WestJet pilot’s eyes burned by laser on flight from Newfoundland to Florida

News provided by CBC News/ The Canadian Press

ncident happened when plane was 40 km from Orlando International Airport

Paola Loriggio · The Canadian Press · Posted: May 22, 2019

This photo shows the view from the cockpit when a laser pointer attack happens. (Transport Canada)

A WestJet pilot flying from Newfoundland to Orlando International Airport had his eyes burned by a green laser light, U.S. Federal Aviation Administration officials said Wednesday.

Spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said in an email that the WestJet Airlines aircraft was about 40 kilometres from the airport when the laser light hit the pilot. The flight landed safely a short time later, and the pilot was placed on medical leave, which is routine in such cases.

The airline said in a statement that the incident took place Saturday but gave few details, citing privacy concerns.

“Any pilot who reports being struck by a laser is required for safety and health reasons to have an ophthalmology evaluation,” spokeswoman Morgan Bell said in an email.

Bell said laser incidents pose a “serious concern” for crew and aircraft safety and are immediately reported to local authorities for investigation.

A laser pointer like this can do serious damage.

“Pilots are extremely focused during all phases of flight, but especially during take-off and landing, when most laser incidents occur,” she said.

“When any sort of light enters the flight deck, pilots are trained to look away and maintain focus but they must also remain vigilant with respect to their surroundings and monitor the apron prior to landing.”

The FAA is investigating the incident. The agency said it had notified the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, which sent a deputy to a central Florida address pinpointed as a possible source of the light.

The sheriff’s office said no one at the location had any knowledge of the incident and said they don’t have a laser pointer.

Offenders could go to prison

Last year, the Canadian government announced strict new measures to ban most high-powered lasers around airports and in the country’s three largest cities due to the dangers they pose when aimed at aircraft.

The interim measures bar anyone from possessing a battery-operated hand-held laser over one milliwatts outside a private residence without a legitimate purpose, such as for work or education.

The rules apply to municipalities in the greater Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver areas, as well as within 10 kilometres of any Canadian airport or heliport.

Penalties for those convicted of deliberately targeting aircraft include fines of up to $100,000, five years in prison, or both, though the government has acknowledged that prosecutions are rare given the difficulty of catching people in the act.

However, the new rules also allow investigators to hand out fines of up to $5,000 for anyone caught with a hand-held laser in a prohibited zone without a reason. Corporations can face up to $25,000.

Transport Canada reported 379 incidents of lasers pointed at planes in 2017, most of which occurred in Ontario and Quebec.

HK Bellawings Jet Limited of Hong Kong Exercises Options for Two Global 7500 Business Jets and Signs New Letter of Intent for Five Additional Global 7500 Aircraft

Provided by Bombardier Inc

May 21, 2019GenevaBusiness Aircraft,  Press Release

David Coleal, President, Bombardier Aviation and HK Bellawings’ President, Mr. YJ Zhang
  • Two Global 7500 business jet options exercised are part of initial agreement signed in May 2018 at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva
  • Letter of intent for five new Global 7500 aircraft reinforces flagship status as the largest and longest range business jet, ideally suited for the Greater China region
  • HK Bellawings Jet Limited becomes operator managing China’s largest fleet of Global 7500 aircraft

Bombardier is pleased to announce that Hong Kong aircraft management company HK Bellawings Jet Limited has signed a letter of intent (LOI) for five new Global 7500business jets and has also exercised options for two Global 7500 business jets, as part of the initial agreement signed in May last year. This news comes as the industry flagship Global 7500 aircraft is showcased for the first time at the European Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva.

“The Global 7500 aircraft continues to demonstrate its unrivalled performance and smooth ride, all the while delivering uncompromising value to customers under any conditions, at any time, without the need for tailwinds,” said David Coleal, President, Bombardier Aviation. “HK Bellawings’ experienced and professional team is a perfect fit for the Global 7500 aircraft’s superior performance and we are thrilled that they have chosen our flagship to expand their growing fleet of business jets.”

“Today marks a step forward towards our goal of becoming the premier Asian private jet operator. We are very impressed with Bombardier’s Global 7500 aircraft since its entry into service less than six months ago,” said HK Bellawings’ President Mr. YJ Zhang. “Its unmatched performance and range is ideally suited for our customers in the Greater China region. As the operator that will manage one of the world’s largest fleet of Global 7500 aircraft, HK Bellawings Jet will further expand its business scope and continuously pursue higher goals.”

Winner of the 2019 Aviation Week Grand Laureate Award and a Red Dot award for design, the Global 7500 jet offers Bombardier’s signature smooth ride and a spaciousness that is unique among business jets. Featuring a full-size kitchen and four true living spaces, the aircraft sets the benchmark for the most exceptional cabin interior. The Global 7500 aircraft’s range of 7,700 nautical miles is the longest in business aviation. This business jet can connect the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong non-stop to the cities of New York, London or Milan, and also fly nonstop from Singapore to Vancouver.*

Established in 2014, HK Bellawings Jet Limited is a distinguished business jet management company dedicated to providing a diverse array of professional, highly efficient and comprehensive business aviation services and solutions, which include business jet management, aircraft maintenance, travel concierge service, aircraft acquisition service, and business aviation consultancy. They operate a fleet of Challenger and Global business aircraft.

Jetlines Announces Successful Website Integration and Development in Preparation for Ticket Sales

Provided by Canada Jetlines Ltd/Globe Newswire

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 22, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Canada Jetlines Ltd. (JET: TSX-V; JETMF: OTCQB) (the “Company” or “Jetlines”) is pleased to announce that the Company has successfully completed the integration of several systems necessary in order to start selling tickets and other ancillary purchases through the Jetlines website. The new website is expected to launch in Q3 2019, in time for Jetlines’ targeted commercial launch this December.

As part of Jetlines’ strategy to deliver a strong digital customer experience, and to drive the majority of ticket sales directly through the Jetlines’ website, the Company has successfully integrated several commercial systems in preparation for launch. This includes design and development of the core website together with the booking engine, payment processing systems, revenue management systems, and other ancillary services such as car rentals and hotel bookings.

Jetlines has successfully carried out the design, development, and integration of the new Jetlines website with the reservation system platform, Radixx (see news release dated September 18, 2018), as the booking engine for ticket sales. Through Radixx and its subsidiaries, Jetlines has developed a progressive and secure web application to deliver a website that is fast, user-friendly, and seamlessly integrated with the various tools and functionalities that will be available to Jetlines’ future customers.

In addition to the website build, Jetlines has completed necessary work with partner, Elavon (see news release dated February 26, 2019), to successfully and securely receive payments in both Canadian and US dollars and to connect with Adyen, Jetlines payment service provider of choice selected to accept e-commerce, mobile, and point-of-sale payments on the Jetlines website.

Jetlines has also completed the integration of the airRM systems (see news release dated January 15, 2019), Jetlines’ revenue management program selected to optimize ticket inventories.

Jetlines has successfully carried out the implementation of the hotel booking site connector through the Jetlines website. In addition, the Company is finalizing the car rental white label service integration.

CEO Javier Suarez commented, “While we have been working on building the foundation for our new website for several months, connecting it with our various preferred partners is what turns the website into an e-commerce platform capable of generating our forecasted revenue while delivering a unique and positive customer experience for our future guests. Our user-friendly design and clean sheet build for a website will help us maintain low payment processing costs – a savings that will soon help us achieve the goal of becoming the lowest fare airline in Canada. On top of that, we believe it will deliver an exceptional and memorable experience.”

Jetlines ability to sell tickets and launch airline service remains subject to the completion of the airline licensing process, the receipt of applicable regulatory approvals and the completion of financing.

Get acquainted with Swoop’s new group booking desk

Provided by Swoop/CNW

Group bookings include checked bag, seat assignment and reservation support

CALGARY, May 22, 2019 /CNW/ – Swoop has opened a group booking desk designed to facilitate flight bookings and reservation management for groups of 13 or more travellers. Every group booking will include one checked bag and a standard seat assignment per traveller, along with the support of a group booking agent when making reservation modifications.

A one-time service fee of $5† per traveller applies at the time of booking. Travellers will also have the option to purchase optional extras and/or upgrade their seats through the booking agent. Requests for a group booking quote can be made by emailing the group booking desk at groupbookings@FlySwoop.com, or via the webpage at https://www.flyswoop.com/group-bookings/

†Plus taxes. Service fee is charged in the applicable currency, provided at the time of booking.

“We’ve been working hard to make distribution enhancements that better serve the needs of our travellers,” said Karen McIsaac, Senior Advisor of Communications at Swoop. “Swoop can now be confidently considered as an attractive option for Travel Agents and individuals alike who are looking for the service and support of a dedicated reservations agent for their group booking.”

The group booking desk enables affordable air travel for groups such as sports teams, family reunions, bulk cruise bookings, school trips, community events and more. Swoop, intent on providing exceptional value through low-cost solutions, intends to further enhance its group booking functionality through automation in the coming months.

To learn more about Swoop’s destinations, schedule and ultra-low-cost model visit FlySwoop.com  or connect with Swoop on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

New kiosks expected to ease process for international arrivals at YYC

News provided by CityNews1130.com

By Josh Ritchie | Posted May 21, 2019 | Updated May 22, 2019

  • 80 primary inspection kiosks will replace the 43 existing units.
  • The kiosks are expected to cut the arrival process in half.
  • The first 36 of 80 units will be ready to use for those passing through YYC on Wednesday.
(Jonathan Muma, 660 NEWS)

It’s about to get a whole lot easier for people arriving from an international destination at Calgary airport thanks to the installation of primary inspection kiosks.

80 kiosks will replace the 43 existing units, which is expected to cut the arrival process in half.

“You will no longer have to fill out the paper forms, so now in a very simple, self-serve kind of way, you can just go up to a kiosk and you can fill out more or less the same information and you can get through the customs experience very quickly,” says Michael Hayward, Vice President of Marketing and Guest Experience with the Calgary Airport Authority.

READ MORE: New kiosks to streamline international flight return process

If you want to make the process even easier, you can download the CanBorder eDeclaration app and then scan a QR code at one of the kiosks upon arrival.

As of Wednesday, the first 36 of 80 units will be ready to use for those passing through YYC’s arrivals, with the remaining units expected to be ready to go by June 4.

Air Canada Summer 2019 Bordeaux service update as of 20 May 2019

News provided by RoutesOnline.com

By Jim Liu, Posted 21 May 2019

Air Canada last week filed additional schedule changes for Montreal – Bordeaux service. For summer 2019 season, this route will be operated by Air Canada rouge Boeing 767, replacing planned 737 MAX 8. Prior to this adjustment last week, the Star Alliance carrier planned 737 MAX 8 service from 01AUG19.

This route in summer season operates from 03 Jul 2019 to 14 Sep 2019 (YUL departure).

AC1908 YUL 2000 – 0850+1 BOD 763 Wed, Thu & Sat
AC1909 BOD 1030 – 1222 YUL 763 Thu, Sat & Sun

Tarmac Delays: Ministerial Decision is a Step in the Right Direction

Provided by Air Passenger Rights

Halifax, NS (May 21, 2019) – Air Passenger Rights (APR), Canada’s nonprofit advocacy group for air traveller rights, welcomes the direction issued by Transport Minister Marc Garneau to create regulations about the rights of passengers in the case of tarmac delays of less than 3 hours. The ministerial direction comes in the wake of public protest about the government’s proposed Air Passenger Protection Regulations.

In December 2018, the government announced its proposed air travel rules, which would allow airlines to keep passengers on an aircraft for more than 3 hours. This would be more than double the 90 minutes recommended by the Senate in March 2018.

In February 2019, APR published a 52-page report, identifying six other key areas where the proposed rules are fundamentally flawed.

  • No Denied Boarding Compensation: “Denied boarding” is defined so narrowly that most cases do not meet the criteria.
  • No Monetary Compensation for Flight Delays and Cancellations: The criteria for monetary compensation are impossible to meet, requiring passengers to present evidence that is in the airlines’ exclusive control.
  • No Automatic Compensation: Passengers will have to complain to the airlines within 120 days, or else they lose their rights.
  • No Meals or Hotel: Airlines will not have to provide meals and overnight accomodation in most cases of flight delays and cancellations.
  • Passengers on “Small” Carriers Have Less Rights: Passengers booked on “small” carriers, such as Flair or Swoop, will have even fewer rights.
  • Numerous Important Issues are not Addressed: Right to a refund of the unused portion of the ticket in cases “outside the carrier’s control” and “flight advancement” are not covered.

APR’s criticism came on the heels of a wave of public protest. More than 8,000 emails, demanding legislation that truly protects consumers, were sent in response to the government’s call for public input.

“The Minister’s decision is a step in the right direction,” said Dr. Gábor Lukács, APR’s founder and coordinator. “We are pleased that the Transport Minister has recognized that Canadians should not be kept on the tarmac for 3 hours or more. This is what we and the Senate have been saying all along.”

APR urges the government to implement all of APR’s 24 amendments to make the proposed rules more balanced, and fair to passengers.

APR’s complete report, entitled “Deficiencies of the Proposed Air Passenger Protection Regulations,” is available online.

Chorus Aviation Announces Leasing Transaction for Five Q400s to Flybe and Reaches 50 Aircraft Portfolio Milestone

Provided by Chorus Aviation Inc/CNW

Delivering regional aviation to the world

HALIFAX, May 21, 2019 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR) announced today that Chorus Aviation Capital (‘CAC’) has entered into a purchase agreement to acquire five, mid-life Bombardier Q400 aircraft currently on lease with Europe’s largest independent regional airline, Flybe. This transaction is expected to close by this summer and is subject to customary conditions precedent to closing, such as the novation of the existing leases, as well as the receipt of all regulatory approvals or consents required in connection with the acquisition of Flybe by Connect Airways Limited. With these acquisitions, Chorus Aviation Capital has announced 50 commitments to date for its regional aircraft leasing business.

“We are very pleased to expand our relationship with our existing customer, Flybe,” said Steve Ridolfi, President, Chorus Aviation Capital. “In less than two years we’ve grown our leasing portfolio to 50 aircraft acquired at approximately US $995.0 million with US $765.0 million in future contract lease revenue.”

In addition to growing CAC’s lease portfolio, these mid-life aircraft play to the Chorus group’s strengths as a diversified provider of regional aviation services,” commented Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus.  “At the end of the lease term, Chorus will have multiple potential uses for these aircraft, including lease extensions, re-leases or sale to new operators, conversions to non-passenger use, or disassembly for parts sales. I applaud the Chorus team for reaching this important milestone and for embracing our vision to become a worldwide provider of integrated regional aviation services.”

Upon the completion of this transaction, and seven other aircraft pending delivery to other customers, CAC’s portfolio will include 38 turboprops and 12 regional jets placed with 13 airlines on six continents. When combined with the 47 aircraft leased under the Capacity Purchase Agreement with Air Canada, Chorus’ fleet of leased aircraft has reached 97 aircraft valued at approximately US $1.6 billion.

WestJet gives Calgary more Dreamliner

Provided by WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership

Dreamliner flights to Maui available now

CALGARY, May 21, 2019 /CNW/ – WestJet today revealed its winter 787-9 Dreamliner schedule, announcing the state-of-the-art aircraft will now fly between Calgary and Maui and will operate an additional day to London (Gatwick) this winter.  

As part of the schedule release, WestJet also announced the 787-9 Dreamliner will be operate daily service between Toronto and London (Gatwick) starting October 23, 2019.

WestJet revealed its winter 787-9 Dreamliner schedule, announcing the state-of-the-art aircraft will now fly between Calgary and Maui and will operate an additional day to London (Gatwick) this winter (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)
WestJet revealed its winter 787-9 Dreamliner schedule, announcing the state-of-the-art aircraft will now fly between Calgary and Maui and will operate an additional day to London (Gatwick) this winter (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)
WestJet Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner photographed on March 5, 2018 by Chad Slattery from Wolfe Air Learjet 25. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)
WestJet Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner photographed on March 5, 2018 by Chad Slattery from Wolfe Air Learjet 25. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

“Flying on the WestJet Dreamliner is a game changer in travel; guest feedback on the experience has been phenomenal,” said Brian Znotins, WestJet Vice-President Network Planning and Alliances. “The Dreamliner was built for transoceanic routes with technology that reduces jetlag and leaves travellers feeling more refreshed upon arrival. With our custom cabins and award-winning service, guests are going to love the journey as much as the destination.”

“Our guests love travelling to Hawaii, and now their trip to Maui will be even more memorable with WestJet’s Dreamliner service to the island,” said Bob Sartor, President and CEO, The Calgary Airport Authority. “Thank you to WestJet for another significant commitment to your Boeing 787-9 hub at YYC.”

“Our connection to the top destinations in the world for both business and pleasure is one of the many reasons Calgaryis such a dynamic, global city,” said Mary Moran, President and CEO, Calgary Economic Development. “WestJet’s investment in its 787-9 Dreamliner fleet, and maintaining the aircraft in Calgary, is an economic driver for the city and we applaud the commitment to growing passenger routes for Calgary and the region.”

WestJet flies between Calgary and Maui up to six times weekly, or up to four times weekly on the Dreamliner, with service launching October 31, 2019. In addition, WestJet’s Dreamliner will operate between Calgary and London (Gatwick) four times weekly starting October 27, 2019. WestJet currently flies daily between Calgary and Gatwick. WestJet already serves more destinations with more flights from Calgary than any other airline, and these additions augment WestJet’s continued investment growth in the Calgary and Alberta economies.  

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

 RouteFrequencyDepartingArrivingEffective
Calgary – KahuluiUp to six-
times 
weekly
11 a.m2:27 p.mOctober 31, 
2019
Kahului – CalgaryUp to six-
times 
weekly
10:30 p.m7:14 a.m.+1October 31, 
2019
Calgary – London 
(Gatwick)
Four-times 
weekly
7:45 p.m11:20 a.m.+1October 27, 
2019
London (Gatwick) –
Calgary
Four-times 
weekly
1:20 p.m3:25 p.mOctober 28, 
2019
Toronto – London 
(Gatwick)
Daily8:50 p.m9:10 a.m.+1October 23, 
2019
London (Gatwick) –
Toronto
Daily11:10 a.m1:57 p.mOctober 24, 
2019

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

Toronto gets on board the WestJet Dreamliner to London this winter

Provided by WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership/CNW

Booking the 787-9 to Europe now available  

CALGARY, May 21, 2019 /CNW/ – WestJet today revealed its winter 787-9 Dreamliner schedule, announcing the state-of-the-art aircraft will be operating its Toronto-London (Gatwick) route. The addition of the WestJet Dreamliner to this route gives Eastern Canada the opportunity to experience a new Business and Premium service between two large financial and tourism centres.

WestJet Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner photographed on March 5, 2018 by Chad Slattery from Wolfe Air Learjet 25. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

This daily Dreamliner service, starting October 23, 2019, upgrades WestJet’s existing Toronto-London service operated on the 767. As part of the schedule update, WestJet also announced the 787-9 Dreamliner will be used to operate flights between Calgary and Maui up to four-times weekly starting October 31, 2019 and between Calgary and London four-times weekly starting October 27, 2019.

“Flying on the WestJet Dreamliner is a game changer in travel; guest feedback on the experience has been phenomenal,” said Brian Znotins, WestJet Vice-President Network Planning and Alliances. “The Dreamliner was built for transoceanic routes with technology that reduces jetlag and leaves travellers feeling more refreshed upon arrival. With our custom cabins and award-winning service, guests are going to love the journey as much as the destination.”

“We congratulate Westjet on the expansion of their Dreamliner service from Toronto Pearson to London Gatwick, starting later this year,” said Scott Collier, Vice-President Customer and Terminal Services, Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) “Toronto Pearson is proud to be part of WestJet’s continued growth and is glad to see this enhanced experience offered to passengers making business or leisure trips between Toronto and the UK.”

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

 RouteFrequencyDepartingArrivingEffective
Toronto – London 
(Gatwick)
Daily8:50 p.m.9:10 a.m.+1October 23, 
2019
London (Gatwick) -TorontoDaily11:10 a.m.1:57 p.m.October 24,
2019
Calgary – KahuluiUp to six-
times
weekly
11 a.m.2:27 p.m.October 31,
2019
Kahului – CalgaryUp to six
-times
weekly
10:30 p.m.7:14 a.m.+1October 31,
2019
Calgary – London
(Gatwick)
Four-times
weekly
7:45 p.m.11:20 a.m.+1October 27,
2019
London (Gatwick)
– Calgary
Four-times
weekly
1:20 p.m.3:25 p.m.October 28,
2019

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