Flair Airlines says “¡Hola México!” with Low Fare Flights from Canada to Cancun and Los Cabos

Canada’s leading low-fare airline begins Mexico service in February from Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia

Edmonton, Alberta, November 16, 2021 – Flair Airlines, Canada’s only true ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), continues to expand and change the face of the Canadian aviation market as it introduces nonstop, low-fare flights to Cancun and Los Cabos, Mexico, from Vancouver, Abbotsford, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Kitchener-Waterloo.

“Starting in February, Canadians will enjoy affordable, sunny winter getaways to Cancun and Los Cabos without breaking the bank,” said Garth Lund, Chief Commercial Officer, Flair Airlines. “We can’t wait to get our customers to the beach.”

“The average February temperature in Canada is -6 °C; the average temperature in Cancun is 28 °C, so February seemed like a good month to start service,” he added.

Starting February 1, Flair will offer nonstop flights to Los Cabos on Tuesdays and Saturdays from Vancouver, and Wednesdays and Saturdays from Abbotsford and Edmonton. Nonstop flights to Cancun will be on Wednesdays and Saturdays from Ottawa and Wednesdays and Sundays from Kitchener-Waterloo. The ultra-low fares will start from $129 CAD one-way. All routes and schedule details can be viewed at https://www.flyflair.com.

Comments from our airport partners

Vancouver International Airport (YVR):

“We are delighted to see Flair adding a new route out of YVR. Flair’s new offering of flights to Los Cabos in Mexico provides yet another great option to escape a west coast winter,” said YVR Director, Air Service Development, Russell Atkinson. “We wish all the best to Flair as they expand and offer Canadians a unique, new travel experience. 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.”

Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF)

“I am pleased that Flair Airlines in expanding service from the Region of Waterloo to Cancun, Mexico,” said Karen Redman, Regional Chair. “Expanded local service means more options for families, continued job growth, as well as a strong tourism sector and local economy.”

Abbotsford International Airport (YXX)

“On behalf of the City of Abbotsford and the Abbotsford International Airport Authority, I’d like to congratulate Flair Airlines on their expanded service to Los Cabos this coming winter from YXX,” said Henry Braun, Mayor of the City of Abbotsford and chair of the Abbotsford International Airport Authority. “Expanding routes offered at Abbotsford International Airport, not only gives travellers more accessible and affordable options, it also has a positive impact on our local and regional economy and is an important step in our pandemic recovery.”

Ottawa International Airport Authority (YOW):

“With the first snowfall on the ground and temperatures falling, we are confident that passengers in Ottawa-Gatineau will embrace Flair’s service to Cancun as they escape to the beautiful beaches and warm sunshine,” said Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority. “Flair’s expanded offering at YOW benefits the entire community; our passengers enjoy more travel options, and the Ottawa International Airport takes another step forward in its pandemic recovery.”

Edmonton International Airport (YEG):

“EIA is pleased for Flair to announce its first Mexico destination. Thank you Flair for your continued investment in your hometown airport and for providing capacity to Los Cabos International Airport so Edmontonians and surrounding communities can get their vitamin SEA,” said Myron Keehn, Vice-President, Air Service and Business Development, Edmonton 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.

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.


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
Start DateTotal one-
way fare
Base Fare
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
Start DateTotal one-
way fare
Base Fare
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
Start DateTotal one-
way fare
Base Fare
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

Pivot Airlines announces service to Ottawa and Montreal from the Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF)

TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2021 /CNW/ – Pivot Airlines is pleased to announce the launch of scheduled air service between Waterloo Region and Ottawa beginning February 19, 2022, and between Waterloo Region and Montreal beginning March 21, 2022.

Advanced tickets go on sale midnight November 5, 2021 at http://www.flypivot.com.

“Pivot your travel embodies our core belief that our launch markets reflect the global trend in regional travel,” explained Eric Edmondson, CEO of Pivot Airlines. “We believe that while Toronto Pearson is a world-class global hub, regional airports like the Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF) offer a better, more seamless, and hassle-free alternative for regional travel.”

Pivot Airlines is a value carrier operating the world’s most popular series of regional jets, the Mitsubishi Canadair Regional Jet. Advanced booking sales will continue throughout the pre-sale period leading up to the launch with no fees on changes or cancellations; some conditions apply.

“We welcome Pivot Airlines to the Region of Waterloo. Many residents will benefit from this new service to Ottawa and Montreal,” said Regional Chair Karen Redman. “We believe this service will encourage investment and create jobs in our community. Every seat bought out of YKF strengthens our local economy. Construction is currently underway on a terminal expansion that will accommodate further growth and investment in the region.”

Headquartered in Toronto Pearson Airport, Pivot Airlines launched in June of 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, where they focused on providing essential air service connecting healthcare and resource sector workers as well as supply chains across Canada and into South America. Pivot Airlines will continue to provide group charter flights from Toronto Pearson International Airport and the Region of Waterloo International Airport.

About Pivot Airlines

Pivot Airlines focuses on providing regional airline solutions to a variety of community partners and mainline carriers. Pivot also specializes in delivering complex and multijurisdictional charters to corporate and leisure clients, the resource sector, sports teams and governmental agencies. Pivot Airlines is headquartered at the Toronto Pearson International Airport and led by a management team with over 25 years of experience providing regional airline service and complex charter solutions.

About the Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF)

The Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF) is a full-service facility which supports commercial, corporate and general aviation. The airport is home to 25 businesses that employ 300+ people that together contribute over $90 million annually to the Region of Waterloo’s economy. YKF is owned and operated by the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Ontario (Canada).

Flair Airlines expansion to the U.S. begins with first flights to Florida and Las Vegas

Inaugural flights to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale start Sunday from Ottawa and Toronto• First flight to Las Vegas is Tuesday from Toronto

Edmonton, Alberta, Oct. 29, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Flair Airlines, Canada’s only independent ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), expands service into the United States Sunday as the airline reaches a major milestone as part of its unprecedented growth. Flair’s rapidly expanding fleet and network is changing the way Canadians travel, and the inaugural flights to Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Las Vegas mark the start of ultra low fares for travel outside of Canada.

Flair’s inaugural flights to the US are:

October 31, 2021:

Flight #334 – Ottawa (YOW) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL), 7:00am EST – 10:30am EST

Flight #144 – Toronto (YYZ) to Orlando Sanford (SFB), 11:15am EST – 2:00pm EST

Flight #111 – Toronto (YYZ) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL), 12:00pm EST – 3:20pm EST

November 2, 2021:

Flight #176 – Toronto (YYZ) to Las Vegas (LAS), 1:00pm EST – 3:00pm MST

“Flair’s launch of service to the US is an important milestone in our mission to make air travel affordable for everyone,” said Stephen Jones, President and CEO, Flair Airlines. “We continue to change the way Canadians think about air travel as they discover the freedom and benefits our low fares provide in their travels. We are thrilled to bring iconic US destinations like Las Vegas, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale into our network of Canadian travelers who are anxious to get back to exploring the world.”

“Las Vegas has long been a favorite destination for visitors hailing from all parts of Canada,” said Chris Jones, Chief Marketing Officer for the Clark County Department of Aviation. “As both the U.S. and Canadian governments relax restrictions on international travel, Flair’s newest service from Toronto, with more markets to follow, will expand the opportunity for Canadians to conveniently enjoy the Entertainment Capital of the World.”

“Canada is one of Orlando Sanford International Airport’s most exciting opportunities to generate additional passenger traffic.  We just completed a major terminal expansion and update and we are proud that Flair Airlines is making use of these improvements,” said Tom Nolan, President and CEO, Orlando Sanford International Airport

Flair is in the midst of exponential growth as it continues to expand into new markets while it takes delivery of new 737 MAX aircraft. The growing fleet of aircraft provide Flair remarkable fuel savings and reduce the airline’s CO2 emissions by 14%. Flair is striving to become Canada’s greenest airline as it grows its fleet to 50 aircraft by 2025.

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.


Airport’s outlook ‘a lot brighter’ after recent passenger gains, official says

From the Ottawa Business Journal – link to source story

Air Canada plane

By: David Sali | 21 October 2021

After passenger volumes plummeted in 2020 and much of 2021, Ottawa airport is seeing a steady ascent in traffic that suggests the aviation industry is starting to climb out of its pandemic-fuelled funk, officials say.

“Things are starting to look a lot brighter,” Krista Kealey, the vice-president of communications at the Ottawa International Airport Authority, said in a recent interview on OBJ’s Behind the Headlines podcast. “There’s a lot of pent-up travel demand.”

Kealey said that while this year’s projected total passenger volume of one million is well below the 5.1 million travellers who used the facility in 2019, the number of people flying in and out of YOW is growing by the month.

About 170,000 passengers passed through the Ottawa airport last month. That’s still only about half of the volume of traffic the facility saw in a typical September before the pandemic, but it’s a big step up from earlier this spring and summer, when passenger volumes in April, May and June were less than 10 per cent of their pre-COVID levels.

Kealey said it appears passengers are getting more comfortable with air travel as vaccination rates continue to rise and more restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 are lifted. She said there’s “a lot of support” for a federal government policy that will require all air travellers to be fully vaccinated as of Oct. 30.

New routes

“It’s going to take us some time to get back (to pre-pandemic passenger levels), but at least we’re on the right trajectory towards that,” Kealey said.

In a sign that the industry is gradually recovering, a growing number of airlines have begun resuming service or launching new routes at the Ottawa airport in the past few months. 

More than 60 flights are now serving the capital each day, down from about 110 before the pandemic but up substantially from fewer than 20 daily arrivals and departures this spring. 

Most recently, Air Canada said it plans to start flying between Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Ottawa at the end of the month. Kealey called the announcement a “nice surprise” given that the country’s largest air carrier hasn’t operated a route between Toronto Island and the nation’s capital for 15 years.

“I know business travel isn’t back to where it was, but I know that’s a very important route for Ottawa’s business travellers,” she said.

The boost in traffic is a welcome bit of news for a facility that’s taken a massive financial hit over the past 18 months.

The airport – which relies on improvement fees charged to passengers as well as terminal and landing fees, concession revenues and parking fees for most of its revenues – racked up a net loss of $51.2 million in 2020 and expects to incur an even bigger deficit this year.

In an effort to rein in spending, the airport paused virtually all non-essential capital projects, laid off 18 employees and didn’t fill nearly a dozen other vacancies. 

CEO Mark Laroche said this spring the airport authority might need to borrow as much as $100 million to cover this year’s losses, adding it would likely take “several years” for the non-profit facility to restore its full complement of pre-COVID routes and get delayed infrastructure projects back on track

Air Canada to Launch Daily Service between Toronto Island and Ottawa beginning October 31

New route to complement existing service to Montreal from Billy Bishop Airport

MONTREAL, Oct. 7, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada today announced that it will launch a new service between Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Ottawa beginning October 31, 2021. The route will commence with four return trips daily, increasing to up to eight return trips daily starting in summer 2022.

“Air Canada’s new service from Toronto Island to Ottawa will conveniently link Canada’s capital directly with the centre of the country’s leading business centre. This new route is designed to meet customer demand in this heavily travelled market, with a large business travel component, and complement our recently resumed Montreal-Toronto Island airport service. It is a further example of how Air Canada is rebuilding its network, including by adding new routes and destinations in our determination to emerge from the pandemic an even stronger airline,” said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada.

Air Canada presently operates five return flights daily between Toronto Island and Montreal. The schedule for the new Toronto Island-Ottawa service beginning October 31, 2021 is:

FlightDepartsArrivesDays of Operation
AC 8950Toronto Island at 07:00Ottawa at 07:59     Daily
AC 8954Toronto Island at 08:35Ottawa at 09:34     Daily
AC 8960Toronto Island at 17:00Ottawa at 17:59     Daily
AC 8962Toronto Island at 18:00Ottawa at 18:59     Daily
AC 8953Ottawa at 07:00Toronto Island at 08:04     Daily
AC 8955Ottawa at 08:30Toronto Island at 09:34     Daily
AC 8961Ottawa at 16:25Toronto Island at 17:29     Daily
AC 8963Ottawa at 18:30Toronto Island at 19:34     Daily

The service will be operated by Air Canada Express Jazz with a De Havilland Dash 8-400 featuring a complimentary snack and drink. All customers can collect and redeem Aeroplan Points through Canada’s leading loyalty program when travelling with Air Canada, and eligible customers have access to priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounges where available at Canadian airports, priority boarding and other benefits.  Air Canada’s commercial schedule may be adjusted as required based on the COVID-19 trajectory and government restrictions.

Air Canada offers its customers complimentary shuttle bus service between downtown and the Toronto City Airport. The shuttle brings travellers to and from the west entrance of The Fairmont Royal York Hotel, located at the corner of Front and York streets, directly across from Union Station.

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. 

Porter Airlines returns, Flair to expand service out of Saint John Airport

From CBC News – link to source story

Within weeks, travellers will also be able to book pre-flight COVID-19 tests at airport, acting CEO says

Marie Sutherland · CBC News · Posted: October 5, 2021

Porter Airlines service to Saint John Airport returns on Wednesday. (Porter Airlines)

Flight service is steadily ramping up at Saint John Airport since its reopening three months ago, with Porter Airlines set to return this week and Flair Airlines planning to expand its flight roster.

The airport, which saw all commercial flights cancelled in December amid pandemic travel restrictions, welcomed their return on June 29 with an Air Canada flight from Montreal.

Since then, acting CEO Greg Hierlihy said Monday, business has been brisk — driven almost entirely by leisure travel and the pent-up demand from individuals separated from loved ones — and is poised to get brisker.

On Wednesday, Porter Airlines flights return to Saint John, with afternoon service to Ottawa and on to Toronto.

“They are all set to go … six days a week to Ottawa and then on to [Toronto’s] Billy Bishop airport on Toronto Island,” Hierlihy said. Flights leave at 3:25 p.m. every day, with the exception of Saturdays.

And Flair Airlines, an ultra-low-cost carrier that chose Saint John as its only New Brunswick destination, is planning to expand its current two-day-a-week service to Toronto to three days a week in March of next year.

Flair Airlines plans to expand its flights from Saint John Airport to Toronto to three days a week next year, up from the two days a week currently offered. (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Those plans have been propelled by strong uptake on their flights, which now run Wednesday and Saturday. That’s changing to Tuesday and Saturday in November, and then to Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday next year, Hierlihy said.

“The uptake has been very good on that flight,” he said.

“We had several times during the month of August where it was sold out or virtually sold out. And we’re talking about, you know, a 189-seat jet.”

Even after Labour Day, when kids go back to school and family travel cools a bit, uptake has remained relatively strong.

“There’s been a bit of a decrease, but it still remained quite steady,” he said. “They’re really good numbers. So we’re we’re quite enthusiastic … about the possibilities there.”

Overall, he said, it’s an encouraging rebound after six punishing months.

If you’d asked me a few months ago, would I be happy with those numbers, I would have said yes, absolutely. It’s the start of the recovery.- Greg Hierlihy, Saint John Airport acting CEO

As of August, business at the airport is “at about 35 per cent of where we were” in August 2019, and indications so far are that that will increase to 50 per cent by the end of the year, Hierlihy said.

“If you’d asked me a few months ago, would I be happy with those numbers, I would have said yes, absolutely. It’s the start of the recovery.”

The return of business travel, which won’t likely happen until sometime in 2022, will provide another vital boost.

“We know that business travel is still very low at this point in time, so we’re waiting for that to bounce back,” Hierlihy said.

“That’s when you’ll really see our numbers come up.”

Saint John Airport acting CEO Greg Hierlihy says travellers will be able to take pre-travel COVID-19 tests at the airport within the coming weeks. (Credit: Brian Comeau)

COVID-19 travel tests will be available at YSJ

As travel increases, so will the demand for COVID-19 tests for passengers required to show proof of a negative test upon arrival at their destination.

Within the coming weeks, Hierlihy said, that service will be available at the Saint John Airport.

The airport has signed a lease contract with Distribution Ad Valorem, which currently offers the fee-for-service tests at the Moncton and Fredericton airports.

The company offers three testing options, including rapid antigen tests and the standard PCR tests, at a cost of between $149 and $299, depending on the type of test. The cost includes the provision of a certificate confirming date and time of testing, test result and passport number.

Hierlihy said the airport has taken several calls from travellers wondering where they can take the COVID-19 tests needed to comply with travel requirements.

“It’s hard to find that service in Saint John,” he said. “So we worked quickly to see if we could accommodate that in the airport.”

Hierlihy stressed that the tests are only for asymptomatic travellers, and must be prebooked online via the website of the airport offering the service.

Porter Airlines returns to the air

TORONTO, Sept. 8, 2021 /CNW/ – Porter Airlines officially returns to the skies today, almost 18 months after suspending flights due to COVID-19 public health and travel restrictions.

Porter Airlines officially returns to the skies today, almost 18 months after suspending flights due to COVID-19 public health and travel restrictions. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)
Porter Airlines officially returns to the skies today, almost 18 months after suspending flights due to COVID-19 public health and travel restrictions. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)

Flights to Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Thunder Bay are the first to restart. Other Canadian destinations starting within the next 10 days are Halifax, Quebec City, St. John’s, NL, and Moncton. U.S. destinations in Boston, Chicago, New York and Washington return on Sept. 17. Flights to other year-round destinations are set to resume as of Oct. 6, with all routes currently available for booking. The initial flight schedule can be found at www.flyporter.com.

“Our passengers and team members have been waiting for this day to arrive,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO, Porter Airlines. “We currently have over 900 team members who have put in countless hours to get everything ready for our return to service, with more being recalled or hired every week. Everyone at Porter is looking forward to welcoming passengers back and delivering our distinct style of service again.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory joins the celebrations at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

Porter has strengthened its existing standards with a focus on high levels of sanitization in order to protect the health of its passengers and team members. More information about the Healthy Flights program can be found on Porter’s website.

In addition to Healthy Flights, Porter has also introduced a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for its team members. To support a safe and healthy workplace and travel experience, team members must present a negative COVID-19 test administered within 72 hours of the start of their shift or be fully vaccinated. The Canadian federal government announced in August its intention to mandate vaccination for federally-regulated workers; once specific details are known, Porter’s policy may evolve.

Bookings made before Sept. 30, will be eligible to change or cancel with no fees. Passengers also have the option to book a flight with the Full Refund Option for $40 plus taxes. The Refund Option entitles customers to receive a refund, including base fare, taxes and fees, for their booking upon advance cancellation of their flight for any reason.

About Porter Airlines

Porter Airlines provides a warm and effortless approach to hospitality, restoring glamour and refinement to air travel. Porter is an Official 4 Star Airline® in the World Airline Star Rating®.

The airline currently offers flights to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, Halifax, St. John’s, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, Windsor, New York (Newark), Chicago (Midway), Boston and Washington (Dulles), and has seasonal flights to Mt. Tremblant, Que., Muskoka, Ont., Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Stephenville, N.L.

Visit www.flyporter.com or follow @porterairlines on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Details of growth plans to provide North America-wide service are available at flyporter.com. 

Sunwing returns to Ottawa International Airport this winter with flights to 11 vacation destinations

TORONTO, Aug. 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Residents of the nation’s capital will have plenty of options to choose from for their tropical getaway this year, as Sunwing has announced it will be returning to Ottawa International Airport for the 2021-2022 winter season. Sun-seekers from the Ottawa-Gatineau region can return to paradise with ease with 11 different destinations being offered across the Caribbean and Mexico. Flights will begin in November 2021 and run weekly until April 2022.

“After a trying year, we’re looking forward to bringing residents of the capital back to the tropics under our wing,” commented Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations for Sunwing. “With 11 different destinations to choose from, we’ll be offering more routes to the south than any other tour operator from the gateway. Whether travellers want to explore the exotic coast of Los Cabos or the sunny shores of Punta Cana, there’s something for every travel style.”

The flight schedule from Ottawa will be as follows:

  • Between Ottawa and Montego Bay, Sundays from December 12, 2021 until April 10, 2022
  • Between Ottawa and Puerto Plata, Tuesdays from December 7, 2021 until April 12, 2022
  • Between Ottawa and Punta Cana, Saturdays and Wednesdays from November 6, 2021 until April 9, 2022; and Mondays from December 13, 2021 until April 11, 2022
  • Between Ottawa and Cancun, Saturdays from November 6, 2021 until April 9, 2022; and Mondays and Fridays from December 13, 2021 until April 11, 2022
  • Between Ottawa and Puerto Vallarta, Sundays from December 19, 2021 until March 27, 2022
  • Between Ottawa and Los Cabos, Thursdays from December 16, 2021 until March 31, 2022
  • Between Ottawa and Mazatlán, Tuesdays from December 14, 2021 until April 12, 2022
  • Between Ottawa and Cayo Santa Maria, Fridays from November 12, 2021 until April 8, 2022
  • Between Ottawa and Varadero, Sundays and Thursdays from November 14, 2021 until April 7, 2022
  • Between Ottawa and Cayo Coco, Tuesdays from November 16, 2021 until April 12, 2022
  • Between Ottawa and Holguin, Tuesdays from December 14, 2021 until April 12, 2022

“Sunwing has always been popular with Ottawa-Gatineau vacationers,” said Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority. “With pent-up travel demand growing and travel restrictions easing, Sunwing’s wide variety of destinations and all-inclusive packages will be well-received by travellers who are anxious to escape on a long-awaited winter vacation.”

Vacationers can choose from a range of resorts for every travel style and budget from Ottawa. Grand Sunset Princess All Suites and Spa Resort in Riviera Maya is a perennial favourite, featuring sprawling pools and a range of dining options. Lopesan Costa Bavaro Resort Spa and Casino is another popular choice for sun-seekers, located on the world-famous shores of Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana with endless entertainment options along The Boulevard, the resort’s recreation complex. Vacationers can take their budget further at the newly renovated Riu Ocho Rios in Jamaica, with exclusive RIU-topia inclusions for Sunwing guests like unlimited reservation-free dining and complimentary Wi-Fi.

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

PAL Airlines launches service from Ottawa Airport to Canada’s east coast

From CTV News – link to source story

Josh Pringle, Digital Multi-Skilled Journalist | Saturday, July 31, 2021

Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport

The Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (David Kawai/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

OTTAWA — Ottawa travellers have a new option to travel to Canada’s east coast. 

PAL Airlines launched service out of the Ottawa International Airport this week, with service to Moncton and Fredericton, New Brunswick. Flights to both cities will continue on to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

PAL Airlines is a St. John’s based independent operator with roots in Canada’s east coast.

“Including YOW in their offering recognizes the importance of Canada’s capital region and its link to the east coast,” said Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority.

“We look forward to being a part of PAL’s extensive Atlantic Canada network and reconnecting family and friends from both regions.”

Ottawa-Moncton-St. John’s service will operate Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Ottawa-Fredericton-St. John’s service will operate Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Welcome to #YOW, PAL!

We sent @PALairlines’ inaugural departure off with a water salute!

We’re happy to have them on board, offering flights to @stjohnsairport @yfcairport @MonctonYQM, as we work towards the recovery of Canada’s aviation industry #FasterTogether.

Originally tweeted by flyyow (@FlyYOW) on 30 July 2021.

The Ottawa International Airport continues to ramp up service as the COVID-19 restrictions ease.

In August, Air Canada will offer 20 departures per day from the Ottawa Airport.