Category: Toronto Pearson YYZ

Interjet records record growth on routes between Canada and Mexico

News provided by TravelWeek.ca – link to full story

Interjet records record growth on routes between Canada and Mexico

Monday, November 11, 2019 Posted by Travelweek Group

MEXICO CITY — Interjet Airlines’ service between Canada and Mexico has seen record year-over-year passenger traffic results for October 2019.

The airline saw overall passenger traffic for 10 months ended October 2019 increase by 70% to more than 363,000 passengers carried between the two countries.

Combined load factors from Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto were 83.6% for the same 10-month period.

Passenger traffic from Montreal to Cancun grew to 67,121 for an increase of over 137% year-over-year, while overall traffic between Toronto and Cancun increased 81% to 69,080 passenger trips.

Load factors on the Vancouver to Mexico City flights spiked by 91.2%, with passenger traffic increasing 12.7%.

“We have experienced tremendous growth between Canada and Mexico since we started flying between the two countries just over two years ago,” said Julio Gamero, Interjet’s Chief Commercial Officer. “As we look to adding service and frequency, we expect the same if not more demand for our service. Our competitive prices, free checked bags on select fares, more legroom between seats and excellent onboard service will continue to keep up the fastest growing international airline in Mexico.”

Toronto Pearson Airport not fulfilling obligations to French-speaking passengers: Official Languages commissioner

News provided by CTV News – link to full story and updates

The Canadian Press Staff – Friday, November 8, 2019

Pearson airport
Official Languages commissioner Raymond Theberge has given Pearson Airport 18 months to provide basic French training to airport staff who deal with the public.

MONTREAL — Toronto Pearson Airport is not fulfilling its obligations to French-speaking passengers, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages has found.

The Commissioner said eight complaints it received between July 2017 and March 2018 about a lack of service in French are founded. In each case, airport staff were found to be unable to provide information or help to travellers at Pearson in French.

In one case, a French-speaking passenger had asked for help after their declaration card got stuck in a machine at border control. The passenger asked questions in French but only received answers in English.

In another case, a French-speaking passenger reported being confronted by a “visibly irritated” airport staffer who answered a French question “furiously in English.”

Pearson Airport defended itself against the complaints saying that the employees should be in a position to answer inquiries in either official language, and that they are reminded of that fact on a daily basis.

But Official Languages commissioner Raymond Theberge found that the airport “failed in its obligation to provide services to travellers in both official languages, as required by law.”

Theberge has give the airport 18 months to provide basic French training to airport staff who deal with the public.

This Canadian Press report was originally published Nov. 8.

Calgary Zoo secures twice weekly bamboo shipments for giant pandas

News provided by Global News – link to full story and Videos

A panda at the Calgary Zoo is seen munching on bamboo.
 A panda at the Calgary Zoo is seen munching on bamboo. Global News

BY HEIDE PEARSON GLOBAL NEWS, Posted November 7, 2019

The Calgary Zoo has secured a new airline to bring hundreds of kilograms of bamboo a week to Panda Passage for its four hungry and picky giant pandas to eat.

The zoo’s bamboo supply was put in jeopardy in September, when Hainan Airlines — which had been importing the bamboo since the bears arrived — announced it was changing its direct flight from Calgary to Beijing from year-round to seasonal and the last flight would be Oct. 31.RELATED NEWS

Officials have been working ever since to find a way to get the weekly shipments to Calgary to feed the pandas.

The zoo announced Thursday that it had partnered with WestJet Cargo to secure the imports.

“As Calgary’s hometown airline, WestJet heard about the bamboo challenges and flew into action with the WestJet Cargo team offering to fly the bamboo shipments from Toronto to Calgary twice weekly,” the zoo said in a news release.STORY CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

“Since our giant pandas don’t like wilted bamboo, this was fantastic news as WestJet Cargo also provides cool storage that ensures the pandas have access to the freshest bamboo possible.”1:58Pandas enjoy first snowfall at Calgary Zoo Pandas enjoy first snowfall at Calgary Zoo

The first shipment of bamboo arrived via WestJet Cargo on Oct. 26 and are set to come every Tuesday and Saturday in the future.

“We’re happy we were able to step in and support our friends at the Calgary Zoo through our cargo operations,” WestJet senior commercial manager of cargo Nicolas Saignat said.

“WestJet has a great love and appreciation for animals, and we are delighted to be able to assist in providing the freshest bamboo for Da Mao, Er Shun, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue who currently call Calgary home.”

The two panda cubs, Jai Panpan and Jai Yue Yue, are set to head to China in the new year as part of a breeding program the family of four are involved with.

The four giant pandas arrived at the Calgary Zoo from the Toronto Zoo in 2018.© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

‘Don’t take a chance, dump your stash,’ says lawyer after Air Canada flight diverted to U.S.

News provided by CBC News – link to full story and updates

One passenger wondered aloud about the consequences for anyone carrying cannabis products

Meera Bains · CBC News · Posted: Nov 07, 2019

A domestic Air Canada flight AC125 travelling from Toronto to Vancouver was forced to redirect to the Seattle Tacoma International Airport due to mechanical issues. (Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press)

A Vancouver-bound Air Canada flight forced to land at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport due to mechanical issues has sparked a discussion about what domestic air passengers should know if they happen to land on U.S. soil without advance warning.

What was supposed to be a five-hour domestic flight from Toronto to Vancouver last Sunday turned into a 13-hour international ordeal for passengers.

But once the plane landed in Seattle, one passenger wondered aloud about the consequences for anyone carrying cannabis products.

Harold Wax, a security executive in the real estate sector, who was one of 255 passengers aboard Air Canada flight AC125, said as the plane neared Vancouver the pilot announced he had to abort its first attempt to land due to fog.

Problems with the auto-landing system led to a second failed attempt. Wax said the pilot informed passengers that because of the two failed attempts the crew would divert to Seattle to refuel, then return to Vancouver.

The flight path taken by an Air Canada 787 Dreamliner on Nov. 3, 2019 which tried twice to land at Vancouver International Airport but then headed to the Seattle airport where it finally landed. (FlightAware.com)

But when the plane reached Sea-Tac Airport, passengers learned the plane would be grounded for maintenance and they would have to disembark. Wax said that’s when people aboard the plane became anxious.

“The passenger sitting beside me made a comment. She said ‘I really wonder how hard it’s going to be for passengers who don’t have a passport to get into the U.S.”’ Wax said.

“And I kind of chuckled and I said ‘I hope nobody is carrying cannabis or CBD oil.'”

‘Don’t take a chance, dump your stash’

Immigration lawyer Richard Kurland warned Canadians who find themselves in a situation such as this that they should be prepared to ditch any cannabis products if necessary. He said U.S. officials are often willing to forgive possession of personal use CBD oil but even that isn’t a sure bet.

“In cases where an emergency landing is required on U.S. territory, be aware that U.S. law will fully apply to you if you are transporting cannabis which may have been legal in Canada,” said Kurland.

Air Canada passenger Harold Wax said his domestic flight to Vancouver was diverted to Seattle which caused concerns aboard the flight over proper documentation and cannabis rules. (CBC News)

He said the airline should inform passengers if their flight is going to be diverted to an airport outside of Canada — to give them time to dispose of any cannabis products. 

“The best practical advice is queue for that washroom and the flight attendant should keep that washroom available to passengers who may need to dispose of any cannabis product in their possession.”

In terms of identification needed to cross the Canada-U.S. border, Kurland said in this type of situation, a passport might not be needed. “There is no need to carry every last candlestick of ID with you aboard an airplane,” he said.

In an emergency situation, current identification technology, including advanced biometrics is sufficient for Canadian travellers to be processed by U.S. border agents.

Air Canada responds

Air Canada said the 787 Dreamliner aircraft required a maintenance inspection in Seattle after developing a mechanical fault so the airline made an arrangement for authorities to enable passengers to “clear customers appropriately.”

Air Canada spokesperson Angela Mah said in a written statement that there were no problems dealing with U.S. customs and extra airline staff members were scheduled to work to help passengers.

“We were advised there were no issues for any reason clearing the passengers from this flight.”

Mah said the airline has a cannabis policy which states that in the event of a diversion, a passenger refused entry into a country because of cannabis possession is responsible for the consequences, including payment for the return trip home.

She said Air Canada regrets the inconvenience for last Sunday’s delay, and is in touch with customers. She said passengers were provided with overnight hotel rooms, though some left for Vancouver by ground transportation.

Cannabis edibles, CBD infused gummies and other products were legalized in Canada on Oct. 17, 2019. (Shutterstock / Victor Moussa)

Harold Wax said upon landing, he didn’t immediately see staff at the Air Canada counter, so he carpooled with other passengers to Vancouver.

He said the experience was an important reminder about what a worst-case scenario can look like.

“If you are flying on a domestic flight, you got to understand there’s a chance that you might get diverted whether it’s an emergency of a malfunction or something else.

“You could be diverted to the United States.”

Travellers are discovering Canada’s in-terminal airport hotels

News provided by Calgary Herald – link to full story

MARK STACHIEW Updated: November 1, 2019

Fairmont Vancouver Airport hotel room
Canadian travellers are discovering the advantages of staying at airport hotels, like the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel. HANDOUT PHOTO / FAIRMONT HOTELS

Once the domain of desperate travellers stranded by weather delays or in need of a quick place to sleep before connecting to another flight, in-terminal airport hotels are upping their game and a lot of people are choosing them for reasons beyond necessity.

“Airport hotels, once viewed as just for stopovers and one-night stays, have started to upgrade their offerings to provide luxurious stress-free stays to kick off or end your vacation, creating a seamless experience from hotel to flight,” said Sabrina Bhangoo, Director of Public Relations for Marriott in Canada.

“This trend is not only happening here in Canada but also the U.S. The New York Times, recently highlighted various amenities that airport hotels are adopting to make their properties more attractive to guests.”

“Hotel airports are becoming increasingly popular and are among our busiest,” said France Savard, the senior public relations coordinator for Germain Hotels, which includes the Alt brand. “We currently have two, in Halifax and Toronto Pearson, and actually we will have a third one by the end of 2020 or early 2021 at the Ottawa Airport.”

Savard noted that a lot of travellers are starting their vacations a day early with a night’s stay at airport hotels, especially if they are boarding early morning flights to sun destinations. For people who live further out of town, getting to the airport on time can be impossible so staying at the airport makes it easier and many hotels offer convenient parking packages making it affordable to leave their cars there while they are away.

Every major airport in Canada is surrounded by hotels, but only a few of them are located right within the heart of the airport terminal. From West to East, here are the in-terminal hotels where travellers can stay in this country:

Fairmont Vancouver Airport

The Jetside Lounge at Fairmont Vancouver Airport offers views that planespotters love. HANDOUT PHOTO / FAIRMONT HOTELS

Not only does Vancouver’s airport regularly bring home awards, but so does the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel. It’s been named the top Airport Hotel in North America by the Skytrax World Airport Awards for six years in a row. This luxury hotel features all the amenities you expect from a Fairmont property including high-end dining options, a pool, gym and spa, but also carries on the Fairmont tradition of offering afternoon tea, but with a nod to its airport setting. As you sip your tea and nibble on your biscuits, you get a close-up view of airport operations, thrilling planespotters of all ages.

Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel

Edmonton Airport’s Renaissance hotel is hugely popular with travellers. HANDOUT PHOTO / MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL

The Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel is the city’s newest CAA/AAA 4 Diamond Hotel and is the only Renaissance in the world attached to an airport terminal. Its soundproofed rooms are perfect for guests who need to sleep any time of day, no matter what time zone their bodies think they are in. Aimed at both business and leisure travellers, the Renaissance has all the amenities travellers need including a fitness facility, pool and the ultra-modern Halo Bar and Bistro.

Calgary Airport Marriott Hotel

The Calgary Airport Marriott has been completely redesigned. HANDOUT PHOTO / MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL

A lot ot travellers that stay at airport hotels are secret planespotters. Marriott knows that which is why guests who stay on this airport’s seventh floor receive an in-room telescope so they can watch the planes come and go. Conveniently located between the international and domestic terminals, the Calgary Airport Marriott Hotel offers comfortable rooms that offer your choice of mountain, city or runway views. The hotel is also home to the Yakima Social Kitchen and Bar which serves locally-sourced cuisine based on Aboriginal, Asian and North American influences, all of which can be washed down with selections from their all-Canadian craft beer collection.

Delta Hotel by Marriott Calgary Airport In-Terminal

No matter what time you check in to Calgary Airport’s Delta Hotel, you can take advantage of their 24-hour room service. HANDOUT PHOTO / MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL

If the Marriott is full, Calgary’s airport offers a second in-terminal option, the Delta which is actually across the street from the main terminal attached to it by an all-weather pedestrian overpass. It has all of the comforts and amenities you would expect from a modern hotel. Their parking packages are especially attractive for people who want to stash their car somewhere while they are away.

Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto International Airport

If you need a nice place to stay at Canada’s biggest airport, the Sheraton Gateway Hotel is one of your options. HANDOUT PHOTO / MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL

Toronto’s traffic is notorious so if you need to get to Pearson for an early-morning flight, it means having to leave your house at some ungodly hour. It can be even worse depending on where in the GTA you are coming from. The Sheraton Gateway Hotel is the ideal place to avoid that headache by staying the night before your departure. Integrated into Terminal 3, the hotel is easy to get to as it’s a short hop to the airport’s UP Express station, the train that whisks passengers to Pearson from Union Station downtown.

Alt Hotel Toronto Airport

Alt Hotels spotlight local artists through the altexpo, a pictures mosaic that greets you as you enter the hotel. HANDOUT PHOTO / ALT HOTELS

Technically, this hotel isn’t in the airport terminal, but it’s connected to Pearson by Terminal Link, the rail line that connects the airport’s terminal buildings so passengers can seamlessly step from the hotel to the airport via the adjacent Viscount Station. Alt hotels are known for being comfortable and paying attention to small details, like having no set checkout times when guests book directly with them which is convenient if you have a flight that leaves later in the day.

Montreal Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel

If you like watching planes come and go, you’ll spend a lot of time in the lounge at Montreal airport’s Marriott. HANDOUT PHOTO / MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL

Sitting atop the U.S. departures terminal of Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, the Montreal Airport Marriott Hotel is a newly-renovated, contemporary hotel that is a comfortable option for travellers who need to stay at the airport. If you want to relax before or after your flight, the hotel is home to a first-class spa and, as you would expect in a city that’s known for its love of food, its Bijou Resto and Bar serves international dishes to suit every palate, but don’t forget to try their poutine.

Alt Hotel Halifax Airport

Alt Hotel’s Halifax airport hotel is attached directly to the terminal building by an all-weather walkway. HANDOUT PHOTO / ALT HOTELS

Canadian-owned and family-operated, Alt Hotels describe itself as “no frills chic,” providing guests what they need without the extra fluff and their Halifax airport destination is no exception. They are noted for having beds that are super comfortable and because guests always ask where to buy their beddings, linens and pillows, they point them to Simons.ca, the Quebec-based retailer that supplies them.

– Mark Stachiew is a Montreal-based freelance writer who shares travel news and tips at www.stachiew.com and curates a collection of cool travel gear at www.jetsetgeneration.com.

Air France working to lure Canadian business passengers with new jets, more flights — and seats that recline flat

News provided by Vancouver Sun – link to full story and updates

Airline plans to increase capacity on the Toronto-Paris route by 15% by summer 2020 on top of a 20% increase over the past three years

EMILY JACKSON Updated: October 29, 2019

Air France is vying for more Canadian customers — especially those who fancy lying flat in business class on overnight flights to Paris — with investments to increase the number of flights to and from Toronto on its newest Airbus aircraft.

The airline owned by Air France KLM Group plans to increase capacity on the Toronto-Paris route by 15 per cent by summer 2020 on top of a 20 per cent increase over the past three years, executives said in Toronto on Monday after arriving on Air France’s first Airbus A350-900’s inaugural transatlantic flight.

Much like Calgary-based WestJet Airlines Ltd., which is ramping up transatlantic flights with its new Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Air France is moving upmarket to try to attract business class passengers with its brand new planes. It doubled the number of business seats available in summer 2019 and by next summer will operate two flights daily for the first time since it started flying in and out of Toronto’s international airport in 1976.

“Canada is our third market after the U.S. and China,” chief executive Anne Rigail said in an interview. “It’s really very important for us to offer the best of our products to Ontario customers.”

Despite challenges Air France faces in its domestic market — it plans to reduce short- and mid-haul capacity by 2.5 per cent this winter amidst increased competition from high-speed trains and low-cost carriers such as Ryanair and EasyJet — it expects its long-haul capacity to rise 4 per cent this season.

Air France has not been majorly affected by the Boeing 737 Max groundings, as it had none of the jets in its predominantly Airbus fleet. While the groundings will affect how Air France handles safety certifications going forward, Rigail said it’s difficult to see the exact impact from the groundings given the larger economic context.

“The economy context is a bit concerning,” Rigail said. “We have this trade war that is affecting the customer demand. We see it on the yield.”

Still, capacity between Canada and Europe rose 5 per cent last year, and Air France expects that steady growth to continue this year, said Vincent Etchebehere, general manager of Air France KLM Canada.

Many long-haul airlines have taken a low-cost approach on transatlantic flights, causing Air France to tweak its communication strategy in the North America to pitch its fares as competitive once all the “hidden fees” from rivals are added, Etchebehere said. But he sees a bit of a reversal in Canada, where airlines such as WestJet are upgrading to full service.

“That is why our business strategy in terms of quality of the offering improvement is so consistent for Canada,” he said.

The new A350s have larger windows, wider screens, are 40 per cent quieter and the business class seats recline flat. The executives insisted these features make a difference even though they said the flight schedule is the number one selling factor for business travellers.

As such, Air France is spending to try to raise brand awareness in Canada with a sponsorship for the Toronto International Film Festival. (Etchebehere said the 2005 incident where an Air France flight overshot the runway at Toronto Pearson didn’t have a noticeable affect on the brand.)

It’s also pitching itself as the sustainable choice given investments to renew its fleet. By 2025, it expects to take delivery of 28 A350s (it signed a $7.5-billion deal with Airbus in 2013). In July 2019, Air France announced a $5.5-billion order for 60 A220s, the model formerly known as the C Series until Airbus took control of the plane from Bombardier.

The A350 reduces fuel consumption and carbon emissions by 25 per cent and the A220 by 20 per cent, CEO Rigail said. Air France has already reduced its overall carbon dioxide emissions by 7 per cent since 2011, she said, and by 2030 plans to cut them by 50 per cent from 2005 levels.

“In Europe, we feel really big pressure from our consumers, business or leisure, to be able to travel in a more sustainable way,” she said.

The executives were curious to know how Canadians reacted to the news that Air France bought the A220 planes given they’re still manufactured in Mirabel, Que., even though Bombardier gave Airbus a 50.1 per cent stake in the project in exchange for taking over procurement, marketing and sales.

“It was a big step. Everyone wondering why we were choosing a Canadian aircraft,” Rigail said.

She described the plane as “tremendous” in terms of cost and customer experience.

“You had quite a problem with production. The conditions were perfect for everyone,” she said.

Financial Post


Air Transat previews its summer 2020 offering, with new Europe, U.S. destinations

News provided by Travelweek.ca – link to full story and updates

Friday, October 25, 2019 Posted by Travelweek Group

MONTREAL — Air Transat has unveiled its full program for summer 2020, with 150 flights a week to 27 European cities and more flights to the South and the U.S.

New summer destinations include Copenhagen, Faro and San Diego and New Orleans in the U.S.

The airline has boosted the number of destinations available from Montreal and Toronto, plus numerous domestic and connecting flights will benefit travellers across the country.

“The arrival of our Airbus A321neoLRs marks the dawn of a new era for us,” says Transat’s Chief Operating Officer, Annick Guérard. “Along with our wide-body fleet, these aircraft help us become more flexible by increasing the options to reach Europe from major Canadian airports. Travellers win big, with more holiday choices and increased frequencies.”

She says TGV AIR will be back in the summer of 2020, following its successful debut in 2019. In partnership with SNCF, France’s national rail service, Air Transat clients can combine a flight to Paris with rail travel from Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport. That way, travellers can access 18 French cities as well as Brussels, Belgium. “Our priority is to give tourists choices,” says Guérard. “Many of our customers took advantage of this service this year.”

Here are the highlights of Air Transat’s summer 2020 schedule…

EUROPE

In summer 2020 Air Transat will operate 24 flights a week to the United Kingdom from Toronto, five more than in 2019, including two daily flights to London in high season.More news:  “Don’t shy away from selling Hawaii”: Agents get the latest updates at ALOHA Canada 2019

The airline will have five flights to Manchester and five to Glasgow each week. Most of these destinations will be available to travellers flying from Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver, thanks to connecting flights.

In total, Air Transat will offer direct flights to 15 European cities from Toronto. It will also operate flights from Montreal to London five times a week.

From Montreal Air Transat will operate 17 flights a week to Paris, three more than in 2019, and will once again feature Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Toulouse and Basel-Mulhouse.

Most of these French destinations will also be available from Quebec City, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

In total, Air Transat will have direct flights to 20 European cities from Montreal.

Earlier this month Air Transat announced new direct service between Montreal and Copenhagen. Running 2x/weekly from June 16 to Sept. 20, 2020, it’s the only nonstop service between the two cities.

Air Transat will also fly to Paris from Toronto five times a week.

The airline will operate four direct flights a week to Paris from Quebec City, one more than in 2019. It will also keep its flights from Quebec City to Montreal, thus offering Quebec City travellers access to 16 European cities.More news:  “You can count on us”: Cuba specialist Hola Sun has perks for agents & clients this winter

From Vancouver, Air Transat will fly three times a week to Amsterdam, Manchester and London. It will also offer 12 flights a week to Toronto and seven flights a week to Montreal, making the majority of its European destinations available to its West Coast customers.

Air Transat will also offer 58 flights a week to Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Croatia from Toronto and Montreal, including one flight to Faro for the first time in the summer of 2020.

Air-Transat-previews-its-summer-2020-offering-with-new-Europe-U.S.-destinations-3

DOMESTIC & CONNECTORS

Air Transat continues to enhance its domestic flight program for travellers looking for a connecting flight to Europe.

From Vancouver, the airline will offer 12 flights a week to Toronto and a daily flight to Montreal. From Calgary, it will fly to Toronto and Montreal four times a week, respectively. In addition, there will be 14 flights a week between Toronto and Montreal, and four between Quebec City and Montreal.

Air-Transat-previews-its-summer-2020-offering-with-new-Europe-U.S.-destinations

SOUTH DESTINATIONS

In 2020 Air Transat will have 30 flights a week from Toronto to 10 South destinations.

From Montreal, Air Transat will offer 50 flights a week to 16 destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean and the U.S., including Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, San Diego and New Orleans.

Air Transat will also offer flights to Punta Cana, Cancun and Fort Lauderdale from Quebec City.

Air-Transat-previews-its-summer-2020-offering-with-new-Europe-U.S.-destinations-2

WestJet Dreamin’ more Dreamliner in 2020

Provided by WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership/CNW

Guests to benefit from more 787 service between European
destinations and Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver

CALGARY, Oct. 22, 2019 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced its guests in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto will benefit from more domestic and transatlantic 787-9 Dreamliner service for summer 2020, giving the airline’s guests more opportunity to experience WestJet’s new Business Premium and Economy cabins on the state-of-the-art aircraft.

“As we welcome new 787 deliveries, we continue to showcase WestJet’s award-winning guest experience to the world,” said Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “Our Dreamliner service is unique to WestJet and through increased domestic and transatlantic connections we’re able to offer Canadians and visitors a superior experience whether travelling for business or leisure.”

Dreamliner schedule highlights:

  • Earlier Dreamliner service between London, Gatwick and Calgary, operating daily as of April 14, 2020.
  • Year-round daily service between Toronto and London, Gatwick on the Dreamliner.
  • Daily seasonal summer Dreamliner service between Vancouver and London, Gatwick commences on April 26, 2010.
  • Domestic year-round 787 service between Calgary and Toronto beginning in June.
  • Transatlantic Dreamliner service between Paris and Calgary resumes March 12, 2020.

WestJet will receive three additional Boeing Dreamliners in 2020 bringing the airline’s total to six of up to 20.

The WestJet Dreamliner features 320 seats in three cabins: Business, Premium and Economy, all of which contain a high-level of comfort and WestJet’s award-winning guest service. The Dreamliner’s Business cabin features all-aisle-access, lie-flat seats with on-demand dining and entertainment. The upscale Premium cabin is the ideal combination of comfort, value and guest service including a separate cabin, elevated meal service and signature welcome perks featuring champagne and an amenity case. WestJet’s improved Economy cabin features on-demand inflight entertainment, blankets and pillows and complimentary food and beverages with a select number of extra legroom seats available for purchase.

Details of WestJet’s 787 summer service:

RouteFrequencyDepartingArrivingEffective
Calgary-ParisFour-times weekly7:35 p.m.12:20 p.m. (+1)March 12, 2020
Calgary-TorontoDaily8:30 a.m.1:56 p.m.Daily as of June
Calgary-DublinThree-times weekly8:45 p.m.11:36 a.m. (+1)May 30, 2020
Calgary-London, GatwickDaily7:50 p.m.11:20 a.m. (+1)April 14, 2020
Vancouver-London, GatwickDaily5:25 p.m.10:30 a.m. (+1)April 26, 2020
London, Gatwick-VancouverDaily10:55 a.m.12:27 p.m.April 27, 2020
Toronto-London, GatwickDaily8:45 p.m.9:00 a.m. (+1)October 23, 2019
London, Gatwick-TorontoDaily12:35 p.m.3:54 p.m.October 24, 2019
Toronto-CalgaryDaily4:00 p.m.6:00 p.m.Daily as of June

For more information on new routes and increased frequencies in WestJet’s 787-9 summer schedule, please visit westjet.com/flight-schedules-new.

“Stink Fruit” Cargo Spoiled An Air Canada Flight

News provided by Yahoo Finance & Freightwaves

Benzinga October 9, 2019

An Air Canada Rouge flight returned to Vancouver after the Boeing 767-300’s cabin filled with the odor from a shipment of durian fruit – whose odor is often compared to rotting meat.

Details from the flight on Air Canada‘s (TSX:AC)  low-cost subsidiary emerged in the incident report provided to FreightWaves by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSBC) on October 8.  

The troubles arose shortly after the 767 took off from Vancouver International Airport on September 17 with 245 passengers and eight crew, destined for Montreal. Crew members first noticed a “strong odor” while the aircraft was at 7,000 feet above sea level, according to the TSBC report.

The flight crew leveled off at 25,000 feet to troubleshoot the problem after failing to clear the smell from the cabin. They then declared a PAN-PAN, indicating an urgent but not immediately dangerous situation, “donned their oxygen masks and returned to land” in Vancouver, the TSBC report said.

The durian shipment in the forward cargo compartment was identified as the source of the odor and removed from the flight. The aircraft then returned to service. No injuries were reported.

Final thoughts:

The incident aboard the Air Canada Rouge flight isn’t the first time durian has caused problems as a cargo. The smell from two metric tons led to a temporary grounding of a flight in Indonesia in November 2018. 

Needless to say, the airline probably will think twice before accepting a shipment of the prized but noxious fruit. 

Toronto Pearson releases results of Canada’s first airport workforce survey

Provided by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority/CNW

Airport workers optimistic about their futures at Canada’s largest airport, note challenges in commuting to work

TORONTO, Oct. 3, 2019 /CNW/ – Toronto Pearson today released a summary report of the first ever multi-employer workforce survey conducted at a Canadian airport. The report was developed in cooperation with the Peel-Halton Workforce Development Group and Northstar Research Partners. The survey, conducted in collaboration with the Toronto Airport Workers Council (TAWC), resulted in the collection of 3,582 survey responses1 from employees across Pearson.

The findings in the report, titled “Understanding the Pearson workforce,” suggest that the 50,000 people who work at Pearson for over 400 companies reflect Canada’s diversity. Employees see Pearson as a place where they can build their careers and feel that working at Pearson is a point of pride.

The data from the survey indicates areas for future work and collaboration among the GTAA, employers, unions and other stakeholders. While results support a general finding that Pearson provides good, stable employment opportunities for thousands of employees, there are elements of employment precarity within the airport work environment, particularly for those who work part-time and for minimum wage. Moreover, employees’ desire for enhanced transit connections to and from the airport emerged as a clear theme.

Primary findings of the survey include:

  • Pearson’s employees are diverse in terms of age, immigration status, ethnicity, education levels and family make-up.
  • Pearson provides a strong and stable work environment with opportunities for employee growth and development, and this is reflected in employee satisfaction and attitudes toward working at the airport.
  • Employees view Pearson as a workplace that provides opportunity for advancement and career growth. The majority of employees believe that Pearson provides not only a good job today, but also opportunity to grow and advance, and although they express a desire to advance from their current jobs, they want to stay at the airport in their next role. This extends to those with elements of precarity in their work arrangements, such as minimum wage and part-time work.

In addition to the above, it was found that commuting represents a primary challenge for the workforce at Pearson, with an average daily commute time of two hours. The majority of respondents commute by car to Pearson, even if they live close to the airport, and most employees feel that they do not have viable transit options for their commute.

With the aim of giving more employees access to transit, the GTAA has partnered with Metrolinx on an innovative pilot fare program that aims to help Pearson employees choose GO Transit as an alternative to driving for their daily commute to and from the airport. The pilot, funded by the GTAA, will begin in late 2019 and is a measurable step toward addressing some of the transit-related learnings gleaned from the workforce survey.

“The results of Canada’s first ever airport workforce survey are heartening in that they reinforce what most people who work at Pearson already know—the airport is dynamic, the workforce is diverse, and rewarding, long-term careers are built here,” says Howard Eng, President and CEO, Greater Toronto Airports Authority. “The survey results also point to avenues that require further exploration, including determining, in cooperation with employers and unions, ways in which employees can be provided with more growth opportunities, as well as giving workers more choice when it comes to transit options to and from the airport.”

“Pearson is a small city, with some 50,000 people working for hundreds of companies,” says Steven Tufts, Spokesperson for TAWC. “We’re pleased with the collaborative approach that Pearson is taking to understanding the demographic profile of Pearson’s workforce and we’re looking forward to continuing in that spirit of collaboration as we explore future work based on these results, particularly with regard to addressing precarity and improving transit options for Pearson employees.”

The survey and summary report represent the latest step in a plan developed in consultation with TAWC. Upcoming work, informed by these survey results, will focus on sharing the survey results with a variety of stakeholders and exploring programs and potential policy interventions to respond to what employees have said about their desire to grow their careers.

To view the summary report, “Understanding the Pearson workforce: Canada’s first airport workforce survey,” including a series of infographics highlighting key results, please visit www.torontopearson.com/workforce.