WestJet launches new routes to multiple Vancouver Island airports

From CHEK News – link to source story – thanks to CW

July 1, 2021 NICHOLAS PESCOD/CHEK NEWS

NICHOLAS PESCOD/CHEK NEWS

WestJet recently launched four new non-stop flights from three Vancouver Island airports and restored previously cancelled service on six other Island routes.

As travel restrictions continue to loosen across the province, the nation’s second-largest airline has launched four new routes to airports across Vancouver Island.

WestJet recently launched four new non-stop flights from three Vancouver Island airports and restored previously cancelled service on six other Island routes.

The new direct routes are Comox–Toronto, Victoria–Ottawa, Victoria–Saskatoon, and Victoria–Winnipeg.

WestJet has also restored service on its Comox–Edmonton, Comox–Vancouver, Nanaimo–Vancouver, Victoria–Toronto, and Victoria–Kelowna routes, which they had cancelled due to the pandemic.

The airline also brought back long-desired direct flights between Nanaimo and Edmonton, following a five-year hiatus.

All of the routes are now in operation, with Victoria–Toronto flights resuming June 30.

“We have been talking to a lot of people and we are listening to what investments Vancouver Island wants and needs and all of these routes have been planned in advance,” Morgan Bell, media spokesperson for WestJet, told CHEK News. “It’s exciting that they are now going to fully take flight.”

With British Columbia reopening and the demand for domestic travel slowly increasing, Bell says it’s only natural for the company to not only restore cancelled routes but launch new ones.

“Canadians are going to travel domestically this summer and inbound tourism to Vancouver Island is important,” Bell explained. “While I know everybody loves to stay on Vancouver Island, there are also people from Vancouver Island that want to get back out and connect with friends and family across the country and other places.”

Comox gets direct flights to Toronto, Edmonton flights return to Nanaimo

Perhaps the most eye-catching of the new routes is the non-stop service between Comox and Toronto, which operates on a weekly basis — at least for now.

“The hope is that as more and more people begin flying again and these flights get full, we’ll add more service,” said Bell.

The new route launched June 26 — just as Air Canada restarted non-stop service between Canada’s most populated city and nearby Nanaimo — and brings the total number of airports on Vancouver Island with direct Toronto flights to three.

“It’s going to be great to see a major city like Toronto connect directly into Comox,” said Bell.

Another notable route is Nanaimo to Edmonton, which began operations on June 25 and runs twice a week. Although it was listed as a new route in the company’s press release, WestJet briefly operated non-stop flights between the two cities in early 2016 but cancelled them after only three months due to the economic downturn in Alberta.

Bell says WestJet is thrilled to restart service after more than five years, explaining that there has been no shortage of demand for service between the two regions.

“There’s so much interest in northern Alberta that’s coming through the Edmonton airport from Nanaimo, and also guests from Vancouver Island going into Edmonton,” she said. “There are pretty strong connections between the two cities, so it’s great to see that route come back.”

While the restoration of old routes and the addition of new routes, may seem like a lot, Bell says WestJet is still operating well below pre-pandemic levels.

“We’re still at 60 per cent reduction in terms of capacity from what would have been 2019. In July 2019, we were operating about 600 flights a day, and this July, we’re only looking at about 300,” she said. “We still have a really long way to go.”

Airport, flying experience will be different amid the pandemic

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With an increasing number of people becoming comfortable with the idea of getting on a plane after more than a year on the ground, Bell says those who are planning on taking to the skies should be prepared for some changes.

“It’s definitely very different. I took my first flight today in six months, and it felt very different,” she said.

That’s because airports have implemented new rules and safety measures throughout the pandemic such as mandatory mask-wearing, dedicated entrance and exit flow, and increased cleaning throughout terminals. Victoria International Airport, for example, is limiting access to its terminal building to just passengers with tickets, though there are some exceptions.

“While we’re restoring all this and people are excited to get on the move again, we also understand that it’s going to be a new experience for them,” said Bell. “I mean, people haven’t been in an airport for potentially 18 months.”

“I think it’s going to be a good experience, but it’s also going to be something that people need to prepare for and be ready for.”

As a result, Bell suggests people read all the rules and travel requirements well before their flight and arrive at the airport even earlier than the recommended 90 minutes prior to departure.

“We’re still in the pandemic, there are new rules, and there are different screening points and security points to get through,” she said. “So, I would just always say give yourself extra time and just be willing and flexible to adapt to any changes that come your way.”

Flair Airlines Starting Service as the First True Ultra Low-Cost Carrier in Victoria With Fares Less Than $30

EDMONTON, Alberta, July 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Flair Airlines, Canada’s only independent ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), continues its growth with the inaugural service at Victoria International Airport (IATA: YYJ) in British Columbia starting today. The ULCC is adding ultra-affordable, non-stop flights between Victoria and 3 Canadian cities: Kitchener-Waterloo, Calgary, and Edmonton.

“It is quickly becoming known that the residents of British Columbia have been gouged on air travel for years,” says Stephen Jones, President and CEO, Flair Airlines. “Additional competition in the Victoria market is critical to ensuring a sustainable future of low-fares remains available for people in the region. Connecting people with the places, people, and experiences they love is at the heart of what we do. At Flair, we believe those connections should not be capitalized on by legacy airlines who refuse to keep their costs in check. The time for change and the lowering of Canadian airfares is now, and Flair is here to make that happen.”

“We’re pleased to welcome the return of Flair Airlines to Victoria and congratulate them today on their inaugural flight to Kitchener-Waterloo. We thank Flair for their commitment to YYJ and wish them the best of success with this new innovative service,” said Geoff Dickson, Victoria Airport Authority, President and CEO.

Victoria is among several new destinations Flair is adding to its network as the airline grows to serve 20 Canadian cities. Fares are available for less than $30 one-way. With an ambitious goal to grow to 50 aircraft in 5 years, Flair is rapidly expanding as it brings ULCC service to Canadians.

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 20 cities across Canada. For more information, please visit http://www.flyflair.com

WestJet reconnecting routes across British Columbia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

British Columbia route restarts between now and June 30, 2021

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

About WestJet 

In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

WestJet reconnecting Saskatchewan routes

Airline to restore non-stop service to Edmonton and inaugurate new flights from Saskatoon and Regina

CALGARY, AB, June 25, 2021 /CNW/ – WestJet is further restoring Saskatchewan’s domestic connectivity with the restoration and inauguration of five routes to and from destinations across Alberta and British Columbia from Saskatoon and Regina. Full schedule details and resumption dates are outlined below.

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

WestJet’s investments are critical to ensuring Saskatchewan’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and by the end of June the airline will begin its new non-stop flights from Saskatoon to Kelowna and Victoria.

“We have spent time listening to our valued government, airport, tourism and related industry partners in Saskatchewan as we enter the recovery phase of the pandemic. We thank Premier Moe and his government for prioritizing travel in their restart plan. While progress has been made in Saskatchewan, we continue to advocate for a safe travel framework from the Government of Canada,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President.

This July, WestJet will offer non-stop service from Saskatoon to seven cities and five cities from Regina.

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

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

Saskatchewan route restarts between now and July 6, 2021

RoutePeak FrequencyRoute restart date
Regina – Kelowna *2x weeklyJune 24, 2021
Regina – Edmonton6x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Saskatoon – Kelowna *2x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Saskatoon – Victoria *2x weeklyJune 27, 2021
Saskatoon – Edmonton6x weeklyJuly 6, 2021
*New route

About WestJet 

In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

Hey Victoria! Say Hello to Non-Stop Service to Las Vegas and Puerto Vallarta

Swoop continues its investment in British Columbia’s capital city, grows route offerings from Victoria to four destinations

VICTORIA, BC, June 24, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low fare airline announced new non-stop service from Victoria to Las Vegas and Puerto Vallarta. The airline also will celebrate its inaugural flight from Toronto to Victoria with flight WO 424 scheduled to arrive at Victoria International Airport at 12:38 p.m., local time and returning to Toronto at 1:30 p.m.

As part of the airline’s commitment to supporting the economic recovery of the Greater Victoria Region with access to affordable air travel, Swoop now offers point-to-point service to two Canadian destinations, Toronto and Edmonton and will provide sun-seeking Vancouver Islanders two new exciting destinations to explore this winter.

“The introduction of Las Vegas and Puerto Vallarta are the perfect additions to our route offerings from Victoria for those looking to take a warm-weather getaway at an affordable price,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial and Finance, Swoop. “Today Swoop will celebrate our inaugural flight from Toronto to Victoria and we are thrilled to be furthering our commitment to Greater Victoria by bringing more service and ultra-low fares to the region.”

With flights now available for booking, service between Victoria International Airport (YYJ) and McCarran International Airport (LAS) will begin October 31 and operate twice weekly on Thursdays and Sundays. Flights to Puerto Vallarta’s  Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR) will go on sale on June 30 with the airline set to offer non-stop service once weekly on Sundays.

“We’re really pleased that Swoop has announced new non-stop service to Las Vegas and Puerto-Vallarta,” said Geoff Dickson, Victoria Airport Authority President and CEO. “We know Greater Victoria is very appreciative of the support Swoop is showing in our community and the contribution to our local economy. This announcement will be sure to generate a lot of excitement as Las Vegas and Puerto Vallarta are very popular destinations and many people are looking forward to enjoying travel again.”

“We are thrilled that Swoop has announced this new direct route from Victoria to Las Vegas,” said Fletch Brunelle, vice president of marketing and sales for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “Canadian visitors have always enjoyed the adult freedom that Las Vegas offers and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome them back to experience new resorts, dynamic entertainment, a variety of culinary experiences and world-class sporting events. The pent-up demand to travel is strong, and this route offers a quick, convenient way for Swoop passengers to resume their ‘Only Vegas’ experience.”

“We are thrilled that Swoop has launched direct air service from Victoria to Puerto Vallarta,” said Luis Villaseñor, Managing Director of Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board. “Puerto Vallarta has long been a beloved sun destination among Canadian travellers, and, as travel restrictions begin to ease, we are ready to welcome Swoop passengers from British Columbia to enjoy year-round sunshine, sea-to-mountain views, inclusive experiences, and our signature brand of authentic Mexican hospitality.”

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

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

Swoop’s modern fleet of 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. 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.

WestJet brings together Vancouver Island tourism industry to talk safe travel restart

Thanks to CW

WestJet

By WestJet | June 17, 2021

When more than 70 virtual guests gathered at WestJet’s second Restart Roundtable for Vancouver Island, it was clear that the industry from the Minister of Transportation, Rob Fleming to the CEOs of Comox, Nanaimo and Victoria airports to community and business leaders were eager to discuss the need to safely restart of tourism to and from the island.

WestJet is proud of its history of investment and market stimulation on Vancouver Island.  Prior to COVID-19, the visitor economy generated a whopping $2.2 billion annually for the Island’s economy, making tourism either first or second on the list of economic drivers in every community in the region.

COVID-19 brought the travel and tourism industry to its knees as borders shut and travel was discouraged. From March 2020 through now, for the most part tour operators, hotels, restaurants, conference centres, taxis and more have sat still and a large part of the population who are employed directly or indirectly in the industry continue to be impacted.

For many of the thousands of Islanders who have been waiting to get back to work, a recent announcement from the Government of British Columbia on safely reopening the province to tourism, was a welcome step forward.

Tourism Victoria

“A safe reopening is critical for the cities on Vancouver Island, all of which have lost their most lucrative markets,” said Paul Nursey, CEO Destination Greater Victoria. 

“We thank WestJet for the restart initiative; from hosting this meeting to investing in more than 255 flights to and from the Island this summer to stimulate travel and restart this important sector of our economy.”

“While WestJet continued essential service throughout the pandemic to Comox, Nanaimo and Victoria, we are grateful to have the Government of British Columbia’s clear reopening plan,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice President. “Working from a well-defined starting point has allowed WestJet and Swoop to add six new routes to and from the Island this summer to stimulate travel and directly support the Province’s and the Islands safe return of its visitor economy.”

Downtown Victoria

WestJet has invested in the visitor economy of the Island for 25 years since first flying to Victoria in its inaugural year followed by Comox in 1997 and Nanaimo in 2013. Over the past 10 years to the province’s capital city alone, the airline has provided a 30 per cent guest growth and flown more than seven million guests to and from the island. This summer, the WestJet Group’s ultra-low-cost carrier, Swoop, is also flying between Victoria and Edmonton.

“Today’s restart roundtable was a significant milestone as we collectively work together to ensure that British Columbians can explore Canada and reconnect with family and friends this summer,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial & Finance, Swoop. “We are grateful to our partners who share in our commitment to the safe restart of travel and tourism within Canada and look forward to supporting the economic recovery of the region through our ultra-low-cost service to Edmonton and Toronto from Victoria.”

Air Canada Supports Economic Recovery as the Country’s Leading Carrier, Serving 50 Cities Across Canada to Enable Canadians to Conveniently Connect

  • Most extensive domestic schedule supports Canada’s tourism and hospitality sector
  • Includes three new routes, re-established routes plus Air Canada Signature Class and Premium Economy Class cabins on select transcontinental routes
  • New refund policy gives additional peace of mind

MONTREAL, June 15, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada’s domestic peak summer schedule beginning at the end of June has been developed to advance the country’s economic recovery and support Canada’s tourism and hospitality businesses during the important summer period.  Three new domestic Canada routes, service to 50 Canadian airports, the re-establishment of select regional routes, and wide-body aircraft featuring Air Canada Signature Class and Premium Economy Class on select transcontinental routes are included. Seats with attractive pricing in all cabins are available for purchase now at aircanada.com, via the Air Canada App, Air Canada’s Contact Centres and travel agencies.

“With Canada’s ongoing vaccine roll-out acceleration together with various provincial governments’ reopening plans that include travel, this summer is looking brighter. As customers are ready to travel, Air Canada is taking a leadership position to support our partners in Canada’s tourism and hospitality sector with service to 50 destinations from coast to coast, the re-start of regional services and new, non-stop flights,” said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada.

“We are especially proud that our new state-of-the-art, Canadian-manufactured Airbus A220 aircraft will be operating across Canada. With our industry-leading CleanCare+ bio-safety protocols, promotional fares including for our premium cabins, compelling Aeroplan opportunities, and our new refund policy offering additional peace of mind, customers can book Air Canada with confidence.  We look forward to welcoming you onboard when you’re ready to fly,” concluded Mr. Galardo.

Air Canada’s new refund policy provides customers an option for a refund to the original form of payment in instances where Air Canada cancels their flight or reschedules the departure time by more than three hours, irrespective of the reason. Air Canada customers will also have the option of accepting an Air Canada Travel Voucher or Aeroplan points with a 65% bonus.  Normal fare rules will apply when customers make voluntary changes to non-affected flights.

New route details:

RouteFrequencyAircraftEffective
Montreal-Deer LakeDailyCRJ900Jul 1, 2021
Montreal-Kelowna3x Weekly July4x Weekly AugAirbus A220June 26, 2021
Montreal-Saskatoon-ReginaDailyCRJ900Aug 1, 2021

Resumption of services:

Airport StationRouteEffectiveFrequency
Gander Gander – HalifaxJun 293x Weekly
 Gander – TorontoJul 25x Weekly
St. John’s St. John’s – TorontoJun 19Daily
Goose Bay Goose Bay – St. John’sJun 293x Weekly
Deer Lake Deer Lake – HalifaxAug 15x Weekly
Halifax Halifax – CalgaryAug 15x Weekly
Sydney Sydney – TorontoJun 263x Weekly
 Sydney – MontrealAug 1Daily
Charlottetown Charlottetown – TorontoJun 184x Weekly
Saint John Saint John – MontrealJun 303x Weekly
 Saint John – TorontoJul 24x Weekly
Fredericton Fredericton – MontrealJun 29Daily
 Fredericton – TorontoJul 15x Weekly
Bathurst Bathurst – MontrealJun 273x Weekly
Quebec City Quebec City – TorontoJun 191x Daily
Ottawa Ottawa – CalgaryJul 2Daily
 Ottawa – EdmontonAug 12x Weekly
North Bay North Bay – TorontoJun 283x Weekly
Fort McMurray Fort McMurray – TorontoJuly 12x Weekly
Winnipeg Winnipeg – CalgaryJun 206x weekly
 Winnipeg – MontrealAug 1Daily
Regina Regina – CalgaryJul 15x Weekly
Saskatoon Saskatoon – CalgaryJul 25x Weekly
Kamloops Kamloops – VancouverJun 294x Weekly
 Kamloops – CalgaryJun 284x Weekly
Comox Comox – VancouverJun 303x Weekly
Nanaimo Nanaimo – TorontoJul 41x Weekly
 Nanaimo – CalgaryJul 25x weekly
Prince Rupert Prince Rupert – VancouverJun 253x Weekly
Penticton Penticton – VancouverJun 294x Weekly
Sandspit Sandspit – VancouverJun 233x Weekly
Victoria Montreal – VictoriaJun 193x Weekly
 Toronto – VictoriaJun 194x Weekly
 Calgary – VictoriaJun 214x Weekly
Castlegar Castlegar – VancouverJun 283x Weekly
Kelowna Kelowna TorontoJun 184x Weekly
Yellowknife Yellowknife – CalgaryJun 303x Weekly

Air Canada is also providing connectivity to five additional regional communities through interline agreements with third party regional carriers: Wabush, Baie Comeau, Gaspe, Mont Joli, and Val d’Or.

Air Canada’s commercial schedule may be adjusted as required based on the COVID-19 trajectory and government restrictions.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline, and in 2020 was among the top 20 largest airlines in the world. It is Canada’s flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax. In 2020, Air Canada was named Global Traveler’s Best Airline in North America for the second straight year. In January 2021, Air Canada received APEX’s Diamond Status Certification for the Air Canada CleanCare+ biosafety program for managing COVID-19, the only airline in Canada to attain the highest APEX ranking. Air Canada has also committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050.

Swoop 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.

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

Passengers through Victoria International Airport plummet to a tenth of 2019 numbers

From Saanich News – link to source story

The number of passengers through the Victoria International Airport has plummeted since COVID-19 hit. (Black Press Media file photo)

The number of passengers through the Victoria International Airport has plummeted since COVID-19 hit. (Black Press Media file photo)

Only domestic flights allowed through YYJ in 2021

JANE SKRYPNEK | May. 6, 2021

Traffic through the Victoria International Airport (YYJ) took a nose dive in 2020 and has continued to descend into 2021.

Month over month, the number of passengers processed through the airport in March dropped from 163,795 in 2019, to 81,105 in 2020 to 16,900 in 2021. The lowest numbers were seen in April (4,261) and May 2020 (6,635) when the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to set in. In 2019, the same months saw 159,441 and 169,825 passengers, respectively.

By April 2020, international flights had been banned from YYJ, and by May transborder flights – between Canada and the U.S. – had been stopped as well. People were asked to stop all non-essential travel. In 2019, transborder and international flights made up 13.7 per cent of YYJ passengers’ travel.

So far in 2021, 18,396 passengers were through the airport in January, 13,388 in February and 16,900 in March. These numbers represent between a 79 and 86 per cent drop from 2020. During the same months, eight, six and three flight exposures were reported through Victoria, including YYJ and Harbour Air. In April, a record number of 13 monthly exposures has been reported.

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The airport could see some bounce back starting this summer, though. Two discount airlines – Flair and Swoop – are introducing new direct domestic flights between Victoria and Calgary, Edmonton, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Toronto.

The latest projections from Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, suggest pandemic restrictions could begin to lift by mid-summer. The key, she said, is to have 75 per cent of adults with their first vaccine dose and 20 per cent with their second.

Regardless, 2021 is likely to finish as another record low year for airport traffic.