Swoop Returns to Winnipeg

Airline brings more choice and ultra-low fares back to Manitoba

WINNIPEG, MB, April 25, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop marked its return to Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG). The airline’s reintroduction of its ultra-low fares now connects Winnipeg with Hamilton’s John C. Munro International Airport (YHM) and Abbotsford International Airport (YXX), with operations to Kelowna International Airport (YLW) set to begin in June.

“We are thrilled to reaffirm our commitment to Manitoba through our return to Winnipeg,” said Shane Workman, Head of Flight Operations, Swoop. “Our affordable fares are now available to those travelling for essential reasons and Swoop will be here to support the economic recovery of the region and connect Manitobans to their family and friends when the time comes.” 

Today’s announcement marks another milestone for Swoop as the airline continues its recovery efforts in conjunction with partners like Winnipeg’s James Armstrong Richardson International Airport to bring affordable and accessible air travel to all Canadians. The airline remains optimistic that as Canada continues its vaccine rollout, a safe restart of domestic air travel is on the horizon.

“We are pleased to welcome Swoop back to Winnipeg as we continue to plan for the safe return of domestic travel as vaccination levels increase across the country,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “Swoop’s return is an important milestone in our plan to rebuild the region’s connectivity and provides a low-cost option for essential travel today while helping to drive Manitoba’s economic and social recovery when the time is right for further travel.”

For flights from Winnipeg and to learn more about Swoop visit  FlySwoop.com.

About Swoop: Established in 2018, Swoop is Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost airline, independently operated as part of the WestJet Group of companies, offering scheduled service to destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. Swoop offers completely unbundled products and services, creating the unique opportunity for travellers to control their costs and customize their experience by purchasing only the extras they desire.  

Swoop operates a modern fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity. Flyswoop.com allows travellers to quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight.    

PG Airport Authority looks ahead as Q1 numbers drop as expected

From CKPG Today – link to source story

by Caden Fanshaw, Apr 15, 2021

CKPG File Image

PRINCE GEORGE – Passengers are still boarding, and flights are still taking off, but the numbers from the first quarter are “as expected”, down 78% from a year ago.

CEO of the Prince George Airport Authority, Gordon Duke says there is reason to be optimistic when looking ahead to the future.

“We’re happy to see Central Mountain Air expanding their routes, Pacific Coastal increasing frequency, Westjet announcing a route to Abbotsford a new destination coming out of this. I think as we see more vaccines go into arms, we will see more domestic travel coming out of this,” says Duke.

The drop off in traffic has created budget challenges for the Prince George Airport Authority, but provincial funding of $720,000 will help in the short term, paying for maintenance, and other fixed costs that can’t be adjusted.

Although passenger traffic continues to struggle, the importance of the airport for more than just commercial flights continues to shine according to Duke.

With the third-longest runway in North America, YXS continues to offer a hub for COVID-19 vaccine delivery, along with a base for wildfire tankers in the summer months.

The airport saw 7,831 passengers in January, 6,834 passengers in February, and 7,939 passengers in March.

Swoop Expands Summer Schedule and Brings New Routes and More Ultra-Low Fares to British Columbia

Airline introduces Victoria as new destination and adds more routes to Kelowna for peak summer travel

VICTORIA, BC, March 31, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost airline, announced an expansion to its summer schedule, bringing new routes and more ultra-low fares to British Columbia. The airline’s expanded summer operations will bring new service to Victoria and celebrates the return and addition of new routes from Kelowna. 

“Our summer schedule expansion is in response to strong advance sales and in anticipation of demand from Canada’s most price-conscious travellers as they look towards the accelerated pace of vaccine rollouts across the country,” said Charles Duncan, President of Swoop. “We are thrilled to be offering Canadians even more opportunities to connect with British Columbia’s vibrant West Coast and Okanagan region this summer.” 

The airline, which had previously postponed planned operations to Victoria in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, will now see an increase of flights and routes in three cities within British Columbia, ensuring that Canadians across the province have access to domestic air travel at an affordable price tag. Today’s announcement is the first of several to come for the airline as they intend to bring even more ultra-low-fares coast-to-coast. 

Swoop’s new service to Victoria will include flights from Toronto, ON and Edmonton, AB. In addition, beginning June 20, 2021, service to Kelowna will now be available from Hamilton, ON and once again from Winnipeg, MB. Full details of Swoop’s expanded service in British Columbia can be found below. 

Planned Network Service: New and Returning Routes   

Route Frequency Planned Start Date  
Toronto – Victoria  Up to 6x weeklyMay 20, 2021  
Edmonton – VictoriaUp to 7x weeklyMay 20, 2021  
Hamilton – KelownaUp to 6x weeklyJune 20, 2021
Winnipeg – KelownaUp to 3x weeklyJune 20, 2021

Additional BC Network Service

Route Frequency 
Abbotsford – Edmonton  Up to 21x weekly
Abbotsford – HamiltonUp to 7x weekly
Abbotsford – TorontoUp to 7x weekly
Abbotsford – WinnipegUp to 7x weekly
Kelowna – TorontoUp to 7x weekly

“As we continue to plan for recovery, our focus remains on ensuring the safe reopening of air travel within Canada,” continued Duncan. “When the time comes for a safe resumption of travel, it will be critical to ensure access to affordable travel exists within our borders and Swoop is strategically positioned to meet that need in British Columbia and across the country.”

Additional Quotes

“As the economy begins to reopen, we are pleased that Swoop recognizes Victoria as a destination that travellers will look forward to returning to or discovering the beauty and culture that Victoria and Vancouver Island has to offer for the first time.” Said Geoff Dickson, Victoria Airport Authority President and CEO. 

“Swoop’s commitment to Greater Victoria is welcome news – both as we recover from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond” said Paul Nursey, CEO – Destination Greater Victoria. “It goes without saying we are located on an island. Reliable transportation to and from the destination is vital to the success of our visitor economy. There are other benefits to a low-cost carrier like Swoop entering market as well. It means Greater Victoria becomes an option for visitors that might not have considered air travel without ultra-low cost carrier options. Increased competition amongst transportation providers means consumers have more choice for how they experience Greater Victoria.”

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

“Safe, reliable air service with direct, non-stop flights is essential to the recovery of the tourism industry and important contributor to our local and national economy. While we wait for interprovincial travel restrictions to lift, we hope Swoop customers from Hamilton, Winnipeg, Toronto, and surrounding areas will begin to plan their future trip to Kelowna and the Okanagan. We have incredible experiences for leisure and business visitors waiting to be enjoyed across all four seasons, and we’re looking forward to welcoming you here, soon.”  Lisanne Ballantyne, President & CEO, Tourism Kelowna

To learn more about Swoop’s visit  FlySwoop.com  or connect with Swoop on  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

About Swoop   

About Swoop: Established in 2018, Swoop is Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost airline, independently operated as part of the WestJet Group of companies, offering scheduled service to destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. Swoop offers completely unbundled products and services, creating the unique opportunity for travellers to control their costs and customize their experience by purchasing only the extras they desire.  

Swoop operates a modern fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity. Flyswoop.com allows travellers to quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight.    

Flair Airlines Brings Low Fares to Montreal with first ever ULCC domestic flights

The growing ULCC will serve 19 cities by August, liberating the lives of Canadians with affordable travel

EDMONTON, Alberta, March 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Flair Airlines, Canada’s only independent ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), is expanding service to include Montréal–Trudeau International Airport (IATA code: YUL) starting July 1, 2021, with direct flights to Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax and Abbotsford.

The addition of Flair’s service to Montreal marks an incredible milestone for the airline as it brings the first domestic ULCC service to the region. Flair’s network continues to grow within Canada as new aircraft are added to their fleet and preparation continues for the safe restart of travel. Flair’s ambitious expansion focuses on domestic markets first, ensuring all Canadians are connected with affordable travel options.

“We are excited to bring ULCC service to Montreal and to provide our low fares to a region where Canadians have been paying far too much for far too long,” says Stephen Jones, President & CEO. “Providing affordable air travel within Canada is an essential first step in restarting travel and tourism. We know there is a need for ULCC service in Montreal and are thrilled to bring our low fares to the area.”

Flair was one of the first airlines to focus its network exclusively on essential domestic travel during the pandemic. Flair continues to operate only essential service through April and will begin increasing service in May as vaccinations continue and anticipation of travel returns.

“We know there will be a need for affordable airfare once it is safe for us to travel again. As a ULCC, Flair doesn’t have the overhead and costs associated with legacy organizations and networks. This allows our efficiencies to be passed along in our pricing. Families and friends are eagerly waiting to connect, and Flair is here to ensure they can afford to fly once it is safe again to travel.”

One-way fares on several of the new Montreal routes start as low as $49 with taxes and fees included. In addition, Flair provides COVID Coverage which allows passengers to easily change their travel plans given the continued uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Bookings are now available for the newly announced routes for travel through October 30, 2021, at flyflair.com.

About Flair Airlines

Flair Airlines is Canada’s only independent Ultra Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC) and is on a mission to liberate the lives of Canadians by providing affordable air travel that connects them to the people and experiences they love. With an expanding fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, Flair is growing to serve 19 cities across Canada. For more information, please visit www.flyflair.com.

Flair Airlines Montreal Service (July 1, 2021 – October 30, 2021)

Route ● Service Begins ● Frequency

YUL-YVR ● 01-July-21 ● M, Tu, Th, F, Sa, Su

YUL-YYZ ● 01-July-21 ● Daily

YUL-YHZ ● 03-July-21 ● M, W, Sa, Su

YUL-YXX ● 03-Aug-21 ● Tu, W, Sa

WestJet leads domestic recovery with the addition of 11 new routes


Airline’s investments in Western Canada support travel and tourism in anticipation of summer demand 

CALGARY, AB, March 26, 2021 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced 11 new domestic routes across Western Canada. The routes will offer new nonstop service for 15 communities across Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. The enhancements follow an announcement made earlier in the week to return previously suspended service to Atlantic Canada and Quebec City.  

A message from WestJet President and CEO Ed Sims, on the airline’s commitment to Canada’s safe restart 

“As we look to the coming months with cautious optimism, we know our restart agenda will be pivotal to Canada’s economic recovery,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “Stimulating air travel benefits all Canadians and supports those hardest hit; with one in every 10 Canadian jobs tied to travel and tourism, the ripple effect benefits our whole country.”  

The new routes include service between Toronto (YYZ) and Comox (YQQ); between Ottawa (YOW) and Victoria (YYJ) and eight new routes connecting the prairie provinces to British Columbia tourism destinations, such as Regina (YQR) to Kelowna (YLW). Full schedule details and start dates are outlined below. 

“We are at an inflection point; one that is buoyed by the rollout of vaccines, months of learning how to take appropriate precautions, and a view to Canada’s beautiful summer months that allows us to spend more time outdoors,” continued Sims. “If Canadians were to shift two-thirds of their planned international-leisure travel spend towards domestic tourism, it would help sustain 150,000 jobs and accelerate recovery by one year, all while seeing what Canada has to offer.” 

New routes: 

Route Frequency Effective from 
Toronto – Fort McMurray 2x weekly (Wed, Sun) June 6, 2021 
Kelowna – Saskatoon 2x weekly (Thu, Sun) June 24, 2021 
Kelowna – Regina 2x weekly (Thu, Sun) June 24, 2021 
Saskatoon – Victoria 2x weekly (Thu, Sun) June 24, 2021 
Winnipeg – Victoria 3x weekly (Thu, Sat, Sun) June 24, 2021 
Edmonton – Kamloops 2x weekly (Thu, Sun) June 24, 2021 
Edmonton – Penticton 2x weekly (Thu, Sun) June 24, 2021 
Edmonton – Nanaimo 2x weekly (Fri, Sun) June 25, 2021 
Prince George – Abbotsford 2x weekly (Fri, Sun) June 25, 2021 
Ottawa – Victoria 1x weekly (Sat) June 26, 2021 
Toronto – Comox 1x weekly (Sat) June 26, 2021 

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

Menzies Aviation supports WestJet at five new stations in British Columbia

03/02/21 – Menzies Aviation is further developing its relationship with Canada’s WestJet with the announcement of a new contract to offer guest services at five new stations in the Western province of British Columbia.

Menzies already works with WestJet at Toronto, one of WestJet’s largest hubs, and other airports around the world and is now supporting their business and operations at Victoria (YYJ), Nanaimo (YCD), Comox (YQQ), Abbotsford (YXX), and Kamloops (YKA).

James Wong, Vice-President, Sales – Canada & Caribbean said: “We are currently servicing WestJet at one of their largest hubs in Toronto and various airports globally. The addition of the Canadian western stations is a testament to the ongoing trust in delivering an exceptional experience to WestJet guests. We  look forward to further developing our global relationship and the opportunity to offer our services to the aviation community in Western Canada..”

Robert Antoniuk, WestJet Vice-President, Airports said: “For more than 15 years Menzies has partnered with us to provide safe and caring service to millions of WestJet guests. Our long-standing relationship alongside Menzies’ alignment with our service culture are two key reasons we selected them as our service partner for these Western Canadian airports. We look forward to a continued healthy partnership.”

Flair Airlines expands with eight new destinations across Canada

ULCC to bring low fare air travel to 18 cities by August, filling voids left by legacy carriers and ensuring affordable travel options are available for Canadians

 Source: Flair Airlines

Edmonton, Alberta, Feb. 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Flair Airlines, Canada’s only independent ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), is expanding service and will bring low fare air travel to 18 Canadian destinations by summer. Service to four of the new destinations will begin in May with more added in the coming months as non-essential travel within Canada safely restarts.

Flair’s ambitious expansion focuses first on growing its domestic network. Flair’s network will expand beginning on May 1st as service is added to Ottawa, ON; Kitchener-Waterloo, ON; Halifax, NS; and Saint John, NB. Flair will add service in June to Thunder Bay, ON; and Charlottetown, PE; in July to Victoria, BC; and in August to Abbotsford, BC.

“Canadians have been paying too much for too long, and we are changing that with our ULCC model that makes getting around Canada affordable,” says Stephen Jones, President & CEO. “Providing affordable air travel within Canada is the first step in restarting travel and tourism, and Flair is uniquely positioned with the efficiencies of our low-cost model. When non-essential travel returns, Flair will be there to reconnect families and provide the low fares that have long been denied to Canadians.”

Flair anticipates tourism and travel to begin restarting in the Spring and Summer, and the focus on domestic service in 2021 enables the ULCC to provide more low fare options across Canada.

“We strongly support the need for restricting non-essential travel as Canada works to bend the curve. Flair was one of the first airlines to reduce our network and focus exclusively on essential domestic travel,” says Jones. “We are confident, as travel returns, there is a strong market for low fare travel choices from a socially responsible Canadian airline. Flair’s ULCC business model doesn’t have the overhead and costs associated with legacy organizations and networks, and this allows our efficiencies to be passed along in our pricing.”

Canadian airport partners are excited for Flair’s ULCC service to be coming to their communities:

“We’re delighted that Flair Airlines has selected Saint John as their exclusive New Brunswick destination,” says Saint John Airport President and CEO, Derrick Stanford. “We’re dedicated to finding Saint John travellers the best possible value and options, and with Flair’s unique pricing model almost anyone can afford to fly to more places than ever before.”
                                   – Derrick Stanford, President & CEO, Saint John Airport

“We are pleased to welcome Flair Airlines to the Region of Waterloo International Airport. Once pandemic restrictions are lifted, the addition of Flair’s services will provide further connectivity to other economic hubs, create local jobs, build partnerships and help support the recovery of the local economy.”
                                   – Karen Redman, Regional Chair, Region of Waterloo

 “EIA is proud to be Flair’s home base and it’s exciting to see these growth plans that will benefit our community. We’re confident there’s a bright future for aviation and travel in our market, and low-cost airlines such as Flair are part of that. We will always put the health and safety of passengers and Canadians first, and with our EIA Ready program, we’re committed to a clean and safe travel experience when the time is right.”
                                     – Tom Ruth, President & CEO, Edmonton International Airport

“Canadians have been separated from their families and friends throughout the pandemic and we are confident there will be demand for a variety of flight options when non-essential air travel resumes. We look forward to welcoming Flair back to Halifax Stanfield, increasing choices for our community members to reconnect when the time is right. With our Stay Healthy measures in place throughout the airport, we’re ready to support passengers on their next journey.”
                                 
 – Joyce Carter, President & CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority 

Flair is poised to show Canadians the real benefits which other areas of the world have experienced with ULCC service. One-way fares on several of the new routes start as low as $39. In addition, Flair provides complimentary COVID Coverage, allowing passengers to easily change their travel plans given the continued uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Bookings are now available for the newly announced routes for May through October 30, 2021, at flyflair.com.

Flair Airlines Service (May 1, 2021 – October 30, 2021)

  • YKF-YEG, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: W, Sa
  • YKF-YHZ, starting 03-May-21, Frequency: M, W, F
  • YKF-YVR, starting 03-May-21, Frequency: M, T, W, F
  • YKF-YWG, starting 02-Jul-21, Frequency: M, W, F, Su
  • YKF-YYC, starting 02-May-21, Frequency: Th, Su
  • YKF-YYJ, starting 02-Jul-21, Frequency: Tu, Th, Sa
  • YYZ-YEG, starting 01-Aug-21, Frequency: Th, Su
  • YYZ-YHZ, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: Tu, Sa
  • YYZ-YLW, starting 02-Jun-21, Frequency: W, Sa
  • YYZ-YMM, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: W, Sa
  • YYZ-YOW, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: M, W, Th, F, Sa, Su
  • YYZ-YQR, starting 02-May-21, Frequency: Th, Su
  • YYZ-YQT, starting 03-Jun-21, Frequency: Tu, Th, Sa
  • YYZ-YSJ, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: Tu, Sa
  • YYZ-YVR, starting 02-May-21, Frequency: M, Tu, Th, F, Su
  • YYZ-YWG, starting 02-May-21, Frequency: Th, Su
  • YYZ-YXE, starting 03-May-21, Frequency: M, F
  • YYZ-YXX, starting 01-Aug-21, Frequency: M, Tu, Th, F, Sa, Su
  • YYZ-YYC, starting 03-May-21, Frequency: M, W, F
  • YYZ-YYG, starting 04-Jun-21, Frequency: M, F
  • YHZ-YKF, starting 03-May-21, Frequency: M, Tu, F
  • YHZ-YOW, starting 01-Jun-21, Frequency: Daily
  • YHZ-YYZ, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: Tu, Sa
  • YEG-YKF, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: W, Sa
  • YEG-YLW, starting 03-May-21, Frequency: M, F
  • YEG-YOW, starting 03-May-21, Frequency: M, F
  • YEG-YVR, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: Tu, W, Th, Sa, Su
  • YEG-YXS, starting 03-May-21, Frequency: M, F
  • YEG-YXX, starting 01-Aug-21, Frequency: M, W, Th, F, Sa, Su
  • YEG-YYZ, starting 02-May-21, Frequency: Th, Su
  • YEG-YYJ, starting 04-Aug-21, Frequency: W, Sa
  • YYC-YKF, starting 02-May-21, Frequency: Th, Su
  • YYC-YOW, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: M, Sa
  • YYC-YVR, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: W, Th, Sa, Su
  • YYC-YWG, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: W, Sa
  • YYC-YXX, starting 01-Aug-21, Frequency: Daily
  • YYC-YYZ, starting 03-May-21, Frequency: M, W, F,
  • YYC-YYJ, starting 01-Aug-21, Frequency: Th, Su
  • YLW-YEG, starting 03-May-21, Frequency: M, F
  • YLW-YYZ, starting 02-Jun-21, Frequency: W, Sa
  • YOW-YEG, starting 03-May-21, Frequency: M, F
  • YOW-YHZ, starting 01-Jun-21, Frequency: Daily
  • YOW-YVR, starting 02-May-21, Frequency: W, Th, F, Su
  • YOW-YWG, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: W, Sa
  • YOW-YYC, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: M, Sa
  • YOW-YYZ, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: M, W, Th, F, Sa, Su
  • YOW-YXX, starting 02-Aug-21, Frequency: M, Th, F
  • YVR-YEG, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: Tu, W, Th, Sa, Su
  • YVR-YKF, starting 03-May-21, Frequency: M, Tu, W, F
  • YVR-YMM, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: W, Sa,
  • YVR-YOW, starting 02-May-21, Frequency: W, Th, Sa, Su
  • YVR-YQR, starting 02-May-21, Frequency: Th, Su
  • YVR-YWG, starting 02-May-21, Frequency: Th, Su
  • YVR-YXE, starting 03-May-21, Frequency: M, F
  • YVR-YXS, starting 03-May-21, Frequency: M, F
  • YVR-YYC, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: W, Th, Sa, Su
  • YVR-YYZ, starting 03-May-21, Frequency: M, Tu, Th, F, Su
  • YXS-YEG, starting 03-May-21, Frequency: M, F
  • YXS-YVR, starting 03-May-21, Frequency: M, F
  • YMM-YVR, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: W, Sa
  • YMM-YYZ, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: W, Sa
  • YWG-YKF, starting 02-Jul-21, Frequency: M, W, F, Su
  • YWG-YOW, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: W, Sa
  • YWG-YVR, starting 02-May-21, Frequency: Th, Su
  • YWG-YYC, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: W, Sa
  • YWG-YYZ, starting 02-May-21, Frequency: Th, Su
  • YWG-YXX, starting 01-Aug-21, Frequency: Tu, Th, Su
  • YQR-YVR, starting 02-May-21, Frequency: Th, Su
  • YQR-YYZ, starting 02-May-21, Frequency: Th, Su
  • YSJ-YYZ, starting 01-May-21, Frequency: Tu, Sa
  • YXE-YVR, starting 03-May-21, Frequency: M, F
  • YXE-YYZ, starting 03-May-21, Frequency: M, F
  • YQT-YYZ, starting 03-Jun-21, Frequency: Tu, Th, Sa
  • YYG-YYZ, starting 04-Jun-21, Frequency: M, F
  • YXX-YEG, starting 01-Aug-21, Frequency: M, W, Th, F, Sa, Su
  • YXX-YYC, starting 01-Aug-21, Frequency: Daily
  • YXX-YYZ, starting 01-Aug-21, Frequency: M, Tu, Th, F, Sa, Su
  • YXX-YOW, starting 02-Aug-21, Frequency: M, W, F
  • YXX-YWG, starting 01-Aug-21, Frequency: Tu, Th, Su
  • YYJ-YKF, starting 02-Jul-21, Frequency: Tu, Th, Sa
  • YYJ-YEG, starting 04-Aug-21, Frequency: W, Sa
  • YYJ-YYC, starting 01-Aug-21, Frequency: Th, Su

Schedule notes:

– Some routes are active prior to May 1, 2021.
– Frequency of service displayed reflects the start of the scheduled route and the frequency on some routes will change as additional service begins. Check specific travel dates at flyflair.com.

Abbotsford Airport hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic

From Abbotsford News – link to source story

Airport manager Parm Sidhu
Airport manager Parm Sidhu believes airport is in a great position to thrive when normalcy returns

TYLER OLSEN, Dec. 7, 2020

Abbotsford International Airport (YXX) is one of the largest economic drivers in the city. And as more flights have been added in recent years, it has become an increasingly important part of the region’s social and economic transportation infrastructure.

In 2019, traffic at YXX exceeded one million passengers for the first time. It was a major milestone and capped five years of exponential growth that saw passenger numbers double during that period.

Then came 2020. The pandemic has hit many industries and sectors hard, but few have had to deal with as many changes as the air transportation sector.

Borders have been closed. Unprecedented travel restrictions have been imposed. And many people have either been scared to travel or – as conventions are cancelled, meetings are moved online, and tourist destinations close – just found themselves with no need to do so.

But despite all that turmoil, airport general manager Parm Sidhu believes the airport is in a position to thrive when normalcy resumes.

“We believe we’re going to have a significant role to play in the recovery period,” he says. “We believe ultra-low-cost carriers will continue to make travelling affordable and accessible for Canadians.”

Domestic flights – always YXX’s bread and butter – have continued into and out of the airport. Regular destinations still include Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton and Toronto, with a restoration of many previous destinations anticipated to be added during the pandemic recovery cycle..

Passenger numbers in 2020 are forecast to be only about one-third of what they were in 2019, with about 323,000 people expected to pass through the terminal.

But while everyone is expecting COVID-19 to continue to impact business throughout the winter, Sidhu expects a bounce-back year as 2021 progresses.

“If you look at the data from other parts of the world over the summer … the pent-up demand for visiting friends and family is going to be significant,” Sidhu said, noting that the airport’s ultra-low-cost carrier-focused business model revolves around precisely those types of travellers. “We do believe our business model is going to be excellent for the recovery.”

The airport hasn’t only been surviving; it’s been laying the groundwork for continued growth and success once the world gets back to normal – whenever that may be.

YXX recently spent $5 million on expanding its terminal and is in the midst of an $8.5 million expansion for its bag room that will streamline baggage-handling operations for the airlines.

“People won’t necessarily see that improvement, but the airlines, the ground-handling agents and the capacity and throughput of that bag room will be set up for success for a long, long time,” Sidhu says. “We’ll continue to invest in infrastructure as passengers come back.”

Sidhu noted that many of the people taking flights into and out of Abbotsford aren’t locals, but choose the airport because of the low fares. And those people end up contributing to Abbotsford’s economy.

“A growing airport means the region is vibrant and growing. This is one of the most livable regions in North America.”

The airport isn’t just all about jets and airplanes, though.

In recent years, it has become a hub for bus travel. Prior to COVID-19, there were five shuttle buses a day running between the airport and SkyTrain, giving those without a car, or those who wanted to leave their vehicle at home, an easy way to get to their flight. There are now bus connections to downtown Vancouver from the airport, which has also become the Abbotsford stop for EBus’s routes between the Interior and Metro Vancouver.

Those new links further build a foundation for future growth.

“The ground transportation is also vital,” he says. “One thing is having the ultra-low-cost fares … but you need a supporting ecosystem of low-cost parking and ground transportation and we have that.”

Around 1,500 employees, many in well-paying jobs that require higher education, are employed at the airport.

Many large aerospace companies also call the airport home: Conair, Chinook Helicopters, Marshall Aerospace, Cascade Aerospace, Shell Aerocentre, Alpine Airtech, Westview Aviation, Coastal Pacific Aviation, Campbell Helicopters, Bakerview Aviation and Sequoia Helicopters all have facilities on the 1,250-acre site.

In August, the U.S. military awarded a contract worth as much as $374 million to Cascade and Marshall to maintain the military’s KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft for at least the next five years.

And the area’s aerospace cluster continues to grow: there has been a new greenfield development each year since 2015.

“We’re an economic enabler and we partner with people who want to invest here in land and buildings,” Sidhu says. “These investments – the new hangars and new buildings – bring jobs here.”

While there have been fewer passengers this year, the airport’s runways remain extremely busy. Indeed, it’s one of the top-five airports in Canada based on the number of aircraft movements.

Sidhu says there has been a noticeable increase in the number of private corporate jets flying into the airport.

The airport is itself owned and run by the City of Abbotsford; the city purchased it two decades ago for the low sum of just $10. These days, it consistently turns a profit, allowing it to use those funds to improve the site for passengers and airlines.

YXX is home to many events, including one of the top 10 airshows in the world, the Abbotsford International Airshow. Many of those have been cancelled or restricted visitors over the last year, but Sidhu anticipates their return as soon as next year.

“We do see light at the end of the tunnel,” Sidhu says. “It’s a long tunnel, but there is light.”

2 dozen WestJet flights added to airline’s COVID-19 notification list in Calgary

From CTV News – link to source story

Michael Franklin, CTV News Calgary, Senior Digital Producer – Wednesday, December 2, 2020

WestJet says 24 flights since Nov. 20 that arrived and departed from Calgary had guests that tested positive for COVID-19. (File)

CALGARY — WestJet Airlines is notifying guests who flew on a number of its flights within the past two weeks about their possible contact with COVID-19.

The airline provided an updated list on its website, adding 24 flights arriving or departing from Calgary International Airport since Nov. 16. Several of the flights involved U.S. destinations while three came from Mexico.

A third of the flights also came through YYC on Nov. 22, data indicates:

  •  Nov. 28 – Flight 2247 from Puerto Vallarta (PVR) to Calgary, rows 10 to 16;
  •  Nov. 28 – Flight 155 from Calgary to Edmonton, rows 10 to 16;
  •  Nov. 27 – Flight 3229 from Calgary to Edmonton, rows 6 to 12;
  •  Nov. 27 – Flight 1403 from Phoenix (PHX) to Calgary, rows 4 to 10;
  •  Nov. 26 – Flight 205 from Winnipeg to Calgary, rows 11 to 17;
  •  Nov. 26 – Flight 155 from Calgary to Edmonton, rows 5 to 11;
  •  Nov. 26 – Flight 3225 from Calgary to Edmonton, rows 4 to 10;
  •  Nov. 26 – Flight 1403 from Phoenix (PHX) to Calgary, rows 15 to 21;
  •  Nov. 23 – Flight 613 from Ottawa to Calgary, rows 1 to 7;
  •  Nov. 23 – Flight 3101 from Calgary to Fort St. John (YXJ), no information on rows;
  •  Nov. 23 – Flight 658 from Calgary to Toronto, rows 1 to 7;
  •  Nov. 23 – Flight 669 from Toronto to Calgary, rows 5 to 11;
  •  Nov. 22 – Flight 3455 from Calgary to Abbottsford (YXX), rows 14 to 19;
  •  Nov. 22 – Flight 238 from Edmonton to Calgary, no information on rows;
  •  Nov. 22 – Flight 1510 from Calgary to Los Angeles (LAX), no information on rows;
  •  Nov. 22 – Flight 1511 from Los Angeles (LAX) to Calgary, no information on rows;
  •  Nov. 22 – Flight 139 from Calgary to Vancouver, rows 2 to 8;
  •  Nov. 22 – Flight 155 from Calgary to Edmonton, rows 4 to 10;
  •  Nov. 22 – Flight 1403 from Phoenix (PHX) to Calgary, rows 7 to 13;
  •  Nov. 22 – Flight 2311 from Cancun (CUN) to Calgary, rows 6 to 12;
  •  Nov. 21 – Flight 2313 from Cancun (CUN) to Calgary, rows 22 to 28;
  •  Nov. 20 – Flight 119 from Calgary to Vancouver, rows 4 to 10;
  •  Nov. 20 – Flight 3171 from Calgary to Comox (YQQ), rows 3 to 9;
  •  Nov. 20 – Flight 3144 from Fort McMurray (YMM) to Calgary, rows 13 to 19.

WestJet says it is releasing information on the rows that could have come into close contact with the positive cases of the disease so guests can take proper precautions.

While the Canada-U.S. border remains closed to all land crossings until at least Dec. 21, air travel between the two countries is allowed, provided travelers self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.

COVID-infected flights fall sharply across Canada

From Toronto Sun – link to source story

Bryan Passifiume  •  Nov 23, 2020

Pearson International airport was practically vacant at Terminal 1  except for a few international flyers  on Thursday April 2, 2020. Jack Boland/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network
Toronto Pearson International Airport on April 2, 2020. PHOTO BY JACK BOLAND /Toronto Sun

Only five international and six domestic flights with passengers infected with COVID-19 landed at Canadian airports last week.

That’s compared to 44 international and 60 domestic flights recorded the week previous, according to publicly available data from Health Canada.

Five of the six domestic flights occurred on Nov. 16 — Swoop 406 between Toronto and Abbotsford, PAL Airlines 1902 between Quebec City and Sept-Iles, Jazz 8280 between Vancouver and Prince Rupert, Air Canada 341 between Ottawa and Vancouver, and Air Canada 209 between Calgary and Vancouver.

The sixth flight was Air Canada 428 from Toronto to Montreal on Nov. 17.

Internationally, only two infected flights originated from the United States,  both from Chicago — United 4552 to Toronto on Nov. 16 and Air Canada 7596 to Montreal on Nov. 17

Other international flights include Air Canada 989 from Cancun to Montreal and Rouge 1994 from Mexico City to Toronto — both on Nov. 17 — and Turkish Airlines 17 from Istanbul to Toronto on Nov. 18, the only non-North American flight to carry COVID-positive passengers.

Calgary, home to the federal government’s pilot program testing international arrivals for COVID-19, recorded no infected passengers over the past week, down from two the week previous.

Turkish Airlines has carried the most COVID-19 infected passengers of any international carrier over the past two weeks — seven to Toronto and one to Montreal.

Health Canada only posts data online from the past two weeks, and does not list how many passengers on board tested positive, only — when available — listing ranges of row numbers of where the person may have sat.

Data on infections comes from a variety of sources, states Health Canada, including contact tracing and information from local public health authorities.

Thirty-six infected domestic and international flights landed in Toronto since Nov. 8, the highest in Canada, while 24 landed at Vancouver, 19 at Montreal and six at Calgary.

Since March, only four Canadian airports — Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver — are permitted to accept international flights, with some exceptions.