Government of Canada supporting John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport with new funding

Transport Canada

HAMILTON, ON, Aug. 11, 2021 /CNW/ – Helping airports mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is part of the Government of Canada’s strategy to ensure that our air transportation system provides Canadians with choice, connectivity and affordable air travel.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, and the Minister of Labour and Member of Parliament for Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, announced more than $5 million to help the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support continued air services and important transportation infrastructure projects at the airport.

The Government of Canada is providing this airport with close to $2 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Critical Infrastructure Program for critical infrastructure projects to enhance airport safety, including the replacement of an aircraft rescue firefighting (ARFF) vehicle and airfield rehabilitation.

In addition to the funding for the critical infrastructure projects, the Government of Canada is also providing the airport with over $2.6 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Relief Fund to help it maintain continued airport operations and essential air services for residents and workers in the Greater Hamilton Area and its surrounding communities.

The John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport will also receive a Government of Canada investment of $500,000 through FedDev Ontario’s Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI) to provide necessary personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies. This project will contribute to efforts to safely reinstate regional air routes and maintain jobs in the Hamilton region.

Quotes

“Canada’s airports are major contributors to our economy, and play a crucial role in sustaining the social and economic well-being of our communities. This financial support will ensure that, as Canada works towards recovery and travel restart post pandemic, the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport will be able to provide regional accessibility, and safe, reliable and efficient air services for travellers and businesses in the Greater Hamilton Area.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

“The John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport is a key transportation hub not just for the Greater Hamilton Area, but for much of Southwestern Ontario. It connects us with family and friends, helps us discover new destinations, and is a pivotal trade corridor for many Hamilton businesses. This funding will enhance airport safety for travellers, air crews and airport workers, while supporting jobs and our regional economy.”  

The Honourable Filomena Tassi
Minister of Labour and Member of Parliament for Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas

“It is important to protect our regional air transportation ecosystems for the thousands of workers employed by this sector and for the many businesses and communities that depend on it. We know that air connectivity to all regions is essential to healthy, inclusive economic growth, and supporting it is part of our plan to build back a stronger, more resilient economy.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly
Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario

“Hamilton is proud of its international airport which today is a key driver of our local economy and will only become more important to the regional and national economy in the future. The federal government understands this and has been a wonderful partner in helping to ensure John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport continues to grow. Thank you Minister Alghabra, Minister Joly, and Minister Tassi for your leadership in assisting Hamilton and its international airport reach its potential.”

Mayor Fred Eisenberger
City of Hamilton

“Hamilton International Airport is an integral part of the regional and national economy and is a vital gateway in the community and strategic transportation corridor that it serves. This important funding announcement by the Government of Canada is critical to rebuild the Airport’s low-cost leisure air travel and sustain continued growth in the cargo and goods movement sector. We look forward to supporting a robust recovery for Canada, the province, and the City of Hamilton by ensuring critical infrastructure and essential services are maintained in a safe, healthy, reliable and efficient manner.”

Cathie Puckering
President and CEO
John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport

Quick Facts

  • The Airport Critical Infrastructure Program, launched in May 2021, will distribute $489.6 million in funding over five years to airports to support eligible infrastructure projects related to safety, security or connectivity to mass transit systems.
  • The federal contribution for the Airport Critical Infrastructure Program projects will be up to 50% of total eligible project expenditures. The John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport will provide the remaining funds for the projects.
  • The Airport Relief Fund, launched in May 2021, will provide $64.8 million in funding in 2021-2022 for targeted airports whose 2019 revenues were less than $250 million.
  • The amount of funding to each targeted eligible Airport Relief Fund recipient was calculated using a tiered formula-based approach, based on 2019 revenues.
  • Funding provided from the Airport Relief Fund must be used to cover activities that are directly related to the airport’s operations and to ensure that it remains open to travellers and surrounding communities.
  • First introduced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the Airport Critical Infrastructure Program and the Airport Relief Fund are part of a federal stimulus recovery plan designed to build a stronger, more inclusive and more resilient economy post-COVID-19.
  • The Government of Canada introduced the Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI) to help businesses and organizations in regional air transportation ecosystems, including regional air carriers and airports, to remain operational throughout the pandemic, while continuing to support economic growth and regional connectivity.
  • With a national budget of $206 million over two years, Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) are delivering this support, with FedDev Ontario delivering $24.2 million in southern Ontario. The RATI complements the measures in Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and measures implemented by Transport Canada.

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

More domestic flights returning to Okanagan with B.C. again welcoming Canadian travellers

From CBC News – link to source story

Despite loosened travel restrictions, it’s still uncertain when international flights will return to Kelowna

Winston Szeto · CBC News · Jul 06, 2021

The Kelowna International Airport is welcoming back domestic flights under the third phase of B.C.’s restart plan, which allows British Columbians to travel across the country for recreational purposes. (YLW)

The major airport serving B.C.’s Okanagan region has seen far more flights coming and going since the reopening of the province, but it’s still unknown when international flights will return. 

Since the province entered the third phase of its reopening plan on July 1, British Columbians have been able to travel across the country for recreational purposes. Before that, they could fly to and from Kelowna International Airport (YLW), but were advised not to unless it was essential travel. 

Sam Samaddar, director of YLW, says travellers can now fly to 14 Canadian destinations from Kelowna, with Montreal, Ottawa, Hamilton, Kitchener, Ont., Regina and Saskatoon recently added to the list. 

Due to international travel restrictions, the Kelowna airport hasn’t yet resumed operation of routes to Seattle, Cancun, Los Cabos, and Varadero, which accounted for up to 30 per cent of the airport’s traffic before the pandemic. 

In 2019, two million passengers passed through Kelowna International Airport, making it one of the busiest airports in the country. 

Samaddar says he cannot predict when the airport will provide international air services again. 

“We have international flights only designated to come into … the four major airports in the country, so we’re not even allowed to accept international flights at this point,” he said Monday to Dominika Lirette, guest host of CBC’s Daybreak South.

Under the federal government’s travel restrictions, international flights can only land in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. Foreign non-essential air travellers are still prohibited from entering Canada, and Canadians are still discouraged from travelling overseas for non-essential purposes.

International flights are currently allowed to land in four Canadian airports only, including Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The travel restrictions between Canada and the United States preventing all non-essential trips are to remain in place until at least July 21.

But international border restrictions started to loosen on Monday. Canadians and permanent residents who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada are now able to forgo the 14-day quarantine, which has been a requirement since March of last year. 

Samaddar says even if Canada reopens borders with the United States and other countries, it may take years before international business travellers return.

“Businesses are having to recover themselves and they’re also trying to understand the landscape before they send their staff abroad or internationally to do business or in person,” he said. “They don’t want to risk their staff … putting them in an environment where they may not know what the outcome is in terms of the safety of their employees.”

With files from Daybreak South

COVID-19: Kelowna International Airport seeing increase in passenger traffic

From Global News – link to source story

By Travis Lowe, Global News | June 22, 2021

Kelowna International Airport is seeing an increase in air traffic passengers.
Kelowna International Airport is seeing an increase in air traffic passengers. Kelowna International Airport

After almost a year-and-a-half of COVID-19, Canadians are ready to pack their bags and go on vacation.

The director of Kelowna’s airport, Sam Samaddar, said there’s already been an increase in the number of people looking to fly the friendly skies, thanks to the loosening of some travel restrictions.

“We’re expecting a very, very busy summer,” Samaddar told Global News.

“We’re anticipating by July 1, the province is going to make the announcement that they are going to welcome Canadians from coast to coast to British Columbia.”

Staff at Kelowna International Airport are already dealing with what’s being called a “pent-up demand” by passengers looking to take a vacation from COVID-19 quarantining.

“On a daily basis, we were down to about 300,” said Samaddar. “We’re seeing now at least our outbound numbers are up 1,000.”

Samaddar says those passenger numbers will only rise as the number of domestic routes is set to increase at YLW.

“Prior to COVID, we had nine destinations in Canada that we flew to,” Samaddar said.

But as air traffic takes off at YLW once again, that number will rise to 16, including a connection to Canada’s other wine region, Niagra.

Click to play video: 'Planned fee change will raise the cost of most taxi rides to Kelowna’s airport'Planned fee change will raise the cost of most taxi rides to Kelowna’s airport – May 18, 2021

Just this past Sunday, YLW also saw the inaugural flight of Swoop’s new non-stop service to Hamilton.

Swoop is an ultra-low-fare airline.

And besides Toronto and Hamilton, next Sunday, June 27, Swoop will add another YLW route to its list of destinations: Kelowna to Winnipeg.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Halifax woman calls out low-cost airline for lack of public health enforcement'Coronavirus: Halifax woman calls out low-cost airline for lack of public health enforcement – Dec 28, 2020

YLW will also see flights expanded to include Kitchener-Waterloo and Ottawa in August.

But the big expansion in service that Samaddar is excited about is Quebec with Air Canada on June 26.

“We are going to launch Montreal to Kelowna — a tremendous opportunity for the region and a tremendous opportunity for the people of our region to go to Montreal and Quebec,” Samaddar said.

Click to play video: 'Ottawa lays out how funding for airports will be distributed amid COVID-19 pandemic'Ottawa lays out how funding for airports will be distributed amid COVID-19 pandemic – May 11, 2021

But YLW’s director wants to remind the public that COVID-19 has likely changed air travel forever.

And, as such, travellers will have to be patient as the industry continues to ensure the safety of its passengers.

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

Swoop Celebrates Three Years of Painting the Skies Magenta

Swoop Celebrates Three Years of Painting the Skies Magenta

Airline launches new route between Hamilton and Kelowna and invites travellers to the party with 30% off SWOOPONS in recognition of third birthday

Calgary, A.B. – June 20, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low- cost airline is celebrating three years of making air travel more accessible and affordable for Canadians with their unbundled, ultra-low fare flights.   Since the airline’s first flight on June 20, 2018, Swoop has proudly served three million travellers, connected Canadians to 17 destinations, operating over 20,000 flights to Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean.   

Swoop was founded in 2018 with a mission to make air travel more affordable, introducing the ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) model to Canadians and saving travellers more than $159 million in direct fare savings in 2019 alone*. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the airline maintained domestic service, ensuring Canadians had continued access to affordable flight for essential air travel coast to coast.   

“The last 15-months have demonstrated how important air travel is for the connectivity and economic stability of the communities we serve,” said Charles Duncan, President of Swoop. “We are so pleased to be able to celebrate our third birthday with the positivity of new route announcements and a renewed demand for air travel.”

As the airline that always has affordable flights, Swoop is celebrating with extra savings on already ultra-low fares. Travellers can save 30% off base fare with the promo code SWOOPON when booking by June 24, 2021 for travel between July 8, 2021 and April 30, 2022. Travellers can visit FlySwoop.com/deals for more information. 

Today’s celebration will also see Swoop operate its inaugural flight from Hamilton, ON to Kelowna, BC, connecting Canada’s wine countries from east to west. Scheduled to arrive in Kelowna at 10:25 a.m. local time, the flight will be welcomed on the ground by a water cannon salute and greeted by representatives from both Swoop and Kelowna International Airport. 

“Today’s inaugural flight is another milestone for Swoop as we continue in our recovery efforts to re-build our network,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial and Finance, Swoop. “Swoop’s success would not be possible without the support of our airport partners just like John C. Munro Hamilton Airport and Kelowna International Airport as well as our Swoopsters who share in our mission of making air travel more affordable for all.” 

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

“Looking back to Swoop’s very first flight from Hamilton International Airport to Abbotsford on June 20, 2018, it’s amazing to know our partnership is now three years strong as we celebrate Swoop’s 3rd birthday!” said Cathie Puckering, President and CEO, John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. “Today, another milestone is proudly celebrated with new service from Hamilton to Kelowna, connecting one wine country to another!”  

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

*Swoop Economic Impacts 2019, a study conducted by Chris Lowe Group in January 2020.  

About Swoop: Swoop is on a mission to make travel more affordable and accessible for all Canadians. Established in 2018 as an independent subsidiary of the WestJet Group of Companies, Swoop is Canada’s ultra-not-expensive airline. Offering scheduled service to destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean, Swoop’s unbundled fares put travellers in control of purchasing only the products and services they desire. Swoop’s modern fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity has safely carried more than 3 million travellers in three years of operation.

Swoop ‘seeing light at the end of the tunnel’ after incredibly difficult 15 months

From CBC News – link to source story

‘People are clearly willing and able to book that long-awaited trip,’ airline executive says

Desmond Brown · CBC News · Jun 18, 2021

Swoop, operated by WestJet, launched in Hamilton back in 2018 with a trip from Hamilton to Abbotsford, B.C. for just $129. (Swoop)

Low-cost airline Swoop is on the rebound, head of commercial and finance Bert van der Stege said Friday, after being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to van der Stege, the carrier lost more than 90 per cent of its revenue and roughly 90 per cent of its passenger volume over the course of the pandemic. 

“The past 15 months or so have been incredibly difficult,” van der Stege said during an executive exchange held virtually with Hamilton International Airport.

“It’s been a difficult 15 months [but] we believe we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel now and have reached a turning point.”

Van der Stege said a “great demand” for seats is “slowly coming back”. 

“We’ve seen a period of record sales again now. People are clearly willing and able to book that long-awaited trip,” he said.

This summer we expect to serve five destinations within Canada from Hamilton airport, and then as we approach the following winter season we will be adding five international destinations from Hamilton.- Bert van der Stege, Swoop Airline

Van der Stege said Swoop will initially focus on domestic travel as it emerges from the fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that’s where they expect the rebound to start. 

He said sales and forecast passenger numbers “are picking up really nicely, in particular in and out of jurisdictions that have outlined a clear path to recovery, easing travel restrictions, [and] a path to open up based on science.”

After that initial period of domestic recovery and domestic travel, van der Stege said Swoop will once again partner with Hamilton International Airport and open up international travel.

“This summer we expect to serve five destinations within Canada from Hamilton airport, and then as we approach the following winter season we will be adding five international destinations from Hamilton.”

Swoop will launch a new flight from Hamilton to Kelowna this Sunday, while the winter schedule will include the following:

  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
  • Cancun, Mexico.
  • Montego Bay, Jamaica
  • Orlando and Tampa Bay, Florida.
Swoop’s head of commercial and finance Bert van der Stege. (CBC)

Swoop, operated by WestJet, launched in Hamilton back in 2018 with a trip from Hamilton to Abbotsford, B.C. for just $129.

Since its inception the airline has carried more than one million passengers in and out of Hamilton airport. In total, Swoop has transported more than three million passengers.

The airline has also created more than 500 direct jobs at Hamilton’s John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport

“With the two brands, WestJet and Swoop being present here in Hamilton, we believe that we can assist in the recovery of the tourism and hospitality industry sector, not just focusing on getting Hamiltonians out of Hamilton using Hamilton airport, but also bringing visitors back,” van der Stege said.

With the airline seeing sales “on par with pre-COVID levels,” van der Stege said they will be adding another Boeing 737 to the fleet by the end of the year.

Cathie Puckering, president and CEO of Hamilton’s John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. (CBC)

Cathie Puckering, president and CEO of Hamilton’s John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport, said the number of passengers that Swoop has put into the market in such a short time “was amazing.”

She said Hamilton experienced almost a 70 per cent decline in passenger volumes last year due to COVID-19.

Puckering said this year is just as hard but she is confident that things will get back to normal.

“The aviation industry has had shocks and has been hurt before [but] it has been resilient and we have bounced back,” Puckering said.

“So as long as we continue with the vaccine rollout and we continue to follow the restrictions and the measures … travel will recover and we’re optimistic about what the future will hold and Swoop’s growth in Hamilton.”

Canadian airlines return to Puerto Vallarta after 4-month hiatus

From Mexico Daily News – link to source story

Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit are looking forward to the Canadians coming back. Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit are looking forward to the Canadians coming back.

Canadian airlines return to Puerto Vallarta after 4-month hiatus

One airline has already reactivated flights, and three more have confirmed dates

Published on Thursday, June 17, 2021

Canadian airlines are reactivating flights to Puerto Vallarta after a four-month suspension.

Westjet reinitiated its flights to the Jalisco beach destination on June 5, and Air Canada will be next with the reopening of its Vancouver route on August 1.

Low cost airline Swoop plans to restart its Hamilton and Edmonton flights October 5, and its Abbotsford and Toronto routes on November 3. It will also inaugurate a new route from Winnipeg on November 4.

Transat will relaunch flights from Toronto and Montreal in November.

Sunwing is still yet to inform clients of its plans to reopen, but has previously announced it hopes to reestablish its Mexico routes in December.

Marc Murphy, lead of the Riviera Nayarit Visitors and Conventions Office, said Canadians would be happy for the change of climate. “Each year, thousands of Canadians travel to this region to escape the intense winter cold and find an enviable climate, the most beautiful beaches … and a great quality hotel offering,” he said.

With reports from Reportur

Air Transat unveils its winter 2021-22 program

Nearly 50 destinations on three continents will be offered, including two new ones: Miami and Fort Myers

MONTREAL, June 16, 2021 /CNW/ – Air Transat is proud to present its winter 2021-22 flight program. Starting November 1, it will offer flights to nearly 50 destinations throughout the CaribbeanMexicoCentral and South Americathe United States and Europe.

This program also features two new destinations in Florida—Miami and Fort Myers, with direct flights from Montreal—in addition to flights already scheduled for Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.

“We know that our clients are eager to travel, whether it’s to visit loved ones or for a change of scenery,” says Annick Guérard, President and CEO of Transat. “And we are sure to meet this strong, pent-up demand with the rich variety of destinations we are offering this winter. Plus, by adding Miami and Fort Myers to our program, we are consolidating our position in the United States, a popular sun destination for Canadian travellers.”

Starting December 2021, Air Transat will fly to Miami four times a week, and to Fort Myers twice a week.

Flights to three continents this winter

To quench Canadians’ wanderlust, direct flights will be offered from eight Canadian cities: Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, London, Halifax and Moncton.

In addition to flights to the South, Air Transat will also offer vacationers a selection of South packages, featuring 290 properties and four collections: LuxuryOut of OfficeFamily and Solo.

From Montreal, Air Transat will operate direct flights to Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Martinique, Panama, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, El Salvador and the United States.

Travellers from Toronto will be able to fly direct to Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, St. Maarten and the United States.

From Quebec City, seven sunny destinations will be accessible by direct flight to Cuba, the United States, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

And lastly, to allow Canadians to travel across their country and to increase connecting opportunities to international destinations, Air Transat will also operate domestic flights between Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto and Vancouver.

As for Europe, Air Transat will gradually offer direct flights from Montreal to France, Portugal, Spain and Italy. There will also be direct flights from Toronto to the United Kingdom, Portugal, the Netherlands, Ireland and Italy, and from Quebec City to France.

It is important to note that, should the situation change and force the company to alter its flight schedule, clients affected by cancellations would be eligible for a refund.

For travel inspiration and details on routes offered, travellers are invited to visit the dedicated page on the Air Transat website.

About Air Transat

Air Transat is Canada’s number one leisure airline. It flies to some 60 international destinations in more than 25 countries in the Americas and Europe, offers domestic and connecting flights within Canada, and carries some 5 million passengers every year. Air Transat is a business unit of Transat A.T. Inc., a leading integrated international tourism company specializing in holiday travel and offering vacation packages, hotel stays and air travel. Transat was awarded Travelife certification in 2018 in recognition of its commitment to sustainable development. Its head office is located in Montreal.

Recent distinctions and awards

  • World’s Best Leisure Airline at the Skytrax World Airline Awards
  • Ranked 2nd Travel and Leisure Company and 57th overall on Forbes World’s Best Employers List
  • Best Tour Operator and Favourite Overall Supplier at the Agents’ Choice Awards presented by Baxter Travel Media

Swoop Announces Three New Destinations Ahead of Third Anniversary

Airline to Swoop into San Diego, Orlando (Sanford) and Tampa Bay (St. Pete-Clearwater) this winter 

CALGARY, AB, June 16, 2021 /CNW/ – Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC), today unveiled plans to add three new U.S. destinations to its network with non-stop flights to San Diego (SAN), St. Pete-Clearwater (PIE) and Orlando Sanford (SFB) beginning this winter.

“Swoop is celebrating three years of bringing ultra-low fares to Canadians and we are thrilled to continue expanding on our success with the introduction of San Diego, Orlando Sanford and St. Pete-Clearwater to our network,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial & Finance, Swoop. “We are pleased to be providing our travellers looking to explore the U.S. this winter with even more choice and affordable options.”

The addition of the three new sun destinations to Swoop’s network comes as the airline readies to celebrate its third anniversary of flying on June 20. Since introducing the ultra-low-cost air travel model in Canada, the airline has served 3 million travellers, establishing itself as the ultra-low-cost carrier of choice for Canadians. As provincial vaccinations and phased re-opening plans progress, Swoop continues to see an increase in demand as Canadians look to book that long awaited winter getaway south of the border. 

Swooping into Central Florida

Non-stop service to Orlando Sanford International Airport will be available from Toronto beginning October 9, from Hamilton beginning November 1 and from Edmonton beginning November 5.

“We are very pleased Swoop selected Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) to access the Orlando market,” said Tom Nolan, President & CEO, Sanford Airport Authority. “In addition to the great service Swoop provides passengers, our new major terminal improvements will be greatly appreciated by all Canadian visitors and local residents that seek a convenient and comfortable airport experience travelling between Central Florida and multiple cities in beautiful Canada.”

Non-stop service to San Diego

Travellers from Edmonton looking to explore the vibrant city and sandy beaches of San Diego can find direct flights beginning October 31.  

“It’s great news that San Diego International Airport will be getting a new carrier and a new international route in October,” said Kimberly Becker, President & CEO, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. “We were in talks with Swoop pre-pandemic and are happy they are still committed to providing non-stop service between Edmonton and San Diego. We anticipate this route will be popular for Canadians as they look to escape the snow and take in the Southern California sunshine.”

“We know many people are eager to return to travel and are booking now for future travel. We want to thank Swoop for bringing back some important non-stop sunny vacation destinations to our community as well as two new destinations San Diego and Orlando Sanford. We all look forward to return to travel and health and safety will continue to be our focus at Edmonton International Airport.” 

Tom Ruth, President and CEO Edmonton International Airport

Say hello to sunny St. Pete-Clearwater

With non-stop flights and its proximity to Tampa Bay, Swoop’s service to sunny St. Pete-Clearwater will begin on November 5 from Toronto and on November 9 from Hamilton.

“We are excited to welcome Canada based Swoop to our family of airlines”, said St. Pete-Clearwater International (PIE) Airport Director, Tom Jewsbury.  “Canadians will have a convenient, non-stop option to fly to our award-winning destination from Toronto and Hamilton, Canada, and many will want to visit as the borders reopen!  Being one of only a few of Swoop’s U.S. destinations, we are confident that sunny St. Pete-Clearwater area will be a popular one.  We want to thank our partners at Visit St. Pete/Clearwater and Volaire Aviation for helping us make this possible.”

“We are delighted to see Swoop add ultra-low-cost options to the Sunshine State from Hamilton for the upcoming winter travel season. Travelling between airports like Hamilton International, Orlando Sanford and St. Pete-Clearwater has become increasingly appealing to passengers looking for a comfortable travel experience that a smaller airport can offer,” said Cathie Puckering, President & CEO, John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. “Hamilton International remains committed alongside Swoop to serving the local community and ensuring people can return to the skies comfortably and get to where the need to go with confidence.”

Details of Swoop’s new service currently for sale:

Service BetweenServices Start DatePeak Weekly Frequency
Edmonton – Orlando (Sanford)Nov 5, 20212x (Mon, Fri)
Edmonton – San DiegoOct 31, 20213x (Tue, Thu, Sun)
Hamilton – Orlando (Sanford)Nov 1, 20212x (Mon, Fri)
Hamilton – St. Pete-Clearwater  Nov 9, 20212x (Tue, Sat)
Toronto – Orlando (Sanford)Oct 9, 20214x (Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat)
Toronto – St. Pete-ClearwaterNov 5, 20213x (Mon, Fri, Sat)

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

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

Swoop’s modern fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity has safely carried more than 3 million travellers in three years of operation.

Swoop Responds to Growing Demand for Ultra-Low-Cost Travel

Airline announces fleet expansion and winter flying as new daily bookings return to pre-pandemic levels

CALGARY, AB, June 10, 2021 /CNW/ – Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost carrier, today released its expanded winter schedule including increased non-stop domestic service and the re-introduction of flights to the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Following a sustained pattern of new daily bookings on par with pre-pandemic levels, the airline also announced it will proceed with planned fleet growth, inducting its tenth Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft into service this winter.  

The first Canadian airline to fully re-enter its entire fleet into service, Swoop will operate all nine of its aircraft domestically during peak summer. The airline’s winter schedule will provide travellers with ultra-low-cost flights across Canada, as well as to sun and fun destinations including Montego Bay in Jamaica, Las Vegas and Mesa/Phoenix in the U.S., and Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán in Mexico.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in demand for travel this summer, most especially in provinces where vaccination and re-opening plans are on track and clearly outlined,” said Charles Duncan, President of Swoop. “With the release of our winter schedule, those who are planning further ahead or dreaming of a vacation abroad can find our always affordable flights and Getaway packages available for booking through April 2022.”

As the airline that always has deals on already affordable flights, Swoop will offer scheduled winter service to 14 destinations, with ultra-low fares starting from just $40 CAD † total price in the example of a one-way Abbotsford to Edmonton flight. The addition of a tenth aircraft in time for the winter flying season will allow Canada’s leading ULCC to add new routes, destinations, and frequencies in pace with demand.

“Consumer confidence is coming back, and the message is clear, Canadians are ready to start planning that long overdue trip,” continued Duncan. “When travellers are ready, we look forward to safely welcoming them back onboard our aircraft.”

Details of Swoop’s Winter 2021 Schedule and flights currently for sale:

Domestic RoutesPeak Season
Frequency
Days of WeekService start dates
Toronto – Edmonton14x weekly2x DailyAlready in Service
Toronto – Abbotsford7x weeklyDailyJun 20
Toronto – Halifax7x weeklyDailyJul 16
Toronto – Kelowna7x weeklyDailyAlready in Service
Toronto – Victoria6x weeklyDaily, except
Saturday
Jun 24
Hamilton – Edmonton7x weeklyDailyAlready in Service
Hamilton – Abbotsford14x weekly2x DailyAlready in Service
Hamilton – Halifax4x weeklyMon, Thu, Fri, SunJun 24
Hamilton – Winnipeg4x weeklyTue, Thu, Fri, SatAlready in Service
Hamilton – Kelowna6x weeklyDaily, except
Saturday
Jun 20
Edmonton – Abbotsford14x weekly2x DailyAlready in Service
Edmonton – Winnipeg2x weeklyMon, FriNov 1
Edmonton – Victoria7x weeklyDailyAlready in Service
Winnipeg – Abbotsford7x weeklyDailyAlready in Service
Winnipeg – Kelowna3x weeklyTue, Thu, FriJun 24
Transborder RoutesPeak Season
Frequency
Days of WeekService start dates
Edmonton – Mesa/Phoenix4x weeklyMon, Wed, Fri, SatSept 17
Edmonton – Las Vegas5x weeklyMon, Tue, Thu, Fri,
Sun
Sept 23
Toronto – Mesa2x weeklyTue, ThuNov 2
Winnipeg – Mesa/Phoenix2x weeklyMon, FriNov 1
International RoutesPeak Season
Frequency
Days of WeekService start dates
Toronto – Puerto Vallarta2x weeklyWed, SunNov 3
Toronto – Cancun4x weeklyMon, Wed, Fri, SunSept 18
Toronto – Montego Bay3x weeklyTue, Thu, SatSept 11
Hamilton – Puerto Vallarta2x weeklyTue, FriOct 5
Hamilton- Cancun3x weeklyMon, Wed, SatOct 2
Hamilton – Montego Bay 1x weeklyFridayOct 15
Edmonton – Cancun3x weeklyMon, Wed, SatOct 2
Edmonton-Puerto Vallarta3x weeklyTue, Fri, SunOct 5
Edmonton – Mazatlán2x weeklyWed, SatOct 23
Winnipeg – Cancun3x weeklyTue, Thu, SunNov 7
Winnipeg – Puerto Vallarta2x weeklyMon, ThuNov 4
Abbotsford – Puerto
Vallarta
2x weeklyWed, SatNov 3

†One-way flight from Abbotsford (YXX) to Edmonton (YEG) when you book by June 20, for travel between October 31 – November 10, 2021.  Restrictions may apply, for full details see FlySwoop.com/deals.

To learn more about Swoop and find ultra-low fare flights, please visit FlySwoop.com.

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

Swoop’s modern fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity has safely carried more than 3 million travellers in three years of operation.

Porter in talks with Pearson, other airports for passenger jet service

By ERIC ATKINS, TRANSPORTATION REPORTER & ANDREW WILLIS & NICOLAS VAN PRAET | MAY 20, 2021

A Porter Airlines flight makes its final approach as it lands at the airport on July 2, 2019 in Ottawa. ADRIAN WYLD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Porter Airlines has approached Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and other airports in southern Ontario about establishing a passenger jet service postpandemic, sources say, a shift in strategy for the carrier that is blocked from flying jets at its base on the Toronto Islands.

Porter’s move comes as the carrier is reportedly buying 30 passenger jets from Embraer of Brazil.

Porter has long sought to fly jets out of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, but those plans have been prevented by the federal government owing to concerns that include noise, pollution and the impact of the longer runway that would be required.

“We’re not relocating from Billy Bishop to any airport,” said Brad Cicero, a Porter spokesman, who declined to address a question about seeking slots at Toronto Pearson.

Porter’s founder and executive chairman Robert Deluce did not respond to interview requests. Porter declined to make Michael Deluce, the founder’s son and current chief executive, available for an interview.

Porter’s talks with the airport authorities are preliminary, according to two people familiar with the matter whom the Globe and Mail agreed not to name because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

In addition to Toronto Pearson, Porter has approached airports including Ottawa, Hamilton, Kitchener and London, one of the sources said. The airports declined to comment or did not respond to interview requests.

On May 13, trade publication Airfinance Journal reported Porter is the buyer of 30 Embraer E195 E2 jets, a narrow-body medium-range jet that seats as many as 150 people. Embraer declined by e-mail to name the buyer of the jets.

Porter flies a fleet of 29 Bombardier Q400 turboprop planes that hold about 65 to 78 people.

Mr. Cicero would not answer questions about the reported purchase of the Embraer planes. “This isn’t our order,” he said. “We have no plans to switch our fleet. Our focus continues to be on relaunching operations in 2021 with the existing Dash 8-400 fleet.”

John Gradek, who teaches aviation leadership at McGill University, said Porter has no room to grow at its Toronto island airport base, and is forced to fly planes at less-than capacity owing to the short, 3,900-foot runway. He speculated the airline is relaunching itself with a new fleet prior to a sale. (Porter’s public offering in 2010 failed.)

“It’s a radical departure from the airline that we know,” said Addison Schonland of boutique aerospace consultancy AirInsight. “The business model looks like it is changing.”

Porter in 2013 placed a $2-billion conditional order for as many as 30 Bombardier CSeries jets, now known as the Airbus A220. The airline sought to extend the island airport runway by 200 metres to accommodate the larger aircraft but faced stiff local opposition.

In 2015, then transport minister Marc Garneau blocked Porter’s plans to fly jets from the island.

That decision stands, a spokeswoman for current Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said. “Our government has no plans to amend the tripartite agreement between the federal government, the City of Toronto and PortsToronto to allow jet aircraft to use Billy Bishop Airport,” Allison St-Jean said.

“There are no plans or negotiations to discuss jets at Billy Bishop Airport with either of our tripartite partners,” said Deborah Wilson, a spokeswoman for PortsToronto, the government agency that owns and operates the airport.

An Airbus spokeswoman said: “While we of course would welcome more Canadian carriers to select the Canadian designed and built A220, we do not comment on discussion we may or may not be having with airlines.”

Porter’s 2013 order is not part of Airbus’s backlog list, which had 494 planes ordered but not yet built at the end of April, 2021. Airbus is building A220 jets at a rate of five a month in factories in Mirabel, Que. and Mobile, Ala., with plans to expand output when appropriate to a maximum of 14 planes a month.

Porter, which has not flown since March 21, 2020, owing to the pandemic, recently pushed back its relaunch date to July 20.

Privately-owned Porter, which employed 1,500 before the pandemic, flies to several Canadian, U.S. and holiday destinations, but is perhaps best known for business travel given its proximity to downtown Toronto. Business travel is expected to recover from the pandemic last, after family-related flights and tourism.

In good times, Porter accounts for 85 per cent of plane traffic at the island airport, while Air Canada makes up the rest. Porter sold the airport terminal to Nieuport Aviation, controlled by New York-based J.P. Morgan Asset Management Inc., in 2015 for more than $700-million.

Neil Pakey, CEO of Nieuport, declined to comment on Porter’s plan for jets at other airports. Mr. Pakey said he and the airline are focused on Porter’s restart in July.

Porter’s talks come as it continues discussions with the federal government over financial aid to blunt the effects of the pandemic on the business. In March, 2020, the airline received a $135-million loan through Export Development Canada and indicated earlier in May that it is in negotiations for more aid. The government has said any help from the taxpayer comes with conditions that include “protecting jobs across the air sector.”