Toronto Pearson Airport features Xovis 3D Sensors and Software to Reduce Queue Wait Times

International Market Leader for Intelligent People Flow Solutions Improves Passenger Journey at Canada’s busiest airport

CAMBRIDGE, MA (December xx, 2021) –Xovis, an international market leader for intelligent people flow solutions in airports worldwide, is excited to announce its most recent rollout at Toronto Pearson International Airport, the largest and busiest airport in Canada. In August, Xovis installed its best-in-class 3D Sensors and software at Pearson’s transfer area located inside the new customs and security screening facilities for international passengers connecting onward to domestic destinations; these systems have now gone live. This is a first-of-its-kind in any Canadian airport, providing AI sensor technology used to measure waiting times, queue lengths, passenger behavior, and social distancing to keep airport passengers and employees safe and moving seamlessly.

Courtesy of Xovis

At Toronto Pearson, the Xovis Passenger Flow Management System receives data streams from the sensors and provides airport personnel with valuable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as predictive wait times for specific passenger groups, process times and passenger throughput. Xovis technology does not capture images of passengers, but rather measures the number of passengers in select areas of the airport. The KPIs are visualized on an intuitive dashboard, enabling the airport to:

Quickly identify crowded areas and bottlenecks
See what is going at any time; the intuitive and comprehensive user interface offers real-time insights on every process point
Playback the entire operation: data can be replayed simultaneously from multiple process points to identify the cause of an issue

“Our 3D Sensors have been part of the check-In area at Toronto Pearson since 2019, and we were happy the airport experienced incredible success with our technology and real-time data to expand into a whole new area,” said Cody Shulman, Managing Director, Xovis North America. “With more and more international flights resuming gradually from July onward at Toronto Pearson, we implemented the system beforehand to ensure operational readiness and to take advantage of installation without having to work around windows of arriving passengers. Xovis’ solutions help optimize the trial-and-error reconfiguration process, the utilization of space, and the real-time redeployment of personnel making for a better passenger journey.”

“The Greater Toronto Airports Authority has a vision to create the airport of the future,” says Glen Henderson, Director of Terminal Operations, Greater Toronto Airports Authority. “A smoother connections process at Pearson—enabled through Xovis’ technology—is in keeping with our commitment to foster a stellar airport experience for all of our passengers; it also results in economic benefits for our communities, the province and the country at large.”

For more information about Xovis, visit http://www.xovis.com.

For more information about Toronto Pearson, visit http://www.torontopearson.com

ABOUT XOVIS

Xovis is a market- and technology-leading Swiss high-tech company that develops, produces and distributes 3D sensors and software solutions for precise counting and analysis of people flows worldwide. Xovis solutions are used to optimize passenger flows and waiting times at airports, in stationary retail and in public transport. Simple integration, data protection compliance, high precision and AI-based features characterize the technology of Xovis. The company was founded in 2008 has over 200,000 sensors installed globally and today employs around 140 people with offices in Boston, Massachusetts, Bern, Switzerland and Shanghai, China. For more information about Xovis, visit http://www.xovis.com.

ABOUT THE GREATER TORONTO AIRPORTS AUTHORITY

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) is the operator of Toronto Pearson International Airport. Toronto Pearson served more than 50 million passengers in 2019, making it Canada’s busiest airport.

Air Canada Adding Extra Cargo Capacity Into Vancouver to Help Maintain British Columbia’s Economic Supply Chain

  • In response to flooding that disrupted transportation supply chain network in the province
  • 586 tonnes of additional capacity added into and out of YVR, an increase of 45% over originally planned levels
  • Air Canada Express Dash 8-400 aircraft being converted into special freighter configuration to transport cargo

MONTREAL, Nov. 22, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada announced today that it has significantly increased cargo capacity into and out of Vancouver between November 21 and 30 from its hubs in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary as it works to ensure that the vital economic supply chain links in British Columbia are maintained following the impacts of last week’s flooding. In total, Air Canada is adding 586 tonnes of cargo capacity, representing 3,223 cubic metres to support B.C.’s economic supply chain and the needs of its communities. The additional capacity is equivalent in weight to approximately 860 adult moose.

“The economic supply chain is vital, and to help support the urgent transport of goods into and out of British Columbia, we have increased capacity to our YVR hub by using the flexibility of Air Canada’s fleet to reschedule 28 passenger flights from narrow-body aircraft to be operated with wide-body Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Boeing 777, and Airbus A330-300 aircraft. These changes will allow an additional 282 tonnes of goods to be moved across the country on our scheduled passenger flights,” said Jason Berry, Vice President, Cargo, at Air Canada.

“Additionally, Air Canada Cargo will operate an additional 13 all-cargo flights between our Toronto, Montreal and Calgary cargo hubs and YVR using widebody aircraft, providing approximately 304 tonnes of additional capacity. These aircraft will help move mail and perishables such as seafood, as well as automotive parts and other industrial goods,” concluded Mr. Berry.

Air Canada is also working with its regional partner Jazz Aviation to provide additional regional cargo capacity by temporarily converting an Air Canada Express De Havilland Dash 8-400 from its normal passenger configuration into a special freighter configuration. This Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighter operated by Jazz can carry a total of 18,000 lbs. (8,165 kg) of cargo and will be deployed to transport critical goods, as well as consumer and industrial goods and will be in service as early as this week.

Last week, as the impact of the devastating floods became apparent, Air Canada quickly added capacity to the Air Canada Cargo network by substituting larger widebody aircraft on 14 passenger flights into Vancouver.

Additional capacity added for passengers

In addition to the extra cargo capacity, Air Canada had also increased the number of seats available for customers in Kelowna and Kamloops since November 17, adding approximately 1,500 seats into both communities by utilizing larger aircraft on routes. This enabled people affected by the highway closures to fly into and out from these airports, and through the cargo capacity of these passenger aircraft, also allowed for the important transport of emergency medical supplies into these regions.

Air Canada continues to monitor the situation in British Columbia very closely and will adjust its passenger and cargo schedule accordingly.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline, and in 2019 was among the top 20 largest airlines in the world. It is Canada’s flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax. In 2020, Air Canada was named Global Traveler’s Best Airline in North America for the second straight year. In January 2021, Air Canada received APEX’s Diamond Status Certification for the Air Canada CleanCare+ biosafety program for managing COVID-19, the only airline in Canada to attain the highest APEX ranking. Air Canada has also committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. 

Wow: Half Of WestJet’s Europe Routes See The Boeing 737 MAX

From Simple Flying – link to source story – Thanks to CW

by James Pearson | November 19, 2021

Canada’s WestJet has 14 bookable routes to Europe next summer, exactly half by the B737 MAX 8 and the other half by the B787-9. However, that will change when a 15th route – Calgary to London Heathrow – takes off in the spring using the B787.

WestJet MAX 8
The UK and Ireland have three-quarters of WestJet’s Europe flights next summer, helped by new routes by the B737 MAX. Photo: Acefitt via Wikimedia.

WestJet to Europe next summer

The carrier’s 14 bookable routes include five from Toronto, four from Calgary, four from Halifax, and one from Vancouver, based on schedules from Cirium. Calgary to Heathrow will mean that Alberta’s main airport – WestJet’s ‘spiritual’ home and busiest airport – will have the most European links from the airline.

Following two washout summers because of entry restrictions, WestJet’s Europe offering will be significantly stronger next summer than S19. It expects 3,558 round-trip flights (before Heathrow is included), up by nearly half (46%).

Part of this is from new routes. After Calgary to Amsterdam took off three months ago, Toronto to Dublin, Edinburgh, and Glasgow are all coming along with Calgary to Rome Fiumicino. And most incumbent routes have more flights than previously.

WestJet's Europe network in summer 2022
When writing, the MAX 8 (shown in blue) and the B787-9 (yellow) have seven routes each to Europe next summer. The widebody will take the lead when Calgary-Heathrow begins. Image: GCMap.

WestJet is coming to Heathrow

The airline’s intention to serve Heathrow was made public when it applied for and received slots. According to Airport Coordination Limited (ACL) ‘s summer 2022 Initial Coordination Report, it has received 248 slot-pairs for next summer.

If split over each summer week and two directions, that’s good for a four-weekly service, although we don’t yet know when it’ll begin. It has intended to serve Heathrow for a while – it received slots for S21 but understandably didn’t use them – and it appears that Heathrow-Calgary will supplement its existing Calgary-Gatwick.

When writing, Heathrow doesn’t appear in the schedules and isn’t bookable, but expect that to change in the coming days or weeks. However, WestJet has confirmed Heathrow, with its CEO, John Weatherill, commenting that:

“As the airline with the most flights from Alberta, this is an important recovery milestone as we forge new connections between Canada and one of the world’s most sought-after global hubs.”

WestJet Heathrow ACL screenshot
In its application, WestJet put ‘ZZF’, meaning it didn’t want to disclose the Canadian city. Image: ACL.

Calgary to London

Calgary to London is a large point-to-point (P2P) market, with approximately 253,000 round-trip passengers in 2019, booking data indicates. It’s the third-largest Canada-UK city-pair after Toronto-London and Vancouver-London.

WestJet B787
Unless Air Canada ups capacity or British Airways reenters, WestJet will be the largest airline between Calgary and London in S22. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr.

Two airlines have exited the market

After Air Transat ceased Calgary-Gatwick in September 2019 and British Airways ended it from Heathrow in March 2020, Calgary-London is now in the hands of Air Canada and WestJet. WestJet has capitalized on the exit of the two carriers, which in 2019 had 126,000 seats between them and a one-quarter share of the market, Cirium indicates.

Next summer, Air Canada will have a daily Heathrow service using 298-seat B787-9s, while WestJet will have a daily offer to Gatwick using 320-seat B787-9s, along with coming Heathrow. However, might BA be returning? Slot filings suggest that it might be, but it may simply use them for other routes.

Swoop Announces Major Expansion and Investment in Edmonton and Brings Nine New Routes to Alberta Capital

  • Ultra-low fare airline announces its largest expansion ever with eight new domestic routes as part of summer schedule and new non-stop service to Palm Springs
  • Brings enhanced connectivity to Atlantic Canada with first ever non-stop flights from Edmonton to New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island and new non-stops to Nova Scotia
  • Reaffirms commitment to city by naming its newest aircraft #Edmonton
Tom Ruth, President and CEO of Edmonton International Airport welcomes Swoop's newest aircraft #Edmonton (CNW Group/Swoop)
Tom Ruth, President and CEO of Edmonton International Airport welcomes Swoop’s newest aircraft #Edmonton (CNW Group/Swoop)

EDMONTON, AB, Nov. 15, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low fare airline, reaffirmed its commitment to the Edmonton Metropolitan Region with the announcement of new service to one U.S. and eight domestic destinations from its Western Canadian base. The airline’s significant new investments were celebrated this morning alongside the unveiling of Swoop’s newest aircraft, which will fly with the name #Edmonton.

The airline’s growth will see Swoop’s flight capacity in Alberta’s capital increase 76% compared to pre-pandemic levels, supporting the creation of 140 additional direct and spin-off jobs and an anticipated $120M of economic output activityi in 2022.

From left to right (Juanita Marois, CEO, Métis Crossing, Tom Ruth, President & CEO, Edmonton International Airport, Charles Duncan, President of Swoop, Rajan Sawhney, Alberta Minister of Transportation, Rick Smith, Deputy Mayor of Leduc County, Tim Cartmell, City Councillor, City of Edmonton) (CNW Group/Swoop)
From left to right (Juanita Marois, CEO, Métis Crossing, Tom Ruth, President & CEO, Edmonton International Airport, Charles Duncan, President of Swoop, Rajan Sawhney, Alberta Minister of Transportation, Rick Smith, Deputy Mayor of Leduc County, Tim Cartmell, City Councillor, City of Edmonton) (CNW Group/Swoop)

“This is a major milestone for Swoop as we underscore our commitment to leading the way for ultra-low fare air travel in Canada and reaffirm our position as the airline with the most destinations from Edmonton,” said Charles Duncan, President of Swoop. “With a strong focus on growth and Edmonton as our partner, we will continue to provide our travellers with more non-stop flights and ultra-low fares while supporting the recovery of Canada’s travel and tourism economy.”

New non-stop flights to eight Canadian cities 

The addition of eight new Canadian destinations to Swoop’s summer schedule will see non-stop service from Edmonton to Charlottetown, Comox, Halifax, Kelowna, Moncton, Ottawa, Regina and Saskatoon. Swoop will be the first carrier to bring non-stop connectivity from Edmonton International Airport to Charlottetown and Moncton and the airline’s summer schedule will also see the restoration of service to London, Ont. 

Hello, Palm Springs!

Beginning December 16, Swoop’s transborder presence is growing from Edmonton with the addition of new service to Palm Springs. The scheduled non-stop service to Palm Springs will operate twice weekly.

#Edmonton

To commemorate its history and commitment to Edmonton, Swoop celebrated the naming of its newest aircraft #Edmonton alongside key government leaders and business stakeholders at Edmonton International Airport.

Following the event, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft entered service for the operation of flight WO 770 departing Edmonton at 12:00 local time, en route to Phoenix (Mesa), Arizona with a scheduled arrival of 3:30 PM local time. Edmontonians can expect to see #Edmonton operating several of Swoop’s newly announced routes.

Full schedule details of Swoop’s service from Edmonton can be found below.

 Domestic Routes

RoutePeak Weekly
Frequency
Start DateTotal one-
way fare
(CAD)
 †
Base Fare
(CAD)
Taxes and
Fees (CAD)
 
Edmonton – Halifax*5x weeklyMay 1, 2022$159$104.35$54.65
Edmonton – Charlottetown*2x weeklyJune 16, 2022$159$104.35$54.65
Edmonton – Kelowna*7x weeklyMay 5, 2022$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Ottawa*4x weeklyApril 25, 2022$59$9.12$49.88
Edmonton – Comox*3x weeklyJune 9, 2022$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Regina*2x weeklyJune 16. 2022$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Saskatoon*2x weeklyJune 14, 2022$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Moncton*2x weeklyJune 17, 2022$159$104.35$54.65
Edmonton – London3x weeklyJune 2, 2022$59$9.11$49.88
Edmonton – Winnipeg4x weeklyContinuing$160$105.30$54.69
Edmonton – Toronto14x weeklyContinuing$59$9.12$49.88
Edmonton – Hamilton7x weeklyContinuing$60$10.06$49.94
Edmonton – Abbotsford7x weeklyContinuing$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Victoria7x weeklyContinuing$60$12.06$47.94
†Special introductory fares are limited quantity. Book by November 29, 2021 for travel between May 2 and June 22, 2022.

Transborder Routes

RoutePeak Weekly
Frequency
Start DateTotal one-
way fare
(CAD)
 †
Base Fare
(CAD)
Taxes and
Fees (CAD)
 
Edmonton – Las Vegas7x weeklyContinuing$99$8.84$90.16
Edmonton – Phoenix (Mesa)1x weeklyContinuing$110$18.36$91.63
† Book by November 29, 2021 for travel between May 2 and June 22, 2022.

New Service to Palm Springs

RoutePeak Weekly
Frequency
Start DateTotal one-
way fare
(CAD)
 †
Base Fare
(CAD)
Taxes and
Fees (CAD)
Edmonton – Palm Springs*2x WeeklyDecember 16, 2021$99$7.89$91.11
†Special introductory fares are limited quantity. Book by November 29, 2021 for travel between January 10 and February 19, 2022.

Supporting Quotes

“Swoop’s commitment to Edmonton is a clear sign that there is confidence in Alberta’s Recovery Plan. The new routes across Canada and to Palm Springs open up exciting opportunities for tourism and business.”

  • Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Transportation

“I want to thank Swoop for supporting the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. Having increased connections across Canada and beyond through Edmonton International Airport is vital for our region. As a major city contributing to Alberta’s recovery, strong air service will help us create jobs and grow our economy.”

  • Amarjeet Sohi, Mayor of Edmonton

“Next time you hear a plane passing over, look up, look way up, and you just might see #Edmonton flying by. Thank you Swoop for naming one of your fleet after our great community, we’re honoured you will help carry the name Edmonton across Canada and North America. Your dedication to the Edmonton Metropolitan Region is helping bring more low-cost travel options for our passengers and we can’t wait for these new destinations to start.”

  • Tom Ruth, President and CEO, Edmonton International Airport

To learn more about Swoop please 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 ten 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. 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.     

Source: Swoop 2022 Edmonton International Airport Economic Impacts performed by the Chris Lowe Group

Pearson airport CEO Deborah Flint on surviving the pandemic — and why all of Ontario needs the airline hub to make a full recovery

From the Toronto Star – link to source story

By Brennan Doherty, Special to the Toronto Star | Sat., Nov. 13, 2021

Deborah Flint is at the helm of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority as CEO.

Deborah Flint’s first 21 months at the helm of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority have been, to put it mildly, eventful.

Just a month after she arrived from Los Angeles, Flint watched as the COVID-19 pandemic grounded nearly all air travel at Pearson International Airport. COVID screening became the new normal. Thousands of customs officers nearly went on strike at the airport last August — and thousands of other GTAA employees were laid off. Domestic travel restrictions are now lifting, slowly, but Flint believes governments need to pay a lot more attention to the plight of airports if they care about a solid economic recovery from the pandemic.

Flint spoke to the Star about the GTAA’s looming debt, her optimism about business travel, and why the airport should be allowed to keep its government rent payments:

Before arriving in Toronto, you ran Los Angeles World Airports. That includes LAX, one of the busiest airports in the U.S. What made you decide to move to Canada to run the GTAA?

It was the fourth-busiest airport when I left, and it was in the middle of a $15-billion investment program there. I loved what I was doing, and the team, and the vision that was being implemented, but there are a number of reasons why I came to Toronto. It was a unique opportunity to move back to the country where I was born — I was born in Hamilton. From a business perspective, I was incredibly excited about the prospects and the future for Toronto Pearson. It’s one of the top international gateways into North America. It was the best airport in North America for several years running, according to ASQ (the Airport Service Quality awards).

There was also excitement about building a bigger future at Pearson — in transit, expanding facilities, modernization — and I love to do that type of work. I believe strongly in the power of airports and aviation and what they can do for the economy, and I was very excited to position Toronto to be even bigger and more important.

So you arrived in Toronto and then, a month later, the world shut down. What was it like to wake up in the morning and dwell on that?

It was a very challenging time. We were very busy, even though there weren’t passengers in the early days. We were repositioning aircraft. We were figuring out how to recreate the flow process for essential workers through the airport — to go from point A to point Z — to provide medical care, to get equipment where it needed to be. So there was a lot of work happening at the airport even though the world was coming to a halt.

We saw, very early on, that health was a key issue in the early days of the pandemic, but one that would be present in our passengers or employees’ lives for a long time — likely permanently — in the same way that after 9/11, security posture became a permanent element of air travel. We determined that we had hospital-grade air quality and ventilation systems and made investments in ultra-UV lighting. We brought our outdoor air quality monitor inside to show our passengers that they were in a clean environment. We implemented a number of policies about masking in the terminal.

That recognition of the health process has been very fundamental to our early days and obviously continues today as we find ourselves in a different situation — of being able to travel with a lot more confidence.

How did you afford all that? Those health upgrades were necessary, but also quite expensive — and you were seeing a huge decline in air travellers at that time.

The investments were not significant in terms of cost. They were significant, I think, in terms of knowledge and gaining expertise. We hired, very early on, a chief medical officer to help guide us. We participated in a number of scientific research tables. We conducted, in partnership with the government, one of the largest studies in the world of traveller tests from COVID to understand the conditions of the pandemic in air travel.

As to your point about affordability — during that time to today, like many other industries that were affected by the pandemic, we have massive challenges with revenue. Our business was down 98 per cent. Revenue has essentially stalled. And we did what many other industries had to do — and there were tough calls to make that were necessary: Downsizing our workforce significantly, closing up portions of the airport. Our capital program even today is 25 per cent of what it was.

That’s where we do feel the lack of investment. We are really focused on the maintenance elements and the security and safety elements of the airport infrastructure, and this is the time where we want to be improving the airport for passenger experience. We know that Canadians expect a world-class experience from their airports — as they should. We’d like to be investing in the airport of the future that’s more predictable, more reliable, faster, more efficient, more pleasurable.

How much of your workforce did you have to lay off?

We laid off over 30 per cent of our workforce. Before the pandemic, Pearson Airport had about 50,000 jobs. Some of the highest unemployment rates in the province are in and around the airport. The airport is still finishing this year with about 20 per cent of the traffic we had in 2019. It’s almost linear to the jobs that are still yet to be restored here at the airport, and around the airport — the second-largest employment zone in the country. The first largest is downtown Toronto.

The areas related to our sector are at the bottom of the “K” of recovery, if you will. We’re very motivated to bring flights back in and to get passengers travelling again so the jobs return: accountants, electricians, police, cab drivers. Countries realize that one international flight is worth hundreds of billions of dollars in economic development. In 2019, our contribution to Ontario’s GDP was $42 billion. The importance of Pearson is very tangible. And I’m a strong believer that you cannot have an economic recovery in this country, or locally, or in a province, without a strong Pearson recovery as well.

Business travellers are a major part of any airline. What happens if business travel doesn’t bounce back to pre-2020 levels?

Business leaders want to get back in front of their customers. There is nothing like working on a deal, building on a trust, and collaboration, (and) doing that in person. That’s why, surprisingly, we’ve seen 40 per cent of domestic business travel is returning in North America. It is absolutely more of a challenge on the international side, where there’s a lot of disharmony of rules. But domestic North American business travel is recovering.

You’ve previously said the GTAA could hit up to a billion dollars in additional debt thanks to the pandemic. What would that mean for Pearson’s infrastructure and operations plans going forward?

When you’re borrowing to fund operations and provide essential services for the country and beyond, it did require us to reduce our capital program. We need to create a pathway to reclaim our status as the best airport in North America. That’s going to be a big challenge when we’ve seen many airports, particularly in the United States — LAX accelerated its development and saved a lot of money by accelerating construction. We’re going to have to be very creative about how to generate the funds necessary to modernize our airport to keep up. There’s a price to pay when you let infrastructure decay and you’re no longer competitive. And we don’t want that to happen here.

We’ve been in close discussions with the government and we’ve been proposing that, instead of paying the government rents for the airport — which have been deferred; ultimately, we’d have to borrow to do that — instead, we suggest that over the course of the future, we work with the government to invest that money back into our own infrastructure. That would benefit government more substantially in terms of job creation. It will stimulate billions of dollars of additional revenue for the government.

What’s the government’s reaction been to that proposal?

We’re all at the table. The conversation is ongoing. I think there is an interest in being partners. But I do want them to pay very close attention to this matter and realize how essential airports are to our broader economy.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

An Air Canada A220 Engine Shut Down Before Newark Diversion

From Simply Flying – link to source story

by Luke Bodell | November 11, 2021

I can An Air Canada A220-300 suffered an engine rollback on approach to LaGuardia Airport, forcing a diversion to Newark Airport for a safer landing. The aircraft was at 2,000 feet when it began to yaw unexpectedly, with the flight management system (FMS) indicating a problem with the right-hand engine.

Air Canada A220
The aircraft experienced an engine rollback upon approach to LaGuardia Airport. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

The engine experienced a rollback to 30% N1 and did not respond to throttle movement. The crew decided to divert to nearby Newark Airport, with the aircraft touching down safely approximately 35 minutes after the incident.

Engine shutdown over LaGuardia Airport

On Monday 8th November, Air Canada Flight AC720 from Toronto to LaGuardia experienced an engine rollback as it was on approach to LaGuardia. Maintaining an altitude of around 2,000 feet, the Airbus A220-300 (registration: C-GNBE) began to yaw without prompting, with the crew receiving an FMS indication “One Engine.”

Delta Air Lines, Airbus A350, Deliveries
Pilots decided to land at nearby Newark Airport. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

The right-hand engine (PW1524G) had rolled back to 30% N1 and was unresponsive to any throttle movement. The crew went around and shut down the engine before declaring a Mayday. Thereafter, the pilots decided that landing at nearby Newark Airport (25km away), with its longer runway, would be the safer option.

The plane diverted to Newark Airport

The aircraft touched down safely at Newark Airport around 35 minutes after the engine rollback, landing on runway 04R at 19:37 EST. Overall, the incident meant the flight landed 52 minutes later than its scheduled arrival time.

An Air Canada A220 Engine Shut Down Before Newark Diversion
Pilots chose Newark Airport for its longer runway. Flight data: RadarBox.com

LaGuardia Airport’s two runways are both 7,000 feet long, while at Newark Airport the runways are 10,000 feet. This gives pilots a crucial amount of extra distance to land safely in the event of an emergency.

PW1500G issues in the past

The engine which suffered a rollback was a Pratt & Whitney 1500G (PW1524G). The engine has experienced issues with inflight shutdowns in the past, most notably in 2019 when three high-profile incidents led Transport Canada to issue an emergency airworthiness directive (EAD).

The first incident, on July 25th, 2019, involved a Swiss Air Lines A220-300, which suffered a low-pressure compressor disintegration. Less than two months later, a second Swiss A220 experienced a similar issue with its low-pressure compressor.

An Air Canada A220 Engine Shut Down Before Newark Diversion
The PW1500G has experienced issues in the past. Photo: Air Canada

Then, a month later in October 2019, a third Swiss A220 suffered engine failure, forcing the airline to withdraw its fleet for inspection. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) at the time, calling for engine checks on certain Pratt & Whitney engines.

The directive stated,

“This AD requires initial and repetitive inspections of the low-pressure compressor (LPC) inlet guide vane (IGV) and the LPC rotor 1 (R1) and, depending on the results of the inspections,possible replacement of the LPC. This AD was prompted by two recent in-flight shutdowns (IFSDs) that occurred as the result of failures of the LPC R1.”

Air Transat announces its summer 2022 flight program

MONTREAL, Nov. 11, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Transat, named World’s Best Leisure Airline, is proud to announce its flight program for the summer of 2022. At the height of the season, it will operate more than 250 flights each week to 44 destinations. It will gradually increase its service to Europe, strengthen its position in the United States by offering flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco for the first time, offer a selection of its most popular South destinations, and enhance its domestic flight program.

“We are actively rebuilding our network with a modern and versatile fleet that will enable us to meet the increased demand expected in 2022,” said Annick Guérard, President and Chief Executive Officer, Transat. “We will be returning to almost all of the destinations served before the pandemic, in addition to offering Canadian travellers major new destinations.”

An expanded Europe flight program

From Montreal, the airline will offer 7 direct flights weekly to London-Gatwick and 14 to Paris. It also plans to restart operations to the French provinces, with service to Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice and Toulouse. A total of 19 European destinations will be accessible via direct service from Montreal, including a new route to Amsterdam.

Air Transat will also strengthen its position as the leading international carrier departing from Jean Lesage Airport in Quebec City by offering exclusive non-stop flights to two European capitals: Paris and, for the first time, London.

From Toronto, in addition to 14 weekly flights to London, travellers will also be able to fly to 13 other key European destinations in Croatia, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the U.K.

Number of weekly direct peak-season flights to Europe

DestinationFrom
Montreal
From
Quebec City
From
Toronto
AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands34
ATHENS, Greece33
BASEL-MULHOUSE, Switzerland1
BARCELONA, Spain32
BORDEAUX, France4
BRUSSELS, Belgium3
DUBLIN, Ireland5
GLASGOW, United Kingdom4
LAMEZIA, Italy1
LISBON, Portugal55
LONDON, United Kingdom7114
LYON, France4
MADRID, Spain3
MALAGA, Spain2
MANCHESTER, United Kingdom4
MARSEILLE, France5
NANTES, France3
NICE, France2
PARIS, France1434
PORTO, Portugal23
ROME, Italy45
TOULOUSE, France4
VENICE, Italy21
ZAGREB, Croatia2

United States: focus on California and Florida

From Montreal, Air Transat will introduce a new direct service to California with two flights a week to San Francisco and three to Los Angeles. It will also intensify its service to Florida by operating flights between Montreal and Miami throughout the year, in addition to flying to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando from both Montreal and Toronto.

Finally, travellers from Quebec City will now be able to enjoy direct flights to Fort Lauderdale year-round.

Number of weekly direct peak-season flights to the U.S.

DestinationFrom
Montreal
From
Quebec City
From
Toronto
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida414
LOS ANGELES, California3
MIAMI, Florida3
ORLANDO, Florida23
SAN FRANCISCO, California2

The South all year

Because Canadians are fond of South getaways even during the summer, Air Transat will offer a selection of its most popular destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean out of Montreal, Quebec City and Toronto.

Number of weekly direct peak-season flights to sun destinations

DestinationFrom
Montreal
From
Quebec City
From
Toronto
CANCÚN, Mexico415
CAYO COCO, Cuba22
HOLGUIN, Cuba11
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica1
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti2
PUERTO PLATA, Dominican Republic21
PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic515
SAMANA, Dominican Republic1
SANTA CLARA, Cuba22
VARADERO, Cuba22

More domestic flights and connections

By closely observing the market and emerging travel trends, Air Transat is convinced that the popularity of travel within Canada will still be strong in the summer of 2022, which is why it will continue to enhance its domestic flight program.

These flights will also provide many Canadians with access to international destinations via connections in Toronto and Montreal.

Number of weekly peak-season domestic flights

City-pairNumber of
flights
MONTREAL–CALGARY8
MONTREAL–QUEBEC CITY5
MONTRÉAL–TORONTO15
MONTRÉAL–VANCOUVER10
TORONTO–CALGARY8
TORONTO–VANCOUVER10
Air Transat may have to modify its flight schedule subject to the changing COVID-19 situation and resulting travel restrictions.

About Air Transat
Founded in Montreal 35 years ago, Air Transat is a leading leisure travel brand. Voted World’s Best Leisure Airline by passengers at the Skytrax World Airline Awards, it flies to international and Canadian destinations, striving to serve its customers with enthusiasm and friendliness at every stage of their trip or stay, and emphasizing safety throughout. It is renewing its fleet with the greenest aircraft in their category as part of a commitment to a healthier environment, knowing that this is essential to its operations and the magnificent destinations it offers. Air Transat is a business unit of Transat A.T. Inc., a world-renowned holiday travel provider that achieved Travelife certification in 2018 in recognition of its sustainability commitments.

Recent distinctions and awards

  • World’s Best Leisure Airline at the Skytrax World Airline Awards
  • Named to Forbes World’s Best Employers List
  • Best Tour Operator and Favourite Overall Supplier at the Agents’ Choice Awards presented by Baxter Travel Media
  • Ranked as Canada’s 21st best corporate citizen by Corporate Knights

GTAA Reports 2021 Third Quarter Results

TORONTO, Nov. 10, 2021 /CNW/ – The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (“GTAA”) today reported its financial and operating results for the three- and nine-months ended September 30, 2021.  Passenger activity increased 190.0 per cent for the third quarter of 2021 and decreased 41.8 per cent during the first nine months of 2021 as compared to the same periods of 2020, respectively. These changes are due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic (also as “COVID-19” or “pandemic”) on the GTAA and the global aviation industry generally, regular operating activity in the first quarter of 2020 and the most recent easing of government restrictions.

“The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Toronto Pearson’s business have been dramatic and continue to have a significant impact on our operations,” said Deborah Flint, President and CEO. “Nonetheless, we are experiencing a return of passengers and therefore continue to focus resources on measures designed to cultivate a healthy airport experience for passengers and employees alike.  Toronto Pearson will maintain its industry-leading role through the ongoing evolution of its globally recognized Healthy Airport program, and in doing so reinforce a pathway for recovery and return the Airport to its place as a strong economic driver for our local community, our province and our country.”

With continued global intermittent lockdowns, travel restrictions and government-imposed health requirements, the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic contraction has had, and is expected to continue to have, a material negative impact on demand for air travel globally.  Toronto Pearson has continued to experience material declines in passengers and flight activity during the first nine months of 2021, as compared to the same period in 2020.  The reduced activity is having a material negative impact on the GTAA’s business and results of operations, including aeronautical and commercial revenues and airport improvement fees.  However, during the second and third quarters of 2021, operating activity at the Airport has grown significantly from the same periods of 2020, due in part to a domestic vaccination rollout and the easing of government travel restrictions. Nevertheless, all measures of operating activity continue to be well below the 2019 levels.

Key Financial and Passenger Information

Passenger Activity3 mths
2021
3 mths
2020
Change%9 mths 20219 mths 2020Change%
Domestic2.91.11.8165.34.14.6(0.5)(10.7)
International1.80.61.2239.42.77.2(4.5)(61.8)
Total4.71.73.0190.06.811.8(5.0)(41.8)
($ millions)
Total Revenues245.7148.397.465.7552.0673.0(121.0)(18.0)
Total operating expenses (excluding amortization)125.0138.0(13.0)(9.4)351.4443.2(91.8)(20.7)
EBITDA120.710.3110.41,072.9200.6229.8(29.2)(12.7)
Net Loss(57.7)(176.9)119.267.4(302.8)(266.6)(36.2)(13.6)

During the third quarter of 2021, passenger activity increased when compared to the same period of 2020, although the number of passenger and flight activity remains significantly lower, when compared to the same period in 2019.  During the first nine months of 2021, passenger activity through Toronto Pearson and resultant revenues were materially lower, as compared to the same period of 2020, as a direct result from the impact of COVID-19 and due to regular operations in the first quarter of 2020 not being materially impacted by the pandemic.

Earnings before interest and financing costs and amortization (“EBITDA”) during the third quarter of 2021 increased significantly due to significant increase in operating activity and revenues and continued costs savings.  In contrast, EBITDA during the first nine months of 2021 was materially lower, as compared to the same period of 2020, due to significant revenue reductions caused by the impacts of COVID-19 partially offset by cost savings.  Net loss during the third quarter of 2021 decreased to $57.7 million due higher revenues and continued cost savings as compared to the same period of 2020.  Net loss during the first nine months of 2021 increased to $302.8 million as compared to the same period of 2020 due to material reductions in revenues and due to the net income of the first quarter of 2020 not being materially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On October 5, 2021, the GTAA issued $400.0 million Series 2021-1 Medium Term Notes due October 5, 2051 at a coupon rate of 3.15 per cent for net proceeds of $397.3 million. The net proceeds were primarily used to repay commercial paper.

As a result of COVID-19, there continues to be very limited visibility on travel demand given changing government restrictions in place in Canada and around the world.  These restrictions and concerns about travel due to COVID-19 are severely inhibiting demand.  Management continues to analyze the extent of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is and continues to be adverse and material.While the full duration and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be known at this time, the GTAA believes that recovery will happen and the pandemic will not have a material impact on the long-term financial sustainability of the Airport.

Apart from the impact of the pandemic on GTAA revenues and operations, there may also be disruptions, including to air carriers, supply chains and third-party service providers.  The pandemic may also impact the cost of capital and the ability to access the capital markets in the future which may arise from disrupted credit markets, and possible credit ratings watch or downgrade of GTAA debt. 

The GTAA’s September 30, 2021 financial results are discussed in more detail in the GTAA’s Condensed Interim Consolidated Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis, each for the three- and nine-months ended September 30, 2021, which are available at www.torontopearson.com and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

About the Greater Toronto Airports Authority

The GTAA is the operator of Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Swoop Launches New Service at St. Pete-Clearwater Int’l Airport

TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop celebrated its inaugural flight to St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) with a warm welcome reception to the Tampa Bay area.

“We are thrilled to be expanding our U.S. network with the launch of today’s inaugural flight to St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial and Finance, Swoop. “We know Canadians are eager to travel south to sunny Florida this winter and are pleased to be offering yet another convenient, affordable option to our travellers.”

As the airline continues to add capacity and increase service to the U.S., St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport’s accessibility to Florida’s Gulf Coast make it the perfect destination for Canadians to travel to all at swoop’s always available ultra-low fares.

“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 we are so excited to welcome our Canadian friends with borders open!  We want to thank our partners at Visit St. Pete/Clearwater and Volaire Aviation for helping us make this possible.”

Details of Swoop’s service currently for sale:

Service BetweenServices Start DatePeak Weekly Frequency
Toronto – St. Pete-ClearwaterNov 5, 20213x (Mon, Fri, Sat)
Hamilton – St. Pete-Clearwater Nov 9, 20212x (Tue, Sat)

To celebrate this new route, Swoop’s Head of Commercial and Finance, Bert van der Stege and Head of Flight Operations, Shane Workman were joined by St. Pete-Clearwater International (PIE) Airport Director, Tom Jewsbury and several key stakeholders for an inaugural ceremony upon arrival at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. Travellers were also treated to inflight refreshments and giveaways. 

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 ten 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.

GTAA issues notification regarding changes to aeronautical rates

djustments to aeronautical rates represent inflationary increases and reflect significant ongoing financial impacts of COVID-19. 

TORONTO, Nov. 4, 2021 /CNW/ – The downturn in air travel at Toronto Pearson as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly reduced the Greater Toronto Airports Authority’s (GTAA) revenues and in turn caused the company to incur a large amount of incremental debt to finance its operations. Since the outset of the pandemic, the GTAA has taken many significant steps to responsibly reduce and prioritize operating and capital expenditures, including the reduction in planned 2020 capital spend by $265 million and reducing its workforce by 27 per cent in July, 2020.

To keep pace with inflation, to reflect the benefits of access to Canada’s busiest airport and its proximity to Canada’s largest economic region, and to sustain strong financial liquidity, the GTAA is announcing the following changes to aeronautical rates, effective January 1, 2022:

  • Aeronautical rates for commercial aviation will increase by 3%.
  • Aeronautical rates for all business and general aviation aircraft, regardless of weight, will increase to $850 per arrival.

Prior to the pandemic and required 2021 increases, commercial aeronautical rates had not increased at Toronto Pearson for 13 years during a period of strong growth at the airport.

“The impact of the pandemic on Toronto Pearson’s business and Canada’s aviation sector continues to be felt,” said Deborah Flint, President and CEO, GTAA. “These modest increases will allow us to keep pace with rising inflationary costs and help to position the GTAA fiscally for recovery, but are mindful of cost pressures still felt across the sector.”

“The GTAA has incurred a net loss of $628 million over the last 18 months,” said Ian Clarke, Chief Financial Officer, GTAA. “Despite the dramatic impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Toronto Pearson, the GTAA has continued to meet all its financial obligations, including those to its host municipalities, largely through debt financing. These changes align our aeronautical rates with the benefits of access to Canada’s largest airport, situated in the middle of the country’s second-largest employment area.”

This news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. By its nature, forward-looking information requires the GTAA to make assumptions and is subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. These statements reflect GTAA management’s current beliefs and are based on information currently available to GTAA management. There is a risk that predictions, forecasts, conclusions and projections that constitute forward-looking information will not prove to be accurate, that the GTAA’s assumptions may not be correct and that actual results may differ materially from such forward-looking information. Additional detailed information about these assumptions, risks and uncertainties is included in the GTAA’s securities regulatory filings, including its most recent Annual Information Form and Management’s Discussion and Analysis, which can be found on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

About the Greater Toronto Airports Authority

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority is the operator of Toronto – Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Canada’s largest airport and a vital connector of people, businesses and goods. Toronto Pearson has been named “Best Large Airport in North America serving more than 40 million passengers” for four years in a row by Airports Council International (ACI), the global trade representative of the world’s airports. In recognition of its Healthy Airport program, ACI also awarded Toronto Pearson the “Best hygiene measures in North America” award, and Toronto Pearson was the first Canadian airport to receive ACI’s global health accreditation for its response to COVID-19. For more information, please visit Toronto Pearson on Twitter (English and French), Facebook or Instagram.