WestJet ratifies 10-year agreement with WestJet flight dispatchers

CALGARY, AB, May 25, 2022 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced that WestJet flight dispatchers, represented by the Canadian Airline Dispatchers Association (CALDA), voted more than 90 per cent in favour of a 10-year agreement.  

This ratified agreement starts June 1, 2022 and expires on May 31, 2032.  

“As our industry continues to recover, this 10-year agreement will help the long-term sustainability of WestJet and demonstrates our commitment to our WestJetters, our guests and the communities we serve,” said Diederik Pen, WestJet Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. “Our flight dispatchers exemplify true professionalism, dedication and help to ensure our operation runs smoothly day in and day out. The Canadian economy continues to transition from the challenges we faced during the pandemic. We welcome the ratification of the agreement and look forward to further collaboration to advance the recovery of Canada’s travel and tourism industry.”  

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. 

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

Transport Canada to conduct a public interest assessment regarding proposed acquisition of Sunwing Vacations and Sunwing Airlines by WestJet Airlines Ltd.

Transport Canada

May 20, 2022           Ottawa            Transport Canada

On April 8, 2022, WestJet Airlines Ltd. and Sunwing Travel Group notified the Minister of Transport that WestJet proposes to acquire Sunwing Vacations and Sunwing Airlines. This notification was in accordance with the mergers and acquisitions provisions of the Canada Transportation Act.

The Minister of Transport has determined that the transaction raises public interest considerations related to national transportation. As such, a public interest assessment of the proposed transaction will be conducted with input from the Commissioner of Competition, who will assess impacts on competition.

The public interest assessment will include consultations with the air industry and other stakeholders, other government departments, other levels of government, as well as the public. The assessment will include an analysis of the economic benefits or challenges resulting from the proposed transaction. Canadians are encouraged to have their say on letstalktransportation.ca.

Under the Canada Transportation Act, Transport Canada has up to 150 days to complete this public interest assessment. However, the Minister has the authority to grant an extension should extra time be necessary. Considering the size and scope of the proposed transaction, an extra 50 days has been granted to both Transport Canada and the Commissioner of Competition, to ensure sufficient time for thorough analysis and assessment.

The Department now has up to 200 days (until December 5, 2022) to complete the public interest assessment and provide it to the Minister. The Minister would then provide a recommendation to the Governor in Council (Cabinet) concerning the proposed purchase. The Minister’s recommendation would incorporate the findings of the Commissioner’s report on competition considerations. There is no legislated timeline for the Minister to make his recommendation or for the Governor in Council to make a final decision.

Canadian Airlines Must Follow Air Canada’s Example and Pay Airline Workers for Time Worked: CUPE

May 20, 2022

VANCOUVER, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CUPE’s Airline Division, which represents 15,000 flight attendants at nine Canadian airlines, says other major carriers like WestJet, Air Transat and Sunwing must follow the example set by Air Canada earlier this week, and pay flight attendants for time spent on the ground during delays at Pearson Airport.

“Our members are working just as hard on the ground to keep passengers safe and comfortable as they are in the air, and deserve to be paid-in-full for every minute they’re at work in uniform”

“We were happy to get an agreement this week to ensure an hour worked is an hour paid for our members at Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge,” said Wesley Lesosky, president of CUPE’s Airline Division and also president of CUPE’s Air Canada Component. “This is what can happen when the union and the employer come together: we can find solutions that benefit everybody.”

While policies differ from airline to airline, generally speaking, flight attendants are paid significantly less – or not at all – for their time on the ground. The issue has boiled over in recent months, as understaffing at Canadian airports has led to delays of two to three hours during the security screening and deplaning processes.

“Our members are working just as hard on the ground to keep passengers safe and comfortable as they are in the air, and deserve to be paid-in-full for every minute they’re at work in uniform,” said Rena Kisfalvi, secretary-treasurer of CUPE’s Airline Division and president of CUPE 4055, which represents flight attendants at Sunwing.

CUPE has been raising the issue of flight attendants essentially working for free even as they perform work duties in uniform on the ground.

“Air Canada has stepped up,” said Lesosky. “Now, it’s time for the other carriers to follow suit.”

Chris Avery to join WestJet as Vice-President, Commercial Strategy

CALGARY, AB, May 11, 2022 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced the appointment of Chris Avery, as Vice-President, Commercial Strategy. Avery, a former WestJetter, will join WestJet’s senior leadership team effective immediately.

“Chris’ knowledge and experience will be critical as we continue to drive growth and accelerate recovery,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Commercial. “We are thrilled to welcome Chris back to the WestJet team as travel demand ramps up and we focus on our long-term commercial strategy.”

Avery returns to WestJet following five years with Canadian North where he served as President and CEO from 2018 to 2022 and as Vice-President, Customer and Commercial from 2017 to 2018. During his time at the helm of Canadian North, Avery led the merger and integration activities between Canadian North and First Air and successfully navigated the pandemic crisis to position the airline for recovery. Prior to joining Canadian North, Avery spent 11 years with WestJet in senior leadership roles serving as Vice-President, Network Planning and Alliances, Vice-President and General Manager WestJet Vacations and Vice-President, Revenue and Planning. With more than two-decades of aviation experience across North America, Avery has also held positions with Alaska Airlines, Air Transat and Canadian Airlines International.

“I am excited to return to WestJet at such a pivotal time as the business evolves to meet the travel and vacation needs of Canadians in recovery,” said Avery. “This is dynamic and innovative team and I’m looking forward to working alongside WestJetters to ensure the airline’s future success.”

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. 

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

Connect with WestJet on Facebook at facebook.com/westjet 
Follow WestJet on Twitter at twitter.com/westjet and twitter.com/WestJetNews
Follow WestJet on Instagram instagram.com/westjet/ 
Subscribe to WestJet on YouTube at youtube.com/westjet 
Read the WestJet Newsroom at  westjet.com/en-ca/news 

Recent recognition includes: 

  • 2020/2019 Number-One Ranked Canadian Airline Loyalty Program in Member Engagement (Bond Brand Loyalty)
  • 2019/2018/2017 Best Airline in Canada (TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards for Airlines)  
  • 2019 Winner Among Mid-Sized Airlines in North America (TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards for Airlines) 
  • 2019/2018 Number-One-Ranked Airline Credit Card in Canada (Rewards Canada)  

Ciao Roma! WestJet takes off for The Eternal City

New connection between Alberta and Italy marks a major recovery milestone as demand for international travel and inbound tourism ramps up

CALGARY, AB, May 8, 2022 /CNW/ – WestJet last night launched its long-awaited service to Rome with the departure of WestJet flight 32 from YYC Calgary International Airport at 6:20 p.m. local time. This first ever scheduled connection between Calgary and Rome, operated on WestJet’s 320-seat 787 Dreamliner, marked a major milestone in the recovery of Alberta’s travel and tourism industry and was celebrated alongside The Honourable Rajan Sawhney, Alberta’s Minister of Transportation and Bob Sartor, President and CEO, YYC Calgary Airport Authority.

WestJet Rome inaugural ribbon cutting. From left: Angela Avery, WestJet, Executive Vice-President, External Affairs, Bob Sartor, CEO, YYC Calgary International Airport Authority, Minister Rajan Sawhney, Government of Alberta, Minister of Transportation, Chris Hedlin, WestJet, Vice-President, Network & Alliances. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)
WestJet Rome inaugural ribbon cutting. From left: Angela Avery, WestJet, Executive Vice-President, External Affairs, Bob Sartor, CEO, YYC Calgary International Airport Authority, Minister Rajan Sawhney, Government of Alberta, Minister of Transportation, Chris Hedlin, WestJet, Vice-President, Network & Alliances. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

“The launch of our highly anticipated Calgary-Rome service is an incredible milestone for both WestJet and our guests, as we’ve been looking forward to this moment, for more than two years,” said Angela Avery, WestJet, Executive Vice-President, External Affairs. “With its rich history and culture, it is no surprise that our guests are eager to visit Rome. We are thrilled to provide Western Canadians with increased connectivity to this incredible city. We are also excited to bring guests from Rome to visit Canada and assist with the recovery of Canada’s vital tourism industry.”

WestJet’s new service to and from Rome rounds out the airline’s enhanced investments in Alberta’s transatlantic connectivity and is providing Alberta with a 43 per cent increase in WestJet’s service to Europe, compared to 2019. With five European destinations to explore, Western Canadians and northwestern based Americans can now seamlessly connect to Rome, Paris, Dublin and both London-Heathrow and Gatwick from WestJet’s convenient Calgary hub.  This new connection will further expedite Canada’s travel and tourism recovery as international visitors benefit from a convenient non-stop flight to experience the vibrancy of what Alberta and Canada has to offer.

“WestJet continues to be a true Alberta success story. This new step, expanding its international offerings with a direct flight to Rome will create new opportunities for Albertans to see the world,” said Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta. “WestJet’s continued growth is another sign of Alberta’s recovery, as our tourism industry gets back on its feet after two tough years.”

WestJet’s service to Rome will operate during peak season up to three-times weekly.  The flight was originally set to launch in May of 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic.

RoutePeak frequencyStart dateDepartureArrival
Calgary – Rome3x weeklyMay 7, 20226:20 p.m.11:55 a.m. (local)
Rome – Calgary3x weeklyMay 8, 20221:55 p.m. (local)4:19 p.m.

WestJet Cargo increases offerings between Canada and Italy

Working in tandem with WestJet’s commercial between Calgary and Rome, WestJet Cargo will offer approximately 120 tonnes of weekly cargo capacity directly between Calgary and Rome on the airline’s 787 Dreamliner. WestJet Cargo’s shipments will provide increased capacity for a diverse array of products including luxury fashion products, pharmaceuticals and e-commerce. Prior to the launch of the flight, in 2021 alone, WestJet Cargo facilitated the delivery of more than 60,000 tonnes of cargo to and from Italy to destinations across Canada and the United States.

Additional quotes

WestJet’s new direct flight from Calgary to Rome sends another clear signal that there is growing confidence in Alberta’s economic recovery. This new connection will show more international travellers that Alberta is a must-see destination, while providing new overseas travel options for Albertans.

–          Rajan Sawhney, Government of Alberta, Minister of Transportation

“This non-stop route to the Eternal City is yet another milestone achievement by WestJet to expand options for our guests. By creating opportunities to bring the world to Calgary, WestJet is a significant contributor in driving the recovery of the travel sector.”

–      Bob Sartor, President & CEO, The Calgary Airport Authority.

“I am delighted to welcome the newly established WestJet flight between Rome and Calgary, which will enable the many ties between our two countries to grow.  This link is a tangible demonstration of our shared desire to build forward together in this important milestone year that marks the 75th Anniversary of Canada and Italy diplomatic relations.”

– Elissa Golberg, Ambassador of Canada to Italy

 “We are really delighted to welcome WestJet to Rome Fiumicino. The launch of the new direct flight from Calgary to Rome FCO is the result of a long-running cooperation and partnership with WestJet, signifying a relevant milestone towards the development of the connectivity between Italy and Canada. With more than one million passengers flying between Italy and Canada in 2019, the Canadian market confirms its attractiveness as one of the main long-haul markets. The new flight will grant to Canadian passengers’ full access to Rome and through our hub to the overall Italian and Mediterranean market, while customers travelling from Rome to Calgary will finally have the opportunity to fly directly to the heart of central Canada as well as to scout new flying options to the American West Coast wonders.”

–          Ivan Bassato, Chief Aviation Officer of Aeroporti di Roma

“WestJet’s new direct flight from Calgary to Rome will help spark a new and exciting cultural exchange between Italians and Albertans. Italian visitors will experience with ease Canada’s premier western destination, Alberta. Our province is host to incredible live events likes rodeos, festivals, music, theatre and hockey, and if selected the 2026 FIFA World Cup, and other cultural attractions that will keep Italian tourists coming back for more. I expect that in the years to come, many Albertans will experience the beautiful culture of Italy and the great works of the Italian Renaissance and welcome many visitors from around the world to enjoy the rich culture and heritage of our province.”

–          Ron Orr, Government of Alberta, Minister of Culture

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.

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

Air Transat and WestJet launch Transatlantic codeshare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Toronto
France:  Bordeaux, Marseille, Nantes, Nice 

Italy:  Lamezia, Rome

Spain: Malaga  

Portugal:  Faro

Switzerland: Basel-Mulhouse

Croatia: Zagreb

About Air Transat

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

About the WestJet Group of Companies 

In 26 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

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

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

WestJet and the FlightHub Group join forces to support GlobalMedic’s humanitarian aid in Ukraine

CALGARY, AB, April 21, 2022 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced a partnership with the FlightHub Group to assist in the transportation of GlobalMedic’s field team members to and from areas impacted by the conflict in Ukraine. Through coordinated collaboration, WestJet will provide flights to and from European gateways across its network, where the FlightHub will then transport the GlobalMedic team members to Ukraine’s neighbouring countries.

GlobalMedic Logo (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)
FlightHub (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

“We must continue to do our part in facilitating the delivery of crucial services, people and emergency supplies to Ukraine and its citizens,” said Alexis von Hoensbroech, WestJet, CEO. “By partnering with FlightHub, we can ensure the incredible GlobalMedic team can continue their exemplary and vital efforts in providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine and its citizens through the distribution of medical supplies, food, hygiene items to those evacuating the country.”

The WestJet Group announced additional measures in support of humanitarian efforts in Ukraine in March 2022.

“FlightHub is proud to partner with Westjet and provide humanitarian support for the ongoing crisis in the Ukraine,” said Chris Cave, CEO of FlightHub Group.  “We commend the work being done by the GlobalMedic team, and hope that transporting their members closer to the front lines of the conflict will assist them in carrying out their mission to provide critical support throughout the region.”  

 “Our teams have been working tirelessly to provide support to Ukrainian refugees. This partnership between WestJet and FlightHub gives us greater flexibility to move our teams where they need to be, to provide the right aid to the right people at the right time. We are grateful for this collaboration and the impact this will have for the refugees we reach through our programs,” Rahul Singh, O.Ont, Executive Director, GlobalMedic.

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.

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

About FlightHub Group

FlightHub Group owns and operates FlightHub and Justfly, two of North America’s leading online travel agencies. We make travel accessible, allowing more people to visit new places and explore new cultures. With millions of customers served per year, our goal is to provide travellers with the cheapest flights available, along with optimal itineraries and exceptional customer service.

For more information, please visit https://flighthubgroup.com

About GlobalMedic

GlobalMedic is a registered Canadian charity that runs capacity-building programs and provides disaster relief services to large-scale catastrophes around the world. GlobalMedic has responded to 240 disasters in 80 countries, including earthquakes in Ecuador, Haiti, Japan and Nepal; tsunamis in Japan and Sri Lanka; typhoons in the Philippines and Taiwan; hurricanes in Grenada and Guatemala; cyclones in India, Myanmar, Vanuatu and Mozambique; floods in Bangladesh, Mexico and Pakistan; drought and famine in Kenya and Mauritania; epidemics in Liberia and Sierra Leone; and complex emergencies in Gaza, Iraq, Mali, Somalia, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen.

GlobalMedic has been working in Ukraine since 2014, supporting those affected or displaced by increasing conflict in the east of the country. GlobalMedic teams distributed hygiene items, food packages, first aid kits, and household water purification units to vulnerable families. In 2019, GlobalMedic also established a food security and employment creation program to support internally displaced persons in the country.

Bob Cummings to return to the WestJet Group as President of Swoop

Cummings homecoming demonstrates confidence in Canadian ultra-low-cost travel market  

CALGARY, AB, April 13, 2022 /CNW/ – The WestJet Group today announced the return of Bob Cummings to the airline’s Executive Leadership Team as President of Swoop, WestJet’s ultra-low-cost carrier. Cummings will begin his role on Monday, April 18, 2022.  

Bob Cummings with Swoop Aircraft #Bob (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)
Bob Cummings with Swoop Aircraft #Bob (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

“I am delighted to welcome Bob back to the WestJet Group to lead Swoop through this pivotal time for affordable air travel in Canada,” said Alexis von Hoensbroech, Chief Executive Officer, the WestJet Group. “Bob’s passion and knowledge of the ULCC market, his strength in leading high-performing teams and his impressive track record with the WestJet Group, will ensure that Swoop continues to lead the way in providing Canadians with access to ultra-low fare travel.”

“Swoop was created to make travel affordable and accessible for the most price-conscious travellers, and as we continue to expand and offer more schedule options, people can book with confidence when choosing our Canadian, ultra-low-cost airline,” said Bob Cummings, President of Swoop. “I am elated to return to The WestJet Group’s leadership team and am looking forward to working alongside Swoopsters to bring more choice, lower fares and certainty to the market.”

Most recently, Cummings spent two years at the helm of Central Mountain Air as Chief Executive Officer. In this role, he led through pandemic turbulence and positioned the regional airline for success in recovery, while building the airline’s culture. Prior to Central Mountain Air, Bob spent 13 years with the WestJet Group, spanning several notable Executive Vice-President positions, including President of Swoop in 2018, where he was responsible for the start-up and launch of Canada’s first successful ultra-low-cost airline.

During his tenure with WestJet, Bob led the growth of WestJet Vacations, WestJet Rewards, and was integral in the launch of WestJet Encore, WestJet’s regional airline. As WestJet’s Chief Commercial Officer, Bob grew the airline’s revenue from just over one billion to more than $4.5 billion. Prior to joining WestJet, Bob spent more than 13 years in leadership positions in the utility and telecom markets.

With his extensive North American commercial aviation experience, Bob will continue to build on Swoop’s strong foundation in recovery.

“I would like to thank Charles Duncan for his leadership of Swoop over the past two years,” continued von Hoensbroech. “Charles has played a key role in Swoop’s expansion and recovery and will now transition into a new role supporting various strategic projects and initiatives as Executive Vice-President, Integration and Strategic Projects.”

About the WestJet Group of Companies

In 26 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

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

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

Recent  recognition  includes:

– 2020/2019 Number-One Ranked Canadian Airline Loyalty Program in Member Engagement (Bond Brand Loyalty)
– 2019/2018/2017 Best Airline in Canada (TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards for Airlines) 
– 2019 Winner Among Mid-Sized Airlines in North America (TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards for Airlines) 
– 2019/2018 Number-One-Ranked Airline Credit Card in Canada (Rewards Canada) 

About Swoop

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

Swoop’s modern fleet of ten Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, will grow to 16 with the addition of six Boeing MAX-8 in 2022. At FlySwoop.com travellers can quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight. 

Turbulent times: How climate change could dampen future summer air travel

From Global News 🔗 link to source story and video

By Saba Aziz  Global News • April 9, 2022

Click to play video: 'Tips on booking flights as more people eager to travel'
WATCH: Tips on booking flights as more people eager to travel – Mar 20, 2022

As Canadians look ahead and book their summer trips this year, scorching temperatures amid potential heat waves could dampen travel plans.

The country experienced record-breaking temperatures in 2021. And raging wildfires in British Columbia and other parts of western Canada forced a number of flight cancellations.

Heat-related travel disruptions are nothing new, but climate change being blamed for more intense heat waves, the travel industry is in for a turbulent path ahead, experts say.

“Airports, airlines, and also passengers have to just understand that we need to plan for these sorts of events because they’re becoming more common and they can impact timely travel,” said Kent Moore, professor of physics at the University of Toronto, Mississauga.

According to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on Monday, without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, limiting global warming to 1.5°C (34.7F) is “beyond reach.”

It’s ‘now or never’ to thwart climate disaster, says new UN report

The airline industry will also feel the effects of the soaring temperatures as the planet warms up. Intense heat makes it difficult for planes to take off or land because the warm air gives less lift to the aircraft, Moore explained.

A record-breaking heat wave in southwestern United States last year forced some flights at Las Vegas’ airport to be cancelled. Meanwhile, back in 2017, temperatures nearing 120 degrees in Phoenix resulted in dozens of flight cancellations.

“When it’s hot, planes can’t carry as much fuel or as much people just because they’re heavier and they don’t have as much lift,” he told Global News.

This means planes have to either reduce the amount of fuel they can carry, which affects how far they can travel, or they have to limit the number of passengers, Moore added.

Airlines told Global News they have several provisions and mechanisms in place in the event of heat waves and other extreme weather events.

Aircraft manufacturers are already working to make planes lighter and more fuel-efficient, which is helpful during heat waves.

In 2015, Boeing created what it claimed to be the “lightest metal ever” – made up of 99.99 per cent air.

“Strength and record-breaking lightness make it a potential metal for future airplanes and vehicles,” the U.S. aerospace company says.

What Canada’s evolving COVID requirements means for spring and summer getaways.

The other issue is that hot conditions reduce the efficiency of ground operations, with staff suffering heat strokes and stress. Airports also have lots of asphalt which can really heat up, and that can be a “big problem,” said Moore.

When it comes to wildfires, visibility can be a challenge particularly for smaller, private planes because the smoke makes it difficult to see the runway.

A special class of thunderstorms, called pyrocumulonimbus clouds, which are quite dangerous to the aircraft, are also triggered by wildfires and then planes have to divert and fly around them. The intense heat of the wildfires causes the warm air to rise which can trigger the formation of a cloud that releases heat, Moore explained.

“The release of heat warms the air even more and this can trigger the thunderstorm,” he said.

A pyrocumulonimbus cloud is generated by the intense Orroral Valley bushfire burning to the south of Canberra. The rising heat from the intense bushfires can create massive, powerful clouds that produce their own weather. January 31, 2020 in Canberra, Australia.
A pyrocumulonimbus cloud is generated by the intense Orroral Valley bushfire burning to the south of Canberra. The rising heat from the intense bushfires can create massive, powerful clouds that produce their own weather. January 31, 2020 in Canberra, Australia. Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

Planning ahead

Airlines and airports in Canada say they are preparing ahead for another heat wave this summer.

In a statement to Global News, Air Canada said it has a “robust contingency planning process and mechanisms in place that allow us to respond quickly and effectively to any situation, with the safety of customers and employees always the foremost consideration.”

Canada’s second-largest carrier WestJet said it experienced several cancellations last summer due to the B.C. wildfires impacting operations across local regions.

“While rare, we do have several provisions in place to support our operations in instances of extreme weather, including heat waves to ensure the safety of our guests and employees,” said Denise Kenny, a spokesperson at the Calgary-based airline, in a statement to Global News.

In Kelowna, where wildfires forced mass evacuations of residents, airport operations at YLW were affected throughout the month of August due to airspace restrictions near active fires, as well as visibility issues from smoke.

Some 2021 Okanagan wildfire causes determined; other investigations ongoing – Mar 31, 2022

However, there were no direct impacts to airport operations from the heat wave, said Phillip Elchitz, senior manager of airport operations at the Kelowna International Airport.

“In preparation for the 2022 season, YLW continues to work with BC Wildfire Service, NavCanada and Transport Canada to mitigate potential issues and incorporate learning from previous years,” he told Global News in an email.

“There is always the potential of weather-related disruptions to air service.”

To ensure the safety of staff at Vancouver International Airport, a YVR spokesperson said team members limit the time they spend exposed to extreme heat and have access to electrolyte beverages throughout their shifts.

“As extreme weather in our region becomes a more frequent occurrence, we continue to look at the potential effects of climate change on our operations in an integrated manner,” the spokesperson told Global News.

After a two year hiatus from travelling for most people, Kelowna International Airport is getting busier as demand for air travel grows – Mar 18, 2022

Meanwhile, the Calgary Airport Authority (YYC) is also looking at ways to tackle extreme weather events.

“We conducted a climate change risk assessment that identified both wildfires and heat waves, as well as other climate change factors, as impactful to our operations,” said Carmelle Hunka, vice-president of People, Risk, and General Counsel at The Calgary Airport Authority.

Because heat waves are relatively easy to forecast, that helps with short-term planning by scheduling more people to work or reducing operations, said Moore.

“I think the bigger problem, of course, is that as we continue to warm the planet, heat waves are going to become more common,” he said. And that will require better planning.

“If airline operators and airports aren’t planning, they should begin to plan,” said Moore.