Web News • 19 August 2022
This week, Air Canada announced changes to its summer schedule to support unprecedented and unforeseen strains on our organization. International flights are unaffected, with a few timing changes to reduce flying at peak times. Flights adjusted are to and from our Toronto and Montreal hubs. These will be mostly frequency reductions, affecting primarily evening and late-night flights by smaller aircraft, on transborder and domestic routes. Four routes will be temporarily suspended.
Temporary Route Suspensions:
Montreal – Kelowna
Montreal – Baltimore
Montreal – Pittsburgh
Toronto – Fort McMurray
Toronto – Deer Lake: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 1 flight daily
Toronto – Saint John: reduce 2 frequencies, now operating 1 flight daily
Toronto – Charlottetown: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Toronto – Quebec City: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 4 flights daily
Toronto – North Bay: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 1 flight daily
Toronto – Timmins: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Toronto – Sudbury: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Toronto – London, ON: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 4 flights daily
Toronto – Windsor: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Toronto – Winnipeg: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 5 flights daily
Toronto – Edmonton: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 7 flights daily
Toronto – Calgary: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 11 flights daily
Toronto – Vancouver: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 14 flights daily
Toronto – Boston: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 6 flights daily
Toronto – LaGuardia: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 9 flights daily
Toronto – Newark: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 6 flights daily
Toronto – Baltimore: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Toronto – Philadelphia: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Toronto – Washington (DCA): reduce 1 frequency in August, will operate 2 flights daily (3 flights remain for July)
Toronto – Miami: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 1 flight daily
Toronto – San Francisco: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Montreal – Moncton: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Montreal – Fredericton: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Montreal – Saint John: reduce 1 frequency, now operating total 1flights
Montreal – Halifax: reduce 1 frequency in August, will operate total 3 flights daily (4 flights remain through August 3)
Montreal – Ottawa: reduce 2 frequencies, now operating 6 flights daily
Montreal – Quebec: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 4 flights daily
Montreal – Toronto (Island): no weekend operations and Friday reduced to 3 flights daily
Montreal – Edmonton: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Montreal – Calgary: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 4 flights daily
Montreal – Boston: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Montreal – LaGuardia: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 4 flights daily
Montreal – Newark: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Montreal – Fort Lauderdale: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Ottawa – Toronto (Island): no weekend operations
Montreal – Los Angeles
Montreal – Las Vegas
Montreal – Punta Cana
Montreal – Fort Lauderdale
Montreal – Winnipeg
Montreal – Edmonton
Toronto – Manchester
Toronto – Edinburgh
Toronto – Copenhagen
Vancouver – Portland
Vancouver – Regina
Vancouver – Cranbrook
From CTV News – link to source story – Thanks to RG
Brendan Connor, CTVNorthernOntario.ca Co-anchor (CTV News at 6) | November 22, 2021
CTV News has learned that vacation airline Sunwing is bailing out of most of northern Ontario this winter.
The airline is cancelling its sun destination flights from North Bay, Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie.
Sunwing has cancelled its planned Friday departures from Sudbury to Varadero, Cuba, and its Saturday flights to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
- Travel agencies in the north say people are eager to get to warm destinations
- More flight options for Sudbury travellers
Similar flights planned out of North Bay and Sault Ste. Marie are also cancelled. Sunwing will still offer service out of Thunder Bay.
Greater Sudbury Airport CEO Todd Tripp says it’s “devastating news” for the northern aviation business, and forces people to drive to Toronto in winter weather to catch their flights.
“I can appreciate this was a difficult decision for Sunwing, but without more airports with approval by the Federal Transport Minister to offer CBSA service for international flights, this leaves the air carrier few options from which to operate,” Tripp said.
“Many people from our region look forward to the annual seasonal sun program to help break up the long winter. The ability to catch a flight near home instead of the long drive to Toronto was definitely a key factor.”
CTV News has sent messages to Sunwing seeking comment, but has not yet received a response. RELATED IMAGES
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Airport experts in Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie both say they’re seeing more passengers, additional flights
CBC News · Jul 14, 2021
Air traffic in and out of the Sudbury and Sault Ste Marie airports is starting to pick up with more passengers on planes, but their Chief Executive Officers say they’re not out of the woods just yet.
The aviation industry took a big hit because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Non-essential travel was non-existent over the 16 months, and many airports struggled.
Now that restrictions are lifting, and more people are fully vaccinated, things are looking up for those who work in aviation.
“We’re starting to see some growth and some pickup of traffic.” said Todd Tripp, CEO for the Greater Sudbury Airport. “We hope to see better activity come the Stage three reopening on Friday.”
According to Tripp, Air Canada has increased its flights from the airport to twice a day. Porter has announced it will return its services in October, and Sunwing will begin operating from the airport in December.
Prior to the pandemic, Air Canada scheduled seven flights a day from the Sudbury Airport, Porter had three or four flights a day and Bearskin seven to eight flights a day.
Terry Bos, president and CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation says there have been noticeable improvements in recent weeks as the province gradually reopens.
Encouraging in Sault Ste. Marie
In June, he says there were more than five times as many passengers travelling through the Sault airport compared with the same month last year. And while the number of flights and passengers are still well below pre-pandemic levels, Bos is feeling hopeful.
“Overall things are certainly looking encouraging, and it’s the first time in a long time that things have actually looked promising and encouraging, so it seems to be moving in the right direction finally,” he said.
Air Canada also increased its flights out of the Sault Ste. Marie Airport from once to twice a day. Porter is also set to return in October. Bos said Bearksin Airlines continued to offer flights from the Sault throughout the pandemic, just with a reduced flight schedule. Pre-pandemic those numbers were five flights a day for Air Canada, three for Porter and six from Bearskin.
The Sault airport has been relying heavily on government wage subsidies to survive the pandemic. Bos said they qualified for the maximum amount. They also reduced the workforce down to just full-time staff.
“That’s certainly helped quite a bit.”
Bos says when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the airport did have a rainy day fund it had built up.
“We just weren’t expecting a rainy day to last 15 to 16 months,” he said.
No government help for Sudbury
Because of how the Greater Sudbury Airport is set up it was not able to apply for the same type of government subsidy that the Sault Airport was able to draw on. Tripp said their finances and reserve funds have depleted over the past 16 months, and they were not able to acquire any federal or provincial relief.
“Sadly we don’t see anything coming from the government in the near future.”
The airport does have a borrowing agreement with the City of Greater Sudbury.
Tripp compares the situation to relying on the city as it might a bank.
The Greater Sudbury Airport does have other funding requests before the government, but nothing has materialized, he said.
Over the past 16 months, Tripp said no employee was laid off from the airport, however vacant positions were not filled during that time.
Tripp attributes the staff at the Greater Sudbury Airport for the reason they’re still around despite the halt to non-essential travel.
“I think it’s their hard work and their solidarity behind us that have made us where we are today, in keeping this airport open,” he said.
Tripp would like to see a federal recovery plan for all regional airports across the country. He says major airports have had some support, but it’s the smaller airports that now need help.
“The federal government needs to step up and look at regional airports,” said Tripp.
And as for when the aviation industry could see a full recovery, both Tripp and Bos believe that will come sooner than many had been predicting.
“I think we’re going to see some growth happening faster than we thought and I think that will be very helpful for us, but we will soldier through this,” Tripp said.
“I think we’re going to see a strong steady build over the next 18 to 24 months, and I think probably within three to five years we’ll be back to where we were pre-pandemic,” Bos said.
With files from Jonathan Pinto
TORONTO, May 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sunwing is making it easier for residents of Northern Ontario to head to the tropics this winter. The tour operator has announced it will be offering vacation packages to some of the most popular tropical destinations from Greater Sudbury Airport and North Bay Jack Garland Airport. Flights will begin in December 2021 and run weekly until mid-April 2022.
“We’re excited to be returning to Sudbury and North Bay this winter and offering Northern Ontarians seamless vacation experiences under our wing,” commented Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations for Sunwing. “Our seasonal flight services from Sudbury and North Bay have been consistently well-received over the years. With convenient flights from their regional airports, travellers will be able to spend less time getting to their destination and more time soaking up the sun in paradise.”
The flight schedule from North Bay and Sudbury will be as follows:
- Between North Bay and Cancun, Thursdays from December 16, 2021 until April 14, 2022
- Between Sudbury and Varadero, Fridays from December 17, 2021 until April 15, 2022
“Greater Sudbury Airport is looking forward to welcoming Sunwing back for another successful season,” said Todd Tripp, Chief Executive Officer at Greater Sudbury Airport. “After a difficult year of staying home and not travelling, we’re sure that residents of Sudbury and the surrounding area will be looking forward to enjoying some much-deserved rest and relaxation in paradise.”
“After a strenuous year, we’re delighted that Sunwing will be returning to North Bay for their ninth season,” commented Jack Santerre, Airport Manager for North Bay Jack Garland Airport Corporation. “We’re pleased that our residents will be provided with convenient travel options from their regional gateway. With weekly flights to Cancun, it’ll now be easier than ever for travellers in North Bay and the surrounding area to head south this winter.”
North Bay residents headed to Cancun with the whole family can stay at Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort and Spa, offering activities and amenities for all ages. Vacationers looking to take their budget even further can enjoy exclusive RIU®-topia amenities at Riu Dunamar like unlimited reservation-free dining. Travellers from Sudbury can soak up the sun on Cuba’s world-famous shores at Grand Memories Varadero and enjoy complimentary water sports like windsurfing and catamaran rides.
Plus, customers who book their tropical getaway at select resorts by May 31, 2021 for travel between November 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022 will receive up to $1,000 per couple in value during the tour operator’s extended Freedom 21/22 Sale, including complimentary Price Drop Cash Back of up to $800 per couple at select resorts and the flexibility to change or cancel their plans with ease.
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.
Lyndsay Aelick, CTV News Northern Ontario Videojournalist | Sunday, May 2, 2021
SUDBURY — The travel industry has been hit hard by the pandemic but despite a decline in passenger traffic and no government funding coming to the airport in Sudbury, staff have kept its doors open.
“We are governed by Transport Canada regulations so in other words we can’t just close the doors and go home we have to keep the airport ready to go,” says Todd Tripp, Greater Sudbury Airport CEO.
Passenger numbers in the first quarter of 2021 are down 90 per cent at the airport but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anyone coming or going.
Tripp says while numbers are down in terms of the passenger traffic side it has seen an increase in general aviation traffic
“We believe most of it is essential. There’s still a lot of mining traffic going back and forth with the shift change and so forth. We have a lot of nurses and doctors coming and going from southern Ontario coming back up to Sudbury. We have seen a very large increase in traffic coming in on the MedEvac service,” says Tripp
The airport has not received any financial relief during the pandemic, according to Tripp, any dollars that the airport has brought in have gone directly towards expenses. In the fall economic statement, Tripp says over 24 million dollars from FEDNOR was to be divided amongst airports in the north, however, he is still waiting for that funding application to be approved.
“We have not received a government cent at all for anything and I must highlight we are not sponsored by the City of Greater Sudbury. They do loan us money. They act as our bank,” he said.
Recently the airport received approval from city council to have its line of credit increased by 5 million dollars bringing its total to $12.5 million.
“We are a strong economic driver for the City of Greater Sudbury and region and we want to remain so. So in order to do so I wanted to make sure that we had the back stopping of the dollars if we needed to make whatever changes the government is going to ask of us,” says Tripp.
The dollars were originally allocated for improvements and expansion projects, however, Tripp believes the money will need to be used to prepare for an influx of travel once it’s safe to do so.
“If you’d have asked me 6 to 8 months ago I would have said that travel is not going to happen for years. I’ve changed that a little bit in that I think there is going to be some requirements to be ready to go for the leisure travel.”
Tripp says the airport tried to cut costs as much as possible over the last year and a half and luckily no employees have had to be laid off up to this point, but he says sadly it’s getting to a point where he is unsure of what to do next, which is why government dollars are so needed.
‘We wanted to be prepared … our recovery could be long and tedious,’ airport CEO says
CBC News · Apr 29, 2021
The Greater Sudbury Airport is preparing for change, once the pandemic is over and people start travelling again.
The development corporation that oversees the northern Ontario airport was approved by city council for a $5-million line of credit increase, bringing its total to $12.5 million.
Airport chief executive officer Todd Tripp told Sudbury city council Tuesday night that COVID-19 has added operational pressures.
“We just want to be prepared as we believe that we are a key economic driver for the city of Sudbury and the Greater Sudbury region,” he said.
The airport’s original borrowing limit was $7.5 million, meant for capital improvements and expansion projects. Although that total hasn’t been used up, according to Tripp, the $5-million approval will provide a cushion.
“We’re uncertain as to what industry is going to ask of us coming out of COVID, for the aviation industry,” he said.
“We wanted to be prepared because we believe — and as some of the experts in the industry have said — our recovery could be long and tedious for us to come out of this.”
Preparing for unknown
Some modifications have already been made to the airport terminal to keep travellers safe, but Tripp is unsure what more will have to be done once travel picks up.
“Some experts, if you can believe them, they’re saying that the pent-up demand to travel is going to be quite severe, especially in the leisure market.
“We may need these dollars to prepare our terminal building for a greater onslaught than we saw before,” he told councillors.
Ed Stankiewicz, executive director of finance, assets and fleet, told council the airport funds would not impact the city’s financial position, as it would come from the investment portfolio.
Other travel needs met
The Greater Sudbury Airport has kept going with essential travel, private flights and other services, despite the pandemic.
“We also have been maintaining a full-on service and supporting of the medical facilities in Sudbury with bringing in new patients and everything else through the airport,” said Tripp.
“We’ve also had increased cargo, as many people have been buying online through Amazon and others.”
The airport has not received any government relief over the past year, but is awaiting responses to federal funding applications.
From CBC News – link to source story – thanks to RG
We’re looking at all avenues for revenue generation that doesn’t rely on on passenger traffic
CBC News · Posted: Jan 15, 2021
An official with the Greater Sudbury Airport says they are doing what they can to keep the operation going, as the pandemic flattens air travel the world over.
Marketing director Jean-Mathieu Chenier, says they’re cutting costs, including not hiring seasonal workers, as they normally would this time of year.
“We’re delaying some capital works that we’ve had to do. Unfortunately, there’s still a high level of fixed costs. The aviation industry is one of the most regulated industries in Canada. And so that does bring with it a high level of fixed costs,” he said.
“We’re looking at all avenues for revenue generation that doesn’t rely on passenger traffic.”
Chenier says about 70 per cent fewer passengers are coming through the Sudbury airport. There used to be several Air Canada round trip flight to Toronto every day, but now there’s just one each day.
“Every airport right now is, as always, concerned about reduction in service to their airport,” he said.
“The mining sector has remained relatively strong, and so I think that is driving some of the traffic. Additionally, Sudbury is a major hub when it comes to medical services and that sort of thing. So I think that we will survive this and maintain, at the very least, one flight. But, you know, no one really can tell.”
Chenier notes the Sudbury airport is a member of the Regional Community Airports of Canada, and the Canadian Airports Council, which continue “to lobby the government for financial support and assistance in order to keep the lights on, figuratively and literally, when it comes to airports.”
“Unfortunately, many of the smaller airports tend to be connected in some way, shape or form to the municipality and don’t always qualify for the programs that other businesses would qualify for.”
In a news release issued on Tuesday Canadian Airports Council president Daniel-Robert Gooch said the sector is “in a crisis situation, and there is no time to waste”
They are asking Canada’s new Minister of transport, Omar Alghabra, to implement and enhance “the financial relief and regional access programs already announced by the government.”
The are also asking the minister to expand the pilot COVID testing programs at airports, “with the hope that they can be tied to reduced quarantine requirements, once safety concerns have been met.”
Listen to Morning North (bottom of the story) – The Sudbury airport says it’s a precarious balance to stay open during a pandemic when everyone is being told to stop travelling. Jean-Mathieu Chenier, the Director of Marketing for Greater Sudbury Airport, joined us to talk about how the airport will manage to survive. 8:28