Air Transat and WestJet launch Transatlantic codeshare

MONTREAL and CALGARY, AB, April 28, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Today, Air Transat and WestJet have launched a new transatlantic codeshare. WestJet’s “WS” code is now activated for sale on select Air Transat operated flights to/from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, and Croatia. Connections via Montreal and Toronto are now available for flight dates beginning May 17, 2022.

On May 4, 2022, Air Transat’s “TS” code will be activated on select WestJet flights, and from that date Air Transat will also offer itineraries connecting select WestJet flights with appealing Air Transat European destinations. 

“We are very excited to launch this codeshare agreement with WestJet,” said Michèle Barre, Vice President, Network, Revenue Management and Pricing of Air Transat.  “The complementarity of our respective networks allows us to offer more alternatives to our customers, providing them with a quality and affordable product. This partnership is part of Air Transat’s development strategy, enhancing our long-standing presence in the transatlantic market.”

“This new codeshare with Air Transat complements our growing global network, allowing WestJet to offer guests exciting new destinations in Europe,” said John Weatherill, Chief Commercial Officer, WestJet.  “As our guests return to travel, these new options will connect North America and Europe in new ways and benefit guests on both sides of the Atlantic.” 

With this new codeshare, guests now have more options for their transatlantic travel, and will enjoy conveniences such as a single purchase for connecting flights, the ability to check in for all flights at their first departure, and baggage checked through to their final destination.

Once activated, both Air Transat and WestJet codeshare ticket sales will be available via the carriers’ websites and call centers, as well as via major GDS systems and travel agencies.

Subject to connectivity between their scheduled flights, Air Transat and WestJet will both offer the following transatlantic routings:

WestJet
Operated Flights
Air Transat “TS”
Codeshare
Applied
Connection
Via
Air Transat Operated Flights
WestJet “WS” Codeshare Applied
Deer Lake
St. John’s
Halifax
Sydney
Fredericton
Moncton
Charlottetown
Montreal
Quebec City 
London, ON
Ottawa
Thunder Bay
Toronto
Winnipeg
Regina
Saskatoon
Boston
N.Y. LaGuardia
Montreal

Toronto
France:  Bordeaux, Marseille, Nantes, Nice 

Italy:  Lamezia, Rome

Spain: Malaga  

Portugal:  Faro

Switzerland: Basel-Mulhouse

Croatia: Zagreb

About Air Transat

Founded in Montreal 35 years ago, Air Transat is a leading leisure travel brand. Voted World’s Best Leisure Airline by passengers at the Skytrax World Airline Awards, it flies to international and Canadian destinations, striving to serve its customers with enthusiasm and friendliness at every stage of their trip or stay, and emphasizing safety throughout. It is renewing its fleet with the greenest aircraft in their category as part of a commitment to a healthier environment, knowing that this is essential to its operations and the magnificent destinations it offers. Air Transat is a business unit of Transat A.T. Inc., a world-renowned holiday travel provider that has achieved Travelife certification in 2018 in recognition of its sustainability commitments.

About the WestJet Group of Companies 

In 26 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.

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit www.westjet.com

Air Canada Affirms Market Leadership by Expanding its North American Network this Summer as Recovery Accelerates

  • Seven New Routes launching from three Canadian hubs
  • Restoration of 41 North American routes, return to 11 North American cities
  • Air Canada offers the most seats, frequencies of any Canadian carrier with 90% of its pre-pandemic North American capacity this summer
  • Air Canada’s leadership and unique extensive network will stimulate the recovery of the travel and tourism industry

MONTREAL, Feb. 22, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada today announced an expansion of its North American network for Summer 2022 as the carrier’s recovery from COVID accelerates. With the launch of new service on four transborder and three domestic routes, as well as the restoration of 41 North American routes, Air Canada will operate to 51 Canadian and 46 U.S airports this summer and offer customers the largest network and most travel options of any Canadian carrier.

New services will be launching to the U.S. from Montreal to Atlanta and Detroit, Toronto to Salt Lake City, and Vancouver to Austin. Within Canada, three new routes will begin between Montreal and Gander, Calgary and Fort St John, and Vancouver and Halifax. Additionally, service will be restored on 41 North American routes, including: 13 routes from Toronto, nine from Montreal, five from Ottawa, five from Vancouver, four from Calgary, three from Halifax, and two from Edmonton. The routes are timed to connect with Air Canada’s domestic, U.S. and international network at the airline’s global hubs in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal 

“Canadians are ready to travel, and we’re excited to be offering a very significant growth in our schedule this summer. With our recovery accelerating and North American flying reaching 90% of pre-pandemic levels this summer, we are offering more options across the continent, including seven new city pairs from our Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver hubs, and the resumption of 41 suspended or previously announced new routes. These changes will also grow and cement our position as the leading carrier of choice in the transborder market, with the most non-stop flying between Canada and the U.S. and as the foreign carrier with the most service to the U.S. Moreover, our revitalized North American network, designed to connect easily with our global network, gives customers by far the widest choice of routings and destinations of any Canadian carrier this summer,” said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada.

“To match our unrivalled network, we are also enhancing our award-winning airport and onboard services. All 23 of our Maple Leaf Lounges are now open, with new features such as ordering from your seat for safety and greater convenience, and we have introduced a range of touchless airport services that make the check-in and boarding process more convenient. Customers can also benefit from our transformed Aeroplan program, which offers members greater value and flexibility when redeeming reward travel. And, of course, all customers will enjoy Air Canada’s industry leading customer service, recognized at the most recent Skytrax World Airline Awards, where our people won for Best Airline Employees in Canada and in North America.”

Award Winning Service

Select routes will feature wide-body aircraft with Air Canada Signature Class, with lie flat seating, and Premium Economy. Seats in all cabins are available for purchase now at aircanada.com, via the Air Canada App, Air Canada’s Contact Centres, and travel agents.

Air Canada’s onboard services on flights greater than two hours feature new Economy Class Bistro selections, including products by Canadian brands and partners, such as meals inspired by celebrated Montreal Chef Jerome Ferrer.

All customers can collect and redeem points through Aeroplan, Canada’s leading loyalty program, when travelling with Air Canada, and eligible customers have access to priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounges, priority boarding and other benefits.

New Transborder and Domestic Routes 

Flight From To Frequency Start Date 
AC 799 Toronto Salt Lake City Thu, Sat, Sun 02 JUN 
AC 8567 AC 8569 Montreal Atlanta  Double Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8581 AC 8583 Montreal Detroit Double Daily 01 JUN 
AC 1062 Vancouver Austin Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun 01 JUN 
AC 7900 MontrealGander Daily 25 JUN 
AC 362 Vancouver Halifax Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun 01 MAY 
AC 8453 Calgary Fort St. John Daily 01 MAY 

Returning and Previously Announced New Routes

Flight From To Frequency Start Date 
AC 8680 AC 8682 Toronto Baltimore Double Daily 15 MAY 
AC 8745 AC 8747 Toronto Charlotte Double Daily 01 MAY 
AC 8705AC 8707Toronto Cincinnati Double Daily 01 MAY 
AC 8895AC 8897 Toronto Indianapolis Double Daily 15 MAY 
AC 513 Toronto Portland Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri 27 JUN 
AC 8795 AC 8797 Toronto St. Louis Double Daily 07 MAY 
AC 8590 Toronto Hartford Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8917 Toronto Milwaukee Daily 01 JUL 
AC 8677 Toronto New Orleans Daily 01 JUL 
AC 8865 Toronto Kansas City Daily 01 JUL 
AC 1941 TorontoFort McMurrayTues, Thu, Sat03 MAY
AC 1975Toronto NanaimoMon, Wed, Fri29 JUN 
AC 8410TorontoGanderDaily01 JUN 
AC 8791 Montreal Pittsburgh Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8735 Montreal Raleigh Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8759 Montreal Baltimore Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8771 Montreal Nashville Thu, Fri, Sat 02 JUN 
AC 1285 Montreal Phoenix Tue, Sat 03 MAY 
AC 527 Montreal San Diego Wed, Fri, Sun 20 MAY 
AC 515 Montreal Seattle Daily 31 MAY 
AC 1685 Montreal Victoria Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat 03 JUN 
AC 8543 Montreal ReginaDaily 01 MAY 
AC 8545 Montreal Saskatoon Daily 01 MAY 
AC 532 Vancouver Boston Daily 04 JUN 
AC 8596VancouverSacramentoDaily01 JUN
AC 539 Vancouver Anchorage Daily 07 MAY 
AC 8482 Vancouver Yellowknife Daily 01 JUN 
AC 1870 Vancouver Quebec Mon, Wed, Fri 02 MAY 
AC 8869 Ottawa Washington-Reagan Daily 01 MAY 
AC 8109 Ottawa Winnipeg Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8182 Ottawa Charlottetown Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8098 Ottawa Quebec City Daily 01 JUN 
AC 7701 AC 7705 AC 7709 AC 7711 Ottawa Toronto Island Up to 4 times Daily01 MAY 
AC 8661 Halifax Boston Daily 24 JUN 
AC 8549 Halifax Goose Bay Daily 30 APR 
AC 584 Calgary New York-Newark Daily 01 MAY 
AC 392 Calgary Halifax Daily 30 APR 
AC 1872 Calgary Quebec Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun 01 MAY 
AC 8289 Calgary Castlegar Daily 01 MAY 
AC 8563 Edmonton San Francisco Daily 01 MAY 
AC 8113 Edmonton Yellowknife Daily 01 JUN 

Air Canada may continue to adjust its schedule as more opportunities arise or based on COVID-19’s trajectory and the further easing of government travel restrictions.

Travel Policy: Book with confidence

Air Canada’s new refund policy is applicable to all tickets purchased. It offers customers the option of a full refund to the original form of payment, an Air Canada Travel Voucher or the equivalent value in Aeroplan Points with a 65% bonus should the airline cancel or reschedule a flight by more than three hours.

To book your next trip and for most updated schedule, visit aircanada.com.

Travelling internationally? Visit our Travel Ready Hub for the latest government entry requirements. Customers are responsible for ensuring they meet all government entry requirements, including holding the correct travel documents, visas, any required health certificates, and all other eligibility requirements for any flights they purchase. Government requirements may change with little notice.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline, the country’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 from the independent U.K. research firm Skytrax, which in 2021 also named Air Canada as having the Best Airline Staff in North America, Best Airline Staff in Canada, Best Business Class Lounge in North America, as well as an Excellence award for its handling of COVID-19. Also in 2021, Air Canada was named Global Traveler’s Best Airline in North America for the third 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. 

Swoop Announces Significant Fleet Growth and Domestic Network Expansion

  • Canada’s leading ultra-low fare airline to add six new Boeing MAX-8 aircraft
  • Airline to introduce non-stop service to Newfoundland this spring – enabling Canadians to reconnect coast-to-coast
  • Domestic network expansion adds 14 new non-stop routes including service to Deer Lake and St. John’s, Newfoundland; and Saint John, New Brunswick

CALGARY, AB, Feb. 9, 2022 /CNW/ – Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low fare airline, today announced it will grow its fleet from 10 to 16 aircraft with the acquisition of six new Boeing MAX-8 aircraft. Canada’s fast growing ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) confirmed it will begin receiving all six aircraft this summer as the airline rapidly expands to meet peak season travel demand.

Alongside this fleet growth, Swoop will significantly expand its domestic network, adding non-stop flights to Newfoundland and increasing service in Atlantic Canada. The ULCC will also add six new routes and capacity in Ontario and the Prairies in preparation for Canada’s busy summer travel season. The airline’s announced expansion comes as Swoop reports significantly increased passenger numbers and record bookings domestically.

“We saw demand for travel return in a very meaningful way over the holidays, signalling that Canadians are ready to reunite with family and friends,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial & Finance, Swoop. “The acquisition of six new aircraft in response to anticipated demand will ensure Swoop reconnects more Canadians this summer while accelerating Canada’s economic recovery.”

Today’s announced expansion will bring the ULCC’s total non-stop domestic routes served to 37 this summer and includes a significant investment in Atlantic Canada.

Significant Expansion and Investment in Atlantic Canada

Swoop’s investments in Atlantic Canada will see the airline begin service at three new destinations while increasing capacity across the region by 273 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels.

“Swoop is pleased to support Newfoundland and Labrador’s Come Home 2022 campaign and stimulate recovery of the visitor economy with access to affordable air travel,” said van der Stege. “We know how important the re-opening of travel and tourism is for regional economic recovery and continue to call on the federal government to outline a roadmap for the recovery of air travel that is based on science and reflective of the current realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Deer Lake – Hamilton, 2x weekly (May 21)
  • St. John’s – Hamilton, 5x weekly (June 13)
  • Deer Lake – Toronto, 2x weekly (June 20)

New Brunswick

  • Moncton – Hamilton – 4x weekly (May 9)
  • Saint John – Toronto – 4x weekly (May 12)
  • Moncton – Edmonton – 2x weekly (May 9)

Prince Edward Island

  • Charlottetown – Hamilton – 4x weekly (May 1)
  • Charlottetown – Toronto – 3x weekly (May 2)
  • Charlottetown – Edmonton – 2x weekly (May 1)

Halifax, Nova Scotia

  • Halifax – Edmonton – 5x weekly (May 1)
  • Halifax – Ottawa – Daily (June 19)

Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan to benefit from increased domestic capacity

Today’s network expansion announcement also includes new routes and increased frequencies in previously announced new stations: Ottawa, Saskatoon and Regina.

Ontario

  • Ottawa – Winnipeg – 4x weekly (June 19)
  • Winnipeg – Toronto – Daily (June 20)

Saskatchewan

  • Saskatoon – Winnipeg – 2x weekly (June 14)
  • Saskatoon – Toronto – 2x weekly (June 22)
  • Regina – Winnipeg – 2x weekly (June 16)
  • Regina – Toronto – 2x weekly (June 22)

Demand for affordable travel equates to record new bookings and job opportunities across Canada

Throughout the pandemic the ULCC model has proven especially resilient, with Swoop carrying around one million travellers in 2021. Despite ongoing travel restrictions Swoop saw strong demand for both domestic and international travel over the peak holiday period, a trend that has continued into the new year. The airline further demonstrated operational resilience, ranking amongst the most reliable airlines in Canada/North America, with a flight completion rate of 99.4 per cent and on-time arrival of 78 per cent in 2021.

In preparation of the airline’s fleet growth and network expansion, Swoop is ramping up staffing across Canada, creating jobs to support economic recovery and stimulating hospitality and tourism sectors from coast-to-coast.

Full Details of Swoop’s New Domestic Routes

RoutePeak
Weekly
Frequency
Start DateTotal one-
way fare
(CAD)
 
Base
Fare
(CAD)
Taxes and
Fees (CAD)
Hamilton to Charlottetown4x weeklyMay 1, 2022$49.00$1.29$47.71
Edmonton to Halifax5x weeklyMay 1, 2022$179.00$118.40$60.60
Toronto to Charlottetown3x weeklyMay 2, 2022$59.00$5.14$53.86
Hamilton to Moncton4x weeklyMay 9, 2022$79.00$27.84$51.16
Toronto to Saint John4x weeklyMay 12, 2022$59.00$5.14$53.86
Hamilton to Deer Lake2x weeklyMay 21, 2022$59.00$9.23$49.77
Hamilton to St. John’s5x weeklyJune 13, 2022$99.00$45.54$53.46
Winnipeg to Saskatoon2x weeklyJune 14, 2022$59.00$3.12$55.88
Winnipeg to Regina2x weeklyJune 16, 2022$59.00$3.12$55.88
Winnipeg to Ottawa4x weeklyJune 19, 2022$65.00$6.83$58.17
Halifax to OttawaDailyJune 19, 2022$60.00$0.10$59.90
Edmonton to Charlottetown2x weeklyJune 19, 2022$179.00$118.40$60.60
Toronto to Deer Lake2x weeklyJune 20, 2022$99.00$40.54$58.46
Toronto to WinnipegDailyJune 20, 2022$69.00$13.99$55.01
Edmonton to Moncton2x weeklyJune 20, 2022$179.00$118.40$60.60
Toronto to Regina2x weeklyJune 22, 2022$59.00$19.12$39.88
Toronto to Saskatoon2x weeklyJune 22, 2022$69.00$25.64$43.36
†Special introductory fares are limited quantity. Book by February 23, 2022 for travel between June 1 and July 15, 2022.

Additional Quotes

  • “Welcome Swoop to Newfoundland and Labrador! This is good news for the province as travel restrictions begin to ease and we prepare to host friends, family, and guests for Come Home Year in 2022. While offering travellers another airline option for leisure travel, this will also help spur economic recovery and the building of important business connections.”

–      The Honourable Steve Crocker, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

  • “We’re delighted to welcome Swoop Airlines to the Saint John Airport. We are committed to exceeding passenger expectations and travellers will love Swoop’s ultra-low fares and direct service from Saint John to Toronto.”

–       Alexander (Sandy) Ross, Saint John Airport (YSJ) President and CEO

  • “The Greater Moncton Roméo LeBlanc International Airport is very excited to welcome ultra-low fare airline Swoop to our airport and to New Brunswick! This is great news for our region and the traveling public, with a May 6th launch date and non-stop flights to both Hamilton and Edmonton from YQM in 2022, We are proud to be one of the 28 airports where Swoop operates and look forward to further growing their presence and activity at YQM. Fly Swoop!”

–       Bernard F. LeBlanc, President & CEO GMIAA – Managing Director YQM 

  • We are excited to welcome Swoop to Deer Lake as a new airline with new destinations for travellers leaving our region. It will also allow access to a new market for people in Western and South Western Ontario and for the first time Alberta. As we are recovering it will make it easy for families and friends to reconnect more often. It will also increase access for tourists to take in the many great experiences we offer in Western Newfoundland & Labrador.”

–        Tammy Priddle, President and CEO, Deer Lake Airport

  • “We are pleased to welcome Swoop as our newest airline partner. This link to Hamilton will enhance access to Ontario and provide travellers with a new and exciting option that we haven’t had before.”

–       Peter Avery, Chief Executive Officer, St. John’s International Airport Authority

  • “We are excited to see Swoop’s announcement of two new destinations for Prince Edward Island. This new service from Toronto and Hamilton, along with Swoop’s new flights from Edmonton this summer, is welcome news for our Island’s tourism industry and for Islanders looking for additional low fare travel options.”

–       Doug Newson, YYG Charlottetown Airport CEO

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, will grow to 16 with the addition of six Boeing MAX-8 in 2022. At FlySwoop.com travellers can quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight.     

Government of Canada supports Regina International Airport with new funding for critical infrastructure projects

Transport Canada

REGINA, SK, Feb. 3, 2022 /CNW/ – As Canada works towards recovery, investments in our airport infrastructure continue to be crucial to maintain safety, security, and connectivity for travellers, workers and communities. Government of Canada investments also help ensure Canada’s aviation industry is well positioned to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced new funding of close to $16 million to help the Regina International Airport recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support continued air services and important transportation infrastructure projects at the airport.

To help ensure safe airport operations for aircraft, passengers and crews, the airport will receive $13.2 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Critical Infrastructure Program to support the rehabilitation of Runway 13-31, including the replacement of runway pavement, sub-drainage and lighting systems, and the construction of runway end safety areas (RESA).

In addition to the funding for the critical infrastructure projects, the Government of Canada provided the Regina International Airport with $2.6 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Relief Fund to help it maintain continued airport operations and essential air services for residents and workers in Regina and surrounding communities.

Quotes

“As we move forward with the safe and gradual return of activity in the aviation sector, in a way that continues to support the health, safety, and security of all Canadians, it will be imperative that we continue to ensure a vibrant and competitive Canadian air sector. These critical investments will allow the Regina International Airport to invest in the infrastructure and tools needed to help re-invigorate the aviation industry and allow Canadians to feel safe and secure when they travel.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

Quick Facts

  • The Airport Critical Infrastructure Program, launched in May 2021, will provide $571.2 million in funding over five years to airports for eligible infrastructure projects related to safety, security, connectivity to mass transit systems, or testing and screening related to COVID-19 and its variants.
  • First introduced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the Airport Critical Infrastructure Program is part of a federal stimulus recovery plan designed to build a stronger, more inclusive and more resilient economy post-COVID-19.
  • The Airport Relief Fund, launched in May 2021, provided $64.8 million in funding in 2021-2022 for targeted airports whose 2019 revenues were less than $250 million.

Associated Links

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca.

The Rise And Fall Of Air Canada’s Budget Carrier Zip

From Simple Flying – link to source story

by Justin Hayward | January 2, 2022

The early 2000s were a peak time for low-cost airlines. There was growing competition in Europe and North American especially, with many new airlines starting service. In Canada, Air Canada launched subsidiary airlines to operate low-cost flights. Zip operated from 2001 to 2004, mostly competing directly on routes with WestJet.

Zip Air 737
Zip Air was one of the first Canadian budget airlines, operating up to 20 Boeing 737-200 aircraft. Photo: Aero Icarus via Wikimedia

Launching Zip in 2002

By the late 1990s, legacy airlines in Canada were under pressure from new low-cost airlines. WestJet, in particular, had expanded rapidly since its launch in 1996. Air Canada’s response to this competition was to launch subsidiary airlines to offer lower fares and the new no-frills unbundled fare concept. This left it free to maintain full service on Air Canada – similar to how it still operates today with Air Canada Rouge, although unbundled fares have now become mainstream, of course.

Air Canada launched its first low-cost subsidiary Air Canada Tango in 2001. This was based in Toronto and operated to many domestic destinations, as well as the southern United States and Mexico, with a strong leisure and holiday focus.

Air Canada Tango
Air Canada Tango launched just before Zip. Photo: Ken Fielding via Wikimedia

Zip followed in 2002 to compete more directly with WestJet. It focussed on alternative services on many key routes, including Abbotsford, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Saskatoon, Regina, and Winnipeg. It was based in Calgary. Zip flew its first flight in September 2002, from Winnipeg to Calgary.

Boeing 737s on domestic routes

Zip only ever operated the Boeing 737-200. These were all from the main Air Canada fleet. Some of its first aircraft were transferred over from Air Canada Tango (it moved to become an Airbus A320 operator only), with more aircraft joining from the main fleet. At its peak in 2003, it operated 20 737-200s. These were all configured the same, with 118 passengers in an all-economy cabin.

Like WestJet (and as pioneered in North America by Southwest Airlines), Zip introduced the model of charging for all additional services (including baggage and limited catering). This may seem standard these days for regional flights, but at the time, it was a new move for legacy airlines.

Zip Air 737
Several of Zip’s 737s were in a more traditional livery. Photo: Ken Fielding via Wikimedia

Bold branding

Zip certainly stood out for its branding. Although it was a subsidiary of Air Canada, it distanced itself more from the Air Canada brand, unlike Air Canada Tango. Several aircraft were painted in bright, often neon colors, and had an image of a bee flying along the lower edge of the fuselage. Others remained white with just a colored tail. It also used the three-letter ‘Zip’ branding inside the aircraft, placing the word ‘yum’ on napkins and ‘yuk’ on the sick bags.

Zip Air 737
Another of Zip’s 737s in bold colors. Photo: John Davies via Wikimedia

Ending service in 2004

Zip operated domestic routes, focussed on key WestJet markets, until 2004. It then ceased operations. Just like Air Canada Tango (which ceased operations the same year), it was not a failure. It has succeeded in gaining market share in its target markets, and operations were then merged into the main Air Canada brand. Air Canada adopted lower-cost and unbundled fares into its offering, starting the trend that continues in fares today.

The 737-200 aircraft were retired from Air Canada when Zip ended service. Most ended service in 2003, but the last remained registered in the fleet until April 2004.

Air Canada 737
Air Canada operated up to 38 737-200s, retiring them with Zip Air in 2004. Photo: Aero Icarus via Wikimedia

This marked the end of a long relationship between Air Canada and the 737-200 – it had operated the type since the 1970s. It then became an all-Airbus narrowbody operator until the 737 MAX entered service in 2018.

COVID-19: Regina International Airport reacts to federal government’s blanket travel advisory

From Global News – link to video and source story – Thanks to CW

By Jacob Carr, Global News | December 15, 2021

The federal government is advising against non-essential international travel as the omicron variant spreads across Canada, impacting Saskatchewan’s two international airports.

On Wednesday afternoon, the announcement came down from Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos that the federal government is reinstating the travel advisory against all non-essential travel.

And considering the ups and downs that the travel industry has been through since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, the news came as a gut punch to some of the staff at Regina International Airport.

“I think it’s a little bit deflating for sure,” said Regina Airport Authority customer service manager Justin Reves. “Especially when just a few weeks ago we had this removed and everybody was excited again. We had our international status come back and sending off our first international flights just a few days ago.

“Now it’s difficult and it’s going to be difficult for a lot of people to make decisions about what to do with their plans, and you know how important hot holidays are, especially in a place like Saskatchewan, and especially with last year most of them being cancelled,” he said.

Uncertainty around the Omicron COVID-19 variant has triggered a rapid escalation of new travel restrictions.

Saskatoon Airport’s president and CEO, Stephen Maybury also weighed in on the new advisory, “Although this federal announcement to restore the travel advisory against all non-essential international travel will inevitably hamper the recovery of the aviation and travel sector, we support the federal government in their decision to do what’s in the best interest of Canadians. We continue to do our part by being flexible and adaptive to rapidly changing travel measures in order to get Canadians safely where they need to go,” he said.

The new restrictions are also especially tough on airlines that have flights to primarily hot international destinations.

“Something like the Omicron variant, we know it’s going to have an impact, especially for companies like Sunwing, who fly out of here and run essentially all hot holidays to international destinations. That’s devastating for them,” said Reves.

Reves went on to say that the travel industry has been hit so hard over the last couple of years, so this is going to feel like a setback for a lot of operators in a lot of places.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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

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