All Airbus: Air Canada Rouge Goes Full Narrowbody

From Simply Flying – link to source story – Thanks CW

by James Pearson | September 20, 2021

Air Canada Rouge, the lower-cost subsidiary and leisure airline of the Canadian flag carrier, took to the skies again in September. With the B767-300ER gone, its 39-strong fleet is now exclusively Airbus. They’re used on 60 routes until the end of the year as it rebuilds its network.

C-FJOK_Air_Canada_Rouge_Airbus_A321-211
The A321 is crucial to Air Canada Rouge, with this example delivered directly to the carrier in 2015. Photo: Liam Allport via Flickr.

Air Canada Rouge has resumed flying

Air Canada Rouge relaunched with an initial three routes from Toronto: Las Vegas, Orlando, and Regina, in the distant province of Saskatchewan. These were joined by Toronto to Cancun and Tampa a few days later, with all five routes using 200-seat A321ceos.

These were its first flights since February, with the seven-month grounding due to Canada’s non-essential travel ban and the suspension of all flights to the Caribbean and Mexico – two of its essential markets – at the request of the Canadian government. Rouge’s resumption coincided with Canada reopening its borders on September 7th to fully vaccinated foreigners.

Air Canada Rouge A321
Most international routes are by the A321 with stronger economics than the A319/A320. Remember, it is a lower-cost airline, i.e. about the cost of production rather than fares. Photo: Air Canada.

Now exclusively Airbus

Rouge’s fleet is now entirely narrowbody, ch-aviation.com shows, with 20 A319s, 14 A321s, and just five A320s. This follows the retirement of its B767-300ERs, of which it had 25 at one point.

Its 767s were, of course, mainly used long-haul, including across Europe and South America, and the type’s routes had an average of 2,378 miles, OAG indicates. At 5,063 miles, Toronto-Athens was its longest-ever 767 route, but Toronto to Las Vegas had the most flights.

Air Canada Rouge A319
Air Canada Rouge has 20 A319s, with an average age of 23.5 years. Photo: Air Canada.

Currently, five aircraft are active

According to Planespotters.net and confirmed by Flightradar24, only five of its 39-strong fleet – some 13% – is currently active, all A321s. Its A321 fleet has an average age of just 6.1 years, far younger than its A319s (23.5 years; to be retired) and A320s (14.2 years). The younger A321s were delivered directly to Air Canada Rouge.

No widebodies go hand-in-hand with Rouge previously saying that it’ll concentrate on routes within narrowbody range. Air Canada will instead operate suitably good-performing long-haul routes – many have already switched – in a rejigging of networks and focusing on relative strengths.

One of many examples is Toronto to Edinburgh, which was by Rouge’s 767s and from 2022 will instead be by its parent’s Boeing 737 MAX 8s from June 1st. It’ll compete directly with WestJet. Another: Toronto to Bogota, in Rouge’s hands from 2016, is now by Air Canada’s B787s and A330-300s.

Air Canada Rouge
Air Canada Rouge had up to 25 B767-300ERs. Photo: Tomás Del Coro via Flickr.

What’s the plan to the end of the year?

Between September 20th and December 31st, Rouge has scheduled 60 routes. Thirty-nine of these are to/from Toronto, with most of the rest from Montreal. With over 2,700 outbound flights planned, the domestic market has almost four in ten departures, comprising eight routes from Toronto.

Air Canada Rouge's network Sept 1st to Dec 31st
This is Air Canada Rouge’s network between September 20th and December 31st. Image: OAG Mapper.

Toronto to Québec City has the most flights

Some 13 international countries will welcome Rouge’s flights, with the US the most-served, followed by Cuba, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and the Cayman Islands. Toronto to Miami has the most international flights, as shown below, although the 456-mile domestic link from Toronto to Québec City (YQB) is the most-served, with 28 weekly departures from November.

  1. Toronto-Québec City
  2. Toronto-Moncton
  3. Toronto-Thunder Bay
  4. Toronto-Miami
  5. Toronto-Las Vegas
  6. Toronto-Tampa
  7. Toronto-Fort Myers
  8. Toronto-Fredericton
  9. Montreal-Orlando
  10. Montreal-Miami

Sunwing announces its return to Cuba – a perennial favourite among Canadians – with flights from gateways across the country

TORONTO, Sept. 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Amid easing entry requirements and soaring vaccination rates in Cuba, along with competitive pricing for pre-departure PCR tests at $30 USD per person, Sunwing is pleased to announce that it will be offering weekly flights to the Canadian favourite destinations of Varadero and Cayo Coco. Flight service will be available from several gateways across Canada starting in October and November, including Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton. As winter progresses, more Canadian departure gateways and popular Cuban destinations are expected to be added to reflect evolving consumer demand.

“We’re thrilled to be helping our customers head back to the sunny shores of Cuba this fall under our wing,” commented Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations at Sunwing. “Cuba has been an integral part of our operations ever since our inaugural flight took off from Toronto to Varadero in 2005. Our Cuba program has continued to grow since then, and has been one of our most popular destinations over the past decade. The resort towns of Varadero and Cayo Coco both offer serene beach locations and secluded tourist areas for a relaxing retreat, away from the hustle and bustle of larger cities.”

The flight schedule will be as follows:

  • Between Toronto and Varadero, Fridays starting October 8, 2021
  • Between Toronto and Cayo Coco, Saturdays starting October 9, 2021
  • Between Montreal and Varadero, Fridays starting October 8, 2021
  • Between Montreal and Cayo Coco, Saturdays starting October 16, 2021
  • Between Calgary and Varadero, Tuesdays starting November 2, 2021
  • Between Edmonton and Varadero, Tuesdays starting November 2, 2021

With its pristine beaches, warm weather and a wide variety of resorts for every travel style, it’s no wonder that Canadian sun-seekers return to Cuba year after year. Grand Memories Varadero is a popular choice with fun-filled activities and a sprawling beach that’s perfect for soaking up the sun and building sandcastles. Vacationers headed to Cayo Coco may choose to stay at Iberostar Selection Playa Pilar, with oceanfront suites and the area’s only water playground; or Memories Flamenco Beach Resort, offering a range of water sports like snorkelling and catamaran rides.

Plus, all vacation packages booked by October 15, 2021 for departures between now and October 31, 2021 will include complimentary COVID-19 coverage at no additional charge.

About Sunwing
The largest integrated travel company in North America, Sunwing has more flights to the south than any other leisure carrier with convenient direct service from airports across Canada to popular sun destinations across the U.S.A., Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. This scale enables Sunwing to offer customers exclusive deals at top-rated resorts in the most popular vacation destinations as well as cruise packages and seasonal domestic flight service. Sunwing customers benefit from the assistance of the company’s own knowledgeable destination representatives, who greet them upon arrival and support them throughout their vacation journey. The company supports the communities where it operates through the Sunwing Foundation, a charitable initiative focused on the support and development of youth and humanitarian aid.

Flair Airlines Extends Schedule Through Summer 2022

Canada’s favorite ULCC is confident in travel demand growth over the coming year and expands schedule in core Canadian and US markets

Edmonton, Alberta, September 9, 2021 – Flair Airlines, Canada’s only true ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), continues its surge to bring low fares to Canadians and has extended its flight schedule through Summer 2022 in core Canadian and US markets.

“As we grow our fleet and expand our service, we see the demand for Flair’s low fare travel continuing to explode across Canada. We are absolutely focused on rescuing Canadians from the bloated prices they have long suffered in flying,” says Stephen Jones, President and CEO, Flair Airlines. “Flair is committed to helping reunite families and make travel accessible for everyone, and our schedule extension will help passengers prepare for 2022 by knowing they can explore and connect without breaking the bank.”

The schedule expansion extends the booking period into Summer 2022. Many year-round and seasonal routes will see an increase in service including flights departing from Edmonton (YEG), Kelowna (YLW), Halifax (YHZ), Kitchener (YKF), Abbotsford (YXX), Winnipeg (YWG), Toronto (YYZ), Saint John (YSJ), Vancouver (YVR), Calgary (YYC), Victoria (YYJ), Charlottetown (YYG), Thunder Bay (YQT), and Montreal (YUL).

Flair’s confidence in Canadian travel continuing to grow in 2022 is reflected in the ultra-low fares where cost efficiency and demand allow for pricing to start at just $29 CAD one-way on some routes. All routes and schedule details can be viewed at https://www.flyflair.com. More low fares and exciting summer route announcements will be coming soon! Be among the first to know by signing up for Flair’s newsletter https://www.flyflair.com/newsletter.

Flair is rapidly growing to serve Canadians with low fare flights, the extended schedule allows for more efficient planning for customers and airline partners. Deliveries of new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft throughout 2021 and 2022 continue to grow the fleet as Flair achieves its goal of 50 aircraft in five years. Flair continues to bring more jobs to the market and is hiring more staff and flight crew as it meets the growth demands of the airline.

About Flair Airlines

Flair Airlines is Canada’s only independent Ultra Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC) and is on a mission to liberate the lives of Canadians by providing affordable air travel that connects them to the people and experiences they love. With an expanding fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, Flair is growing to serve 26 cities across Canada and North America. For more information, please visit http://www.flyflair.com

Porter Airlines returns to the air

TORONTO, Sept. 8, 2021 /CNW/ – Porter Airlines officially returns to the skies today, almost 18 months after suspending flights due to COVID-19 public health and travel restrictions.

Porter Airlines officially returns to the skies today, almost 18 months after suspending flights due to COVID-19 public health and travel restrictions. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)
Porter Airlines officially returns to the skies today, almost 18 months after suspending flights due to COVID-19 public health and travel restrictions. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)

Flights to Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Thunder Bay are the first to restart. Other Canadian destinations starting within the next 10 days are Halifax, Quebec City, St. John’s, NL, and Moncton. U.S. destinations in Boston, Chicago, New York and Washington return on Sept. 17. Flights to other year-round destinations are set to resume as of Oct. 6, with all routes currently available for booking. The initial flight schedule can be found at www.flyporter.com.

“Our passengers and team members have been waiting for this day to arrive,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO, Porter Airlines. “We currently have over 900 team members who have put in countless hours to get everything ready for our return to service, with more being recalled or hired every week. Everyone at Porter is looking forward to welcoming passengers back and delivering our distinct style of service again.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory joins the celebrations at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

Porter has strengthened its existing standards with a focus on high levels of sanitization in order to protect the health of its passengers and team members. More information about the Healthy Flights program can be found on Porter’s website.

In addition to Healthy Flights, Porter has also introduced a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for its team members. To support a safe and healthy workplace and travel experience, team members must present a negative COVID-19 test administered within 72 hours of the start of their shift or be fully vaccinated. The Canadian federal government announced in August its intention to mandate vaccination for federally-regulated workers; once specific details are known, Porter’s policy may evolve.

Bookings made before Sept. 30, will be eligible to change or cancel with no fees. Passengers also have the option to book a flight with the Full Refund Option for $40 plus taxes. The Refund Option entitles customers to receive a refund, including base fare, taxes and fees, for their booking upon advance cancellation of their flight for any reason.

About Porter Airlines

Porter Airlines provides a warm and effortless approach to hospitality, restoring glamour and refinement to air travel. Porter is an Official 4 Star Airline® in the World Airline Star Rating®.

The airline currently offers flights to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, Halifax, St. John’s, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, Windsor, New York (Newark), Chicago (Midway), Boston and Washington (Dulles), and has seasonal flights to Mt. Tremblant, Que., Muskoka, Ont., Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Stephenville, N.L.

Visit www.flyporter.com or follow @porterairlines on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Details of growth plans to provide North America-wide service are available at flyporter.com. 

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. 

Sunwing expands flight service from Toronto and Montreal after returning to the skies last month

TORONTO, Aug. 24, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Following an overwhelmingly positive response to its return to service on July 30, Sunwing has announced it will be offering Canadians even more ways to head to the tropics this fall. The tour operator will be adding several new routes from its two largest gateways, Toronto and Montreal, with direct flights to the vacation hotspots of St. Maarten, Aruba and Los Cabos.

“Following positive customer demand for our initial destinations of Cancun, Punta Cana and Montego Bay, and based on increasing demand to travel in the early fall, we decided to expand our flight service and destination offerings ahead of schedule,” commented Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations at Sunwing. “Our customers are looking for even more choice and flexibility. We’re excited to help them plan their dream getaway with ease under our wing, and we look forward to announcing additional flight routes in the near future.”

“In addition to seeking out the frictionless travel experiences we provide, we’re seeing more Canadians searching for bucket list destinations and exotic islands that are off the beaten path,” commented Samantha Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer at Sunwing. “By adding Los Cabos, Aruba and St. Maarten to our offerings, customers will have even more options to choose from so they can personalize their vacation to their travel style.”

The flight schedule for the three additional destinations will be as follows:

  • Between Toronto and Los Cabos, Thursdays starting September 16, 2021
  • Between Toronto and Aruba, Mondays starting September 20, 2021
  • Between Toronto and St. Maarten, Thursdays starting September 30, 2021
  • Between Montreal and St. Maarten, Thursdays starting November 4, 2021
  • Between Montreal and Los Cabos, Thursdays starting November 11, 2021

Vacationers can choose from a range of popular resorts across these exotic destinations. In Aruba, guests can stay on the world-famous shores of Palm Beach at Riu Palace Aruba, an elegant resort offering activities and amenities for all ages. Sun-seekers can explore all that St. Maarten has to offer while staying at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort Casino and Spa, an all inclusive oasis just steps from local shops and nightlife. Couples and friends headed to Los Cabos can stay at the adults only Riu Palace Baja California, where they can lounge by glamorous infinity pools overlooking the coast and enjoy complimentary access to the weekly RIU Pool Parties.

To help Canadians make their return to paradise, Sunwing is offering incredible last minute vacation deals. Travellers can enjoy flexible booking options including reduced deposits of just $100 per person (down from $250 per person), an extended final payment window of 25 days before departure and monthly payment options through Uplift.

Plus, customers who book their getaway by September 9, 2021 for departures between now and October 31, 2021 will receive complimentary COVID-19 Coverage underwritten by Manulife included in their package (terms and conditions apply).

About Sunwing
The largest integrated travel company in North America, Sunwing has more flights to the south than any other leisure carrier with convenient direct service from airports across Canada to popular sun destinations across the U.S.A., Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. This scale enables Sunwing to offer customers exclusive deals at top-rated resorts in the most popular vacation destinations as well as cruise packages and seasonal domestic flight service. Sunwing customers benefit from the assistance of the company’s own knowledgeable destination representatives, who greet them upon arrival and support them throughout their vacation journey. The company supports the communities where it operates through the Sunwing Foundation, a charitable initiative focused on the support and development of youth and humanitarian aid.

Why Air Canada Is Confident About Cargo In Its Candian Hubs

From Simple Flying – link to source story

by Chris Loh | August 21, 2021

The global health crisis turned aviation upside down and significantly disrupted key transportation links. Restoring these connections, airlines have had to adapt, replacing passenger services with dedicated cargo flights. While this has become less frequent with industry recovery, Air Canada is optimistic about its cargo division and its position as a freight mover.

Air Canada 787
Monday, July 5th, saw Air Canada operate its 10,000th cargo-only service. This was flight AC7251 from Toronto (YYZ) to Buenos Aires (EZE). The on-demand flight is operated by a Boeing 789. Photo: Air Canada

Air Canada’s cargo optimism

Air Canada’s cargo division has become a significant part of the airline’s revenue stream. The airline tells Reuters that in the second quarter of 2021, cargo accounted for 43% of revenue.

“[Cargo was] a single-digit piece of the business before COVID. We hope to be a bigger part of that in the future,” – Jason Berry, VP of Cargo, Air Canada via Reuters

All of this optimism comes at a time when regular passenger flights are making a comeback. This recovery of passenger flights equates to increased cargo capacity, as a significant portion of freight travels in the belly hold of passenger aircraft.

Air Canada 787
Air Canada hopes to operate more cargo-only flights in the future, already establishing a robust cargo-only flight schedule. Photo: Air Canada

While this consideration should be a concern for Canada’s largest carrier, its cargo ambitions have been bolstered by the continued rise of e-commerce and online shopping. Additionally, travel restrictions have eased more slowly than in other parts of the world. While the country has opened up to US travelers as of early August, it only intends to open up to fully vaccinated international arrivals on September 7th.

Capitalizing on American bottlenecks

Another big reason for Air Canada’s optimism is the fact that the US has ramped up operations so quickly that it’s experiencing bottlenecks due to staff and space shortages.

Jason Berry noted that US airports have been facing “operational challenges” in their post-pandemic ramp-ups. “We’re seeing congestion, massive lines, and wait times to recover product at major gateways,” the airline executive notes.

Indeed, this congestion is the result of staffing shortages and space constraints, which are being seen at large hubs and ports, such as Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Brandon Fried, executive director of the Airforwarders Association, tells Reuters that Air Canada’s method of sending cargo from Toronto to Chicago and New York by truck could be appealing to freight forwarders, who otherwise seek out alternatives like secondary US airports in order to circumvent the bottlenecks.

Air Canada has its own facility in Chicago, along with its own employees, Berry reports.

“With our own facilities, we can control our own destiny and effectively bypass much of the disruption. We believe we have a strategic advantage in our Toronto hub, actually all of our hubs: Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.”

Air Canada 787
With passenger flights recovering, Air Canada will eventually lose the capacity it had by operating cargo-only flights with its passenger jets. Photo: Air Canada

Dedicated freighters coming to Air Canada

A rise in passenger services will equate to a drawdown in cargo-only services using passenger aircraft. However, a rise in passenger flights will at least allow cargo to be transported in the belly hold of these aircraft, perhaps with even greater frequency.

In addition to this, however, the airline will soon have its own dedicated, permanent freighter aircraft in the form of converted Boeing 767-300ERs. These are set to enter service later this year and already have their own schedules.

“When the first converted 767 freighters enter service in October, they will fly primarily out of Toronto Pearson International Airport, and will operate on routes linking Toronto to Miami, Quito, Lima, Mexico City and Guadalajara.” -Air Canada

Rouge B767
Air Canada’s freighters come from previous AC Rouge jets. Photo: Air Canada

The airline adds that more destinations will be served in early 2022 as more freighters arrive. Destinations include Halifax, St. John’s, Madrid and Frankfurt.

Air Canada sees ‘strategic advantage’ for Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver as cargo hubs

From The Globe and Mail – link to source story

ALLISON LAMPERT AND SANJANA SHIVDAS, REUTERS | AUGUST 20, 2021

An Air Canada plane at a hangar at Toronto Pearson International Airport, on Feb. 9, 2017.MARK BLINCH/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Air Canada sees a “strategic advantage” for its cargo business in Canadian hubs like Toronto as shippers seek to bypass logjams at some U.S. gateways.

Lifted by e-commerce demand, cargo-only flights emerged as a lifeline for carriers during the pandemic when commercial traffic slumped. Half of air cargo normally travels in the belly of passenger jets.

While North American airlines are reducing all-cargo flights as passenger traffic rebounds, that shift is more gradual in Canada due to a slower easing of travel restrictions.

Cargo remains important for Canada’s largest carrier, accounting for 43 per cent of second-quarter revenue, even as it restores passenger flights, a company executive told Reuters.

“We [cargo] were a single-digit piece of the business before COVID. We hope to be a bigger part of that in the future,” Jason Berry, Air Canada’s vice-president for cargo, said in an interview, without providing a target.

Air Canada’s ambition comes as international air cargo volume hit its strongest first-half growth since 2017, airline trade group IATA said. But staffing shortages and space constraints have exacerbated congestion at hubs like Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and at some U.S. ports.

U.S. railroad operator Union Pacific Corp. recently warned that bottlenecks at West Coast ports have spread East, impacting some inland terminals, including Chicago.

Air Canada, which trucks cargo arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport to its facilities in Chicago and New York, could appeal to freight forwarders seeking alternatives like secondary U.S. airports to bypass the congestion, said Brandon Fried, executive director of the Airforwarders Association.

“Many of the airports in the U.S. in particular have ramped up quickly, and with that rapid growth there has been operational challenges. We’re seeing congestion, massive lines and wait times to recover product at major gateways,” Air Canada’s Mr. Berry said.

“We have our own facility in Chicago with our own employees, while a lot of our competitors are suffering because the U.S. has seen such a quick rebound that there is a lot of struggle for manpower down there,” he said.

“With our own facilities we can control our own destiny and effectively bypass much of the disruption. We believe we have a strategic advantage in our Toronto hub, actually all of our hubs: Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.”

Keeping employees to handle cargo, as opposed to contracting out such tasks, helps airlines have more control over service and work force when there is a labour shortage, said Stan Wraight, president of Montreal-based Strategic Aviation Solutions International (SASI).

Air Canada’s services could be competitive on time against carriers that fly indirectly to O’Hare, said Mr. Wraight, of SASI, which advises airlines, airports and financial organizations on air cargo logistics.

However, the Canadian carrier would lose advantages in efficiency against airlines that offer non-stop direct service to Chicago, he said.

“Competitors of Air Canada with direct flights are on the ground and unloading cargo a day earlier,” said Mr. Wraight, whose company has previously done work for the carrier.

Shawn Richard, vice-president for global air freight at SEKO Logistics, said the company has increased its volumes with Air Canada, which he said can save two to three days’ time.

SEKO, a U.S.-based global logistics and freight forwarding specialist that also uses certain U.S. carriers, would increase business with Air Canada if the “situation deteriorates,” Mr. Richard said.

O’Hare has processed nearly 1.3 million metric tonnes of cargo through the first half of 2021, a near-50-per-cent surge from a year ago, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA).

Soaring shipments “challenge O’Hare’s cargo ramps, both airside and landside,” but the CDA is taking steps to alleviate congestion and expand cargo facilities, a spokeswoman said by e-mail.

Mr. Berry said Air Canada’s introduction of new converted Boeing 767 freighters this year will help its business even as it draws down cargo-only flights on wide-body passenger jets from roughly 285 a week during the second quarter to around 125 flights a week later this year.

Freighters, equipped with pallets and a main deck cargo door, are easier to unload than “loose-loaded” passenger planes that moved cargo onto the main deck during the pandemic, Mr. Wraight said.

Mr. Berry said the return of fully vaccinated American travellers to Canada this month will also help cargo.

“We know that means more airplanes flying into the U.S. and that opens trade lanes for the globe to feed into and out of the U.S. on our network.”

Flair Airlines and Canadian icon Genie Bouchard hosting fashion show at 38,000 feet.

Flair Airlines will unveil and celebrate a new crew uniform as part of their revitalized brand.

TORONTO, Ontario, August 16, 2021 (August 15, 2021 9:00 pm PDT) – Tennis star Eugenie “Genie” Bouchard and Flair Airlines’ CEO Stephen Jones will host media and passengers on a celebratory flight from Toronto to Montréal on August 16, 2021. Kicking off at Toronto Pearson International Airport and continuing to the sky in a Flair Boeing 737, the event features Bouchard hosting passengers and modelling never-before-seen Flair Airline uniforms.

The in-person event and anticipated reveal of the uniforms—designed by the entire Flair Flight Attendant team—will mark a major milestone for the airline brand evolution.

“Flair is moving forward, as a brand and as a company,” said Cody Klassen, Flight Attendant “That means bringing the uniforms forward as well. We wanted to be more inclusive with our style, so everything is gender fluid. Our crew can choose whichever pieces they feel most comfortable putting on their body.”

“The refreshed look and exciting build to the reveal aligns with Flair Airlines’ mission of bringing style, flair, and choice back to the airline industry,” adds Flight Attendant, Shannon Towler “Our new uniforms reflect the brand: plain and simple, but a little bit edgy and out of the box—now that’s exciting. Not stuffy, no nylons, just super fresh.”

Fresh also accurately describes the other thrilling aspect of the sky-high event: host, model, and immensely popular Canadian tennis player Genie Bouchard. She became a sensation overnight when she reached the semifinals or better at 3 of 4 Grand Slams, and in 2014 was touted to become a dominant force in the sport: a break-out star and an absolute fan favourite. Today, she continues to enthrall fans with her social media presence and down-to-earth nature.

“I’m thrilled to be part of an event that involves a true-to-themselves brand that walks the walk and cares about Canadians,” said Bouchard. “The company and crew are great people and allowing fans to be part of this special surprise makes it even better!”

To be true to their brand, Flair Airlines makes it their mission to have an extraordinary impact on the lives of Canadians and the communities in which they live by making travel across the country affordable and accessible. The airline also focuses on another key objective: being actionable when it comes to their environmental impact.

“Not only are we the newest and lowest-fare airline in Canada, but we’re also the most environmentally-sound. We are the greenest airline in Canada and our crew is very proud of that,” said CEO Jones. “Our new aircraft are approximately 14% more fuel efficient than previous versions. Because our whole fleet will be of the new aircraft, we will have the lowest per passenger emissions of any airline in Canada—likely in North America.”

The special flight event and uniform reveal is not only solidifying Flair Airlines’ new brand, but also hinting at the future. “We’re going to continue to deliver affordable fares and great service,” said Jones. “Our growth is going to make that available to more people across more of Canada, and also into the U.S. and other markets.”

About Flair Airlines

Flair Airlines is Canada’s only independent Ultra Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC) and is on a mission to liberate the lives of Canadians by providing affordable air travel that connects them to the people and experiences they love. With an expanding fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, Flair is growing to serve 20 cities across Canada and 5 cities in the United States. For more information, please visit http://www.flyflair.com

Skytrax World Airport Awards 2021: YUL recognized as one of the best airports in North America

MONTRÉAL, Aug. 13, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport has once again been recognized for excellence in the annual Skytrax World Airport Awards. The airport community’s employees ranked third in the Best Airport Staff Service in North America category in the Awards’ 2021 edition. In addition, YUL for the first time placed fifth in the World’s Cleanest Airport in North America category.

“As operations gradually resume at our international airport, I am proud that the excellent work of our employees, airline staff, government agency employees, and concession and retail staff, has been recognized in a very challenging environment. YUL has distinguished itself for many years for the quality of its hospitality and our desire to put the passenger experience at the heart of our concerns. Even though the pandemic has required us to review our methods, this is a principle that we hold dear,” said Philippe Rainville, President and CEO of ADM Aéroports de Montréal.

“I also want to highlight the excellent performance of our maintenance team employees. At the height of the health crisis, they took rigorous steps to ensure that YUL remained a safe and healthy environment for travellers. This new award is a testament to their continuous efforts,” he added.

Based on votes by travellers from around the world, YUL ranked 63rd among the 100 best international airports. Montréal-Trudeau airport has remained in the Top 10 Best Airports in North America category for many years. It should be noted that only two other Canadian airports are represented in this category and that air traffic in Canada has declined considerably due to strict border closure measures which have not been replicated in the US and internationally.

The Skytrax World Airport Awards are considered a benchmark of quality within the global airport industry. The awards are based on a customer service and facilities evaluation process conducted at more than 550 airports among millions of travellers worldwide. The survey period ran from July 2020 to February 2021.

About Aéroports de Montréal

ADM Aéroports de Montréal is the airport authority for the Greater Montréal area responsible for the management, operation and development of YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, certified 4-stars under the Skytrax World Airport Star Rating program,  and YMX International Aerocity of Mirabel.