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.
One passenger says the airline rescheduled her flight home a week later
CBC News · Posted: Aug 27, 2019
A group of friends from Winnipeg who spent the weekend at a bachelorette celebration in Kelowna say a cancelled flight left them stranded — with the airline offering return flights more than a week later.
Six women, including Anika Scheurer, booked their flights from Winnipeg with Swoop, an ultra-low fare airline owned by WestJet.
“It was mainly price and the dates,” Scheurer, 24, said in explaining why she chose Swoop, adding that the round-trip ticket was about half the price offered by other airlines.
But as the group prepared to board a plane home Monday, a mechanical problem caused a delay. Hours later, the delay turned into a cancellation.
That’s when Scheurer says the airline “turned a celebratory weekend into a nightmare.”
And according to Gabor Lukacs, founder of the non-profit organization Air Passenger Rights, that’s why travellers need to know what they’re entitled to when trip plans go sideways.
“This is an egregious case. Offering someone transportation the next week is unreasonable and unjustifiable,” said Lukacs.
Scheurer said the airline gave her and the other passengers a hotel voucher for the night and said $30 would be reimbursed for meals. They were told Swoop would find them flights or charter a plane within 48 hours.
But when she got an email from the airline late Monday night, she learned the flight home was scheduled an entire week later, Sept. 2. She said the group of six women was split up on various flights, with some scheduled to leave even later.
Distress and confusion ensued, as the women considered the costs of an unexpected few days away from home.
“We had someone who was doing pet boarding, there was child care cost, wages lost,” said Scheurer, adding that some of the women would be drawing from next year’s vacation time.
Scheurer called the number provided, and discovered Swoop’s call centre is only open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. MST on weekdays.
The group got in touch with WestJet and paid for flights home with that airline on Tuesday.
‘It’s Swoop’s problem’
According to Lukacs, the airline has a duty to find reasonable alternatives for its passengers — if a flight is cancelled and it can’t be blamed on an act of God — and that includes arranging flights on other airlines if necessary.
“It’s not the passenger’s problem or concern how Swoop deals with it, it’s Swoop’s problem,” he said.
Lukacs said any costs incurred due to the delays, including meals, accommodation, lost wages, and even child care should be demanded from the company in writing. If it’s not reimbursed within about a week, he said passengers should take the airline to small claims court, even demanding $1,000 in punitive damages to send a message when appropriate.
Travelers who were expecting to fly from Kelowna, B.C., to Winnipeg had an unpleasant surprise when they were told their flight on the Swoop airline was cancelled – and that they wouldn’t be re-booked until, potentially, early September.
Pat Ward and Emily Rae say they were scheduled to come home to Winnipeg Monday but found out their flight had been cancelled due to mechanical issues.
They and nine other friends and family were in Kelowna for a wedding, said Ward, and they said they were promised a charter flight home by the company on Wednesday.
Ward said some have paid $750 to catch other flights to leave, and Swoop has told them they will not compensate them. Others have since found out that Swoop would only cover one night of hotel accommodation.
Monica Raabe, who was also on the flight, told Global News she ended up taking a WestJet flight to make it back to Manitoba.
“It’s ridiculous,” she said. “How could people just suddenly extend a vacation, or have money too? It’s absolutely unacceptable.
“We were fine with them cancelling a flight due to not wanting to put people in jeopardy. We were fine with having been put up in accommodations, but it’s just so insane to think that people would ever accept to stay that much longer.”
Raabe said she was given the runaround when trying to contact Swoop, and eventually just decided to take another flight.
“We had to book on WestJet, had to completely use a different carrier – although it’s not a different carrier, because I was told by many people that Swoop is owned by WestJet.”
Calgary-based Swoop was launched in 2017 by WestJet as an ultra low-cost carrier.
The airline confirmed there was unscheduled maintenance to the aircraft, and that Swoop has “all our available resources working to get travellers to their destinations as quickly and safely as possible.”
They did not say if passengers would be compensated for their other flights or hotel accommodations.
Rae said that wasn’t nearly good enough and warned people off the airline.
“I would say: Don’t fly Swoop,” said Rae.
“I hope they’re going to man up and come through for everyone,” Ward added.
Under a new “passenger bill of rights,” airlines will be able to leave passengers stuck on the tarmac for longer than the current standard.
MONTREAL ― Canadian airports and airlines are some of the worst performers worldwide when it comes to flight delays, and new federal rules that allow passengers to be stuck on the tarmac for longer could make things worse.
All but one of Canada’s major airlines rank in the bottom half for on-time performance in a new survey from travel data provider OAG.
Canada’s best performer, WestJet, ranks 57th out of 125 airlines surveyed, with 77.1 per cent of all flights arriving on time. The country’s worst performer, Sunwing, ranks as the second-worst airline in the world, 124th out of 125, with only 57.8 per cent of flights on time.
Sunwing experienced numerous flight glitches in recent years, including major delays in Toronto and Montreal in April, 2018, that led to a fine from the Canadian Transportation Agency.
Looking at airports, Canada doesn’t fare much better. Our best airport, in Grande Prairie, Alta., ranks 108th out of 505 airports surveyed.
Toronto’s two commercial passenger airports, Pearson and Billy Bishop, rank as the two worst airports in Canada and among the worst in the world ― 475th and 489th, respectively.
Interestingly, there is a yawning east-west divide, with western Canadian airports performing better than others.
The survey comes as Canada is about to launch a new “passengers’ bill of rights” that some critics say will make it easier for airlines to delay flights.
Under the new regulations, airlines will be able to keep passengers stuck on the tarmac for up to three hours, plus an additional 45 minutes if the airline believes takeoff is imminent.
Currently, Canada has no government-enforced limits on tarmac delays, but airlines themselves had standards built into their tariffs. The industry standard was 90 minutes, which is also what a Senate committee recommended be the rule in the new passenger bill of rights. The government rejected that recommendation.
Additionally, it will be very difficult to get compensation from airlines in most cases where flights are delayed or passengers are denied boarding, said Gabor Lukacs, a prominent consumer advocate who has challenged airline practices in courts.
Watch: Here are the budget airlines in Canada. Story continues below.
Lukacs said he worries about the possibility of longer delays under the new rules because “when something becomes legal, they will do it. On the other hand, the counterargument is it’s in the airline’s best interest to get passengers to their destination as quickly as possible.”
Lukacs’ advocacy group, Air Passenger Rights, has accused the government of letting the airline industry dictate the new passengers’ bill of rights.
A spokesperson for Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the tarmac delay rule was decided “based on operational realities and international best practices. For example, in the United States, air carriers are required to offer the option to disembark after a three hour delay on domestic flights, and a four hour delay on international flights.”
While airlines frequently blame weather for flight delays, data from the U.S. federal government shows that extreme weather events are responsible for fewer than 5 per cent of flight delays in the U.S. The most common reason for delays was late-arriving aircraft, meaning flights delayed because earlier flights were delayed. This accounted for nearly 42 per cent of U.S. delays. Canada does not currently keep track of this type of data.
But Lukacs points out that Canada has much harsher weather than most of the U.S., so it may not be a fair comparison. And Toronto’s worst-in-the-country Billy Bishop Airport has unique issues to deal with because it’s on an island.
“This may be an apples to oranges comparison,” he told HuffPost Canada by phone.
Nonetheless, Canada’s poor weather doesn’t explain why Alaska Airlines has a higher on-time percentage than any Canadian airline (80.7 per cent) and is the third best among U.S. airlines.
Lukacs argues these on-time rankings are incomplete: There isn’t enough data to determine, for instance, whether it’s a particular airport or a particular airline that’s behind delays in a given place.
Either way, airlines should be taking bad weather into account when planning their schedules, Lukacs said.
“If airlines and airports ignore the weather realities, then you have guaranteed, built-in failure,” he said.
Flair Airlines announced its 2019/2020 winter schedule with low fare service out of seven Canadian gateways; Abbotsford, Vancouver, Kelowna, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Toronto’s Pearson International.
Jim Scott, Flair’s CEO commented, “As Canada’s only independent low fare airline, our new winter schedule will bring more and more Canadians together right across the country. With over a million passengers flown in the last year, we are quietly building a very loyal group of ‘Flair Flyers’.”
Commencing on October 27th the new winter schedule sees a continuation of Flair’s recently introduced and highly competitive daily non-stop services from Toronto (YYZ) to both Vancouver (YVR) and Calgary (YYC). At its winter peak, Flair will operate some 146 flights per week utilizing its fleet which includes both Boeing 737-800s and 737-400s.
Flair’s 2019/2020 winter schedule from Oct. 27, 2019 – Mar. 27, 2020 features:
Sun, Mon, Thu, Fri
Sun, Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat
to Toronto (Pearson)
From Toronto (Pearson)
Sun, Mon, Thu, Fri
Sun, Mon, Thu, Fri
to Toronto (Pearson)
to Toronto (Pearson)
Sun, Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat
Sun, Mon, Thu, Fri
to Toronto (Pearson)
Sun, Mon, Thu, Fri
Sun, Mon, Thu, Fri
Note: additional frequencies will be available during the holiday season.
The popular route has been extended through the winter schedule
CALGARY, June 27, 2019 /CNW/ – Today Swoop celebrates its new non-stop route between Kelowna, BC and Las Vegas, NV. The inaugural flight wraps up the celebrations for the 2019 summer schedule. Flight WO826 departs KelownaInternational Airport (YLW) at 2:35 p.m. and arrives at McCarran International Airport (LAS) at 5:08 p.m., local time. Prior to departure, travellers will be offered refreshments, swag and more at Kelowna International Airport.
Additionally, at 9:00 a.m., Bob and Big Ginger from Kelowna radio station Power 104 FM and Ara and Toby from 1031 Beach Morning Radio will be live on-location. The local stations are hosting a ‘SwoopCase’ party where pre-selected contestants arrive at the airport with their bags packed for the chance to board Swoop’s inaugural flight to Las Vegas. The winners will enjoy accommodations provided by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA)at Caesars Palace.
“The non-stop service to Las Vegas has generated a lot of excitement in the Okanagan Valley,” said Karen McIsaac, Sr.Advisor of Communications at Swoop. “So much so, that we eagerly announced the continuation of the service throughout the winter schedule, which was released earlier this week. The twice-weekly flights on Thursday and Sunday are perfect for a quick weekend getaway.”
“We are thrilled to see another destination launch this summer with Swoop,” said Sam Samaddar, Airport Director, Kelowna International Airport. “We’ve heard from the community that they want more non-stop destinations from Kelowna and adding another U.S. destination from YLW is just one way we are making this happen.”
“We are excited Swoop has announced new seasonal service from Kelowna to Las Vegas,” said H. Fletch Brunelle, Vice President of Marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “With nearly 1.5 million visitors to Las Vegasannually, Canada represents our largest source of international visitors. Swoop’s direct service will provide affordable and flexible travel options and encourage visitors to make Las Vegas their top summer getaway.”
Flights are now available for booking through to April 25, 2020.
Details of Swoop’s new service
Air transportation charges (ATC)base fare from
Taxes, fees and charges
Total One- Way Price From*
Kelowna and Las Vegas
2 x weekly
*Every day low fares. Lower promotional fares may be available during select travel periods.
To learn more about Swoop’s destinations, schedule and ultra-low-cost model visit FlySwoop.com
Air Canada during summer season is adjusting service in Western Canada, as the airline continues moving most service to Dash8-Q400 aircraft, instead of -300 (or -300/Q400 mix, based on comparison with summer 2018 season). Planned changes, effective 01MAY19, as follows.
Calgary – Kelowna Dash8-Q400 service increases from 3 to 4 daily (All flights operated by Q400) Calgary – Saskatoon Dash8-Q400 service increases from 3 to 4 daily (All flights operated by Q400) Calgary – Winnipeg 2 daily A320 and 1 daily CRJ900, replacing 4 daily CRJ900/Dash8-Q400 Vancouver – Comox 4 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of 5 daily Dash8-300 Vancouver – Kamloops 4 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of 5 daily Dash8-300/Q400 Vancouver – Nanaimo 7 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of 8 daily Dash8-300/Q400 Vancouver – Penticton 3 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of 4 daily Dash8-300 Vancouver – Prince Rupert 2 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of 3 daily (weekdays) Dash8-300. Aircraft change from 01JUN19 Vancouver – Sandspit 2 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of Dash8-300/Q400. Aircraft change to all-Q400 from 01JUN19 Vancouver – Smithers 2 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of 3 daily Dash8-300
Provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada/CNW
KELOWNA, BC, April 18, 2019 /CNW/ – Saskatoon and Kelowna airports are important destinations for both tourists and business travelers. Maintaining international flights into both centres, and promoting new flights, is essential for increasing economic development and tourism opportunities.
Today, Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announced $840,000 in funding for the Saskatoon Airport Authority, in partnership with the Kelowna International Airport, to promote tourism and trade through developing and sustaining trans-border air routes for Saskatoon and Kelowna airports.
Through this investment, the Saskatoon and Kelowna airports will work to develop strategies and marketing campaigns to increase trans-border air passenger traffic in their two regions. The initiatives will target airlines, while also marketing Saskatoon and Kelowna as tourist destinations in major U.S. cities. Tourism employs 15,000 people in the Kelowna area, and another 16,500 in Saskatoon. Additionally, a number of large, international companies based in each of these centres rely on trans-border air travel for their own employees and those seeking to do business with them.
Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan aims to build an economy in which Canadians have access to high-quality jobs and Canadian businesses are well-placed to participate in a rapidly evolving and competitive global marketplace.
“Our government is laying the foundation for Canadians to become more competitive and succeed in the global economy. Today’s investment in the Saskatoon Airport Authority, partnered with the Kelowna International Airport, builds on our competitive advantages and will result in better access for international travelers to Kelowna and Saskatoon, boosting economic growth and creating good, middle-class jobs for Canadians.” – The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada
“The Okanagan Valley sustains successful diverse communities and outstanding recreational opportunities in Kelownaand the corridor. Kelowna is the largest community and is also often recognized for its innovative entrepreneurs as well as large corporations. The Government of Canada supports the efforts of Kelowna and Saskatoon airports, as they strive to serve the needs of tourism and business sectors effectively.” – Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country
“We continue to hear from our community about the importance of enhancing our air service connections for economic development, tourism and business. The funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada will support our efforts to sustainably grow connectivity through air service options that are valued by the province of Saskatchewan. We are proud to partner with Kelowna International Airport and would like to thank Western Economic Diversification Canada and the federal Government for supporting Canadian airports in attracting essential air services to our communities.” – Stephen Maybury, President and CEO, Saskatoon Airport Authority
“We’re excited to partner with Western Economic Diversification Canada and Saskatoon Airport to enhance connections for leisure and business travel. Providing access to the United States is a key component of a resilient economy and the investment will give YLW the opportunity to enhance its air service for the benefit of the region and Kelowna residents.” – Mayor Colin Basran, City of Kelowna
Swoop last week announced service expansion at Kelowna, with the offering of Kelowna – Las Vegas route. This route will be operated by Boeing 737-800 aircraft, effective 27JUN19.
Operational schedule for this twice weekly flight as follows.
WO826 YLW 14:35 – 17:08 LAS 7S8 47 WO725 LAS 10:55 – 13:40 YLW 738 47
Previously reported, the airline will launch 3 weekly Winnipeg – Kelowna service from 24MAY19. Separately, the airline cancelled its planned offering if 3 weekly Edmonton – Oakland service, previously scheduled from 26MAY19.
CALGARY, March 19, 2019 /CNW/ – Today Swoop announced new service between Kelowna, BC and Las Vegas, NV. The twice weekly service from Kelowna International Airport (YLW) to McCarran International Airport (LAS) begins June 27, 2019 through October 26, 2019.
“Las Vegas and Swoop make the perfect combination for Kelowna travellers,” said Karen McIsaac, Senior Advisor of Communications for Swoop. “Our flights are non-stop and remarkably affordable, encouraging the freedom to fly more often while leaving more money to spend on the experience.”
“We are excited to announce a second destination with Swoop,” said Sam Samaddar, Airport Director for Kelowna International Airport. “We’ve heard from the community that they want more non-stop destinations from Kelowna. We’re pleased to have Swoop offer non-stop service to Las Vegas, which is the Okanagan’s single largest U.S. market for travel.”
“We are excited to welcome Swoop’s non-stop flights between Kelowna and Las Vegas,” said Chris Jones, Chief Marketing Officer for McCarran International Airport. “With this new route, Swoop is making it easier for more Canadians to visit the Entertainment Capital of the World.”
Flights are now available for booking through to October 26, 2019
Kelowna to Las Vegas
June 27, 2019
Thursday & Sunday
Swoop announced its arrival to Kelowna International Airport in January of this year when it introduced flights between Kelowna and Winnipeg three-times-a-week beginning May 24, 2019, as part of its summer schedule.