Saskatoon International Airport earned a top honour in 2019 — the number one ranking in Canada for on-time performance.
Officials said despite challenging weather conditions, the focus and dedication of its staff and airport partners allowed it to achieve that ranking while recording its second-busiest year on record.
A total of 1.49-million passengers went through the airport in 2019 — a year that officials called transformative and resilient.
“Focusing on our vision to be Canada’s most valued airport experience, Skyxe continues to enhance its facilities and operations with projects that align with our 2040 airport master plan,” Stephen Maybury, president and CEO of Skyxe Saskatoon Airport, said Monday in a statement.
The airport completed two major projects last year — the replacement of its baggage system and the redesign and redevelopment of its check-in hall.STORY CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
“Both projects focused heavily on technology and the optimal utilization of existing space to ensure faster processing and increased efficiency for both passengers and bags,” Maybury said.
The airport also received an overall score of 4.38 out of 5.0 from the Airports Council International Airport Service Quality program for guest experience.
Other highlights for the year included the return of WestJet’s weekly winter service to Orlando, Fla., Delta Airlines increasing seats to Minneapolis, Minn., and Transwest moving its Saskatoon to Regina flight to the main terminal, airport officials said.
BY THOMAS PILLER GLOBAL NEWS Posted December 12, 2019
With Christmas less than two weeks away, there are a few things air travellers can keep in mind to make their trips less stressful.
The No. 1 tip that CJ Dushinski, the vice-president of business development and service quality at the Saskatoon International Airport, gives travellers is to arrive early, so there’s lots of time to get through screening.
“Especially during a very busy season, you want to make sure you’re giving yourself plenty of time to reduce that stress,” she said.
One way to ensure travellers arrive with an appropriate amount of time is to check on flights before heading to the airport.
“You never know what the weather’s going to be like. You don’t know what’s necessarily going on with your airline. If there’s up-line weather happening at a different station or a different city,” Dushinski said.
“So you always want to make sure that before you head out the door, you make sure you log onto either our website or your airline’s website directly and check the flight status. So you’re not wasting time and making sure that you’re arriving when your flight’s actually departing.”
Dushinski said, especially over the holidays, one of the biggest things they try to remind guests is to be conscious of what they’re taking through screening.
“Since it’s a really busy time of year for Christmas, people are bringing wrapped gifts through. We recommend don’t wrap your gifts. That makes it very easy for screening to just see what you’re carrying through. And they don’t have to unwrap them so that you have to wrap them again,” she said.
“Obviously, very strict guidelines. If you’re not sure, make sure you check with the (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority’s) … website. They have some good information there.”
Other holidays tips from CAA Saskatchewan before jetting away:
Know the airline’s cancellation policy. Some airlines may be waiving fees and issuing changes due to possible rebooking policies;
Monitor weather conditions – both for the departure and destination cities;
Don’t forget travel insurance;
Make sure passports are up to date and valid for the time required by the country or countries visited;
Pack medications in original containers and store in carry-on bags;
Weigh packed luggage to avoid additional airline charges; and
Flights to Phoenix, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta affected, not known when flights will return to normal
CBC News · Posted: Sep 10, 2019
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.
Under a new “passenger bill of rights,” airlines will be able to leave passengers stuck on the tarmac for longer than the current standard.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New Terrace route and added capacity supports economic growth in Skeena Valley area
Capacity increasing for Vancouver Island, Northern BC, BC Interior, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Winnipegroutes
MONTREAL, July 3, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada today announced it will launch daily non-stop, year-round flights between Calgary and Terrace beginning Oct. 28, 2019, which will complement the airline’s five times daily flights between Vancouver and Terrace. Air Canada is also increasing capacity on key regional routes across Western Canada this winter with its flexible fleet including continued deployment of the popular Bombardier Q-400 aircraft.
“We are very pleased to add a new route linking Northern BC with our Calgary hub this fall in response to economic growth in the Skeena Valley area. The new daily, non-stop flights between Terrace and Calgary will not only offer convenient flight options in response to travel demand between these two respective areas, but also the choice of another hub where easy connections to and from our extensive network are available. Further, with significant development projects underway in the Terrace-Kitimat area, we are also strategically boosting capacity on our Vancouver-Terrace route this winter with five daily flights. With these new schedule enhancements, Air Canada will offer the most flights and options to travel easily between Terrace-Kitimat and anywhere across North America and internationally,” said Mark Galardo, Vice President, Network Planning at Air Canada.
“We have also increased capacity this winter in several other regional markets in Western Canada. Following the introduction of more comfortable, fuel efficient and faster Q-400 aircraft earlier this year, we will continue deploying the aircraft this winter to the BC Interior, Northern BC, Vancouver Island and Northern Alberta communities, providing more seats and optimizing the most connections between our extensive regional and global markets.”
“And finally with Air Canada’s varied and flexible fleet, this fall and winter, we are also pleased to add capacity on our Whitehorse, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg routes with larger Airbus A319/A320 and CRJ-900 aircraft. Customers on these services can take advantage of our Business Class and wi-fi options,” concluded Mark.
“The Airport Society is thrilled to have another route added to our business schedule. Air Canada has been a valued partner in helping us create the true regional airport. We look forward to growing with them in our region,” said Terrace-Kitimat Airport Society President Gary MacCarthy.
Increased services across Western Canada regional markets this fall and winter peak compared to last year include:
Frequencies & Aircraft*
Daily with Q-400s
5 x daily with Q-400s
2 x daily with Q-400s
2 x daily with Q-400s
Vancouver-Fort St. John
4 x daily with Q-400s
5 x daily with Q-400s
3 x daily with Q-400s
3 x daily with Q-400s
Daily with Q-400s
3 daily with CRJ900s offering Business and Economy Class
3 daily with CRJ900s offering Business and Economy Class
2 x daily with A319s/A320s offering Business and Economy Class
2 x daily with Q-400s
3 x daily with A319s/CRJ900s offering Business and Economy Class
All flights are scheduled to provide convenient, point-to-point travel, as well as easy connections to Air Canada’s extensive domestic, US and international network at Vancouver and Calgary. Customers also collect and redeem Aeroplan Miles through Canada’s leading loyalty program when travelling with Air Canada, and eligible customers have access to priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounges at main airports, priority boarding and other benefits.
Air Canada during summer season is adjusting service in Western Canada, as the airline continues moving most service to Dash8-Q400 aircraft, instead of -300 (or -300/Q400 mix, based on comparison with summer 2018 season). Planned changes, effective 01MAY19, as follows.
Calgary – Kelowna Dash8-Q400 service increases from 3 to 4 daily (All flights operated by Q400) Calgary – Saskatoon Dash8-Q400 service increases from 3 to 4 daily (All flights operated by Q400) Calgary – Winnipeg 2 daily A320 and 1 daily CRJ900, replacing 4 daily CRJ900/Dash8-Q400 Vancouver – Comox 4 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of 5 daily Dash8-300 Vancouver – Kamloops 4 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of 5 daily Dash8-300/Q400 Vancouver – Nanaimo 7 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of 8 daily Dash8-300/Q400 Vancouver – Penticton 3 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of 4 daily Dash8-300 Vancouver – Prince Rupert 2 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of 3 daily (weekdays) Dash8-300. Aircraft change from 01JUN19 Vancouver – Sandspit 2 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of Dash8-300/Q400. Aircraft change to all-Q400 from 01JUN19 Vancouver – Smithers 2 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of 3 daily Dash8-300
Provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada/CNW
KELOWNA, BC, April 18, 2019 /CNW/ – Saskatoon and Kelowna airports are important destinations for both tourists and business travelers. Maintaining international flights into both centres, and promoting new flights, is essential for increasing economic development and tourism opportunities.
Today, Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announced $840,000 in funding for the Saskatoon Airport Authority, in partnership with the Kelowna International Airport, to promote tourism and trade through developing and sustaining trans-border air routes for Saskatoon and Kelowna airports.
Through this investment, the Saskatoon and Kelowna airports will work to develop strategies and marketing campaigns to increase trans-border air passenger traffic in their two regions. The initiatives will target airlines, while also marketing Saskatoon and Kelowna as tourist destinations in major U.S. cities. Tourism employs 15,000 people in the Kelowna area, and another 16,500 in Saskatoon. Additionally, a number of large, international companies based in each of these centres rely on trans-border air travel for their own employees and those seeking to do business with them.
Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan aims to build an economy in which Canadians have access to high-quality jobs and Canadian businesses are well-placed to participate in a rapidly evolving and competitive global marketplace.
“Our government is laying the foundation for Canadians to become more competitive and succeed in the global economy. Today’s investment in the Saskatoon Airport Authority, partnered with the Kelowna International Airport, builds on our competitive advantages and will result in better access for international travelers to Kelowna and Saskatoon, boosting economic growth and creating good, middle-class jobs for Canadians.” – The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada
“The Okanagan Valley sustains successful diverse communities and outstanding recreational opportunities in Kelownaand the corridor. Kelowna is the largest community and is also often recognized for its innovative entrepreneurs as well as large corporations. The Government of Canada supports the efforts of Kelowna and Saskatoon airports, as they strive to serve the needs of tourism and business sectors effectively.” – Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country
“We continue to hear from our community about the importance of enhancing our air service connections for economic development, tourism and business. The funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada will support our efforts to sustainably grow connectivity through air service options that are valued by the province of Saskatchewan. We are proud to partner with Kelowna International Airport and would like to thank Western Economic Diversification Canada and the federal Government for supporting Canadian airports in attracting essential air services to our communities.” – Stephen Maybury, President and CEO, Saskatoon Airport Authority
“We’re excited to partner with Western Economic Diversification Canada and Saskatoon Airport to enhance connections for leisure and business travel. Providing access to the United States is a key component of a resilient economy and the investment will give YLW the opportunity to enhance its air service for the benefit of the region and Kelowna residents.” – Mayor Colin Basran, City of Kelowna
Canada’s largest airline says commercial reasons are behind the decision to end flights between Saskatoon and Winnipeg and Winnipeg and Thunder Bay.
Air Canada confirmed on Monday that it will cease flying the routes on March 31, calling it a “difficult decision.”
“The routes from Winnipeg to Saskatoon and to Thunder Bay regrettably did not perform at a level that would make commercial sense for us to continue operating,” Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Mah said in a statement.
“The factors we look at include demand between the two cities, aircraft availability and overall profitability,” Mah added.
She said anyone booked on one of the affected flights after March 31 will be contacted, either by the airline or their travel agent, to make alternate travel arrangements or obtain a refund.
The Saskatoon Airport Authority, which operates the John G. Diefenbaker International Airport, has said 2018 was its busiest year on record with 1,518,980 passengers, up 3.8 per cent from 2017.
As of last month, the airport had 25 direct routes allowing passengers to reach 245 destinations, the most popular of which are Calgary, Toronto and Edmonton.
WestJet Airlines Ltd., the other major airline that flies out of Saskatoon, offers non-stop flights to Winnipeg from Saskatoon, as well as connecting flights to Thunder Bay.
Capacity increasing for Vancouver Island, Northern BC, BC Interior, Saskatoon, Winnipeg
MONTREAL, Feb. 14, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada today announced it will boost capacity on regional routes across Western Canada this spring as it deploys more state-of-the-art Bombardier Q-400 Next Gen aircraft. The changes are part of an ongoing transformation of Air Canada Express that will result in enhanced services for customers.
“Air Canada is strategically enhancing the flying experience and increasing capacity this summer on key regional routes in Western Canada. The ultra-quiet, comfortable, fuel efficient and faster Q-400 aircraft will be well-received by our customers and is larger than the regional aircraft it is replacing. We are pleased to deploy it to more communities in Western Canada as we further strengthen our regional network to optimize all significant connections between our extensive regional and global markets,” said Mark Galardo, Vice President, Network Planning at Air Canada. “With our varied and flexible fleet, we are also adding frequencies to our Vancouver-Anchorage and adding capacity to our Calgary-Winnipeg route with larger Airbus aircraft in response to demand.”
Air Canada Express flights operated by Jazz Aviation LP are scheduled to provide convenient, point-to-point travel, as well as easy connections to Air Canada’s extensive domestic, US and international network at Vancouver and Calgary. Customers also collect and redeem Aeroplan Miles through Canada’s leading loyalty program when travelling with Air Canada, and eligible customers have access to priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounges at main airports, priority boarding and other benefits.
Increased services this summer peak compared to last year include:
News provided by SKYXE with a hint from K.W. – Thanks
29 January 2019 – Saskatoon, SK: 2018 was a year of growth and transformation at Skyxe Saskatoon Airport. Passenger demand was steady throughout most of the year with 10 months of consecutive growth that yielded a year-end total of 1,518,980 passengers, representing a 3.8% increase over 2017 and our highest passenger traffic ever.
Skyxe strives to ensure that our guests depart on time (within 15 minutes of schedule) for their destination. Through focus and dedication from our staff and airport partners, we ranked #2 in Canada for on-time performance in 2018.
With over 2 million passenger aircraft seats in 2018, air service continues to be of the utmost importance to Skyxe as we continue to focus on our one-stop strategy that provide our guests with access to 245 destinations from Saskatoon. Expanding our 23 direct routes in 2018, WestJet launched new weekly winter service from Saskatoon to Orlando in December, and our most popular, and most served destinations for 2018 were Calgary, Toronto and Edmonton.
Guest satisfaction, passenger experience and service quality remained a strategic priority in 2018, and was measured by our participation in the Airports Council International Airport Service Quality (ASQ) program. Skyxe ranked #3 in airports in Canada for overall satisfaction, and #1 in Canada in the categories of Ambiance and Overall Satisfaction Business.
“Focusing on our vision to be Canada’s most valued airport experience, Skyxe continues to enhance its facilities and operations with projects aligned with our 2040 Airport Master Plan,” says Stephen Maybury, President and CEO of Skyxe Saskatoon Airport. In 2018 we completed a major curbside renovation that now provides an expanded area for public and commercial requirements. Our parking products were enhanced with new technology and expanded to offer a variety of options for our diverse community’s needs including, jetSet (economy), StandardXE (long-term), ExpressXE (short-term), and ValetXE (valet and concierge). Additionally, Saskatoon Airport is proud to welcome the 17th Maple Leaf Air Canada Lounge to its post-security waiting area, as well as our newest restaurant, Urban Acre, and newest concession, LB Distillers, which both opened in late 2018 to enhance our guests’ dining and shopping experience.”