Tag: Ottawa YOW

Weekend Weather Woos

News provided by TravelIndustryToday.com


21 JAN 2019: A major winter storm brought some of the coldest temperatures of the season and wreaked havoc on air travel throughout New England in the US and Canada’s east coast on Sunday. More than 2,000 flights were cancelled in and out of the US and other modes of transportation were also affected by the winter storm.


Many Canadian figure skaters are stranded in Saint John, N.B., amid a winter storm on the last day of the national skating championships Sunday. More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather.

Air Canada says affected customers could re-book without penalty as a result.

The Skate Canada championships ran from Jan. 14 to 20, with only the exhibition gala left on the schedule for the last day.

The event brought close to 500 people to Saint John, half being skaters and the rest being coaches, officials and staffers. Bay Ferries cancelled its crossings in the Bay of Fundy. The La Have ferry service in Nova Scotia has been suspended.


The storm brought a rare combination of heavy snow, high winds and extreme cold to many parts of Quebec and southern Ontario. On Sunday, after 7:00 am many arrivals and departures were delayed or cancelled entirely at Trudeau International Airport. 

At Quebec City’s Jean Lesage International Airport most, but not all flights within Quebec were cancelled for the day after 8:00 am. 


In Montreal, the storm has also caused the cancellation of a festival dedicated to… snow. The City announced that it’s suspending the Fete des Neiges due to the snowy, windy and cold weather as well as the dangerous conditions on the province’s roads.


A number of flights were cancelled at the Macdonald–Cartier International Airport in Ottawa

Stronger growth in tourism expected this year after a weak 2018

Provided by Conference Board of Canada/CNW

OTTAWA, Jan. 17, 2019 /CNW/ – The number of overnight visits from both within Canada and international markets is projected to increase by 2.0 per cent in 2019, according to The Conference Board of Canada’s Travel Markets Outlook reports.

While Canadian households are expected to face growing economic and financial challenges heading into 2019, domestic travel volumes are still projected to increase. According to our travel intentions survey, a growing share of Canadian households plan to take a winter vacation, and among those, a slightly higher share plan to stay in Canada for their longest-duration trip. Meanwhile, growth from the U.S. and overseas markets is expected to strengthen in 2019, as travel price inflation eases and a favourable exchange rate for many international markets remains.

“Tourism activity in 2018 was weighed down by a number of factors, including rising travel prices, the weaker economic environment and lack of major events like those that happened in 2017,” said Greg Hermus, Associate Director for The Conference Board of Canada’s Canadian Tourism Research Institute. “Fortunately, 2019 should see stronger growth in tourism activity thanks to more modest increases in travel prices and easing uncertainty surrounding trade negotiations.”

The recently issued travel advisory for Canada from the Chinese government presents a downside risk to the tourism forecast. International markets represent the strongest growth prospects for overnight visits to the country and China is Canada’s second most important overseas market.

Regional Highlights
Among the 10 Canadian cities covered in the Travel Markets Outlook: Metropolitan Focus, growth in overnight visits is expected to average between 1.6 per cent and 3.3 per cent this year. Vancouver will experience the strongest growth in 2019 and will be the only city where tourism activity expands by more than 3 per cent.

Travel to Halifax should be boosted by the city’s hosting the 2019 Memorial Cup and the World Under-19 Men’s Floorball Championships. Overnight visits are projected to average 2 per cent over the next few years.

Tourist activity in 2019 will be stimulated by the city’s hosting of World Summit AI—a major artificial intelligence summit. Events like this, coupled with major infrastructure coming into service and an expanding local economy, will help overnight visits to grow at a healthy clip over the next few years, averaging 2.3 per cent per year.

Québec City
Québec City saw a strong increase in overnight visits in 2018, thanks to a boost from hosting the G7 Summit, strong growth from the U.S. and overseas markets, and a strong local economy. With continuing gains expected from international arrivals, overnight visits should expand at annual rates of growth of around 2 per cent over the next few years.

The number of overnight visits to Ottawa fell in 2018 but should pick up this year, thanks to new infrastructure, and growth in international visits. Major investments such as renovations to the Ottawa International Airport terminal, and the addition of a light-rail station at the airport, are expected to pay dividends in the years to come.

Coming off a modest year, tourism activity in Toronto should pick up speed in 2019. The city has marketed itself as a stopover destination for international travellers and should see a rebound in U.S. and overseas visits this year. A major upgrade to its public transit system should benefit tourist activity in the years to come. Overnight visits are projected to increase by 2.6 per cent in 2019.

St. Catharines-Niagara
Tourism activity in St. Catharines-Niagara region will benefit from the expanded direct air capacity in neighbouring Toronto. In all, overseas visits are expected to grow by a stronger 2.2 per cent in 2019 and will increase at a steady pace over the next few years.

Following strong growth in 2018, overnight visits to Winnipeg are expected to moderate this year. Tourism activity should get a strong boost in 2020 as Manitoba celebrates the 150th anniversary of its joining Confederation.

Pleasure travel will receive a boost with the city’s hosting of large events in 2019, including the Grey Cup and the Canadian Country Music Awards. In all, overnight visits to Calgary are expected to grow by 2.8 per cent this year.

Edmonton will see growth of 2.3 per cent in overnight this year. Domestic visits should get a boost as the city hosts a leg of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) Mixed Relay Series and the World Triathlon Series. Meanwhile, visits from the U.S. and overseas are projected to pick up speed.

The projected robust economic growth in the province and strong influx of tourists from overseas markets will continue to be the major sources of growth for tourism in Vancouver. One potential challenge to future growth would be the worsening wildfires, which don’t directly impact Vancouver but leave a heavy lingering haze over the city and surrounding areas during fire season. In all, overnight visits are forecast to grow by 3.3 per cent this year.

The Travel Markets Outlook: National Focus provides a tourism forecast for each of the 10 provinces and Yukon. The Travel Markets Outlook: Metropolitan Focus analyzes and provides a forecast for the tourism industry in Canada, and in 10 metropolitan areas.

Follow The Conference Board of Canada on Twitter.

SOURCE Conference Board of Canada

Ottawa International Airport reaches 5 million passengers!

Provided by Ottawa International Airport Authority/CNW

OTTAWA, Jan. 11, 2019 /CNW/ – It’s official – the Ottawa International Airport has now reached the 5 million passenger per year milestone. It officially happened on December 23rd, 2018. At year end, the airport served 5,110,801 passengers, which is an increase of 5.6% over 2017, and a new record.

To mark the anticipated milestone, the Ottawa International Airport Authority launched “Sparty on the Shelf” – a promotion designed to engage passengers, employees and the general public. In collaboration with the OttawaSenators, 19 Spartacat dolls were hidden around the airport in restaurants and retail locations. People were encouraged to find Sparty, take a selfie, and post it to Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #YOW5million. Prizes were drawn throughout the campaign, with the Grand Prize winner announced on January 2nd. Tanya J from the Smiths Falls area was the lucky winner of two round trip tickets to any destination served non-stop from YOW and $5,000 in spending money. Looks like she’s considering escaping Ottawa’s winter to one of our many sunshine destinations. Congratulations, Tanya!

“Five million passengers is an important milestone for the Ottawa International Airport, and for the City of Ottawa. The distinction puts YOW in the next class of airport in terms of size, but more importantly, confirms that the local economy is doing well,” said Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority. “We are delighted with the positive response to our #YOW5million promotion to celebrate this milestone, and congratulate all participants and winners. We are also grateful to all of the passengers, airport employees, airline partners and other stakeholders who not only chose to fly YOW, but contributed to this achievement.”

While the significant increase in passenger volume cannot be attributed to a single factor, our large base of domestic flights saw steady gains, transborder frequencies increased with mid-day service introduced on several key routes, and international traffic enjoyed a strong end of year growth.

About the Ottawa International Airport Authority
OMCIAA manages, operates and develops airport facilities and lands in support of the economic growth of the National Capital Region, generating more than $2.2 billion annually in total economic activity in Ottawa and Gatineau.

SOURCE Ottawa International Airport Authority

WestJet apologizes to 150 passengers stranded in Cancun for 33 hours due to cancelled flight

New provided by The Globe and Mail/Canada Press

Christopher Reynold, The Canadian Press
Published January 9, 2019 by The Globe and Mail

WestJet Airlines Ltd. has announced it will launch an investigation after passengers spent an extra day and a half in Mexico over the weekend, many without the hotel rooms the airline had said would be made available following a cancelled international flight.

About 135 passengers bound for Ottawa found themselves stranded in Cancun Saturday after a pair of mechanical issues caused a four-hour flight delay and eventual cancellation.

WestJet said the plane was moving constantly during the holdup on the tarmac, which prevented flight crews from offering more water and snacks.

“We do understand how this rolling delay followed by the cancellation was an extremely tough situation for guests to endure,” WestJet said in a statement Wednesday.

After the cancellation, the airline told passengers they would be bused to hotels to spend the night without charge. Many of them wound up having to book their own accommodations, however, due to a lack of available rooms.

“WestJet sincerely apologizes to our guests who were impacted by the long delay and subsequent cancellation of flight 2841 from Cancun to Ottawa on January 5. We recognize that this and the situation that followed was very stressful to all involved.”

The Calgary-based airline said it will offer “appropriate reimbursement” for the hotel stays along with a “gesture of goodwill” in the form of store credit to be spent on any WestJet flight or vacation package.

In the future the airline may have to dole out even more. The Canadian Transportation Agency released draft regulations for public comment last month under the government’s long-promised passenger bill of rights.

Air passengers who are bumped from overbooked flights or forced to sit through long delays could receive up to $2,400 in compensation, based on a sliding scale that sees larger airlines and longer delays trigger bigger compensation payments.

Payments to passengers whose flights are delayed would max out at $1,000 and cancellations at $2,400.

Sunwing celebrates inaugural flight to Los Cabos from Ottawa

Provided by Sunwing Vacations Inc/Globe Newswire

TORONTO, Dec. 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The first direct Sunwing flight from Ottawa to Los Cabos, Mexico departed from Ottawa International Airport today. This flight marks the first of a weekly flight service direct from the capital, departing every Thursday, until April 11, 2019, inclusive. With the addition of the new Los Cabos route, Ottawa residents can now look forward to 11 convenient flight choices for their winter getaway, including a seasonal flight service to Miami, which launched earlier this month.  

President of Tour Operations for Sunwing, Andrew Dawson, welcomed the news, “We are delighted to be providing our customers in the Ottawa-Gatineau region with even more ways to Vacation Better this winter. Travellers will be able to enjoy two destinations in one in Los Cabos, with the lively nightlife of Cabo San Lucas and the vibrant art scene of San Jose del Cabo offering something different for travellers of all interests.”

Mark Laroche, Ottawa International Airport Authority President and CEO, commented on the news, “Non-stop access to a vibrant destination like Los Cabos is exactly the type of air service that Ottawa-Gatineau residents appreciate and expect from their home airport. We’re thrilled that Sunwing sees the upside of adding more choices to their extensive Ottawa International Airport portfolio.”

Vacationers can choose from world-class resorts for all tastes and budgets in Los Cabos including Riu Palace Baja California, a brand-new adults only oasis which opened earlier this month. Located on the coveted shores of Cabo San Lucas, guests can look forward to opulent facilities, many offering breathtaking panoramic views, and expansive suites with sophisticated décor. Another great option is neighbouring property, Riu Santa Fe a recently-renovated beachfront resort featuring a brand-new Splash Water World water park, extensive pool complex with a swim-up bar and a new entertainment zone with weekly adults only pool parties. Vacationers can also enjoy exclusive RIU-topia perks when they book either property with Sunwing such as in-room liquor dispensers, unlimited reservation-free dining, spa credits and more. Travellers may also choose to stay at Royal Solaris Los Cabos, a beachfront resort just a short walk to downtown San Jose Del Cabo with three sparkling pools and a mini water park for younger guests. Families can benefit from additional perks at this resort such as Kids Stay, Play and Eat FREE deals, exclusive pricing for teens, no single parent supplement fee, kids programs and more.

All Sunwing vacation packages include return flights on Sunwing Airlines where passengers can sit back and relax while on board, with award-winning inflight service, complimentary non-alcoholic beverage service and buy on board selection of light meals and snacks with choices inspired by Food Network Canada Celebrity Chef, Lynn Crawford, including the brand-new Tex Mex Grilled Chicken Wrap and famous Mac & Cheese. Passengers also benefit from a generous complimentary 23kg checked luggage allowance.

For more information or to book, visit www.sunwing.ca or contact your travel agent.

Sunwing celebrates inaugural flight to Miami from Ottawa

Provided by Sunwing Vacation Inc /Globe Newswire

TORONTO, Dec. 17, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The first Sunwing flight from Ottawa to Miami departed from Ottawa International Airport on Saturday. This flight marks the first of this season’s new weekly direct flights from Ottawa to Miami, departing every Saturday until March 30, 2019, inclusive. Sunwing is anticipated to be the only leisure carrier to offer direct flights from the Canadian capital to Miami this winter.

Reg Mendes, Vice President of USA and Cruises for Sunwing, commented on the news, “We’re excited to be offering our customers in Ottawa even more options for their winter escape this year with the addition of Miami as a new flight route. This new direct flight service will offer Ottawa travellers more ways to Vacation Better in Florida both on land and at sea with Sunwing vacation and cruise packages and convenient transfers to PortMiami from Miami International Airport.”

Mark Laroche, Ottawa International Airport Authority President and CEO, welcomed the news, “Non-stop access to a vibrant access like Miami is exactly the type of air service that Ottawa-Gatineau residents appreciate and expect from their home airport. We’re thrilled that Sunwing sees the upside of adding more choices to their extensive Ottawa International Airport portfolio.”

Home to world-class entertainment, sports and cultural events, Miami offers travellers a sunny getaway with plenty of beaches, numerous restaurants and shopping opportunities. The city is also the perfect base from which to explore Southern Florida or embark on a cruise. Sunwing offers cruise packages with Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises sailing from Miami (including convenient transfers from the airport to nearby PortMiami) that offer a wide range of Caribbean itineraries. Two of the most popular cruise ships vacationers can choose from are MSC Seaside and the new Norwegian Bliss. Customers could also choose a Cruise & Stay package and enjoy a vacation in Miami or Fort Lauderdale before or after they sail.

Those looking to explore Florida on land can choose from numerous top-rated resorts in MiamiSole on the Ocean Resort and Spa is ideal for guests seeking a luxurious vacation, located on the beach in Sunny Isles. This boutique-style resort is home to the Fresh American Bistro, a glamorous restaurant with a fresh seasonal menu curated by a Michelin-starred chef. Riu Plaza Miami Beach is another stylish beachfront resort, just minutes from Miami’s famous South Beach and Art Deco districts, offering guests all the necessary amenities for a relaxing beach vacation with complimentary loungers and towels.

All Sunwing packages to Florida include return flights on Sunwing Airlines where passengers can sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious buy on board selection of light meals and snacks with choices inspired by Food Network Canada Celebrity Chef, Lynn Crawford. Vacation packages to Florida include air, accommodations and a mid-size rental car. Cruise packages include pier transfers to PortMiami, cabin accommodations and meals. For those looking to book something other than a flight or package with a hotel or cruise, fly/drive specials are available to explore Southern Florida. 

For more information or to book, visit www.sunwing.ca or contact your travel agent.

Sunwing Airlines adds Miami service from Dec 2018

News provided by routesonline.com

By Jim Liu Posted 2 December 2018 09:30

Sunwing Airlines this week begins new scheduled service to Miami, with Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Planned operations as follows.

Montreal – Miami 01DEC18 – 28APR19 2 weekly 737-800 (4 weekly from 12DEC18 to 28MAR19, 1 weekly from 14APR19)
Ottawa – Miami 15DEC18 – 23MAR19 1 weekly 737-800 (operated by TUIfly Belgium)
Quebec City – Miami 08DEC18 – 14APR19 2 weekly 737-800
Toronto – Miami 01DEC18 – 05MAY19 3 weekly 737-800 (2 weekly from 05APR19)

Porter Airlines turns 12

TORONTOOct. 23, 2018 /CNW/ – It has been a dozen years since Porter Airlines introduced a distinct aviation concept to travellers. Emphasizing refined service offerings, including complimentary in-flight amenities, and developing its main base at the uniquely-located Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Porter has created a sophisticated brand appealing to a range of business and leisure flyers.

In the last year, the airline invested in people and infrastructure aimed at supporting its ongoing mission to provide competitive and affordable travel options.

This includes a new aircraft maintenance base in Sudbury to perform rotating overnight work on Porter’s fleet of 29 Bombardier Q400s. In Thunder Bay, Porter opened the first crew base for pilots and flight attendants in Northern Ontario among large commercially-scheduled airlines. These crewmembers begin and end their flying schedules in Thunder Bay, providing additional resources in support of local flights. Approximately 40 well-paying jobs have been introduced to date across both communities through these investments.

“Porter has developed a loyal following based on our willingness to do things differently,” said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “I want to recognize our entire team for contributing to a culture that values passion, perseverance and treating people with respect. This is what attracts customers and creates bonds among our team.”

Partners at Billy Bishop Airport are making their own investments to improve the customer experience. PortsToronto, the airport’s owner and operator, completed a multi-year airfield modernization program, including a resurfaced main runway and updated infrastructure. Nieuport Aviation, the airport terminal operator, recently upgraded the passenger lounges by adding more space, seating and a range of restaurant and retail locations. These improvements, seen and unseen by passengers, introduce new levels of efficiency and service to the airport.

Porter flies to regional locations in eastern Canada and the U.S., including high-frequency business routes between Toronto and OttawaMontreal and New York, plus appealing leisure markets in FloridaSouth Carolina and Quebec. Its vacations division, Porter Escapes, offers travel packages across its route map with accommodations and attractions.

Get out of the snow and into the sun with Porter Airline’s flights to Orlando-Melbourne, Florida

TORONTOOct. 15, 2018 /CNW/ – Plan your escape this winter season to sunny Florida with Porter’s non-stop service to Orlando-Melbourne International Airport. Flights from TorontoOttawa, and Windsor begin the week of December 19. The service operates until April 13, 2019, with flights twice weekly from Toronto, and once per week from Ottawa and Windsor, during peak periods. All three cities will have additional round trip flights during March Break.

Connecting flights are available via Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport from numerous Porter destinations. For complete schedule and booking details, visit www.flyporter.com or contact your travel agent.

“There is significant demand from Canadians to visit Florida throughout the winter months, and we’re pleased to provide our passengers with service to the sunshine state,” said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “Continuing to offer non-stop service from TorontoWindsor, and Ottawa means that more people can visit Florida directly from their own communities.”

OrlandoMelbourne is located just 20 minutes from Port Canaveral – the world’s second largest cruise port – 30 minutes from Kennedy Space Center and less than 10 minutes from the beach. Popular entertainment, including theme parks, museums, and wildlife attractions are within an hour’s drive.

Porter Escapes combines flights and accommodations at great package prices, with options to add on attractions for all ages. For more details, visit www.porterescapes.com.

Sunwing to offer Miami for the first time this winter

Friday, October 12, 2018 Posted by 

FlySunwing_Mobile-SUNWINGTORONTO — For the very first time Sunwing is adding Miami to its list of vacation destinations, with up to 10 direct flights per week from four Canadian gateways this winter.

Departing from Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City, the new Miami flights were a result of consumer demand, said Reg Mendes, Vice President of USA and Cruises. “Miami is a hub for beach and city stays and much more,” he said.

Toronto service starts Dec. 1, 2018 and departs Saturdays, Sundays and Thursdays. Montreal also kicks off on Dec. 1 with flights on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Convenient Saturday and Sunday departures will also be available from Quebec City beginning Dec. 8, while weekly flights from Ottawa will depart Saturdays starting Dec. 15.

Once the program commences, Sunwing is expected to be the only leisure carrier in Canada to offer direct flights to Miami from Ottawa and Quebec City this winter.

Sunwing offers cruise packages sailing from Miami to the Caribbean with Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises, including convenient transfers from the airport to nearby PortMiami. Clients can also choose a cruise & stay package to enjoy a vacation in Miami or Fort Lauderdale before or after they sail.

“This new flight program will offer our customer more ways to explore Florida together with even more convenient cruise package options,” added Mendes.

All Miami vacation packages include a car rental. Clients have their choice of a wide variety of accommodations, including the Residence Inn Miami Sunny Isles Beach featuring fully-equipped kitchens and easy access to Sunny Isles Beach, and Sole on the Ocean, also on Sunny Isles Beach and located near popular restaurants and activities.

There’s also Ocean Sky Hotel and Resort, which enjoys a beachfront location near the historic Las Olas Boulevard, and Margaritaville Holly wood Beach Resort, home to an oceanview rooftop pool bar and a supervised kids club.