Air Canada Adding Extra Cargo Capacity Into Vancouver to Help Maintain British Columbia’s Economic Supply Chain

  • In response to flooding that disrupted transportation supply chain network in the province
  • 586 tonnes of additional capacity added into and out of YVR, an increase of 45% over originally planned levels
  • Air Canada Express Dash 8-400 aircraft being converted into special freighter configuration to transport cargo

MONTREAL, Nov. 22, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada announced today that it has significantly increased cargo capacity into and out of Vancouver between November 21 and 30 from its hubs in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary as it works to ensure that the vital economic supply chain links in British Columbia are maintained following the impacts of last week’s flooding. In total, Air Canada is adding 586 tonnes of cargo capacity, representing 3,223 cubic metres to support B.C.’s economic supply chain and the needs of its communities. The additional capacity is equivalent in weight to approximately 860 adult moose.

“The economic supply chain is vital, and to help support the urgent transport of goods into and out of British Columbia, we have increased capacity to our YVR hub by using the flexibility of Air Canada’s fleet to reschedule 28 passenger flights from narrow-body aircraft to be operated with wide-body Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Boeing 777, and Airbus A330-300 aircraft. These changes will allow an additional 282 tonnes of goods to be moved across the country on our scheduled passenger flights,” said Jason Berry, Vice President, Cargo, at Air Canada.

“Additionally, Air Canada Cargo will operate an additional 13 all-cargo flights between our Toronto, Montreal and Calgary cargo hubs and YVR using widebody aircraft, providing approximately 304 tonnes of additional capacity. These aircraft will help move mail and perishables such as seafood, as well as automotive parts and other industrial goods,” concluded Mr. Berry.

Air Canada is also working with its regional partner Jazz Aviation to provide additional regional cargo capacity by temporarily converting an Air Canada Express De Havilland Dash 8-400 from its normal passenger configuration into a special freighter configuration. This Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighter operated by Jazz can carry a total of 18,000 lbs. (8,165 kg) of cargo and will be deployed to transport critical goods, as well as consumer and industrial goods and will be in service as early as this week.

Last week, as the impact of the devastating floods became apparent, Air Canada quickly added capacity to the Air Canada Cargo network by substituting larger widebody aircraft on 14 passenger flights into Vancouver.

Additional capacity added for passengers

In addition to the extra cargo capacity, Air Canada had also increased the number of seats available for customers in Kelowna and Kamloops since November 17, adding approximately 1,500 seats into both communities by utilizing larger aircraft on routes. This enabled people affected by the highway closures to fly into and out from these airports, and through the cargo capacity of these passenger aircraft, also allowed for the important transport of emergency medical supplies into these regions.

Air Canada continues to monitor the situation in British Columbia very closely and will adjust its passenger and cargo schedule accordingly.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline, and in 2019 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. 

Air Canada to Launch Daily Service between Toronto Island and Ottawa beginning October 31

New route to complement existing service to Montreal from Billy Bishop Airport

MONTREAL, Oct. 7, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada today announced that it will launch a new service between Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Ottawa beginning October 31, 2021. The route will commence with four return trips daily, increasing to up to eight return trips daily starting in summer 2022.

“Air Canada’s new service from Toronto Island to Ottawa will conveniently link Canada’s capital directly with the centre of the country’s leading business centre. This new route is designed to meet customer demand in this heavily travelled market, with a large business travel component, and complement our recently resumed Montreal-Toronto Island airport service. It is a further example of how Air Canada is rebuilding its network, including by adding new routes and destinations in our determination to emerge from the pandemic an even stronger airline,” said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada.

Air Canada presently operates five return flights daily between Toronto Island and Montreal. The schedule for the new Toronto Island-Ottawa service beginning October 31, 2021 is:

FlightDepartsArrivesDays of Operation
AC 8950Toronto Island at 07:00Ottawa at 07:59     Daily
AC 8954Toronto Island at 08:35Ottawa at 09:34     Daily
AC 8960Toronto Island at 17:00Ottawa at 17:59     Daily
AC 8962Toronto Island at 18:00Ottawa at 18:59     Daily
AC 8953Ottawa at 07:00Toronto Island at 08:04     Daily
AC 8955Ottawa at 08:30Toronto Island at 09:34     Daily
AC 8961Ottawa at 16:25Toronto Island at 17:29     Daily
AC 8963Ottawa at 18:30Toronto Island at 19:34     Daily

The service will be operated by Air Canada Express Jazz with a De Havilland Dash 8-400 featuring a complimentary snack and drink. All customers can collect and redeem Aeroplan Points through Canada’s leading loyalty program when travelling with Air Canada, and eligible customers have access to priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounges where available at Canadian airports, priority boarding and other benefits.  Air Canada’s commercial schedule may be adjusted as required based on the COVID-19 trajectory and government restrictions.

Air Canada offers its customers complimentary shuttle bus service between downtown and the Toronto City Airport. The shuttle brings travellers to and from the west entrance of The Fairmont Royal York Hotel, located at the corner of Front and York streets, directly across from Union Station.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline, and in 2019 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. 

Air Canada Resumes Service Between Montreal and Toronto Island Airport Beginning September 8

MONTREAL, Sept. 3, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada today announced it will resume service to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on Toronto Island beginning September 8, 2021 with five daily return flights to Montreal. Seats are available for booking at aircanada.com, via the Air Canada App, Air Canada’s Contact Centres and travel agencies.

“We are pleased to restart our operations at Billy Bishop airport and offer our customers the choice to fly in and out of Toronto Island, which is popular among business travellers for its proximity to the city centre and its ability to connect travellers to our global network through Montreal. Our schedule enables travellers to conveniently fly between Montreal and Toronto Island Airport up to five times per day, linking the two key business and cultural centres as we continue to play our part to reinvigorate Canada’s economy. We look forward to welcoming our customers back on board and expanding our daily service as more traffic returns,” said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada.

Air Canada’s Toronto Island-Montreal Service

FlightDepartsArrivesDays of Operation
AC7952Toronto at 07:15Montreal at 08:27Daily
AC7958Toronto at 10:20Montreal at 11:33Daily
AC7970Toronto at 16:15Montreal at 17:28Daily
AC7976Toronto at 17:15Montreal at 18:28Daily
AC7974Toronto at 18:20Montreal at 19:33Daily
AC7959Montreal at 07:30Toronto at 08:49Daily
AC7955Montreal at 08:30Toronto at 09:49Daily
AC7965Montreal at 13:30Toronto at 14:49Daily
AC7971Montreal at 16:30Toronto at 17:49Daily
AC7975Montreal at 18:30Toronto at 19:49Daily

Service to Toronto Island will be operated by Air Canada Express Jazz with a De Havilland Dash 8-400 featuring a complimentary snack and drink. All customers can collect and redeem Aeroplan Points through Canada’s leading loyalty program when travelling with Air Canada, and eligible customers have access to priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounges at Canadian airports, priority boarding and other benefits.  Air Canada’s commercial schedule may be adjusted as required based on the COVID-19 trajectory and government restrictions.

Air Canada offers its customers complimentary shuttle bus service between downtown and Toronto City Airport. The shuttle brings travellers to and from the west entrance of The Fairmont Royal York Hotel, located at the corner of Front and York streets, directly across from Union Station.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline and, in 2019, 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. 

Chorus Aviation Announces Second Quarter 2021 Financial Results

Q2 2021 Key Metrics

  • Net income of $21.5 million, or $0.12 per basic share; a quarter-over-quarter decrease of $7.6 million primarily due to the continued impact of COVID-19 on results related to off-lease aircraft, negotiated amendments to certain lease agreements including extensions, the 2021 CPA amendments and lower unrealized foreign exchange gains of $10.7 million.
  • Adjusted net income1 of $11.4 million, or $0.06 per basic share; a decrease of $10.3 million quarter-over-quarter primarily due to the previously noted impact of COVID-19 on results and a reduction in earnings due to a lower US dollar foreign exchange rate.
  • Adjusted EBITDA1 of $76.9 million; a decrease of $14.2 million over second quarter 2020.
  • Liquidity of $177.9 million.
  • Collected approximately 67.0% of the Regional Aircraft Leasing segment’s lease revenue in the second quarter.

Recent Accomplishments

  • Revised capacity purchase agreement (‘CPA’) with Air Canada, enhancing Jazz’s position as the exclusive Air Canada Express operator of 70-78 seat regional capacity until the end of 2025 with the addition of 25 Embraer 175s to the Covered Fleet, and is currently the sole provider of Air Canada Express services.
  • Completed a public offering and concurrent private placement for gross proceeds of $145.1 million.
  • Remarketed three Dash 8-400s to two new leasing customers, Sky Alps of Italy (two aircraft) and one Dash 8-400 to National Jet Express, a subsidiary of Australian aviation operator, Cobham Aviation Services.
  • Secured a three-year contract with Purolator for air cargo charter services, executing on Chorus’ growing capabilities in this market segment.
  • Awarded a three-year contract to upgrade and modify Transport Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program fleet of three Dash 8-100 and one Dash 7-100 aircraft with new surveillance equipment.
  • Awarded a new five-year contract to provide fixed-wing air ambulance service for Ambulance New Brunswick further extending its 25-year relationship.
  • Awarded, in partnership with General Dynamics Mission Systems – Canada, an eight-year contract for the in-service support of the Canadian Armed Forces manned airborne intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance program.
  • Executed long-term leases with Connect Airlines for two off-lease Dash 8-400s, marking the successful placement of all Dash 8-400s repossessed in 2020 and reducing the number of off-lease aircraft from 13 to eight.

HALIFAX, NS, Aug. 11, 2021 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR) today announced second quarter 2021 financial results.

“Our second quarter delivered net earnings of $0.12 per basic share or $0.06 on an adjusted basis. We are managing our business well through these unprecedented times and continue to report positive financial results. While our second quarter earnings were negatively impacted by certain aircraft being off-lease, negotiation of certain lease amendments including extensions, the 2021 CPA amendments, and a lower US dollar exchange rate, I am pleased with the progress made in reducing debt and the stability we are seeing in lease rent collections,” stated Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus Aviation Inc.

“On the leasing front, with the addition of Connect Airlines of Boston as a new leasing customer, we’ve now remarketed all of our off-lease Dash 8-400 aircraft. We repossessed these aircraft in 2020 and reconfigured them for return-to-service at our facilities in North Bay and Halifax. I’m proud of our team’s collaborative efforts in finding opportunities and delivering integrated solutions to place these assets with new customers in this very challenging environment.

“Our recent contract awards at Voyageur have expanded our reach into cargo operations and special mission work in the aerospace and defense sectors. Work under our new contract with Transport Canada has begun and we anticipate beginning to generate revenue at the end of the third quarter. Our new partnership with General Dynamics Mission Systems – Canada is in the initial stages as we prepare for the first aircraft arrival scheduled in September with the expectation of being fully operational by the third quarter of 2022.

“The transition of the E175s into the Air Canada Express fleet is progressing very well, and we anticipate completing the induction of these 25 aircraft by the end of this month. We’re very pleased to be recalling employees as regional flying resumes.

“Overall, I’m pleased with how we’re navigating through this ongoing crisis. We’ve created additional balance sheet flexibility by significantly reducing our adjusted net debt, and we’re successfully remarketing off-lease aircraft by putting these assets to good work with new customers,” concluded Mr. Randell.

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Canada’s Major Airlines Look Forward to Re-Opening of Border

Fully vaccinated Americans exempt from quarantine and can enter Canada as of August 9, all other fully vaccinated international travellers as of September 7

Ottawa, July 19, 2021 – Canada’s major airlines look forward to the re-opening of Canada’s border to fully vaccinated international travellers announced today by the federal government, but note that further action will be required to enable recovery of the sector.  

“As an industry, we have been calling on the government for months to provide a clear restart plan utilizing science-based measures.  Though we have almost lost the summer travel season, today’s announcement provides clarity and timeframes that will allow consumers to plan, and the travel and tourism sector to begin welcoming fully vaccinated foreign travellers once again”, said Mike McNaney, President and CEO of the National Airlines Council of Canada, which represents Canada’s largest carriers (Air Canada, Air Transat, Jazz Aviation LP and WestJet).  

Over the past several weeks carriers have issued updated schedules and have been investing in bringing capacity back on line, to enable a safe restart.  The industry will continue to work closely with the federal government over the coming weeks to ensure the successful implementation of the border changes. 

The government announced it will also be expanding the number of Canadian airports that can receive international flights, it will also be eliminating the hotel quarantine program for all travellers, as was recommended by Health Canada’s COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel in May.  The government will also no longer require non-vaccinated minors to formally quarantine.     

“We are certainly pleased to see firm dates for re-opening of our border for fully vaccinated travellers and elimination of hotel quarantine.  But as the new measures take effect, we still firmly believe the government must take further steps and follow the clear recommendations released by Health Canada’s Expert Panel report including lowering quarantine duration for non-vaccinated and partially vaccinated travellers.  We will be ready for August and September.  But further policy changes will ultimately be needed to support the successful re-start of the industry and the tens of thousands of aviation jobs that have been impacted by the pandemic”, concluded McNaney.      

About the National Airlines Council of Canada:

The National Airlines Council of Canada represents Canada’s largest national and international passenger air carriers:  Air Canada, Air Transat, Jazz Aviation LP and WestJet.  It promotes safe, sustainable and competitive air travel by advocating for the development of policies, regulations and legislation to foster a world-class transportation system.  Pre-pandemic our members collectively carried over 80 million passengers annually, directly employed over 60,000 people and served as a critical component of Canada’s overall air transport and tourism sector, which supported more than 630,000 jobs.

Chorus Aviation Announces First Quarter 2021 Financial Results

Q1 2021 Key Metrics

  • Net loss of $38.1 million, or $0.24 per basic share; a period-over-period decrease of $20.8 million due to one-time restructuring costs related to the 2021 capacity purchase agreement (‘CPA’) amendments of $81.8 million as outlined below, offset by the changes in unrealized foreign exchange of $45.4 million and income taxes.
  • Adjusted net income1 of $15.7 million, or $0.10 per basic share; a decrease of $8.1 million quarter-over-quarter primarily due to the impact of COVID-19.
  • Adjusted EBITDA1 of $84.0 million; a decrease of $4.5 million over first quarter 2020.
  • Liquidity of $171.3 million.
  • Collected approximately 62% of lease revenue billed in the first quarter consistent with fourth quarter 2020 collections.

Year-to-date Highlights

  • Revised CPA with Air Canada, enhancing Jazz’s position as the exclusive Air Canada Express operator of 70-78 seat regional capacity until the end of 2025 and is currently the sole provider of Air Canada Express services.
  • Completed a public offering and concurrent private placement for gross proceeds of $145.1 million.
  • Remarketed three Dash 8-400s to two new leasing customers, Sky Alps of Italy (two aircraft) and one Dash 8-400 to National Jet Express, a subsidiary of Australian aviation operator, Cobham Aviation Services.
  • Secured a three-year contract with Purolator for air cargo charter services, executing on Chorus’ growing capabilities in this market segment.
  • Awarded a 3-year contract to upgrade and modify Transport Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program fleet of Dash 8-100 and Dash 7 aircraft with new surveillance equipment.
  • Awarded a new five-year contract to provide fixed-wing air ambulance service for Ambulance New Brunswick further extending its 25-year relationship.

HALIFAX, NS, May 12, 2021 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR) today announced first quarter 2021 financial results and an update on the impact of COVID-19.

“I am proud and encouraged by our accomplishments so far this year,” commented Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus. “While our industry continues to be challenged by the negative effects of COVID-19, we have made considerable progress towards ensuring we emerge from the pandemic in the strongest position possible.”

From Air Canada

“In March we revised our CPA with Air Canada to our mutual benefit. The two primary highlights are the transfer of 25 Embraer 175 aircraft to Jazz, and the introduction of a cap on the controllable cost guardrail receivable. With the transfer of the aircraft, Jazz is currently the sole operator of Air Canada Express flights and has the exclusive right to operate 70 – 78 seat regional capacity until 2025. As our work with Air Canada on recovery plans continues, these revisions further strengthen our relationship and provides significant network efficiencies and planning flexibility – elements that are vital as service resumptions are implemented. The new cap on the controllable cost guardrail reduces our financial exposure and minimizes draws on our working capital. Finally, the recent support of the Canadian government to Air Canada was a welcomed announcement as it helped preserve regional services across our nation.”

“While there remains uncertainty, our industry is starting to experience some encouraging signs of renewed travel demand, most particularly in regional and short-haul markets. This was evidenced by our recent long-term lease agreements with two new leasing customers, Sky Alps of Italy, and Cobham Aviation Services of Australia. The aircraft, three Dash 8-400s, were repossessed by Chorus in 2020 and underwent reconfiguration and return-to-service work at Voyageur and Jazz Technical Services. This is what differentiates Chorus from the competition – not only are we an airline operator, we offer a broad range of solutions to remarket aircraft in the midst of one of the most challenging periods in aviation history.”

“Although we paused our growth and diversification strategy in 2020 to focus on liquidity, it remains a corporate priority. Our capital raise in April was over-subscribed and generated gross proceeds of $145.1 million, thus enabling us to improve our balance sheet and prudently seek growth opportunities.”

“The recent contracts awarded to Voyageur by Purolator, Transport Canada and Ambulance New Brunswick are a testament to the incredible skill and ingenuity of the team and clearly position us as a premiere special mission service providerWe are pleased to grow our relationships with these important customers and are very excited to be expanding our capabilities to include cargo contract flying on behalf of Purolator. We view the cargo market as a growth opportunity that is benefiting from the successes of e-commerce and look forward to participating in this evolving sector.”

“We are proud of the way we are managing through this pandemic and have centered our attention on the future. I’m very grateful to our employees for delivering terrific accomplishments despite all the challenges associated with the global pandemic. We are well positioned to take advantage of future opportunities,” concluded Mr. Randell.

Link to full news release

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Chorus Aviation Finalizes Revisions to the Capacity Purchase Agreement With Air Canada

Jazz is sole operator of Air Canada Express flights

  • 25 Embraer 175 aircraft to be added to the Covered Aircraft fleet, increasing the fixed fee margin.
  • Jazz to provide 100% of Air Canada Express 70+ seat regional capacity until 2025.
  • Dash 8-300 aircraft to exit the Covered Aircraft fleet.
  • Controllable cost guardrail receivable capped at $20 million per year, improving working capital; +/- $2.0 million exposure is unchanged.
  • All other material components of the CPA are unchanged.

HALIFAX, NS, March 15, 2021 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (TSX: CHR) (‘Chorus’), parent company of Jazz Aviation LP (‘Jazz’), today confirmed the condition precedent to the revisions of the capacity purchase agreement (‘CPA’) between Jazz and Air Canada announced on March 1, 2021 has been met. As a result, the amended CPA is effective on a retroactive basis to January 1, 2021. The newly ratified agreement with Jazz pilots, as represented by the Air line Pilots Association International, will run until December 31, 2035.

“I extend my gratitude to our Jazz pilots and the leadership team of the Air Line Pilots Association International for securing Jazz’s place within the Air Canada Express network. This is very good news for our employees and our stakeholders,” stated Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus. “As the sole operator of Air Canada Express services, we look forward to integrating the Embraer 175s into our fleet and further expanding our wide portfolio of regional aviation capabilities and services.”

Revisions to the CPA include the following:

Consolidation of 25 Embraer 175s into Jazz’s Covered Aircraft fleet

  • Jazz will operate the 25 E175s under the CPA.
  • Jazz is the exclusive Air Canada Express operator of 70+ seat aircraft until the end of 2025.
  • Fixed fees increase by $46.0 million over the term of the CPA with annual minimum fixed fees increasing by $1.2 million per year from 2021 to 2025, and by approximately $4.0 million per year from 2026 to 2035.

Removal of 19 Dash 8-300s from Jazz’s Covered Aircraft fleet

  • 19 Dash 8-300s will be removed from the fleet in 2021. Removal of the Dash 8-300s will reduce future aircraft leasing revenue under the CPA by approximately $56.0 million over the remaining term of the contract.
  • Chorus owns these Dash 8-300s, 15 of which have undergone the Extended Service Program (‘ESP’) which prolongs their useful life by approximately 15 years. Chorus estimates the carrying value of these aircraft to be approximately $65.0 million, and can sell, lease, or convert them for cargo operations.

Controllable Cost Guardrail Receivable

  • The controllable cost guardrail receivable is capped to a maximum of $20.0 million annually and is reconciled on a quarterly basis and paid in the following quarter. This will avoid the accumulation of a receivable in excess of the agreed maximum. The +/-$2.0 million controllable cost guardrail exposure is unchanged.

As a result of these revisions to the CPA, Chorus anticipates one-time costs, charges, and other fees to range between $100.0 million and $110.0 million, with approximately half of this range being non-cash in nature, and the cash portion paid over several years. The non-cash component includes an estimated $45.0 million impairment provision on the Dash 8-300s and supporting inventory, and a non-cash defined benefit pension curtailment expense related to the number and demographics of pilots opting for early retirement estimated to be between $10.0 and $15.0 million. Approximately $49.0 million in one-time cash costs are anticipated on account of cash payments to incentivize the early departure of Jazz senior pilots enrolled in the defined benefit pension plan, as well as a contract fee payable to Air Canada related to the transfer and integration of the E175 fleet.

About Chorus Aviation Inc.

Chorus is a global provider of integrated regional aviation solutions. Chorus’ vision is to deliver regional aviation to the world. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chorus is comprised of Chorus Aviation Capital a leading, global lessor of regional aircraft, and Jazz and Voyageur Aviation – companies that have long histories of safe operations with excellent customer service. Chorus provides a full suite of regional aviation support services that encompasses every stage of an aircraft’s lifecycle, including aircraft acquisitions and leasing; aircraft refurbishment, engineering, modification, repurposing and preparation; contract flying; aircraft and component maintenance, disassembly, and parts provisioning.

Unifor 2002 Jazz Crew schedulers ratify new deal

Jazz aircraft

March 3, 2021

Unifor 2002 Jazz crew schedulers have voted 100 % to ratify a four-year Memorandum of Settlement (MOS) in Halifax, with 85 % voter turnout.

“This agreement provides a sigh of relief to our members working in the airline industry,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The bargaining team needs to be applauded for never wavering on their principles and negotiating the best collective agreement for their membership.”

The MOS will be incorporated into the current Collective Agreement.

“This agreement with Jazz Aviation LP is positive news for Unifor members, particularly at a time when Canada’s aviation sector continues to struggle in the shadow of ongoing travel restrictions,” said Don Ross, Unifor Local 2002 Interim President. “Congratulations to our Jazz Crew Scheduling membership and bargaining team for securing this agreement and providing a positive path forward for our sector.”

The term of the new agreement is effective from July 1, 2021, until June 30, 2025.

Unifor 2002 members in this unit assign flying schedules for both pilot and flight attendants’ crews for Jazz flights. They also monitor crew movements on a daily basis and reroute crews as needed based on operational requirements.

Sky Regional Airlines to close after losing Air Canada Express contract

From The Globe and Mail – link to source story

ERIC ATKINS, TRANSPORTATION REPORTER | PUBLISHED MARCH 2, 2021

Sky Regional Airlines Inc. will shut down its commercial flight operations on March 31 after losing its Air Canada Express contract, becoming the first mid-sized Canadian airline to fall victim to the pandemic.

Toronto-based Sky Regional, which employs about 650 people, flies 25 Embraer E175 planes branded as Air Canada Express.

Air Canada said on Monday it will make Chorus Aviation’s Jazz subsidiary the lone operator of Air Canada Express flights, and transfer the planes to Jazz Aviation. The move means the union that represents about 300 Sky Regional pilots will begin negotiations to transfer members to Jazz, amid a pandemic that has seen thousands of airline employees laid off.

“Sadly, as a result, we will be forced to shut down our operations, despite our many adjustments in the face of the various travel restrictions imposed by governments, thus far without any sector-specific support,” said Russell Payson, founder and chief executive officer of Sky Regional. “I am extremely proud of Sky Regional’s record, and its outstanding, innovative and dedicated team; and it is hard to reconcile the tragedy of today’s announcement given the strength and success of our organization.”

The transfer of the pilots to Jazz Aviation is subject to negotiations between Air Line Pilots Association and Jazz.

“Further to the termination of the [Air Canada agreement] between Air Canada and Sky Regional, Sky Regional will cease its operations and business, which includes, except for the pilots, the termination of employment for all its employees on March 31, 2021,” Sky Regional told employees in a memo, a copy of which was obtained by the Globe and Mail.

The pilots’ union said no one was available to comment on Monday and Tuesday.

Sky Regional employed 800 before the pandemic began a year ago. The planes, labelled Air Canada Express, flew out of Toronto to destinations in Canada and the United States.

“That’s big news,” John Gradek, who teaches aviation leadership at McGill University, said of Sky Regional’s shutdown.

He said Michael Rousseau, Air Canada’s new chief executive officer, is “flexing his muscles” with contractors and slashing costs to better position the airline for the eventual return to prepandemic levels of demand. Rousseau i s very much a cost accountant,” Mr. Gradek said. “He knows that to survive Air Canada is going to cut its costs significantly.”

STORY CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Air Canada said on Monday it is “consolidating” its regional flights with Halifax-based Jazz Aviation to save $400-million over the 15 years of the agreement.

“Air Canada is consolidating its regional flying with Jazz in response to the ongoing devastating impact of COVID-19 upon the airline industry,” Air Canada said in a statement on Monday. “This necessary realignment of our regional services will help Air Canada achieve efficiencies and reduce operating costs and cash burn by consolidating its regional operations with one provider. Moreover, by streamlining the regional fleet, this agreement will also position Air Canada to operate more competitively with a single provider as traffic returns following the pandemic.”

Mr. Payson, a pilot, founded Sky Regional in 2011. The business began with five Bombardier Q400 planes flying from Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport. He also founded Skyservice, an aircraft charter, management and maintenance company with locations in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary.

In a statement to The Globe and Mail, Mr. Payson called Sky Regional a “Canadian success story.”

“The company was on a solid growth trajectory,” he said. “Over the past decade, we have operated with outstanding service, an impeccable safety record and excellent cost management, which benefited not only our client [Air Canada], but Canadian travellers.”

Canada’s airlines have laid off thousands of employees – more than 20,000 at Air Canada alone – and reduced capacity by as much as 90 per cent as the pandemic persists. Porter Airlines, Sunwing Airlines and Air Transat have suspended normal operations. Air Canada has suspended several routes and pulled out of some airports in smaller cities, many of which were served on its behalf by Sky Regional and Jazz Aviation.

The government has imposed travel and quarantine restrictions, and requires people entering Canada to be tested for COVID-19 and isolate in hotels.

The aviation industry has called for a system of eased travel restrictions in tandem with negative tests. The industry has repeatedly called for sector-specific aid, warning the domestic industry will be unable to restart and compete with global rivals when demand for air travel returns.

Jazz Aviation recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for the tenth year

HALIFAX, NS, March 2, 2021 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR) is proud to announce that its subsidiary, Jazz Aviation LP (‘Jazz’), has been named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for the tenth consecutive year in an annual national employer survey by Mediacorp Canada Inc.

“We are honoured to have been recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers each year for the past decade. Diversity is core to the culture all Jazz employees are proud of – one that values individual uniqueness and fosters safe spaces that empower employees to be their authentic selves,” said Randolph deGooyer, President, Jazz. “By encouraging inclusive work environments that build on the diverse perspectives, experiences, and abilities of employees, we are fostering innovation and positive change.”

Canada’s Best Diversity Employers recognizes the nation’s top employers who have exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs. The competition recognizes successful diversity initiatives in a variety of areas, including programs for employees from five groups: women; members of visible minorities; persons with disabilities; Indigenous peoples; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered/transsexual (LGBT) people.

Mediacorp Canada Inc. recognized Jazz for the many initiatives the airline has developed and supported, including working with a number of community partners to reach out to Aboriginal candidates and mentoring students from First Nations Technical Institute. Jazz encourages young women to consider careers in aviation by participating in annual events such as Girls Take Flight. Also, Jazz embeds diversity and inclusion into its supplier policy.

About Chorus

Chorus is a global provider of integrated regional aviation solutions. Chorus’ vision is to deliver regional aviation to the world. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chorus is comprised of Chorus Aviation Capital – a leading, global lessor of regional aircraft, and Jazz Aviation and Voyageur Aviation – companies that have long histories of safe operations with excellent customer service. Chorus provides a full suite of regional aviation support services that encompassesevery stage of an aircraft’s lifecycle, including aircraft acquisitions and leasing; aircraft refurbishment, engineering, modification, repurposing, and preparation; contract flying; and aircraft and component maintenance, disassembly, and parts provisioning. Chorus Class A Variable Voting Shares and Class B Voting Shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol ‘CHR’. www.chorusaviation.com

About Jazz

Jazz Aviation LP has a strong history in Canadian aviation with its roots going back to the 1930s. As the largest regional carrier in Canada, Jazz has a proven track record of industry leadership and exceptional customer service and has leveraged that strength to deliver value to all its stakeholders. www.flyjazz.ca