Travel Restrictions to Ease July 5th for Fully Vaccinated Passengers

Changes fall far short of Government’s own Expert Panel Report, Canada’s major airlines call for a comprehensive re-start plan to re-open borders and end to piecemeal announcements

OTTAWA, ON, June 21, 2021 /CNW/ – Canada’s major airlines noted today’s announcement by the federal government that on July 5th at 11:59 pm EDT fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents will be exempt from hotel quarantine and mandatory 14-day quarantine.  But the industry repeated its plea that Canada desperately needs a clear and comprehensive re-start plan for international travel, and an end to one-off piecemeal announcements concerning quarantine and border policy changes. 

“Easing quarantine restrictions for fully vaccinated Canadians and eligible travellers is a step in the right direction, but falls far short of the recommendations provided by Health Canada’s Expert Advisory Panel report released last month.  The government continues to refuse to provide Canadians with a clear and comprehensive restart plan outlining how measures from the report will be adopted.  While other countries like France have already changed their measures to welcome Canadian travellers, we still have no plan or clear timeframe in Canada,” said Mike McNaney, President and CEO of the National Airlines Council of Canada, which represents Canada’s largest airlines (Air Canada, Air Transat, Jazz Aviation, and WestJet).

The Health Canada Advisory Panel report, prepared by experts in epidemiology, virology as well as advanced data analytics, is a data and science-based review that calls for a variety of changes to travel and border measures including elimination of quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers, elimination of hotel quarantine for all travellers, reduction of quarantine for partially vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers, and the use of rapid antigen testing.  While Canada has reached a vaccination target of 75% / 20%, today’s announcement did not substantively address these measures.

McNaney also noted that the government’s requirement that children under the age of 18 who are not fully vaccinated must adhere to a 14-day quarantine runs counter to the approach taken by other countries. “The government repeatedly states it is working with our international partners and following science, yet pursues initiatives such as mandatory quarantine for minors that is completely out of step with other jurisdictions. In fact, the policy directly contradicts the recommendations issued jointly on June 17 by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency” he said.      

“Unlike many other countries including our G7 partners, Canada has yet to provide a clear restart plan outlining when and how major travel and border restrictions will be removed, in particular for fully vaccinated travellers from foreign countries, and how the Panel’s recommendations will be adopted.  As vaccination programs increase rapidly and jurisdictions around the world provide consumers and industry with a clear path forward, we must do the same. Countries that successfully implement a science and data – based testing and quarantine policy will not only protect public health, they will also drive their overall domestic recovery and take jobs and investment from countries that do not.   We must get moving now”, concluded McNaney.

About the National Airlines Council of Canada:

The National Airlines Council of Canada represents Canada’s largest national and international passenger air carriers: Air Canada, Air Transat, Jazz Aviation LP and WestJet. It promotes safe, sustainable and competitive air travel by advocating for the development of policies, regulations and legislation to foster a world-class transportation system.  Pre-pandemic our members collectively carried over 80 million passengers annually, directly employed over 60,000 people and served as a critical component of Canada’s overall air transport and tourism sector, which supported more than 630,000 jobs.

Canada extends India flight ban, eases restriction for Pakistan

From City News 1130 – link to source story

BY HANA MAE NASSAR AND DEAN RECKSIEDLER | Jun 21, 2021

FILE. (iStock image)

SUMMARY

  • The ban on flights from India to Canada is being extended until at least July 21
  • Based on public health data, Canada not renewing ban on flights from Pakistan
  • The suspension of flights from India and Pakistan was first announced in April

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Canada is extending its ban on direct travel from India amid a continued concern over that country’s COVID-19 situation.

The ban is being extended by at least another month, until July 21, as India struggles to get its pandemic numbers under control.

“This means that direct, commercial, and private passenger flights from India will continue to be denied permission to arrive in Canada,” said Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra Monday. “Passengers who depart from India, bound for Canada via an indirect route must still obtain a valid COVID-19 test result from a third country before boarding a flight to Canada.”

Transport Minister @OmarAlghabra announces the passenger flight ban with India is extended for another 30 days.
However the restrictions on flights from Pakistan will not be renewed, so flights can soon resume. #cdnpoli

— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) June 21, 2021

While the restrictions on travel from India remain in place, Alghabra says those limiting flights from Pakistan are being scaled back.

“Based on the public health data, we will not be renewing the flight ban between Canada and Pakistan,” he said. “Air travellers from Pakistan will be required to obtain a COVID-19 molecular test in Pakistan to board a flight to Canada.”

The suspension of flights from India and Pakistan was first announced in April. The measures were extended by another month in May.

Monday’s announcement comes the same day Canada unveiled more details on its plans to ease quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers permitted entry into this country. Those changes are set to take effect at 11:59 p.m. EDT on July 5.

While Canadians continue to be urged to avoid all non-essential travel, the transport minister promised an update would be coming.

“As the situation evolves, we will respond with new and adjusted border measures as needed, to keep Canadians safe and the economy running,” Alghabra added, noting he will be working with international, provincial, territorial, and industry partners to “determine next steps later this summer.”

“This could include expanding the number of Canadian airports that are eligible to receive international flights, and I hope to have more to share with you soon.”

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair also said discussions are ongoing “with the aim of allowing for non-essential travel of fully vaccinated foreign nationals into Canada in the coming months.”

CAE deploys a Boeing 767 simulator to support pilot training for MasAir Cargo

Montreal, Canada | June 18, 2021

CAE deploys a Boeing 767 simulator to support pilot training for MasAir Cargo. From left to right: Tereza Paredes (Training Manager, MasAir Cargo), Capt. Victor Peña (Head of Pilot Training, MasAir Cargo), Capt. Guillermo (Training Centre Manager, CAE), Roberto Navarro (Operations Director, Mas Air Cargo), Capt. Cynthia Cano (Chief Pilot, MasAir Cargo), Patrick McCarthy (Strategic Planning Director, MasAir Cargo), Luis Sierra (MasAir CEO), F.O Orlando Cruz (Crew, MasAir)

CAE and MasAir Cargo (MasAir) signed an exclusive five-year aircraft pilot training agreement. As part of this agreement, CAE is providing instructors and flight training equipment to train MasAir’s cargo pilots on the Boeing 767 platform and is deploying a full-flight simulator to CAE’s Mexico training centre in Toluca, southwest of Mexico City.

“Throughout the years, airlines around the world have entrusted CAE to provide the highest level of pilot training and flight simulation technology,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE’s Group President Civil Aviation Training Solutions. “The pandemic has fueled growth in the cargo airline business in the recent months and CAE is thrilled to support MasAir as the airline is further developing its ACMI and Scheduled cargo flight services. Our instructors will be delivering our world-class training experience and we are looking forward to welcoming MasAir’s pilots to our CAE Mexico training centre.”

“Despite the recent significant demand for our Scheduled Cargo and ACMI services, MasAir continues to deliver operational excellence, flight after flight. This strategic agreement with CAE, a leader in pilot training, will enable us to keep an accelerated growth, while maintaining our continuous commitment to achieving the highest standards of safety in the industry,” said Patrick McCarthy, Strategic Planning Director, MasAir Cargo. “Our joint focus on pilot training excellence will help us grow our operations safely and achieve our vision, and we look forward to starting our pilot training program with CAE later this year.”

MasAir pilot training at CAE Mexico is expected to start in July 2021.

About MasAir

Aerotransportes Mas de Carga, SA de CV (dba MasAir Cargo Airline) is a Mexico City-based cargo airline, operating freighter aircraft since 1992. Since 2001, MasAir has been a B767-300Fs operator. An IATA member, MasAir holds IOSA, ISAGO, TCO-EASA, CCAR-129 and IATA-CEIV Pharma certifications. Since December 2018 MasAir is under a new ownership structure and management, with Discovery Americas -a leading Mexican Private Equity Fund- as majority shareholder. MasAir has a scheduled and charter network that spans along the Americas and Europe and is now expanding its new ACMI division with additional freighter aircraft. www.masair.com

Swoop Celebrates Three Years of Painting the Skies Magenta

Swoop Celebrates Three Years of Painting the Skies Magenta

Airline launches new route between Hamilton and Kelowna and invites travellers to the party with 30% off SWOOPONS in recognition of third birthday

Calgary, A.B. – June 20, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low- cost airline is celebrating three years of making air travel more accessible and affordable for Canadians with their unbundled, ultra-low fare flights.   Since the airline’s first flight on June 20, 2018, Swoop has proudly served three million travellers, connected Canadians to 17 destinations, operating over 20,000 flights to Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean.   

Swoop was founded in 2018 with a mission to make air travel more affordable, introducing the ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) model to Canadians and saving travellers more than $159 million in direct fare savings in 2019 alone*. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the airline maintained domestic service, ensuring Canadians had continued access to affordable flight for essential air travel coast to coast.   

“The last 15-months have demonstrated how important air travel is for the connectivity and economic stability of the communities we serve,” said Charles Duncan, President of Swoop. “We are so pleased to be able to celebrate our third birthday with the positivity of new route announcements and a renewed demand for air travel.”

As the airline that always has affordable flights, Swoop is celebrating with extra savings on already ultra-low fares. Travellers can save 30% off base fare with the promo code SWOOPON when booking by June 24, 2021 for travel between July 8, 2021 and April 30, 2022. Travellers can visit FlySwoop.com/deals for more information. 

Today’s celebration will also see Swoop operate its inaugural flight from Hamilton, ON to Kelowna, BC, connecting Canada’s wine countries from east to west. Scheduled to arrive in Kelowna at 10:25 a.m. local time, the flight will be welcomed on the ground by a water cannon salute and greeted by representatives from both Swoop and Kelowna International Airport. 

“Today’s inaugural flight is another milestone for Swoop as we continue in our recovery efforts to re-build our network,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial and Finance, Swoop. “Swoop’s success would not be possible without the support of our airport partners just like John C. Munro Hamilton Airport and Kelowna International Airport as well as our Swoopsters who share in our mission of making air travel more affordable for all.” 

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

“Looking back to Swoop’s very first flight from Hamilton International Airport to Abbotsford on June 20, 2018, it’s amazing to know our partnership is now three years strong as we celebrate Swoop’s 3rd birthday!” said Cathie Puckering, President and CEO, John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. “Today, another milestone is proudly celebrated with new service from Hamilton to Kelowna, connecting one wine country to another!”  

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

*Swoop Economic Impacts 2019, a study conducted by Chris Lowe Group in January 2020.  

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.

Government of Canada’s first phase to easing border measures for travellers entering Canada

OTTAWA, ON, June 21, 2021 /CNW/ – The Government of Canada is taking a responsible, precautionary approach at the border by continually monitoring available data and scientific evidence to protect the health and safety of Canadians.

Today, the Government of Canada is announcing the details of the first phase of its approach to easing border measures for travellers entering Canada. These cautious adjustments are now possible because of the successes of the vaccine roll out in Canada and Canadians following public health measures.

Beginning July 5, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT, fully vaccinated travellers who are permitted to enter Canada will not be subject to the federal requirement to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test on day-8. In addition, fully vaccinated travellers arriving by air will not be required to stay at a government-authorized hotel.

To be considered fully vaccinated, a traveller must have received the full series of a vaccine — or combination of vaccines — accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. Currently, those vaccines are manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson). Travellers can receive their vaccine in any country, and must provide documentation supporting their vaccination in English, French or with a certified translation.

For these new measures to apply to them, fully vaccinated travellers must still meet all other mandatory requirements, including pre- and on-arrival testing. Continued testing will allow public health experts to keep monitoring positivity rates at the border, monitor for variants of concern, and make further adjustments to border measures as needed.

Fully vaccinated travellers must also be asymptomatic, have a paper or digital copy of their vaccination documentation, and provide COVID-19-related information electronically through ArriveCAN prior to arrival in Canada. They must still present a suitable quarantine plan, and be prepared to quarantine, in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet all of the conditions required to be exempt from quarantine. As with all other exempt travellers, they will be required to follow public health measures in place, such as wearing a mask when in public, keep a copy of their vaccine and test results, as well as a list of close contacts for 14 days after entry to Canada.

For travellers who are not fully vaccinated, there are no changes to Canada’s current border measures. They must continue to adhere to the current testing and federal quarantine requirements, which have been effective in reducing importation and transmission of COVID-19 and variants in Canada, and provide COVID-19-related information electronically through ArriveCAN before arriving in Canada. Unvaccinated air travellers must also book a three-night stay at a government-authorized hotel before their departure to Canada.

The Government of Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to prioritize the health and safety of Canadians. As vaccination, case counts and hospitalization rates evolve, the Government of Canada will continue to consider further targeted measures at the borders—and when to lift or adjust them—to keep Canadians safe and the economy running.

Quotes

“The cautious adjustments announced today are only possible because of the tremendous efforts of Canadians, and additional ones will only happen if we continue to protect each other. Thank you to all those who have stepped up to get their first and second dose. If you haven’t, get vaccinated when it’s your turn, follow up for your second dose, and continue to follow public health measures.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

“This is the first phase of our precautionary approach to easing Canada’s border measures. At this time we are not opening up our borders any further. The Government of Canada continues to work globally through the World Health Organization as well as closely with the provinces, territories, Indigenous partners and American authorities on moving forward toward reopening in a way that is safe for both countries.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

“At this time, the Government of Canada continues to strongly advise Canadians to avoid non-essential travel. Although the future is looking brighter than it has for a long time with COVID-19 cases on a downward trend and vaccination efforts going well across the country, we can’t let our guard down. Our phased approach to easing border measures is guided by facts, scientific evidence, and the advice of our public health experts. In all that we’re doing in response to this pandemic, our top priority continues to be the health, safety and security of all Canadians.”

The Honourable Bill Blair
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“Our government continues to closely monitor traveller positivity rates upon entry to Canada, to help protect Canadians. Today, we announced that we will be eliminating pre-departure temperature screening for international travellers coming to Canada. Also, given the number of COVID-19 cases continue to be very high in India, we have extended our flight restrictions for this country. We will continue to assess the evolving situation and determine appropriate action going forward.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport Canada

“The safety and security of Canadians remains our top priority as we look to support the careful and safe arrival of new permanent residents to Canada over the next year. These new permanent residents will finally be able to start their new life in Canada and Canada will benefit from their skills when we pivot to post-pandemic economic recovery. At the same time, we’ll continue to offer protection to those who need it most, and keep our place as a global leader in providing a safe haven for refugees.”

The Honourable Marco Mendicino
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Quick Facts

  • For all travellers coming to Canada, planning in advance to ensure all mandatory requirements are met is crucial. In addition, some provinces and territories may have their own entry restrictions in place. Check and follow both the federal and any provincial or territorial restrictions and requirements before travelling.
  • Fully vaccinated travellers who wish to be considered for the eased quarantine and testing requirements must meet all criteria, including the electronic submission of their vaccination documentation, in English or French, into ArriveCAN prior to arrival at the port of entry.
  • A person who submits false information on vaccination status could be liable to a fine of up to $750,000 or six months imprisonment or both, under the Quarantine Act, or prosecution under the Criminal Code for forgery. Violating any quarantine or isolation instructions provided to travellers by a screening officer or quarantine officer when entering Canada is also an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to a $5,000 fine for each day of non-compliance or for each offence committed, or more serious penalties, including six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines. Non-compliant air travellers may also be subject to fines of up to $5,000 for each offence committed under the Aeronautics Act.
  • The Government of Canada is extending, until July 21, 2021,11:59 p.m. EDT, the temporary travel restrictions on discretionary (non-essential) international travel and with the US. Travellers who are currently eligible to enter Canada include Canadian citizens, permanent residents and persons registered under the Indian Act, as well as some foreign nationals who are allowed to enter Canada under the current entry prohibitions (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States; Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country other than the United States).
  • The Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) restricting all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India will be extended until July 21, 2021, as well as the Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19 requiring air passengers who depart India to Canada via an indirect route to obtain a COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada. The NOTAM and Interim Order will not be extended for Pakistan at this time.
  • The existing international flight restrictions that funnel scheduled international commercial passenger flights into four Canadian airports (Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport and Vancouver International Airport) will be maintained in this first phase of re-opening.
  • Currently, foreign nationals who hold a valid Confirmation of Permanent Residence approved on or before March 18, 2020 are allowed to enter Canada. As of June 21, 2021, any foreign national who holds a valid Confirmation of Permanent Residence will be allowed to travel to Canada. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will work with applicants who have a Confirmation of Permanent Residence that is expiring or has expired.

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End of the discussions for the acquisition of Transat

MONTRÉAL, June 21, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Transat A.T. Inc. (“Transat” or the “Corporation”) announces today that the ongoing discussions with Mr. Pierre Karl Péladeau concerning the potential acquisition of all of the shares of Transat through his company Gestion MTRHP inc. (“MTRHP”) have ended.

On April 7, 2021, Mr. Péladeau delivered to Transat a non-binding proposal contemplating a transaction pursuant to which MTRHP would acquire all of the shares of Transat for a consideration of $5.00 per share, payable in cash. Considering the current share price, the price offered no longer provides a reasonable basis to envision receiving the level of shareholder approval required in order to allow the transaction to proceed. Accordingly, MTRHP confirmed to the Corporation that it was withdrawing from the discussions.

In light of the foregoing, the work of the special committee charged of reviewing strategic alternatives will cease, and Transat intends to focus its efforts on the implementation of its strategic plan and on the upcoming restart of its operations and flights, on July 30.

As contemplated in its strategic plan, the outline of which was revealed publicly on June 10, Transat also intends to examine possibilities to optimize its financing structure, which could include the issuance of shares of its capital or bond financing on more favorable terms than those attached to a portion of the liquidities made available to Transat under the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF).

About Transat
Transat A.T. Inc. is a leading integrated international tourism company specializing in holiday travel. Under the Transat and Air Transat banners, the Corporation offers vacation packages, hotel stays and air travel to some 60 destinations in over 25 countries in the Americas and Europe. Transat is firmly committed to sustainable tourism development, as reflected in its multiple corporate responsibility initiatives over the past 14 years and obtained Travelife certification in 2018. The Corporation is based in Montréal.

Global Aerospace SM4 Safety Program Expands to Include Canadian Policyholders

Providing Innovative Safety Programs to Business Aviation Personnel

21 June 2021, Markham, Ontario – Global Aerospace, a leading provider of aerospace insurance, is pleased to announce that its groundbreaking SM4 Aviation Safety Program is expanding to include Canadian policyholders. The
SM4 program, which launched in 2010 in the U.S., continues to focus on providing resources to help the aviation industry achieve higher levels of operational safety.

SM4 will now provide select General Aviation policyholders in Canada (excluding light aircraft and UAS) with access to an online Learning Management System (LMS) that includes advanced training courses to support the current and next generation of aviation personnel.

The LMS provides Global Aerospace clients with customized online training for both personal and professional development to support their continuous improvement:

  • Easy, online access to practical and interactive learning plans designed by each of our SM4 partners in their area of expertise.
  • Time-efficient, impactful courses that allow for seamless integration into your organization’s training program.
  • Continually updated courses to keep up with the latest developments in business aviation safety.
  • Unlimited number of user accounts per client.
  • Certificate of completion provided to participants for each completed learning plan.

Steve Hughes, chief underwriting officer, Global Aerospace Underwriting Managers (Canada) Limited adds, “As a leader in this industry, it is imperative that we continuously develop solutions and services to benefit our clients and their brokers. By expanding our SM4 Safety program into Canada, we are providing access to valuable resources that will help them manage risks and strengthen their safety culture.”

The SM4 program, now in its 12th year, continues to focus on providing resources to help the aviation industry achieve higher levels of operational safety. Since 2010, the company has committed over $5.7 million to support SM4 and help its clients pursue higher levels of safety. To learn more about the SM4 LMS please visit the SM4 website or contact your local Global Aerospace underwriter.

About Global Aerospace
Global Aerospace is a leading provider of aerospace insurance with a worldwide portfolio of clients who are engaged in every aspect of the aviation and space industries. Headquartered in London, we have offices in Canada, Cologne, Paris, Zurich and throughout the United States. Across the world, we employ over 300 people. With experience dating back to the 1920s, the company’s underwriting is backed by a pool of high-quality insurance companies representing some of the most respected names in the business. For additional information about Global Aerospace, please visit www.global-aero.com. To learn more about the company’s SM4 safety program, please visit sm4.global-aero.com.

Timmins officials say newly paved runways at the airport have potential to attract Caribbean carriers

From CTV News – link to source story

Lydia Chubak, CTV Northern Ontario Videojournalist | Sunday, June 20, 2021

Timmins Victor M Power AirportThe rehabilitation and resurfacing of the runways and taxiways at the Timmins Victor M Power Airport cost 9.5 million dollars. Officials are now hoping to attract new developments at the facility. June 20/21 (Lydia Chubak/CTV News Northern Ontario)

TIMMINS — The city of Timmins can hear the wild blue yonder calling its name now that the re-paving of its runways and taxiways is complete. 

The COVID-19 pandemic and deteriorating infrastructure have been some bumps in the road for the Timmins Victor M Power airport, but now that the 9.5 million dollar rehabilitation and resurfacing of its approximately forty kilometres of roadways there is done, officials are hoping it’ll be smooth sailing for a while.

 “737s were in here before we started this work last year, said Dave Dayment, airport manager.

He said they charter forest firefighting personnel around. 

“We have Hercules coming in here doing search and rescue … a Hercules could be well over 100-thousand pounds. So when we upgraded the runway and added (more asphalt) to it, it gave us a little longer lifespan.”

The federal government funded sixty per cent of the paving job and the airport paid the balance.  The airport is operated by the city of Timmins, but it’s on its own to pay its bills. 

This is why Dayment said it’s import business resume as soon as possible and he said the new runways will help it land more contracts.

“A couple years we’ve been looking at to get some funding to do … a land use document for future planning.  If someone was to show up and wanted to build a hanger; ground base maintenance facility of some kind; industrial of some kind … we need to get an inventory of what we’re capable of doing.”

Timmins mayor George Pirie agreed and said the Timmins Economic Development Corporation is also working on diversification plans for the city.

“I think you’ve heard me talk about the possibility of having carriers come here to go into the Caribbean and to get into other locations and with Timmins being the hub within northeastern Ontario, northeastern Quebec … we have to have the best possible airport.”

Pre-pandemic, the Timmins Victor M Power Airport checks in approximately one-hundred and eighty thousand passengers a year from around the region on:  passenger, cargo, evacuation, and air ambulance flights, to name a few.

Airport officials look forward to seeing additional flights when pandemic restrictions loosen, however they say that will depend on whether or not people resume travelling again.  Currently Dayment said most flights are mining related. 

He said the airport’s next big project will be to develop the twenty-year strategic plan.

Swoop ‘seeing light at the end of the tunnel’ after incredibly difficult 15 months

From CBC News – link to source story

‘People are clearly willing and able to book that long-awaited trip,’ airline executive says

Desmond Brown · CBC News · Jun 18, 2021

Swoop, operated by WestJet, launched in Hamilton back in 2018 with a trip from Hamilton to Abbotsford, B.C. for just $129. (Swoop)

Low-cost airline Swoop is on the rebound, head of commercial and finance Bert van der Stege said Friday, after being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to van der Stege, the carrier lost more than 90 per cent of its revenue and roughly 90 per cent of its passenger volume over the course of the pandemic. 

“The past 15 months or so have been incredibly difficult,” van der Stege said during an executive exchange held virtually with Hamilton International Airport.

“It’s been a difficult 15 months [but] we believe we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel now and have reached a turning point.”

Van der Stege said a “great demand” for seats is “slowly coming back”. 

“We’ve seen a period of record sales again now. People are clearly willing and able to book that long-awaited trip,” he said.

This summer we expect to serve five destinations within Canada from Hamilton airport, and then as we approach the following winter season we will be adding five international destinations from Hamilton.- Bert van der Stege, Swoop Airline

Van der Stege said Swoop will initially focus on domestic travel as it emerges from the fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that’s where they expect the rebound to start. 

He said sales and forecast passenger numbers “are picking up really nicely, in particular in and out of jurisdictions that have outlined a clear path to recovery, easing travel restrictions, [and] a path to open up based on science.”

After that initial period of domestic recovery and domestic travel, van der Stege said Swoop will once again partner with Hamilton International Airport and open up international travel.

“This summer we expect to serve five destinations within Canada from Hamilton airport, and then as we approach the following winter season we will be adding five international destinations from Hamilton.”

Swoop will launch a new flight from Hamilton to Kelowna this Sunday, while the winter schedule will include the following:

  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
  • Cancun, Mexico.
  • Montego Bay, Jamaica
  • Orlando and Tampa Bay, Florida.
Swoop’s head of commercial and finance Bert van der Stege. (CBC)

Swoop, operated by WestJet, launched in Hamilton back in 2018 with a trip from Hamilton to Abbotsford, B.C. for just $129.

Since its inception the airline has carried more than one million passengers in and out of Hamilton airport. In total, Swoop has transported more than three million passengers.

The airline has also created more than 500 direct jobs at Hamilton’s John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport

“With the two brands, WestJet and Swoop being present here in Hamilton, we believe that we can assist in the recovery of the tourism and hospitality industry sector, not just focusing on getting Hamiltonians out of Hamilton using Hamilton airport, but also bringing visitors back,” van der Stege said.

With the airline seeing sales “on par with pre-COVID levels,” van der Stege said they will be adding another Boeing 737 to the fleet by the end of the year.

Cathie Puckering, president and CEO of Hamilton’s John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. (CBC)

Cathie Puckering, president and CEO of Hamilton’s John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport, said the number of passengers that Swoop has put into the market in such a short time “was amazing.”

She said Hamilton experienced almost a 70 per cent decline in passenger volumes last year due to COVID-19.

Puckering said this year is just as hard but she is confident that things will get back to normal.

“The aviation industry has had shocks and has been hurt before [but] it has been resilient and we have bounced back,” Puckering said.

“So as long as we continue with the vaccine rollout and we continue to follow the restrictions and the measures … travel will recover and we’re optimistic about what the future will hold and Swoop’s growth in Hamilton.”

WE’RE BACK! The #AbbyAirshow is ecstatic to present “SkyDrive”

sky-drive-logo

AUGUST 6, 7 & 8, 2021

The Abbotsford International Airshow is excited to present SkyDrive August 6, 7 & 8, 2021 featuring the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, the US Air Force F-22 Raptor, the RCAF CF-18 Hornet and many more! SkyDrive is a drive-in air show experience – like a drive-in move only way bigger, way louder and way more awesome! Learn more about SkyDrive here.