Swoop Heats Up Winter Schedule with Addition of Los Cabos

Ultra-low cost carrier brings back non-stop service to the Baja Peninsula from Edmonton and announces new direct route from Toronto       

CALGARY, AB, Sept. 15, 2021 /CNW/ -Today, Swoop announced the addition of non-stop service to Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) to its winter schedule from both Edmonton and Toronto, bringing more choice to Canadians looking to travel south of the border at an affordable price. Swoop’s non-stop service will operate twice weekly from Toronto and once weekly from Edmonton.  

“We are thrilled to expand our winter schedule just in time for our travellers in Toronto and Edmonton to book that long-awaited vacation to Los Cabos, Mexico,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial & Finance, Swoop. “With non-stop flights available for as low as $139.00 †  one-way, we are pleased to be offering even more affordable travel options to Canadians, while strengthening our position as Canada’s ultra-low cost carrier with the most flights to popular sun destinations.”

Los Cabos joins Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán as the fourth Mexican destination available for booking this winter, all at Swoop’s always available ultra-low fares. With demand for international travel and all-inclusive Getaway packages returning, today’s announcement signals another strong sign of recovery for the airline as it gears up for further growth through the addition of its tenth aircraft, expected to enter service this winter.

Details of Swoop’s Winter Service to Los Cabos

RoutePlanned Start DatePeak Weekly FrequencyTotal one-way price (CAD)Base fare (CAD)Taxes and Fees (CAD)
Edmonton – Los CabosNovember 20, 20211x Weekly$139 † CAD $43.10$95.90
 Los Cabos – EdmontonNovember 20, 20211x Weekly$139 † CAD $64.83 $74.17
Toronto – Los CabosDecember 4, 20212x Weekly$139 † CAD $40.70$98.30
Los Cabos – TorontoDecember 4, 20212x Weekly$139 † CAD $64.83$74.17
†Special introductory fares are limited quantity. Book by Sep 22, 2021 (11:59 p.m. ET) or while seats last, for travel between November 20, 2021 and April 30, 2022. Blackout dates between December 16, 2021 and January 6, 2022, March 11, 2022 – April 4, 2022.

“Thank you Swoop for supporting the return of international flights to EIA. We’re thrilled to add another sunny location to our growing list of non-stop destinations. Health and safety continue to be our top priorities for our passengers as they access the world, non-stop from EIA.”

– Myron Keehn, Vice-President, Air Service and Business Development, EIA

“Los Cabos International Airport has been one of the most resilient airports in Mexico. As the recovery continues, we are glad to welcome Swoop with their brand-new route, Toronto, and the return of Edmonton”, said Raúl Revuelta Musalem, CEO of Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico. “Just in July, we experienced a 25% rate of growth in the international segment compared with 2019, and we are confident that Swoop will be a key player to keep Cabos in the international spotlight.”

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

About Swoop

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

Swoop’s modern fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity has safely carried more than 3 million travellers in three years of operation. Flyswoop.com allows travellers to quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight.

Sunwing announces its return to Cuba – a perennial favourite among Canadians – with flights from gateways across the country

TORONTO, Sept. 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Amid easing entry requirements and soaring vaccination rates in Cuba, along with competitive pricing for pre-departure PCR tests at $30 USD per person, Sunwing is pleased to announce that it will be offering weekly flights to the Canadian favourite destinations of Varadero and Cayo Coco. Flight service will be available from several gateways across Canada starting in October and November, including Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton. As winter progresses, more Canadian departure gateways and popular Cuban destinations are expected to be added to reflect evolving consumer demand.

“We’re thrilled to be helping our customers head back to the sunny shores of Cuba this fall under our wing,” commented Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations at Sunwing. “Cuba has been an integral part of our operations ever since our inaugural flight took off from Toronto to Varadero in 2005. Our Cuba program has continued to grow since then, and has been one of our most popular destinations over the past decade. The resort towns of Varadero and Cayo Coco both offer serene beach locations and secluded tourist areas for a relaxing retreat, away from the hustle and bustle of larger cities.”

The flight schedule will be as follows:

  • Between Toronto and Varadero, Fridays starting October 8, 2021
  • Between Toronto and Cayo Coco, Saturdays starting October 9, 2021
  • Between Montreal and Varadero, Fridays starting October 8, 2021
  • Between Montreal and Cayo Coco, Saturdays starting October 16, 2021
  • Between Calgary and Varadero, Tuesdays starting November 2, 2021
  • Between Edmonton and Varadero, Tuesdays starting November 2, 2021

With its pristine beaches, warm weather and a wide variety of resorts for every travel style, it’s no wonder that Canadian sun-seekers return to Cuba year after year. Grand Memories Varadero is a popular choice with fun-filled activities and a sprawling beach that’s perfect for soaking up the sun and building sandcastles. Vacationers headed to Cayo Coco may choose to stay at Iberostar Selection Playa Pilar, with oceanfront suites and the area’s only water playground; or Memories Flamenco Beach Resort, offering a range of water sports like snorkelling and catamaran rides.

Plus, all vacation packages booked by October 15, 2021 for departures between now and October 31, 2021 will include complimentary COVID-19 coverage at no additional charge.

About Sunwing
The largest integrated travel company in North America, Sunwing has more flights to the south than any other leisure carrier with convenient direct service from airports across Canada to popular sun destinations across the U.S.A., Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. This scale enables Sunwing to offer customers exclusive deals at top-rated resorts in the most popular vacation destinations as well as cruise packages and seasonal domestic flight service. Sunwing customers benefit from the assistance of the company’s own knowledgeable destination representatives, who greet them upon arrival and support them throughout their vacation journey. The company supports the communities where it operates through the Sunwing Foundation, a charitable initiative focused on the support and development of youth and humanitarian aid.

Flair Airlines Extends Schedule Through Summer 2022

Canada’s favorite ULCC is confident in travel demand growth over the coming year and expands schedule in core Canadian and US markets

Edmonton, Alberta, September 9, 2021 – Flair Airlines, Canada’s only true ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), continues its surge to bring low fares to Canadians and has extended its flight schedule through Summer 2022 in core Canadian and US markets.

“As we grow our fleet and expand our service, we see the demand for Flair’s low fare travel continuing to explode across Canada. We are absolutely focused on rescuing Canadians from the bloated prices they have long suffered in flying,” says Stephen Jones, President and CEO, Flair Airlines. “Flair is committed to helping reunite families and make travel accessible for everyone, and our schedule extension will help passengers prepare for 2022 by knowing they can explore and connect without breaking the bank.”

The schedule expansion extends the booking period into Summer 2022. Many year-round and seasonal routes will see an increase in service including flights departing from Edmonton (YEG), Kelowna (YLW), Halifax (YHZ), Kitchener (YKF), Abbotsford (YXX), Winnipeg (YWG), Toronto (YYZ), Saint John (YSJ), Vancouver (YVR), Calgary (YYC), Victoria (YYJ), Charlottetown (YYG), Thunder Bay (YQT), and Montreal (YUL).

Flair’s confidence in Canadian travel continuing to grow in 2022 is reflected in the ultra-low fares where cost efficiency and demand allow for pricing to start at just $29 CAD one-way on some routes. All routes and schedule details can be viewed at https://www.flyflair.com. More low fares and exciting summer route announcements will be coming soon! Be among the first to know by signing up for Flair’s newsletter https://www.flyflair.com/newsletter.

Flair is rapidly growing to serve Canadians with low fare flights, the extended schedule allows for more efficient planning for customers and airline partners. Deliveries of new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft throughout 2021 and 2022 continue to grow the fleet as Flair achieves its goal of 50 aircraft in five years. Flair continues to bring more jobs to the market and is hiring more staff and flight crew as it meets the growth demands of the airline.

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 26 cities across Canada and North America. For more information, please visit http://www.flyflair.com

After being devastated by COVID-19, Alberta’s major airports have high hopes about the recovery

From CBC News – link to source story

An analysis of publicly available data shows the devastating impact of the pandemic

Nicholas Frew · CBC News · Posted: August 02, 2021

Pre-pandemic, the Edmonton and Calgary airports were operating at record or near-record capacity. It could take years before the airports get back to those levels again. (CBC)

Alberta’s two largest airports are seeing signs that they can prepare their recovery for takeoff in the wake of a worldwide pandemic that almost grounded the industry.

Airports have hemorrhaged money ever since restrictions to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus brought air travel to a near-halt in early 2020. 

“Any word less than ‘devastating’ is [inappropriate] for the impact on the aviation industry,” said Barry Prentice, University of Manitoba professor who researches transportation economics. 

“[Airports] are particularly hard-hit because literally all the revenues are associated with passenger movements and all the costs are essentially fixed.”

CBC News analyzed publicly available passenger data for the Calgary and Edmonton airports from 2014 to June 2021 — the most recent available — as well as airport revenue and net income reported in annual reports from fiscal 2014 through 2020.

The analysis shows how significantly the COVID-19 pandemic struck Alberta’s airports.

Before COVID-19

Pre-pandemic, the Edmonton and Calgary airports were operating at or near record capacity.

The Edmonton International Airport (EIA) reported well over 7.6 million terminal passengers in 2019, down slightly from a peak in 2018. The Calgary International Airport saw nearly 18 million passengers in 2019.

Calgary reported nearly $432 million in revenue that fiscal year and made significant gains on its net loss. Edmonton made about $231.7 million in revenue and posted its first net gain since at least 2014, according to annual reports.

About two-thirds of that revenue was generated by passengers through airport improvement fees, concessions and parking.

The airports were operating at similar levels through the first two months of 2020. But traffic dropped by about 40 per cent that March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the province launched its tough health restrictions in April and May, passenger traffic in both airports plunged to about five per cent of what it had been in January and February.

More and charts >> (re-directed to original story and will open new window/tab)

Government of Canada supporting the Edmonton International Airport with new funding

Transport Canada

EDMONTON, AB, July 28, 2021 /CNW/ – Helping airports mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is part of the Government of Canada’s strategy to ensure that Canada’s air transportation system provides Canadians with choice, connectivity and affordable air travel. Canada’s world-leading network of airports has been put under substantial financial strain as a result of the dramatic decline in passenger travel. Investments in airport infrastructure are crucial to maintain safety, security, and connectivity for travellers, airport workers and surrounding communities.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, City of Leduc Mayor, Bob Young, Leduc County Mayor, Tanni Doblanko, and Edmonton International Airport President and CEO Tom Ruth, announced close to $24.7 million to help the Edmonton International Airport recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support continued air services and important transportation infrastructure projects at the airport.

The Government of Canada is providing the Edmonton International Airport with almost $18.5 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Critical Infrastructure Program for critical infrastructure improvements including upgrades to runways and airfield lighting. The work will begin in late 2021 and is expected to be completed in 2024. These projects will help ensure continued safety for passengers, air crews and airport employees.

In addition to the funding for the critical infrastructure projects, the Government of Canada is also providing the Edmonton International Airport with close to $6.2 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Relief Fund to help it maintain continued airport operations and essential air services for residents and workers in Edmonton and surrounding communities.

Quotes

“As we move forward with the safe gradual return of activity in the aviation sector, both in Canada and internationally, in a way that continues to support the health, safety, and security of all Canadians, it will be imperative that we continue to ensure a vibrant and competitive Canadian air sector. These critical investments at the Edmonton International Airport will help maintain airport and passenger safety and security, and improve operational efficiency and connectivity by ensuring the airport continues to meet all federal safety standards.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

“The federal government’s funding commitments have helped the City of Leduc and other municipalities plan major job-creating projects that will grow our local economy and increase trade. Partnering with multiple levels of government is key to our collective economic recovery.”

Mayor Bob Young
City of Leduc

“Edmonton International Airport is located in Leduc County, and is a critical contributor to our economy. Like many other airports throughout Canada, EIA operations were drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s announcement is welcome news, as this funding will allow EIA to continue to drive business development and diversification, bring tourists to the region and connect businesses on a global scale.”

Mayor Tanni Doblanko
Leduc County

“EIA is essential for the economic recovery of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, Alberta, and northern Canada. Restoring strong, international air service is an imperative for our business community, the tourism visitor economy and passengers. This important federal funding will help us maintain operations and start infrastructure improvements to enhance safety.”

Tom Ruth
President and CEO 
Edmonton International Airport

Quick Facts

  • The Airport Critical Infrastructure Program, launched in May 2021, will distribute $489.6 million in funding over five years to airports for eligible infrastructure projects related to safety, security or connectivity to mass transit systems.
  • The federal contribution will be up to 50% of total eligible expenditures of the projects, up to a maximum contribution of $18.429 million. The Airport will provide the remaining funding for the projects.
  • The Airport Relief Fund, launched in May 2021, will provide $64.8 million in funding in 2021-2022 for targeted airports whose 2019 revenues were less than $250 million.
  • The amount of funding to each targeted eligible Airport Relief Fund recipient was calculated using a tiered formula-based approach, based on 2019 revenues.
  • Funding provided from the Airport Relief Fund must be used to cover activities that are directly related to the airport’s operations to ensure that the airport remains open to travellers and surrounding communities.
  • First introduced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the Airport Critical Infrastructure Program and the Airport Relief Fund are part of a federal stimulus recovery plan designed to build a stronger, more inclusive and more resilient economy post-COVID-19.

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Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca

Edmonton airport prepares for return of international travel: ‘It is really important to us’

From Global News – link to source story and video

By Caley Ramsay  Global News | July 20, 2021

Click to play video: 'Edmonton International Airport ready to welcome the world back'
The border closure and loss of global flights came at a huge cost to the Edmonton International Airport, but as Tom Vernon explains, the reopening means work is underway to bring back lost connections.

The Edmonton International Airport is preparing to welcome back more travellers, after Monday’s announcement about the easing of border restrictions.

On Monday, the federal government announced American citizens and permanent residents who want to come to Canada for non-essential reasons and are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be allowed to do so starting on Aug. 9.

Fully vaccinated travellers from other countries will be allowed to come as of Sept. 7.

That means EIA is just weeks away from accepting and offering international flights for the first time in 16 months. On Aug. 9, EIA will once again be open to international travel.

“It is really important to us,” said Traci Bednard, VP of corporate and digital communications with EIA.STORY CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

The airport took a huge hit when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and shut down international flights to the facility. The airport typically offers between 53 to 55 non-stop destinations, but that dropped to 13 when the pandemic hit.

Click to play video: 'International flights returning to Edmonton airport'International flights returning to Edmonton airport

Passenger numbers plummeted as a result.

“On a normal day we might serve about 10,000 departing passengers. In COVID, during really difficult times, we might serve about 300. But we’re up to about 5,000 departing passengers a day now,” Bednard said.

In just the last couple of weeks, Bednard said activity at the airport has gradually begun to increase. Airlines have announced new routes within Canada, but Bednard said it will take some time and work to attract back more of the international flights.

“We’ll need to continue to work hard for some key business destinations in the U.S. and our international services,” she explained.

“We have never stopped talking, advocating to the airlines. Really for us, what we see as quite optimistic is our community has come forward and the region has made an investment in an air service fund.”

Click to play video: 'Edmonton won’t receive international flights starting Wednesday'Edmonton won’t receive international flights starting Wednesday

The City of Edmonton recently committed $10 million to that fund, which aims to attract more international destinations to the airport. Surrounding municipalities have also pitched in.

“We’re also working with our chambers of commerce and businesses to demonstrate that collectively air service is the key economic recovery priority for this region and that’s an important message to airlines,” Bednard said.

“Whether it’s companies trying to import product, whether it’s companies trying to get to the U.S. or international destinations to visit their customers, we really need to see that restoration.”

Know before you go

As travel ramps up across the country, EIA recognizes that many people haven’t travelled since last March and there have been a lot of changes, particularly when it comes to international travel.

Permanent residents and citizens of Canada and U.S. citizens who are fully vaccinated will need to download the ArriveCan app before they depart back to Canada. Then they need to upload their proof of vaccination to the app before they return to Canada, as well as show proof of a negative PCR test.

“For many of us, we haven’t flown for a year and a half and of course now with border restrictions easing, we’ll be able to travel internationally and there are things people need to know.”

On its website, the airport is offering EIA Travel School 101, which will help passengers learn what’s changed and what they need to know before they take their trip.

As of Aug. 9, airports in Halifax, Quebec City, Ottawa and Winnipeg will also be added to the list of Canadian cities where international flights are permitted to land.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Government of Canada announces easing of border measures for fully vaccinated travellers

From: Public Health Agency of Canada

News release

International flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at five additional Canadian airports

July 19, 2021 | Ottawa | Public Health Agency of Canada

The Government of Canada is prioritizing the health and safety of everyone in Canada by taking a risk-based and measured approach to re-opening our borders. Thanks to the hard work of Canadians, rising vaccination rates and declining COVID-19 cases, the Government of Canada is able to move forward with adjusted border measures.

On September 7, 2021, provided that the domestic epidemiologic situation remains favourable, the Government intends to open Canada’s borders to any fully vaccinated travellers who have completed the full course of vaccination with a Government of Canada-accepted vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and who meet specific entry requirements.

As a first step, starting August 9, 2021, Canada plans to begin allowing entry to American citizens and permanent residents, who are currently residing in the United States, and have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering Canada for non-essential travel. This preliminary step allows for the Government of Canada to fully operationalize the adjusted border measures ahead of September 7, 2021, and recognizes the many close ties between Canadians and Americans.

Subject to limited exceptions, all travellers must use ArriveCAN (app or web portal) to submit their travel information. If they are eligible to enter Canada and meet specific criteria, fully vaccinated travellers will not have to quarantine upon arrival in Canada.

To further support these new measures, Transport Canada is expanding the scope of the existing Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that currently directs scheduled international commercial passenger flights into four Canadian Airports: Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport.

Effective August 9, 2021, international flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at the following five additional Canadian airports:

  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport;
  • Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport;
  • Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport;
  • Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport; and
  • Edmonton International Airport.

These airports, in cooperation with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency and Transport Canada, are working to implement the measures necessary to safely welcome international passengers as soon as possible after August 9, as conditions dictate.

All travellers, regardless of vaccination status, will still require a pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test result. However effective August 9, 2021, the Government of Canada is adjusting its post-arrival testing strategy for fully vaccinated travellers. Using a new border testing surveillance program at airports and land border crossings, fully vaccinated travellers will not need a post-arrival test unless they have been randomly selected to complete a Day 1 COVID-19 molecular test. There are no changes to the mandatory testing requirements for unvaccinated travellers.

This strategy allows the Government of Canada to continue monitoring variants of concern in Canada and vaccine effectiveness. Using these layers of protection, the Government of Canada can monitor the COVID-19 situation in Canada, respond quickly to threats, and guide decisions on restricting international travel.

Finally, with the advent of increased vaccination rates in Canada, declining COVID-19 cases and reduced pressure on health care capacity, the three-night government authorized hotel stay requirement will be eliminated for all travellers arriving by air as of 12:01 A.M. EDT on August 9. Fully vaccinated travellers who meet the requirements will be exempt from quarantine; however, all travellers must still provide a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine, in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet the necessary requirements.

While Canada continues to trend in the right direction, the epidemiological situation and vaccination coverage is not the same around the world. The Government of Canada continues to advise Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada – international travel increases your risk of exposure to COVID-19 and its variants, as well as of spreading it to others. Border measures also remain subject to change as the epidemiological situation evolves. As Canada looks to welcome fully vaccinated travellers from the U.S., the federal government will continue to monitor the situation and provide updated travel advice to Canadians.

Quotes

“Canadians’ safety and security always come first. With rising vaccination rates and fewer cases in Canada, we can begin to safely ease border measures. A gradual approach to reopening will allow our health authorities to monitor the COVID-19 situation here and abroad. Canadians have worked hard and sacrificed for each other, and because of that work, we can take these next steps safely.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

“The health and safety of Canadians remains our top priority. Using a risk-based and measured approach to easing border measures will allow for non-essential international travellers who meet vaccination and other requirements to enter Canada. Working collaboratively with provinces, territories, Indigenous partners, and others to encourage Canadians to get vaccinated and follow public health advice is enabling us to begin welcoming more travellers back to Canada. Our government will continue to work with Canadian and international partners to ensure the border reopening is done in a safe and responsible way.”

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

“The Government of Canada recognizes that people have been anxiously awaiting a re-opening of the border to the world. We have been fully engaged with our American counterparts given the deep economic and family ties between our two countries. Today’s announcement is another big step in our approach to easing border measures which is guided by facts, scientific evidence and the advice of our public health experts.”

The Honourable Bill Blair
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“Thanks to the extraordinary commitment of Canadians to getting vaccinated and following public health advice, we are seeing improvement in the public health situation in Canada. As a result, today we announced new steps in our re-opening approach, including that international flights carrying passengers will be allowed to land at five more Canadian airports.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport Canada

“Thanks to the incredible progress that Canadians have made in our fight against the pandemic, we are now able to take the next step in Canada’s gradual reopening of the border. We look forward to welcoming fully vaccinated Americans shortly, followed by travellers from the rest of the world in early September. Not only will this make a big difference for Canada’s travel and tourism industry and all those whose jobs depend on it, it will also make it easier for those with a Confirmation of Permanent Residence letter to come to Canada and play a role in our recovery from the pandemic.”

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

“The easing of Canada’s border measures is welcome news for tourism businesses across the country, the thousands of Canadians employed by the sector and the communities who rely on it. It has been a challenging year as we balance the need to protect both the health of Canadians and our economy but tourism businesses have demonstrated incredible resilience. Our government has been proud to be by their side since the beginning of this crisis and we will continue to be there as they prepare to begin to welcome vaccinated travellers from around the world to our beautiful shores.”

The Honourable Melanie Joly
Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Quick Facts

  • To be eligible to enter Canada for discretionary travel on the basis of vaccination status, travellers must use the ArriveCAN app or web portal. Travellers must ensure that mandatory requirements are met prior to departing for Canada. 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.
  • In addition to receiving a full series of a vaccine authorized by the Government of Canada, fully vaccinated travellers must also: provide COVID-19-related information electronically through ArriveCAN (app or web portal) including proof of vaccination prior to arrival in Canada; meet the pre-entry testing requirements; be asymptomatic upon arrival; and have a paper or digital copy of their vaccination documentation in English or French (or certified translation) ready to show a government official on request as evidence.
  • 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.
  • Based on public health advice, Transport Canada has extended the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that restricts all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India for an additional 30 days (i.e. until August 21, 2021, at 23:59 EDT). All direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India are subject to the NOTAM. Cargo-only operations, medical transfers or military flights are not included. Transport Canada has also extended the requirement related to third-country pre-departure COVID-19 tests for travellers to Canada from India via an indirect route. This means that passengers who depart India to Canada via an indirect route will continue to be required to obtain a COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country other than India before continuing their journey to Canada.

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WestJet launches new routes to multiple Vancouver Island airports

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

July 1, 2021 NICHOLAS PESCOD/CHEK NEWS

NICHOLAS PESCOD/CHEK NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Airport, flying experience will be different amid the pandemic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Flair Airlines

Flair Airlines is Canada’s only independent Ultra Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC) and is on a mission to liberate the lives of Canadians by providing affordable air travel that connects them to the people and experiences they love. With an expanding fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, Flair is growing to serve 20 cities across Canada. For more information, please visit http://www.flyflair.com

The Comox Valley Airport welcomes WestJet Link and an enhanced summer schedule

From Comox Airport – Thanks CW

25 June 2021

Today marks the re-start of WestJet’s service to Vancouver and Edmonton, along with a new summer schedule that includes non-stop Saturday service to Toronto.

“The Comox Valley Airport has been well served by WestJet in the past, but this new summer schedule brings us to a whole new level. WestJet Link features the comfortable 34 Seat Saab Turboprop to Vancouver’s main terminal, which along with the return of non-stop service to Edmonton, and increased frequency to Calgary connects YQQ to Western Canada’s three domestic hubs,” said Airport CEO, Mike Atkins. “The new schedules have been optimized to provide better connectivity, allowing passengers to travel to and from Vancouver Island without overnight delays.”

YQQ has seen an upswing in passengers since the regional travel restrictions lifted on June 16th. “We have the capacity to bring families together again this summer, but need the domestic travel restrictions to be lifted to allow those planes to be filled”, said Atkins. “It is our hope that this recovery will be given the go-ahead July 1st.”

  • WestJet Link service 2x daily to Vancouver
  • WestJet Encore service 3x daily to Calgary, 5 weekly non-stop flights to Edmonton
  • WestJet non-stop to Toronto on Saturdays
  • For additional information please Click Here

As always, safety is the number one priority for the Comox Valley Airport, and enhanced cleaning, physical distancing and other pandemic protocols will remain in place until further notice. For more information please visit our website at www.comoxairport.com YQQ Ready.