Saskatchewan residents facing higher airline travel costs for holidays within Canada

From Global News – link to source story

By Taz Dhaliwa,l Global News | November 29, 2021

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan residents dealing with higher than usual holiday domestic travel costs'
The holiday travel season this year is expected to be a busy one, although, it’ll cost many looking to fly domestically a pretty penny to take off. Taz Dhaliwal takes a look at why that is and what residents can expect when heading to the airport.

Flying high in the sky is going to be a more expensive this holiday season.

Flights from Regina to Toronto are already in the $700 to $1,000 range for late December. Air travel only gets more expensive the farther east you go. Prices aren’t expected to cool off until mid-January for many popular destination across the country.

“Airlines are dynamic in how they do their pricing,” said James Bogusz, Regina Airport Authority president and CEO.

“I’ve been a traveler for over 25 years, and I can say it depends on the time of year, and most importantly, the supply and demand of travel,” he added.

Even though Saskatchewan residents don’t have many airlines to choose from now, Bogusz says that is set to improve in 2022. Flair Air will be offering more flight routes within the prairies in April.

Having enough crew members to work flights appears to be a continuing struggle for the air industry. Staffing cuts and people leaving the industry to pursue other careers are having an impact. The on-boarding process for new hires or retraining for previous staff also takes time.

“It’s also a long training process. I have friends who are still in their six to eight week process of getting retrained,”said Barbara Crowe, a Saskatoon-based travel advisor with Ixtapa Travel.

It’s just not something where you call everybody back to work and everybody is available,” she said.

But for some, staying grounded simply isn’t an option.

“We still see people that are going, you know they haven’t been with their families for a couple of years. And you know, I think people are just wanting to get together over the holiday season,” she added.

Flights are still booking up despite the high costs, she notes, adding people are still hoping to book. She recommends they do so sooner rather than later, since airlines aren’t expected to decrease their rates.

“Well, the holiday is going to be a lot busier than last year,” Bogusz said.

With COVID-19 vaccines, booster shots, and continuing COVID-19 safety measures, more people appear to be comfortable with flying compared to last year.

“We’re recommending to all passengers to come at least 90 minutes before their scheduled flight, regardless of where you’re going, so that gives you a chance to check your bag and make sure you do all the pre-clearance requirements,” Bogusz stated.

Travellers need to remember to have proof of vaccination or negative test results readily available before boarding.

Bogusz says the Regina Airport has had 40 to 50 per cent of the pre-pandemic passenger traffic. Those numbers are being sustained into the end of this year.

He expects traffic to increase to about 65 per cent in the coming year, however that largely depends on the COVID-19 situation.

Swoop Announces Major Expansion and Investment in Edmonton and Brings Nine New Routes to Alberta Capital

  • Ultra-low fare airline announces its largest expansion ever with eight new domestic routes as part of summer schedule and new non-stop service to Palm Springs
  • Brings enhanced connectivity to Atlantic Canada with first ever non-stop flights from Edmonton to New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island and new non-stops to Nova Scotia
  • Reaffirms commitment to city by naming its newest aircraft #Edmonton
Tom Ruth, President and CEO of Edmonton International Airport welcomes Swoop's newest aircraft #Edmonton (CNW Group/Swoop)
Tom Ruth, President and CEO of Edmonton International Airport welcomes Swoop’s newest aircraft #Edmonton (CNW Group/Swoop)

EDMONTON, AB, Nov. 15, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low fare airline, reaffirmed its commitment to the Edmonton Metropolitan Region with the announcement of new service to one U.S. and eight domestic destinations from its Western Canadian base. The airline’s significant new investments were celebrated this morning alongside the unveiling of Swoop’s newest aircraft, which will fly with the name #Edmonton.

The airline’s growth will see Swoop’s flight capacity in Alberta’s capital increase 76% compared to pre-pandemic levels, supporting the creation of 140 additional direct and spin-off jobs and an anticipated $120M of economic output activityi in 2022.

From left to right (Juanita Marois, CEO, Métis Crossing, Tom Ruth, President & CEO, Edmonton International Airport, Charles Duncan, President of Swoop, Rajan Sawhney, Alberta Minister of Transportation, Rick Smith, Deputy Mayor of Leduc County, Tim Cartmell, City Councillor, City of Edmonton) (CNW Group/Swoop)
From left to right (Juanita Marois, CEO, Métis Crossing, Tom Ruth, President & CEO, Edmonton International Airport, Charles Duncan, President of Swoop, Rajan Sawhney, Alberta Minister of Transportation, Rick Smith, Deputy Mayor of Leduc County, Tim Cartmell, City Councillor, City of Edmonton) (CNW Group/Swoop)

“This is a major milestone for Swoop as we underscore our commitment to leading the way for ultra-low fare air travel in Canada and reaffirm our position as the airline with the most destinations from Edmonton,” said Charles Duncan, President of Swoop. “With a strong focus on growth and Edmonton as our partner, we will continue to provide our travellers with more non-stop flights and ultra-low fares while supporting the recovery of Canada’s travel and tourism economy.”

New non-stop flights to eight Canadian cities 

The addition of eight new Canadian destinations to Swoop’s summer schedule will see non-stop service from Edmonton to Charlottetown, Comox, Halifax, Kelowna, Moncton, Ottawa, Regina and Saskatoon. Swoop will be the first carrier to bring non-stop connectivity from Edmonton International Airport to Charlottetown and Moncton and the airline’s summer schedule will also see the restoration of service to London, Ont. 

Hello, Palm Springs!

Beginning December 16, Swoop’s transborder presence is growing from Edmonton with the addition of new service to Palm Springs. The scheduled non-stop service to Palm Springs will operate twice weekly.

#Edmonton

To commemorate its history and commitment to Edmonton, Swoop celebrated the naming of its newest aircraft #Edmonton alongside key government leaders and business stakeholders at Edmonton International Airport.

Following the event, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft entered service for the operation of flight WO 770 departing Edmonton at 12:00 local time, en route to Phoenix (Mesa), Arizona with a scheduled arrival of 3:30 PM local time. Edmontonians can expect to see #Edmonton operating several of Swoop’s newly announced routes.

Full schedule details of Swoop’s service from Edmonton can be found below.

 Domestic Routes

RoutePeak Weekly
Frequency
Start DateTotal one-
way fare
(CAD)
 †
Base Fare
(CAD)
Taxes and
Fees (CAD)
 
Edmonton – Halifax*5x weeklyMay 1, 2022$159$104.35$54.65
Edmonton – Charlottetown*2x weeklyJune 16, 2022$159$104.35$54.65
Edmonton – Kelowna*7x weeklyMay 5, 2022$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Ottawa*4x weeklyApril 25, 2022$59$9.12$49.88
Edmonton – Comox*3x weeklyJune 9, 2022$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Regina*2x weeklyJune 16. 2022$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Saskatoon*2x weeklyJune 14, 2022$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Moncton*2x weeklyJune 17, 2022$159$104.35$54.65
Edmonton – London3x weeklyJune 2, 2022$59$9.11$49.88
Edmonton – Winnipeg4x weeklyContinuing$160$105.30$54.69
Edmonton – Toronto14x weeklyContinuing$59$9.12$49.88
Edmonton – Hamilton7x weeklyContinuing$60$10.06$49.94
Edmonton – Abbotsford7x weeklyContinuing$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Victoria7x weeklyContinuing$60$12.06$47.94
†Special introductory fares are limited quantity. Book by November 29, 2021 for travel between May 2 and June 22, 2022.

Transborder Routes

RoutePeak Weekly
Frequency
Start DateTotal one-
way fare
(CAD)
 †
Base Fare
(CAD)
Taxes and
Fees (CAD)
 
Edmonton – Las Vegas7x weeklyContinuing$99$8.84$90.16
Edmonton – Phoenix (Mesa)1x weeklyContinuing$110$18.36$91.63
† Book by November 29, 2021 for travel between May 2 and June 22, 2022.

New Service to Palm Springs

RoutePeak Weekly
Frequency
Start DateTotal one-
way fare
(CAD)
 †
Base Fare
(CAD)
Taxes and
Fees (CAD)
Edmonton – Palm Springs*2x WeeklyDecember 16, 2021$99$7.89$91.11
†Special introductory fares are limited quantity. Book by November 29, 2021 for travel between January 10 and February 19, 2022.

Supporting Quotes

“Swoop’s commitment to Edmonton is a clear sign that there is confidence in Alberta’s Recovery Plan. The new routes across Canada and to Palm Springs open up exciting opportunities for tourism and business.”

  • Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Transportation

“I want to thank Swoop for supporting the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. Having increased connections across Canada and beyond through Edmonton International Airport is vital for our region. As a major city contributing to Alberta’s recovery, strong air service will help us create jobs and grow our economy.”

  • Amarjeet Sohi, Mayor of Edmonton

“Next time you hear a plane passing over, look up, look way up, and you just might see #Edmonton flying by. Thank you Swoop for naming one of your fleet after our great community, we’re honoured you will help carry the name Edmonton across Canada and North America. Your dedication to the Edmonton Metropolitan Region is helping bring more low-cost travel options for our passengers and we can’t wait for these new destinations to start.”

  • Tom Ruth, President and CEO, Edmonton International Airport

To learn more about Swoop please visit FlySwoop.com and for information on how Swoop is ensuring a safe and healthy travel experience visit FlySwoop.com/traveller-safety.

About Swoop

Swoop is on a mission to make travel more affordable and accessible for all Canadians. Established in 2018 as an independent subsidiary of the WestJet Group of Companies, Swoop is Canada’s ultra-not-expensive airline. Offering scheduled service to destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean, Swoop’s unbundled fares put travellers in control of purchasing only the products and services they desire.

Swoop’s modern fleet of ten Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity has safely carried more than 3 million travellers in three years of operation. FlySwoop.com allows travellers to quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight.     

Source: Swoop 2022 Edmonton International Airport Economic Impacts performed by the Chris Lowe Group

Government of Canada announces additional Canadian airports accepting international passenger flights

Transport Canada

OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 2, 2021 /CNW/ – The Government of Canada is prioritizing the health and safety of all people in Canada by continuing to take a risk-based and measured approach to re-opening the border. Canada’s phased approach to easing border measures is informed by the available data and scientific evidence, including the vaccination rate of Canadians, and the improving epidemiological situation.

The strict vaccine travel requirements that will be fully phased in by November 30, and the pan-Canadian proof of vaccination credential now available for travel, are creating opportunities for safe travel for vaccinated Canadians.

As a next step in increasing travel opportunities, Transport Canada is easing the restriction on international flight arrivals. The department is expanding the scope of the existing Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that currently directs international passenger flights into 10 Canadian airports.

Effective on November 30, 2021, international flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at the following additional Canadian airports:

  • St. John’s International
  • John C. Munro Hamilton International
  • Region of Waterloo International
  • Regina International
  • Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International
  • Kelowna International
  • Abbotsford International
  • Victoria International

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 start safely welcoming international passengers as of November 30.

Consideration will be given to adding additional airports as conditions dictate, based on demand, operational capacity, the epidemiological situation in Canada, and recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The Government of Canada continues to work closely with airports and aviation operators to ensure appropriate procedures are put in place to protect travellers and workers.

Border and public health measures remain subject to change as the epidemiological situation evolves.

Quote

“Increased vaccination levels have allowed us to safely re-open these additional Canadian airports to international passenger flights. This measure will help ensure that travellers are able to access more regional airports for their international travels this winter, while continuing to support the Government of Canada’s measured approach to re-opening our border.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

Quick Facts

  • The 10 Canadian airports currently accepting international flights are: Halifax Stanfield International, Québec City Jean Lesage International, Montréal-Trudeau International, Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International, Toronto Pearson International, Billy Bishop Toronto City Centre, Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International, Edmonton International, Calgary International, and Vancouver International.

Associated Links

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news or stay connected through TwitterFacebookYouTube and Instagram to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.

Flair Airlines grows Winnipeg service with flights to Regina and Saskatoon

Service beginning in Spring 2022 key to Flair’s strategy to delight Saskatchewan and Manitoba passengers with low fares

Edmonton, Alberta, Oct. 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Flair Airlines, Canada’s only independent ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), continues to grow its 2022 schedule with the addition of twice weekly nonstop service between Winnipeg and Regina as well as Winnipeg and Saskatoon. The new routes are part of Flair’s unprecedented growth as the airline expands its fleet to 16 aircraft and creates new affordable connections across North America.

“Low fare travel has arrived for the Prairies and we are excited to connect more families and travelers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan,” said Stephen Jones, President and CEO, Flair Airlines. “Connecting Regina and Saskatoon to Winnipeg with sustainably low fares is an important step in Flair’s growth and we know our customers will love the service.”

“We eagerly anticipate the arrival of these new Flair service offerings between Winnipeg and Regina/Saskatoon at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “Our partnership with Flair is growing and their efforts to provide Manitobans with more convenient, low-cost domestic travel options are playing a critical role in quickly restoring the affordable, wide-ranging air services our community relies upon to sustain itself and grow.”

“Skyxe is thrilled with the continued expansion of our relationship with Flair Airlines. Winnipeg is a key domestic market for Saskatoon which will benefit from increased air service opportunities for our guests. The addition of Flair’s low cost air service option will provide residents of Saskatchewan the ability to visit friends and family in Winnipeg conveniently and more frequently,” said Stephen Maybury, President & CEO, Skyxe Saskatoon Airport.

“We are thrilled to see Flair Airlines introduce this new route between Regina and Winnipeg. Travelers in southern Saskatchewan want connections between these two cities. This is a fantastic addition from Flair to build on the other amazing Canadian cities they are already serving out of YQR,” said James Bogusz, President and CEO, Regina Airport Authority.

Flair is adding new 737 MAX aircraft to its fleet in 2022 as it strives to become Canada’s greenest and most sustainable airline. The new aircraft deliver fuel savings and reduce the airline’s CO2 emissions by 14%. Flair recently announced a 33 percent increase in its fleet and additional routes within Canada and to the US.

Fares on the new routes will start at $49 CAD one-way for both the Winnipeg-Regina and Winnipeg-Saskatoon routes, including taxes and fees. All routes and schedule details can be viewed at https://www.flyflair.com.

About Flair Airlines

Flair Airlines is Canada’s only independent Ultra Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC) and is on a mission to liberate the lives of Canadians by providing affordable air travel that connects them to the people and experiences they love. With an expanding fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, Flair is growing to serve 28 cities across Canada and the U.S. For more information, please visit http://www.flyflair.com.

New Routes

  • Winnipeg – Regina (YWG-YQR) – 2x weekly starting April 14, 2022
  • Winnipeg – Saskatoon (YWG-YXE) – 2x weekly starting April 16, 2022

Recently Announced & Current Winnipeg, Saskatoon & Regina Routes

  • Regina – Edmonton (YQR-YEG) – 2x weekly starting April 14, 2022
  • Regina – Toronto (YQR-YYZ) – 2x weekly ongoing
  • Regina – Vancouver (YQR-YVR) – 2x weekly resumes March 28, 2022
  • Saskatoon – Edmonton (YXE-YEG) – 2x weekly starting April 16, 2022
  • Saskatoon – Toronto (YXE-YYZ) – 2x weekly ongoing
  • Winnipeg – Abbotsford (YWG-YXX) – 2x weekly resumes December 16, 2021
  • Winnipeg – Calgary (YWG-YYC) – 2x weekly ongoing
  • Winnipeg – Edmonton (YWG-YEG) – 3x weekly starting April 15, 2022
  • Winnipeg – Waterloo (YWG-YKF) – 2-3x weekly ongoing
  • Winnipeg – Ottawa (YWG-YOW) – 2x weekly ongoing
  • Winnipeg – Toronto (YWG-YYZ) – 2-6x weekly ongoing
  • Winnipeg – Vancouver (YWG-YVR) – 2-4x weekly ongoing

					

Flair Airlines grows schedule 33% in Canada and the U.S. with four new aircraft

  • Service will launch in Spring 2022 to San Francisco, Nashville, and Denver in the U.S., between Toronto and Victoria and to Comox, B.C., in Canada
  • Canadian ULCC adds four aircraft to bases in Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver
  • 150 new jobs created from schedule and fleet growth

Edmonton, Alberta, Oct. 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Flair Airlines, Canada’s only independent ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), continues its unprecedented growth with the deployment of four brand new 737 MAX aircraft in April and May 2022. Two additional aircraft will be added to Flair’s Toronto base, bringing the total there to five.  A second aircraft will be added to Flair’s Edmonton base and a third aircraft to its Vancouver base. Flair’s Spring 2022 schedule will expand from twelve aircraft to sixteen, delivering 33% schedule growth.

A whopping 14 new routes will be added, including service to four fantastic new destinations. Three new cities will be added to Flair’s network in the US, allowing Canadians to finally travel affordably to San Francisco, Nashville, and Denver.  Flair will also launch Comox as a second gateway to Vancouver Island, complementing existing service to Victoria and allowing visitors to explore even more of the island.

“Travelling and reconnecting with friends will be among the top priorities for many Canadians in the coming months, and Flair is continuing our growth by adding more aircraft and routes so we can bring sustainably low fares to even more iconic destinations across North America,” said Stephen Jones, President and CEO, Flair Airlines. “Whether you’re looking for a weekend break on Vancouver Island or hiking in the Rockies, Flair will get you there affordably.”

With the addition of these four aircraft, Flair will create 150 new jobs for flight attendants, pilots and operational support staff. Flair is currently recruiting for 100 pilot positions to meet the needs of its growing fleet.

Flair is adding new 737 MAX aircraft as it strives to achieve the lowest cost per seat mile of any Canadian airline. The aircraft deliver fuel savings and reduce the airline’s CO2 emissions by 14%. Lower per passenger emissions are a vital step in lowering Flair’s carbon footprint as it works to become Canada’s greenest and most sustainable airline.

Fares to US destinations start between $99 and $129 CAD one-way and several of the new domestic Canadian routes have fares as low as $49 CAD one way, including taxes and fees. All routes and schedule details can be viewed at https://www.flyflair.com.

Flair is also starting service to 6 US destinations this Fall and currently serves 18 destinations in Canada. Flair is growing to serve 28 destinations by spring 2022. 

Toronto Pearson Base Grows to 5 Aircraft

The addition of two aircraft based in Toronto will grow Flair’s footprint to five aircraft. Flair will be providing low fares on nonstop flights to 19 destinations from Toronto Pearson Airport.

“We are excited to welcome Flair’s new routes as they expand their network and offer Canadians more options to travel to the U.S. as well as the picturesque destination of Victoria, BC. Passengers travelling through Pearson can do so confidently with many measures in place to keep them safe, such as no- and low-touch check-in and bag drop, improved air quality and contactless shopping and dining options,” said Craig Bradbrook, Chief Operating Officer, Greater Toronto Airports Authority.

Edmonton Base Opening in December

In December, Flair will be opening a base in Edmonton with the addition of a new aircraft and adding new nonstop service to Hollywood-Burbank, Las Vegas, Palm Springs and Phoenix-Mesa. The spring addition of routes to Nashville, San Francisco, Comox, Regina, Montreal, Winnipeg and Saskatoon will join the nonstop flights Flair currently provides to 7 domestic destinations from Edmonton.

“Grab a guitar and get ready to go! Edmonton loves country music and we’re excited to have Nashville joining our list of non-stop destinations. All new and added service supports our recovery which is important for both our business community and leisure travellers. I want to thank Flair for adding these American destinations along with significant increases in service for several Canadian cities. I’m confident our community will embrace these flights and this increased service from Flair,” said Tom Ruth, President and CEO, Edmonton International Airport.

Additional Vancouver Growth

Adding a third aircraft to the Vancouver base allows Flair to expand service in Western Canada. The nonstop flights to San Francisco and Kelowna will follow new service starting this Fall that includes nonstop flights from Vancouver to Hollywood-Burbank, Palm Springs, Phoenix-Mesa and Las Vegas.

“We are thrilled to support the growth of Flair’s network from YVR. This latest announcement will mean new options out of YVR to popular destinations to BC’s interior and south of the border,” said Russell Atkinson, Director, Air Service Development, Vancouver Airport Authority. “With more people being vaccinated and travel measures easing, we look forward to continued increased service from Flair which will benefit the community and the economy that supports it.”

ULCC Growth Benefits Canadian Travellers

With the addition of new aircraft and more capacity, Flair is providing more affordable air travel options across Canada and to the USA. As travel returns, Flair’s low fares will help kickstart tourism and reconnect families.  

“We’re excited to welcome Flair Airlines to Nashville International Airport®, which means more connectivity between Nashville and Canadian destinations,” said Doug Kreulen, Nashville International Airport president and CEO. “Edmonton is an outstanding new addition to BNA’s® portfolio of international flights, and more service to Toronto is great news for everyone. We look forward to welcoming Flair passengers to Nashville next April with ultra-low fares.”

“Expanding Denver’s global connectivity not only aids in our economic recovery, it also continues to elevate our city as a global hub,” Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “As borders reopen and we begin to welcome back international travel, the investment by Flair into Denver is a big boost for our community and local businesses.”

“We’re excited to see our partnership with Flair continue to evolve as we work to restore in-demand travel options interrupted amid the pandemic,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “The return of this route will provide travellers with additional, convenient options when flying between Winnipeg and Edmonton, whether to visit family and friends or pursue business or study opportunities. We look forward to welcoming back this popular route, meeting our community’s needs through services at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport.”

“Skyxe is excited to be expanding our relationship with Flair Airlines. Edmonton is a high traffic market for Saskatoon, and we hope the addition of Flair’s low cost service option will allow many of our residents to visit friends and family in Edmonton more often,” said Stephen Maybury, CEO of Skyxe Saskatoon Airport.

“We’re very excited that Flair Air has chosen Comox as the gateway to central Vancouver Island,” said Mike Atkins, CEO of the Comox Valley Airport Commission. “As air travel continues to rebound, Flair’s service to Calgary and Edmonton will provide incredible low-cost options to visitors, businesses and friends and family alike. We can’t wait to share the beauty of Vancouver Island with Flair’s passengers.” 

“We are delighted to see more options for passengers on the very popular Vancouver – Kelowna and Victoria – Kelowna routes as we continue to see more growth by Flair out of Kelowna,” said Sam Samaddar, Airport Director, Kelowna International Airport.

About Flair Airlines

Flair Airlines is Canada’s only independent Ultra Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC) and is on a mission to liberate the lives of Canadians by providing affordable air travel that connects them to the people and experiences they love. With an expanding fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, Flair is growing to serve 28 cities across Canada and the U.S. For more information, please visit http://www.flyflair.com.

New Destinations for March & April 2022:

USA

  • Nashville, TN (BNA)
  • Denver, CO (DEN)
  • San Francisco, CA (SFO)

CANADA

  • Comox, BC (YQQ)

New Routes

USA

  • Toronto – Nashville (YYZ-BNA) – 2x weekly starting April 14, 2022
  • Toronto – Denver (YYZ-DEN) – 3x weekly starting April 15, 2022
  • Edmonton – Nashville (YEG-BNA) – 2x weekly starting April 14, 2022
  • Edmonton – San Francisco (YEG-SFO) – 2x weekly starting April 14, 2022
  • Vancouver – San Francisco (YVR-SFO) – 3x weekly May 17, 2022

CANADA

  • Calgary – Comox (YYC-YQQ) – 3x weekly starting March 29, 2022
  • Edmonton – Comox (YEG-YQQ) – 3x weekly starting March 29, 2022
  • Edmonton – Regina (YEG-YQR) – 2x weekly starting April 14, 2022
  • Edmonton – Montreal (YEG-YUL) – 3x weekly starting April 15, 2022
  • Edmonton – Winnipeg (YEG-YWG) – 3x weekly starting April 15, 2022
  • Edmonton – Saskatoon (YEG-YXE) – 3x weekly starting April 15, 2022
  • Toronto – Victoria (YYZ-YYJ) – 1x weekly starting May 7, 2022
  • Vancouver – Kelowna (YVR-YLW) – 3x weekly starting May 16, 2022
  • Kelowna – Victoria (YLW–YYJ) – 3x weekly starting May 16, 2022

Seven regional airports across the Prairies receiving more than $8 million to maintain regional connectivity and jobs

Targeted Government of Canada support will be provided by Prairies Economic Development Canada

EDMONTON, AB, Aug. 13, 2021 /CNW/ – Regional air transportation is crucial to local economic growth, the movement of goods and the connectivity of Canadians across the country. The pandemic has had major impacts on regional air transportation ecosystems, affecting communities and local businesses from coast to coast to coast.

Seven regional airports across the Prairies receiving more than $8 million to maintain regional connectivity and jobs (CNW Group/Prairies Economic Development Canada)

The Government of Canada’s Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI), launched in March 2021, fosters access to air transportation and supports regional ecosystems. In particular, it enables regional air carriers and airports to remain operational in these difficult times and to continue contributing to regional economic growth, while adapting to new post-COVID-19 realities and requirements.

Prairie airports to benefit from funding

With this in mind, Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada, announced up to $8,456,930 in RATI funding for seven regional airports in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. This funding will enable these airports to overcome challenges that were brought on by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regional air transportation is key to the economic development of communities and businesses across Canada. Since it helps draw Canadians to rural and remote communities to work and raise their families, while also providing reliable connectivity with urban centres, it plays a crucial role in a just, inclusive recovery for all, throughout the country.

Quotes

“It is important to protect our regional air transportation ecosystems for the thousands of workers employed by this sector and for the many businesses and communities that depend on it. We know that air connectivity to all regions is essential to healthy, inclusive economic growth, and supporting it is part of our plan to build back a stronger, more resilient economy.” 
     – The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada

“Regional airports and infrastructure are important to residents and businesses across the Prairies. They play a critical role for the economy as people depend on them for both personal and business travel and to access services in larger centres. This funding will go a long way to getting these assets back on their feet as Canada begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and we reopen our economy.” 
     – Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (Canada Water Agency)

Projects being funded:

RecipientLocationFunding
City of LloydminsterLloydminster, ABup to $   348,000
Grande Prairie Airport CommissionGrande Prairie, ABup to $1,415,200
Regina Airport AuthorityRegina, SKup to $2,464,000
Saskatoon Airport AuthoritySaskatoon, SKup to $2,664,000
City of BrandonBrandon, MBup to $   455,750
City of Flin FlonFlin Flon, MBup to $   527,160
Thompson Regional Airport AuthorityThompson, MBup to $   582,820
Total Funding                                                          up to $8,456,930

Quick facts

  • RATI, administered by the regional development agencies (RDAs), has a national budget of $206 million.
  • The Initiative supports regional air ecosystems—which include regional air carriers and airports, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises and non-profit organizations—in developing and implementing enhanced services for improved regional connectivity.
  • RATI complements measures implemented by Transport Canada.

Associated links

Regina airport passenger traffic tripled from May to July

From CTV News – link to source story and video – thanks to CW

Gate 6 at the Regina International Airport is seen in this file image. (Gareth Dillistone/CTV News)

Brendan Ellis, CTVNewsRegina.ca Digital Content Producer | Friday, July 16, 2021

REGINA — Passenger traffic at the Regina International Airport rebounded in the month of July following Saskatchewan’s reopening.

James Bogusz, president and CEO of the Regina Airport Authority, said the number of passengers coming through YQR has more than tripled since May.

“We’re trending at over 35 per cent, a heck of a lot better than where we were at nine per cent in May,” Bogusz said, in an interview with CTV Morning Live Regina.

While the airport remains in a challenging financial spot due to the past 15 months of limited air travel, Bogusz said the upwards trend is a positive sign.

“The optimism of finally seeing a passenger rebound has certainly caused a sigh of relief here at the airport. We have a long way to go, but we’re on the right track,” he said.

Following the lead of airports in the United States, Bogusz hopes the airport could get much closer to pre-pandemic traffic levels within the next year. He said U.S. airports are currently averaging around 75 per cent of pre-pandemic passenger levels.

“I can only hope we follow suit and hopefully in six or eight months we’ll at least be back to 60, 70 per cent and working our way back to normal,” Bogusz said.

“It’s hard to know though, until those international restrictions are lifted and we basically have a little more relaxation in a few other provinces to know when we could peg that date, but its coming a lot sooner than it was a few months back.”

For potential travellers looking to fly out of YQR, some COVID-19 restrictions remain in place. While the mask mandate was lifted in Saskatchewan on July 11, face coverings are still mandatory on the second floor during pre-board screening, and when lined up or on aircraft.

Masks remain optional in other areas of the building.

“Everyone’s going at their own pace, so just please give some space and be patient with people’s choices, everyone’s going to be taking some time of course to recover from this pandemic,” Bogusz said.

INTERNATIONAL STATUS UPDATE

The international status of YQR is still up in the air, as the airport awaits word from the federal government.

Transport Canada announced in January that Regina – and numerous other airports in Canada – could lose international status if certain requirements were not met. 

“Right now, much like many other airports in the country of our size, [we are] still in limbo,” Bogusz said.

The airport has new routes planned through Sunwing, with non-stop service to six sun destinations starting in December. However, the airport is still working out the details with regards to those flights.

“We just hope to understand what requirements we’re going to have at the airport to accept those flights come the winter. Still a work in progress,” he added.

Airports hoping to keep their status had to make their case to Transport Canada by the end of June.

More domestic flights returning to Okanagan with B.C. again welcoming Canadian travellers

From CBC News – link to source story

Despite loosened travel restrictions, it’s still uncertain when international flights will return to Kelowna

Winston Szeto · CBC News · Jul 06, 2021

The Kelowna International Airport is welcoming back domestic flights under the third phase of B.C.’s restart plan, which allows British Columbians to travel across the country for recreational purposes. (YLW)

The major airport serving B.C.’s Okanagan region has seen far more flights coming and going since the reopening of the province, but it’s still unknown when international flights will return. 

Since the province entered the third phase of its reopening plan on July 1, British Columbians have been able to travel across the country for recreational purposes. Before that, they could fly to and from Kelowna International Airport (YLW), but were advised not to unless it was essential travel. 

Sam Samaddar, director of YLW, says travellers can now fly to 14 Canadian destinations from Kelowna, with Montreal, Ottawa, Hamilton, Kitchener, Ont., Regina and Saskatoon recently added to the list. 

Due to international travel restrictions, the Kelowna airport hasn’t yet resumed operation of routes to Seattle, Cancun, Los Cabos, and Varadero, which accounted for up to 30 per cent of the airport’s traffic before the pandemic. 

In 2019, two million passengers passed through Kelowna International Airport, making it one of the busiest airports in the country. 

Samaddar says he cannot predict when the airport will provide international air services again. 

“We have international flights only designated to come into … the four major airports in the country, so we’re not even allowed to accept international flights at this point,” he said Monday to Dominika Lirette, guest host of CBC’s Daybreak South.

Under the federal government’s travel restrictions, international flights can only land in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. Foreign non-essential air travellers are still prohibited from entering Canada, and Canadians are still discouraged from travelling overseas for non-essential purposes.

International flights are currently allowed to land in four Canadian airports only, including Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The travel restrictions between Canada and the United States preventing all non-essential trips are to remain in place until at least July 21.

But international border restrictions started to loosen on Monday. Canadians and permanent residents who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada are now able to forgo the 14-day quarantine, which has been a requirement since March of last year. 

Samaddar says even if Canada reopens borders with the United States and other countries, it may take years before international business travellers return.

“Businesses are having to recover themselves and they’re also trying to understand the landscape before they send their staff abroad or internationally to do business or in person,” he said. “They don’t want to risk their staff … putting them in an environment where they may not know what the outcome is in terms of the safety of their employees.”

With files from Daybreak South

WestJet reconnecting routes across British Columbia

Airline to restart eight routes and inaugurate new flights between nine communitiesby early July

CALGARY, AB, June 25, 2021 /CNW/ – WestJet is further restoring British Columbia’s domestic and interprovincial connectivity with the restart of eight routes to and from destinations across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. The airline is also set to inaugurate 10 new routes by July 5, 2021. Full schedule details and resumption dates are outlined below.

“We continue to work towards the restoration of our pre-COVID domestic network to ensure that when our guests are ready to travel, we are there for them,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “WestJet remains committed to building back stronger for the betterment of all Canadians and as we look ahead to reconnecting friends, family and loved ones, the safe restart of travel is essential to Canada’s economic recovery.”

WestJet’s investments are critical to ensuring British Columbia’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and by the end of June, the airline is set to inaugurate new flights between Abbotsford and Prince George and restore WestJet Link service between Vancouver and Cranbrook.

“As a leader in aviation, WestJet has been working with industry, tourism and business across the province to ensure their voices are being heard as we safely restart travel. We thank Premier Horgan and his government for prioritizing travel as a critical component of the government’s restart plan. While progress has been made in British Columbia, we continue to advocate for safe travel framework from the Government of Canada,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President.

This July, WestJet will offer non-stop service from Vancouver to 18 cities, from Victoria to eight cities, from Kelowna to seven cities, from Comox to four cities and from Nanaimo to three cities. From the communities of Kamloops, Penticton and Prince George, the airline will connect to two communities non-stop.

Love Where You’re Going Again – WestJet’s Latest Video

For more than 17 months, Canadians from coast-to-coast have been separated from the people and places they love. WestJet’s latest brand moment is a reminder to Canadians that it’s time to love where they’re going, again.

British Columbia route restarts between now and June 30, 2021

RoutePeak FrequencyRoute restart date
Victoria – Winnipeg *3x weeklyJune 24, 2021 
Kelowna – Regina *2x weeklyJune 24, 2021 
Nanaimo – Vancouver  2x dailyJune 25, 2021 
Nanaimo – Edmonton *2x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Comox – Vancouver  2x dailyJune 25, 2021 
Kelowna – Saskatoon *2x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Kelowna – Victoria  4x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Vancouver – Cranbrook  1x dailyJune 25, 2021 
Abbotsford – Prince George *2x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Prince George – Calgary  4x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Victoria – Ottawa * 1x weeklyJune 26, 2021 
Comox – Edmonton 5x weeklyJune 26, 2021 
Comox – Toronto *1x weeklyJune 26, 2021 
Victoria – Saskatoon *2x weeklyJune 27, 2021 
Victoria – Toronto2x weeklyJune 30, 2021
Penticton – Edmonton * 2x weeklyJuly 4, 2021
Kamloops – Edmonton *2x weeklyJuly 5, 2021
Vancouver – Fort St. John 4x weeklyJuly 13, 2021
*New Route

About WestJet 

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.

WestJet reconnecting Alberta routes

Airline to restart 10 routes across province and inaugurate new service from Edmonton to Penticton, Kamloops and Nanaimo

Non-stop service between Calgary-Charlottetown to launch on July 29

CALGARY, AB, June 25, 2021 /CNW/ -WestJet is further restoring Alberta’s domestic and interprovincial connectivity with the restart of 10 routes to and from destinations across British Columbia, the Yukon, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia from Calgary, Edmonton and Medicine Hat. The airline will also start operation of three new routes to and from Edmonton and begin non-stop service between Calgary and Charlottetown. Full schedule details and resumption dates are outlined below.

“We continue to work towards the restoration of our pre-COVID domestic network to ensure that when our guests are ready to travel, we are there for them,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “WestJet remains committed to building back stronger for the betterment of all Canadians, and as we look ahead to reconnecting friends, family and loved ones, the safe restart of travel is essential to Canada’s economic recovery.”

Connecting Alberta to Prince Edward Island non-stop

After being delayed due to the pandemic, WestJet will bridge new domestic connections between the east and the west with the introduction of new twice-weekly, non-stop service between Charlottetown, P.E.I., and Calgary, beginning July 29. The service connecting the two provinces was previously scheduled to start in June 2020.

WestJet’s investments are critical to ensuring Alberta’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and this July, WestJet will offer non-stop service from Calgary to 42 cities and from Edmonton to 16 cities. 

“This week’s meeting with more than 70 Northern Alberta industry partners demonstrates the value of listening to our partners as we enter the recovery phase of the pandemic. We thank Premier Kenney and his government for leading the safe restart of travel for Albertans. While progress has been made in Alberta, we continue to advocate for a safe travel framework from the Government of Canada,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President.

Love Where You’re Going Again – WestJet’s Latest Video

For more than 17 months, Canadians from coast-to-coast have been separated from the people and places they love. WestJet’s latest brand moment is a reminder to Canadians that it’s time to love where they’re going, again.

Alberta route restarts between now and July 6, 2021

RoutePeak FrequencyRoute restart date
Edmonton – Nanaimo*2x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Regina 6x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Comox 5x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Calgary – Prince George4x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Calgary – London, Ont.4x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Winnipeg 6x weeklyJune 30, 2021
Calgary – Windsor2x weeklyJune 26, 2021
Calgary – Whitehorse2x weeklyJune 27, 2021
Calgary – Medicine Hat5x weeklyJune 27, 2021
Edmonton – Halifax 2x weeklyJuly 1, 2021
Edmonton – Penticton*2x weeklyJuly 3, 2021
Edmonton – Kamloops*2x weeklyJuly 4, 2021
Edmonton – Saskatoon 6x weeklyJuly 6, 2021
Calgary – Charlottetown *2x weeklyJuly 29, 2021
*New route

About WestJet 

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.