TOYS FOR THE NORTH 2021! We Will Deliver Toys This Year!

We invite you to join us in welcoming the Canadian Air Force military aircraft C-17 Globemaster to Thunder Bay this Thursday December 2nd at 1:00pm as we kick off the 2021 RCMP Toys for the North!

Location is Shell Aero Centre, 316 Hector Dougall Way. (Due to COVID restrictions, social distancing and face masks are a must.)

December 1, 2021- Thunder Bay ON – Once again this December, the RCMP, Gardewine Group – Transportation and Logistics and North Star Air will deliver toys to remote First Nations communities this Christmas! Donated new toys, basic needs items and more will be arriving in Thunder Bay via CAF military aircraft C-17 Globemaster this Thursday December 2nd at 1:30 pm ET. “We’re all praying for good weather on the leg to Thunder Bay” says Karen Matson, Marketing & Community Relations at North Star Air, “the general public will be quite impressed to see this aircraft in Thunder Bay, so keep your eyes on the skies!”

North Star Air’s team has been working with the “O” Division Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), participating in the ‘Toys for the North’ charitable drive. The initiative has evolved over the years to include a national network of RCMP, law enforcement, corporate and external partners who collectively contribute to the success of delivering new toys to children in remote Northern communities. North Star Air has been a partner of the Toys for the North campaign for 7 of the 11 past years.

The arrival of the Globemaster in Thunder Bay doesn’t mean the journey to the North is over. The toys, along with other donated goods will be air delivered in the coming weeks to remote northern Ontario First Nations communities via North Star Air’s flight network. “It’s an exciting time, knowing all this hard work will very soon bring smiles to many faces in the North.” continues Matson.

Once the cargo is debarked from the Globemaster in Thunder Bay on Thursday, Gardewine Group – Transportation and Logistics will then move the cargo to their local warehouse where volunteers will sort the goods by age and gender per community the following week. “We’re talking about thousands of toys that need to be sorted so that the next phase can continue as planned.” says Cpl. Stacy Morton of the RCMP. “We’ve targeted four recipient communities this year.”

The goods will then be transported by Gardewine Group – Transportation and Logistics to the North Star Air hangar in Pickle Lake where they will be loaded onto the Basler DC3 aircraft for their remote First Nation destinations. Representatives from North Star Air, the media and our very special guest Santa Claus will bring joy to so many young people of the North thanks to the efforts of the RCMP and the network of donators. You can follow our journey north with Toys for the North and Santa on our North Star Air Facebook page.

More information on Toys for the North

Westjet says another few months until flights at Thunder Bay airport return to pre-pandemic levels

From CBC News – link to source story

Jeff Walters · CBC News · Posted: Sep 10, 2021

WestJet Encore services Thunder Bay with its Dash-8 Q400 turboprop aircraft on flights to Toronto and Winnipeg. (Francois Biber/CBC)

Increasing demand for flights to and from Thunder Bay, Ont., have allowed airlines servicing in the city to add more flights to the city, but it will be months before air travel is back to its pre-pandemic levels.

Westjet held an online round-table, including some of its executives, officials from the Thunder Bay Airport and Tourism Thunder Bay. The event was to discuss how the airline can attract more business and increase tourism.

“We’re aiming to return as much capacity over the next six months,” as was found pre-pandemic, said Chris Hedlin, the vice-president of network planning at Westjet.

Hedlin said demand at the airline, on a national level is projected to grow from July to January as much as the airline grew in the past 11 years.

Demand at the Thunder Bay Airport for Westjet flights dropped by about 80 percent through the pandemic, which is a little less than the overall demand drop of 90 percent.

Data in the Westjet presentation noted that pre-pandemic, over 800,000 passengers flew annually through Thunder Bay’s Airport. That figure dwindled to about 200,000 during the height of the pandemic.

Currently, the airline is running its capacity to Thunder Bay at 60 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, Hedlin said, which is about average for the entire flight system.

“That’s going to continue to impact the pace at which we bring back services, as they still have to make sense. They still have to be driven by demand,” said Hedlin. 

Westjet is the only carrier to serve both Toronto and Winnipeg from Thunder Bay.

The airline said, in a response to a question from a former airport board member, that it would continue to look at adding a direct flight between Thunder Bay and Calgary, to take advantage of connections through its Calgary hub.

Earlier this week, Porter Airlines restarted its flights between Thunder Bay and Toronto’s Billy Bishop City Centre Airport.

Flair Airlines also announced it would now book flights to Thunder Bay from Toronto for the summer of 2022, with up to five flights per week.

Flair Airlines Extends Schedule Through Summer 2022

Canada’s favorite ULCC is confident in travel demand growth over the coming year and expands schedule in core Canadian and US markets

Edmonton, Alberta, September 9, 2021 – Flair Airlines, Canada’s only true ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), continues its surge to bring low fares to Canadians and has extended its flight schedule through Summer 2022 in core Canadian and US markets.

“As we grow our fleet and expand our service, we see the demand for Flair’s low fare travel continuing to explode across Canada. We are absolutely focused on rescuing Canadians from the bloated prices they have long suffered in flying,” says Stephen Jones, President and CEO, Flair Airlines. “Flair is committed to helping reunite families and make travel accessible for everyone, and our schedule extension will help passengers prepare for 2022 by knowing they can explore and connect without breaking the bank.”

The schedule expansion extends the booking period into Summer 2022. Many year-round and seasonal routes will see an increase in service including flights departing from Edmonton (YEG), Kelowna (YLW), Halifax (YHZ), Kitchener (YKF), Abbotsford (YXX), Winnipeg (YWG), Toronto (YYZ), Saint John (YSJ), Vancouver (YVR), Calgary (YYC), Victoria (YYJ), Charlottetown (YYG), Thunder Bay (YQT), and Montreal (YUL).

Flair’s confidence in Canadian travel continuing to grow in 2022 is reflected in the ultra-low fares where cost efficiency and demand allow for pricing to start at just $29 CAD one-way on some routes. All routes and schedule details can be viewed at https://www.flyflair.com. More low fares and exciting summer route announcements will be coming soon! Be among the first to know by signing up for Flair’s newsletter https://www.flyflair.com/newsletter.

Flair is rapidly growing to serve Canadians with low fare flights, the extended schedule allows for more efficient planning for customers and airline partners. Deliveries of new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft throughout 2021 and 2022 continue to grow the fleet as Flair achieves its goal of 50 aircraft in five years. Flair continues to bring more jobs to the market and is hiring more staff and flight crew as it meets the growth demands of the airline.

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 26 cities across Canada and North America. For more information, please visit http://www.flyflair.com

Porter Airlines returns to the air

TORONTO, Sept. 8, 2021 /CNW/ – Porter Airlines officially returns to the skies today, almost 18 months after suspending flights due to COVID-19 public health and travel restrictions.

Porter Airlines officially returns to the skies today, almost 18 months after suspending flights due to COVID-19 public health and travel restrictions. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)
Porter Airlines officially returns to the skies today, almost 18 months after suspending flights due to COVID-19 public health and travel restrictions. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)

Flights to Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Thunder Bay are the first to restart. Other Canadian destinations starting within the next 10 days are Halifax, Quebec City, St. John’s, NL, and Moncton. U.S. destinations in Boston, Chicago, New York and Washington return on Sept. 17. Flights to other year-round destinations are set to resume as of Oct. 6, with all routes currently available for booking. The initial flight schedule can be found at www.flyporter.com.

“Our passengers and team members have been waiting for this day to arrive,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO, Porter Airlines. “We currently have over 900 team members who have put in countless hours to get everything ready for our return to service, with more being recalled or hired every week. Everyone at Porter is looking forward to welcoming passengers back and delivering our distinct style of service again.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory joins the celebrations at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

Porter has strengthened its existing standards with a focus on high levels of sanitization in order to protect the health of its passengers and team members. More information about the Healthy Flights program can be found on Porter’s website.

In addition to Healthy Flights, Porter has also introduced a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for its team members. To support a safe and healthy workplace and travel experience, team members must present a negative COVID-19 test administered within 72 hours of the start of their shift or be fully vaccinated. The Canadian federal government announced in August its intention to mandate vaccination for federally-regulated workers; once specific details are known, Porter’s policy may evolve.

Bookings made before Sept. 30, will be eligible to change or cancel with no fees. Passengers also have the option to book a flight with the Full Refund Option for $40 plus taxes. The Refund Option entitles customers to receive a refund, including base fare, taxes and fees, for their booking upon advance cancellation of their flight for any reason.

About Porter Airlines

Porter Airlines provides a warm and effortless approach to hospitality, restoring glamour and refinement to air travel. Porter is an Official 4 Star Airline® in the World Airline Star Rating®.

The airline currently offers flights to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, Halifax, St. John’s, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, Windsor, New York (Newark), Chicago (Midway), Boston and Washington (Dulles), and has seasonal flights to Mt. Tremblant, Que., Muskoka, Ont., Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Stephenville, N.L.

Visit www.flyporter.com or follow @porterairlines on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Details of growth plans to provide North America-wide service are available at flyporter.com. 

Crash of twin-engine plane at Thunder Bay airport leaves 1 dead

From CBC News – link to source story

TSB investigating after plane crashed following day of flying for Ontario ministry

CBC News · Posted: August 17, 2021

A number of flights into the Thunder Bay, Ont., airport from Toronto and Sioux Lookout were either cancelled or diverted as a result of the airport closure due to the small-plane crash Monday evening. (Michael Fox/Twitter)

A twin-engine airplane crashed Monday evening at Thunder Bay’s airport in northwestern Ontario, leaving one person dead.

In a written statement, airport president and chief executive officer Ed Schmidtke confirmed a twin-engine airplane crashed just after 9 p.m. ET and there was one fatality.

The name of the individual hasn’t been released.

Schmidtke said the airport’s operations specialists, along with Thunder Bay police, firefighters and paramedics,  responded to the incident.

The scene is being held for a Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigation, he added.

Plane had finished day of work for ministry

TSB spokesperson Chris Krepski said Tuesday the crash occurred shortly after the plane — a Rockwell Commander 690 that was registered to MAG Aerospace — departed the Thunder Bay airport, heading for Dryden.

“Shortly after takeoff, the pilot … requested to return to the airport, and was returning to land on runway 07 at Thunder Bay,” Krepski said. “The aircraft lost control and struck the runway surface, and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada deployed a team of investigators this morning to gather information and assess the occurrence.”

MAG Aerospace is based in Dryden and provides a range of specialized aerial services, including fire management, airborne imagery and air charters, according to its website.

The plane’s wreckage was still sat on a runway at Thunder Bay International Airport on Tuesday morning. The scene was being held for Transportation Safety Board investigators to arrive. (Logan Turner/CBC)

In a statement Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry said MAG Aerospace is one of the ministry’s long-term contract aircraft providers.

At the time of the crash, the plane was travelling to Dryden for routine maintenance after a completing a day of flying for the ministry. Further details were not provided.

A staff member with MAG Aerospace indicated the company will also likely issue a statement, but the timing is unclear.

Number of flights affected

A number of flights into the airport from Toronto and Sioux Lookout were either cancelled or diverted as a result of the airport closure on Monday night.

A Facebook post from Wasaya Airways said it had cancelled one flight from Sioux Lookout on Monday night, resulting in 37 passengers stranded in the northern town. At least two Air Canada flights from Toronto that were scheduled to land in Thunder Bay were rerouted after takeoff.

Just before nightfall, social media were filled with images showing a line of flames streaked across the runway with heavy smoke rising into the sky.

Krepski said two TSB investigators coming to Thunder Bay from Winnipeg are expected to be on the scene by early Tuesday evening.

“When they get there, they’re going to examine the accident site, examine the aircraft wreckage, identify components from the aircraft for further analysis at the TSB engineering lab in Ottawa,” Krepski said. “They’re also going to interview witnesses and gather information from air traffic control regarding communications and radar information, information about the weather, information about the aircraft’s maintenance records, pilot’s training records.

“It’s really about gathering as much information as we can about from the site and from other sources to begin our investigation.”

Porter Airlines CEO excited to see flights return to northern Ontario

From CBC News – link to source story

Company grounded since March 2020 looking to make triumphant return to skies

CBC News · July 27, 2021

Despite shutting down during the pandemic, Porter Airlines made plans to purchase 80 new E195 Embraer planes. (Porter Airlines)

The head of Porter Airlines says the ongoing pandemic, despite delivering a financial hit to the company, has allowed them to focus on work behind the scenes.

Michael Deluce, Porter’s president and CEO, said although the airline has been grounded since March 2020, they’ve used the time to purchase new planes to expand operations. 

“Certainly the Canadian aviation space has had a very challenging 16 months, unlike no other time in history,” Deluce said. “Porter took steps early on to suspend operations and relative to other carriers, we have fared reasonably well.”

That includes the purchase of 80 E-195 Embraer planes, which will run primarily out of Toronto, Halifax, Montreal and Ottawa.

“They will allow Porter to extend its range from eastern Canada to all of North America, Canada, the U.S….Mexico and the Caribbean,” he said. 

Deluce says other existing aircraft were also refurbished, including the 29 dedicated to Northern Ontario routes, and he anticipates the full roster of flights will begin October 6.

“We have done a complete interior overhaul of those aircraft,” he said. “We have brand new seats and we have brand new carpet sidewalls, overhead bins. We’ve even restored the lavs.”

Michael Deluce is the CEO of Porter Airlines. (Linkedin- Michael Deluce)

Operations out of northern Ontario will begin a little sooner, September 8 on flights to Billy Bishop airport in Toronto.

“Since our inception, we’ve served all the major markets in the north, including Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay…and that will continue to be the case as we move forward,” he said. 

“I think by October 6, we’ll have all of our northern Ontario destinations up and running.”

Another incentive for returning passengers is the expansion of the airline’s payment options, as well as the introduction of ticket financing, Deluce said.

“When Porter returns to the air we’ll be seeing the Porter product at its absolute best,” he said. “And I think passengers are going to love returning to the skies on Porter.”

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

U.S. flights start on Sept. 17

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

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

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

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

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

The initial flight schedule is as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

Detailed information about Healthy Flights is available online.

About Porter Airlines
Porter Airlines has revolutionized short-haul flying with a warm and effortless approach to hospitality, restoring glamour and refinement to air travel. Porter is an Official 4 Star Airline®in the World Airline Star Rating®.

The airline currently offers flights to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, Halifax, St. John’s, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, Windsor, New York (Newark), Chicago (Midway), Boston and Washington (Dulles), and has seasonal flights to Mt. Tremblant, Que., Muskoka, Ont., Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Stephenville, N.L. Visit www.flyporter.com or follow @porterairlines on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Flair Airlines Begins Service to Thunder Bay, Ontario

The fast-growing ULCC has started passenger service between Toronto and Thunder Bay

Edmonton, Alberta, June 2, 2021 – Flair Airlines, Canada’s only independent ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), continues its expansion of service with the start of flights to Thunder Bay International Airport (IATA: YQT) in Ontario. The growing ULCC will provide passenger service between Toronto Pearson Airport and Thunder Bay and flights are available for booking through March 26, 2022, at flyflair.com.

Service begins in June with flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays. In July, the frequency increases with the addition of Thursday service.

“There is a tremendous demand for affordable air travel options in Canada,” says Garth Lund, Chief Commercial Officer.  “Connecting Ontario with flights between Thunder Bay and Toronto provides an affordable intra-provincial travel option as we have one way fares as low as $29. As travel begins to restart, this new route is a great option for staying within the province while supporting two Ontario communities.

Thunder Bay is one of several new Canadian destinations Flair is adding to its network in 2021 as it grows the fleet of aircraft. Flair’s first of 13 new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft will begin passenger service on June 10.

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 19 cities across Canada. For more information, please visit www.flyflair.com 

Flair Airlines Extends Domestic Schedule into 2022

The growing ULCC has released its Winter 2021/22 schedule for sale with fares starting from as low as $19

Edmonton, Alberta, May 27, 2021 – Flair Airlines, Canada’s only independent ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC), has expanded its schedule with flights to domestic destinations now on sale until March 2022.  With 24 routes and over 650,000 seats on sale, Winter 2021/22 will be Flair’s biggest ever winter schedule.

The winter schedule is part of Flair’s expansion of service to bring low fare air travel to more Canadians. The airline has 13 new aircraft on order joining the fleet in 2021 and 2022.

“We understand how keen Canadians are to travel again and our winter schedule will provide affordable air travel options to help connect the many families and friends who have been apart for the past year,” says Garth Lund, Chief Commercial Officer. “With fares available from as low as $19 and new aircraft joining the fleet, Flair will continue its expansion into the winter season.”

Bookings are now available for travel through March 26, 2022.

https://flyflair.com/where-we-fly

Government of Canada investing in safety at the Thunder Bay International Airport

THUNDER BAY, ON, May 18, 2021 /CNW/ – From traveling to medical appointments, getting goods to market, distributing PPE and medical supplies, or delivering vaccines, Canadians rely on safe and well-maintained local airports to support vibrant communities. These airports also provide essential air services, more so during this Covid-19 pandemic, including community resupply, air ambulance, search and rescue, and forest fire response.

The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, along with the Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Rainy River, Marcus Powlowski, today announced that the Government of Canada is making important safety investments at the Thunder Bay International Airport.

Through Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP), the Government of Canada will provide almost $12.5 million to the Thunder Bay International Airport for four safety-related projects:

  • Purchase of two aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicles – $2,255,729
  • Rehabilitation or airside surfaces and lighting and electrical systems – $8,518,040
  • Construction of runway end safety areas for Runways 07-25 and 12-30 – $1,662,055
  • Installation of airside LED guidance signs – $33,750

For 2021-2022, Transport Canada has allocated ACAP funding to 63 airports for 86 safety-related projects, including runway and taxiway repairs/rehabilitation, lighting enhancements, purchasing snow clearing equipment and firefighting vehicles and installing wildlife fencing.

Since the Airports Capital Assistance Program started in 1995, the Government of Canada has invested over $1.1 billion for 1,088 projects at 199 airports across the country.

Quotes

 “Our Government recognizes that airports are major contributors to the economic growth and social well-being of smaller communities, and local airport workers. In addition to supporting personal travel, local airports are key connectors for business, health care, social services, and emerging resource development sectors. These investments will improve access to safe, reliable and efficient air transportation options, and will help us deliver our promise to build safer, healthier and stronger communities across Canada. This is more important than ever as we work towards reopening our economies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

“The Thunder Bay International Airport is a critical hub for people in Thunder Bay and the region, connecting us to the rest of the country and the world. This investment will ensure our airport can keep on serving our region, helping Northwestern Ontarians get to work, medical services and more.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North

“Today’s funding is welcome news that will help ensure the long-term sustainability and growth of the Thunder Bay International Airport. Thunder Bay has always been a hub for regional transportation, and coming out this pandemic we need to ensure that our city is prepared to meet the transportation challenges of the future.”

Marcus Powlowski
Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Rainy River

Quick Facts

  • As announced in the Fall Economic Statement (FES) 2020, the Airports Capital Assistance Program received a one-time funding top-up of $186 million over two years.
  • As well, the FES announced the temporary expansion of eligibility for the Airports Capital Assistance Program to allow National Airport System (NAS) airports with less than one million annual passengers in 2019 to apply for funding under the Program in 2021-2022 and 2022-2023.
  • The eligible NAS airports are: Gander; Charlottetown; Saint John; Fredericton; Moncton; Thunder Bay; London; and Prince George.

Associated Links

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