she said. “It’s just me and the dogs, and they don’t really do anything. They just kind of reassign everything back to me.”

George says she focuses on northern Manitoba because many communities there organize dog culls, which she understands.

“When they start packing up, (the dogs) become dangerous,” she said.

The rescued dogs are flown from these northern communities to Winnipeg, where they are vetted, spayed or neutered and given all required shots.

“Don’t want to spread any diseases on the plane,” she said.

Once they’re in Winnipeg, George plans how the dogs will be transported to Ottawa, which involves recruiting volunteers with previously booked Westjet flights. George will then add several dogs to their boarding passes.

She said she preferred WestJet because the cargo holds of its planes had temperature controls, so they could take dogs year round, but she will use Air Canada for the same purpose if need to be.

George began her mission in 2017, when she discovered two stray German shepherd puppies in need of rescue in the northern Manitoba community of Red Sucker Lake. She said she learned about the transportation process involved and established a network of connections. Later, she decided to continue rescuing other strays.

George said she brought 150 dogs from northern areas in 2018 and in 2019 will have brought over 80 dogs by Saturday.

Once in Ottawa volunteers will pick up the dogs and George works with the Freedom Dog Rescue who help ensure they end up in various shelters across Ontario.

George said there are dogs flown in weekly so she is always in need of volunteers. Anyone arriving in Ottawa from Winnipeg who is interested in flying with — and playing with a dog can message her on  Facebook.

Sunwing introduces direct flight service from Ottawa to Mazatlán, Mexico

Provided by Sunwing Vacations Inc/Globe Newswire

TORONTO, Aug. 08, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Good news for residents of the Ottawa-Gatineau Metropolitan Area looking for an easy way to escape to Mexico this winter. For the first time ever, weekly flights will depart from the capital to the Pacific Mexican destination of Mazatlán. Sunwing’s new flight service will operate beginning December 17, 2019 until April 14, 2020 inclusive. With the introduction of this new destination, residents of the Ottawa-Gatineau Metropolitan Area now have access to 12 of the tour operator’s most popular vacation hotspots direct from their local airport.

Sunwing Vacations Inc.

Known as the ‘Pearl of the Pacific’, Mazatlán is a favourite destination of Canadians looking to soak up the sun and embrace the local culture. Vacationers can spend their days relaxing on one of the numerous golden-sand beaches of the aptly-named Golden Zone or strolling along the seaside Malecon boardwalk. In Old Mazatlán, travellers can experience the local culture as they traverse the cobblestone streets, admire the neoclassical architecture and enjoy live music in quaint plazas.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming tourists from Ottawa on the first-ever direct flight service to México’s Only Colonial City on the Beach, a destination with a beautiful mixture of real Mexico culture and 20 kilometers of swimmable beaches”, said Julio Birrueta, Director of the Mazatlán Tourism Board. “Guests will not only have the opportunity to enjoy great seafood, regional cuisine and a wide variety of activities and local tours, but they will also find authentic hospitality from the local mazatlecos”, he added.

President of Tour Operations for Sunwing, Andrew Dawson, commented on the news, “We are excited to be returning to Ottawa International Airport this winter with even more vacation options for our customers. We offer more flights to Mazatlán than any other tour operator in Canada and are delighted to be able to introduce this new destination to our customers in Ottawa this coming season.”

Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority added his support, “Over the past few years Sunwing has grown considerably at Ottawa International Airport. Not only have they added capacity to favourite warm weather destinations, they have also introduced numerous new non-stop options, including the newly added destination of Mazatlán, further reinforcing Ottawa-Gatineau’s quick uptake of new direct air service.”

Vacationers can choose from a wide range of resort options in Mazatlán. The newly-renovated and expanded Riu Emerald Bay is a popular choice for families, offering accommodation options for five or more. At El Cid Castilla Beach, travellers can explore the shops and restaurants of the nearby Golden Zone. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture at Playa Mazatlan Beach Hotel, with exclusive Viva Mexico inclusions like Spanish lessons and tequila tasting classes.

Sun-seekers can also enjoy a host of benefits when they book their tropical getaway before September 6th for travel between December 18th, 2019 and April 30th, 2020. The tour operator is offering the ultimate package deal with complimentary Price Drop Guarantee with up to $600 cash back per couple*, reduced deposits of $50 per person, exclusive free perks on all new bookings to top-rated adult, top-rated family and top-rated luxury resorts with the best price guaranteed** and savings of up to 25% on select winter vacation packages.

All Sunwing vacation packages include return flights on Sunwing Airlines where passengers can sit back and relax while on board, with award-winning inflight service, complimentary non-alcoholic beverage service and buy on board selection of snacks and light meals including the brand-new Tex Mex Grilled Chicken Wrap inspired by Food Network Canada Celebrity Chef, Lynn Crawford. Passengers also benefit from a generous complimentary 23kg checked luggage allowance. For additional perks, including priority check-in and security line access***, customers can upgrade to Elite Plus from just $50 per sector.

For more information or to book, visit www.sunwing.ca or contact your travel agent.

* All claims are subject to a $50 per person admin fee; each passenger must register within seven days after booking to qualify for the Price Drop Guarantee promotion.
** An ongoing promotion where Sunwing will match a competitor’s published price which must be available at the time of booking.
***Available at select Canadian airports.

Strange bedfellows: Air Canada places woman, younger man in single hotel room, family says

News provided by CBC News – link to full story and video

71-year-old passenger’s daughter has filed formal complaint with airline

Robyn Miller · CBC News · Jul 24, 2019

Jerryne Mahele Nyota wants a formal apology from Air Canada after she says her mother was told to share a hotel room with a stranger. (Robyn Miller/CBC)

LATEST

  • After this story was published, Air Canada said an error was made due to a misunderstanding.
  • Air Canada said it has followed up to apologize, and has offered the family $250.

An Ottawa woman is flabbergasted after her mother, who missed a connecting flight with Air Canada last week, was told to share a single hotel room with a perfect stranger. 

Jerryne Mahele Nyota said her 71-year-old mother, Elizabeth Coffi Tabu, was set to fly home to France from Ottawa on Friday, July 19, by grabbing a connecting flight in Montreal. But a delay on her first flight from Ottawa caused Tabu to miss the connecting flight.

An Air Canada agent told her and another passenger — a man half Tabu’s age whom she didn’t know — that there was only one hotel room available.

Tabu told CBC News that the agent gave them one hotel voucher and told them they would have to share a room. When they arrived at the hotel, the room only had one bed, she said.

Tabu’s daughter, Mahele Nyota, said: “The decision was he would be sleeping on the sofa [bed] and my mom in the bed.

“I told her, ‘No, you don’t sleep with a total stranger. No, don’t do that. Stay there and I’m going to do what I can to find a solution.'”

Delays in Ottawa forced Elizabeth Coffi Tabu to miss a connecting flight in Montreal. She couldn’t get another until the following day. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Passengers both ‘shocked’

Mahele Nyota said that after trying unsuccessfully to get on an Air France flight, her mother and the man were told they would have to stay the night and fly the following day.

“The guy was also shocked. He said, ‘But I don’t know her,’ [and] my mom said, ‘I don’t know the guy,'” Mahele Nyota said.

The ordeal was an unwelcome ending to what had been a lovely trip for her mother, Mahele Nyota said. She had been in Ottawa for about a month visiting her daughter and grandchildren, a trip she makes almost every year and always through Air Canada.

This year, however, she was using a wheelchair at the airport because she’s recovering from cancer treatment. Mahele Nyota said that contributed to her mother missing the flight.

CBC News OttawaOttawa woman ‘shocked’ at alleged Air Canada hotel room mishap00:00 01:06Jerryne Mahele Nyota says her mother missed a connecting flight home to France and had to stay in Montreal overnight. She says Air Canada offered her mother a hotel room — but told her she’d have to share it with a complete stranger. 1:06

Concern for vulnerable passengers

After a lengthy phone call with Air Canada, Mahele Nyota said the airline managed to find her mother a room at another hotel, but she’s concerned about what could have happened if she hadn’t  intervened.

Now, she’s worried about other vulnerable passengers being treated in the same manner and said she has filed a formal complaint with the airline.

Mahele Nyota said Air Canada did offer her mother a seat with more leg room for the following day and $20 in food vouchers, but she wants a formal apology.

“Now [my mother is] realizing, how is it possible? You know? And she said, ‘It’s not fair, it’s not fair, they never gave me another option,'” Mahele Nyota said.

Air Canada said it’s looking into the matter to see what might have caused the confusion. In a written statement, a spokesperson said “it is not our policy to ask passengers to share a room.”

The airline said the hotel did provide Tabu with a room, but Mehele Nyota said that room was offered only at a fee, and the family didn’t trust that they would be compensated by Air Canada.

Ariël Roy, a lawyer at Flight Claim, a law firm that defends passenger rights, is encouraging the family to stay in touch with the airline to fight for compensation. 

“One time is one time too many. It’s a really unfortunate situation that the lady has been put in,” Roy said.