Air Canada updates from Gander, Goose Bay, Kamloops & Winnipeg

1 July 2021

It’s good to be back in Gander, a city we have served for several decades. It’s time to reconnect communities across Canada and reunite friends and families.

Today was the first day in 156 days that @AirCanada flew to Gander.

There were epic hugs for the ages in the parking lot.

The sun on your shoulders.

Something in the air – new promise, perhaps?

Summer lies ahead, an open road.

This feels like a beginning.

Originally tweeted by Gander Airport (@GanderAirport) on 28 June 2021.

Originally tweeted by Air Canada (@AirCanada) on 28 June 2021.

It's wonderful to return to @C_YYR and we are thrilled to welcome back our customers on board.

Fantastic day in the Big Land as Air Canada and their crew rev their engines once again !!! Good news for our passengers as we launch into the new world 🙂 Bring on the travel!!!

Originally tweeted by Goose Bay Airport (@C_YYR) on 29 June 2021.

Originally tweeted by Air Canada (@AirCanada) on 29 June 2021.

We are thrilled to be back to @KamloopsAirport! We have safely restarted and we look forward to welcoming customers on our flights. ✈️

Welcome Back @AirCanada! Now servicing @FlyYYC & @yvrairport. #flyyka #kamloopsairport

Originally tweeted by Kamloops Airport (@KamloopsAirport) on 29 June 2021.

Originally tweeted by Air Canada (@AirCanada) on 30 June 2021.

Starting out the week with blue skies and added service at #YWG as @AirCanada brings back direct service from Winnipeg to @FlyYYC. As vaccination levels continue to climb, this familiar route will play a vital role in serving our community in the months ahead.

Originally tweeted by Winnipeg Airport (@YWGairport) on 28 June 2021.

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.

Air Canada Supports Economic Recovery as the Country’s Leading Carrier, Serving 50 Cities Across Canada to Enable Canadians to Conveniently Connect

  • Most extensive domestic schedule supports Canada’s tourism and hospitality sector
  • Includes three new routes, re-established routes plus Air Canada Signature Class and Premium Economy Class cabins on select transcontinental routes
  • New refund policy gives additional peace of mind

MONTREAL, June 15, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada’s domestic peak summer schedule beginning at the end of June has been developed to advance the country’s economic recovery and support Canada’s tourism and hospitality businesses during the important summer period.  Three new domestic Canada routes, service to 50 Canadian airports, the re-establishment of select regional routes, and wide-body aircraft featuring Air Canada Signature Class and Premium Economy Class on select transcontinental routes are included. Seats with attractive pricing in all cabins are available for purchase now at, via the Air Canada App, Air Canada’s Contact Centres and travel agencies.

“With Canada’s ongoing vaccine roll-out acceleration together with various provincial governments’ reopening plans that include travel, this summer is looking brighter. As customers are ready to travel, Air Canada is taking a leadership position to support our partners in Canada’s tourism and hospitality sector with service to 50 destinations from coast to coast, the re-start of regional services and new, non-stop flights,” said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada.

“We are especially proud that our new state-of-the-art, Canadian-manufactured Airbus A220 aircraft will be operating across Canada. With our industry-leading CleanCare+ bio-safety protocols, promotional fares including for our premium cabins, compelling Aeroplan opportunities, and our new refund policy offering additional peace of mind, customers can book Air Canada with confidence.  We look forward to welcoming you onboard when you’re ready to fly,” concluded Mr. Galardo.

Air Canada’s new refund policy provides customers an option for a refund to the original form of payment in instances where Air Canada cancels their flight or reschedules the departure time by more than three hours, irrespective of the reason. Air Canada customers will also have the option of accepting an Air Canada Travel Voucher or Aeroplan points with a 65% bonus.  Normal fare rules will apply when customers make voluntary changes to non-affected flights.

New route details:

Montreal-Deer LakeDailyCRJ900Jul 1, 2021
Montreal-Kelowna3x Weekly July4x Weekly AugAirbus A220June 26, 2021
Montreal-Saskatoon-ReginaDailyCRJ900Aug 1, 2021

Resumption of services:

Airport StationRouteEffectiveFrequency
Gander Gander – HalifaxJun 293x Weekly
 Gander – TorontoJul 25x Weekly
St. John’s St. John’s – TorontoJun 19Daily
Goose Bay Goose Bay – St. John’sJun 293x Weekly
Deer Lake Deer Lake – HalifaxAug 15x Weekly
Halifax Halifax – CalgaryAug 15x Weekly
Sydney Sydney – TorontoJun 263x Weekly
 Sydney – MontrealAug 1Daily
Charlottetown Charlottetown – TorontoJun 184x Weekly
Saint John Saint John – MontrealJun 303x Weekly
 Saint John – TorontoJul 24x Weekly
Fredericton Fredericton – MontrealJun 29Daily
 Fredericton – TorontoJul 15x Weekly
Bathurst Bathurst – MontrealJun 273x Weekly
Quebec City Quebec City – TorontoJun 191x Daily
Ottawa Ottawa – CalgaryJul 2Daily
 Ottawa – EdmontonAug 12x Weekly
North Bay North Bay – TorontoJun 283x Weekly
Fort McMurray Fort McMurray – TorontoJuly 12x Weekly
Winnipeg Winnipeg – CalgaryJun 206x weekly
 Winnipeg – MontrealAug 1Daily
Regina Regina – CalgaryJul 15x Weekly
Saskatoon Saskatoon – CalgaryJul 25x Weekly
Kamloops Kamloops – VancouverJun 294x Weekly
 Kamloops – CalgaryJun 284x Weekly
Comox Comox – VancouverJun 303x Weekly
Nanaimo Nanaimo – TorontoJul 41x Weekly
 Nanaimo – CalgaryJul 25x weekly
Prince Rupert Prince Rupert – VancouverJun 253x Weekly
Penticton Penticton – VancouverJun 294x Weekly
Sandspit Sandspit – VancouverJun 233x Weekly
Victoria Montreal – VictoriaJun 193x Weekly
 Toronto – VictoriaJun 194x Weekly
 Calgary – VictoriaJun 214x Weekly
Castlegar Castlegar – VancouverJun 283x Weekly
Kelowna Kelowna TorontoJun 184x Weekly
Yellowknife Yellowknife – CalgaryJun 303x Weekly

Air Canada is also providing connectivity to five additional regional communities through interline agreements with third party regional carriers: Wabush, Baie Comeau, Gaspe, Mont Joli, and Val d’Or.

Air Canada’s commercial schedule may be adjusted as required based on the COVID-19 trajectory and government restrictions.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline, and in 2020 was among the top 20 largest airlines in the world. It is Canada’s flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax. In 2020, Air Canada was named Global Traveler’s Best Airline in North America for the second straight year. In January 2021, Air Canada received APEX’s Diamond Status Certification for the Air Canada CleanCare+ biosafety program for managing COVID-19, the only airline in Canada to attain the highest APEX ranking. Air Canada has also committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050.

NAV CANADA cancels surplus notices for air traffic controllers

June 4, 2021

NAV CANADA has been closely monitoring air traffic forecasts and is taking the necessary steps to ensure it has appropriate staffing to support the aviation industry recovery. Today, NAV CANADA has cancelled surplus notices to 41 air traffic controllers in area control centres in Gander, Moncton, Montreal and Edmonton. These air traffic controllers will remain on the job to provide vital air navigation services as the aviation industry begins its recovery.

“We are proactively taking this action to support our customers as they shift their focus to recovery. NAV CANADA remains ready and able to ensure the continued safety of Canada’s airspace as demand for air navigation services grows,” said Ray Bohn, President and CEO.

From the onset of the pandemic, NAV CANADA has been working to support safe operations and ensure the long-term sustainability of the Company. NAV CANADA’s workforce planning processes include multiple sources of information, including air traffic forecasts, which are designed to ensure that operations have the required resources to safely manage traffic throughout the pandemic, industry recovery and beyond. 

“NAV CANADA will play a pivotal role in the sector’s recovery and remains committed to protecting the safety of the travelling public now and in the future,” added Bohn.


NAV CANADA is a private, not-for-profit company, established in 1996, providing air traffic control, airport advisory services, weather briefings and aeronautical information services for more than 18 million square kilometres of Canadian domestic and international airspace. The Company is internationally recognized for its safety record, and technology innovation. Air traffic management systems developed by NAV CANADA are used by air navigation service providers in countries worldwide.

The pandemic has been brutal. But airport authorities are bracing for even tougher times ahead

From CBC News – link to source story

5-year timeline for recovery at Gander and St. John’s airports

Garrett Barry · CBC News · May 12, 2021

Gander’s airport is a ghost town these days. Passenger traffic plummeted in 2020 to just 51,000 passengers. (Garrett Barry/CBC)

A pair of reports issued by airports in Newfoundland and Labrador suggest the toughest years are still to come for the industry.

Both the Gander and the St. John’s airports released their annual reports this month, and both suggest revenues won’t fully rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic until at least 2025.

In fact, both airports expect to have larger operating losses in 2021 then they did in 2020, according to projections included in their reports.

“The issue the airport has is not what’s happened in 2020; it’s what’s going to happen between 2021 and 2025, which is when we project … passenger traffic to recover to 2019 levels,” said Reg Wright, CEO of the Gander International Airport Authority.

Even then, the Gander airport is projecting revenue to reach only $6.5 million — significantly less than the $10 million once anticipated for 2020.

The revenue losses mean the suspension of some construction projects and layoffs to some full-time and seasonal workers. The St. John’s Airport Authority reported it laid off 17 per cent of its staff to save $4 million.

Reg Wright, CEO of the Gander Airport Authority, says he doesn’t expect passenger traffic to recover until 2025. (CBC)

Wright said recovery will be slow due to the potential emergence of new coronavirus variants and outbreaks, and the uneven vaccination pace around the world.

But he fears the traffic recovery will take longer in Gander, which may be a victim of a “geographically uneven recovery.” He said airlines, which are also hurting, will refocus their operations in bigger and more profitable centres.

“When they talk about small markets and getting back to them, they’re talking about places like Winnipeg and Halifax. So you can imagine where Gander sits in terms of recovery,” he said. 

Feeling the pain

Wright said the withdrawal of several air routes from his airport, including the only routes leaving the province, has led to pain in the surrounding region — and not just for leisure travellers.

He compared it to losing high-speed internet access.

“All these problems suddenly arose; couldn’t get locums in from Halifax, so it affected the delivery of health care,” he said. “Essential workers were adding 7½- to eight-hour return journeys onto their trip west. Core samples — mining sector in central [Newfoundland] is on bust — couldn’t get those out.”

That’s partly why he says the provincial government will need to help prop up the air travel sector.

“My suggestion to them is they are going to have to take an active role in restoring air linkages. And in some cases, they might have to match airport subsidies or incentives for service that is critical to the economic well-being of the province.”

Plummeting pace

The Gander airport saw about 51,000 passengers through their doors this year, the lowest number on record.

In St. John’s, passenger traffic fell by 75 per cent in 2020, and airport CEO Peter Avery wrote in his report that it remains at a 50-year low. 

“This is a devastating reality for an island reliant on air travel,” he wrote. 

Both airports have made significant spending cuts a a result of the losses.

In St. John’s, airport management decided to indefinitely suspend the west terminal expansion project, which was set to add gates and baggage carousels.

The Gander Airport, for the first time in its history, shut down one of its two runways over the winter, to save money on maintenance.

The National Trust of Canada once called Gander Airport’s international departures lounge the most important modernist room in Canada. (Garrett Barry/CBC)

However, the airport authority has decided to continue with their international lounge renovations. Wright said it’s being in done in the hope that the airport will be “in a position of growth at some point.”

Minister of Transport introduces new funding programs to support Canada’s airports

Transport Canada

OTTAWA, ON, May 11, 2021 /CNW/ – The global COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the air sector in Canada. Airports have been significantly affected, experiencing major decreases in traffic over the past 15 months. Despite these consequences, airports have played a crucial role since the start of the pandemic by continuing to provide essential air services, including traveling to medical appointments, air ambulance services, community resupply, getting goods to market, search and rescue operations, and forest fire response.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, launched two new contribution funding programs to help Canada’s airports recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • The Airport Critical Infrastructure Program (ACIP) is a new program providing close to $490 million to financially assist Canada’s larger airports with investments in critical infrastructure-related to safety, security or connectivity;
  • The Airport Relief Fund (ARF) is a new program providing almost $65 million in financial relief to targeted Canadian airports to help maintain operations.

In addition to launching these two new funding programs, the Minister announced that Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP) is receiving a funding top-up of $186 million over two years. The ACAP is an existing contribution funding program which provides financial assistance to Canada’s local and regional airports for safety-related infrastructure projects and equipment purchases.


“Canada’s airports are major contributors to our country’s economy, and play a key role in sustaining the social and economic well-being of our communities, and our local airport workers. These programs will help ensure that, as Canada works towards recovery and travel restart post pandemic, our airports remain viable and continue to provide Canadians with safe, reliable and efficient travel options, while creating and maintaining good paying jobs in the airport sector.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

Quick Facts

  • The Airport Critical Infrastructure Program (ACIP), the Airport Relief Fund (ARF), and the Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP) funding top-up and program expansion were originally announced in the Fall Economic Statement in November 2020.
  • The Airport Critical Infrastructure Program (ACIP) will distribute $489.6 million in funding over five years to airports for eligible projects such as runway repairs/rehabilitation, airfield lighting enhancements, investments in terminal buildings, and transit stations to ensure connectivity to mass transit systems.
  • On April 15, 2021, the Government of Canada announced a contribution of up to $100 million towards the $600-million project to construct a new Réseau express métropolitain (REM) light rail underground station at the Montreal-Trudeau International Airport. Federal funding for this project comes from the Airport Critical Infrastructure Program (ACIP).
  • The Airport Relief Fund will provide $64.8 million in funding to airports whose 2019 revenues were less than $250 million. The amount of funding to each targeted eligible recipient will be calculated using a tiered formula-based approach, based on 2019 revenues.
  • In addition to the one-time funding top-up of $186 million, eligibility for the Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP) has been temporarily expanded to allow National Airport System airports with less than one million annual passengers in 2019 (Gander, Charlottetown, Saint John, Fredericton, Moncton, Thunder Bay, London, and Prince George) to apply for funding under the Program in 2021-2022 and 2022-2023.
  • For 2021-2022, funding has been awarded to 63 airports for 86 ACAP projects, including runway and taxiway repairs/rehabilitation, lighting enhancements, purchasing snow clearing equipment and firefighting vehicles and installing wildlife fencing.

Related Products

Associated Link

Transport Canada is online at

CF Snowbirds 2021 Schedule

5 ‑ 6 To be announced
9 North Bay, Ontario
12 ‑ 13 To be announced
19 ‑ 20 Niagara Falls, New York, USA
22 Hanover, Ontario
24 To be announced
26 Bagotville, Quebec

1 Ottawa, Ontario
5 Thompson, Manitoba
17 Boundary Bay, British Columbia
18 White Rock, British Columbia
21 Terrace, British Columbia
24 ‑ 25 Springbank, Alberta
31‑ 1 To be announced

6 ‑ 8 Abbotsford, British Columbia
21 Gander, Newfoundland
22 Conception Bay South, Newfoundland
25 Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
29 ‑ 30 Debert, Nova Scotia

2 Brantford, Ontario
4 ‑ 6 Toronto, Ontario
8 Kingston, Ontario
11 ‑ 12 Gatineau, Quebec
15 Stratford, Ontario
18 ‑ 19 Mirabel, Quebec
25 ‑ 26 Sacramento, California, USA

2 ‑ 3 Huntington Beach, California, USA
9 ‑ 10 San Francisco, California, USA
16 ‑ 17 To be announced

Sunwing announces winter flight schedule from regional gateways across Atlantic Canada

Tour operator to offer weekly flights from Halifax, Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton, St. John’s, Deer Lake and Gander

TORONTO, April 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sunwing is making it easier for residents of Atlantic Canada to head back to the tropics this winter, with convenient weekly flights from regional gateways across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. Residents of Halifax, Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton, St. John’s, Deer Lake and Gander can make their much-anticipated return to paradise with vacation packages to some of the most popular destinations across the Caribbean and Mexico. Flights will begin in January 2022 and run weekly until May 2022.

“We’re thrilled to be returning to Atlantic Canada for another winter season,” commented Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations for Sunwing Travel Group. “After a difficult year, we’re sure that Canadians will be eager to return to paradise and enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation. We’re excited to be able to help them enjoy a frictionless vacation experience with convenient flights from local gateways across the region.”

Residents of Atlantic Canada will be able to choose from a range of vacation packages designed for every travel style and budget. Sun-seekers can Vacation Like a Star™ at the newly-opened Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Cancun and the first-ever Planet Hollywood Adult Scene Cancun, featuring entertainment-themed facilities and authentic Hollywood memorabilia around the resort. Those looking to make the most of their vacation budget can enjoy exclusive RIU®-topia inclusions at Canadian-favourite chain RIU Hotels & Resorts, including the recently renovated Riu Montego Bay. Plus, travellers who book by April 30, 2021 for travel between November 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022 can enjoy flexible booking options with the ability to change their plans with ease and save up to $1,000 per couple during the tour operator’s Freedom 21/22 Sale.

The flight schedule from Halifax, NS will be as follows:

  • Between Halifax and Cancun, Sundays from January 16, 2022 until May 8, 2022
  • Between Halifax and Montego Bay, Mondays from January 17, 2022 until May 9, 2022
  • Between Halifax and Puerto Plata, Tuesdays from January 18, 2022 until May 10, 2022
  • Between Halifax and Punta Cana, Fridays from January 14, 2022 until May 6, 2022
  • Between Halifax and Cayo Coco, Wednesdays from January 12, 2022 until May 11, 2022
  • Between Halifax and Cayo Santa Maria, Thursdays from January 13, 2022 until May 5, 2022
  • Between Halifax and Holguin, Sundays from January 16, 2022 until May 8, 2022
  • Between Halifax and Varadero, Thursdays and Saturdays from January 13, 2022 until May 7, 2022

The flight schedule from Moncton, NB will be as follows:

  • Between Moncton and Cancun, Thursdays from February 10, 2022 until May 5, 2022
  • Between Moncton and Montego Bay, Sundays from February 13, 2022 until May 8, 2022
  • Between Moncton and Puerto Plata, Fridays from February 11, 2022 until May 6, 2022
  • Between Moncton and Punta Cana, Saturdays from February 12, 2022 until May 7, 2022
  • Between Moncton and Varadero, Fridays from February 11, 2022 until May 6, 2022

The flight schedule from Saint John, NB will be as follows:

  • Between Saint John and Varadero, Saturdays from February 5, 2022 until May 7, 2022

The flight schedule from Fredericton, NB will be as follows:

  • Between Fredericton and Cancun, Mondays from February 14, 2022 until May 9, 2022
  • Between Fredericton and Punta Cana, Wednesdays from February 9, 2022 until May 4, 2022
  • Between Fredericton and Cayo Coco, Tuesdays from February 15, 2022 until May 10, 2022

The flight schedule from St. John’s, NL will be as follows:

  • Between St. John’s and Cayo Coco, Thursdays from March 10, 2022 until May 12, 2022
  • Between St. John’s and Varadero, Saturdays from March 12, 2022 until May 14, 2022
  • Between St. John’s and Cancun, Fridays from March 11, 2022 until May 13, 2022
  • Between St. John’s and Montego Bay, Sundays from March 13, 2022 until May 15, 2022
  • Between St. John’s and Punta Cana, Mondays from March 14, 2022 until May 9, 2022

The flight schedule from Deer Lake and Gander, NL will be as follows:

  • Between Deer Lake/Gander and Varadero, Tuesdays from March 15, 2022 until May 10, 2022
  • Between Deer Lake/Gander and Punta Cana, Wednesdays from March 16, 2022 until May 11, 2022

Vacationers can return to these Canadian-favourite destinations and travel with peace of mind knowing that the highest Canadian standards are in place throughout their entire vacation experience with the Safe with Sunwing commitment, created under the advisement of global healthcare leader Medcan.

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.

Gander considers grounding aviator-only street name policy

From CBC News – link to source story

Town council considering opening up eligibility

Garrett Barry · CBC News · Apr 13, 2021

Gander Mayor Percy Farwell examines some photographs hung on the back wall of the mayor’s office in Gander’s town hall. (Garrett Barry/CBC)

Visitors and residents in Gander get a hit of history at just about every street corner: John Alcock, Arthur Brown, Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh.

Each one was a high flyer in the history of transatlantic flight — and each is commemorated in a street name in the Town of Gander.

With just a few exemptions, every street in Gander is named after a pilot or an aviator: There’s Hawker Crescent and Grieve Crescent, named after George Hawker and Kenneth Grieve and their attempt at a transatlantic flight in 1919. 

There’s also Sacchi Avenue, named for Louise Sacchi, a pioneering female pilot who ferried planes across oceans hundreds of times.

Gander’s distinct naming policy means there’s a pilot on just about every street sign. Now, that might change — a little.

Louise Sacchi is one of the pilots who have been memorialized in Gander street names. (Gander Airport Historical Society)

Gander’s town council is debating a move that would slightly loosen its naming policy and allow for a greater mix of community figures to be commemorated, as long as they still have some connection to the aviation industry.

“It’s not something that … there’s a consensus that we want to do,” Mayor Percy Farwell said Thursday. “It’s something that is under consideration, under discussion in council right now.”

The town’s development staff has suggested to council that it vote to expand the eligibility and include first responders, innovators, people who’ve had long and successful careers in aviation and people who’ve performed heroic acts.

Farwell said council is a bit “conflicted.”

“It does have sort of resonance in terms of the tourism and the branding and so on of the community to be able to say that all your streets are named after pilots,” he said.

Harry Hawker and Kenneth Grieve are pictured in Mount Pearl. The men both have their names inscribed onto street signs in the Town of Gander in commemoration of their transatlantic flight attempt in 1919. They left from Mount Pearl in May of that year. (Memorial University Archives and Special Collections)

“Now, having said that, I would suggest that if you looked at a list of names of streets here in Gander, the average person with the average level of knowledge about aviation would probably only recognize maybe 15 or 20 of those names.”

Jack Pinsent, an early Gander resident and a history buff, said the policy made more sense when the town was first being built in the 1950s — when it had fewer streets and when there were fewer pilots to honour.

“I think they are down to the point where they are starting to run out of names, aviators that people know,” he told CBC Thursday. “There are some guys, right now, where I look at the name and I say … I never heard tell of that fella before.

“They started naming streets after astronauts, which I was completely against!”

Capt. John Alcock, left, and Lieut. Arthur Whitten Brown stand beside their Vickers plane Vimy at Lester’s Field in June 1919. The pair would fly to Ireland that month, in the first non-stop transatlantic flight. (The Rooms Provincial Archives Division, A 47-15)

Pinsent said town councils have made exceptions in the past — most notably for royalty — and it’s time to formally broaden the criteria to celebrate more of Gander’s own residents.

He says he had four or five in mind already — such as John Murphy, who was a civilian secretary in the Royal Air Force and later left Newfoundland for New York in the 1960s where he became a manager with the Trans World Airlines operations in the state.

He also suggested James Dempsey, a longtime radio operator.

No existing streets will be renamed, and Farwell says if town council does bring in a change, it’s unlikely to be a big one. He says there’s a broad agreement that the town staff suggestion — to open the eligibility to those with some other attachment to aviation — is as far as anyone wants to go.

Amelia Earhart is another famous pilot commemorated in a street name in Gander. Earhart was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic ocean.

“I think there’s fairly good consensus on, you know, connecting the street names all throughout this community to aviation is a fitting tribute and recognition of the heritage of our community, which is unique in the Newfoundland context,” he said.

“Opening it wide open and, you know, I think would betray that and would diminish the the impact that having such a street-naming policy has in a positive way on tourism and so on.”