Swoop Celebrates Three Years of Painting the Skies Magenta

Swoop Celebrates Three Years of Painting the Skies Magenta

Airline launches new route between Hamilton and Kelowna and invites travellers to the party with 30% off SWOOPONS in recognition of third birthday

Calgary, A.B. – June 20, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low- cost airline is celebrating three years of making air travel more accessible and affordable for Canadians with their unbundled, ultra-low fare flights.   Since the airline’s first flight on June 20, 2018, Swoop has proudly served three million travellers, connected Canadians to 17 destinations, operating over 20,000 flights to Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean.   

Swoop was founded in 2018 with a mission to make air travel more affordable, introducing the ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) model to Canadians and saving travellers more than $159 million in direct fare savings in 2019 alone*. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the airline maintained domestic service, ensuring Canadians had continued access to affordable flight for essential air travel coast to coast.   

“The last 15-months have demonstrated how important air travel is for the connectivity and economic stability of the communities we serve,” said Charles Duncan, President of Swoop. “We are so pleased to be able to celebrate our third birthday with the positivity of new route announcements and a renewed demand for air travel.”

As the airline that always has affordable flights, Swoop is celebrating with extra savings on already ultra-low fares. Travellers can save 30% off base fare with the promo code SWOOPON when booking by June 24, 2021 for travel between July 8, 2021 and April 30, 2022. Travellers can visit FlySwoop.com/deals for more information. 

Today’s celebration will also see Swoop operate its inaugural flight from Hamilton, ON to Kelowna, BC, connecting Canada’s wine countries from east to west. Scheduled to arrive in Kelowna at 10:25 a.m. local time, the flight will be welcomed on the ground by a water cannon salute and greeted by representatives from both Swoop and Kelowna International Airport. 

“Today’s inaugural flight is another milestone for Swoop as we continue in our recovery efforts to re-build our network,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial and Finance, Swoop. “Swoop’s success would not be possible without the support of our airport partners just like John C. Munro Hamilton Airport and Kelowna International Airport as well as our Swoopsters who share in our mission of making air travel more affordable for all.” 

“We are proud to welcome Hamilton non-stop to YLW this summer,” said Sam Samaddar, Airport Director, Kelowna International Airport. “Swoop’s additional destinations will allow Canadians more direct options to the Okanagan this summer season.” 

“Looking back to Swoop’s very first flight from Hamilton International Airport to Abbotsford on June 20, 2018, it’s amazing to know our partnership is now three years strong as we celebrate Swoop’s 3rd birthday!” said Cathie Puckering, President and CEO, John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. “Today, another milestone is proudly celebrated with new service from Hamilton to Kelowna, connecting one wine country to another!”  

To learn more about Swoop visit FlySwoop.com and for information on how Swoop is ensuring a safe and healthy travel experience visit FlySwoop.com/traveller-safety

*Swoop Economic Impacts 2019, a study conducted by Chris Lowe Group in January 2020.  

About Swoop: Swoop is on a mission to make travel more affordable and accessible for all Canadians. Established in 2018 as an independent subsidiary of the WestJet Group of Companies, Swoop is Canada’s ultra-not-expensive airline. Offering scheduled service to destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean, Swoop’s unbundled fares put travellers in control of purchasing only the products and services they desire. Swoop’s modern fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity has safely carried more than 3 million travellers in three years of operation.

Swoop ‘seeing light at the end of the tunnel’ after incredibly difficult 15 months

From CBC News – link to source story

‘People are clearly willing and able to book that long-awaited trip,’ airline executive says

Desmond Brown · CBC News · Jun 18, 2021

Swoop, operated by WestJet, launched in Hamilton back in 2018 with a trip from Hamilton to Abbotsford, B.C. for just $129. (Swoop)

Low-cost airline Swoop is on the rebound, head of commercial and finance Bert van der Stege said Friday, after being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to van der Stege, the carrier lost more than 90 per cent of its revenue and roughly 90 per cent of its passenger volume over the course of the pandemic. 

“The past 15 months or so have been incredibly difficult,” van der Stege said during an executive exchange held virtually with Hamilton International Airport.

“It’s been a difficult 15 months [but] we believe we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel now and have reached a turning point.”

Van der Stege said a “great demand” for seats is “slowly coming back”. 

“We’ve seen a period of record sales again now. People are clearly willing and able to book that long-awaited trip,” he said.

This summer we expect to serve five destinations within Canada from Hamilton airport, and then as we approach the following winter season we will be adding five international destinations from Hamilton.- Bert van der Stege, Swoop Airline

Van der Stege said Swoop will initially focus on domestic travel as it emerges from the fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that’s where they expect the rebound to start. 

He said sales and forecast passenger numbers “are picking up really nicely, in particular in and out of jurisdictions that have outlined a clear path to recovery, easing travel restrictions, [and] a path to open up based on science.”

After that initial period of domestic recovery and domestic travel, van der Stege said Swoop will once again partner with Hamilton International Airport and open up international travel.

“This summer we expect to serve five destinations within Canada from Hamilton airport, and then as we approach the following winter season we will be adding five international destinations from Hamilton.”

Swoop will launch a new flight from Hamilton to Kelowna this Sunday, while the winter schedule will include the following:

  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
  • Cancun, Mexico.
  • Montego Bay, Jamaica
  • Orlando and Tampa Bay, Florida.
Swoop’s head of commercial and finance Bert van der Stege. (CBC)

Swoop, operated by WestJet, launched in Hamilton back in 2018 with a trip from Hamilton to Abbotsford, B.C. for just $129.

Since its inception the airline has carried more than one million passengers in and out of Hamilton airport. In total, Swoop has transported more than three million passengers.

The airline has also created more than 500 direct jobs at Hamilton’s John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport

“With the two brands, WestJet and Swoop being present here in Hamilton, we believe that we can assist in the recovery of the tourism and hospitality industry sector, not just focusing on getting Hamiltonians out of Hamilton using Hamilton airport, but also bringing visitors back,” van der Stege said.

With the airline seeing sales “on par with pre-COVID levels,” van der Stege said they will be adding another Boeing 737 to the fleet by the end of the year.

Cathie Puckering, president and CEO of Hamilton’s John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. (CBC)

Cathie Puckering, president and CEO of Hamilton’s John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport, said the number of passengers that Swoop has put into the market in such a short time “was amazing.”

She said Hamilton experienced almost a 70 per cent decline in passenger volumes last year due to COVID-19.

Puckering said this year is just as hard but she is confident that things will get back to normal.

“The aviation industry has had shocks and has been hurt before [but] it has been resilient and we have bounced back,” Puckering said.

“So as long as we continue with the vaccine rollout and we continue to follow the restrictions and the measures … travel will recover and we’re optimistic about what the future will hold and Swoop’s growth in Hamilton.”

US-Canada Border Closure Extended Until Late July

From Simple Flying – link to source story

by Sumit Singh | June 18, 2021

It has been a year and three months since a ban on non-essential travel between the United States and Canada was first imposed. Now, airlines and passengers looking to head over the border between the two countries will have to wait until at least July 21st.

Air Canada New York
Air Canada won’t be flying non-essential passengers across the Canada-US for at least another month. Photo: Getty Images

Another wait

There are high hopes for a change as airline advocacy groups on both sides of the border have been putting pressure on authorities to open things up. There were also hints of progress with Canadian Health Minister Patty Hadju talking of a phased reopening plan last week. Additionally, US congressman and co-chair of the Northern Border Caucus Brian Higgins shared that US President Joe Biden is keen for the border to open up.

Despite these glimmers of hope, those wanting to fly between the US and Canada for non-essential reasons will have to wait for at least over a month. Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair confirmed the news on Twitter.

Our number one priority as we fight #COVID19 is keeping Canadians safe. In coordination with the U.S., we are extending restrictions on non-essential international travel and with the United States until July 21st, 2021.

— Bill Blair (@BillBlair) June 18, 2021

A change of approach

Both US and Canadian carriers refocused their attention on domestic services following the restrictions set by the global health crisis. However, international activity now is seeing gradual improvement in the US following the easing of requirements to certain destinations. However, continued stringent restrictions in Canada are causing airlines in the country to continue their concentration on the domestic market through the summer.

WestJet Getty
The travel restrictions have been renewed on a monthly basis since March 2020. Photo: Getty Images

WestJet announced its domestic recovery in spring with 11 routes. Moreover, Swoop has been deploying its Boeing 737 aircraft to national vacation spots. Flair Airlines is also concentrating its new 737 MAX aircraft between its Canadian bases. After the border reopens, the ultra-low-cost carrier’s aircraft will also be seen in the US, the Caribbean, and Mexico.

This spring, Canadian aviation activity has been down by up to approximately 90% in capacity levels. In contrast, US domestic leisure travel is already seeing strong returns, with load factors at around 90%. So, overall, Canada’s aviation industry is feeling the impact of the pandemic much more than its neighbors in recent months.

Delta American LAX
US carriers have had a head start over their Canadian counterparts. Photo: Getty Images

Looking ahead

Nonetheless, Blair shared that there are plans in the works for some extra travel to restart this summer. The MP for Scarborough Southwest shared the following on Twitter.

“As we have said, the government is planning measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, Permanent Residents, and others who are currently permitted to enter Canada and will provide further details on Monday, June 21.”

Airline advocacy groups supporting the relaxation of restrictions are looking to end quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travelers, end hotel quarantine policies for all travelers, and reduce quarantine for partially and vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Furthermore, they want a clear pathway to the reopening of consistent travel. These groups will undoubtedly be keeping a close eye on further announcements in the coming weeks.

Canadian airlines return to Puerto Vallarta after 4-month hiatus

From Mexico Daily News – link to source story

Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit are looking forward to the Canadians coming back. Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit are looking forward to the Canadians coming back.

Canadian airlines return to Puerto Vallarta after 4-month hiatus

One airline has already reactivated flights, and three more have confirmed dates

Published on Thursday, June 17, 2021

Canadian airlines are reactivating flights to Puerto Vallarta after a four-month suspension.

Westjet reinitiated its flights to the Jalisco beach destination on June 5, and Air Canada will be next with the reopening of its Vancouver route on August 1.

Low cost airline Swoop plans to restart its Hamilton and Edmonton flights October 5, and its Abbotsford and Toronto routes on November 3. It will also inaugurate a new route from Winnipeg on November 4.

Transat will relaunch flights from Toronto and Montreal in November.

Sunwing is still yet to inform clients of its plans to reopen, but has previously announced it hopes to reestablish its Mexico routes in December.

Marc Murphy, lead of the Riviera Nayarit Visitors and Conventions Office, said Canadians would be happy for the change of climate. “Each year, thousands of Canadians travel to this region to escape the intense winter cold and find an enviable climate, the most beautiful beaches … and a great quality hotel offering,” he said.

With reports from Reportur

Swoop Announces Three New Destinations Ahead of Third Anniversary

Airline to Swoop into San Diego, Orlando (Sanford) and Tampa Bay (St. Pete-Clearwater) this winter 

CALGARY, AB, June 16, 2021 /CNW/ – Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC), today unveiled plans to add three new U.S. destinations to its network with non-stop flights to San Diego (SAN), St. Pete-Clearwater (PIE) and Orlando Sanford (SFB) beginning this winter.

“Swoop is celebrating three years of bringing ultra-low fares to Canadians and we are thrilled to continue expanding on our success with the introduction of San Diego, Orlando Sanford and St. Pete-Clearwater to our network,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial & Finance, Swoop. “We are pleased to be providing our travellers looking to explore the U.S. this winter with even more choice and affordable options.”

The addition of the three new sun destinations to Swoop’s network comes as the airline readies to celebrate its third anniversary of flying on June 20. Since introducing the ultra-low-cost air travel model in Canada, the airline has served 3 million travellers, establishing itself as the ultra-low-cost carrier of choice for Canadians. As provincial vaccinations and phased re-opening plans progress, Swoop continues to see an increase in demand as Canadians look to book that long awaited winter getaway south of the border. 

Swooping into Central Florida

Non-stop service to Orlando Sanford International Airport will be available from Toronto beginning October 9, from Hamilton beginning November 1 and from Edmonton beginning November 5.

“We are very pleased Swoop selected Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) to access the Orlando market,” said Tom Nolan, President & CEO, Sanford Airport Authority. “In addition to the great service Swoop provides passengers, our new major terminal improvements will be greatly appreciated by all Canadian visitors and local residents that seek a convenient and comfortable airport experience travelling between Central Florida and multiple cities in beautiful Canada.”

Non-stop service to San Diego

Travellers from Edmonton looking to explore the vibrant city and sandy beaches of San Diego can find direct flights beginning October 31.  

“It’s great news that San Diego International Airport will be getting a new carrier and a new international route in October,” said Kimberly Becker, President & CEO, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. “We were in talks with Swoop pre-pandemic and are happy they are still committed to providing non-stop service between Edmonton and San Diego. We anticipate this route will be popular for Canadians as they look to escape the snow and take in the Southern California sunshine.”

“We know many people are eager to return to travel and are booking now for future travel. We want to thank Swoop for bringing back some important non-stop sunny vacation destinations to our community as well as two new destinations San Diego and Orlando Sanford. We all look forward to return to travel and health and safety will continue to be our focus at Edmonton International Airport.” 

Tom Ruth, President and CEO Edmonton International Airport

Say hello to sunny St. Pete-Clearwater

With non-stop flights and its proximity to Tampa Bay, Swoop’s service to sunny St. Pete-Clearwater will begin on November 5 from Toronto and on November 9 from Hamilton.

“We are excited to welcome Canada based Swoop to our family of airlines”, said St. Pete-Clearwater International (PIE) Airport Director, Tom Jewsbury.  “Canadians will have a convenient, non-stop option to fly to our award-winning destination from Toronto and Hamilton, Canada, and many will want to visit as the borders reopen!  Being one of only a few of Swoop’s U.S. destinations, we are confident that sunny St. Pete-Clearwater area will be a popular one.  We want to thank our partners at Visit St. Pete/Clearwater and Volaire Aviation for helping us make this possible.”

“We are delighted to see Swoop add ultra-low-cost options to the Sunshine State from Hamilton for the upcoming winter travel season. Travelling between airports like Hamilton International, Orlando Sanford and St. Pete-Clearwater has become increasingly appealing to passengers looking for a comfortable travel experience that a smaller airport can offer,” said Cathie Puckering, President & CEO, John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. “Hamilton International remains committed alongside Swoop to serving the local community and ensuring people can return to the skies comfortably and get to where the need to go with confidence.”

Details of Swoop’s new service currently for sale:

Service BetweenServices Start DatePeak Weekly Frequency
Edmonton – Orlando (Sanford)Nov 5, 20212x (Mon, Fri)
Edmonton – San DiegoOct 31, 20213x (Tue, Thu, Sun)
Hamilton – Orlando (Sanford)Nov 1, 20212x (Mon, Fri)
Hamilton – St. Pete-Clearwater  Nov 9, 20212x (Tue, Sat)
Toronto – Orlando (Sanford)Oct 9, 20214x (Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat)
Toronto – St. Pete-ClearwaterNov 5, 20213x (Mon, Fri, Sat)

To learn more about Swoop visit FlySwoop.com and for information on how Swoop is ensuring a safe and healthy travel experience visit FlySwoop.com/traveller-safety.  

About Swoop: Swoop is on a mission to make travel more affordable and accessible for all Canadians. Established in 2018 as an independent subsidiary of the WestJet Group of Companies, Swoop is Canada’s ultra-not-expensive airline. Offering scheduled service to destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean, Swoop’s unbundled fares put travellers in control of purchasing only the products and services they desire.

Swoop’s modern fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity has safely carried more than 3 million travellers in three years of operation.

Swoop Responds to Growing Demand for Ultra-Low-Cost Travel

Airline announces fleet expansion and winter flying as new daily bookings return to pre-pandemic levels

CALGARY, AB, June 10, 2021 /CNW/ – Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost carrier, today released its expanded winter schedule including increased non-stop domestic service and the re-introduction of flights to the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Following a sustained pattern of new daily bookings on par with pre-pandemic levels, the airline also announced it will proceed with planned fleet growth, inducting its tenth Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft into service this winter.  

The first Canadian airline to fully re-enter its entire fleet into service, Swoop will operate all nine of its aircraft domestically during peak summer. The airline’s winter schedule will provide travellers with ultra-low-cost flights across Canada, as well as to sun and fun destinations including Montego Bay in Jamaica, Las Vegas and Mesa/Phoenix in the U.S., and Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán in Mexico.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in demand for travel this summer, most especially in provinces where vaccination and re-opening plans are on track and clearly outlined,” said Charles Duncan, President of Swoop. “With the release of our winter schedule, those who are planning further ahead or dreaming of a vacation abroad can find our always affordable flights and Getaway packages available for booking through April 2022.”

As the airline that always has deals on already affordable flights, Swoop will offer scheduled winter service to 14 destinations, with ultra-low fares starting from just $40 CAD † total price in the example of a one-way Abbotsford to Edmonton flight. The addition of a tenth aircraft in time for the winter flying season will allow Canada’s leading ULCC to add new routes, destinations, and frequencies in pace with demand.

“Consumer confidence is coming back, and the message is clear, Canadians are ready to start planning that long overdue trip,” continued Duncan. “When travellers are ready, we look forward to safely welcoming them back onboard our aircraft.”

Details of Swoop’s Winter 2021 Schedule and flights currently for sale:

Domestic RoutesPeak Season
Frequency
Days of WeekService start dates
Toronto – Edmonton14x weekly2x DailyAlready in Service
Toronto – Abbotsford7x weeklyDailyJun 20
Toronto – Halifax7x weeklyDailyJul 16
Toronto – Kelowna7x weeklyDailyAlready in Service
Toronto – Victoria6x weeklyDaily, except
Saturday
Jun 24
Hamilton – Edmonton7x weeklyDailyAlready in Service
Hamilton – Abbotsford14x weekly2x DailyAlready in Service
Hamilton – Halifax4x weeklyMon, Thu, Fri, SunJun 24
Hamilton – Winnipeg4x weeklyTue, Thu, Fri, SatAlready in Service
Hamilton – Kelowna6x weeklyDaily, except
Saturday
Jun 20
Edmonton – Abbotsford14x weekly2x DailyAlready in Service
Edmonton – Winnipeg2x weeklyMon, FriNov 1
Edmonton – Victoria7x weeklyDailyAlready in Service
Winnipeg – Abbotsford7x weeklyDailyAlready in Service
Winnipeg – Kelowna3x weeklyTue, Thu, FriJun 24
Transborder RoutesPeak Season
Frequency
Days of WeekService start dates
Edmonton – Mesa/Phoenix4x weeklyMon, Wed, Fri, SatSept 17
Edmonton – Las Vegas5x weeklyMon, Tue, Thu, Fri,
Sun
Sept 23
Toronto – Mesa2x weeklyTue, ThuNov 2
Winnipeg – Mesa/Phoenix2x weeklyMon, FriNov 1
International RoutesPeak Season
Frequency
Days of WeekService start dates
Toronto – Puerto Vallarta2x weeklyWed, SunNov 3
Toronto – Cancun4x weeklyMon, Wed, Fri, SunSept 18
Toronto – Montego Bay3x weeklyTue, Thu, SatSept 11
Hamilton – Puerto Vallarta2x weeklyTue, FriOct 5
Hamilton- Cancun3x weeklyMon, Wed, SatOct 2
Hamilton – Montego Bay 1x weeklyFridayOct 15
Edmonton – Cancun3x weeklyMon, Wed, SatOct 2
Edmonton-Puerto Vallarta3x weeklyTue, Fri, SunOct 5
Edmonton – Mazatlán2x weeklyWed, SatOct 23
Winnipeg – Cancun3x weeklyTue, Thu, SunNov 7
Winnipeg – Puerto Vallarta2x weeklyMon, ThuNov 4
Abbotsford – Puerto
Vallarta
2x weeklyWed, SatNov 3

†One-way flight from Abbotsford (YXX) to Edmonton (YEG) when you book by June 20, for travel between October 31 – November 10, 2021.  Restrictions may apply, for full details see FlySwoop.com/deals.

To learn more about Swoop and find ultra-low fare flights, please visit FlySwoop.com.

About Swoop: Swoop is on a mission to make travel more affordable and accessible for all Canadians. Established in 2018 as an independent subsidiary of the WestJet Group of Companies, Swoop is Canada’s ultra-not-expensive airline. Offering scheduled service to destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean, Swoop’s unbundled fares put travellers in control of purchasing only the products and services they desire.

Swoop’s modern fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity has safely carried more than 3 million travellers in three years of operation.

Air Canada, WestJet, Transat, Sunwing and more: The latest updates amid the coronavirus pandemic

From Travelweek Canada – link to source story

TORONTO — Canada’s airlines took swift action amid border closures and travel restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s the latest from Canada’s airlines. This list is updated as we receive new information from each company. The latest information can always be found at the company’s website.

LATEST UPDATE: April 28, 2021 – Air North; April 15, 2021 – WestJet; April 7, 2021 – Sunwing

Additional updates below from Canadian Aviation News.


AIR CANADA

UPDATE from Canadian Aviation News: 14 April 2021 – Air Canada is extending its suspension of most sun destination flights through the end of May 2021.

UPDATED JAN. 29, 2021: Air Canada, along with Canada’s four other major carriers, has suspended its winter season sun flights effective Jan. 31 through April 30, upon request from the federal government. Impacted passengers can opt for future travel credits or refunds. More details are here: https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/book/travel-news-and-updates/2020/covid-19.html.


AIR NORTH

Air North, Yukon’s Airline is currently flying with a reduced schedule due to COVID and offering flights between Whitehorse and Vancouver, Kelowna, and Victoria. Effective May 5 Air North will be resuming flights between Whitehorse and Calgary & Edmonton as well. For more information on Air North’s schedule go to https://www.flyairnorth.com/flights/flight-schedules


FLAIR AIRLINES

UPDATED MARCH 31, 2021: Flair Airlines is expanding its network starting May 1 with service being added to Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo, Halifax and Saint John, plus service starting in June to Thunder Bay and Charlottetown. Service to Victoria is set to begin in July, and to Abbotsford in August. Flair will also add Montreal to its network effective July 1. The airline’s latest change policies are at https://flyflair.com/travel-info/customer-service/covid-19-updates.


PORTER AIRLINES

UPDATE from Canadian Aviation News: 12 April 2021 — Porter Airlines sets tentative restart date to 21 June 2021.

UPDATED MARCH 2, 2021: Porter Airlines has pushed back its planned restart date to May 19, 2021. Further updates will be provided this winter based on the status of the pandemic and government measures, said President and CEO Michael Deluce.


SUNWING

UPDATED APRIL 7, 2021: Sunwing’s domestic summer program is now open for bookings. Flights start in May 2021 and run until the beginning of September 2021. Sunwing, along with Canada’s four other major carriers, suspended its winter season sun flights effective Jan. 31, upon request from the federal government. Originally suspended through April 30, on April 1 Sunwing announced it was extending the suspension through June 23. Sunwing has also cancelled domestic flights to/from B.C. and Newfoundland from May 1 to June 23, 2021. Customers or their travel agents impacted by cancelled flights are being contacted by Sunwing directly to review their options. For the most up to date information see https://www.sunwing.ca/en/promotion/packages/important-travel-advisories.


SWOOP

UPDATED JAN. 29, 2021: Swoop, as part of the WestJet Group of companies, has suspended its winter season sun flights effective Jan. 31 through April 30, upon request from the federal government.


TRANSAT

UPDATED JAN. 29, 2021: Transat, along with Canada’s four other major carriers, has suspended its winter season sun flights effective Jan. 31 through April 30, upon request from the federal government. Impacted passengers can opt for future travel credits or refunds. Transat’s FTCs are fully transferable, with no expiry date.  More information for Transat can be found here.


WESTJET

UPDATE from Canadian Aviation News: 14 April 2021 – WestJet is extending its suspension of most sun destination flights to 4 June 2021.

UPDATED APRIL 15, 2021: WestJet, along with Canada’s four other major carriers, suspended its winter season sun flights effective Jan. 31 through April 30, upon request from the federal government. On April 13 WestJet advised that it was extending that suspension until June 4, 2021. More details are at https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/travel-info/advisories.

Swoop Returns to Winnipeg

Airline brings more choice and ultra-low fares back to Manitoba

WINNIPEG, MB, April 25, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop marked its return to Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG). The airline’s reintroduction of its ultra-low fares now connects Winnipeg with Hamilton’s John C. Munro International Airport (YHM) and Abbotsford International Airport (YXX), with operations to Kelowna International Airport (YLW) set to begin in June.

“We are thrilled to reaffirm our commitment to Manitoba through our return to Winnipeg,” said Shane Workman, Head of Flight Operations, Swoop. “Our affordable fares are now available to those travelling for essential reasons and Swoop will be here to support the economic recovery of the region and connect Manitobans to their family and friends when the time comes.” 

Today’s announcement marks another milestone for Swoop as the airline continues its recovery efforts in conjunction with partners like Winnipeg’s James Armstrong Richardson International Airport to bring affordable and accessible air travel to all Canadians. The airline remains optimistic that as Canada continues its vaccine rollout, a safe restart of domestic air travel is on the horizon.

“We are pleased to welcome Swoop back to Winnipeg as we continue to plan for the safe return of domestic travel as vaccination levels increase across the country,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “Swoop’s return is an important milestone in our plan to rebuild the region’s connectivity and provides a low-cost option for essential travel today while helping to drive Manitoba’s economic and social recovery when the time is right for further travel.”

For flights from Winnipeg and to learn more about Swoop visit  FlySwoop.com.

About Swoop: Established in 2018, Swoop is Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost airline, independently operated as part of the WestJet Group of companies, offering scheduled service to destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. Swoop offers completely unbundled products and services, creating the unique opportunity for travellers to control their costs and customize their experience by purchasing only the extras they desire.  

Swoop operates a modern fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity. Flyswoop.com allows travellers to quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight.    

Swoop Expands Summer Schedule and Brings New Routes and More Ultra-Low Fares to British Columbia

Airline introduces Victoria as new destination and adds more routes to Kelowna for peak summer travel

VICTORIA, BC, March 31, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost airline, announced an expansion to its summer schedule, bringing new routes and more ultra-low fares to British Columbia. The airline’s expanded summer operations will bring new service to Victoria and celebrates the return and addition of new routes from Kelowna. 

“Our summer schedule expansion is in response to strong advance sales and in anticipation of demand from Canada’s most price-conscious travellers as they look towards the accelerated pace of vaccine rollouts across the country,” said Charles Duncan, President of Swoop. “We are thrilled to be offering Canadians even more opportunities to connect with British Columbia’s vibrant West Coast and Okanagan region this summer.” 

The airline, which had previously postponed planned operations to Victoria in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, will now see an increase of flights and routes in three cities within British Columbia, ensuring that Canadians across the province have access to domestic air travel at an affordable price tag. Today’s announcement is the first of several to come for the airline as they intend to bring even more ultra-low-fares coast-to-coast. 

Swoop’s new service to Victoria will include flights from Toronto, ON and Edmonton, AB. In addition, beginning June 20, 2021, service to Kelowna will now be available from Hamilton, ON and once again from Winnipeg, MB. Full details of Swoop’s expanded service in British Columbia can be found below. 

Planned Network Service: New and Returning Routes   

Route Frequency Planned Start Date  
Toronto – Victoria  Up to 6x weeklyMay 20, 2021  
Edmonton – VictoriaUp to 7x weeklyMay 20, 2021  
Hamilton – KelownaUp to 6x weeklyJune 20, 2021
Winnipeg – KelownaUp to 3x weeklyJune 20, 2021

Additional BC Network Service

Route Frequency 
Abbotsford – Edmonton  Up to 21x weekly
Abbotsford – HamiltonUp to 7x weekly
Abbotsford – TorontoUp to 7x weekly
Abbotsford – WinnipegUp to 7x weekly
Kelowna – TorontoUp to 7x weekly

“As we continue to plan for recovery, our focus remains on ensuring the safe reopening of air travel within Canada,” continued Duncan. “When the time comes for a safe resumption of travel, it will be critical to ensure access to affordable travel exists within our borders and Swoop is strategically positioned to meet that need in British Columbia and across the country.”

Additional Quotes

“As the economy begins to reopen, we are pleased that Swoop recognizes Victoria as a destination that travellers will look forward to returning to or discovering the beauty and culture that Victoria and Vancouver Island has to offer for the first time.” Said Geoff Dickson, Victoria Airport Authority President and CEO. 

“Swoop’s commitment to Greater Victoria is welcome news – both as we recover from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond” said Paul Nursey, CEO – Destination Greater Victoria. “It goes without saying we are located on an island. Reliable transportation to and from the destination is vital to the success of our visitor economy. There are other benefits to a low-cost carrier like Swoop entering market as well. It means Greater Victoria becomes an option for visitors that might not have considered air travel without ultra-low cost carrier options. Increased competition amongst transportation providers means consumers have more choice for how they experience Greater Victoria.”

“We are proud to welcome Hamilton and Winnipeg non-stop to YLW this summer,” said Sam Samaddar, Airport Director. “Swoop’s additional destinations will allow Canadians more direct options to the Okanagan this summer season.”

“Safe, reliable air service with direct, non-stop flights is essential to the recovery of the tourism industry and important contributor to our local and national economy. While we wait for interprovincial travel restrictions to lift, we hope Swoop customers from Hamilton, Winnipeg, Toronto, and surrounding areas will begin to plan their future trip to Kelowna and the Okanagan. We have incredible experiences for leisure and business visitors waiting to be enjoyed across all four seasons, and we’re looking forward to welcoming you here, soon.”  Lisanne Ballantyne, President & CEO, Tourism Kelowna

To learn more about Swoop’s visit  FlySwoop.com  or connect with Swoop on  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

About Swoop   

About Swoop: Established in 2018, Swoop is Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost airline, independently operated as part of the WestJet Group of companies, offering scheduled service to destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. Swoop offers completely unbundled products and services, creating the unique opportunity for travellers to control their costs and customize their experience by purchasing only the extras they desire.  

Swoop operates a modern fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity. Flyswoop.com allows travellers to quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight.    

Air Canada, WestJet, Transat, Sunwing and more: The latest updates amid the coronavirus pandemic

From TravelWeek – link to source story

12 January 2021 Update | Posted by Travelweek Group

TORONTO — Canada’s airlines took swift action amid border closures and travel restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s the latest from Canada’s airlines. This list is updated as we receive new information from each company. The latest information can always be found at the company’s website.

LATEST UPDATE: Jan.12 – Porter Airlines; Dec. 17 – WestJet; Dec. 14 – Sunwing; Dec. 3 – Air Canada


AIR CANADA

UPDATED DEC. 3: Air Canada says Aeroplan Members making an eligible new booking with Air Canada originating in Canada will receive complimentary Manulife COVID-19 Emergency Medical and Quarantine Insurance. The shift to offer the free coverage to only Aeroplan members took effect Dec. 1, for bookings made Dec. 1, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2020. Air Canada’s Aeroplan program is free to join.


FLAIR AIRLINES

UPDATED JUNE 4: Flair Airlines has announced that it will resume service to Kelowna and Winnipeg while delaying the launch of other destinations as part of its new summer schedule. Its current route schedule will be expanded to include both Kelowna and Winnipeg in addition to Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. However, as a result of ongoing travel restrictions, Flair will also be delaying the launch of service into Ottawa and Atlantic Canada. Full refunds are being offered to passengers booked on cancelled flights to the affected destinations: Ottawa, Halifax, Saint John, N.B., and Charlottetown. Impacted guests will be contacted through email with instructions on how to receive their refunds. The airline’s latest change policies are at https://flyflair.com/travel-info/customer-service/covid-19-updates.


PORTER AIRLINES

UPDATED JAN. 12: Porter Airlines has pushed back its planned restart date to March 29. The airline previously suspended operations until Feb. 11 but according to president and CEO Michael Deluce, more time is needed as COVID-19 vaccine rollouts continue across Canada. More details are here.


SUNWING

UPDATED DEC. 14: Sunwing has restarted its winter sun program with current gateways Toronto and Montreal, and destinations Cancun, Jamaica and Punta Cana. Sunwing is also adding sun flights out of Western Canada.  Flights will depart from Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton to Cancun on Saturdays starting Jan. 9, 2021, with additional flight service from Edmonton to Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan on  Saturdays starting Dec. 26, 2020.

Sunwing has also resumed flights to Cuba, onboard Sunwing Airlines, with weekly flights departing from Toronto and Montreal to Varadero.

Sunwing’s flexible booking options include the option to change or cancel travel plans anytime with ease, monthly payment options and complimentary Price Drop Cash Back of up to $800 per couple. Plus, select packages booked during the sale for departures between now and Dec. 31, 2021 include COVID-19 coverage at no additional cost.

Sunwing customers with departure dates for flights or vacation packages between March 17 and August 31 are eligible to receive a future travel credit in the value of the original amount paid. No action needed. The credit can be redeemed against future travel to anywhere Sunwing Airlines operates, depending on original departure date. Original departure dates between March 17 and May 31, 2020 are redeemable up to June 20, 2022. Original departure dates June 1 – August 31 2020, are redeemable up to August 31, 2022.

For the most up to date information see https://www.sunwing.ca/en/promotion/packages/travel-advisory/.


SWOOP

UPDATED NOV. 16: Swoop is now offering ‘Trustred Travel Getaways’, a limited offering of vacation packages to Montego Bay with departures from Toronto starting Dec. 19. Swoop’s packages are in partnership with IHG Hotels & Resorts, with accommodation at the Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay All-Inclusive. Free access to mandatory pre-travel COVID-19 testing will ensure that all passengers onboard a departing Trusted Travel Getaway flight have proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Flights will operate from Toronto to Montego Bay on Dec. 19, Dec. 26 and Jan. 2. Packages include and Swoop’s free TuGo Travel Insurance COVID-19 coverage.


TRANSAT

UPDATED SEPT. 28: Transat passengers can now benefit from a COVID-19 Emergency Medical Certificate of Insurance. The insurance plan, offered through Manulife, is designed to cover emergency medical and quarantine expenses at destination, in addition to providing assistance if COVID-19 is contracted during the trip. Passengers who book a roundtrip flight from Canada to an international Air Transat destination or a Transat package to Mexico, Central or South America, or the Caribbean, from Sept. 25 to Oct. 31, 2020, for stays of up to 21 days, for departures between Oct. 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021, will be covered by the new insurance at no extra cost.

Transat’s 2020-2021 winter program features flights to dozens of destinations as well as packages to hundreds of hotels in the South and Europe. Earlier Transat announced that it had suspended all flights from Western Canada to south and USA destinations for winter 2020-2021. Transat announced on July 22 that its FTCs are now fully transferable, with no expiry date. As before, any residual credit will remain on file. The new policy applies to flights, packages and guided tours. However, it excludes credits received for cruises that are subject to their own cruise lines’ conditions. More information for Transat can be found  at https://www.airtransat.com/en-CA/book/resumption-of-our-operations#%2Fresults.


WESTJET

UPDATED DEC. 17: WestJet has updated its January 2021 schedule, with flights to 57 destinations in the Caribbean, Europe, Central America, Canada and the United States, including Hawaii. In addition to flights to Liberia in Costa Rica, and Ixtapa/Ziuantanejo in Mexico, both from Calgary, January’s schedule also features the resumption of service between Kona, Hawaii and Vancouver as well as Aruba-Toronto. Dreamliner service between Calgary and Cancun kicks off on Jan. 8, 2021 while service to Puerto Vallarta will start Jan. 23.

Through TuGo, any WestJet air-only reservation including WestJet Vacations bookings for travel to and from Mexico, the Caribbean,  the U.S., Europe (including the U.K.) and inbound to Canada will provide eligible passengers no-charge COVID-19 travel insurance.

On Oct. 21 WestJet announced it will voluntarily provide refunds to original form of payment for guests with flights cancelled by WestJet and Swoop, from any time period, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. More information can be found here.

Earlier WestJet announced it was offering refunds for select flights that include a U.S. or UK destination. The refunds apply to U.S. and UK flights March 1 – June 30. On Sept. 15 it added Europe to its refund-eligible list, for flights to or from Europe and scheduled to depart between March 1 and Oct. 31.

Effective Nov. 2 all WestJet flights to and from Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney, Charlottetown and Quebec City will be suspended indefinitely. Service to and from Halifax and St. John’s will see cuts. All told the move will impact more than 100 flights per week, or almost 80% of seat capacity from the Atlantic region. WestJet says a return to service date is unknown at this time. Passengers impacted by the suspension of operations will be contacted directly regarding their options for travel to and from the region.