Sunwing marks its return to Atlantic Canada with winter schedule announcement for six airports

Tour operator offering convenient weekly flights from Halifax, Moncton, Fredericton, St. John’s, Deer Lake and Gander starting in January

TORONTO, Oct. 05, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Amid the Canadian government’s removal of all border and travel measures, Sunwing is pleased to announce its return to Atlantic Canada this winter season, with convenient weekly flights from six airports beginning in January until May. Sunwing’s resumption of winter flights from airports in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland comes after a difficult two years brought on by the pandemic and resulting travel restrictions, and is a signal of the tour operator’s ongoing commitment to eastern Canada and offering its residents seamless travel options from their local airport of choice.

“It’s been a difficult few years for the entire travel industry, particularly in New Brunswick and Newfoundland where long-lasting travel restrictions have unfortunately prevented us from offering our winter flight program since March 2020, much to our disappointment,” said Deana Murphy, Vice President of Retail Sales for Sunwing. “Now that all travel measures have been lifted as of October 1, 2022, we are excited to be back and doubling down on our commitment to the regions with weekly winter flights to a variety of popular sun destinations.”

Sunwing’s winter schedule announcement for Halifax in Nova Scotia, Moncton and Fredericton in New Brunswick, and St. John’s, Deer Lake and Gander in Newfoundland comes on the heels of the tour operator’s recent winter schedule announcement for four larger airports across the country, and amid increasing customer demand for winter travel that is seeing capacity growing by more than 140% over last year.
 
“We are thrilled to return to Atlantic Canada and share our winter flight lineup, which will help make it easier for our customers in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland to head to the tropics this winter season,” said Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations for Sunwing. “We have a longstanding commitment in eastern Canada and are proud of being able to connect residents across the region with flights to a wide selection of destinations, including customer favourites such as Cancun, Punta Cana and Varadero, plus newer destinations being offered out of Halifax this year, including Cayo Largo, Cuba and Melbourne, Florida. With travel rebounding and demand for all inclusive travel continuing to rise, we encourage our customers to book early to save more under our wing during the peak winter travel months.”

Halifax, NS flight schedule
DestinationPeak FrequencyFromTo
Cayo Coco1x weekly11-Jan-202326-Apr-2023
Cancun1x weekly08-Jan-202330-Apr-2023
Cayo Largo1x weekly10-Jan-202325-Apr-2023
Holguin1x weekly08-Jan-202330-Apr-2023
Montego Bay1x weekly09-Jan-202301-May-2023
Melbourne1x weekly10-Feb-202328-Apr-2023
Puerto Plata1x weekly10-Jan-202325-Apr-2023
Punta Cana2x weekly06-Jan-202329-Apr-2023
Santa Clara1x weekly05-Jan-202327-Apr-2023
Varadero2x weekly05-Jan-202329-Apr-2023
    
Moncton, NB flight schedule
DestinationPeak FrequencyFromTo
Cayo Coco1x weekly11-Feb-202329-Apr-2023
Cancun1x weekly09-Feb-202327-Apr-2023
Montego Bay1x weekly12-Feb-202330-Apr-2023
Puerto Plata1x weekly10-Feb-202328-Apr-2023
Punta Cana1x weekly11-Feb-202329-Apr-2023
Varadero2x weekly10-Feb-202328-Apr-2023
    
Fredericton, NB flight schedule
DestinationPeak FrequencyFromTo
Cayo Coco1x weekly14-Feb-202302-May-2023
Cancun1x weekly13-Feb-202301-May-2023
Punta Cana1x weekly08-Feb-202326-Apr-2023
Santa Clara1x weekly14-Feb-202302-May-2023
    
St. John’s, NL flight schedule
DestinationDayFromTo
Cayo Coco1x weekly16-Mar-202304-May-2023
Cancun1x weekly17-Mar-202305-May-2023
Montego Bay1x weekly19-Mar-202307-May-2023
Punta Cana1x weekly20-Mar-202308-May-2023
Varadero1x weekly18-Mar-202306-May-2023
    
Deer Lake and Gander, NL flight schedule
DestinationPeak FrequencyFromTo
Punta Cana1x weekly22-Mar-202303-May-2023
Varadero1x weekly21-Mar-202302-May-2023
    

Residents of Atlantic Canada can take advantage of limited-time savings of up to 40% on select all inclusive vacation packages during Sunwing’s Save More Event, on now. For a reimagined boutique vacation experience, Halifax customers can visit Memories Cayo Largo, a new family-friendly resort in Cayo Largo nestled along Cuba’s southern coast and known for warmer temperatures year-round. Atlantic Canada customers planning a couples retreat or adults only escape will enjoy visiting Planet Hollywood Adult Scene Cancun An Autograph Collection All Inclusive Resort Adults Only. Located on a pristine beach on the shores of Costa Mujeres in Mexico, the resort offers plenty of opportunities to lounge in the sun and savour the international cuisine at the a la carte restaurants, before enjoying the star-worthy entertainment in the evenings. Meanwhile, for a sun and sand getaway the whole family will love, Be Live Collection Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic offers plenty of water activities, amenities including an on-site kids club and butler service, and spacious accommodations including swim-out suites.

Savings apply to select vacation packages when booked by November 6, 2022 for travel between November 1, 2022 and April 30, 2023*. For even more value, customers can purchase one of Sunwing’s Worry Free insurance plans and enjoy added peace of mind on their next getaway to the tropics.

*Terms and conditions apply.

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.

WestJet announces domestic winter service suspensions as airline transitions strategic direction

By WestJet | July 18, 2022

Winter service to Charlottetown, Fredericton, Sydney and Quebec City to be suspended as of November 15, 2022

As WestJet begins to strategically transition flying in Eastern Canada to focus on sun and leisure destinations as well as enhanced connections to Western Canada, the airline has announced the suspension of winter service to four communities in Eastern and Atlantic Canada. Effective November 15, 2022, service will be suspended to, Fredericton, N.B., Sydney, N.S., Charlottetown, P.E.I., and Quebec City, QC. Service between now and November 15, 2022, will NOT be affected.

Any guests with impacted travel will be notified beginning on July 18, 2022, either directly or through their travel agent. WestJet will strive to rebook guests with alternative travel arrangements, or guests will be eligible for a refund to original form of payment. More details are available here: https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/contact/alternate-travel-arrangements.

“We understand this is disappointing news and we apologize for any disruption this will cause our guests and communities,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “We are undertaking these strategic changes in a responsible manner and it was critical to give our guests and the communities as much advance notice as possible.”

WestJet recently announced how a growing, stronger, sustainable WestJet will benefit Canadians, following a strategic review to determine the best course for the airline’s sustained future success. This August, WestJet will release the airline’s full winter 2022/2023 schedule that will see significant sun and leisure flying investments for Eastern Canada along with capacity enhancements nationwide.   

“As a national airline, we will continue to engage with these communities and stakeholders as we look to enhance service to Eastern and Atlantic Canada through direct connections to Western Canada, sun and leisure destinations,” continued Weatherill. “By making these difficult decisions now, it will ensure we can offer more of what our guests expect from WestJet and solidify our airline as the most reliable and affordable airline for many years to come.”

Impacted routes:

Route Peak FrequencyServiceSuspension Date
Fredericton – Toronto  13x weeklyWestJet EncoreNovember 15, 2022
Sydney – Halifax 7x weekly WestJet EncoreNovember 15, 2022
Charlottetown – Toronto 3x weeklyWestJetNovember 15, 2022
Quebec City – Toronto  21x weeklyWestJet Encore November 15, 2022

Air Canada’s Summer 2022 Schedule Adjustments

2 July 2022 – Air Canada 🔗

This week, Air Canada announced changes to its summer schedule to support unprecedented and unforeseen strains on our organization. International flights are unaffected, with a few timing changes to reduce flying at peak times. Flights adjusted are to and from our Toronto and Montreal hubs. These will be mostly frequency reductions, affecting primarily evening and late-night flights by smaller aircraft, on transborder and domestic routes. Four routes will be temporarily suspended.

Temporary Route Suspensions:

Montreal – Kelowna
Montreal – Baltimore
Montreal – Pittsburgh
Toronto – Fort McMurray

Frequency Reductions

Toronto – Deer Lake: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 1 flight daily
Toronto – Saint John: reduce 2 frequencies, now operating 1 flight daily
Toronto – Charlottetown: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Toronto – Quebec City: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 4 flights daily
Toronto – North Bay: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 1 flight daily
Toronto – Timmins: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Toronto – Sudbury: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Toronto – London, ON: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 4 flights daily
Toronto – Windsor: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Toronto – Winnipeg: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 5 flights daily
Toronto – Edmonton: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 7 flights daily
Toronto – Calgary: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 11 flights daily
Toronto – Vancouver: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 14 flights daily
Toronto – Boston: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 6 flights daily
Toronto – LaGuardia: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 9 flights daily
Toronto – Newark: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 6 flights daily
Toronto – Baltimore: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Toronto – Philadelphia: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Toronto – Washington (DCA): reduce 1 frequency in August, will operate 2 flights daily (3 flights remain for July)
Toronto – Miami: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 1 flight daily
Toronto – San Francisco: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Montreal – Moncton: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Montreal – Fredericton: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Montreal – Saint John: reduce 1 frequency, now operating total 1flights
Montreal – Halifax: reduce 1 frequency in August, will operate total 3 flights daily (4 flights remain through August 3)
Montreal – Ottawa: reduce 2 frequencies, now operating 6 flights daily
Montreal – Quebec: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 4 flights daily
Montreal – Toronto (Island): no weekend operations and Friday reduced to 3 flights daily
Montreal – Edmonton: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Montreal – Calgary: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 4 flights daily
Montreal – Boston: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Montreal – LaGuardia: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 4 flights daily
Montreal – Newark: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Montreal – Fort Lauderdale: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Ottawa – Toronto (Island): no weekend operations

Route Retimes:

Montreal – Los Angeles
Montreal – Las Vegas
Montreal – Punta Cana
Montreal – Fort Lauderdale
Montreal – Winnipeg
Montreal – Edmonton
Toronto – Manchester
Toronto – Edinburgh
Toronto – Copenhagen
Vancouver – Portland
Vancouver – Regina
Vancouver – Cranbrook

Air Transat and WestJet launch Transatlantic codeshare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Toronto
France:  Bordeaux, Marseille, Nantes, Nice 

Italy:  Lamezia, Rome

Spain: Malaga  

Portugal:  Faro

Switzerland: Basel-Mulhouse

Croatia: Zagreb

About Air Transat

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

About the WestJet Group of Companies 

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

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

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

Porter adding three non-stop routes for the Maritimes at Toronto City Airport

Halifax, Fredericton, Moncton receiving new service

TORONTO, Feb. 17, 2022 /CNW/ – Porter Airlines is boosting its presence in the Maritimes in a big way with three new non-stop routes connecting Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to Halifax, Fredericton and Moncton.

Non-stop Halifax service begins April 7, featuring up to three daily roundtrips in summer, while Fredericton and Moncton both start May 5, with one daily year-round non-stop flight each. This new service is in addition to existing flights for each market that stop in Montreal or Ottawa, and don’t require passengers to change aircraft.

Porter adding three non-stop routes for the Maritimes at Toronto City Airport. Halifax, Fredericton, Moncton receiving new service (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)
Porter adding three non-stop routes for the Maritimes at Toronto City Airport. Halifax, Fredericton, Moncton receiving new service (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)

The combination of increased flight frequency and non-stop service links Atlantic Canada more conveniently with Porter’s network in Ontario and the U.S., including for Newfoundland travellers who benefit from the creation of a single connection trip to Toronto via Halifax.

Porter offers these markets their only direct access to downtown Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport. This includes the ability to make easier connections to onward destinations given the airport’s modest size. Available connecting flights for each market are as follows:

Halifax

  • Boston
  • Chicago-Midway
  • New York-Newark
  • Washington-Dulles
  • Sault Ste. Marie
  • Thunder Bay
  • Windsor

Fredericton

  • Boston
  • Chicago-Midway
  • New York-Newark
  • Thunder Bay
  • Timmins

Moncton

  • Boston
  • Chicago-Midway
  • New York-Newark
  • Sault Ste. Marie
  • Sudbury
  • Thunder Bay
  • Timmins
  • Windsor

Connecting flights may vary by season. Complete flight schedule and booking information is available on www.flyporter.com.

All passengers benefit from Porter’s award-winning customer service and in-flight experience, including complimentary beer and wine served in glassware, and a selection of free premium snacks.

Quotes

“These three established Porter markets in Atlantic Canada will see significant service improvements with new year-round, non-stop routes and many opportunities for convenient connecting flights. It also demonstrates our commitment to investing in Billy Bishop Airport, which serves as an important regional transportation hub and provides exceptional access to central Toronto.”

–       Michael Deluce, president and CEO, Porter Airlines

“As Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport continues to rebuild and recover following the initial impacts of the pandemic, we welcome and celebrate announcements such as this one from Porter Airlines that demonstrates a commitment to providing improved and convenient access for Canadians, and reminds us of the importance of travelling and finding new adventures in areas near and far. The year-round, non-stop routes to these three important Atlantic destinations will give travellers more of what they expect from our airport – convenience, efficiency and excellent service.”

–       Gene Cabral, Executive Vice President, PortsToronto and Billy Bishop Airport

“We’re thrilled to see Halifax’s connection to the Toronto market expanding with Porter’s new non-stop service to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. This new route will provide our passengers with more choice and the added convenience of arriving and departing just minutes from the heart of the city. We appreciate Porter’s commitment to increasing air service in our community and look forward to working together as we collectively recover from the pandemic.”

–       Joyce Carter, president and CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority

“Fredericton is a dynamic and resilient city, and Porter is an important partner as well as a great airline. Both leisure and business travellers will benefit from this non-stop flight from Fredericton to downtown Toronto, as well as the connections it provides to Porter’s network.”

–       Johanne Gallant, president and CEO, Fredericton International Airport Authority

“Porter has been a valued airline partner at YQM since 2010. We are very excited to see a new route to YTZ in addition to Ottawa. This direct connection to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport will allow our travellers a one-stop connection to Porter’s extended Canadian and USA network. So whether one wishes to see the Blue Jays in Toronto, the White Sox in Chicago, or the Sleeping Giant in Thunder Bay, it is very easy to get there for both business and leisure travellers. We look forward to our region’s strong support of this new Porter offering from Greater Moncton!”

–       Bernard LeBlanc, president and CEO, Greater Moncton International Airport Authority

About Porter Airlines

Porter Airlines provides a warm and effortless approach to hospitality, restoring glamour and refinement to air travel. Porter is an Official 4 Star Airline® in the World Airline Star Rating®.

The airline currently offers flights to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Fredericton, Moncton, Halifax, St. John’s, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, Windsor, New York (Newark), Chicago (Midway), Boston and Washington (Dulles), and has seasonal flights to Mt. Tremblant, Que., Muskoka, Ont., Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Stephenville, N.L.

More information on Porter, including a downloadable multimedia library, is available at the Media Centre. Details of growth plans to provide North America-wide service are available at flyporter.com.

All Airlines Back in Service at Fredericton Airport

From Huddle Today – link to source story

Oct 7, 2021 by Rachel Smith

Image: Submitted

FREDERICTON— Porter Airlines has resumed service at Fredericton International Airport (YFC), meaning that all of the airlines that were flying before the pandemic have returned.

“It’s just wonderful to see all of our teams back in business,” said Kate O’Rourke, manager of public relations and marketing at YFC.

The Porter plane is a daily flight that goes from Fredericton, makes a stop in Ottowa, and goes on to downtown Toronto, landing at Billy Bishop Airport.

Porter Airlines joins airlines like Air Canada and West Jet, both who resumed service at the end of June. Since the pandemic began they have picked up another airline, Pal Airlines.

YFC saw the number of West Jet and Air Canada flights going up over the summer.

“August was definitely the busiest month,” said O’Rourke in an interview with Huddle. “We were up to almost 50 percent of our pre-pandemic traffic levels for that month. For Canada that is pretty good.”

O’Rourke hasn’t seen the numbers for September yet but expects numbers to cool down a bit as they usually do in the fall.

This summer also gave them a chance to test out the newly expanded terminal that was renovated last March.

O’Rourke said that she expects all airlines at YFC are here to stay.

“All the airlines have told us that it was a great summer, and they’re really committed to the Fredericton market and they see the strength of the market in the long term potential there,” said O’Rourke.

O’Rourke said that some travel is for business but she is mostly seeing travel for friends and family that haven’t gotten to see each other over the last year and a half.

“We’re just so happy to see those reunions happening again,” said O’Rourke.

She expects flights to kick up in winter during the holidays. For travelers who need them, PCP and rapid testing are available at the airport as a fee-for-service through a private company.

“That’s really for travelers who are departing,” said O’Rourke. “So if you’re going to a destination that requires that test before you arrive in the country.”

PAL Airlines launches service from Ottawa Airport to Canada’s east coast

From CTV News – link to source story

Josh Pringle, Digital Multi-Skilled Journalist | Saturday, July 31, 2021

Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport

The Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (David Kawai/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

OTTAWA — Ottawa travellers have a new option to travel to Canada’s east coast. 

PAL Airlines launched service out of the Ottawa International Airport this week, with service to Moncton and Fredericton, New Brunswick. Flights to both cities will continue on to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

PAL Airlines is a St. John’s based independent operator with roots in Canada’s east coast.

“Including YOW in their offering recognizes the importance of Canada’s capital region and its link to the east coast,” said Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority.

“We look forward to being a part of PAL’s extensive Atlantic Canada network and reconnecting family and friends from both regions.”

Ottawa-Moncton-St. John’s service will operate Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Ottawa-Fredericton-St. John’s service will operate Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Welcome to #YOW, PAL!

We sent @PALairlines’ inaugural departure off with a water salute!

We’re happy to have them on board, offering flights to @stjohnsairport @yfcairport @MonctonYQM, as we work towards the recovery of Canada’s aviation industry #FasterTogether.

Originally tweeted by flyyow (@FlyYOW) on 30 July 2021.

The Ottawa International Airport continues to ramp up service as the COVID-19 restrictions ease.

In August, Air Canada will offer 20 departures per day from the Ottawa Airport.

Fredericton airport gets $3.8M from Ottawa to help offset pandemic losses

From CBC News – link to source story

CBC News · Posted: July 29, 2021

The Fredericton International Airport Authority is getting $3.8 million from Ottawa to help it cover expenses in light of losses incurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Submitted by Fredericton International Airport)

The Fredericton International Airport Authority Inc. is getting federal help to offset what it says is a $15-million loss in revenue it suffered because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ottawa is giving the airport authority $3.8 million to help it maintain services and cover expenses in light of a severe drop in the number of flights going through the airport in the past year-and-a-half, said Johanne Gallant, president and CEO of the airport authority.

“So this will help with expenses, right. We’ve been using reserve money — and reserve money, that’s the fund for safety capital projects, so that [$3.8 million] is also helping preserve the reserve dollars and also help cover expenses with all the losses,” Gallant said.

The Fredericton International Airport, along with others in the province, saw a drastic reduction in flight traffic due to restrictions on travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flights by Air Canada and WestJet, which both suspended services at the airport for months, have returned as of June with the easing of restrictions, but Gallant said traffic at the airport still isn’t as high as it was before the pandemic.

Fredericton International Airport Authority president and CEO Johanne Gallant said the airport saw a 90 per cent drop in passenger traffic because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Submitted by Fredericton International Airport)

“We have our carriers back and the frequency is not where it was pre-pandemic. However, as we continue, as people start traveling more, we’re going to see more frequency. So definitely optimistic for the future.”

Gallant said the airport authority had to lay off almost half of its 28 direct employees as a result of the 90 per cent drop in traffic. In recent weeks, however, it’s been able to rehire, with about 23 now back on the job, thanks in part to the federal Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

A news release by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency said the “non-repayable contribution” of $3.8 million will allow the airport to maintain essential services and collaborate with carriers to continue or re-establish routes to the region, as well as sustain 16 jobs.

“I look forward to seeing the Fredericton International Airport thriving once again, bringing people from far and wide to enjoy all we have to offer here in the capital city,” said Fredericton MP Jenica Atwin, in the release.

COVID-19: PAL Airlines lands for 1st time in Fredericton Monday as flights resume

From Global News – link to video and source story

By Nathalie Sturgeon  Global News

Posted June 28, 2021

Click to play video: 'New airline service out of Fredericton airport signals beginning of COVID-19 recovery'
WATCH: There was a sign of New Brunswick’s continued recovery from the pandemic at Fredericton International Airport on Monday morning. The first flight to Fredericton by Pal Airlines arrived to kick off its new service. Nathalie Sturgeon reports.

The Fredericton International Airport took one step toward the new normal as PAL Airline’s first flight landed on the tarmac Monday.

It was a flight from Newfoundland and Labrador provided by the new carrier and one of the first to fly in since the COVID-19 pandemic placed heavy restrictions on travel — both by land and air.

“We’re very excited for the launch of our Fredericton flight,” said PAL Airlines sales manager Stephen Short in an interview Monday. “The aircraft is en route with a full load on board of people excited to visit the Atlantic Bubble in New Brunswick.”

PAL Airlines, with headquarters in St. John’s, has been in the business for 40 years. He said the airline helped transport medical supplies and health care workers and felt less of an impact than other small airlines.

“We’re looking forward to future growth,” he said. “We’ll see where the skies take us.”

The demand for a direct flight from Newfoundland and Labrador has been high, the company added. Even more now as families look to reunite.

Johanne Gallant, the president and CEO of the Fredericton International Airport, said she couldn’t wipe the smile off her face as she awaited the first PAL flight.

“I think like everybody else, it’s been difficult,” she said of the past 15 months. “It’s been very slow, and now we are seeing pick up into the travel industry.

“People want to go see friends and relatives and travel, and as the vaccination rollout is happening and our path to green, it’s really helping us get started again.”

WestJet announced last weekend it would resume flights, with Air Canada doing the same soon, Gallant said.

The flight operates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Short said. It will fly from Fredericton to Deer Lake and then to St. John’s.

PAL Airlines are also planning to launch flights from Fredericton to Ottawa and Fredericton to Halifax on July 30.

Mayor Kate Rogers was pleased to see the flight happened today. She took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony after the plane landed.

“On behalf of the City of Fredericton, I am excited to welcome PAL Airlines to our community and the newly renovated and expanded Fredericton International Airport,” she said.

WestJet reconnecting Atlantic Canada routes

Airline to restart seven routes across Atlantic Canada by July 2

New non-stop service between Calgary-Charlottetown to launch on July 29

CALGARY, AB, June 25, 2021 /CNW/ -WestJet is further restoring Atlantic Canada’s domestic and interprovincial connectivity with the restart of seven routes to and from destinations across Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. The airline today also announced it will launch its new non-stop service to Charlottetown from Calgary on July 29. Full schedule details and resumption dates are outlined below.

“We continue to work towards the restoration of our pre-COVID domestic network to ensure that when our guests are ready to travel, we are there for them,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “WestJet remains committed to building back stronger for the betterment of all Canadians and as we look ahead to reconnecting friends, family and loved ones, the safe restart of travel is essential to Canada’s economic recovery.”

Connecting Prince Edward Island to Alberta non-stop

After being delayed due to the pandemic, WestJet will bridge new domestic connections between the east and the west with the introduction of new twice-weekly non-stop service between Charlottetown, P.E.I., and Calgary beginning July 29. The service connecting the two provinces was previously scheduled to start in June 2020.

WestJet’s investments are critical to ensuring Atlantic Canada’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and by the end of June, the airline is set to restore commercial air service to Sydney, N.S., Deer Lake and Gander, Nfld., with the restart of flights from Halifax and Toronto.

“As WestJet leads the restart of travel across the Atlantic region, it is critical that we get clarity and guidance on travel policies from the federal government. The safe return of visitors to and from the region is key to recovery and we thank the Atlantic Premiers and their governments for the work they have done to prioritize the safe restart of travel. WestJet remains committed to affordably connecting Atlantic Canada to the rest of the country and the world,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President.

This July, WestJet will offer non-stop service to Atlantic Canada from Halifax to six cities, from St. John’s to three cities, from Charlottetown to two cities and from Moncton, Fredericton, Deer Lake, Gander and Sydney to one city.

Love Where You’re Going Again – WestJet’s Latest Video

For more than 17 months, Canadians from coast-to-coast have been separated from the people and places they love. WestJet’s latest brand moment is a reminder to Canadians that it’s time to love where they’re going, again.

Atlantic Canada route restarts

Route Peak FrequencyRoute restart date
Charlottetown – Toronto  4x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Fredericton – Toronto 1x dailyJune 26, 2021 
Deer Lake – Toronto 4x weeklyJune 27, 2021 
Halifax – Sydney 1x dailyJune 28, 2021 
Gander – Halifax 3x weeklyJune 30, 2021 
Moncton – Toronto 1x dailyJuly 1, 2021 
Halifax – Edmonton2x weeklyJuly 2, 2021
Charlottetown – Calgary *2x weeklyJuly 29, 2021
*New Route

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.