Swoop Responds to Growing Demand for Ultra-Low-Cost Travel

Airline announces fleet expansion and winter flying as new daily bookings return to pre-pandemic levels

CALGARY, AB, June 10, 2021 /CNW/ – Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost carrier, today released its expanded winter schedule including increased non-stop domestic service and the re-introduction of flights to the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Following a sustained pattern of new daily bookings on par with pre-pandemic levels, the airline also announced it will proceed with planned fleet growth, inducting its tenth Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft into service this winter.  

The first Canadian airline to fully re-enter its entire fleet into service, Swoop will operate all nine of its aircraft domestically during peak summer. The airline’s winter schedule will provide travellers with ultra-low-cost flights across Canada, as well as to sun and fun destinations including Montego Bay in Jamaica, Las Vegas and Mesa/Phoenix in the U.S., and Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán in Mexico.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in demand for travel this summer, most especially in provinces where vaccination and re-opening plans are on track and clearly outlined,” said Charles Duncan, President of Swoop. “With the release of our winter schedule, those who are planning further ahead or dreaming of a vacation abroad can find our always affordable flights and Getaway packages available for booking through April 2022.”

As the airline that always has deals on already affordable flights, Swoop will offer scheduled winter service to 14 destinations, with ultra-low fares starting from just $40 CAD † total price in the example of a one-way Abbotsford to Edmonton flight. The addition of a tenth aircraft in time for the winter flying season will allow Canada’s leading ULCC to add new routes, destinations, and frequencies in pace with demand.

“Consumer confidence is coming back, and the message is clear, Canadians are ready to start planning that long overdue trip,” continued Duncan. “When travellers are ready, we look forward to safely welcoming them back onboard our aircraft.”

Details of Swoop’s Winter 2021 Schedule and flights currently for sale:

Domestic RoutesPeak Season
Frequency
Days of WeekService start dates
Toronto – Edmonton14x weekly2x DailyAlready in Service
Toronto – Abbotsford7x weeklyDailyJun 20
Toronto – Halifax7x weeklyDailyJul 16
Toronto – Kelowna7x weeklyDailyAlready in Service
Toronto – Victoria6x weeklyDaily, except
Saturday
Jun 24
Hamilton – Edmonton7x weeklyDailyAlready in Service
Hamilton – Abbotsford14x weekly2x DailyAlready in Service
Hamilton – Halifax4x weeklyMon, Thu, Fri, SunJun 24
Hamilton – Winnipeg4x weeklyTue, Thu, Fri, SatAlready in Service
Hamilton – Kelowna6x weeklyDaily, except
Saturday
Jun 20
Edmonton – Abbotsford14x weekly2x DailyAlready in Service
Edmonton – Winnipeg2x weeklyMon, FriNov 1
Edmonton – Victoria7x weeklyDailyAlready in Service
Winnipeg – Abbotsford7x weeklyDailyAlready in Service
Winnipeg – Kelowna3x weeklyTue, Thu, FriJun 24
Transborder RoutesPeak Season
Frequency
Days of WeekService start dates
Edmonton – Mesa/Phoenix4x weeklyMon, Wed, Fri, SatSept 17
Edmonton – Las Vegas5x weeklyMon, Tue, Thu, Fri,
Sun
Sept 23
Toronto – Mesa2x weeklyTue, ThuNov 2
Winnipeg – Mesa/Phoenix2x weeklyMon, FriNov 1
International RoutesPeak Season
Frequency
Days of WeekService start dates
Toronto – Puerto Vallarta2x weeklyWed, SunNov 3
Toronto – Cancun4x weeklyMon, Wed, Fri, SunSept 18
Toronto – Montego Bay3x weeklyTue, Thu, SatSept 11
Hamilton – Puerto Vallarta2x weeklyTue, FriOct 5
Hamilton- Cancun3x weeklyMon, Wed, SatOct 2
Hamilton – Montego Bay 1x weeklyFridayOct 15
Edmonton – Cancun3x weeklyMon, Wed, SatOct 2
Edmonton-Puerto Vallarta3x weeklyTue, Fri, SunOct 5
Edmonton – Mazatlán2x weeklyWed, SatOct 23
Winnipeg – Cancun3x weeklyTue, Thu, SunNov 7
Winnipeg – Puerto Vallarta2x weeklyMon, ThuNov 4
Abbotsford – Puerto
Vallarta
2x weeklyWed, SatNov 3

†One-way flight from Abbotsford (YXX) to Edmonton (YEG) when you book by June 20, for travel between October 31 – November 10, 2021.  Restrictions may apply, for full details see FlySwoop.com/deals.

To learn more about Swoop and find ultra-low fare flights, please visit FlySwoop.com.

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 nine 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.

Air Canada, WestJet, Transat, Sunwing and more: The latest updates amid the coronavirus pandemic

From Travelweek Canada – link to source story

TORONTO — Canada’s airlines took swift action amid border closures and travel restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s the latest from Canada’s airlines. This list is updated as we receive new information from each company. The latest information can always be found at the company’s website.

LATEST UPDATE: April 28, 2021 – Air North; April 15, 2021 – WestJet; April 7, 2021 – Sunwing

Additional updates below from Canadian Aviation News.


AIR CANADA

UPDATE from Canadian Aviation News: 14 April 2021 – Air Canada is extending its suspension of most sun destination flights through the end of May 2021.

UPDATED JAN. 29, 2021: Air Canada, along with Canada’s four other major carriers, has suspended its winter season sun flights effective Jan. 31 through April 30, upon request from the federal government. Impacted passengers can opt for future travel credits or refunds. More details are here: https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/book/travel-news-and-updates/2020/covid-19.html.


AIR NORTH

Air North, Yukon’s Airline is currently flying with a reduced schedule due to COVID and offering flights between Whitehorse and Vancouver, Kelowna, and Victoria. Effective May 5 Air North will be resuming flights between Whitehorse and Calgary & Edmonton as well. For more information on Air North’s schedule go to https://www.flyairnorth.com/flights/flight-schedules


FLAIR AIRLINES

UPDATED MARCH 31, 2021: Flair Airlines is expanding its network starting May 1 with service being added to Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo, Halifax and Saint John, plus service starting in June to Thunder Bay and Charlottetown. Service to Victoria is set to begin in July, and to Abbotsford in August. Flair will also add Montreal to its network effective July 1. The airline’s latest change policies are at https://flyflair.com/travel-info/customer-service/covid-19-updates.


PORTER AIRLINES

UPDATE from Canadian Aviation News: 12 April 2021 — Porter Airlines sets tentative restart date to 21 June 2021.

UPDATED MARCH 2, 2021: Porter Airlines has pushed back its planned restart date to May 19, 2021. Further updates will be provided this winter based on the status of the pandemic and government measures, said President and CEO Michael Deluce.


SUNWING

UPDATED APRIL 7, 2021: Sunwing’s domestic summer program is now open for bookings. Flights start in May 2021 and run until the beginning of September 2021. Sunwing, along with Canada’s four other major carriers, suspended its winter season sun flights effective Jan. 31, upon request from the federal government. Originally suspended through April 30, on April 1 Sunwing announced it was extending the suspension through June 23. Sunwing has also cancelled domestic flights to/from B.C. and Newfoundland from May 1 to June 23, 2021. Customers or their travel agents impacted by cancelled flights are being contacted by Sunwing directly to review their options. For the most up to date information see https://www.sunwing.ca/en/promotion/packages/important-travel-advisories.


SWOOP

UPDATED JAN. 29, 2021: Swoop, as part of the WestJet Group of companies, has suspended its winter season sun flights effective Jan. 31 through April 30, upon request from the federal government.


TRANSAT

UPDATED JAN. 29, 2021: Transat, along with Canada’s four other major carriers, has suspended its winter season sun flights effective Jan. 31 through April 30, upon request from the federal government. Impacted passengers can opt for future travel credits or refunds. Transat’s FTCs are fully transferable, with no expiry date.  More information for Transat can be found here.


WESTJET

UPDATE from Canadian Aviation News: 14 April 2021 – WestJet is extending its suspension of most sun destination flights to 4 June 2021.

UPDATED APRIL 15, 2021: WestJet, along with Canada’s four other major carriers, suspended its winter season sun flights effective Jan. 31 through April 30, upon request from the federal government. On April 13 WestJet advised that it was extending that suspension until June 4, 2021. More details are at https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/travel-info/advisories.

Swoop Returns to Winnipeg

Airline brings more choice and ultra-low fares back to Manitoba

WINNIPEG, MB, April 25, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop marked its return to Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG). The airline’s reintroduction of its ultra-low fares now connects Winnipeg with Hamilton’s John C. Munro International Airport (YHM) and Abbotsford International Airport (YXX), with operations to Kelowna International Airport (YLW) set to begin in June.

“We are thrilled to reaffirm our commitment to Manitoba through our return to Winnipeg,” said Shane Workman, Head of Flight Operations, Swoop. “Our affordable fares are now available to those travelling for essential reasons and Swoop will be here to support the economic recovery of the region and connect Manitobans to their family and friends when the time comes.” 

Today’s announcement marks another milestone for Swoop as the airline continues its recovery efforts in conjunction with partners like Winnipeg’s James Armstrong Richardson International Airport to bring affordable and accessible air travel to all Canadians. The airline remains optimistic that as Canada continues its vaccine rollout, a safe restart of domestic air travel is on the horizon.

“We are pleased to welcome Swoop back to Winnipeg as we continue to plan for the safe return of domestic travel as vaccination levels increase across the country,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “Swoop’s return is an important milestone in our plan to rebuild the region’s connectivity and provides a low-cost option for essential travel today while helping to drive Manitoba’s economic and social recovery when the time is right for further travel.”

For flights from Winnipeg and to learn more about Swoop visit  FlySwoop.com.

About Swoop: Established in 2018, Swoop is Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost airline, independently operated as part of the WestJet Group of companies, offering scheduled service to destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. Swoop offers completely unbundled products and services, creating the unique opportunity for travellers to control their costs and customize their experience by purchasing only the extras they desire.  

Swoop operates a modern fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity. 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.    

Air Canada, WestJet, Transat, Sunwing and more: The latest updates amid the coronavirus pandemic

From Travelweek Canada – link to source story

Air Canada, WestJet, Transat, Sunwing and more: The latest updates amid the coronavirus pandemic

By: Travelweek Group | 7 April 2021

TORONTO — Canada’s airlines took swift action amid border closures and travel restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s the latest from Canada’s airlines. This list is updated as we receive new information from each company. The latest information can always be found at the company’s website.

LATEST UPDATE: April 7, 2021 – Sunwing; March 31, 2021 – Flair Airlines


AIR CANADA

UPDATED JAN. 29, 2021: Air Canada, along with Canada’s four other major carriers, has suspended its winter season sun flights effective Jan. 31 through April 30, upon request from the federal government. Impacted passengers can opt for future travel credits or refunds. More details are here: https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/book/travel-news-and-updates/2020/covid-19.html.


FLAIR AIRLINES

UPDATED MARCH 31, 2021: Flair Airlines is expanding its network starting May 1 with service being added to Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo, Halifax and Saint John, plus service starting in June to Thunder Bay and Charlottetown. Service to Victoria is set to begin in July, and to Abbotsford in August. Flair will also add Montreal to its network effective July 1. The airline’s latest change policies are at https://flyflair.com/travel-info/customer-service/covid-19-updates.


PORTER AIRLINES

UPDATED MARCH 2, 2021: Porter Airlines has pushed back its planned restart date to May 19, 2021. Further updates will be provided this winter based on the status of the pandemic and government measures, said President and CEO Michael Deluce.


SUNWING

UPDATED APRIL 7, 2021: Sunwing’s domestic summer program is now open for bookings. Flights start in May 2021and run until the beginning of September 2021. Sunwing, along with Canada’s four other major carriers, suspended its winter season sun flights effective Jan. 31, upon request from the federal government. Originally suspended through April 30, on April 1 Sunwing announced it was extending the suspension through June 23. Sunwing has also cancelled domestic flights to/from B.C. and Newfoundland from May 1 to June 23, 2021. Customers or their travel agents impacted by cancelled flights are being contacted by Sunwing directly to review their options. For the most up to date information see https://www.sunwing.ca/en/promotion/packages/important-travel-advisories.


SWOOP

UPDATED JAN. 29, 2021: Swoop, as part of the WestJet Group of companies, has suspended its winter season sun flights effective Jan. 31 through April 30, upon request from the federal government.


TRANSAT

UPDATED JAN. 29, 2021: Transat, along with Canada’s four other major carriers, has suspended its winter season sun flights effective Jan. 31 through April 30, upon request from the federal government. Impacted passengers can opt for future travel credits or refunds. Transat’s FTCs are fully transferable, with no expiry date.  More information for Transat can be found here.


WESTJET

UPDATED JAN. 29, 2021: WestJet, along with Canada’s four other major carriers, has suspended its winter season sun flights effective Jan. 31 through April 30, upon request from the federal government. More details are at https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/travel-info/advisories.

Swoop Expands Summer Schedule and Brings New Routes and More Ultra-Low Fares to British Columbia

Airline introduces Victoria as new destination and adds more routes to Kelowna for peak summer travel

VICTORIA, BC, March 31, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost airline, announced an expansion to its summer schedule, bringing new routes and more ultra-low fares to British Columbia. The airline’s expanded summer operations will bring new service to Victoria and celebrates the return and addition of new routes from Kelowna. 

“Our summer schedule expansion is in response to strong advance sales and in anticipation of demand from Canada’s most price-conscious travellers as they look towards the accelerated pace of vaccine rollouts across the country,” said Charles Duncan, President of Swoop. “We are thrilled to be offering Canadians even more opportunities to connect with British Columbia’s vibrant West Coast and Okanagan region this summer.” 

The airline, which had previously postponed planned operations to Victoria in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, will now see an increase of flights and routes in three cities within British Columbia, ensuring that Canadians across the province have access to domestic air travel at an affordable price tag. Today’s announcement is the first of several to come for the airline as they intend to bring even more ultra-low-fares coast-to-coast. 

Swoop’s new service to Victoria will include flights from Toronto, ON and Edmonton, AB. In addition, beginning June 20, 2021, service to Kelowna will now be available from Hamilton, ON and once again from Winnipeg, MB. Full details of Swoop’s expanded service in British Columbia can be found below. 

Planned Network Service: New and Returning Routes   

Route Frequency Planned Start Date  
Toronto – Victoria  Up to 6x weeklyMay 20, 2021  
Edmonton – VictoriaUp to 7x weeklyMay 20, 2021  
Hamilton – KelownaUp to 6x weeklyJune 20, 2021
Winnipeg – KelownaUp to 3x weeklyJune 20, 2021

Additional BC Network Service

Route Frequency 
Abbotsford – Edmonton  Up to 21x weekly
Abbotsford – HamiltonUp to 7x weekly
Abbotsford – TorontoUp to 7x weekly
Abbotsford – WinnipegUp to 7x weekly
Kelowna – TorontoUp to 7x weekly

“As we continue to plan for recovery, our focus remains on ensuring the safe reopening of air travel within Canada,” continued Duncan. “When the time comes for a safe resumption of travel, it will be critical to ensure access to affordable travel exists within our borders and Swoop is strategically positioned to meet that need in British Columbia and across the country.”

Additional Quotes

“As the economy begins to reopen, we are pleased that Swoop recognizes Victoria as a destination that travellers will look forward to returning to or discovering the beauty and culture that Victoria and Vancouver Island has to offer for the first time.” Said Geoff Dickson, Victoria Airport Authority President and CEO. 

“Swoop’s commitment to Greater Victoria is welcome news – both as we recover from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond” said Paul Nursey, CEO – Destination Greater Victoria. “It goes without saying we are located on an island. Reliable transportation to and from the destination is vital to the success of our visitor economy. There are other benefits to a low-cost carrier like Swoop entering market as well. It means Greater Victoria becomes an option for visitors that might not have considered air travel without ultra-low cost carrier options. Increased competition amongst transportation providers means consumers have more choice for how they experience Greater Victoria.”

“We are proud to welcome Hamilton and Winnipeg non-stop to YLW this summer,” said Sam Samaddar, Airport Director. “Swoop’s additional destinations will allow Canadians more direct options to the Okanagan this summer season.”

“Safe, reliable air service with direct, non-stop flights is essential to the recovery of the tourism industry and important contributor to our local and national economy. While we wait for interprovincial travel restrictions to lift, we hope Swoop customers from Hamilton, Winnipeg, Toronto, and surrounding areas will begin to plan their future trip to Kelowna and the Okanagan. We have incredible experiences for leisure and business visitors waiting to be enjoyed across all four seasons, and we’re looking forward to welcoming you here, soon.”  Lisanne Ballantyne, President & CEO, Tourism Kelowna

To learn more about Swoop’s visit  FlySwoop.com  or connect with Swoop on  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

About Swoop   

About Swoop: Established in 2018, Swoop is Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost airline, independently operated as part of the WestJet Group of companies, offering scheduled service to destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. Swoop offers completely unbundled products and services, creating the unique opportunity for travellers to control their costs and customize their experience by purchasing only the extras they desire.  

Swoop operates a modern fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity. 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.    

Air Canada, WestJet, Transat, Sunwing and more: The latest updates amid the coronavirus pandemic

From TravelWeek – link to source story

12 January 2021 Update | Posted by Travelweek Group

TORONTO — Canada’s airlines took swift action amid border closures and travel restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s the latest from Canada’s airlines. This list is updated as we receive new information from each company. The latest information can always be found at the company’s website.

LATEST UPDATE: Jan.12 – Porter Airlines; Dec. 17 – WestJet; Dec. 14 – Sunwing; Dec. 3 – Air Canada


AIR CANADA

UPDATED DEC. 3: Air Canada says Aeroplan Members making an eligible new booking with Air Canada originating in Canada will receive complimentary Manulife COVID-19 Emergency Medical and Quarantine Insurance. The shift to offer the free coverage to only Aeroplan members took effect Dec. 1, for bookings made Dec. 1, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2020. Air Canada’s Aeroplan program is free to join.


FLAIR AIRLINES

UPDATED JUNE 4: Flair Airlines has announced that it will resume service to Kelowna and Winnipeg while delaying the launch of other destinations as part of its new summer schedule. Its current route schedule will be expanded to include both Kelowna and Winnipeg in addition to Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. However, as a result of ongoing travel restrictions, Flair will also be delaying the launch of service into Ottawa and Atlantic Canada. Full refunds are being offered to passengers booked on cancelled flights to the affected destinations: Ottawa, Halifax, Saint John, N.B., and Charlottetown. Impacted guests will be contacted through email with instructions on how to receive their refunds. The airline’s latest change policies are at https://flyflair.com/travel-info/customer-service/covid-19-updates.


PORTER AIRLINES

UPDATED JAN. 12: Porter Airlines has pushed back its planned restart date to March 29. The airline previously suspended operations until Feb. 11 but according to president and CEO Michael Deluce, more time is needed as COVID-19 vaccine rollouts continue across Canada. More details are here.


SUNWING

UPDATED DEC. 14: Sunwing has restarted its winter sun program with current gateways Toronto and Montreal, and destinations Cancun, Jamaica and Punta Cana. Sunwing is also adding sun flights out of Western Canada.  Flights will depart from Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton to Cancun on Saturdays starting Jan. 9, 2021, with additional flight service from Edmonton to Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan on  Saturdays starting Dec. 26, 2020.

Sunwing has also resumed flights to Cuba, onboard Sunwing Airlines, with weekly flights departing from Toronto and Montreal to Varadero.

Sunwing’s flexible booking options include the option to change or cancel travel plans anytime with ease, monthly payment options and complimentary Price Drop Cash Back of up to $800 per couple. Plus, select packages booked during the sale for departures between now and Dec. 31, 2021 include COVID-19 coverage at no additional cost.

Sunwing customers with departure dates for flights or vacation packages between March 17 and August 31 are eligible to receive a future travel credit in the value of the original amount paid. No action needed. The credit can be redeemed against future travel to anywhere Sunwing Airlines operates, depending on original departure date. Original departure dates between March 17 and May 31, 2020 are redeemable up to June 20, 2022. Original departure dates June 1 – August 31 2020, are redeemable up to August 31, 2022.

For the most up to date information see https://www.sunwing.ca/en/promotion/packages/travel-advisory/.


SWOOP

UPDATED NOV. 16: Swoop is now offering ‘Trustred Travel Getaways’, a limited offering of vacation packages to Montego Bay with departures from Toronto starting Dec. 19. Swoop’s packages are in partnership with IHG Hotels & Resorts, with accommodation at the Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay All-Inclusive. Free access to mandatory pre-travel COVID-19 testing will ensure that all passengers onboard a departing Trusted Travel Getaway flight have proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Flights will operate from Toronto to Montego Bay on Dec. 19, Dec. 26 and Jan. 2. Packages include and Swoop’s free TuGo Travel Insurance COVID-19 coverage.


TRANSAT

UPDATED SEPT. 28: Transat passengers can now benefit from a COVID-19 Emergency Medical Certificate of Insurance. The insurance plan, offered through Manulife, is designed to cover emergency medical and quarantine expenses at destination, in addition to providing assistance if COVID-19 is contracted during the trip. Passengers who book a roundtrip flight from Canada to an international Air Transat destination or a Transat package to Mexico, Central or South America, or the Caribbean, from Sept. 25 to Oct. 31, 2020, for stays of up to 21 days, for departures between Oct. 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021, will be covered by the new insurance at no extra cost.

Transat’s 2020-2021 winter program features flights to dozens of destinations as well as packages to hundreds of hotels in the South and Europe. Earlier Transat announced that it had suspended all flights from Western Canada to south and USA destinations for winter 2020-2021. Transat announced on July 22 that its FTCs are now fully transferable, with no expiry date. As before, any residual credit will remain on file. The new policy applies to flights, packages and guided tours. However, it excludes credits received for cruises that are subject to their own cruise lines’ conditions. More information for Transat can be found  at https://www.airtransat.com/en-CA/book/resumption-of-our-operations#%2Fresults.


WESTJET

UPDATED DEC. 17: WestJet has updated its January 2021 schedule, with flights to 57 destinations in the Caribbean, Europe, Central America, Canada and the United States, including Hawaii. In addition to flights to Liberia in Costa Rica, and Ixtapa/Ziuantanejo in Mexico, both from Calgary, January’s schedule also features the resumption of service between Kona, Hawaii and Vancouver as well as Aruba-Toronto. Dreamliner service between Calgary and Cancun kicks off on Jan. 8, 2021 while service to Puerto Vallarta will start Jan. 23.

Through TuGo, any WestJet air-only reservation including WestJet Vacations bookings for travel to and from Mexico, the Caribbean,  the U.S., Europe (including the U.K.) and inbound to Canada will provide eligible passengers no-charge COVID-19 travel insurance.

On Oct. 21 WestJet announced it will voluntarily provide refunds to original form of payment for guests with flights cancelled by WestJet and Swoop, from any time period, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. More information can be found here.

Earlier WestJet announced it was offering refunds for select flights that include a U.S. or UK destination. The refunds apply to U.S. and UK flights March 1 – June 30. On Sept. 15 it added Europe to its refund-eligible list, for flights to or from Europe and scheduled to depart between March 1 and Oct. 31.

Effective Nov. 2 all WestJet flights to and from Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney, Charlottetown and Quebec City will be suspended indefinitely. Service to and from Halifax and St. John’s will see cuts. All told the move will impact more than 100 flights per week, or almost 80% of seat capacity from the Atlantic region. WestJet says a return to service date is unknown at this time. Passengers impacted by the suspension of operations will be contacted directly regarding their options for travel to and from the region.

COVID-infected flights fall sharply across Canada

From Toronto Sun – link to source story

Bryan Passifiume  •  Nov 23, 2020

Pearson International airport was practically vacant at Terminal 1  except for a few international flyers  on Thursday April 2, 2020. Jack Boland/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network
Toronto Pearson International Airport on April 2, 2020. PHOTO BY JACK BOLAND /Toronto Sun

Only five international and six domestic flights with passengers infected with COVID-19 landed at Canadian airports last week.

That’s compared to 44 international and 60 domestic flights recorded the week previous, according to publicly available data from Health Canada.

Five of the six domestic flights occurred on Nov. 16 — Swoop 406 between Toronto and Abbotsford, PAL Airlines 1902 between Quebec City and Sept-Iles, Jazz 8280 between Vancouver and Prince Rupert, Air Canada 341 between Ottawa and Vancouver, and Air Canada 209 between Calgary and Vancouver.

The sixth flight was Air Canada 428 from Toronto to Montreal on Nov. 17.

Internationally, only two infected flights originated from the United States,  both from Chicago — United 4552 to Toronto on Nov. 16 and Air Canada 7596 to Montreal on Nov. 17

Other international flights include Air Canada 989 from Cancun to Montreal and Rouge 1994 from Mexico City to Toronto — both on Nov. 17 — and Turkish Airlines 17 from Istanbul to Toronto on Nov. 18, the only non-North American flight to carry COVID-positive passengers.

Calgary, home to the federal government’s pilot program testing international arrivals for COVID-19, recorded no infected passengers over the past week, down from two the week previous.

Turkish Airlines has carried the most COVID-19 infected passengers of any international carrier over the past two weeks — seven to Toronto and one to Montreal.

Health Canada only posts data online from the past two weeks, and does not list how many passengers on board tested positive, only — when available — listing ranges of row numbers of where the person may have sat.

Data on infections comes from a variety of sources, states Health Canada, including contact tracing and information from local public health authorities.

Thirty-six infected domestic and international flights landed in Toronto since Nov. 8, the highest in Canada, while 24 landed at Vancouver, 19 at Montreal and six at Calgary.

Since March, only four Canadian airports — Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver — are permitted to accept international flights, with some exceptions.

Swoop announces new way for Canadians to vacation with confidence this winter

Pre-departure COVID-19 testing for peak holiday travel now available

TORONTO, Nov. 12, 2020 /CNW/ – Swoop, the ultra-not-expensive airline, today announced Trusted Travel Getaways: packaged vacations designed to enable Canadians to enjoy a warm-weather vacation with confidence this winter. This limited offering of vacation packages aims to provide travellers with enhanced peace of mind throughout their travel journey. Trusted Travel Getaways will operate to Montego Bay, Jamaica, departing from Toronto beginning December 19.

Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay (CNW Group/Swoop)

Launched in partnership with IHG® Hotels & Resorts, travellers will be provided with  accommodation at the Holiday Inn Resort® Montego Bay All-Inclusive. As an added measure of comfort, travellers will receive complimentary access to mandatory pre-travel COVID-19 testing to ensure that all passengers on-board a departing Trusted Travel Getaway flight have proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

“We’ve heard from many Canadians who are eager to get away this winter but want to do so responsibly,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial, Swoop. “Swoop and IHG Hotels & Resorts have a shared focus on thorough health and hygiene protocols. We believe that the inclusion of free COVID-19 insurance along with the requirement of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding will ensure that sun-seeking Ontarians can travel confidently from Toronto Pearson.” 

To reassure those on board a Trusted Travel Getaway flight, all travellers will be required to undergo a pre-departure COVID-19 test. Swoop has arranged for a leading Canadian laboratory service provider to administer the required testing at no additional cost to the traveller.

 “While testing is currently not a requirement for Canadians to enter Jamaica, we look forward to offering this additional screening measure to provide enhanced peace of mind for our travellers,” continued van der Stege.

With service from Toronto to Montego Bay, Jamaica on December 19, December 26, and January 2, travellers departing from Toronto Pearson International Airport will find Trusted Travel Getaway packages starting at $1450 per traveller, including round-trip flights, 7-nights all-inclusive accommodation at the Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay All-Inclusive, hotel ground transfers, and Swoop’s complimentary TuGo® Travel Insurance COVID-19 coverage

The Holiday Inn Resort property in Montego Bay offers travellers beachfront access, all-inclusive meal plans and enhanced cleanliness measures to support a worry-free vacation. Through its IHG® Clean Promise, the Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay All-Inclusive has expanded its commitment to cleanliness by increasing COVID-19 precautions, including proactive cleaning, regular temperature checks of employees and mask requirements for both employees and guests.

“In response to COVID-19, we have redefined our already rigorous commitment to cleanliness,” said Nicola Madden-Greig, Director of Marketing & Sales, Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay All-Inclusive. “Through our IHG Clean Promise, Canadians staying at the Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay All-Inclusive can expect their well-being to be our top priority throughout their stay.”

The Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay All-Inclusive is located in one of Jamaica’s Resilient Corridors, which were created to manage movement and require all operating hotels to conform to a rigorous set of COVID-19 protocols, approved by the World Travel and Tourism Council.

As per current regulations, travellers returning home must complete the ArriveCAN entry requirements and follow the Government of Canada’s mandated quarantine, regardless of the results of their pre-departure COVID-19 test. 

Trusted Travel Getaways will be available for booking at FlySwoop.com, beginning November 12, 2020, through Swoop’s Getaways booking engine. 

WestJet pilots protest ‘outsourced’ flights to Swoop in Calgary

From Global News – link to story

By Kaylen Small Global News | October 25, 2020

WestJet pilots protested in Calgary on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020.
WestJet pilots protested in Calgary on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. Global News

About 50 WestJet pilots protested outside the Calgary International Airport on Sunday to draw attention to what they call the “outsourcing” of WestJet flights to low-cost carrier Swoop.

Though both are owned by the same company — the WestJet Group — protesters said Swoop is flying WestJet’s routes, which means fewer hours for WestJet pilots.

“The biggest issue for us is routes that have been flown by WestJet Airlines over the last two decades are now being flown by Swoop,” said Capt. Dave Colquhoun, WestJet Master Executive Council chair.

“When Swoop was initially envisioned, we were told that wouldn’t happen. Now that it started to happen, especially out of Toronto, we’re concerned about that and we want to bring that concern to the public view.”

Colquhoun said pilots want to see the WestJet Group consult all members on how to grow Swoop.

“They’ve done it unilaterally and they’ve done it in an environment where just recently we gave in major concessions to help them weather the storm,” he said.

“Our pilots have taken substantial cuts in wages and working conditions in order to help our airline through this pandemic. Right now, our guys are flying about a half to a third of what they were a year ago.”

The WestJet Group responded to the union’s concerns, telling Global News that Swoop is important to the company’s future.“[Swoop] is well-positioned to serve price-sensitive travellers while stimulating demand in Canada’s largest market,” it said.

“After a drop in guest traffic of up to 95 per cent and with recovery slower than anticipated, stimulating demand in our industry is critical for our group’s survival. Toronto is our country’s largest air travel market, and every guest who flies with WestJet, Encore or Swoop is a win for our group, assisting in our recovery and supporting our collective future.”

The WestJet Group said its focus is “ensuring we have a long-term sustainable future” while “providing good jobs for thousands.”

There is no anticipated impact on WestJet operations.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Swoop Reaffirms Commitment to Edmonton

The ultra-not-expensive airline kicks off its winter schedule with inaugural flight to Toronto Pearson International Airport and seasonal start of Phoenix-Mesa and Mexico flights

EDMONTON, AB, Oct. 25, 2020 /CNW/ – Swoop, the ultra-not-expensive airline, reaffirmed its commitment to Edmonton International Airport today with the launch of its winter schedule including the addition of non-stop service to Toronto Pearson International Airport.

“We are excited to be expanding our ultra-low cost carrier model from Edmonton by adding Toronto to our network” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial & Finance at Swoop. “We know that Canadians are cautious about travelling, and with the significant health and safety measures we have put in place, travellers can rest assured that their safety is our top priority.”  

The inaugural winter schedule operations this week will also include a return to popular sun destinations such as Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán and Phoenix-Mesa, while continuing to serve Abbotsford and Hamilton from Edmonton International Airport.

“We’ve clearly heard from sun seekers that they’re looking for options this winter. Thanks to Swoop, we’re able to help meet that demand. Safety and security is our top priority and we’re confident EIA is ready for these flights in close partnership with the airline. These flights will be safe and will make it possible for local travellers, including snowbirds, to still get their traditional winter break,” says Tom Ruth, President & CEO, Edmonton International Airport. 

“In a challenging year like we are having, we know that it is more important than ever to help Canadians connect with family and friends. We want to help travellers do that safely, responsibly and affordably,” van der Stege added.

Some of the health and safety measures Swoop has introduced includes stricter boarding processes allowing for shorter queue wait times, enhanced screening measures, increased sanitization, and enforcing face masks to be worn for the duration of the flight.  

Additionally, all transborder and international round-trip Swoop flight and Swoop Getaways bookings include no-charge COVID-19 travel insurance coverage. This complimentary coverage is added to eligible bookings automatically at time of purchase, made on or after Oct. 15 for travel until Apr. 24, 2021, and is valid for up to 21 days in destination. 

The start of its winter schedule marks the next step in Swoop’s recovery efforts while remaining true to its mission of offering accessible and affordable air travel to Canadians. As the country’s largest ultra-low cost carrier, the airline is uniquely positioned to help drive industry recovery with price-sensitive travellers.