Category: Ottawa YOW

Makivik Corporation and Inuvialuit Regional Corporation Complete Transaction to Unite First Air and Canadian North as Strong, Sustainable Pan-Arctic Airline

Provided by Makivik Corporation/CNW

OTTAWA, July 10, 2019 /CNW/ -Makivik Corporation and Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) are pleased to announce that they have completed the transaction to merge First Air and Canadian North into a strong, sustainable Pan-Arctic airline. This means that First Air and Canadian North will be able to begin the process of integrating their operations, with further details on the timing and duration of this process to be released very soon. 

The unified Canadian North will continue to meet and exceed the expectations of the people and organizations that rely on the availability of safe, reliable and cost-effective air service. Johnny Adams, who is currently Executive Chairman of First Air, will serve as Executive Chairman of the merged airline. Patrick Gruben, the current Chairman of Inuvialuit Development Corporation and Chairman of Canadian North, will assume the role of Vice-Chairman. Together, they will provide steady, northern-focused guidance and oversight to the merged airline on behalf of all Northerners.

As a 100% Inuit-owned airline, Canadian North’s overarching mission will be to facilitate the safe and efficient movement of people and goods to, from and within Inuit Nunangat, with the potential to expand its service to even more destinations in the future. It will strive to lead the aviation industry as a top employer, with continued focus on recruiting Inuit and other Indigenous team members for excellent careers within this sector. Through these efforts, it will contribute to the development of a stronger and more dynamic northern economy for the benefit of current and future generations.

“The completion of this merger transaction signifies an important step forward for the people of the north,” said Johnny Adams, Executive Chairman. “A unified pan-Arctic airline that provides sustainable passenger and cargo service will help to improve the lives of Northerners through the economic growth that it will enable and career opportunities it will create.” 

“This is truly an Inuit-led solution that will drive additional investment and growth within the northern communities we serve while making the air travel we depend on more sustainable and efficient,” said Patrick Gruben, Vice-Chairman.  

The new Canadian North will serve a combined network of 24 northern communities, from its southern gateways of Ottawa, Montreal and Edmonton, with seamless interline connections to destinations throughout Canada, the United States and beyond. It will also be the premier provider of air charter services for large resource sector clients requiring dependable, efficient and economical fly-in/fly-out charter services, as well as charter flights across North America for sports teams, cruise lines and large groups.

‘Very frustrating’: Series of Air Canada cancellations leave man stuck in N.J. for 5 days

News provided by CTV News – link to full story

‘Very frustrating’: Series of Air Canada cancellations leave man stuck in N.J. for 5 days

Air Canada

An Air Canada plane is seen in this March 12, 2019 file photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Ben Cousins, CTVNews.ca writer Published Wednesday, July 3, 2019

A man travelling to Ottawa for Canada Day was left stuck in New Jersey for five days following a series of Air Canada flight cancellations.

Royd Aquino was flying to Ottawa from the Philippines on June 28, with a stop at the Newark Liberty International Airport, but his flight from Newark was cancelled due to weather in Ottawa. The next day, poor weather once again forced a cancellation.

Because of the two days of cancelled flights, all the Ottawa-bound flights on June 30 filled up and Aquino was not able to get onto a plane for a third-straight day. The flights he was supposed to take on July 1 and 2 were both cancelled due to technical issues.

Royd Aquino is seen in this image. (CTV News – Supplied)

“It’s very frustrating. It’s already been five days,” Aquino told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview on Tuesday afternoon.

“I was planning to go to Canada around July 1 to experience Canada Day, but instead I’m stuck here. Maybe next year I will be able to experience Canada Day.”

Aquino eventually arrived in Ottawa late on Tuesday, though his fifth flight was delayed by more than an hour.

Aquino, who is also moving to Canada as a temporary resident, said he paid $300 for a hotel room on the first night, but stayed with a close friend who lives in the area for the rest of his travel delay.

“It turned out like an unplanned holiday,” he joked.

Aquino describes himself as an “adventurer” and admits he wasn’t as frustrated with the situation as some people might be.

“If this case happens to many people, then maybe they’ll burst out,” he said. “For me, I’m just chill.”

Air Canada confirmed the cancellations and blamed “a number of factors related to weather and aircraft issues.”

“We will be in touch with the customer and deal directly with him about any concerns related to his experience,” the company wrote in a statement.

Air Transat is synonymous with Sun to travellers in Ontario

Provided by Transat A.T. Inc/CNW

The airline is strengthening its position as a leader in holiday travel this winter with new Sun destinations in the South and Europe

MONTREAL, July 4, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Transat is pleased to present travellers in Ontario with its winter 2019-2020 program for Sun destinations in South and Central AmericaMexicoFlorida, the Caribbean and Europe. The addition of new Airbus A321neoLRs to its fleet next winter will allow the carrier greater flexibility to offer a broader choice of destinations to travellers. Named the 2019 World’s Best Leisure Airline by Skytrax, Air Transat will offer 36 destinations in the South and Europe from Toronto. The most scenic beaches in the South will be accessible to passengers flying out of Ottawa, London and Hamilton as well.

More flights to the most popular Sun destinations  
Toronto region beachgoers will be spoilt for choice between 25 favourite Sun destinations in 10 different countries. From London, Ontario, Air Transat will add a new direct flight to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. And from Hamilton, there will be a new direct flight to Santa Clara, Cuba, as well as a second weekly direct fight to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Europe in winterFrom Toronto, along with its daily flight to London, United Kingdom, Air Transat will offer two direct flights a week all year long to Glasgow and Manchester, UK, respectively. Plus, the airline will extend to mid-January its flights to Barcelona, Spain, and Rome, Italy, with two direct flights a week to each city. Travellers will be able to fly to Portugalfrom Toronto, with two weekly direct flights to Lisbon, and one direct flight to Porto. It is also good to know that Air Transat is the only airline offering a direct flight from Toronto to Faro, in the Algarve, during the winter (one flight a week).

Discovering Canada and Europe with domestic and connecting flights 
Air Transat’s domestic flights, which link some major Canadian cities, will allow Ontarians to explore other regions in Canada as well as transatlantic destinations accessible via connecting flights. The airline will continue its daily flights between Toronto and Montreal, in addition to its five weekly direct flights between Toronto and Vancouver.

From Toronto: 36 South and Europe destinations

SouthNumber of flights (during peak season)
Caribbean
Montego Bay, Jamaica4 direct flights a week
St. Maarten1 direct flight a week
Cuba
Cayo Coco4 direct flights a week
Cayo Largo1 direct flight a week
Cayo Santa Maria4 direct flights a week
Holguin4 direct flights a week
Santiago de Cuba                  1 direct flight a week
Varadero6 direct flights a week
Dominican Republic
La Romana1 direct flight a week
Puerto Plata4 direct flights a week
Punta CanaDaily direct flights
Samana1 direct flight a week
Santo Domingo1 direct flight a week
Mexico
Cancun-Riviera MayaDaily direct flights
Cozumel1 direct flight a week
Huatulco1 direct flight a week
Puerto Vallarta2 direct flights a week
South and Central America
Cartagena, Colombia1 direct flight a week
Liberia, Costa Rica2 direct flights a week
San Jose, Costa Rica2 direct flights a week
Roatan, Honduras2 direct flights a week
Rio Hato, Panama2 direct flights a week
United States
Fort Lauderdale, Florida5 direct flights a week
Orlando, Florida3 direct flights a week
San Juan, Puerto Rico1 direct flight a week
EuropeNumber of flights (during peak season)
France
ParisDaily flights via Montreal
Italy
Rome2 direct flights a week (until mid-January)
Portugal
Faro1 direct flight a week
Lisbon2 direct flights a week and 2 flights a week via Montreal
Porto1 direct flight a week
Spain
Barcelona2 direct flights a week (until mid-January)
Madrid3 flights a week via Montreal
Malaga3 flights a week via Montreal
United Kingdom
Glasgow2 direct flights a week
LondonDaily direct flights
Manchester2 direct flights a week

From Toronto: domestic flights

Canada
Vancouver5 direct flights a week
MontrealDaily direct flights

From London: 3 South destinations

Dominican RepublicNumber of flights (during peak season)
Puerto Plata1 direct flight a week
Punta Cana1 direct flight a week
Mexico
Cancun-Riviera Maya1 direct flight a week

From Hamilton: 6 South destinations

SouthNumber of weekly flights (during peak season)
Cuba
Cayo Coco1 direct flight a week
Cayo Santa Maria1 direct flight a week
Varadero1 direct flight a week
Dominican Republic
Puerto Plata1 direct flight a week
Punta Cana2 direct flights a week
Mexico
Cancun-Riviera Maya2 direct flights a week

From Ottawa: 7 South destinations 

SouthNumber of weekly flights (during peak season)
Cuba
Cayo Coco1 direct flight a week
Cayo Santa Maria1 direct flight a week
Varadero1 direct flight a week
Dominican Republic
Puerto Plata1 direct flight a week
Punta Cana3 direct flights a week
Samana1 direct flight a week
Mexico
Cancun-Riviera Maya2 direct flights a week

Canada’s Airlines, Airports Among World’s Worst For Delays, And It Could Soon Get Worse

News provided HuffingtonPost.ca – link to full article – with a hint from P.N.

By Daniel Tencer 4 July 2019

Under a new “passenger bill of rights,” airlines will be able to leave passengers stuck on the tarmac for longer than the current standard.
An airplane taking off at Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International
An airplane taking off at Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport.

MONTREAL ― Canadian airports and airlines are some of the worst performers worldwide when it comes to flight delays, and new federal rules that allow passengers to be stuck on the tarmac for longer could make things worse.

All but one of Canada’s major airlines rank in the bottom half for on-time performance in a new survey from travel data provider OAG. 

Canada’s best performer, WestJet, ranks 57th out of 125 airlines surveyed, with 77.1 per cent of all flights arriving on time. The country’s worst performer, Sunwing, ranks as the second-worst airline in the world, 124th out of 125, with only 57.8 per cent of flights on time.

Sunwing experienced numerous flight glitches in recent years, including major delays in Toronto and Montreal in April, 2018, that led to a fine from the Canadian Transportation Agency.

Canada's Airlines, Airports Among World's Worst For Delays, And It Could Soon Get

Looking at airports, Canada doesn’t fare much better. Our best airport, in Grande Prairie, Alta., ranks 108th out of 505 airports surveyed.

Toronto’s two commercial passenger airports, Pearson and Billy Bishop, rank as the two worst airports in Canada and among the worst in the world ― 475th and 489th, respectively.

Interestingly, there is a yawning east-west divide, with western Canadian airports performing better than others.

Canada's Airlines, Airports Among World's Worst For Delays, And It Could Soon Get

The survey comes as Canada is about to launch a new “passengers’ bill of rights” that some critics say will make it easier for airlines to delay flights.

Under the new regulations, airlines will be able to keep passengers stuck on the tarmac for up to three hours, plus an additional 45 minutes if the airline believes takeoff is imminent.

Currently, Canada has no government-enforced limits on tarmac delays, but airlines themselves had standards built into their tariffs. The industry standard was 90 minutes, which is also what a Senate committee recommended be the rule in the new passenger bill of rights. The government rejected that recommendation.

Airlines themselves have been pushing for longer tarmac delays. Air Canada extended its maximum tarmac time to four hours in 2018.

Additionally, it will be very difficult to get compensation from airlines in most cases where flights are delayed or passengers are denied boarding, said Gabor Lukacs, a prominent consumer advocate who has challenged airline practices in courts.

Watch: Here are the budget airlines in Canada. Story continues below.

Lukacs said he worries about the possibility of longer delays under the new rules because “when something becomes legal, they will do it. On the other hand, the counterargument is it’s in the airline’s best interest to get passengers to their destination as quickly as possible.”

Lukacs’ advocacy group, Air Passenger Rights, has accused the government of letting the airline industry dictate the new passengers’ bill of rights.

A spokesperson for Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the tarmac delay rule was decided “based on operational realities and international best practices. For example, in the United States, air carriers are required to offer the option to disembark after a three hour delay on domestic flights, and a four hour delay on international flights.”

While airlines frequently blame weather for flight delays, data from the U.S. federal government shows that extreme weather events are responsible for fewer than 5 per cent of flight delays in the U.S. The most common reason for delays was late-arriving aircraft, meaning flights delayed because earlier flights were delayed. This accounted for nearly 42 per cent of U.S. delays. Canada does not currently keep track of this type of data.

But Lukacs points out that Canada has much harsher weather than most of the U.S., so it may not be a fair comparison. And Toronto’s worst-in-the-country Billy Bishop Airport has unique issues to deal with because it’s on an island.

“This may be an apples to oranges comparison,” he told HuffPost Canada by phone.

Nonetheless, Canada’s poor weather doesn’t explain why Alaska Airlines has a higher on-time percentage than any Canadian airline (80.7 per cent) and is the third best among U.S. airlines.

Lukacs argues these on-time rankings are incomplete: There isn’t enough data to determine, for instance, whether it’s a particular airport or a particular airline that’s behind delays in a given place.

Either way, airlines should be taking bad weather into account when planning their schedules, Lukacs said.

“If airlines and airports ignore the weather realities, then you have guaranteed, built-in failure,” he said.

YOW’s Airport Concession Program Takes Off

Provided by Ottawa International Airport Authority/CNW

OTTAWA, June 27, 2019 /CNW/ – The Ottawa International Airport Authority announced its new Airport Concession Program to employees, partners, and stakeholders this evening.

Multiple years of consultation, design, and a competitive tender process culminated in SSP Canada and Paradies Lagardère being named Master Concessionaires for the airport’s food, beverage, and retail offering. Additionally, global quick-serve giant, Subway, was also assigned an independent contract to round out the program.

Big Rig Brewery (CNW Group/Ottawa International Airport Authority)
Big Rig Brewery (CNW Group/Ottawa International Airport Authority)
Dylan's Candy Bar (CNW Group/Ottawa International Airport Authority)
Dylan’s Candy Bar (CNW Group/Ottawa International Airport Authority)

Key to the process was ensuring that Ottawa-Gatineau is reflected in the terminal, which was successfully achieved with the following partnerships:

SSP Canada:

  • Big Rig Brewery;
  • Bridgehead Coffee;
  • La Bottega Nicastro; and
  • Zak’s Diner.

These local brands will join iconic and SSP Canada proprietary brands including:

  • Tim Hortons;
  • Canal Market Hall; and
  • Urban Crave.

Paradies Lagardère:

  • Dylan’s Candy Bar;
  • Maison de la Presse;
  • TripAdvisor;
  • Relay;
  • No Boundaries; and
  • The Locks.

Local products that will be offered in the Paradies Lagardère stores include:

  • Bee Savvy;
  • Hummingbird Chocolate;
  • Low Poly Crafts;
  • Purple Urchin;
  • Split Tree Cocktail;
  • Strut Jewelry; and
  • Top Shelf Preserves, to name a few.

The concession program is a key pillar in the YOW+ airport enhancement program, along with the pre-board screening checkpoint move from Level 2 to Level 3, Group Germain Hotels construction of the Alt Hotel Ottawa Airport, and construction of the light rail transit station. The $27 million concession construction program, of which YOW will be contributing $12 million, and our Master Concessionaires will be contributing $15 million, will be phased over two years. In all, YOW+ represents more than $100 million in investment in the community by the Ottawa International Airport Authority and its project partners.

“We are thrilled to announce an impressive new food and beverage and retail lineup at YOW, including beloved local brands such as Big Rig Brewery, Bridgehead Coffee, La Bottega and Zak’s Diner, and iconic brands such as Subway and Dylan’s Candy Bar,” said Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority. “We listened to our passengers and employees incorporating more modern options, diversity of product in new and beautiful spaces. We are confident that this new program will be a delight to all.”

“Thanks to the outstanding efforts of the Authority team and partners at SSP Canada and Paradies Lagardère, the Airport Concession Program will take YOW to the next level in terms of quality, choice and overall passenger experience. Congratulations to everyone who contributed to this fantastic outcome,” said Code Cubitt, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Ottawa International Airport Authority.

Ottawa International Airport Authority

Weekend Weather Woos

News provided by TravelIndustryToday.com

articleimage

21 JAN 2019: A major winter storm brought some of the coldest temperatures of the season and wreaked havoc on air travel throughout New England in the US and Canada’s east coast on Sunday. More than 2,000 flights were cancelled in and out of the US and other modes of transportation were also affected by the winter storm.

ST JOHN

Many Canadian figure skaters are stranded in Saint John, N.B., amid a winter storm on the last day of the national skating championships Sunday. More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather.

Air Canada says affected customers could re-book without penalty as a result.

The Skate Canada championships ran from Jan. 14 to 20, with only the exhibition gala left on the schedule for the last day.

The event brought close to 500 people to Saint John, half being skaters and the rest being coaches, officials and staffers. Bay Ferries cancelled its crossings in the Bay of Fundy. The La Have ferry service in Nova Scotia has been suspended.

QUEBEC 

The storm brought a rare combination of heavy snow, high winds and extreme cold to many parts of Quebec and southern Ontario. On Sunday, after 7:00 am many arrivals and departures were delayed or cancelled entirely at Trudeau International Airport. 

At Quebec City’s Jean Lesage International Airport most, but not all flights within Quebec were cancelled for the day after 8:00 am. 

MONTREAL

In Montreal, the storm has also caused the cancellation of a festival dedicated to… snow. The City announced that it’s suspending the Fete des Neiges due to the snowy, windy and cold weather as well as the dangerous conditions on the province’s roads.

OTTAWA 

A number of flights were cancelled at the Macdonald–Cartier International Airport in Ottawa

Stronger growth in tourism expected this year after a weak 2018

Provided by Conference Board of Canada/CNW

OTTAWA, Jan. 17, 2019 /CNW/ – The number of overnight visits from both within Canada and international markets is projected to increase by 2.0 per cent in 2019, according to The Conference Board of Canada’s Travel Markets Outlook reports.

While Canadian households are expected to face growing economic and financial challenges heading into 2019, domestic travel volumes are still projected to increase. According to our travel intentions survey, a growing share of Canadian households plan to take a winter vacation, and among those, a slightly higher share plan to stay in Canada for their longest-duration trip. Meanwhile, growth from the U.S. and overseas markets is expected to strengthen in 2019, as travel price inflation eases and a favourable exchange rate for many international markets remains.

“Tourism activity in 2018 was weighed down by a number of factors, including rising travel prices, the weaker economic environment and lack of major events like those that happened in 2017,” said Greg Hermus, Associate Director for The Conference Board of Canada’s Canadian Tourism Research Institute. “Fortunately, 2019 should see stronger growth in tourism activity thanks to more modest increases in travel prices and easing uncertainty surrounding trade negotiations.”

The recently issued travel advisory for Canada from the Chinese government presents a downside risk to the tourism forecast. International markets represent the strongest growth prospects for overnight visits to the country and China is Canada’s second most important overseas market.

Regional Highlights
Among the 10 Canadian cities covered in the Travel Markets Outlook: Metropolitan Focus, growth in overnight visits is expected to average between 1.6 per cent and 3.3 per cent this year. Vancouver will experience the strongest growth in 2019 and will be the only city where tourism activity expands by more than 3 per cent.

Halifax
Travel to Halifax should be boosted by the city’s hosting the 2019 Memorial Cup and the World Under-19 Men’s Floorball Championships. Overnight visits are projected to average 2 per cent over the next few years.

Montréal
Tourist activity in 2019 will be stimulated by the city’s hosting of World Summit AI—a major artificial intelligence summit. Events like this, coupled with major infrastructure coming into service and an expanding local economy, will help overnight visits to grow at a healthy clip over the next few years, averaging 2.3 per cent per year.

Québec City
Québec City saw a strong increase in overnight visits in 2018, thanks to a boost from hosting the G7 Summit, strong growth from the U.S. and overseas markets, and a strong local economy. With continuing gains expected from international arrivals, overnight visits should expand at annual rates of growth of around 2 per cent over the next few years.

Ottawa
The number of overnight visits to Ottawa fell in 2018 but should pick up this year, thanks to new infrastructure, and growth in international visits. Major investments such as renovations to the Ottawa International Airport terminal, and the addition of a light-rail station at the airport, are expected to pay dividends in the years to come.

Toronto
Coming off a modest year, tourism activity in Toronto should pick up speed in 2019. The city has marketed itself as a stopover destination for international travellers and should see a rebound in U.S. and overseas visits this year. A major upgrade to its public transit system should benefit tourist activity in the years to come. Overnight visits are projected to increase by 2.6 per cent in 2019.

St. Catharines-Niagara
Tourism activity in St. Catharines-Niagara region will benefit from the expanded direct air capacity in neighbouring Toronto. In all, overseas visits are expected to grow by a stronger 2.2 per cent in 2019 and will increase at a steady pace over the next few years.

Winnipeg
Following strong growth in 2018, overnight visits to Winnipeg are expected to moderate this year. Tourism activity should get a strong boost in 2020 as Manitoba celebrates the 150th anniversary of its joining Confederation.

Calgary
Pleasure travel will receive a boost with the city’s hosting of large events in 2019, including the Grey Cup and the Canadian Country Music Awards. In all, overnight visits to Calgary are expected to grow by 2.8 per cent this year.

Edmonton
Edmonton will see growth of 2.3 per cent in overnight this year. Domestic visits should get a boost as the city hosts a leg of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) Mixed Relay Series and the World Triathlon Series. Meanwhile, visits from the U.S. and overseas are projected to pick up speed.

Vancouver
The projected robust economic growth in the province and strong influx of tourists from overseas markets will continue to be the major sources of growth for tourism in Vancouver. One potential challenge to future growth would be the worsening wildfires, which don’t directly impact Vancouver but leave a heavy lingering haze over the city and surrounding areas during fire season. In all, overnight visits are forecast to grow by 3.3 per cent this year.

The Travel Markets Outlook: National Focus provides a tourism forecast for each of the 10 provinces and Yukon. The Travel Markets Outlook: Metropolitan Focus analyzes and provides a forecast for the tourism industry in Canada, and in 10 metropolitan areas.

Follow The Conference Board of Canada on Twitter.

SOURCE Conference Board of Canada

Ottawa International Airport reaches 5 million passengers!

Provided by Ottawa International Airport Authority/CNW

OTTAWA, Jan. 11, 2019 /CNW/ – It’s official – the Ottawa International Airport has now reached the 5 million passenger per year milestone. It officially happened on December 23rd, 2018. At year end, the airport served 5,110,801 passengers, which is an increase of 5.6% over 2017, and a new record.

To mark the anticipated milestone, the Ottawa International Airport Authority launched “Sparty on the Shelf” – a promotion designed to engage passengers, employees and the general public. In collaboration with the OttawaSenators, 19 Spartacat dolls were hidden around the airport in restaurants and retail locations. People were encouraged to find Sparty, take a selfie, and post it to Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #YOW5million. Prizes were drawn throughout the campaign, with the Grand Prize winner announced on January 2nd. Tanya J from the Smiths Falls area was the lucky winner of two round trip tickets to any destination served non-stop from YOW and $5,000 in spending money. Looks like she’s considering escaping Ottawa’s winter to one of our many sunshine destinations. Congratulations, Tanya!

“Five million passengers is an important milestone for the Ottawa International Airport, and for the City of Ottawa. The distinction puts YOW in the next class of airport in terms of size, but more importantly, confirms that the local economy is doing well,” said Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority. “We are delighted with the positive response to our #YOW5million promotion to celebrate this milestone, and congratulate all participants and winners. We are also grateful to all of the passengers, airport employees, airline partners and other stakeholders who not only chose to fly YOW, but contributed to this achievement.”

While the significant increase in passenger volume cannot be attributed to a single factor, our large base of domestic flights saw steady gains, transborder frequencies increased with mid-day service introduced on several key routes, and international traffic enjoyed a strong end of year growth.

About the Ottawa International Airport Authority
OMCIAA manages, operates and develops airport facilities and lands in support of the economic growth of the National Capital Region, generating more than $2.2 billion annually in total economic activity in Ottawa and Gatineau.

SOURCE Ottawa International Airport Authority

WestJet apologizes to 150 passengers stranded in Cancun for 33 hours due to cancelled flight

New provided by The Globe and Mail/Canada Press

Christopher Reynold, The Canadian Press
Published January 9, 2019 by The Globe and Mail

WestJet Airlines Ltd. has announced it will launch an investigation after passengers spent an extra day and a half in Mexico over the weekend, many without the hotel rooms the airline had said would be made available following a cancelled international flight.

About 135 passengers bound for Ottawa found themselves stranded in Cancun Saturday after a pair of mechanical issues caused a four-hour flight delay and eventual cancellation.

WestJet said the plane was moving constantly during the holdup on the tarmac, which prevented flight crews from offering more water and snacks.

“We do understand how this rolling delay followed by the cancellation was an extremely tough situation for guests to endure,” WestJet said in a statement Wednesday.

After the cancellation, the airline told passengers they would be bused to hotels to spend the night without charge. Many of them wound up having to book their own accommodations, however, due to a lack of available rooms.

“WestJet sincerely apologizes to our guests who were impacted by the long delay and subsequent cancellation of flight 2841 from Cancun to Ottawa on January 5. We recognize that this and the situation that followed was very stressful to all involved.”

The Calgary-based airline said it will offer “appropriate reimbursement” for the hotel stays along with a “gesture of goodwill” in the form of store credit to be spent on any WestJet flight or vacation package.

In the future the airline may have to dole out even more. The Canadian Transportation Agency released draft regulations for public comment last month under the government’s long-promised passenger bill of rights.

Air passengers who are bumped from overbooked flights or forced to sit through long delays could receive up to $2,400 in compensation, based on a sliding scale that sees larger airlines and longer delays trigger bigger compensation payments.

Payments to passengers whose flights are delayed would max out at $1,000 and cancellations at $2,400.

Sunwing celebrates inaugural flight to Los Cabos from Ottawa

Provided by Sunwing Vacations Inc/Globe Newswire

TORONTO, Dec. 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The first direct Sunwing flight from Ottawa to Los Cabos, Mexico departed from Ottawa International Airport today. This flight marks the first of a weekly flight service direct from the capital, departing every Thursday, until April 11, 2019, inclusive. With the addition of the new Los Cabos route, Ottawa residents can now look forward to 11 convenient flight choices for their winter getaway, including a seasonal flight service to Miami, which launched earlier this month.  

President of Tour Operations for Sunwing, Andrew Dawson, welcomed the news, “We are delighted to be providing our customers in the Ottawa-Gatineau region with even more ways to Vacation Better this winter. Travellers will be able to enjoy two destinations in one in Los Cabos, with the lively nightlife of Cabo San Lucas and the vibrant art scene of San Jose del Cabo offering something different for travellers of all interests.”

Mark Laroche, Ottawa International Airport Authority President and CEO, commented on the news, “Non-stop access to a vibrant destination like Los Cabos is exactly the type of air service that Ottawa-Gatineau residents appreciate and expect from their home airport. We’re thrilled that Sunwing sees the upside of adding more choices to their extensive Ottawa International Airport portfolio.”

Vacationers can choose from world-class resorts for all tastes and budgets in Los Cabos including Riu Palace Baja California, a brand-new adults only oasis which opened earlier this month. Located on the coveted shores of Cabo San Lucas, guests can look forward to opulent facilities, many offering breathtaking panoramic views, and expansive suites with sophisticated décor. Another great option is neighbouring property, Riu Santa Fe a recently-renovated beachfront resort featuring a brand-new Splash Water World water park, extensive pool complex with a swim-up bar and a new entertainment zone with weekly adults only pool parties. Vacationers can also enjoy exclusive RIU-topia perks when they book either property with Sunwing such as in-room liquor dispensers, unlimited reservation-free dining, spa credits and more. Travellers may also choose to stay at Royal Solaris Los Cabos, a beachfront resort just a short walk to downtown San Jose Del Cabo with three sparkling pools and a mini water park for younger guests. Families can benefit from additional perks at this resort such as Kids Stay, Play and Eat FREE deals, exclusive pricing for teens, no single parent supplement fee, kids programs and more.

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 light meals and snacks with choices inspired by Food Network Canada Celebrity Chef, Lynn Crawford, including the brand-new Tex Mex Grilled Chicken Wrap and famous Mac & Cheese. Passengers also benefit from a generous complimentary 23kg checked luggage allowance.

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