Tag: Regina YQR

WestJet cancels 10 Sask. flights to sunny locations after Max 8 grounding continues

News provided by CBC News – link to full story and updates

Flights to Phoenix, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta affected, not known when flights will return to normal

CBC News · Posted: Sep 10, 2019

A Boeing 737 Max 8 in Westjet’s hangar in Calgary. (Mia Sheldon/CBC)

Saskatchewan travellers looking to fly south for the winter this year might be in for a bumpy ride.

This week, WestJet announced flight cancellations from airports in Regina and Saskatoon. 

The company blamed the disruptions on Boeing’s 737 Max 8 jets. The planes were pulled from service by Transport Canada after 346 people were killed in crashes involving Indonesia’s Lion Air in 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines in March of this year. Both incidents involved the Max 8.

“Guests who hold a current reservation impacted by this update will be notified proactively if there are changes to their itinerary,” wrote WestJet spokesperson Morgan Bell. “Where possible, we will work to substitute other aircraft directly onto a route and will not impact a guests itinerary so notifications will not be necessary.”

The following flights will be affected:

  • Saskatoon-Phoenix: Three weekly flights suspended.
  • Regina-Orlando: One weekly flight suspended.
  • Regina-Phoenix: Three weekly flights suspended.
  • Regina-Cancun: suspended one weekly flight in November. WestJet will operate one weekly flight in December.
  • Regina–Puerto Vallarta: One weekly flight suspended. WestJet will continue to operate once weekly in November. Two weekly flights will be suspended in December.

Air Canada and Sunwing had already announced plans to pull all Max 8s from its schedule until next year.

WestJet said the suspensions are temporary and that flights will resume once the Max 8 is cleared to return to service. However, that won’t happen until January 5, at the earliest. 

Transport Canada hasn’t said when the ban will be lifted.

Boeing says a system designed to help keep the Max 8 stable seemed to be a factor in each crash.

Many other governing bodies, including China, the United States and the European aviation authority, have banned the planes from their airspace.

WestJet currently owns 13 Max 8 jets, accounting for 10 per cent of its fleet.

Many other flights from Calgary, Winnipeg and Toronto have also been affected.

With files from Ian Hanomansing

WestJet suspends four Regina hot holiday routes

News provided by CBC News – link to full story and updates

9 September 2019, By David Baxter, Reporter  Global News

WestJet Airlines Ltd. says it is removing its grounded Boeing 737 Max jets from service until at least Jan. 5, affecting thousands of passengers with travel plans during the busy winter holiday season. Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline's facilities in Calgary, Tuesday, May 7, 2019.
WestJet Airlines Ltd. says it is removing its grounded Boeing 737 Max jets from service until at least Jan. 5, affecting thousands of passengers with travel plans during the busy winter holiday season. Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Tuesday, May 7, 2019.Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

WestJet is temporarily cancelling some direct hot holiday destination flights due to continued grounding issues with Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

Four Regina routes are being affected by the move, with scheduling changes set to run Nov. 4, 2019, to Jan. 5, 2020, unless otherwise specified.

Regina’s once-weekly flight to Orlando, Fla., and three weekly flights to Phoenix, Ariz., are suspended.

The once-weekly flight from Regina to Cancun, Mexico, will be suspended for November, but WestJet plans to operate weekly flights in December.

The Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, routes will see one weekly flight suspended, but WestJet will continue to offer one trip a week for November. However, the two weekly flights will be suspended in December.

According to WestJet, there is no timeline on when MAX planes will return to their fleet, and this change is being made to limit last-minute cancellations.

The company said they are proactively notifying passengers about the need to rebook travel options. This began on September 8.

The plan is to resume these routes once MAX planes return to the fleet, according to WestJet.

This is the sixth time WestJet has made these kinds of nationwide schedule changes involving MAX aircraft since March 13.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Regina airport tax exemption improves chances of attracting U.S. airlines

News provided by Global News – link to full story and updates

27 August 2019 By Jonathan Guignard, Online Producer  Global News

Regina city council approved a tax exemption that would save the airport close to $500,000, increasing the chances of attracting U.S. airlines.
Regina city council approved a tax exemption that would save the airport close to $500,000, increasing the chances of attracting U.S. airlines.File / Global News

The Regina airport is one step closer to getting direct flights from the Queen City to the United States.

Regina city council approved a five-year tax exemption that would save the airport more than $500,000.

The money saved would allow the airport to create incentives for U.S. airlines including revenue guarantees, landing and terminal fee reductions and cash for marketing.

“Airlines specifically that we would target would be the ones who flew here before. This would be airlines like United and Delta,” said James Bogusz, Regina Airport Authority president and CEO.

READ MORE: Regina airport to get dining and pre-flight experience upgrade

“I have personally spoken to both in the last 18 months and really what we see as the best or most likely prospect is an opportunity to service Denver.”

For Regina Mayor Michael Fougere, it was a decision he described as a “no brainer.”

“We think it’s great. If they can land a new airline coming here than that’s fantastic,” Fougere said.

READ MORE: City considering two options surrounding possible bus service to Regina airport

There are conditions to the exemption including having to have a deal in place by the end of 2020 with the service starting by no later than the end of 2021.

“It’s conditional on them actually securing that airline flight to Regina from the U.S. and if they don’t do it, they lose the exemption,” Fougere said.

“It’s related to their performance, which I believe is really positive.”

Regina airport used to offer both United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, but lost both services in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

WATCH: Regina airport eyes expansion after strong 2018

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Regina YQR Passenger Experience Upgrades Now Underway

Provided by Regina Airport Authority

8 August 2019

Today the Regina Airport Authority (RAA) team shared their plans for the phase 1 post security hold room renovation.

According to James Bogusz, President and CEO, the focus of the renovations is to convert second floor pre-security food and beverage and retail outlets to post-security, provide additional seating in the passenger waiting area and create a new play area for children.

“In addition to increasing the food and beverage options post security, we will be streamlining our passenger screening area,” said Bogusz. “This will include new signage and more intuitive entrances that better define both the passenger and priority screening lanes.”

The phase 1 renovations were approved by the RAA board of directors with an investment of approximately one million dollars. The project, which is being funded by the airport improvement fee, is scheduled to be completed prior to Christmas.

“Post-security services are one of the most important aspects of a passenger’s experience at an airport,” said Bogusz. “After the renovations are completed, we look forward to our guests arriving early and enjoying the new food and space options.”

PDF link to renovation image

Regina airport asks for $500K tax break to help it lure direct U.S. flights

News provided by CBC News – link to full story and updates

City council will consider request at its Aug. 26 meeting

CBC News · Posted: Aug 08, 2019

Regina Airport Authority has requested a property tax exemption, saying this will help it entice large airlines bring in direct flights from U.S. major hubs. (John Hill/Twitter)

The Regina Airport Authority is hoping to land a deal that could see local travellers fly directly to U.S. destinations.  

It has been roughly four years since a flight from any major city in the U.S. arrived in the Queen City, and now the airport authority and the City of Regina are in talks about a possible property tax exemption totalling $538,000 per year. The authority says this move would help it entice those U.S airlines back. 

The total exemption would include municipal taxes of $311,400, an education tax of $199,000 and $28,000 in library taxes. If city council approves the exemption, it would have to apply to the province to approve the break on the public education property tax.

Regina airport seeks support

In May 2019, the airport authority requested support from the City of Regina for a five-year plan that would ultimately see Regina offer direct flights to U.S. airport hubs.

The airport authority says the property tax exemption would allow it to create incentives for U.S airlines that would include revenue guarantees, reduction in landing and terminal fees, as well as cash for marketing. The airport says it would commit to daily, year-round flights to U.S. hubs by 2020 and not increase fees for customers beyond the Regina consumer price index, set out by Statistics Canada. 

In 2018, the Regina Airport Authority undertook a financial impact assessment that factored in two daily flights to cities such as Denver or Chicago, with a 50-seat availability. The assessment found such an option would generate $12 million a year to the local economy. 

James Bogusz, president and CEO of the airport authority, wrote to the city, stating air service makes up a large component of the city’s gross domestic product activity. Support is critical for a thriving economy and promoting economic growth within the city, Bogusz stated. 

Under the five-year plan, the airport authority would invest money into air service and retention with a possibility to renew once the term is up.

City council is set to review the request at an Aug. 26 meeting.

Local network issues may cause delays for people flying out of Regina

News provided by CBC News – link to full story

WestJet and Air Canada both impacted

CBC News · Posted: Aug 02, 2019

An airline worker in Regina deals with people boarding a plane, despite local network issues meaning some passengers didn’t have flight passes that could be scanned. (Samanda Brace/CBC News)

If you’re flying out of Regina this long-weekend, you could be slightly delayed.

There are localized network issues currently happening at the Regina International Airport.

Airport staff say they have tech crews working on site to resolve the issue.

The network issues are happening intermittently, meaning that some boarding passes and luggage tags are still being printed but others must be handwritten.

This could cause delays as both WestJet and Air Canada are affected by this issue.

#FlyYQR technology staff are investigating what appears to be a localized network issue impacting some components of passenger processing. We apologize for the inconvenience. The airline staff are assisting customers directly to complete their check in processes.

Regina Airport‏ @FlyYQR

Airport staff say they will update the airport’s social media feeds as soon as the problem is fixed.

Canada’s Airlines, Airports Among World’s Worst For Delays, And It Could Soon Get Worse

News provided HuffingtonPost.ca – link to full article – with a hint from P.N.

By Daniel Tencer 4 July 2019

Under a new “passenger bill of rights,” airlines will be able to leave passengers stuck on the tarmac for longer than the current standard.
An airplane taking off at Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International
An airplane taking off at Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport.

MONTREAL ― Canadian airports and airlines are some of the worst performers worldwide when it comes to flight delays, and new federal rules that allow passengers to be stuck on the tarmac for longer could make things worse.

All but one of Canada’s major airlines rank in the bottom half for on-time performance in a new survey from travel data provider OAG. 

Canada’s best performer, WestJet, ranks 57th out of 125 airlines surveyed, with 77.1 per cent of all flights arriving on time. The country’s worst performer, Sunwing, ranks as the second-worst airline in the world, 124th out of 125, with only 57.8 per cent of flights on time.

Sunwing experienced numerous flight glitches in recent years, including major delays in Toronto and Montreal in April, 2018, that led to a fine from the Canadian Transportation Agency.

Canada's Airlines, Airports Among World's Worst For Delays, And It Could Soon Get

Looking at airports, Canada doesn’t fare much better. Our best airport, in Grande Prairie, Alta., ranks 108th out of 505 airports surveyed.

Toronto’s two commercial passenger airports, Pearson and Billy Bishop, rank as the two worst airports in Canada and among the worst in the world ― 475th and 489th, respectively.

Interestingly, there is a yawning east-west divide, with western Canadian airports performing better than others.

Canada's Airlines, Airports Among World's Worst For Delays, And It Could Soon Get

The survey comes as Canada is about to launch a new “passengers’ bill of rights” that some critics say will make it easier for airlines to delay flights.

Under the new regulations, airlines will be able to keep passengers stuck on the tarmac for up to three hours, plus an additional 45 minutes if the airline believes takeoff is imminent.

Currently, Canada has no government-enforced limits on tarmac delays, but airlines themselves had standards built into their tariffs. The industry standard was 90 minutes, which is also what a Senate committee recommended be the rule in the new passenger bill of rights. The government rejected that recommendation.

Airlines themselves have been pushing for longer tarmac delays. Air Canada extended its maximum tarmac time to four hours in 2018.

Additionally, it will be very difficult to get compensation from airlines in most cases where flights are delayed or passengers are denied boarding, said Gabor Lukacs, a prominent consumer advocate who has challenged airline practices in courts.

Watch: Here are the budget airlines in Canada. Story continues below.

Lukacs said he worries about the possibility of longer delays under the new rules because “when something becomes legal, they will do it. On the other hand, the counterargument is it’s in the airline’s best interest to get passengers to their destination as quickly as possible.”

Lukacs’ advocacy group, Air Passenger Rights, has accused the government of letting the airline industry dictate the new passengers’ bill of rights.

A spokesperson for Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the tarmac delay rule was decided “based on operational realities and international best practices. For example, in the United States, air carriers are required to offer the option to disembark after a three hour delay on domestic flights, and a four hour delay on international flights.”

While airlines frequently blame weather for flight delays, data from the U.S. federal government shows that extreme weather events are responsible for fewer than 5 per cent of flight delays in the U.S. The most common reason for delays was late-arriving aircraft, meaning flights delayed because earlier flights were delayed. This accounted for nearly 42 per cent of U.S. delays. Canada does not currently keep track of this type of data.

But Lukacs points out that Canada has much harsher weather than most of the U.S., so it may not be a fair comparison. And Toronto’s worst-in-the-country Billy Bishop Airport has unique issues to deal with because it’s on an island.

“This may be an apples to oranges comparison,” he told HuffPost Canada by phone.

Nonetheless, Canada’s poor weather doesn’t explain why Alaska Airlines has a higher on-time percentage than any Canadian airline (80.7 per cent) and is the third best among U.S. airlines.

Lukacs argues these on-time rankings are incomplete: There isn’t enough data to determine, for instance, whether it’s a particular airport or a particular airline that’s behind delays in a given place.

Either way, airlines should be taking bad weather into account when planning their schedules, Lukacs said.

“If airlines and airports ignore the weather realities, then you have guaranteed, built-in failure,” he said.

Flight from Vancouver to Winnipeg diverted due to reports of smoke

News provided by CityNews1130.com

BY SONIA ASLAM AND DENISE WONG | Posted Apr 18, 2019

(CNW Group/Air Canada)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – An Air Canada flight from Vancouver has been diverted to Regina because of what’s been described as a “declared emergency.”

Flight AC 290 was supposed to land in Winnipeg.

Air Canada says the diversion was “due to reports of smoke coming from a galley oven.”

It says the crew diverted to the nearest airport “as a precaution.”

“The aircraft landed normally, was met by airport response vehicles as per standard procedure, and taxi’d to the gate under its own power where the 146 passengers disembarked normally.”

Air Canada says another aircraft and crew is being sent to Regina to complete the flight, which is estimated to arrive about six hours late in Winnipeg.

 – With files from Martin MacMahon