Lynx Air flights to Orlando take off from Toronto Pearson

Lynx is celebrating with a competition to win a vacation for four in Orlando, Florida

TORONTO, Jan. 27, 2023 /CNW/ – Lynx Air (Lynx) launched its inaugural flight to the United States today, departing from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and arriving at the new Terminal C at Orlando International Airport (MCO). Canada’s new ultra-affordable airline will operate four direct flights per week between Toronto and Orlando, flying brand-new Boeing 737 aircraft. 

To celebrate Lynx’s inaugural Orlando service, the airline is offering a chance

Lynx Air CEO, Merren McArthur is joined by Greater Toronto Airports Authority VP of Stakeholder Relations and Communications, Karen Mazurkewich for an official ribbon cutting celebration at Toronto Pearson Airport.
Photo Credit Peyton Stikeleather (CNW Group/Lynx Air)
Lynx Air CEO, Merren McArthur is joined by Greater Toronto Airports Authority VP of Stakeholder Relations and Communications, Karen Mazurkewich for an official ribbon cutting celebration at Toronto Pearson Airport. Photo Credit Peyton Stikeleather (CNW Group/Lynx Air)

to win a vacation package for four, including flights, accommodation, and passes to Orlando theme parks.  Lynx is also launching a limited-time seat sale, offering up to 50% off base fares for flights from Toronto to Orlando, using the promo code: FLYUSA. Fares start from as low as $109* inclusive of taxes and fees.  The sale starts on January 27 and ends at 11:59 PM EST January 30, 2023.  For complete sale and contest details, and to book an ultra-affordable fare, visit

“Lynx Air took to the Canadian skies for the very first time just over nine months ago, and we are excited to be already expanding across the border into the USA.  The choice of Orlando as our first US destination was easy – it is a very popular holiday spot for Canadians, with its famous theme parks, world-class golf, and great weather of course!” said Merren McArthur, CEO of Lynx.  “We are thrilled to offer an ultra-affordable option to travel between Toronto and Orlando. Whether you are traveling for a holiday in sunny Florida or to visit family and friends, Lynx will ensure a great flying experience at an ultra-affordable price.” 

“Lynx Air has been a valued partner of Pearson’s since April of 2022, offering service from Pearson to six Canadian destinations,” said Janik Reigate, Director of Strategic Customer Relationships at the Greater Toronto Airports Authority. “We’re delighted to partner with them on this expansion of service, which is their first to the United States, so that our valued passengers have more options, whether they’re looking to explore Canada or visit Orlando.”

“Lynx Air’s decision to make Orlando its first American destination says a lot about the strength of the Canadian market and its ties to Central Florida,” says Kevin Thibault, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “Orlando International (MCO) is pleased to be the first U.S. airport to welcome Lynx Air as it expands its operations internationally.”

“Lynx is launching new direct flight services to Orlando at the perfect time, ahead of popular booking periods, including March Break,” said Casandra Matej, president and CEO for Visit Orlando. “Low-cost air carriers like Lynx are especially appealing for families and visitors on a budget, who we know are looking to escape the chilly winter temperatures and enjoy the sunshine in the world’s theme park capital.”

Lynx’s US network will continue to expand over the next few weeks, with the planned launch of services out of Calgary to Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. In total, Lynx will be operating over 5,000 seats to and from the US, giving Canadians an affordable option to visit some of the most popular sun destinations south of the border.

Lynx’s US schedule:

Flight No.Effective DateFrequencyDepartureStationArrivalStation

Please note that dates are subject to change. Visit the website for full schedule details.

* Available for a limited time; fares are accurate at the time of release and include taxes and fees, restrictions apply.

About Lynx Air 

Lynx Air (Lynx), Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost airline, is on a mission to make air travel accessible to all, with ultra-affordable fares and a customer-focused flying experience. The airline was recently awarded Youngest Fleet in North America by ch-aviation.  Lynx operates a brand-new fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, bringing an elevated customer experience to low-cost travel in Canada.  These ultra-efficient and reliable aircraft reduce Lynx’s carbon footprint, making Lynx one of Canada’s most sustainable airlines. Lynx is a privately owned Canadian airline with the financial backing and industry expertise required to transform the Canadian aviation landscape.

Visit or connect with Lynx on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to learn more.

Fusion Genomics Establishes First-of-its-Kind Wastewater Surveillance Pilot Study at Toronto Airport

Study will evaluate targeted sequencing-based testing for early detection of respiratory pathogens and emerging infectious diseases in airport wastewater samples

January 10, 2023

RICHMOND, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fusion Genomics announced today that the company has established a fully automated, first-of-its-kind infectious-disease surveillance facility at Toronto Pearson International Airport. The facility, which uses Fusion’s DNA sequencing-based ONETest platform, will allow detection of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens in wastewater effluent from airplanes and terminal facilities at Canada’s busiest airport. The pilot project, supported in part by funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program, is being facilitated by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA).

Wastewater testing has been used to a small degree for infectious disease surveillance for years, but it was the COVID-19 pandemic that highlighted its extraordinary potential. Scientists and public health officials used wastewater surveillance data to spot outbreaks in communities weeks before more traditional methods, such as COVID-19 test positivity levels, began to indicate a problem. The approach has also been effective for monitoring transmission trends in more targeted settings, such as office buildings or college campuses.

“Wastewater surveillance offers a unique opportunity to understand potential pandemic threats and generate actionable public health information without having to inconvenience travelers by requesting swab samples,” said Mohammad Qadir, Ph.D., president and chief scientific officer of Fusion Genomics. “This unique facility will, for the first time, provide the aviation industry with the tools to potentially support public health and safety by connecting airport wastewater surveillance with global surveillance data.”

In the pilot program, Fusion Genomics will use its sequencing-based ONETest Coronaviruses Plus test to look for the full spectrum of all known and novel respiratory viruses, including emerging and novel SARS-COV-2 variants of concern in samples of wastewater collected from terminal facilities and the combined aircraft wastewater repository in its on-site laboratory at Toronto Pearson.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fusion Genomics has been evaluating the ONETest platform as a tool to detect not only SARS-CoV-2, but all known and emerging upper-respiratory viruses. In a separate pilot study announced last year, Fusion Genomics deployed its ONETest Coronaviruses Plus test at Toronto Pearson to evaluate samples collected from passengers. The company has also previously received contracts from Innovative Solutions Canada to provide the ONETest to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for detecting coronaviruses, other upper respiratory RNA viruses, and various strains of zoonotic viruses.

“Toronto Pearson is an international gateway where tens of millions of passengers from around the world cross paths every year,” said Dwayne MacIntosh, Director of Safety and Security at the GTAA. “We are committed to the health and safety of our passengers and airport staff, and we believe it is important to explore pilot studies, such as this one with Fusion Genomics, to understand how innovative and targeted studies with industry can support public health officials in making smarter, more timely decisions to protect our community from new disease threats.”

About Fusion Genomics

Fusion Genomics is a molecular diagnostics company focused on transforming infectious disease through advanced genomic technologies. Fusion is applying novel DNA/RNA capture and informatics technologies to overcome the limitations of current infectious-disease diagnostic tests, with the aim of preventing unnecessary deaths from infectious disease and halting the growing problem of drug resistance. The company’s rapid, highly sensitive, and cost-effective next generation sequencing (NGS)-based tests have the potential to disrupt the $8 billion global infectious disease diagnostics market, replacing many conventional and molecular clinical lab tests. For more information, visit

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 five 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 has also awarded Toronto Pearson the “Best hygiene measures in North America” award for three years running, and Toronto Pearson was the first Canadian airport to receive ACI’s global health accreditation for its response to COVID-19.

Swoop Celebrates Inaugural Service to Cuba

The ultra-not-expensive airline heats up 2023 with new non-stop flights between Toronto and Varadero

TORONTO, Jan. 11, 2023 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost airline, celebrated its inaugural service between Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and Juan Gualberto Gomez International Airport in Varadero, Cuba (VRA). Swoop flight WO652 took off from Toronto this morning at 9:10 a.m. ET and arrived in sunny Varadero at 12:50 p.m. local time.

“As Canada’s favourite sun and fun ultra-low-cost carrier, we are thrilled to celebrate our launch into Cuba,” said Bob Cummings, President of Swoop. “Varadero is widely known as a Canadian favourite for affordable beach vacations, and so we’re proud to provide Torontonians a new ultra-convenient, ultra-not-expensive option for travel to Playa Azul.”

Ontarians looking for a pre-packaged vacation to an all-inclusive beach resort can access WestJet Vacations Packages with Swoop flights through their favourite Travel Agent, online with a travel website, be available shortly on 

“We are thrilled to have Swoop flying to Cuba, it means additional air lift to our country and a growth opportunity to the destination. There is a large part of the market that like to explore Cuba on their own and now they can take advantage of these affordable prices and satisfy their travel needs” – Lessner Gomez, Director of Cuba Tourist Board in Toronto

“With over two months of winter still remaining, travellers now have more choice for sun destinations served out of Toronto Pearson,” said Janik Reigate, Director of Strategic Customer Relationships, Greater Toronto Airports Authority. “We’re proud to partner with Swoop to help our valued passengers break up the cold and snow with a bit of sun and fun this winter season.”

In addition to today’s Varadero inaugural flight, Swoop also began new, non-stop service between Hamilton and Punta Cana. The ultra-not-expensive airline will operate over 100 flights per week to 13 vacation destinations across the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean this winter season. With one-way all-in prices starting at $99† CAD for flights and WestJet Vacations packages starting at $356† CAD, there’s never been a better time to escape winter.

RouteLowest 7-
day WestJet
Price (CAD) †
Lowest one-
way total price (CAD)†
Base Fare (CAD)Taxes &
Fees (CAD)
Operating Days
Toronto to
$842$159$46.99$113.01Mondays, Wednesdays,
and Fridays
Toronto to
Toronto to Las
$356 (3
$105$3.52$101.48Mondays, Wednesdays,
Thursdays, Fridays and
Hamilton to Punta
$1,309$199$90.68$112.27Wednesdays and
Hamilton to
$1,439$139$41.32$97.68Tuesdays, Wednesdays,
Hamilton to Las
$401 (4
$99$8.57$90.43Thursdays and Sundays
Hamilton to
Montego Bay
$1,173$159$47.33$111.67Wednesdays and
†Package prices are per person, based on double occupancy and may differ based on departure dates. For travel between February 1, 2023 – February 28, 2023. | Fares are valid until Wednesday, January 12, 2023 (11:59 p.m. MT) or while seats last. | Prices displayed above are subject to change and are not guaranteed until payment is made and accepted. 

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 fleet of ten Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft and expanded in 2022 to add six Boeing MAX-8 aircraft, for a total of 16 aircraft.  

At travellers can quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, and track flights.

LuminUltra participates in innovative wastewater surveillance pilot project at Toronto Pearson

FREDERICTON, NB , Jan. 9, 2023 /CNW/ – LuminUltra has partnered with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) to implement a cutting-edge, on-site laboratory to perform wastewater surveillance testing at Pearson International Airport. This pilot project, supported in part by funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program, is using LuminUltra’s technology to test for the presence of sub-variants of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron virus as well as Monkeypox in wastewater effluent from planes and airport terminals.

“This project aims to demonstrate that wastewater surveillance testing is an important tool for keeping travel open and available to Canadians,” says Dwayne Macintosh, Director of Safety and Security at the Greater Toronto Airports Authority. “As Canada’s largest airport, Toronto Pearson is leading the industry in exploring trials that leverage testing technology like this to help understand how data from airports can support public health officials in making smarter, more timely decisions.”

Testing effluent for the presence of specific viruses or pathogens has become a common, non-invasive method for measuring community health trends that has been used throughout the pandemic. Earlier in 2022, LuminUltra delivered on a contract with the U.S. Centers of Disease Control (CDC) to process samples from across the U.S. as part of its National Wastewater Surveillance System.

“Wastewater is a very complicated sample type, which makes testing it very different than the clinical testing of individuals using nasal or throat swabs,” says Pat Whalen, Chair and CEO of LuminUltra. “Fortunately, our company has a decades-long history of working with difficult sample types, ranging from wastewater to oil and gas sludges, which is why we’ve been called upon multiple times by organizations like the CDC, the Government of Canada and private companies around the world to deliver this critical surveillance testing. We’re very proud to be able to step up and help.”

The onsite laboratory at Pearson is equipped to run all required steps to process the PCR test for the specific targets, resulting in a rapid turnaround time from sample to result. LuminUltra has provided all required components and staffing, including auto extraction units and high-throughput PCR devices, and has developed the assays that test for the specific targets: Omicron sub-variants and Monkeypox. The company is also able to add assays for more targets if needed.

“We’ve developed a very agile process for developing new assays,” says Anda Quintero, Laboratory Scientific Director at LuminUltra. “Our customers have relied on us to be able to respond quickly to newly emerging variants, which helps them ensure they’re looking at the complete picture.”

This announcement is further evidence of LuminUltra’s ability to deliver molecular testing solutions in a range of applications including biofouling, bioprocessing and biosecurity through both service and product offerings.

“We pride ourselves on being our customers’ partners in microbial management,” Whalen says. “We understand the risks that microbial activity, including viruses and pathogens, can pose. And we have a complete portfolio of products and services that can meet customers’ needs to identify this activity across many sample types, volumes and testing targets. In this case, we’ve implemented some of our largest scale solutions to be able to meet the needs of Canada’s largest airport and enable people to work, live and play with confidence.”

About LuminUltra

Founded in 1995, LuminUltra is a global leader in applied molecular biology diagnostics, with solutions and services that deliver accurate and actionable feedback in bioprocessing, biofouling, and biosecurity applications. With operations in six countries, LuminUltra serves dozens of Fortune 500 customers across more than 100 countries. In recent years it has been on an accelerated growth path, acquiring multiple companies after forming a partnership with XPV Water Partners

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 five 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 has also awarded Toronto Pearson the “Best hygiene measures in North America” award for three years running, and Toronto Pearson was the first Canadian airport to receive ACI’s global health accreditation for its response to COVID-19.

Toronto Pearson Provides Operational Update as Winter Storm Impacts Holiday Travel

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Dec. 23, 2022 /CNW/ – Toronto Pearson is providing an operational update on the measures being taken to support air travel in anticipation of more severe weather later today.

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) appreciates that this is an important time of year, and many people are planning to travel.  All efforts are being made by airport staff to support travellers and our airline partners. 

Airlines continue to adjust their schedules and travellers are encouraged to contact their airline before coming to the airport.  The GTAA understands WestJet’s decision to cancel all operations for Ottawa, Montreal, London, Kitchener and Hamilton, and both inbound and outbound flights to Toronto Pearson today. It is critical during the holidays that our partners continue to make every effort to address staffing provisions and crew allocations to deal with ongoing weather disruptions.

At the time of release, airport operations are running smoothly.  Below are the steps the GTAA has taken to support travel today and through this holiday season:

  • As is typical in any weather event, arrivals and departures are being proactively managed to match runway capacity. This is done well in advance and communicated to airlines so that they can plan their schedules accordingly and communicate with passengers. This morning’s departures were set at 36 per hour, which ran smoothly.
  • Toronto Pearson has one of the largest deicing facilities in the world. With 185 staff members and 46 deicing trucks, our 6-pad Central Deicing Facility (CDF) can deice up to 500 aircraft in a single day. The CDF is fully staffed and ready to meet demand, supplies of glycol are sufficient, with a large stockpile available should it be required.
  • The airport’s electrical supply is being run via the airport’s cogeneration facility to enable operational continuity in the event of a power loss from the commercial grid.
  • Airfield crews are proactively treating runway surfaces in anticipation of temperatures dropping, and extra snow removal crews are onsite and ready to act as soon as the snow falls. Pearson uses state-of-the-art snow removal equipment to keep the runways clear so aircraft can land and take-off safely during winter.
  • In the terminals, a cold-weather contingency plan has been implemented, which will support passengers waiting inside the buildings for taxis, limousines and other ground transportation operators.
  • Additionally, concessions will remain open to support delayed travellers, temporary phone banks have been set up to allow passengers to contact their carriers to rebook travel, and amenity kits are being distributed to passengers who overnight in the terminals.
  • To address congestion on the airport curbs and roadways, the GTAA is promoting use of its Cell Phone Waiting Areas for people picking up travellers, providing free parking vouchers on its website, and will proactively hand out 1-hour free parking vouchers on the curb should there be heavy congestion.

For more information and up to date information on Toronto Pearson please visit our website.

Statement from the Greater Toronto Airports authority

TORONTO, Dec. 22, 2022 /CNW/ – This holiday season, helping passengers travel safely to and from their destinations is the Greater Toronto Airports Authority’s (GTAA) top priority.

Today’s travel volumes at Pearson were as expected, and we’ve planned accordingly throughout the weekend; however, airlines remain affected by the weather over Western Canada and the U.S. and are still working to recover their operations.

The GTAA understands WestJet’s decision to cancel all operations for Ottawa, Montreal, London, Kitchener and Hamilton for December 23, and both inbound and outbound flights to Toronto Pearson on that day. It is critical during the holidays that our partners continue to make every effort to address staffing provisions and crew allocations to deal with ongoing weather disruptions. 

All travellers to Pearson should check their flights status and follow air carrier advice.