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 Québec City with weekly flights to popular sun destinations starting in November

Tour operator returns to the provincial capital and gateway for its 15th anniversary

TORONTO, Aug. 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —

Sunwing has announced it will be offering convenient weekly flights to ten different sun destinations this winter from Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport, right in time for the holidays. The news follows on the heels of a recent survey commissioned by Sunwing which revealed that 51% of Quebec respondents plan on returning to travel within the next 12 months, with 65% interested in an all inclusive vacation and 39% expressing their intent to travel this upcoming holiday season. As part of Sunwing’s commitment to the Quebec market, flights for the 2021-2022 season from Québec City will commence on November 1, 2021 and will run weekly until April 25, 2022, with additional routes available from Montreal and Saguenay-Bagotville.

This season marks Sunwing’s 15-year anniversary with Québec City, after its first flight from the gateway took off on December 18, 2006 for La Romana in the Dominican Republic. The tour operator has a longstanding presence in the province, with two planes based for the season out of Québec City and nearly 100 airline crew. Sunwing also recently invested further in the local community by moving its Quebec headquarters into a new building in Laval that provides a home base for hundreds of employees across various divisions.

“The Québec market has been an integral part of our operations since Sunwing’s inaugural flights from the region in 2006, and our convenient flights are well loved by consumers and travel agencies alike,” commented Sam Char, Vice President for Sunwing Quebec. “By offering three Québécois gateways this season – Montreal, Quebec City and Saguenay-Bagotville – travellers will have even more options to choose from under our wing. We pride ourselves on offering frictionless travel experiences and look forward to helping make vacation dreams come true for another 15 years and beyond.”

The flight schedule from Québec City will be as follows:

  • Between Québec City and Cayo Coco, Cuba, Sundays from November 7, 2021 until April 10, 2022; and Wednesdays from December 8, 2021 until April 20, 2022
  • Between Québec City and Holguin, Cuba, Sundays from December 5, 2021 until April 10, 2022
  • Between Québec City and Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba, Saturdays from November 6, 2021 until April 9, 2022; and Wednesdays from December 8, 2021 until April 20, 2022
  • Between Québec City and Varadero, Cuba, Mondays and Fridays from November 1, 2021 until April 25, 2022; and Wednesdays and Saturdays from December 8, 2021 until April 13, 2022
  • Between Québec City and Cancun, Mexico, Fridays and Sundays from November 5, 2021 until April 24, 2022; and Mondays from November 22, 2021 until April 11, 2022
  • Between Québec City and Mazatlán, Mexico, Tuesdays from December 14, 2021 until April 12, 2022
  • Between Québec City and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Fridays from December 17, 2021 until April 15, 2022
  • Between Québec City and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Thursdays and Saturdays from November 4, 2021 until April 21, 2022
  • Between Québec City and Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, Tuesdays from December 2, 2021 until April 12, 2022
  • Between Québec City and Miami, Florida, Saturdays from January 8, 2022 until April 16, 2022

“We are delighted that Sunwing is returning to Québec City this winter with flights to sun destinations that are well loved by Quebecois customers, including Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Miami,” said Stéphane Poirier, President and CEO of Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB). “We appreciate Sunwing’s confidence in our market and look forward to continuing this long-standing relationship. We are excited to welcome Sunwing passengers back to YQB as the departure gateway for their next vacation.”

In addition to flights from Quebec City, residents of the province can explore 20 different destinations from Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport including the vacation hotspots of Los Cabos and St. Maarten, and four different destinations from Saguenay-Bagotville Airport. No matter where they take off from, customers can travel with peace of mind knowing that the highest Canadian standards are in place throughout their entire vacation experience as part of the Safe with Sunwing commitment.

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.

Government of Canada makes major investments to ensure the recovery of Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport

Transport Canada

QUEBEC CITY, Aug. 6, 2021 /CNW/ – The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canadian airports to ensure their recovery and growth following the COVID-19 global pandemic and to create good middle class jobs.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, and the President of the Treasury Board, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos announced that the Government of Canada is contributing nearly $17 million to support Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport.

Out of that amount, $12.5 million, under the National Trade Corridors Fund, will go towards increasing the air cargo transporting capacity at Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport. The funds will specifically be used to develop an air cargo centre. The 5,600 square metre building will also include a dedicated space for regional air carriers that need space to serve remote areas.

In addition to this funding, the Government of Canada is also providing the Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport with over $4.2 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Relief Fund to help it maintain its operations, including essential air services for residents and workers in Quebec City and nearby communities.

Quotes

“By investing in the Jean Lesage International Airport, we’re helping Québec City grow and ensure its recovery. We’re also creating good jobs for the middle class and new economic opportunities for the people of Quebec. This is all part of our objective to build back better after the pandemic.”  

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

“Along with the recent news that the Jean Lesage International Airport will start welcoming international vaccinated travellers as of August 9, today’s announcement will have a positive impact on Quebec’s regional economy, in helping the air sector recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic. This multi-million-dollar investment will provide much needed financial support as we ease out of border restrictions. In addition, this new air cargo center will diversify our airport’s revenues as we open up transportation corridors serving Canadians.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament for Québec

“I am beyond excited about this contribution. This generous investment from the Government of Canada will not only help Quebec’s air cargo sector, but will create new employment opportunities for the people of Quebec and help grow our economy after this devastating epidemic. Employment opportunities like these are essential to generate a better and more sustainable economy.”

Joël Lightbound
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Member of Parliament for Louis-Hébert

“The vitality and attractiveness of a region depend in large part on the strength of its airport, and we share with the Government of Canada the desire to see the greater Québec City region perform well in the context of economic recovery. The funding announced today allows us to take a giant step towards the realization of the cargo platform project. This is excellent news for our airport, of course, but also for our carriers and for companies in the industrial sectors of the Québec City region, the East and the North, which are particularly sensitive to delivery times.”  

Stéphane Poirier
President and CEO, Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport

Quick Facts

  • As announced in 2017, the National Trade Corridors Fund is providing $2.3 billion over 11 years for projects that strengthen the efficiency and resilience of the transportation system.
  • Budget 2021 provided an additional $1.9 billion for the National Trade Corridors Fund for strategic transportation investments across Canada. The additional funding will spur investments into much-needed enhancements to Canada’s roads, rail, and shipping routes, while also building long-term resilience for the Canadian economy, and supporting internal trade.
  • In Quebec, the National Trade Corridors Fund has provided $252 million for 12 projects since 2017. With partner contributions, this has brought $564 million of total investments into ports, airports, and railway projects.
  • The Airport Relief Fund, launched in May 2021, will provide $64.8 million in funding in 2021-2022 for airports whose 2019 revenues were less than $250 million.
  • The amount of funding to each eligible Airport Relief Fund recipient was calculated using a tiered formula-based approach, based on 2019 revenues.
  • Funding provided from the Airport Relief Fund must be used to cover activities that are directly related to the airport’s operations to ensure that the airport remains open to travellers and surrounding communities.

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Air Transat inaugurates its first direct flight between Vancouver and Quebec City

VANCOUVER, BC, Aug. 2, 2021 /CNW/ – Air Transat celebrates the launch of its brand-new direct service between Vancouver and Quebec City, becoming the first and only airline to operate this route. Flights will be offered once a week, on Mondays from Vancouver and on Sundays from Quebec City, until October 25.

From left to right: Charles Thivierge – Captain; Linda Lancup – Flight Attendant; Marie-Josée Paiement – Flight Attendant; Mario Blais – Captain; Sonia Renaud – Flight Director; Ghislain Charette – Flight Attendant (CNW Group/Transat A.T. Inc.)
From left to right: Charles Thivierge – Captain; Linda Lancup – Flight Attendant; Marie-Josée Paiement – Flight Attendant; Mario Blais – Captain; Sonia Renaud – Flight Director; Ghislain Charette – Flight Attendant (CNW Group/Transat A.T. Inc.)

“It was only natural for us to add this route to our summer schedule,” says Joseph Adamo, Transat’s Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. “As we predicted, travellers are showing a strong interest in domestic destinations, so we are pleased to offer them this new route linking two of Canada’s most important tourist hubs.”

This morning, to mark the inauguration of this new route, the 163 passengers of the very first TS969 flight from Vancouver were welcomed in a festive manner at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR). This comes a day after 185 passengers boarded the inaugural TS968 flight from Quebec City’s Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB).

“We are thrilled to welcome Air Transat back to Canada’s skies with its new service connecting YVR to beautiful Quebec City,” says Tamara Vrooman, President and CEO of Vancouver International Airport. “The addition of this seasonal flight provides travellers with more options when flying domestically from YVR and is a strong signal of confidence from Air Transat as it rejoins Canada’s airlines in the effort to reopen travel and tourism across the country, safely and in a measured approach. At YVR, we are ready to welcome back all passengers to the airport and are committed to delivering a safe and seamless experience to our passengers who, thanks to Air Transat, now have another great destination to visit direct from Vancouver.”

“Now that we can start travelling again, Air Transat is inviting people from Quebec City to discover Western Canada starting this summer,” says Stéphane Poirier, President and CEO of Quebec City’s Jean Lesage International Airport. “The addition of flights to Vancouver meets a demand expressed by the population for many years and is aligned with our objective to improve air service from Quebec City. We welcome Air Transat’s confidence in our market. We hope that passengers will choose YQB as their departure point for their next trip.”

The route will be operated by next-generation Airbus A321neoLR aircraft, which feature spacious cabins and state-of-the-art in-seat entertainment systems and have the lowest fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (CO2 and NOx) emissions in their class.

This summer, from Vancouver, Air Transat will also offer direct flights to Montreal and Toronto. 

About Air Transat
Air Transat is a leading leisure travel brand established nearly 35 years ago that offers domestic and connecting flights within Canada as well as international flights to destinations of choice in the Americas and Europe. Air Transat and its personnel strive to serve travellers with enthusiasm and friendliness, emphasizing safety at all stages of their travel experience. The carrier’s multiple initiatives aimed at reducing its carbon emissions include operation of a fleet of new-generation Airbus aircraft and development of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Air Transat has been voted World’s Best Leisure Airline by passengers at the Skytrax World Airline Awards.

Air Transat is a business unit of Transat A.T. Inc., an integrated international tourism company headquartered in Montreal that was awarded Travelife certification in 2018 in recognition of its sustainability commitments. Visit airtransat.com or follow us on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Recent distinctions and awards

  • World’s Best Leisure Airline at the Skytrax World Airline Awards
  • Ranked 2nd Travel and Leisure Company and 57th overall on Forbes World’s Best Employers List
  • Best Tour Operator and Favourite Overall Supplier at the Agents’ Choice Awards presented by Baxter Travel Media

Government of Canada announces easing of border measures for fully vaccinated travellers

From: Public Health Agency of Canada

News release

International flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at five additional Canadian airports

July 19, 2021 | Ottawa | Public Health Agency of Canada

The Government of Canada is prioritizing the health and safety of everyone in Canada by taking a risk-based and measured approach to re-opening our borders. Thanks to the hard work of Canadians, rising vaccination rates and declining COVID-19 cases, the Government of Canada is able to move forward with adjusted border measures.

On September 7, 2021, provided that the domestic epidemiologic situation remains favourable, the Government intends to open Canada’s borders to any fully vaccinated travellers who have completed the full course of vaccination with a Government of Canada-accepted vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and who meet specific entry requirements.

As a first step, starting August 9, 2021, Canada plans to begin allowing entry to American citizens and permanent residents, who are currently residing in the United States, and have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering Canada for non-essential travel. This preliminary step allows for the Government of Canada to fully operationalize the adjusted border measures ahead of September 7, 2021, and recognizes the many close ties between Canadians and Americans.

Subject to limited exceptions, all travellers must use ArriveCAN (app or web portal) to submit their travel information. If they are eligible to enter Canada and meet specific criteria, fully vaccinated travellers will not have to quarantine upon arrival in Canada.

To further support these new measures, Transport Canada is expanding the scope of the existing Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that currently directs scheduled international commercial passenger flights into four Canadian Airports: Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport.

Effective August 9, 2021, international flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at the following five additional Canadian airports:

  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport;
  • Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport;
  • Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport;
  • Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport; and
  • Edmonton International Airport.

These airports, in cooperation with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency and Transport Canada, are working to implement the measures necessary to safely welcome international passengers as soon as possible after August 9, as conditions dictate.

All travellers, regardless of vaccination status, will still require a pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test result. However effective August 9, 2021, the Government of Canada is adjusting its post-arrival testing strategy for fully vaccinated travellers. Using a new border testing surveillance program at airports and land border crossings, fully vaccinated travellers will not need a post-arrival test unless they have been randomly selected to complete a Day 1 COVID-19 molecular test. There are no changes to the mandatory testing requirements for unvaccinated travellers.

This strategy allows the Government of Canada to continue monitoring variants of concern in Canada and vaccine effectiveness. Using these layers of protection, the Government of Canada can monitor the COVID-19 situation in Canada, respond quickly to threats, and guide decisions on restricting international travel.

Finally, with the advent of increased vaccination rates in Canada, declining COVID-19 cases and reduced pressure on health care capacity, the three-night government authorized hotel stay requirement will be eliminated for all travellers arriving by air as of 12:01 A.M. EDT on August 9. Fully vaccinated travellers who meet the requirements will be exempt from quarantine; however, all travellers must still provide a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine, in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet the necessary requirements.

While Canada continues to trend in the right direction, the epidemiological situation and vaccination coverage is not the same around the world. The Government of Canada continues to advise Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada – international travel increases your risk of exposure to COVID-19 and its variants, as well as of spreading it to others. Border measures also remain subject to change as the epidemiological situation evolves. As Canada looks to welcome fully vaccinated travellers from the U.S., the federal government will continue to monitor the situation and provide updated travel advice to Canadians.

Quotes

“Canadians’ safety and security always come first. With rising vaccination rates and fewer cases in Canada, we can begin to safely ease border measures. A gradual approach to reopening will allow our health authorities to monitor the COVID-19 situation here and abroad. Canadians have worked hard and sacrificed for each other, and because of that work, we can take these next steps safely.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

“The health and safety of Canadians remains our top priority. Using a risk-based and measured approach to easing border measures will allow for non-essential international travellers who meet vaccination and other requirements to enter Canada. Working collaboratively with provinces, territories, Indigenous partners, and others to encourage Canadians to get vaccinated and follow public health advice is enabling us to begin welcoming more travellers back to Canada. Our government will continue to work with Canadian and international partners to ensure the border reopening is done in a safe and responsible way.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

“The Government of Canada recognizes that people have been anxiously awaiting a re-opening of the border to the world. We have been fully engaged with our American counterparts given the deep economic and family ties between our two countries. Today’s announcement is another big step in our approach to easing border measures which is guided by facts, scientific evidence and the advice of our public health experts.”

The Honourable Bill Blair
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“Thanks to the extraordinary commitment of Canadians to getting vaccinated and following public health advice, we are seeing improvement in the public health situation in Canada. As a result, today we announced new steps in our re-opening approach, including that international flights carrying passengers will be allowed to land at five more Canadian airports.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport Canada

“Thanks to the incredible progress that Canadians have made in our fight against the pandemic, we are now able to take the next step in Canada’s gradual reopening of the border. We look forward to welcoming fully vaccinated Americans shortly, followed by travellers from the rest of the world in early September. Not only will this make a big difference for Canada’s travel and tourism industry and all those whose jobs depend on it, it will also make it easier for those with a Confirmation of Permanent Residence letter to come to Canada and play a role in our recovery from the pandemic.”

The Honourable Marco Mendicino
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

“The easing of Canada’s border measures is welcome news for tourism businesses across the country, the thousands of Canadians employed by the sector and the communities who rely on it. It has been a challenging year as we balance the need to protect both the health of Canadians and our economy but tourism businesses have demonstrated incredible resilience. Our government has been proud to be by their side since the beginning of this crisis and we will continue to be there as they prepare to begin to welcome vaccinated travellers from around the world to our beautiful shores.”

The Honourable Melanie Joly
Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Quick Facts

  • To be eligible to enter Canada for discretionary travel on the basis of vaccination status, travellers must use the ArriveCAN app or web portal. Travellers must ensure that mandatory requirements are met prior to departing for Canada. In addition, some provinces and territories may have their own entry restrictions in place. Check and follow both the federal and any provincial or territorial restrictions and requirements before travelling.
  • In addition to receiving a full series of a vaccine authorized by the Government of Canada, fully vaccinated travellers must also: provide COVID-19-related information electronically through ArriveCAN (app or web portal) including proof of vaccination prior to arrival in Canada; meet the pre-entry testing requirements; be asymptomatic upon arrival; and have a paper or digital copy of their vaccination documentation in English or French (or certified translation) ready to show a government official on request as evidence.
  • A person who submits false information on vaccination status could be liable to a fine of up to $750,000 or six months imprisonment or both, under the Quarantine Act, or prosecution under the Criminal Code for forgery. Violating any quarantine or isolation instructions provided to travellers by a screening officer or quarantine officer when entering Canada is also an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to a $5,000 fine for each day of non-compliance or for each offence committed, or more serious penalties, including six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines. Non-compliant air travellers may also be subject to fines of up to $5,000 for each offence committed under the Aeronautics Act.
  • Based on public health advice, Transport Canada has extended the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that restricts all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India for an additional 30 days (i.e. until August 21, 2021, at 23:59 EDT). All direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India are subject to the NOTAM. Cargo-only operations, medical transfers or military flights are not included. Transport Canada has also extended the requirement related to third-country pre-departure COVID-19 tests for travellers to Canada from India via an indirect route. This means that passengers who depart India to Canada via an indirect route will continue to be required to obtain a COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country other than India before continuing their journey to Canada.

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Porter Airlines confirms restart of service to select Canadian destinations beginning Sept. 8

U.S. flights start on Sept. 17

TORONTO, July 5, 2021 /CNW/ – Porter Airlines is officially returning to the skies on Sept. 8, nearly 18 months after suspending flights due to COVID-19 public health and travel restrictions.

The flight schedule is returning in phases, with the initial group of Canadian destinations being Halifax, Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, St. John’s, NL, Thunder Bay and Toronto. U.S. destinations in Boston, Chicago, New York and Washington follow on Sept. 17.

U.S. flights start on September 17 (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)
U.S. flights start on September 17 (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)
Porter Airlines confirms restart of service to select Canadian destinations beginning Sept. 8 (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)
Porter Airlines confirms restart of service to select Canadian destinations beginning Sept. 8 (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)

“This is the moment our team members, passengers and the communities we serve have been waiting for,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO, Porter Airlines. “The pandemic has progressed to the point that we can now begin restoring service across our network, focused around our main base at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Being grounded for more than a year has been incredibly difficult for everyone involved. In true Porter fashion, our team members have displayed remarkable levels of commitment, engagement and optimism over this uncertain period of time, despite the vast majority being unable to work. While deciding to suspend our service was the most difficult business decision we’ve made, announcing a restart of flights is the first step in a recovery process that includes recalling hundreds of team members and welcoming back passengers. We are looking forward to once again delivering Porter’s unique style of service.”

Approximately 500 team members will be recalled to active status as the first phase of flights are introduced. More staff will be added in subsequent months as flights and destinations return to the schedule.

The initial flight schedule is as follows:

Canadian Routes*Peak daily roundtripsService start date
Ottawa – Toronto6 flightsSept. 8
Montreal – Toronto6 flightsSept. 8
Thunder Bay – Toronto3 flightsSept. 8
Ottawa – Halifax2 flightsSept. 13
Montreal – Halifax1 flightSept. 13
Quebec City – Toronto1 flightSept. 13
Halifax – St. John’s1 flightSept. 17
Moncton – Ottawa1 flightSept. 17
U.S. Routes*
New York (Newark) – Toronto6 fightsSept. 17
Boston – Toronto3 flightsSept. 17
Chicago (Midway) – Toronto2 flightsSept. 17
Washington (Dulles) – Toronto1 flightSept. 17
* All Toronto routes operate at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Schedules vary by day of week.

Flights to other year-round destinations normally operated by Porter are currently available for booking and set to resume as of Oct. 6. Service is returning based on anticipated passenger demand, with frequency and markets increasing over time.

To provide flexibility and give travellers peace of mind when purchasing for future travel, Porter is making all fares purchased by July 20, for travel through December 15, 2021, fully refundable, with no fees. This also applies to Porter Escapes vacation packages.

In preparation for its resumption of service, Porter is introducing a comprehensive program to protect the health of its passengers and team members. Healthy Flights strengthens existing standards focusing on high levels of sanitization.

“Our safety team developed Healthy Flights as more than a checklist of rules and procedures,” said Deluce. “They carefully considered how to provide a safe experience for our passengers and team members, while being true to our distinct brand and approach to service.”

Detailed information about Healthy Flights is available online.

About Porter Airlines
Porter Airlines has revolutionized short-haul flying with 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.

Air Transat unveils its winter 2021-22 program

Nearly 50 destinations on three continents will be offered, including two new ones: Miami and Fort Myers

MONTREAL, June 16, 2021 /CNW/ – Air Transat is proud to present its winter 2021-22 flight program. Starting November 1, it will offer flights to nearly 50 destinations throughout the CaribbeanMexicoCentral and South Americathe United States and Europe.

This program also features two new destinations in Florida—Miami and Fort Myers, with direct flights from Montreal—in addition to flights already scheduled for Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.

“We know that our clients are eager to travel, whether it’s to visit loved ones or for a change of scenery,” says Annick Guérard, President and CEO of Transat. “And we are sure to meet this strong, pent-up demand with the rich variety of destinations we are offering this winter. Plus, by adding Miami and Fort Myers to our program, we are consolidating our position in the United States, a popular sun destination for Canadian travellers.”

Starting December 2021, Air Transat will fly to Miami four times a week, and to Fort Myers twice a week.

Flights to three continents this winter

To quench Canadians’ wanderlust, direct flights will be offered from eight Canadian cities: Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, London, Halifax and Moncton.

In addition to flights to the South, Air Transat will also offer vacationers a selection of South packages, featuring 290 properties and four collections: LuxuryOut of OfficeFamily and Solo.

From Montreal, Air Transat will operate direct flights to Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Martinique, Panama, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, El Salvador and the United States.

Travellers from Toronto will be able to fly direct to Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, St. Maarten and the United States.

From Quebec City, seven sunny destinations will be accessible by direct flight to Cuba, the United States, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

And lastly, to allow Canadians to travel across their country and to increase connecting opportunities to international destinations, Air Transat will also operate domestic flights between Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto and Vancouver.

As for Europe, Air Transat will gradually offer direct flights from Montreal to France, Portugal, Spain and Italy. There will also be direct flights from Toronto to the United Kingdom, Portugal, the Netherlands, Ireland and Italy, and from Quebec City to France.

It is important to note that, should the situation change and force the company to alter its flight schedule, clients affected by cancellations would be eligible for a refund.

For travel inspiration and details on routes offered, travellers are invited to visit the dedicated page on the Air Transat website.

About Air Transat

Air Transat is Canada’s number one leisure airline. It flies to some 60 international destinations in more than 25 countries in the Americas and Europe, offers domestic and connecting flights within Canada, and carries some 5 million passengers every year. Air Transat is a business unit of Transat A.T. Inc., a leading integrated international tourism company specializing in holiday travel and offering vacation packages, hotel stays and air travel. Transat was awarded Travelife certification in 2018 in recognition of its commitment to sustainable development. Its head office is located in Montreal.

Recent distinctions and awards

  • World’s Best Leisure Airline at the Skytrax World Airline Awards
  • Ranked 2nd Travel and Leisure Company and 57th overall on Forbes World’s Best Employers List
  • Best Tour Operator and Favourite Overall Supplier at the Agents’ Choice Awards presented by Baxter Travel Media

Air Canada Supports Economic Recovery as the Country’s Leading Carrier, Serving 50 Cities Across Canada to Enable Canadians to Conveniently Connect

  • Most extensive domestic schedule supports Canada’s tourism and hospitality sector
  • Includes three new routes, re-established routes plus Air Canada Signature Class and Premium Economy Class cabins on select transcontinental routes
  • New refund policy gives additional peace of mind

MONTREAL, June 15, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada’s domestic peak summer schedule beginning at the end of June has been developed to advance the country’s economic recovery and support Canada’s tourism and hospitality businesses during the important summer period.  Three new domestic Canada routes, service to 50 Canadian airports, the re-establishment of select regional routes, and wide-body aircraft featuring Air Canada Signature Class and Premium Economy Class on select transcontinental routes are included. Seats with attractive pricing in all cabins are available for purchase now at aircanada.com, via the Air Canada App, Air Canada’s Contact Centres and travel agencies.

“With Canada’s ongoing vaccine roll-out acceleration together with various provincial governments’ reopening plans that include travel, this summer is looking brighter. As customers are ready to travel, Air Canada is taking a leadership position to support our partners in Canada’s tourism and hospitality sector with service to 50 destinations from coast to coast, the re-start of regional services and new, non-stop flights,” said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada.

“We are especially proud that our new state-of-the-art, Canadian-manufactured Airbus A220 aircraft will be operating across Canada. With our industry-leading CleanCare+ bio-safety protocols, promotional fares including for our premium cabins, compelling Aeroplan opportunities, and our new refund policy offering additional peace of mind, customers can book Air Canada with confidence.  We look forward to welcoming you onboard when you’re ready to fly,” concluded Mr. Galardo.

Air Canada’s new refund policy provides customers an option for a refund to the original form of payment in instances where Air Canada cancels their flight or reschedules the departure time by more than three hours, irrespective of the reason. Air Canada customers will also have the option of accepting an Air Canada Travel Voucher or Aeroplan points with a 65% bonus.  Normal fare rules will apply when customers make voluntary changes to non-affected flights.

New route details:

RouteFrequencyAircraftEffective
Montreal-Deer LakeDailyCRJ900Jul 1, 2021
Montreal-Kelowna3x Weekly July4x Weekly AugAirbus A220June 26, 2021
Montreal-Saskatoon-ReginaDailyCRJ900Aug 1, 2021

Resumption of services:

Airport StationRouteEffectiveFrequency
Gander Gander – HalifaxJun 293x Weekly
 Gander – TorontoJul 25x Weekly
St. John’s St. John’s – TorontoJun 19Daily
Goose Bay Goose Bay – St. John’sJun 293x Weekly
Deer Lake Deer Lake – HalifaxAug 15x Weekly
Halifax Halifax – CalgaryAug 15x Weekly
Sydney Sydney – TorontoJun 263x Weekly
 Sydney – MontrealAug 1Daily
Charlottetown Charlottetown – TorontoJun 184x Weekly
Saint John Saint John – MontrealJun 303x Weekly
 Saint John – TorontoJul 24x Weekly
Fredericton Fredericton – MontrealJun 29Daily
 Fredericton – TorontoJul 15x Weekly
Bathurst Bathurst – MontrealJun 273x Weekly
Quebec City Quebec City – TorontoJun 191x Daily
Ottawa Ottawa – CalgaryJul 2Daily
 Ottawa – EdmontonAug 12x Weekly
North Bay North Bay – TorontoJun 283x Weekly
Fort McMurray Fort McMurray – TorontoJuly 12x Weekly
Winnipeg Winnipeg – CalgaryJun 206x weekly
 Winnipeg – MontrealAug 1Daily
Regina Regina – CalgaryJul 15x Weekly
Saskatoon Saskatoon – CalgaryJul 25x Weekly
Kamloops Kamloops – VancouverJun 294x Weekly
 Kamloops – CalgaryJun 284x Weekly
Comox Comox – VancouverJun 303x Weekly
Nanaimo Nanaimo – TorontoJul 41x Weekly
 Nanaimo – CalgaryJul 25x weekly
Prince Rupert Prince Rupert – VancouverJun 253x Weekly
Penticton Penticton – VancouverJun 294x Weekly
Sandspit Sandspit – VancouverJun 233x Weekly
Victoria Montreal – VictoriaJun 193x Weekly
 Toronto – VictoriaJun 194x Weekly
 Calgary – VictoriaJun 214x Weekly
Castlegar Castlegar – VancouverJun 283x Weekly
Kelowna Kelowna TorontoJun 184x Weekly
Yellowknife Yellowknife – CalgaryJun 303x Weekly

Air Canada is also providing connectivity to five additional regional communities through interline agreements with third party regional carriers: Wabush, Baie Comeau, Gaspe, Mont Joli, and Val d’Or.

Air Canada’s commercial schedule may be adjusted as required based on the COVID-19 trajectory and government restrictions.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline, and in 2020 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.

YQB reveals its 2020 financial results – Remaining steady through the storm

QUÉBEC CITY, April 29, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – The airline industry is certainly one of the most vulnerable, and the financial results released by Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) today do reflect the harsh consequences of the pandemic. However, they also reflect the hard work of its teams and their determination to transform the pandemic into a lever for growth and repositioning.

Despite reducing its fixed costs by one third, YQB will have absorbed losses of $26.7 million in 2020; it estimates that those losses will amount to some $100 million by the time it returns to profitability. In terms of passenger traffic, the reality proved even more brutal than the worst-case forecast. YQB ended 2020 with a total of 535,111 passengers, compared to 1,789,005 in 2019. What’s more, the airport authority predicts that passenger levels will actually hit rock bottom in 2021, when barely 100,000 passengers are expected to pass through the airport’s doors. Based on forecasts by industry experts, traffic at YQB likely won’t return to 2019 levels for at least five years.

“This pandemic has clearly affected every area of our business. The airport has needed to tighten its belt and make difficult decisions. It’s true that we have little control over our industry’s trajectory as we emerge from the global pandemic. However, we were—and are—in the best position to think about how we can emerge from this ordeal stronger than ever, equipped with levers to generate growth,” stated Lise Lapierre, outgoing Chair of YQB’s Board of Directors.

Bouncing forward
Last December, YQB unveiled a plan to revive airport operations and diversify its activities and revenues while strengthening its role as a driver of regional economic development. This plan, which is based on five key projects, has the potential to strengthen and improve the economy of not just the Québec City area, but all of northern and eastern Québec. The five key projects involve:

  1. Optimizing the catchment area
  2. Consolidating regional air services
  3. Setting up an intermodal logistics platform
  4. Developing an airport industrial park
  5. Opening an American Customs pre-clearance centre

“The air transportation industry is probably one of the hardest hit by the current crisis. We were the first to be grounded and will likely be the last to take off again. In the meantime, we are working tirelessly to prepare for recovery so that our airport can quickly regain the momentum that was so abruptly brought to a halt. Until we know when recovery will be possible, we will be actively working on the how,” added President and CEO Stéphane Poirier.

During the airport’s annual general meeting (AGM), the Board of Directors nominated former Vice-Chair André Boulanger as the new Chair. Mr. Boulanger has been a director since 2019. He is replacing Ms. Lapierre, the first woman to hold the position, as she has completed the last of the three terms permitted by the governance rules. YQB would like to sincerely thank Ms. Lapierre for her unwavering dedication and attention to detail.

“Over the past year, our organization has been doing everything in its power to turn challenges into opportunities. We rolled up our sleeves in 2020 to ensure we had a successful recovery plan for our region, and the coming months will be critical to ensure that the plan is funded and comes to fruition. We will need to continue relying on teamwork and the region’s driving forces to support a sustainable recovery,” concluded Mr. Boulanger.

Highlights

  • 70% decrease in passenger traffic in 2020 (535,111 passengers compared to 1,789,005 passengers in 2019)
  • Barely 100,000 passengers expected at YQB in 2021
  • At least five years needed to reach 2019 passenger traffic levels
  • 59.7% decrease in revenues in 2020, resulting in a $26.7M deficit
  • Losses expected to reach $100M before profitability is restored

About Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB)
YQB is managed by Aéroport de Québec Inc., a non-profit, non-share capital corporation responsible for the airport’s management, operation, maintenance, and development since November 1, 2000. Around a dozen carriers offer flights from YQB to destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Europe, and daily flights to the main hubs in eastern North America.

WestJet to restore regional routes suspended due to COVID-19

Flights set to resume to airports across Atlantic Canada and Quebec City as part of the airline’s commitment to a safe restart  

CALGARY, AB, March 24, 2021 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced it will restore flights to the communities of Charlottetown, Fredericton, Moncton, Sydney and Quebec City after service was suspended as a result of COVID-19. The reinstatement of service will restore WestJet’s complete network of pre-COVID-19 domestic airports.

“We committed to return to the communities we left, as a result of the pandemic, and we will be restoring flights to these regions in the coming months, of our own volition,” said Ed Sims, WestJet, President and CEO. “These communities have been a crucial factor in our success over our 25 years and it is critical for us to ensure they have access to affordable air service and domestic connectivity to drive their economic recovery.” 

Service is set to resume to the five airports WestJet suspended service from in November, beginning June 24, 2021 through to June 30, 2021. In addition, service between St. John’s and Toronto, which was indefinitely suspended in October, will resume effective June 24, 2021. Following a temporary suspension, the restart of service between St. John’s and Halifax will be advanced from June 24, 2021 to May 6, 2021. Full schedule details and restart dates are outlined below. 

“Our focus remains on the safe restart of air travel. We ask that federal and provincial governments work with us to provide clarity and certainty to Canadians, including travel policies that support economic recovery and restore jobs,” continued Sims.  

Recognizing the investments that WestJet’s travel and tourism partners in the regions need to make to begin to recover from the pandemic, the airline will continue to encourage the Atlantic premiers to advance their efforts to ensure the region is open to Canadians this summer. 

“Alongside an accelerated and successful vaccine rollout, we are hopeful that there will be an easing of onerous travel restrictions currently in place,” said Sims. “We look forward to working together to safely reconnect Canadians to the region in the coming months.”  

Planned Network Service Resumptions: 

Route Frequency Planned restart date 
St. John’s-Halifax 6x weekly May 6, 2021 
Charlottetown-Toronto 11x weekly June 24, 2021 
St. John’s-Toronto 1x daily June 24, 2021 
Fredericton-Toronto 1x daily June 26, 2021 
Quebec City-Toronto 1x dailyJune 28, 2021 
Sydney-Halifax 1x daily June 28, 2021 
Moncton-Toronto 1x daily June 30, 2021 

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

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