WestJet flights between Dawson Creek and Calgary take off

Air service returns to Dawson Creek as WestJet Link connects city to WestJet’s global hub

CALGARY, AB, Sept. 8, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, WestJet launched its newest route with the departure of WestJet Link flight 3027 connecting Calgary and Dawson Creek, B.C. The inaugural marks a new link for the regions’ business, travel and tourism markets as WestJet becomes the only carrier to provide nonstop service between the Peace River Region and its largest hub in Calgary, where the airline is the largest carrier, offering the most seats and flights.

“Our guests in both Calgary and the Peace River Region have been patiently awaiting this important milestone and we are thrilled to bring air service to the community,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “As we continue to build back our network, Dawson Creek will benefit from lower fares and connectivity across our network as we strive to reconnect Canadians for business and leisure.”

Upon flight 3027’s arrival in Dawson Creek, the inaugural service was celebrated by Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead alongside Chris Hedlin, WestJet’s Vice-President of Network Planning and key regional business leaders.

“The City of Dawson Creek is so pleased to welcome WestJet into our city and the entire South Peace region of Northeast BC. This new direct service to Calgary is so important to the economic development of our city,” said Dale Bumstead, Mayor, Dawson Creek. “The Energy, Forestry and Mining sectors are all very important to our region and this new service will be a welcome addition for industry while also providing our residents with nonstop air service to WestJet’s global hub in Calgary for their leisure and business travel.”

The new service and new route for WestJet operates four times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.  WestJet Link flights are operated through a capacity purchase agreement with Pacific Coastal Airlines using its fleet of WestJet-branded 34-seat Saab 340 aircraft.

With the addition of Calgary-Dawson Creek service, WestJet Link now operates five routes between Calgary and Cranbrook, Lethbridge, Lloydminster and Medicine Hat and three between Vancouver and Cranbrook, Nanaimo and Comox.

Details of WestJet’s service between Calgary and Dawson Creek:

RouteFrequencyStart DateDepartureArrival
Calgary – Dawson Creek4x weeklySeptember 8, 20213:30 p.m4:37 p.m
Dawson Creek – Calgary4x weeklySeptember 8, 20215:15 p.m8:13 p.m

Additional quotes

“With many development projects happening across western Canada, the addition of WestJet’s Calgary to Dawson Creek, B.C. route is an important connection that supports economic development, benefiting both provinces,” said Chris Miles, Vice President, Operations & Infrastructure for The Calgary Airport Authority. “This route also provides guests in Northern B.C. direct access to Alberta and destinations across the country with YYC’s extensive connecting flight network.”

“We are very excited to be a part of the new air service to Dawson Creek,” says Pacific Coastal Airlines President, Quentin Smith. “We are pleased to see WestJet Link grow and look forward to our continued partnership and linking communities to the WestJet network.”

About WestJet 
In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All promise. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com

Multiple crews tackle brush fire southwest of Nanaimo Airport

From CKPGToday.ca – link to source story – thanks CW

Crews are fighting a small wildfire southwest of Nanaimo Airport in the Mt. Hayes area. (submitted photo/Mark Stewart)

By NanaimoNewsNOW Staff | August 19, 2021

NANAIMO — Crews from the BC Wildfire Service and local volunteer fire departments are dealing with a small fire southwest of Nanaimo Airport.

Reports of the fire began around 1 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 19 with a visible plume of smoke extending from the forest west of Hwy. 1 in the Mt. Hayes area.

Gordon Robinson, Coastal Fire Centre information officer, told NanaimoNewsNOW the fire is two hectares in size and burning out of control approximately 2.5 kilometres west of the highway.

“It is not currently threatening any structures but BC Wildfire Service is responding with ten personnel, four helicopters, two water tenders and air tankers.”

Robinson said the fire is considered a rank 2-3 fire, which means “the fire is not smoldering on the ground, it’s actively burning on the surface maybe in places starting to make its way up into the trees.”

The fire is not currently threatening any structures and no evacuations are being considered.

Crews from multiple local volunteer fire departments are augmenting the provincial resources.

North Oyster Volunteer Fire Department said they have a duty officer on scene with one engine working up Mt. Hayes. Other departments were called to the scene for a variety of firefighting and support roles.

Witnesses on scene said two helicopters arrived early to fight the fire, along with a bomber plane dropping fire retardant.

A thick plume of smoke is visible from near Nanaimo Airport stemming from the Mt. Hayes fire, southwest of the runway. (submitted photo/Jen Kennedy)

Despite a higher-than-normal year for fire starts in the Coastal Fire Centre, the number of hectares burning is down signficantly.

The only other fire currently listed on the mid-Island is the on-going Copper Creek fire, which crews have under control and have held at 32 hectares since it sparked Friday, Aug. 6.

— More to come.

Vancouver Island airports part of $11.7-million federal injection package

From Comox Valley Record – link to source story – Thanks CW

The Victoria International Airport is one of three Vancouver Island regional airports receiving federal funding this summer, the government announced July 30. (Black Press Media file photo)

The Victoria International Airport is one of three Vancouver Island regional airports receiving federal funding this summer, the government announced July 30. (Black Press Media file photo)

Funding aims to help Victoria, Nanaimo, Comox Valley airports maintain regional connectivity

PENINSULA NEWS STAFF | Jul 30, 2021

Victoria International Airport is among 11 B.C. airports receiving an injection of federal dollars this summer.

In a statement Friday (July 30), the government announced $11,721,721 in funding through its regional air transportation initiative to help ensure connectivity and jobs to and from smaller regions in the province.

The Victoria airport (YYJ) will receive the largest sum, nearly $3 million.

“This funding announcement is welcome news which will assist YYJ to reinstate lost air service, attract new air service, build passenger demand and continue to operate a safe and efficient airport with world class safety and health standards,” said Victoria Airport Authority president/CEO Geoff Dickson.

“Air connectivity is a key to economic prosperity and we look forward to help building back the visitor economy.”

YYJ has seen an enormous drop in traffic during the pandemic, plummeting from nearly two million passengers through its doors in 2019 to less than 600,000 in 2020. Although there has been a small degree of bounce back in the last couple of months, numbers continue to sit at record lows. In June, 12,746 passengers went through the airport, compared to 169,825 in 2019.

Nanaimo will receive funding in two areas: approximately $1.38 million for the airport commission and $346,000 for the Port Authority. The Comox Valley Airport Commission has funding of about $1.1 million heading its way.

The remaining regions include Prince Rupert, Bella Coola, Prince George, Kamloops, Fort St. John, Golden, Terrace and Cassidy.

“Regional airports and infrastructure are critical components of the B.C. economy, both for trade and for the travel that many Canadians are starting to look forward to as we emerge from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will go a long way towards getting these assets back on their feet,” said Terry Beech, parliamentary secretary to the fisheries and economic development ministers.

Eleven regional airports in British Columbia receiving up to $11.7 million to maintain regional connectivity and jobs

Targeted Government of Canada support will be provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada

VANCOUVER, BC, July 30, 2021 /CNW/ – Regional air transportation is crucial to ensure merchandise circulates, supply chains are maintained, and regional economic growth continues. The pandemic has had major impacts on regional air transportation ecosystems, affecting economies, communities, and local businesses.

BC's regional airports get an economic boost (CNW Group/Western Economic Diversification Canada)
BC’s regional airports get an economic boost (CNW Group/Western Economic Diversification Canada)

The Government of Canada’s Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI), launched in March 2021, fosters access to air transportation and supports regional ecosystems. In particular, it enables regional air carriers and airports to remain operational in these difficult times and to continue to contribute to regional economic growth, while adapting to new post-COVID-19 realities and requirements.

B.C. airports to benefit from funding

With this in mind, Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (B.C.), on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, announced $11,721,721 in RATI funding for 11 regional airports in B.C.

This funding will enable these airports to overcome challenges that were brought on by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regional air transportation is key to the economic development of communities and businesses across Canada. Since it helps draw Canadians to rural and remote communities to work and raise their families, while also providing reliable connectivity with urban centres, it plays a crucial role in a just, inclusive recovery for all, throughout the country.

Quotes

“It is important to protect our regional air transportation for the thousands of workers employed by this sector and for the many businesses and communities that depend on it. Air connectivity makes our regions accessible to Canadians who want to settle there and is key in moving our businesses’ products to their destination markets. That’s why, as part of our plan for a strong economic recovery, our government supports this connectivity, indispensable to healthy, inclusive growth.”

–       The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“Regional airports and infrastructure are critical components of the B.C. economy, both for trade and for the travel that many Canadians are starting to look forward to as we emerge from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will go a long way towards getting these assets back on their feet and ready to deliver on the needs of British Columbians as we look towards a brighter future.”

–       Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (B.C.)

“Victoria International Airport is a vital economic generator for the Greater Victoria Region. The pandemic has been financially devastating to the airport industry and aviation sector as a whole. This funding announcement is welcome news which will assist YYJ to reinstate lost air service, attract new air service, build passenger demand, and continue to operate a safe and efficient airport with world class safety and health standards. Air connectivity is a key to economic prosperity and we look forward to help building back the visitor economy.”  

–       Geoff Dickson, President and CEO, Victoria Airport Authority

“We are grateful for this funding. It is essential to help continue our operations and ensure that we continue to be the gateway to Northern British Columbia. The Prince George Airport is a hub for not only passenger services but also medevac, RCMP, aerial search and rescue, and wildfire fighting services for Northern and remote communities.”

–       Gordon Duke, President and CEO, Prince George Airport Authority

Projects being funded:

Legal NameCityFunding
Prince Rupert Airport AuthorityPrince Rupert$503,427
Comox Valley Airport CommissionComox$1,094,406
Victoria Airport AuthoritySidney$2,998,672
Central Coast Regional DistrictBella Coola$328,322
Prince George Airport Authority Inc.Prince George$1,297,965
Kamloops Airport Authority SocietyKamloops$1,256,378
North Peace Airport SocietyFort St. John$1,212,750
The Corporation of the Town of GoldenGolden$120,000
Terrace-Kitimat Airport SocietyTerrace$1,183,053
Nanaimo Airport CommissionCassidy$1,380,916
Nanaimo Port AuthorityNanaimo$345,832
Total:$11,721,721

Quick facts

  • The RATI, administered by the regional development agencies (RDAs), has a national budget of $206 million.
  • The Initiative supports regional air ecosystems—which include regional air carriers and airports, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises and non-profit organizations—in developing and implementing enhanced services for improved regional connectivity.
  • The RATI complements measures implemented by Transport Canada.

Associated links

WestJet launches new routes to multiple Vancouver Island airports

From CHEK News – link to source story – thanks to CW

July 1, 2021 NICHOLAS PESCOD/CHEK NEWS

NICHOLAS PESCOD/CHEK NEWS

WestJet recently launched four new non-stop flights from three Vancouver Island airports and restored previously cancelled service on six other Island routes.

As travel restrictions continue to loosen across the province, the nation’s second-largest airline has launched four new routes to airports across Vancouver Island.

WestJet recently launched four new non-stop flights from three Vancouver Island airports and restored previously cancelled service on six other Island routes.

The new direct routes are Comox–Toronto, Victoria–Ottawa, Victoria–Saskatoon, and Victoria–Winnipeg.

WestJet has also restored service on its Comox–Edmonton, Comox–Vancouver, Nanaimo–Vancouver, Victoria–Toronto, and Victoria–Kelowna routes, which they had cancelled due to the pandemic.

The airline also brought back long-desired direct flights between Nanaimo and Edmonton, following a five-year hiatus.

All of the routes are now in operation, with Victoria–Toronto flights resuming June 30.

“We have been talking to a lot of people and we are listening to what investments Vancouver Island wants and needs and all of these routes have been planned in advance,” Morgan Bell, media spokesperson for WestJet, told CHEK News. “It’s exciting that they are now going to fully take flight.”

With British Columbia reopening and the demand for domestic travel slowly increasing, Bell says it’s only natural for the company to not only restore cancelled routes but launch new ones.

“Canadians are going to travel domestically this summer and inbound tourism to Vancouver Island is important,” Bell explained. “While I know everybody loves to stay on Vancouver Island, there are also people from Vancouver Island that want to get back out and connect with friends and family across the country and other places.”

Comox gets direct flights to Toronto, Edmonton flights return to Nanaimo

Perhaps the most eye-catching of the new routes is the non-stop service between Comox and Toronto, which operates on a weekly basis — at least for now.

“The hope is that as more and more people begin flying again and these flights get full, we’ll add more service,” said Bell.

The new route launched June 26 — just as Air Canada restarted non-stop service between Canada’s most populated city and nearby Nanaimo — and brings the total number of airports on Vancouver Island with direct Toronto flights to three.

“It’s going to be great to see a major city like Toronto connect directly into Comox,” said Bell.

Another notable route is Nanaimo to Edmonton, which began operations on June 25 and runs twice a week. Although it was listed as a new route in the company’s press release, WestJet briefly operated non-stop flights between the two cities in early 2016 but cancelled them after only three months due to the economic downturn in Alberta.

Bell says WestJet is thrilled to restart service after more than five years, explaining that there has been no shortage of demand for service between the two regions.

“There’s so much interest in northern Alberta that’s coming through the Edmonton airport from Nanaimo, and also guests from Vancouver Island going into Edmonton,” she said. “There are pretty strong connections between the two cities, so it’s great to see that route come back.”

While the restoration of old routes and the addition of new routes, may seem like a lot, Bell says WestJet is still operating well below pre-pandemic levels.

“We’re still at 60 per cent reduction in terms of capacity from what would have been 2019. In July 2019, we were operating about 600 flights a day, and this July, we’re only looking at about 300,” she said. “We still have a really long way to go.”

Airport, flying experience will be different amid the pandemic

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With an increasing number of people becoming comfortable with the idea of getting on a plane after more than a year on the ground, Bell says those who are planning on taking to the skies should be prepared for some changes.

“It’s definitely very different. I took my first flight today in six months, and it felt very different,” she said.

That’s because airports have implemented new rules and safety measures throughout the pandemic such as mandatory mask-wearing, dedicated entrance and exit flow, and increased cleaning throughout terminals. Victoria International Airport, for example, is limiting access to its terminal building to just passengers with tickets, though there are some exceptions.

“While we’re restoring all this and people are excited to get on the move again, we also understand that it’s going to be a new experience for them,” said Bell. “I mean, people haven’t been in an airport for potentially 18 months.”

“I think it’s going to be a good experience, but it’s also going to be something that people need to prepare for and be ready for.”

As a result, Bell suggests people read all the rules and travel requirements well before their flight and arrive at the airport even earlier than the recommended 90 minutes prior to departure.

“We’re still in the pandemic, there are new rules, and there are different screening points and security points to get through,” she said. “So, I would just always say give yourself extra time and just be willing and flexible to adapt to any changes that come your way.”

WestJet reconnecting routes across British Columbia

Airline to restart eight routes and inaugurate new flights between nine communitiesby early July

CALGARY, AB, June 25, 2021 /CNW/ – WestJet is further restoring British Columbia’s domestic and interprovincial connectivity with the restart of eight routes to and from destinations across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. The airline is also set to inaugurate 10 new routes by July 5, 2021. Full schedule details and resumption dates are outlined below.

“We continue to work towards the restoration of our pre-COVID domestic network to ensure that when our guests are ready to travel, we are there for them,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “WestJet remains committed to building back stronger for the betterment of all Canadians and as we look ahead to reconnecting friends, family and loved ones, the safe restart of travel is essential to Canada’s economic recovery.”

WestJet’s investments are critical to ensuring British Columbia’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and by the end of June, the airline is set to inaugurate new flights between Abbotsford and Prince George and restore WestJet Link service between Vancouver and Cranbrook.

“As a leader in aviation, WestJet has been working with industry, tourism and business across the province to ensure their voices are being heard as we safely restart travel. We thank Premier Horgan and his government for prioritizing travel as a critical component of the government’s restart plan. While progress has been made in British Columbia, we continue to advocate for safe travel framework from the Government of Canada,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President.

This July, WestJet will offer non-stop service from Vancouver to 18 cities, from Victoria to eight cities, from Kelowna to seven cities, from Comox to four cities and from Nanaimo to three cities. From the communities of Kamloops, Penticton and Prince George, the airline will connect to two communities non-stop.

Love Where You’re Going Again – WestJet’s Latest Video

For more than 17 months, Canadians from coast-to-coast have been separated from the people and places they love. WestJet’s latest brand moment is a reminder to Canadians that it’s time to love where they’re going, again.

British Columbia route restarts between now and June 30, 2021

RoutePeak FrequencyRoute restart date
Victoria – Winnipeg *3x weeklyJune 24, 2021 
Kelowna – Regina *2x weeklyJune 24, 2021 
Nanaimo – Vancouver  2x dailyJune 25, 2021 
Nanaimo – Edmonton *2x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Comox – Vancouver  2x dailyJune 25, 2021 
Kelowna – Saskatoon *2x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Kelowna – Victoria  4x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Vancouver – Cranbrook  1x dailyJune 25, 2021 
Abbotsford – Prince George *2x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Prince George – Calgary  4x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Victoria – Ottawa * 1x weeklyJune 26, 2021 
Comox – Edmonton 5x weeklyJune 26, 2021 
Comox – Toronto *1x weeklyJune 26, 2021 
Victoria – Saskatoon *2x weeklyJune 27, 2021 
Victoria – Toronto2x weeklyJune 30, 2021
Penticton – Edmonton * 2x weeklyJuly 4, 2021
Kamloops – Edmonton *2x weeklyJuly 5, 2021
Vancouver – Fort St. John 4x weeklyJuly 13, 2021
*New Route

About WestJet 

In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

WestJet reconnecting Alberta routes

Airline to restart 10 routes across province and inaugurate new service from Edmonton to Penticton, Kamloops and Nanaimo

Non-stop service between Calgary-Charlottetown to launch on July 29

CALGARY, AB, June 25, 2021 /CNW/ -WestJet is further restoring Alberta’s domestic and interprovincial connectivity with the restart of 10 routes to and from destinations across British Columbia, the Yukon, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia from Calgary, Edmonton and Medicine Hat. The airline will also start operation of three new routes to and from Edmonton and begin non-stop service between Calgary and Charlottetown. Full schedule details and resumption dates are outlined below.

“We continue to work towards the restoration of our pre-COVID domestic network to ensure that when our guests are ready to travel, we are there for them,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “WestJet remains committed to building back stronger for the betterment of all Canadians, and as we look ahead to reconnecting friends, family and loved ones, the safe restart of travel is essential to Canada’s economic recovery.”

Connecting Alberta to Prince Edward Island non-stop

After being delayed due to the pandemic, WestJet will bridge new domestic connections between the east and the west with the introduction of new twice-weekly, non-stop service between Charlottetown, P.E.I., and Calgary, beginning July 29. The service connecting the two provinces was previously scheduled to start in June 2020.

WestJet’s investments are critical to ensuring Alberta’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and this July, WestJet will offer non-stop service from Calgary to 42 cities and from Edmonton to 16 cities. 

“This week’s meeting with more than 70 Northern Alberta industry partners demonstrates the value of listening to our partners as we enter the recovery phase of the pandemic. We thank Premier Kenney and his government for leading the safe restart of travel for Albertans. While progress has been made in Alberta, we continue to advocate for a safe travel framework from the Government of Canada,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President.

Love Where You’re Going Again – WestJet’s Latest Video

For more than 17 months, Canadians from coast-to-coast have been separated from the people and places they love. WestJet’s latest brand moment is a reminder to Canadians that it’s time to love where they’re going, again.

Alberta route restarts between now and July 6, 2021

RoutePeak FrequencyRoute restart date
Edmonton – Nanaimo*2x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Regina 6x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Comox 5x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Calgary – Prince George4x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Calgary – London, Ont.4x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Winnipeg 6x weeklyJune 30, 2021
Calgary – Windsor2x weeklyJune 26, 2021
Calgary – Whitehorse2x weeklyJune 27, 2021
Calgary – Medicine Hat5x weeklyJune 27, 2021
Edmonton – Halifax 2x weeklyJuly 1, 2021
Edmonton – Penticton*2x weeklyJuly 3, 2021
Edmonton – Kamloops*2x weeklyJuly 4, 2021
Edmonton – Saskatoon 6x weeklyJuly 6, 2021
Calgary – Charlottetown *2x weeklyJuly 29, 2021
*New route

About WestJet 

In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

WestJet brings together Vancouver Island tourism industry to talk safe travel restart

Thanks to CW

WestJet

By WestJet | June 17, 2021

When more than 70 virtual guests gathered at WestJet’s second Restart Roundtable for Vancouver Island, it was clear that the industry from the Minister of Transportation, Rob Fleming to the CEOs of Comox, Nanaimo and Victoria airports to community and business leaders were eager to discuss the need to safely restart of tourism to and from the island.

WestJet is proud of its history of investment and market stimulation on Vancouver Island.  Prior to COVID-19, the visitor economy generated a whopping $2.2 billion annually for the Island’s economy, making tourism either first or second on the list of economic drivers in every community in the region.

COVID-19 brought the travel and tourism industry to its knees as borders shut and travel was discouraged. From March 2020 through now, for the most part tour operators, hotels, restaurants, conference centres, taxis and more have sat still and a large part of the population who are employed directly or indirectly in the industry continue to be impacted.

For many of the thousands of Islanders who have been waiting to get back to work, a recent announcement from the Government of British Columbia on safely reopening the province to tourism, was a welcome step forward.

Tourism Victoria

“A safe reopening is critical for the cities on Vancouver Island, all of which have lost their most lucrative markets,” said Paul Nursey, CEO Destination Greater Victoria. 

“We thank WestJet for the restart initiative; from hosting this meeting to investing in more than 255 flights to and from the Island this summer to stimulate travel and restart this important sector of our economy.”

“While WestJet continued essential service throughout the pandemic to Comox, Nanaimo and Victoria, we are grateful to have the Government of British Columbia’s clear reopening plan,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice President. “Working from a well-defined starting point has allowed WestJet and Swoop to add six new routes to and from the Island this summer to stimulate travel and directly support the Province’s and the Islands safe return of its visitor economy.”

Downtown Victoria

WestJet has invested in the visitor economy of the Island for 25 years since first flying to Victoria in its inaugural year followed by Comox in 1997 and Nanaimo in 2013. Over the past 10 years to the province’s capital city alone, the airline has provided a 30 per cent guest growth and flown more than seven million guests to and from the island. This summer, the WestJet Group’s ultra-low-cost carrier, Swoop, is also flying between Victoria and Edmonton.

“Today’s restart roundtable was a significant milestone as we collectively work together to ensure that British Columbians can explore Canada and reconnect with family and friends this summer,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial & Finance, Swoop. “We are grateful to our partners who share in our commitment to the safe restart of travel and tourism within Canada and look forward to supporting the economic recovery of the region through our ultra-low-cost service to Edmonton and Toronto from Victoria.”

‘Don’t be alarmed’: NAV Canada to conduct test flights over Nanaimo

From CTV News – link to source story

CTV News Vancouver Island Staff | Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Nav Canada

Nav Canada says the inspection flights have a history of raising alarm among witnesses but there is no reason to be concerned. (Nav Canada)

VICTORIA — Planespotters in Nanaimo may see an unusual aircraft flying low and erratically over the Harbour City on Wednesday.

The large blue and white plane will be conducting safety assessments of the Nanaimo harbour airport for Nav Canada, the operator of the country’s civil aviation navigation system.

Nav Canada

The Bombardier CRJ-200 airplane is expected to make several passes over the city around noon, weather permitting. The plane will remain in the region for about 15 minutes.

Nav Canada says the inspection flights have a history of raising alarm among witnesses but there is no reason to be concerned.

“For most people, the sight of an aircraft descending and making numerous gear-up approaches to a runway is unusual and may suggest that the flight is in distress,” the aviation agency says in a blog post about the flights.

“This is simply a routine operation that ensures the accuracy and safety of the country’s navigation aids and instrument approach procedures,” Nav Canada says. “If you see a plane making multiple low passes over a runway with its wheels up, one could easily assume that plane can’t land because of malfunctioning landing gear.”

#OnTheJob – “Early morning Flight Inspection for YVR ILS 13.” #Views from our CNS technologists.
• • • #AuTravail – Inspection en vol de l’ILS de la piste 13 à Vancouver, tôt le matin. #Vues de nos technologues CNS. pic.twitter.com/kkxfb41r9j— NAV CANADA (@navcanada) May 17, 2019

The inspection aircraft are crewed by specially trained pilots and flight inspectors and the aircraft are equipped with technology to measure and calibrate an airport’s electronic navigation and landing aids.

“The next time you see a blue and white plane banking hard, going in circles, swiftly changing altitudes and approaching the runway without landing, don’t be alarmed,” the aviation agency says. “It’s just Nav CANADA’s flight operations team making sure our navigation aids are accurate and safe.”

Nav Canada operates two flight inspection aircraft based out of Kelowna and Ottawa.

WestJet leads domestic recovery with the addition of 11 new routes


Airline’s investments in Western Canada support travel and tourism in anticipation of summer demand 

CALGARY, AB, March 26, 2021 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced 11 new domestic routes across Western Canada. The routes will offer new nonstop service for 15 communities across Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. The enhancements follow an announcement made earlier in the week to return previously suspended service to Atlantic Canada and Quebec City.  

A message from WestJet President and CEO Ed Sims, on the airline’s commitment to Canada’s safe restart 

“As we look to the coming months with cautious optimism, we know our restart agenda will be pivotal to Canada’s economic recovery,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “Stimulating air travel benefits all Canadians and supports those hardest hit; with one in every 10 Canadian jobs tied to travel and tourism, the ripple effect benefits our whole country.”  

The new routes include service between Toronto (YYZ) and Comox (YQQ); between Ottawa (YOW) and Victoria (YYJ) and eight new routes connecting the prairie provinces to British Columbia tourism destinations, such as Regina (YQR) to Kelowna (YLW). Full schedule details and start dates are outlined below. 

“We are at an inflection point; one that is buoyed by the rollout of vaccines, months of learning how to take appropriate precautions, and a view to Canada’s beautiful summer months that allows us to spend more time outdoors,” continued Sims. “If Canadians were to shift two-thirds of their planned international-leisure travel spend towards domestic tourism, it would help sustain 150,000 jobs and accelerate recovery by one year, all while seeing what Canada has to offer.” 

New routes: 

Route Frequency Effective from 
Toronto – Fort McMurray 2x weekly (Wed, Sun) June 6, 2021 
Kelowna – Saskatoon 2x weekly (Thu, Sun) June 24, 2021 
Kelowna – Regina 2x weekly (Thu, Sun) June 24, 2021 
Saskatoon – Victoria 2x weekly (Thu, Sun) June 24, 2021 
Winnipeg – Victoria 3x weekly (Thu, Sat, Sun) June 24, 2021 
Edmonton – Kamloops 2x weekly (Thu, Sun) June 24, 2021 
Edmonton – Penticton 2x weekly (Thu, Sun) June 24, 2021 
Edmonton – Nanaimo 2x weekly (Fri, Sun) June 25, 2021 
Prince George – Abbotsford 2x weekly (Fri, Sun) June 25, 2021 
Ottawa – Victoria 1x weekly (Sat) June 26, 2021 
Toronto – Comox 1x weekly (Sat) June 26, 2021 

About WestJet 

In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com