Flights in September and October will each carry as many as 271 tourists
Michael Gorman · CBC · Posted: Dec 05, 2019
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil is hoping two direct charter flights from China next year are the first of many to come.
In late September and early October of 2020, flights carrying as many as 271 tourists on a Boeing 787-9 will travel directly from the city of Guangzhou to Halifax via China Southern Airlines. Passengers on the two flights will have the option to buy travel packages that would see them also visit parts of New Brunswick and P.E.I. while in Canada.
McNeil said it’s his hope that if the two trips go well, it will lead to more charters and ultimately help make the case for a direct commercial flight between China and Atlantic Canada, something he’s been working on for four years.
“Oftentimes Transport Canada looks at the central part of our country and looks at [the] West Coast when it comes to the Asia market,” he told reporters in Halifax on Thursday.
“We need them to look at providing us with an opportunity to have a direct flight into Atlantic Canada.
McNeil said the previously announced air access fund will be used to backstop the venture, but he’s not anticipating a need to tap into the money.
“We believe there’s no question we’ll sell out these flights.”
Tourism Nova Scotia CEO Michele Saran said they’re looking to China as a key part of efforts to grow the industry here and she believes “Nova Scotia is the next hot spot for the Chinese visitor.”
Saran said it would be her hope to eventually have charters twice a week from May until the end of October each year. Canada saw 1.6 million inbound visitors from China in 2019. Saran said the goal is to get more of those people coming to Atlantic Canada and she believes the charters represent a big step toward that effort.
Tourism Nova Scotia has set a goal of growing the number of tourists from China to Nova Scotia from the 2018 total of 5,000 to 50,000 by 2024. It’s a challenging goal, said Saran, but one she believes is possible.
Although the federal government has issued a travel advisory for people going to China, McNeil said he doesn’t have any safety concerns about the area they are targeting.
“If my children wanted to go, I’d be more than happy to send them to China,” he said.
“Where we’re going into — Guangzhou — is a very metropolitan part of China. It’s an extraordinary city and the region provides Nova Scotians and Canadians with, I believe, a wonderful taste of Chinese culture.”
A ‘bizarre’ choice
He noted that many Canadian business people continue to go back and forth freely between the two countries without issue and McNeil said Nova Scotia needs to be involved.
“Our national governments will solve the issues associated between our two national governments, but at the same time we need to continue this partnership to grow the economic fortunes of our citizens.”
China continues to hold Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig on what are widely believed to be arbitrary grounds as retaliation for Canada detaining Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou.
Tory Leader Tim Houston said “it’s bizarre” for McNeil to be promoting tourism with China while the federal government has a travel advisory in place.
“It’s kind of a bit surprising, I guess, the way they continue to be all in on that particular file.”
Houston said the province should instead focus on targeting other markets.
New from Edmonton (Canada) every Monday and Thursday non-stop to Frankfurt
Reinstates Halifax (Canada) and Seattle (USA) flights to Munich
New design: Condor unveils new aircraft tail logo
Frankfurt, December 3, 2019 – Condor announces its new North American 2020 summer flight schedule. Germany’s leading leisure airline will be flying non-stop from Frankfurt to Edmonton in Canada for the first time as of June 2020. Flights to the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta can be booked from approximately $516 CAD, per person one-way and are offered every Monday and Thursday. In addition, long-haul destinations from Halifax, Canada and Seattle to Munich will return to Condor’s flight schedule again in summer 2020, with a Boeing 767 stationed in Munich as of May 2020. Condor flies to the Bavarian state capital from Halifax in Canada on Fridays and Wednesdays and from Seattle (USA) on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
New destination from Frankfurt: Edmonton
With the inclusion of the Canadian city of Edmonton in the 2020 summer flight schedule, Condor’s Canada services will be expanded to a total of six destinations: In addition to Edmonton, Germany’s most popular leisure airline will also be flying to Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver and Whitehorse from Frankfurt and Halifax from Frankfurt and Munich.
In addition to Seattle, Condor also serves Anchorage, Baltimore/Washington D.C., Fairbanks, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Portland (Oregon) in the U.S.
“With the additional long-haul flights next summer, we are expanding our existing summer 2020 flight schedule — not only with the new destination Edmonton in Canada from Frankfurt, but also with the non-stop service to Munich,” says Ralf Teckentrup, CEO of Condor. “We are thus offering our North American guests an even greater selection of non-stop service to the heart of Germany and beyond.”
From its Frankfurt Hub Condor offers connecting service to more than 100 destinations throughout Europe via Condor and a network of airline and rail partners. From Munich, Condor offers connecting service to more than 100 destinations.
Condor Off Again with Its Own Tail Logo
The Condor logo returns to the tail of the aircraft. Following Condor’s final separation from Thomas Cook, the Thomas Cook logo and the heart logo are being removed for trademark reasons from the airline’s fleet. The tail fins of the Condor aircraft will be revised with decals in the coming weeks as part of their regular maintenance. The rest of the livery will not change. “The Condor logo stands for a brand that has been Germany’s most popular leisure airline for 64 years. We are proud of this,” says Ralf Teckentrup.
Overview of Condor’s North American 2020 summer timetable long-haul service to Frankfurt:
Day(s) of Departure
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
NEW: Edmonton (YEG)
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday
Overview of Condor’s North American 2020 summer timetable long-haul service to Munich:
Once the domain of desperate travellers stranded by weather delays or in need of a quick place to sleep before connecting to another flight, in-terminal airport hotels are upping their game and a lot of people are choosing them for reasons beyond necessity.
“Airport hotels, once viewed as just for stopovers and one-night stays, have started to upgrade their offerings to provide luxurious stress-free stays to kick off or end your vacation, creating a seamless experience from hotel to flight,” said Sabrina Bhangoo, Director of Public Relations for Marriott in Canada.
“This trend is not only happening here in Canada but also the U.S. The New York Times, recently highlighted various amenities that airport hotels are adopting to make their properties more attractive to guests.”
“Hotel airports are becoming increasingly popular and are among our busiest,” said France Savard, the senior public relations coordinator for Germain Hotels, which includes the Alt brand. “We currently have two, in Halifax and Toronto Pearson, and actually we will have a third one by the end of 2020 or early 2021 at the Ottawa Airport.”
Savard noted that a lot of travellers are starting their vacations a day early with a night’s stay at airport hotels, especially if they are boarding early morning flights to sun destinations. For people who live further out of town, getting to the airport on time can be impossible so staying at the airport makes it easier and many hotels offer convenient parking packages making it affordable to leave their cars there while they are away.
Every major airport in Canada is surrounded by hotels, but only a few of them are located right within the heart of the airport terminal. From West to East, here are the in-terminal hotels where travellers can stay in this country:
Not only does Vancouver’s airport regularly bring home awards, but so does the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel. It’s been named the top Airport Hotel in North America by the Skytrax World Airport Awards for six years in a row. This luxury hotel features all the amenities you expect from a Fairmont property including high-end dining options, a pool, gym and spa, but also carries on the Fairmont tradition of offering afternoon tea, but with a nod to its airport setting. As you sip your tea and nibble on your biscuits, you get a close-up view of airport operations, thrilling planespotters of all ages.
The Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel is the city’s newest CAA/AAA 4 Diamond Hotel and is the only Renaissance in the world attached to an airport terminal. Its soundproofed rooms are perfect for guests who need to sleep any time of day, no matter what time zone their bodies think they are in. Aimed at both business and leisure travellers, the Renaissance has all the amenities travellers need including a fitness facility, pool and the ultra-modern Halo Bar and Bistro.
A lot ot travellers that stay at airport hotels are secret planespotters. Marriott knows that which is why guests who stay on this airport’s seventh floor receive an in-room telescope so they can watch the planes come and go. Conveniently located between the international and domestic terminals, the Calgary Airport Marriott Hotel offers comfortable rooms that offer your choice of mountain, city or runway views. The hotel is also home to the Yakima Social Kitchen and Bar which serves locally-sourced cuisine based on Aboriginal, Asian and North American influences, all of which can be washed down with selections from their all-Canadian craft beer collection.
If the Marriott is full, Calgary’s airport offers a second in-terminal option, the Delta which is actually across the street from the main terminal attached to it by an all-weather pedestrian overpass. It has all of the comforts and amenities you would expect from a modern hotel. Their parking packages are especially attractive for people who want to stash their car somewhere while they are away.
Toronto’s traffic is notorious so if you need to get to Pearson for an early-morning flight, it means having to leave your house at some ungodly hour. It can be even worse depending on where in the GTA you are coming from. The Sheraton Gateway Hotel is the ideal place to avoid that headache by staying the night before your departure. Integrated into Terminal 3, the hotel is easy to get to as it’s a short hop to the airport’s UP Express station, the train that whisks passengers to Pearson from Union Station downtown.
Technically, this hotel isn’t in the airport terminal, but it’s connected to Pearson by Terminal Link, the rail line that connects the airport’s terminal buildings so passengers can seamlessly step from the hotel to the airport via the adjacent Viscount Station. Alt hotels are known for being comfortable and paying attention to small details, like having no set checkout times when guests book directly with them which is convenient if you have a flight that leaves later in the day.
Sitting atop the U.S. departures terminal of Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, the Montreal Airport Marriott Hotel is a newly-renovated, contemporary hotel that is a comfortable option for travellers who need to stay at the airport. If you want to relax before or after your flight, the hotel is home to a first-class spa and, as you would expect in a city that’s known for its love of food, its Bijou Resto and Bar serves international dishes to suit every palate, but don’t forget to try their poutine.
Canadian-owned and family-operated, Alt Hotels describe itself as “no frills chic,” providing guests what they need without the extra fluff and their Halifax airport destination is no exception. They are noted for having beds that are super comfortable and because guests always ask where to buy their beddings, linens and pillows, they point them to Simons.ca, the Quebec-based retailer that supplies them.
News provided by Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 9 October 2019 – Today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report (A19A0012) on the 4 March 2019 loss of control during rollout of a Boeing 767-375 aircraft at Halifax/Stanfield International Airport, Nova Scotia.
The TSB conducted a limited-scope, fact-gathering investigation into this occurrence to advance transportation safety through greater awareness of potential safety issues.
Loss of control during rollout Air Canada Boeing 767-375, C-FTCA Halifax/Stanfield International Airport, Nova Scotia 04 March 2019
History of the flight
At 1551Footnote1 on 04 March 2019, the Air Canada Boeing 767-375 aircraft (registration C-FTCA, serial number 24307), operating as flight ACA614, departed Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport (CYYZ), Ontario, for an instrument flight rules flight to Halifax/Stanfield International Airport (CYHZ), Nova Scotia, with 2 flight crew members, 6 cabin crew members and 211 passengers on board.
At approximately 1738, the weather at CYHZ was below approach minimums for the runway in use at the estimated time of arrival, so the aircraft entered a holding pattern to wait for the weather conditions to improve as forecast. At approximately 1814, the weather conditions had improved sufficiently to conduct an approach and the Moncton Area Control Centre (ACC) controller provided vectors for an approach to Runway 32, which the crew accepted.
At 1817:03, as the aircraft was proceeding to Runway 32, the Halifax terminal controllerFootnote2 issued the crew the CYHZ aerodrome special meteorological report (SPECI) from 1809, which indicated visibility 1¼ statute miles (SM) in light freezing drizzle and mist; vertical visibility 200 feet above ground level (AGL); temperature and dew point both −1 °C. The controller added the current winds—wind 350° magnetic (M) at 20 knots, gusting to 30 knots, and the altimeter setting of 29.14 inches of mercury. The terminal controller also offered the crew the option of landing on Runway 23, because it had just become available. Runway 23 is longer than Runway 32, and has a precision approach system with lower approach minimums. However, Runway 23 had a crosswind component of 17 knots gusting to 26 knots, and a tailwind of 10 knots gusting to 15 knots. Because of the longer runway and the precision approach, the crew accepted vectors for the category II precision approach to Runway 23. The crew adjusted the aircraft’s instruments to the required settings and briefed the Runway 23 approach.
At 1817:36, the Halifax terminal controller relayed the runway surface condition (RSC) report that was issued at 1808Footnote3 for Runway 23 to both the occurrence crew and the crew of an Embraer aircraft that was flying ahead of it. Both crews were planning to land on Runway 23. The RSC for Runway 05/23 indicated a 160-foot centreline, 20% compacted snow, 80% bare and wet, remaining width 70% wet snow 1 inch, 30% bare and wet. Based on this RSC, a Canadian Runway Friction Index was not provided, nor was one required.
The Embraer aircraft landed on Runway 23 at 1822. After providing the crew with instructions to exit the runway onto Taxiway A at the end of the runway, the Halifax tower controllerFootnote4 asked the crew for comments on the approach. The crew replied, “we had the fieldFootnote5 at 300 feet; braking action was very poor, actually”. Once the aircraft was off the runway, the crew switched to the Halifax ground controller’s frequency and reported that the runway was “very, very icy; it’s basically a skating rink“.
At 1824:22, the Halifax tower controller relayed the braking action report to the crew of a DHC-8 aircraft that was on approach for Runway 32, stating that the Embraer crew reported, “lights in sight at 300 [feet] AGL on that approach, and braking action was poor on Runway 23.”
Canadian’s have always gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to cheap air fare, but that finally might be changing!
Swoop Airlines is a new discount airline that has launched in selected (smaller) airports throughout Canada, and they are offering some sweet ticket prices.
Living in Kelowna, I don’t have a lot of choices when it comes to direct flights. I’ll be honest, YLW airport sucks in its offering of non-stop destinations. When I first moved to Kelowna we at least had a direct to San Francisco and Los Angeles, but they slowly fizzled out and left us with just a few direct options.
However, Swoop Airlines just moved in and they are offering a few direct flights that caught my eye! Winnipeg for $79 and Las Vegas for $99. Those are some INCREDIBLY low prices for direct flights out of Kelowna.
My brother Cody lives in Winnipeg, but I can’t say I’m regularly tempted to fly over to visit him. (Sorry bro!) A one-way flight on WestJet or Air Canada is usually $250-$450 and all flights have at least one stop-over. The moment I saw I could get to Winnipeg for $79, I booked the flight instantly! $450 is a hard sell for me, but $79 I can do!
Now here is where people get concerned with a low-cost airline. They start to worry about the maintenance of the planes, how uncomfortable it might be in-flight, or how many extra fees will get tacked on for bags, water, or even breathing.
I’ve got you covered.Here is everything I experienced during my recent flight on Swoop from Kelowna to Winnipeg on September 18th 2019.
Swoop Airlines Review
Is Swoop’s website easy to use?
The site is super easy to use and very straight forward. It looks like any other major airline website and wasn’t sneaky or hard to understand in anyway.
They allow you to choose a seat (paid) add carry-on or checked baggage (paid) or you can hold off to do that at check-in or at the airport. Just know, if you buy baggage or seats DURING your initial booking, it will be cheaper. But more on that later.
Does Swoop have hidden fees in the fare pricing?
The price advertised was $79 and that’s what it was at the end of the day. The airfare was actually only $48, then after taxes and fees, came out to a total of $79. Great! No surprises there! I was half expecting it to double in price by the time I had just run through taxes, fees, and weird hidden surcharges – but thankfully that never happened.
Can you bring ANY type of luggage on Swoop for Free?
YES! They allow a free ‘personal item’ on board.
They classify this as something that can fit under the seat in front of you, like a small backpack, purse, laptop bag, or briefcase.
If you can pack a super smart bag, you could likely get away with just using this personal item allowance for a short trip.
Here are the official dimensions they allow for your personal item: 16” x 6” x 13” (41cm x 15cm x 33cm)
How much is CARRY-ON BAGGAGE with Swoop?
Now here is where you can start to rack up a bill with Swoop, but truth be told, it’s STILL cheaper than flying with Canada’s other two carriers, even if you buy all the add-ons.
Carry-on baggage starts at $35.
I was visiting my brother in Winnipeg on my way down south for the winter. Since I had to carry everything I needed for 6 months with me on this trip, I had no choice but to purchase BOTH the carry-on bag and the checked bag through Swoop. If I was just flying there for a weekend to see him, I could make it work with just the free personal item.
My carry-on bag from Kelowna to Winnipeg was $35 CAD.
Carry-on Baggage weight and size restrictions:
If you are considering buying a carry-on bag for a Swoop flight, know that it MUST fit within these dimensions: 21” x 9” x 15” (52cm x 23cm x 38cm).
But here is a fun tip – Swoop does NOT limit how much your carry-on bag can weigh.
Fees for carry-on bags on Swoop:
The cost for carry-on baggage will vary depending on two things:
If your flight is within Canada, or going to the states
If you purchase it at booking, or later on at check in or at the airport
You can buy a carry-on bag for as low as $35 as long as you do it at the time of booking.
Each moment that your flight draws closer it goes up in price. If 30 seconds after you book your flight you decide you want to buy a carry-on bag, it’s now $40. When you go to check-in for your flight 24 hours before departure, it’s now $45. If you wait until you reach the check-in counter at the airport, it’s now gone up to $50. The worst price is definitely if you wait until last minute until the gate, about to board your flight – here they will charge you a whopping $70 for your carry-on bag.
How much is CHECKED BAGGAGE with Swoop?
Checked baggage is around the same cost as carry-on baggage. It starts at $35.
Checked Baggage weight and size restrictions:
Your checked baggage with Swoop can weigh 50lbs MAX
Maximum dimensions: 157 cm (62 in.) total combined dimension (length + width + height)
You obviously get a bigger dimension allowance, but be warned, they are STRICT about their 50lb maximum weight policy.
As I was in line at the check-in counter I saw them make a girl who was only 2lbs over take items out of her luggage.
I was sweating with nerves because I knew my checked bag was shoved full of stuff for the next 6 months of travel. I don’t have a scale at home, so I crossed my fingers and prayed I would be okay.
When I put my bag up on the scale at the counter it weighed 55.3lbs. DANG!
She gave me two options: I could either find 5.3 lbs of stuff to take out of my checked bag OR I could pay the $106 overweight fee. There was NO way I was paying $106 for 5lbs, so I dug out 2 sweaters and my leather jacket and put them on over my t-shirt. Yep, I felt like Chandler from friends. I was still 1.5 lbs overweight, so I had to take out some items and shove them into my already brimming carry-on.
I put my checked luggage back on the scale and low and behold it came in at EXACTLY 50.0lbs. Success! The check-in attendant told me it’s better to buy a 2nd checked bag for $50 at time of booking instead of the $106 over-weight charge for next time.
Fees for Checked Bags on Swoop:
The cost for checked baggage will vary depending on two things:
If your flight is within Canada, or going to the states (states is $5 more)
If you purchase it at booking, or later on at check in or at the airport
Just like the carry-on baggage, the checked baggage is also on a sliding tier scale. You will get the lowest price ($35) for your checked bag at time of booking, and it will go up to $70 by the time you reach the gate.
How does Seat Selection work on Swoop?
FREE: You will be automatically assigned a random seat upon check-in. This random selection is free, so if you are budget conscious, just roll the dice.
PAY: To pick ANY seat on the plane ahead of time, even the worst one, it will cost you. Prices for seat selection at time of booking range from $10-$50, and if you wait until check in you will pay anywhere from $20-$70. (approx $10 more per seat if you wait.)
Since my TOTAL bill for a direct flight to Winnipeg was only $150, even after buying both a checked bag and a carry-on bag, I decided to really go all out and buy a seat in the emergency row. Of course, I waited until check-in so I could give Swoop some extra money.
The emergency row seat cost me $40 at check-in, 24 hours before the flight.The best part of buying this seat was that no one else on my flight decided it was worth the extra $40. I had the entire row to myself, including the row across the aisle. Most of the regular seats on the flight were full, which made it extra luxurious to have the entire area to myself.
Here is the pricing tier for seat selections on Swoop:
Are the seats really crowded on Swoop?
Swoop says their normal seats give 74-76 cm of leg room (that’s 29-30 inches).
If we compare that to other flights heading to Winnipeg, WestJet has one flight with 76 cm and one with 79 cm. Air Canada also ranges from 76 cm up to 81 cm depending on the type of aircraft.
So, if you’re on a Swoop flight with 76 cm in their ‘base’ seat, you might find the exact same leg room on certain WestJet and Air Canada flights also providing 76 cm. (Usually a Bombardier Dash-8).
If you fly a 737 or an a320 on WestJet or Air Canada, you’ll likely have 79 cm to 81cm, making them much roomier than Swoop.
Now, I did fly in the emergency row which gave me lots of extra room. Swoop’s website says their ‘extra-pitch’ seats give 86 cm to 96 cm of legroom(34-38 inches). While I didn’t whip out my measuring tape to see exactly what mine was, it felt extremely spacious.
By the way, seats have a USB plug and 110v plug, which makes any small seat a little more comfortable.
Does Swoop charge for water?
You bet! And I’m cool with that. I would rather score a ticket for $79 and have to pay for my own water than pay $450 for the same flight that offers free water or pop. In reality, we should all be bringing empty re-usable bottles through security and filling them up for free at the many water fountains.
Does Swoop serve food and drinks?
Yes they do, of course for a fee. The prices are pretty decent considering they are on a flight.
Soft Drinks $1.99
Alkaline Water $3.29
Chocolate Bars $2.99
Hummus and Lentil Crackers $4.49
Beef Jerky $4.49
Mr. Noodles $3.49
Instant Pho $5.49
Snack Plate $6.99
You are allowed to bring your own water, pop, coffee and food on-board to consume if you don’t want to by airplane food. Most food you can bring through security but remember all drinks will have to be purchased post-security.
Is there Wi-Fi on Swoop?
There is Wi-Fi on Swoop flights, for a fee.
They don’t have the prices listed on their website and some forums say it’s based on the type/length of flight. Rates should be around $6.49/1 hour and $8.99/3 hours.
My Personal Swoop Experience
Everything was really equal to flying with any other Canadian airline. Booking, checking in, etc was all pretty similar. If anything, the below observations are because I am looking at Swoop with a very critical “I’m going to write a review about you” eye.
Here are the small differences I noticed flying with Swoop:
• They are hardcore about the 50-pound maximum for checked baggage. Don’t expect to get any leniency with Swoop.
• Post security, at the gate, they seemed a little behind schedule and disoriented. They called for families and anyone needing additional time/assistance to come up first and then held them there for a good 15 minutes without processing any of them through. The plane was there, and it was empty, so I am not sure what caused the delay.
• The flight did depart slightly late, but just a few minutes
•I guess it was a different experience to be nickeled and dimed with each tiny detail of the trip, but I still enjoyed a much lower fare than I would have with the full-service competitors.
• Service levels were not as hands on because the flight attendants don’t come through offering free drinks and pretzels to everyone. You really only see them for the safety demo and if you elect to buy something.
• Were the seats less padded? I couldn’t help but notice my butt didn’t feel as cushioned, but that might be me imagining things. Also, I am kind of a high maintenance flyer and I am usually doing everything I can to find a lay-flat business class seat, so I might just be extremely spoiled and biased. Sorry I have no data to confirm my suspicions on this one.
Once on board I didn’t notice anything different about the actual flight itself. The plane looked and felt like every other 737 I’ve ever been on. Sometimes I think people suspect flying with a budget airline means flying on a lower end plane, but they are really all the same metal tube in the sky. We took off and landed without any events, which is always a blessing. Once we touched down in Winnipeg the plane went right to the gangway and we departed within a few minutes. Baggage came quickly. The entire experience went well!
Where does Swoop Airlines Fly
Swoop is able to keep their prices super low by only flying out of secondary and smaller airports in Canada. The fees and taxes are lower, which helps keep ticket prices down.
However, they still fly to some major airports and top destinations!
International Swoop Destinations:
Domestic Swoop Destinations:
My Rating of Swoop Airlines
I would give my experience with Swoop an 8/10.(taking into consideration it’s a budget economy flight!)
I really didn’t have any kind of a negative experience at all, but of course the main reason for such a high score really boils down to price. I love a good deal, and when I can pair that with cutting my flight down from a 1-stop to a direct flight, even better!
Now that Swoop has a $99 flight from Kelowna direct to Las Vegas, I think that is a great way to get down to the US for cheap, even if Vegas isn’t my final destination. I’m looking forward to trying that service and seeing what it’s like.
Would I recommend Swoop?
I actually did today! My friends are looking to come and visit me in Mazatlan this winter and they can fly DIRECT from Abbotsford to Mazatlan for next to nothing. On WestJet their total cost for 2 round-trip tickets was going to be $1900 and with Swoop it will only be $800. 50% off!
Edmonton, Alberta, Sept. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Flair Airlines, Canada’s only truly independent low cost airline, is pleased to report an average passenger load factor of 92% for July & August 2019.
“We are delighted with the rapidly growing number of Canadians who have flocked to Flair this summer” said CEO Jim Scott. He continued ,“After only one year as an exclusively scheduled carrier we have established Flair as the place to go for low fares, great service and are already recognizing many return customers.”
During the summer, Edmonton-based Flair flew from Vancouver, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Halifax. Flair successfully initiated daily non-stop service between Toronto (YYZ) and Vancouver as well as between Toronto and Calgary.
Over the last few months, as part of it’s fleet renewal program, Flair has added three newer Boeing 737-800NG aircraft and is gradually phasing out it’s older B737-400’s. All three additions sport Flair’s distinctive new livery and logo.
By next summer Flair plans to be operating a single-type fleet of B737-800 NG‘s, which are more fuel efficient and also have longer range capabilities. Flair’s unified fleet will open up a number of exciting southern destinations offered at accessible rates.
While Flair’s year-to-date on-time performance has been one of the best in Canada, the younger aircraft should serve to make it even better.
Mabata Honesty Shop has no staff on site — just a mailbox for cash and card reader for payment
Frances Willick · CBC News · Posted: Jul 20, 2019
Two Halifax-area entrepreneurs are banking on the honesty of their customers.
Najib Faris and Francesco Stara opened a kiosk at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport last week offering sandwiches, snacks, kombucha and other fare made with local ingredients.
What makes the Mabata Honesty Shop different from other vendors, though, is that the shop has no staff on site.
There is no one waiting to take your cash or process your payment — customers are trusted to take what they want and pay using the tablet and card reader or by dropping cash in a mailbox.
“We took a leap of faith and invested our trust in people,” said Faris.
The idea sprang from visits that Faris and Stara made to nearby farms to pick up produce for their Bedford restaurant, Mabata Glocal Eatery.
“We were so surprised with the idea — you know, you grab a sack of potatoes and drop in 10 bucks in the bucket and leave. And we’re like, wow, this is amazing.”
The pair believed the honesty system often employed at farm-gate stands could easily be exported to an urban setting. And they thought Halifax was the perfect place to give it a try.
“Nova Scotia has always been known as a place where honesty goes above all and a place where people really still hold onto the true core values of humanity — which is rare these days in the world.”
Faris said his trust in Nova Scotians stems from both his interactions with people and the results of a lost-wallet experiment. That experiment, conducted by Atlantic Credit Unions in December 2017, saw 12 wallets each containing $100 left in public places around Atlantic Canada. Nine of the 12 were returned with the money untouched.
So far, Faris’s trust has been well placed. The kiosk has seen a 100 per cent payment rate and no theft since it opened on July 10.
Some customers have even left thank-you notes or a gift card.
“It’s that level of honesty that we’re so, so humbled and proud to see in this city,” said Faris.
The Mabata Honesty Shop has received support from Saint Mary’s University’s Entrepreneurship Centre, which provided the kiosk and some consultation free of charge.
“We thought it was pretty far out, to be honest,” said Jason Turner, the centre’s senior project manager, of the idea of trusting unsupervised customers to pay for their food.
But the enthusiasm of Faris and Stara was enough to convince the centre’s staff to support the project.
“We thought if they’re pretty keen on it — and they certainly were, you know, kind of came out as guns blazing with this idea — we thought, ‘What the heck? Let’s give it a shot.'”
Honesty shops worldwide
The kiosk at the airport is not the only example of a so-called “honesty shop.”
Faris said he has heard of a grocery store in Japan, a bottled-water kiosk in Dublin and an art shop in Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Art that also operate on the honesty system, as well as cafés that sell self-serve coffee on the honour system.
Some honesty shops, however, have not fared so well.
One such shop located in the lobby of the Manila Police Department’s headquarters — just a few metres away from a security guard — had to be closed after someone repeatedly raided the cash box.
The Mabata Honesty Shop will be open until August, but Faris said he’s in discussions with the airport to maintain a permanent presence there.
He said if the project continues to be successful, he would like to expand it to schools, universities, hospitals and shopping centres.
Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press – Published Monday, July 8, 2019
Swoop airline is facing a backlog of flights after engine trouble on an aircraft touched off a four-day wave of flight disruptions that has left passengers stranded and angry.
Passengers who had booked flights with the ultra-low-cost airline were left scrambling after it cancelled 23 flights between July 5 and July 10 due to “unscheduled maintenance” on a defective engine.
Swoop policy requires the low-cost subsidiary of WestJet Airlines Inc. to reroute passengers on other airlines if it cannot rebook them on its own flights “within a reasonable amount of time.”
The policy applies to events “within Swoop’s control,” which the maintenance issues were, according to spokeswoman Karen McIsaac.
She said the vast majority of passengers were rescheduled on Swoop flights and that it would deal with requests for rebooking on another airline “on a case-by-base basis.”
The company partly blamed the Boeing 737 Max aircraft grounding for preventing it from chartering other aircraft to accommodate stranded travellers.
“We are exploring options to charter aircraft to assist with the relief, however there are few options to do so as availability is limited in light of the MAX grounding,” McIsaac said in an email.
Authorities across the globe banned the Boeing aircraft from their skies last spring after two crashes — in Indonesia in October and Ethiopia in March — killed all 346 passengers aboard, including 18 Canadians.
Frustrated travellers took to social media, complaining that the carrier rebooked them on Swoop flights up to five days later and that its customer care centre was closed over the weekend.
The Canadian Transportation Agency, asked whether it would launch an investigation, said it “is monitoring the situation.”
The transportation watchdog said it has received two complaints so far, but noted that “what constitutes ‘a reasonable amount of time’ might depend on the situation, and this may have to be determined by the agency.”
McIsaac said Swoop is providing affected passengers with accommodation, meals and transportation “as needed.”
“Those that wish to cancel can do so for a full refund,” she added.
The maintenance problem affected one of Swoop’s seven aircraft, requiring an engine replacement due to a leaky oil seal on a Boeing 737-800 jetliner, McIsaac said. “This requires a significant amount of work and disassembly in order to fully repair the issue.”
The aircraft has a capacity of 189, meaning more than 4,300 passengers would be affected if all 23 flights were booked up.
The disruption is affecting flights from Edmonton, Halifax, Hamilton, Orlando, Fla., and other cities.
Gabor Lukacs, head of the Air Passenger Rights advocacy group, said that under federal rules intended to beef up air traveller protections and set to take effect this year, Swoop passengers would receive no compensation due to a regulatory “loophole.”
The rules impose no obligation on airlines to pay customers for delays or cancellations if they were caused by mechanical problems discovered in a pre-flight check — walking around the aircraft before takeoff looking for defects — rather than during scheduled maintenance required after 100 hours cumulatively in the air.
“They’re saying the aircraft broke down, basically, that this is a maintenance issue,” Lukacs said, referring to Swoop.
“This is exactly why the new aircraft rules are a failure. In this case, under the new rules, passengers would not get compensation. They would not see a dime.”
The past week hasn’t gone smoothly for Swoop. On Thursday night, local police were called to Hamilton airport — “just to keep the peace,” said spokeswoman Const. Lorraine Edwards — after a flight bound for Las Vegas was cancelled and rescheduled for Friday evening.
Halifax has joined popular destinations such as Iceland, Finland and Lisbon, Portugal as Canada’s newest stopover destination, connecting several North American and European cities to Halifax.
The Stopover Halifax program opens the door for arriving and connecting passengers at Halifax Stanfield to enjoy unique experiences. Designed for travellers with as little as seven hours up to seven days, the program promotes experiences such as strolling along Halifax’s bustling boardwalk, hiking scenic trails at the ocean’s edge, dining on fresh lobster, exploring iconic Peggy’s Cove and more.
“We know that Halifax’s location on Canada’s East Coast provides a great opportunity for travellers to experience the best of Halifax on their journey between Europe and North America,” said Erica Pellerin, vice-president, marketing and visitor experience, Discover Halifax. “This program will help make our region more accessible, affordable and desirable to visitors who we know are interested in travelling here.”
Discover Halifax continues to develop and focus on experiences and experiential tourism – a growing global trend – through initiatives such as the newly launched Handpicked Halifax program and custom “stress-free” experience packages for layover travellers. Discover Halifax and Halifax International Airport Authority have been working closely over the last six months to create this new Stopover Halifax program, with the help of Canadian airline partner WestJet.
“As WestJet’s global network continues to grow, we’re looking forward to our guests experiencing everything Halifax has to offer through the Stopover Halifax Program,” said Brian Znotins, WestJet vice-president, Network Planning and Alliances. “As the carrier with the most transatlantic flights from YHZ and convenient options from destinations across Canada and US, WestJet is proud to support tourism opportunities across Nova Scotia and we’re thrilled to provide our guests greater access into and out of Halifax Stanfield.”
There are two ways WestJet guests can book a Stopover to Halifax: booking directly through their travel agent or booking through WestJet.
“We’re thrilled to work with Discover Halifax, WestJet and our program partners to enhance the experiences of arriving and connecting passengers at Halifax Stanfield with a stopover,” said Tiffany Chase, director, Public Affairs & Marketing, Halifax International Airport Authority. “Stopover programs are offered by many destinations and airlines around the world – with more international air access than ever before, Halifax Stanfield is serving more domestic and international passengers and it makes perfect sense to give them additional reasons to stay a little longer in our beautiful part of Canada.”
Halifax Stanfield International Airport served a record 4.3 million passengers last year, a 20% increase from 2013.
“As we further develop this program, we’re confident it will continue to drive Halifax’s tourism momentum, bringing more passengers to Halifax Stanfield and visitors to experience all our region has to offer,” said Pellerin. “We want more people to fall in love with Halifax and Nova Scotia – that’s what this really is all about.”