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. 

Sunwing returns to Ottawa International Airport this winter with flights to 11 vacation destinations

TORONTO, Aug. 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Residents of the nation’s capital will have plenty of options to choose from for their tropical getaway this year, as Sunwing has announced it will be returning to Ottawa International Airport for the 2021-2022 winter season. Sun-seekers from the Ottawa-Gatineau region can return to paradise with ease with 11 different destinations being offered across the Caribbean and Mexico. Flights will begin in November 2021 and run weekly until April 2022.

“After a trying year, we’re looking forward to bringing residents of the capital back to the tropics under our wing,” commented Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations for Sunwing. “With 11 different destinations to choose from, we’ll be offering more routes to the south than any other tour operator from the gateway. Whether travellers want to explore the exotic coast of Los Cabos or the sunny shores of Punta Cana, there’s something for every travel style.”

The flight schedule from Ottawa will be as follows:

  • Between Ottawa and Montego Bay, Sundays from December 12, 2021 until April 10, 2022
  • Between Ottawa and Puerto Plata, Tuesdays from December 7, 2021 until April 12, 2022
  • Between Ottawa and Punta Cana, Saturdays and Wednesdays from November 6, 2021 until April 9, 2022; and Mondays from December 13, 2021 until April 11, 2022
  • Between Ottawa and Cancun, Saturdays from November 6, 2021 until April 9, 2022; and Mondays and Fridays from December 13, 2021 until April 11, 2022
  • Between Ottawa and Puerto Vallarta, Sundays from December 19, 2021 until March 27, 2022
  • Between Ottawa and Los Cabos, Thursdays from December 16, 2021 until March 31, 2022
  • Between Ottawa and Mazatlán, Tuesdays from December 14, 2021 until April 12, 2022
  • Between Ottawa and Cayo Santa Maria, Fridays from November 12, 2021 until April 8, 2022
  • Between Ottawa and Varadero, Sundays and Thursdays from November 14, 2021 until April 7, 2022
  • Between Ottawa and Cayo Coco, Tuesdays from November 16, 2021 until April 12, 2022
  • Between Ottawa and Holguin, Tuesdays from December 14, 2021 until April 12, 2022

“Sunwing has always been popular with Ottawa-Gatineau vacationers,” said Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority. “With pent-up travel demand growing and travel restrictions easing, Sunwing’s wide variety of destinations and all-inclusive packages will be well-received by travellers who are anxious to escape on a long-awaited winter vacation.”

Vacationers can choose from a range of resorts for every travel style and budget from Ottawa. Grand Sunset Princess All Suites and Spa Resort in Riviera Maya is a perennial favourite, featuring sprawling pools and a range of dining options. Lopesan Costa Bavaro Resort Spa and Casino is another popular choice for sun-seekers, located on the world-famous shores of Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana with endless entertainment options along The Boulevard, the resort’s recreation complex. Vacationers can take their budget further at the newly renovated Riu Ocho Rios in Jamaica, with exclusive RIU-topia inclusions for Sunwing guests like unlimited reservation-free dining and complimentary Wi-Fi.

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.

PAL Airlines launches service from Ottawa Airport to Canada’s east coast

From CTV News – link to source story

Josh Pringle, Digital Multi-Skilled Journalist | Saturday, July 31, 2021

Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport

The Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (David Kawai/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

OTTAWA — Ottawa travellers have a new option to travel to Canada’s east coast. 

PAL Airlines launched service out of the Ottawa International Airport this week, with service to Moncton and Fredericton, New Brunswick. Flights to both cities will continue on to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

PAL Airlines is a St. John’s based independent operator with roots in Canada’s east coast.

“Including YOW in their offering recognizes the importance of Canada’s capital region and its link to the east coast,” said Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority.

“We look forward to being a part of PAL’s extensive Atlantic Canada network and reconnecting family and friends from both regions.”

Ottawa-Moncton-St. John’s service will operate Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Ottawa-Fredericton-St. John’s service will operate Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Welcome to #YOW, PAL!

We sent @PALairlines’ inaugural departure off with a water salute!

We’re happy to have them on board, offering flights to @stjohnsairport @yfcairport @MonctonYQM, as we work towards the recovery of Canada’s aviation industry #FasterTogether.

Originally tweeted by flyyow (@FlyYOW) on 30 July 2021.

The Ottawa International Airport continues to ramp up service as the COVID-19 restrictions ease.

In August, Air Canada will offer 20 departures per day from the Ottawa Airport.

Government of Canada announces easing of border measures for fully vaccinated travellers

From: Public Health Agency of Canada

News release

International flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at five additional Canadian airports

July 19, 2021 | Ottawa | Public Health Agency of Canada

The Government of Canada is prioritizing the health and safety of everyone in Canada by taking a risk-based and measured approach to re-opening our borders. Thanks to the hard work of Canadians, rising vaccination rates and declining COVID-19 cases, the Government of Canada is able to move forward with adjusted border measures.

On September 7, 2021, provided that the domestic epidemiologic situation remains favourable, the Government intends to open Canada’s borders to any fully vaccinated travellers who have completed the full course of vaccination with a Government of Canada-accepted vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and who meet specific entry requirements.

As a first step, starting August 9, 2021, Canada plans to begin allowing entry to American citizens and permanent residents, who are currently residing in the United States, and have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering Canada for non-essential travel. This preliminary step allows for the Government of Canada to fully operationalize the adjusted border measures ahead of September 7, 2021, and recognizes the many close ties between Canadians and Americans.

Subject to limited exceptions, all travellers must use ArriveCAN (app or web portal) to submit their travel information. If they are eligible to enter Canada and meet specific criteria, fully vaccinated travellers will not have to quarantine upon arrival in Canada.

To further support these new measures, Transport Canada is expanding the scope of the existing Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that currently directs scheduled international commercial passenger flights into four Canadian Airports: Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport.

Effective August 9, 2021, international flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at the following five additional Canadian airports:

  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport;
  • Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport;
  • Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport;
  • Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport; and
  • Edmonton International Airport.

These airports, in cooperation with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency and Transport Canada, are working to implement the measures necessary to safely welcome international passengers as soon as possible after August 9, as conditions dictate.

All travellers, regardless of vaccination status, will still require a pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test result. However effective August 9, 2021, the Government of Canada is adjusting its post-arrival testing strategy for fully vaccinated travellers. Using a new border testing surveillance program at airports and land border crossings, fully vaccinated travellers will not need a post-arrival test unless they have been randomly selected to complete a Day 1 COVID-19 molecular test. There are no changes to the mandatory testing requirements for unvaccinated travellers.

This strategy allows the Government of Canada to continue monitoring variants of concern in Canada and vaccine effectiveness. Using these layers of protection, the Government of Canada can monitor the COVID-19 situation in Canada, respond quickly to threats, and guide decisions on restricting international travel.

Finally, with the advent of increased vaccination rates in Canada, declining COVID-19 cases and reduced pressure on health care capacity, the three-night government authorized hotel stay requirement will be eliminated for all travellers arriving by air as of 12:01 A.M. EDT on August 9. Fully vaccinated travellers who meet the requirements will be exempt from quarantine; however, all travellers must still provide a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine, in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet the necessary requirements.

While Canada continues to trend in the right direction, the epidemiological situation and vaccination coverage is not the same around the world. The Government of Canada continues to advise Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada – international travel increases your risk of exposure to COVID-19 and its variants, as well as of spreading it to others. Border measures also remain subject to change as the epidemiological situation evolves. As Canada looks to welcome fully vaccinated travellers from the U.S., the federal government will continue to monitor the situation and provide updated travel advice to Canadians.

Quotes

“Canadians’ safety and security always come first. With rising vaccination rates and fewer cases in Canada, we can begin to safely ease border measures. A gradual approach to reopening will allow our health authorities to monitor the COVID-19 situation here and abroad. Canadians have worked hard and sacrificed for each other, and because of that work, we can take these next steps safely.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

“The health and safety of Canadians remains our top priority. Using a risk-based and measured approach to easing border measures will allow for non-essential international travellers who meet vaccination and other requirements to enter Canada. Working collaboratively with provinces, territories, Indigenous partners, and others to encourage Canadians to get vaccinated and follow public health advice is enabling us to begin welcoming more travellers back to Canada. Our government will continue to work with Canadian and international partners to ensure the border reopening is done in a safe and responsible way.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

“The Government of Canada recognizes that people have been anxiously awaiting a re-opening of the border to the world. We have been fully engaged with our American counterparts given the deep economic and family ties between our two countries. Today’s announcement is another big step in our approach to easing border measures which is guided by facts, scientific evidence and the advice of our public health experts.”

The Honourable Bill Blair
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“Thanks to the extraordinary commitment of Canadians to getting vaccinated and following public health advice, we are seeing improvement in the public health situation in Canada. As a result, today we announced new steps in our re-opening approach, including that international flights carrying passengers will be allowed to land at five more Canadian airports.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport Canada

“Thanks to the incredible progress that Canadians have made in our fight against the pandemic, we are now able to take the next step in Canada’s gradual reopening of the border. We look forward to welcoming fully vaccinated Americans shortly, followed by travellers from the rest of the world in early September. Not only will this make a big difference for Canada’s travel and tourism industry and all those whose jobs depend on it, it will also make it easier for those with a Confirmation of Permanent Residence letter to come to Canada and play a role in our recovery from the pandemic.”

The Honourable Marco Mendicino
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

“The easing of Canada’s border measures is welcome news for tourism businesses across the country, the thousands of Canadians employed by the sector and the communities who rely on it. It has been a challenging year as we balance the need to protect both the health of Canadians and our economy but tourism businesses have demonstrated incredible resilience. Our government has been proud to be by their side since the beginning of this crisis and we will continue to be there as they prepare to begin to welcome vaccinated travellers from around the world to our beautiful shores.”

The Honourable Melanie Joly
Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Quick Facts

  • To be eligible to enter Canada for discretionary travel on the basis of vaccination status, travellers must use the ArriveCAN app or web portal. Travellers must ensure that mandatory requirements are met prior to departing for Canada. In addition, some provinces and territories may have their own entry restrictions in place. Check and follow both the federal and any provincial or territorial restrictions and requirements before travelling.
  • In addition to receiving a full series of a vaccine authorized by the Government of Canada, fully vaccinated travellers must also: provide COVID-19-related information electronically through ArriveCAN (app or web portal) including proof of vaccination prior to arrival in Canada; meet the pre-entry testing requirements; be asymptomatic upon arrival; and have a paper or digital copy of their vaccination documentation in English or French (or certified translation) ready to show a government official on request as evidence.
  • A person who submits false information on vaccination status could be liable to a fine of up to $750,000 or six months imprisonment or both, under the Quarantine Act, or prosecution under the Criminal Code for forgery. Violating any quarantine or isolation instructions provided to travellers by a screening officer or quarantine officer when entering Canada is also an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to a $5,000 fine for each day of non-compliance or for each offence committed, or more serious penalties, including six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines. Non-compliant air travellers may also be subject to fines of up to $5,000 for each offence committed under the Aeronautics Act.
  • Based on public health advice, Transport Canada has extended the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that restricts all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India for an additional 30 days (i.e. until August 21, 2021, at 23:59 EDT). All direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India are subject to the NOTAM. Cargo-only operations, medical transfers or military flights are not included. Transport Canada has also extended the requirement related to third-country pre-departure COVID-19 tests for travellers to Canada from India via an indirect route. This means that passengers who depart India to Canada via an indirect route will continue to be required to obtain a COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country other than India before continuing their journey to Canada.

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Porter Airlines expanding service across North America by acquiring up to 80 Embraer E195-E2s

TORONTO, July 12, 2021 /CNW/ – Porter Airlines is extending its award-winning service to destinations throughout North America with the introduction of up to 80 state-of-the-art, fuel-efficient Embraer E195-E2 aircraft into its fleet. The planes have transcontinental range and will enter into service with Porter starting in the second half of 2022.

Porter is Embraer’s North American launch customer for the E2. The total aircraft order is valued at up to USD $5.82 billion at current list prices, with 30 firm commitments and 50 purchase right options. The aircraft are being acquired by Porter Aircraft Leasing Corp., a sister company of Porter Airlines. This investment enhances competition, elevates passenger service levels and creates as many as 6,000 new jobs based on 80 aircraft deliveries.

Porter Airlines is extending its award-winning service to destinations throughout North America with the introduction of up to 80 state-of-the-art, fuel-efficient Embraer E195-E2 aircraft into its fleet. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)
Porter Airlines is extending its award-winning service to destinations throughout North America with the introduction of up to 80 state-of-the-art, fuel-efficient Embraer E195-E2 aircraft into its fleet. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)
The E195-E2’s range allows for the creation of a continental route network. Potential markets reach coast to coast in Canada and the United States, including U.S. sun destinations, plus Mexico and the Caribbean. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)
The E195-E2’s range allows for the creation of a continental route network. Potential markets reach coast to coast in Canada and the United States, including U.S. sun destinations, plus Mexico and the Caribbean. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)

The ability to convert purchase rights to smaller E190-E2s is included in the agreement. This provides opportunities to introduce non-stop service in markets where connecting flights are often the only option today. It also enables higher-frequency service for routes with greater demand.

Porter intends to operate the E2s to popular destinations from Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax and Toronto Pearson International Airport. The introduction of specific routes will be determined in advance of aircraft deliveries.

“We are bringing Porter’s distinct style of service to dozens of new North American cities,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO, Porter Airlines. “We believe that now is the right time to make this investment as the pandemic resets the aviation landscape. Adding a diverse selection of popular business and leisure destinations to our network means that we are better positioned to serve the needs of many more passengers.”

While establishing service at Pearson Airport for the first time, flights from Porter’s existing hub at downtown Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport remain core to its business and will continue with high-frequency regional service on turboprop aircraft. Service is confirmed to restart at Billy Bishop on Sept. 8, following a temporary shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions. The airport is essential to the airline’s immediate plans for re-establishing flights and developing future routes. The E2s will not operate at this airport.

“Our commitment to Billy Bishop Airport is not changing,” said Robert Deluce, founder and executive chairman, Porter Airlines. “Our corporate headquarters at Billy Bishop is being maintained and we will continue serving the same network of regional markets from downtown Toronto. We are moving beyond this existing footprint to welcome more travellers across North America, with an emphasis on providing the sophisticated service that only Porter delivers.”

Porter set a new standard for regional flying when it took off in 2006. Its Flying Refined brand promise emphasizes bringing dignity and ease to travel, with an elevated, high-value experience. Complimentary beer and wine served in glassware, and premium snacks for all passengers are recognizable hallmarks of every flight. The airline is planning to enhance its award-winning customer experience and transform travel again in the wider North American market.

The E195-E2’s range allows for the creation of a continental route network. Potential markets reach coast to coast in Canada and the United States, including U.S. sun destinations, plus Mexico and the Caribbean. A destination map is available at www.flyporter.com, with initial routes to be announced in 2022.

The E195-E2 accommodates between 120 and 146 passengers. The interior complements Porter’s traditional service offering, with a passenger-focused design emphasizing space and comfort. Features include aisle or window seating for every passenger, with no middle seats, plus large windows and overhead bins, and cabin mood lighting. Porter is currently finalizing its preferred configuration and additional passenger experience details, such as in-flight entertainment and onboard service.

“With this order for up to 80 of our largest aircraft, the E2 is making a stunning North American debut,” said Arjan Meijer, president and CEO, Embraer Commercial Aviation. As the quietest and most fuel-efficient aircraft in the segment, the E195-E2 also delivers excellent economic performance that shines through.”

The E2 is the most environmentally-friendly single-aisle aircraft family, measured by sound and CO2 emissions. The E195-E2 is certified to the strictest international standard for aircraft noise, at 65% quieter than previous generation types. Carbon emissions are nearly 10% lower per trip, with up to 25% less CO2 emissions per seat. Combined with Porter’s existing De Havilland Dash 8-400s, the airline will have one of the world’s most environmentally sustainable commercial aircraft fleets.

Canada-based aerospace companies contribute greater than 37% of the E2’s main systems. The engines are produced by Pratt & Whitney Canada in Quebec, with revolutionary geared-turbofan technology being the most significant component of the aircraft’s incredible fuel efficiency and minimal sound profile. Additionally, Ontario-based Thales produces select avionics and Quebec-based Alta Precision the main landing gear. Porter’s purchase supports skilled jobs and ongoing innovation within this important economic sector.

“The support of our board of directors and shareholders was crucial in deciding to invest in Porter’s future,” said Don Carty, chairman of the board, Porter Airlines. “We have investors, partners, customers and team members who have been with us from day one, while others joined at different points along the way. It’s time for us to collectively build on the exceptional global reputation that we’ve built for Porter and continue our journey.”

Funds for the aircraft purchase are being raised privately from shareholders, as well as through aircraft sale-leaseback agreements.

An overview of Porter’s growth plan, including E195-E2 features, is available on its website.

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

Flair Airlines Continues Impressive Growth With Flights to the U.S, Bringing Ultra-Low Fares to Sun Destinations

Canada’s only true ULCC announces U.S service to 6 new sun destinations, bringing Canadians the lowest fares to their favorite places

EDMONTON, Alberta, July 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Flair Airlines, Canada’s only true ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), continues to change the face of the Canadian aviation market with unprecedented growth as it announces non-stop, low fare flights between 8 Canadian cities and 6 U.S destinations: Fort Lauderdale, Orlando-Sanford, Phoenix-Mesa, Hollywood-Burbank, Palm Springs and Las Vegas.

“We want Canadians to hear us loud and clear, you don’t have to rack up debt or save for months to enjoy travel this winter,” says Stephen Jones, President and CEO, Flair Airlines. “For years, Canadians have been over-paying for air travel to domestic and U.S destinations. Flair is here to ensure that Canadians are no longer taken advantage of and receive low prices for even better service. The fares to our new destinations ensure Canadians can easily enjoy travel this winter and spend some much-deserved time away exploring sunny new places.”

Halifax, Montreal, Kitchener-Waterloo, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Abbotsford will receive service to a variety of the U.S cities starting this October. The ultra-low fares will start between $79 to $109 CAD one-way. All routes and schedule details can be viewed at https://www.flyflair.com.

The new service to the six U.S cities are among several new destinations Flair is adding to its network as the airline rapidly grows to serve 26 destinations in Canada and the U.S. With an ambitious goal to grow to 50 aircraft in 5 years, Flair is rapidly expanding as it disrupts the market and brings affordable air travel to Canadians.

Comments from our airport partners

Vancouver International Airport (YVR)

“We are pleased to see Flair adding new routes out of YVR to exciting vacation destinations such as Burbank (California), Palm Springs (PSP), Mesa (Arizona) and Las Vegas (Nevada). As we see restrictions ease and passenger traffic increase these new routes will allow for more travel options once we are able to explore freely again. We commend Canada’s airlines for continuing to serve Canadians through the last year and a half and we are excited to see Flair expand their offer to provide unique travel experiences. YVR is ready to welcome all passengers back to the airport and will ensure the passenger journey through the airport is an effortless and safe one,” said Russell Atkinson, Director, Air Service Development – Strategy

Calgary Airport Authority (YYC)

“Congratulations to Flair on their new routes. We’re excited for our guests to get back up in the air again flying to the warm destinations of Phoenix, Burbank and Las Vegas,” said Rob Palmer, Vice-President, Commercial, Strategy, and Chief Financial Officer, The Calgary Airport Authority. “We’re ready to welcome guests back safely and we look forward to the added sunny winter options for Calgarians.”

Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL)

“We are pleased to see that Flair has decided to increase its presence in Canada by enhancing its air service from YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport. Starting this fall, passengers will be able to benefit from a wide-range of options to popular sun destinations. This is good news for travellers – who we look forward to welcoming back to YUL – and it is another step in the recover of our industry and aviation activities,” said Stéphane Lapierre Vice President, Airport Operations and Air Services Development, ADM Aéroports de Montreal.

Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF)

“The increase in destinations will be an asset for the community,” commented Regional Chair Karen Redman. “We are pleased with Flair Airlines’ commitment to providing affordable travel and connectivity across Canada, as well as the opportunities this provides for an economic recovery in terms of business and tourism in the Region of Waterloo.”

Ottawa International Airport Authority (YOW)

“Flair’s YOW service expansion is a testament to their early success at our airport. As Canada’s Capital Region continues to rebuild from the devastating effects of COVID-19, not only are the residents of Ottawa-Gatineau ready to travel, we know that our destination is safe and attractive for visitors as well,” said Mark Laroche, President & CEO, Ottawa International Airport Authority.

Abbotsford International Airport (YXX)

“A new Flair Airlines route from Abbotsford International Airport to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas will help serve our growing community and our region,” said Mayor of Abbotsford Henry Braun. “We know that as COVID-19 restrictions lift, the Abbotsford International Airport and its service providers will continue to be an economic driver for our community and the region, offering convenient and low cost flight options.”

Halifax International Airport Authority (YHZ)

“We are pleased with Flair’s plan to expand its upcoming winter season services with a new route between Halifax Stanfield and Orlando Sanford, Florida,” said Joyce Carter, President & CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority. “As more of our community members are making travel plans, we’re excited by this new connection to the Sunshine State and look forward to offering direct U.S. and International air services again when the federal government restrictions on international flights to Canada are lifted.”

McCarran International Airport – Las Vegas (LAS)

“These new routes from Flair Airlines will significantly increase the opportunity for Canadians to experience Las Vegas,” said Chris Jones, McCarran International Airport Chief Marketing Officer. “Historically, Las Vegas has been a top destination for travelers from across Canada and we look forward to welcoming even more visitors to this world-class destination.”

Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB)

“We are excited that the recent completion of our new terminal modernization and expansion has accelerated our air service recruitment initiatives. We thank Flair Airlines for choosing SFB,” said Tom Green, Sanford Airport Authority Board Chairman.

“SFB Airport a safe, efficient, and cost effective alternative to MCO. Flair Air recognized these benefits and we appreciate their decision. We believe Canada will be a strong market through SFB Airport. These flights to several cities will make it attractive to Canadian visitors and the local residents wanting to experience all the great things Canada has to offer,” said Tom Nolan, A.A.E, President & CEO.

Palm Springs International Airport (PSP)

“Canadians have long appreciated our year-round sunshine, world-class special events and relaxed desert lifestyle,” said Mayor Christy Holstege. “We thank Flair Airlines for adding Palm Springs International Airport to their network and we look forward to a long relationship.”

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 the U.S. For more information, please visit http://www.flyflair.com

Flair Airlines US Destinations
October 31, 2021 – March 26, 2022

Fort Lauderdale (FLL)

  • Toronto (YYZ)
  • Kitchener-Waterloo (YKF)
  • Ottawa (YOW)
  • Montreal (YUL)

Orlando-Sanford (SFB)

  • Toronto (YYZ)
  • Kitchener-Waterloo (YKF)
  • Ottawa (YOW)
  • Montreal (YUL)
  • Halifax (YHZ)

Las Vegas (LAS)

  • Toronto (YYZ)
  • Ottawa (YOW)
  • Vancouver (YVR)
  • Abbotsford (YXX)
  • Calgary (YYC)

Phoenix-Mesa (AZA)

  • Toronto (YYZ)
  • Vancouver (YVR)
  • Calgary (YYC)

Hollywood Burbank (BUR)

  • Toronto (YYZ)
  • Vancouver (YVR)
  • Calgary (YYC)

Palm Springs (PSP)

  • Vancouver (YVR)

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

From CBC News – link to source story

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

Winston Szeto · CBC News · Jul 06, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With files from Daybreak South

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.”

Ottawa airport has its busiest day since March 2020 as travel restrictions start to ease

From CTV News – link to source story

Jackie Perez, Multi-Skilled Journalist | Monday, July 5, 2021

A traveller walks through the Ottawa International Airport Monday, July 5, 2021, as quarantine restrictions for fully vaccinated Canadians returning from international travel are eased. (Jackie Perez / CTV News Ottawa)

OTTAWA — It’s the news many have been waiting for—a sign that things are slowly but surely getting back to normal.

Fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents and international students can now travel internationally without having to quarantine in a hotel or isolate for 14 days upon their return, but they’ll have to show proof of a negative PCR test before departure, take another one on arrival, and wait for the results at home.

“Once we got the second vaccination, we got excited then we waited for Germans to open the border,” said Veena Sharma, who is headed to Berlin with her husband Rajinder to see their grandchildren. “It feels really good when you hear clear, clear, clear.”

While travel is starting to ramp up, not much has changed yet at the Ottawa airport. All international flights are still being directed to Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

“We don’t receive directly international passengers, but were getting an increase in passenger volumes,” said Mark Laroche, president and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority. He added that Monday was the busiest day at the airport since March 2020, with 1,700 passengers—the majority of those were domestic flights.

“We’d like it to be faster but we understand travel restrictions have to be removed slowly and prudently,” he said.

Non-essential travel restrictions remain in place. Canada Border Services Agency warns travellers will still be prohibited from entering the country if they were not eligible to travel before Monday.

Ottawa resident Rami Henry is patiently waiting to visit his father and brother in Egypt. He was scheduled to go in March 2020, but COVID-19 delayed those plans.

Since children under 12, like his daughter, aren’t eligible for a vaccine yet and aren’t exempt from the quarantine rules, he may go alone later this year.

“She’s a huge risk, especially with the delta variant. I wouldn’t be comfortable with her travelling anywhere until she gets some sort of first dose,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Ottawa International Airport Authority hopes to see things back in full swing by September, if not sooner, so that Canadians can travel freely.

“People are making their reservations already so there is a pent-up demand, so we’re hopeful that it’s coming soon,” Laroche said. 

Porter Airlines confirms restart of service to select Canadian destinations beginning Sept. 8

U.S. flights start on Sept. 17

TORONTO, July 5, 2021 /CNW/ – Porter Airlines is officially returning to the skies on Sept. 8, nearly 18 months after suspending flights due to COVID-19 public health and travel restrictions.

The flight schedule is returning in phases, with the initial group of Canadian destinations being Halifax, Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, St. John’s, NL, Thunder Bay and Toronto. U.S. destinations in Boston, Chicago, New York and Washington follow on Sept. 17.

U.S. flights start on September 17 (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)
U.S. flights start on September 17 (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)
Porter Airlines confirms restart of service to select Canadian destinations beginning Sept. 8 (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)
Porter Airlines confirms restart of service to select Canadian destinations beginning Sept. 8 (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)

“This is the moment our team members, passengers and the communities we serve have been waiting for,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO, Porter Airlines. “The pandemic has progressed to the point that we can now begin restoring service across our network, focused around our main base at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Being grounded for more than a year has been incredibly difficult for everyone involved. In true Porter fashion, our team members have displayed remarkable levels of commitment, engagement and optimism over this uncertain period of time, despite the vast majority being unable to work. While deciding to suspend our service was the most difficult business decision we’ve made, announcing a restart of flights is the first step in a recovery process that includes recalling hundreds of team members and welcoming back passengers. We are looking forward to once again delivering Porter’s unique style of service.”

Approximately 500 team members will be recalled to active status as the first phase of flights are introduced. More staff will be added in subsequent months as flights and destinations return to the schedule.

The initial flight schedule is as follows:

Canadian Routes*Peak daily roundtripsService start date
Ottawa – Toronto6 flightsSept. 8
Montreal – Toronto6 flightsSept. 8
Thunder Bay – Toronto3 flightsSept. 8
Ottawa – Halifax2 flightsSept. 13
Montreal – Halifax1 flightSept. 13
Quebec City – Toronto1 flightSept. 13
Halifax – St. John’s1 flightSept. 17
Moncton – Ottawa1 flightSept. 17
U.S. Routes*
New York (Newark) – Toronto6 fightsSept. 17
Boston – Toronto3 flightsSept. 17
Chicago (Midway) – Toronto2 flightsSept. 17
Washington (Dulles) – Toronto1 flightSept. 17
* All Toronto routes operate at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Schedules vary by day of week.

Flights to other year-round destinations normally operated by Porter are currently available for booking and set to resume as of Oct. 6. Service is returning based on anticipated passenger demand, with frequency and markets increasing over time.

To provide flexibility and give travellers peace of mind when purchasing for future travel, Porter is making all fares purchased by July 20, for travel through December 15, 2021, fully refundable, with no fees. This also applies to Porter Escapes vacation packages.

In preparation for its resumption of service, Porter is introducing a comprehensive program to protect the health of its passengers and team members. Healthy Flights strengthens existing standards focusing on high levels of sanitization.

“Our safety team developed Healthy Flights as more than a checklist of rules and procedures,” said Deluce. “They carefully considered how to provide a safe experience for our passengers and team members, while being true to our distinct brand and approach to service.”

Detailed information about Healthy Flights is available online.

About Porter Airlines
Porter Airlines has revolutionized short-haul flying with 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.