PAL Airlines and CUPE Reach First Collective Agreement

April 06, 2022

ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland and Labrador–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and PAL Airlines have ratified their first collective agreement, after two years of bargaining. Approximately 50 flight attendants who work for the airline in St. John’s, Halifax and Montréal are represented by CUPE 5451.

“COVID-19 travel restrictions made negotiations a long and challenging process, but we were able to reach an agreement that is beneficial to both our members and the airline”

The new three-year agreement will be in place from 2022 to 2025, and includes improvements to provisions regarding holiday pay, improvements to scheduling, as well as a new pay system to be implemented based on industry standard.

“COVID-19 travel restrictions made negotiations a long and challenging process, but we were able to reach an agreement that is beneficial to both our members and the airline,” said CUPE 5451 President Courtney Decker. “Our members are proud to provide safe travel to passengers throughout the pandemic, and we look forward to doing so in the future.”

“PAL Airlines is happy to reach this initial agreement with our flight attendant group and sincerely appreciates the collaborative approach to collective bargaining respected by all parties to this negotiation,” said Calvin Ash, president of PAL Airlines. “We’re thrilled to solidify the future of these vital employees and support their continued delivery of the safe, friendly in-flight services that travellers have come to expect from our team.”

About CUPE

CUPE Newfoundland Labrador represents approximately 6,300 public service workers in airlines, health care, education, treasury, public housing, provincial libraries, university, transition and group homes, child care, and more.

About PAL Airlines

A proud member of the Exchange Income Corporation family of airlines, PAL Airlines is based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador and serves an extensive network of scheduled and charter destinations across Eastern Canada and Quebec. PAL Airlines has over 40 years experience in the aviation industry with a reputation built on safety, reliability, and exceptional customer service. PAL Airlines was recently awarded our seventh Airline Reliability Award from De Havilland Canada for the Dash 8–100/200/300 Aircraft Program.

PAL Airlines Reaches Agreement with The Canadian Airline Dispatchers Association

ST. JOHN’S, NL, March 7, 2022 /CNW/ – PAL Airlines today announced the ratification of its first collective agreement with the Canadian Airline Dispatchers Association (CALDA), representing the company’s Transport Canada certified Flight Dispatchers.

“It is a pleasure to confirm today that PAL Airlines has now solidified our initial agreement with CALDA,” said Calvin Ash, President of PAL Airlines. “Our team of certified Flight Dispatchers are a critical component of our operations whose daily efforts ensure we can continue providing the essential services our customers depend on. On behalf of PAL Airlines, I would like to thank everyone involved in these negotiations and congratulate them on achieving an agreement that benefits all involved.”

“CALDA welcomes the unanimous ratification of our first collective agreement with PAL Airlines,” said Russ Williams, CALDA National President. “Throughout these negotiations, CALDA was able to work collaboratively and professionally with management towards an agreement that addresses the needs of the professional Flight Dispatchers at PAL Airlines. We’re pleased with the result of our efforts, and with the commitments PAL Airlines has made for the future of these valued workers.”

This is the third collective agreement ratified by PAL Airlines and its unions in the last 30 days. The Airline also ratified on two collective agreements with Teamsters Local 855, representing PAL Airlines Customer Service Agents and PAL Airlines Ground, Cargo and Commissary personnel respectively.   

About PAL Airlines:

A proud member of the Exchange Income Corporation family of airlines, PAL Airlines is based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador and serves an extensive network of scheduled and charter destinations across Eastern Canada and Quebec. PAL Airlines has over 40 years experience in the aviation industry with a reputation built on safety, reliability, and exceptional customer service. PAL Airlines was recently awarded our seventh Airline Reliability Award from De Havilland Canada for the Dash 8–100/200/300 Aircraft Program.

For more information, please visit: www.palairlines.ca

PAL Airlines Reaches Agreement with Teamsters Union

ST. JOHN’S, NL, Feb. 8, 2022 /CNW/ – PAL Airlines today announced the ratification of two collective agreements with Teamsters Local 855, representing PAL Airlines Customer Service Agents and PAL Airlines Ground, Cargo and Commissary personnel respectively.    

“I am pleased to share that we have successfully completed our initial agreements with Teamsters Local 855,” said Calvin Ash, President of PAL Airlines. “Our Customer Service Agents, Ground, Cargo and Commissary personnel are vital and valued members of the PAL Airlines team. We would like to thank everyone involved in the bargaining process for their commitment to achieving a negotiated solution that benefits all involved. PAL Airlines will continue to support these important employees as they deliver the safe, high-quality services that travellers have come to expect from our team.”    

“Teamsters Local 885 welcomes the ratification of these first collective agreements with PAL Airlines,” said Rick Gill, President, Teamsters Local 855. “Through an open and cooperative negotiation process with PAL Airlines management, we’ve been able to secure agreements for PAL Airlines Customer Service Agents and PAL Airlines Ground, Cargo and Commissary personnel that improve wages, enhance working conditions and secure the future for these valued workers at PAL.”  

About PAL Airlines:

A proud member of the Exchange Income Corporation family of airlines, PAL Airlines is based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador and serves an extensive network of scheduled and charter destinations across Eastern Canada and Quebec. PAL Airlines has over 40 years experience in the aviation industry with a reputation built on safety, reliability, and exceptional customer service. PAL Airlines was recently awarded our seventh Airline Reliability Award from De Havilland Canada for the Dash 8–100/200/300 Aircraft Program.

For more information, please visit: www.palairlines.ca

A year after consultations, Quebec’s regional air travel plan still stalled

From CBC News – link to source story🔗

Officials in the Gaspé and on the Magdalen Islands anxious for long-term solutions

Josh Grant · CBC News · January 06, 2022

An aircraft marshaller directs a plane on the tarmac at Gaspé’s Michel-Pouliot airport. Since Air Canada suspended regional flights in Quebec in 2020, people flying to the Gaspé, the Magdalen Islands and the North Shore have had limited options. (Radio-Canada)

For people living on the Magdalen Islands, the North Shore and other remote parts of Quebec, air transport is more of a necessity than a luxury.

That’s why in 2020, when Air Canada indefinitely suspended its regional routes in Quebec (and elsewhere in Canada) the CAQ government said it would intervene.

Joël Arseneau, the Parti Québécois MNA for the Magdalen Islands and the party’s transport critic says the industry and the people who depend on it are still waiting to hear the plan.

“For the Magdalen Islands and the lower North Shore, it’s our lifeline,” said Arseneau.

“Right now the service is minimal because we’re not sure what the Quebec government will be doing,” he said. “[Both] in terms of a program to help regional transport develop and offer good prices but also a regular service.”

In June, it will be two years since Air Canada cancelled its regional services and Arseneau says people in his riding are anxious to know what level of service will be provided during the busier spring and summer seasons when people visit family or return home from CEGEP or university.

Last month, he put forward a petition at the National Assembly calling on the province to support a regional transportation co-operative that wants to create a Quebec airline that can offer cheaper flights.

Airplanes bring communities in eastern and northern Quebec food, medication, goods and supplies that keep people fed, local businesses running and provide access to health services that aren’t available at regional hospitals. Regional flights are also crucial for the tourist industry during the warmer months. 

Arseneau says when Air Canada left, Quebec created a committee to study all of the options for regional air travel and held five months of consultations with the leaders of communities most affected.

He says the airlines that have stepped up to maintain services are waiting to find out if the government plans to subsidize them before they consider expanding their offer.

“The committee met up until October, 2020 so we were expecting a conclusion by the end of that year or else the beginning of 2021,” he said. “And since then, we’ve been asking the government what its plans are and we still haven’t had any answers.”

Limited options

In 2021, Newfoundland’s PAL Airlines launched its first flight from Gaspé to the Magdalen Islands, joining Pascan Aviation as the only companies offering flights to the Gaspé, the Magdalen Islands and the North Shore.

The mayor of Gaspé and president of the Union des municipalités du Québec, Daniel Côté, says the cost of a ticket is comparable to what it was in the past but the two airlines don’t fly nearly as often.

“Everyone’s is kind of in waiting mode when it comes to this plan,” he said. “We’re hoping it will be ambitious.”

While PAL Airlines and Pascan Aviation filled in some of the gaps left by Air Canada, Côté says the number of people flying into the regions has taken a nosedive due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and public health measures.

Gaspé’s Michel-Pouliot airport used to see 25,000 annual passengers prior to the pandemic. In 2020, 6,300 people passed through the airport and in 2021, there were around 8,500.

Arseneau says the waiting game and the impacts of COVID-19 have stalled economic development.

“It’s making the entire industry wary as to develop services or not and this is where it’s very detrimental to our regions,” he said. “Everything is kind of stopped right now.”

“What is needed is support from the government to the municipalities or the corporations that are running airports without having regular traffic.”

Joël Arseneau is the Parti-Québecois MNA for the Magdalen Islands and the party’s transportation critic. He says remote regions of Quebec depend on air travel for food, goods and medical services and need the government’s help to make the industry more sustainable. (Radio-Canada)

Bigger planes, lower costs

While Pascan Aviation and PAL Airlines are already operating in Quebec, a regional transportation co-operative called TREQ says it’s ready to take a different approach to better serve the province and reduce the cost of flying.

“What they want is to offer a service to many of Quebec’s remote cities and regions,” said Arseneau, “a service with larger planes, with lower rates … all year-round.”

He says the co-op already has more than 15,000 members and its business model is based on medium-size airlines in Ontario and British Columbia that have successfully established themselves as the main service providers in remote regions.

TREQ has already secured a loan from the federal government but wants the province to back it as well before launching operations.

Coming soon, says Transport Ministry

Arseneau says along with financial support for existing airlines, he hopes the government’s plan includes new regulations like price floors and price ceilings.

He says setting a minimum and maximum price for flights within Quebec would prevent bigger airlines like Air Canada from re-entering the market, dropping their prices and putting smaller companies out of business — something that’s happened in the past.

Asked where the province is at with its regional air travel plan, the office of Transport Minister François Bonnardel said it’s “working on it and hopes to be able to announce it soon.”

The Transport Ministry said the file is complex, especially in the middle of a pandemic, but it says once all of the work is completed it will share the details, which “will be beneficial for Quebecers.”

With files from Radio-Canada

From Quebec City to the North Pole: PAL Airlines spreads Christmas cheer

From Quebec City to the North Pole: PAL Airlines spreads Christmas cheer

From Travelweek Canada – link to source story

By: Travelweek Group | December 17, 2021

QUEBEC CITY — How did PAL Airlines pull off its first-ever flight to the ‘North Pole’? With a little bit of Christmas magic, of course.

From Quebec City to the North Pole: PAL Airlines spreads Christmas cheer

In the spirit of the holidays, the airline flew 30 deserving children from the Quebec City region to the ‘North Pole’ for a meet-and-greet with Santa Claus himself.

The flight departed Dec. 11 from Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) on Dec. 11 with the kids and their families onboard. Upon landing, Santa came aboard to distribute presents and spread Christmas cheer.

From Quebec City to the North Pole: PAL Airlines spreads Christmas cheer

Judging by the many happy smiles, it was a successful mission for all. Happy holidays!

Passengers scramble after PAL Airlines suspends flights from Halifax to Charlottetown

From CBC News – link to source story

‘I booked quite some time ago and was almost ready to start packing’

CBC News · Posted: Nov 03, 2021

Frances Taggart of Dartmouth says she was hoping to visit her her son over Christmas. (Robert Short/CBC News)

Some PAL Airlines passengers have been left scrambling to make alternate arrangements after the company suspended its scheduled flight service into the Charlottetown Airport.

“I’m older now and I have back problems and I have leg problems and so driving isn’t as easy as it used to be, so I heard about PAL Airlines and thought, ‘well, let’s try this,'” said 80-year-old Frances Taggart of Dartmouth, N.S.

“I booked quite some time ago and was almost ready to start packing.”

Taggart had reserved a seat on a direct flight between Halifax and Charlottetown. She was hoping to visit her son over Christmas. 

“It’s been difficult with COVID, haven’t seen him as much as I used to,” she said. 

Her packing is on hold as Taggart said she learned earlier this week that her flight had been cancelled. 

“I did phone the airline and they told me that, no, they weren’t flying into P.E.I. anymore.” 

Hoping for return

In fact, it’s not just P.E.I.

PAL Airlines has also suspended all flights between New Brunswick and Halifax.

“We are encouraged by our initial experience in the Charlottetown market and will look for opportunities to return in the future,” the company said in a statement to CBC News. 

“PAL Airlines has the ability to add capacity as we see demand developing.”

Airport officials say they are are optimistic about next year. Airlines are already talking about adding extra flights next summer. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC News)

The airline had just begun flying into the province two months ago, and the CEO of the Charlottetown Airport Authority said he is keeping his fingers crossed that it will be back next summer. 

“We had hoped to see PAL Airlines operate year-round,” said Doug Newson. 

“I think the flight did reasonably well in the summer months, but I think they looked at advance booking going into fall and winter and just decided … that they would suspend those services.”

It’s been a challenging 19 months for the airport, whose traffic dropped more than 90 per cent at the peak of the pandemic. Fortunately, Newson said the loss of PAL Airlines should have a minimal impact on the airport’s bottom line.

“We are starting to see recovery,” said Newson. “I can tell you there’s a lot of optimism for spring, summer of 2022.” 

‘I’ll take the bus’

As for Taggart, she said she looked at other flights but, unfortunately, she would have to fly through Toronto or Montreal to get to P.E.I. and it would cost her upwards of $2,000.  

“My only other option was to drive, which I’d rather not do, or to take the bus,” she said.

And although Taggart is no stranger to that bus trip she said it’s not ideal.

“It’s crowded. There’s very little legroom. As I said, I have back problems and I am currently on the list for a hip replacement and getting on and off buses and being cramped for that long is difficult.”

But, she said she’ll take the bus “and hope for the best.” 

With files from Wayne Thibodeau

All Airlines Back in Service at Fredericton Airport

From Huddle Today – link to source story

Oct 7, 2021 by Rachel Smith

Image: Submitted

FREDERICTON— Porter Airlines has resumed service at Fredericton International Airport (YFC), meaning that all of the airlines that were flying before the pandemic have returned.

“It’s just wonderful to see all of our teams back in business,” said Kate O’Rourke, manager of public relations and marketing at YFC.

The Porter plane is a daily flight that goes from Fredericton, makes a stop in Ottowa, and goes on to downtown Toronto, landing at Billy Bishop Airport.

Porter Airlines joins airlines like Air Canada and West Jet, both who resumed service at the end of June. Since the pandemic began they have picked up another airline, Pal Airlines.

YFC saw the number of West Jet and Air Canada flights going up over the summer.

“August was definitely the busiest month,” said O’Rourke in an interview with Huddle. “We were up to almost 50 percent of our pre-pandemic traffic levels for that month. For Canada that is pretty good.”

O’Rourke hasn’t seen the numbers for September yet but expects numbers to cool down a bit as they usually do in the fall.

This summer also gave them a chance to test out the newly expanded terminal that was renovated last March.

O’Rourke said that she expects all airlines at YFC are here to stay.

“All the airlines have told us that it was a great summer, and they’re really committed to the Fredericton market and they see the strength of the market in the long term potential there,” said O’Rourke.

O’Rourke said that some travel is for business but she is mostly seeing travel for friends and family that haven’t gotten to see each other over the last year and a half.

“We’re just so happy to see those reunions happening again,” said O’Rourke.

She expects flights to kick up in winter during the holidays. For travelers who need them, PCP and rapid testing are available at the airport as a fee-for-service through a private company.

“That’s really for travelers who are departing,” said O’Rourke. “So if you’re going to a destination that requires that test before you arrive in the country.”

Viking and PAL Aerospace Sign DHC-6 Twin Otter Aerial Firefighting System Contract

CALGARY, AB and ST. JOHN’S, NL, Aug. 3, 2021 /CNW/ – Viking Air Limited (“Viking”) and PAL Aerospace Canada are proud to announce the establishment of a contract to support the Twin Otter Fire Attack System. The agreement’s scope includes the design, manufacturing, installation, and certification of the Aerial Firefighting System for the Twin Otter DHC-6 300 and 400 aircraft. It is anticipated that the Aerial Firefighting System will be certified in 2022 and an international customer will receive the first converted aircraft.

The photo is a mock-up of the DHC-6 Twin Otter Firefighter aircraft featuring the air tanker configuration. (CNW Group/PAL Aerospace Ltd.)
The photo is a mock-up of the DHC-6 Twin Otter Firefighter aircraft featuring the air tanker configuration. (CNW Group/PAL Aerospace Ltd.)

This undertaking is a progressive effort between Viking and PAL Aerospace to build additional capabilities for the already versatile DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 300 and 400 aircraft. The Aerial Firefighting System will allow the Twin Otter to transition effortlessly between global firefighting missions and its more traditional mission profiles, including transporting passengers and cargo.

The airtanker-configured Twin Otter aircraft will help mitigate and fight wildfires with the ability to drop up to 700 US gallons of water or retardant in challenging environments.

Phillip Garbutt, PAL Aerospace Senior Vice President of Global Support said, “PAL Aerospace is proud to partner with Viking on this exciting project that supports innovation, economic growth, and supply chains in Canada. As an established DHC-6 Twin Otter Operator, we know firsthand the capability and versatility of the aircraft and consider it a privilege to bring our comprehensive design, engineering and modification capabilities to bear in developing this new capability.”

“We are happy to work with PAL Aerospace to provide our operators the ability to utilize our DHC-6 Twin Otter for specialized aerial firefighting missions,” said Benjamin Carson, Director of Customer Support Operations, Viking. “As the OEM, we work to continuously enhance the aircraft we support, providing our customers with ongoing fleet sustainment activities and upgrades.”

About PAL Aerospace:

A member of the Exchange Income Corporation family of companies, PAL Aerospace is a Canadian-owned and operated international aerospace and defence company. With a focus on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, in-service support solutions and aircraft engineering and modification, PAL Aerospace is recognized by governments and militaries for on time/on budget delivery and high reliability rates. PAL’s record of accomplishment now extends to operations in Canada, the Americas, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. PAL Aerospace offers a single point of accountability for its programs and takes pride in being the trusted choice for clients worldwide.

For more information, visit www.palaerospace.com

About Viking Air Limited:

Celebrating over 50 years in the Canadian Aerospace industry, Viking is the manufacturer of the world-renowned Twin Otter Series 400 and Guardian 400 Twin-engine turboprop aircraft.  Viking is the Type Certificate holder for all out-of-production De Havilland Canada aircraft (DHC-1 through the DHC-7) and all Canadair amphibious aircraft, including CL-215, CL-215T and CL-415 aerial firefighter aircraft, and the Shorts Skyvan, 360, 330 and Sherpa family of aircraft.

As the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for these iconic Canadian aircraft designs, Viking fully supports a diverse global operator base with exclusive factory spare parts manufacturing, in-service engineering & technical support, technical publications, warranty administration, and field service support.

For more information, visit www.vikingair.com

Flair Airlines touches down in Charlottetown, third new flight in a week

From CBC News – link to source story

‘We’re just happy to be talking about growth and recovery and people travelling for a change’

Wayne Thibodeau · CBC News · Posted: Aug 02, 2021

Flair Airlines touched down at the Charlottetown Airport for the first time Monday, with a new non-stop service to Toronto’s Pearson Airport. (Charlottetown Airport Authority)

Flair Airlines touched down at the Charlottetown Airport for the first time Monday, with a new non-stop service to Toronto’s Pearson Airport.

This is the third new flight, and the second new airline, for the Island’s airport in less than a week. 

WestJet, which has been operating in the capital city airport for 15 years, launched its first direct flight from Calgary to Charlottetown and Newfoundland-based PAL Airlines introduced a brand new service between Halifax and Charlottetown. 

Stephen Jones, president and CEO of Flair Airlines, was on the tarmac to welcome his airline’s first arrival on Prince Edward Island. 

Flair had hoped to launch its service to P.E.I. sooner but the pandemic put a hold on its expansion plans. 

“It’s been brutal for the whole industry and Flair is no exception, but we’re growing our way out of it,” said Jones.

“We’re really seeing a rebound in traffic at the moment.”

P.E.I. Tourism Minister Matthew Mackay, left, Charlottetown Airport CEO Doug Newson, and Stephen Jones, president and CEO of Flair Airlines, were on the tarmac to welcome Flair’s flight into Prince Edward Island on Monday. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)

Not only was it a new airline, but a brand new Boeing aircraft that landed on Monday. 

There were 174 passengers on the first flight into Charlottetown 

Doug Newson, CEO of the Charlottetown Airport, said the addition of Flair is another sign of recovery for the airline industry and for the Island’s beleaguered tourism industry.

Newson said he’s not surprised by the speed of the airline industry’s rebound.  

“We always knew … that there’s a lot of pent-up demand, a lot of visitors here that are coming to see their family and friends that haven’t been home for a couple of years in a lot of cases,” said Newson. “So we knew as soon as P.E.I. opened up for visitors outside of Atlantic Canada the airlines would come back and the flights would be busy.”    

‘It’s nowhere close to what we’re used to’

Newson said he believes next year could be a banner year for the airport and tourism on the Island. 

The first passengers get off a Flair Airlines flight at Charlottetown Airport on Monday. Flair will fly Toronto to Charlottetown Mondays and Fridays and Charlottetown to Toronto Mondays and Fridays. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)

“We’re just happy to be talking about growth and recovery and people travelling for a change,” said Newson.   

P.E.I. Tourism Minister Matthew Mackay, who was also on hand for the initial Flair Airlines flight, said the new flights are huge for the tourism industry, which was devastated by the pandemic. He said the industry is slowly starting to recover.  

“It’s nowhere close to what we’re used to,” said MacKay, noting the province usually sees 1.6 million visitors annually. 

“We’re not there, but we’re certainly in good position here, we’ve got a lot of traffic, a lot of visitors coming in, a lot of accommodations are full and we’re really hoping for a big fall season as well.”    

Flair will fly Toronto to Charlottetown Mondays and Fridays and Charlottetown to Toronto Mondays and Fridays. 

Even with the new airlines, airport officials say the airport is only operating at about half of its summer capacity.  

‘We will fly where the demand is’

Jones said he expects his airline, which bills itself as Canada’s only independent low-fare airline, will have a long history in P.E.I.

“I hope it’s going to be year-round,” said Jones. 

“I mean we will fly where the demand is so we will grow our network to where people want to fly.” 

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.