Swoop Heats Up Winter Schedule with New Service from Winnipeg to Orlando Sanford

Ultra-low cost airline to connect Winnipeg to sunny Central Florida just in time for winter travel

WINNIPEG, MB, Sept. 16, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop announced new service between Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (YWG) and Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) to its winter schedule, reaffirming Swoop’s commitment to bringing more ultra-low cost service from Winnipeg to domestic and transborder destinations. Seats from Winnipeg to Orlando Sanford are on sale now, with non-stop service set to begin in December.

“We are thrilled to be bringing more ultra-low fares and connectivity to Winnipeg through the addition of non-stop service to Orlando Sanford just in time for the winter season,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial & Finance at Swoop. “Winnipeg is an important part of our network and as we continue to recover our operations, we remain committed to supporting the recovery of inbound and outbound air travel to the region.”

Details of Swoop’s Winter Service between Winnipeg and Orlando Sanford

RoutePlanned Start DatePeak Weekly FrequencyTotal one-way price (CAD)Base Fare (CAD)Taxes and fees (CAD)
Orlando Sanford – WinnipegDecember 9, 20212x Weekly$139 † CAD $101.02$37.80
Winnipeg – Orlando SanfordDecember 10, 20212x Weekly$139 † CAD $38.13$100.87

†Special introductory fares are limited quantity. Book by Sep 22, 2021 (11:59 p.m. ET) or while seats last, for travel between December 9, 2021 and April 30, 2022. Blackout dates between December 16, 2021 and January 6, 2022, March 11, 2022 – April 4, 2022.

With demand for both transborder and international travel returning, today’s announcement signals another strong sign of recovery for the airline as it gears up for the winter season. Orlando Sanford marks the fourth sun-destination for Winnipeggers to choose from when looking to book a warm-weather getaway. Swoop’s always affordable low fares from Winnipeg to Phoenix Mesa, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta are all available for booking now, with flights set to begin this November.

“We’re proud to be teaming up with Swoop to restore service interrupted amid the pandemic and help our community gain access to more in-demand travel destinations,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “Today’s exciting announcement from Swoop is welcome news and further demonstrates the strong demand for travel in the Winnipeg market as more routes continue to return to serve the region.”

 “We are pleased that Swoop will be increasing the number of destinations to accommodate all the pent-up air travel between Canada and Florida.”

–  Tom Nolan, President and CEO Orlando Sanford International Airport

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. 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.  

Flair Airlines Extends Schedule Through Summer 2022

Canada’s favorite ULCC is confident in travel demand growth over the coming year and expands schedule in core Canadian and US markets

Edmonton, Alberta, September 9, 2021 – Flair Airlines, Canada’s only true ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), continues its surge to bring low fares to Canadians and has extended its flight schedule through Summer 2022 in core Canadian and US markets.

“As we grow our fleet and expand our service, we see the demand for Flair’s low fare travel continuing to explode across Canada. We are absolutely focused on rescuing Canadians from the bloated prices they have long suffered in flying,” says Stephen Jones, President and CEO, Flair Airlines. “Flair is committed to helping reunite families and make travel accessible for everyone, and our schedule extension will help passengers prepare for 2022 by knowing they can explore and connect without breaking the bank.”

The schedule expansion extends the booking period into Summer 2022. Many year-round and seasonal routes will see an increase in service including flights departing from Edmonton (YEG), Kelowna (YLW), Halifax (YHZ), Kitchener (YKF), Abbotsford (YXX), Winnipeg (YWG), Toronto (YYZ), Saint John (YSJ), Vancouver (YVR), Calgary (YYC), Victoria (YYJ), Charlottetown (YYG), Thunder Bay (YQT), and Montreal (YUL).

Flair’s confidence in Canadian travel continuing to grow in 2022 is reflected in the ultra-low fares where cost efficiency and demand allow for pricing to start at just $29 CAD one-way on some routes. All routes and schedule details can be viewed at https://www.flyflair.com. More low fares and exciting summer route announcements will be coming soon! Be among the first to know by signing up for Flair’s newsletter https://www.flyflair.com/newsletter.

Flair is rapidly growing to serve Canadians with low fare flights, the extended schedule allows for more efficient planning for customers and airline partners. Deliveries of new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft throughout 2021 and 2022 continue to grow the fleet as Flair achieves its goal of 50 aircraft in five years. Flair continues to bring more jobs to the market and is hiring more staff and flight crew as it meets the growth demands of the airline.

About Flair Airlines

Flair Airlines is Canada’s only independent Ultra Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC) and is on a mission to liberate the lives of Canadians by providing affordable air travel that connects them to the people and experiences they love. With an expanding fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, Flair is growing to serve 26 cities across Canada and North America. For more information, please visit http://www.flyflair.com

Government of Canada supporting the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport with new funding

Transport Canada

WINNIPEG, MB, July 27, 2021 /CNW/ – Helping airports mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is part of the Government of Canada’s strategy to ensure that Canada’s air transportation system provides Canadians with choice, connectivity and affordable air travel. Canada’s world-leading network of airports has been put under substantial financial strain as a result of the dramatic decline in passenger travel. Investments in airport infrastructure are crucial to maintain safety, security, and connectivity for travellers, airport workers and surrounding communities.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, the Minister of Northern Affairs, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, and the Member of Parliament for Winnipeg, Terry Duguid, announced close to $12.7 million to help the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support continued air services and important transportation infrastructure projects at the airport.

The Government of Canada is providing the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport with almost $7 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Critical Infrastructure Program for critical infrastructure improvements including the rehabilitation of the taxiway, other airfield paved surfaces and access roads. These projects will help ensure continued safety for passengers, air crews and airport employees.

In addition to the funding for the critical infrastructure projects, the Government of Canada is also providing the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport with close to $5.7 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Relief Fund to help it maintain continued airport operations and essential air services for residents and workers in Winnipeg and surrounding communities.

Quotes

“Canada’s airports are major contributors to our economy, and play a crucial role in sustaining the social and economic well-being of our communities. This financial support will ensure that, as Canada works towards recovery and travel restart post pandemic, the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport will be able to provide regional accessibility, and safe, reliable and efficient air services for residents and workers in Winnipeg and its surrounding communities.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

“The pandemic has highlighted the important role Canada’s airports play in our country’s economy, and in sustaining the social and economic well-being of our communities. As Manitoba’s primary airport, this investment in the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport will ensure communities in Manitoba continue to have access to essential goods and health services, and ensure that Manitobans remain connected with loved ones.” 

The Honourable Daniel Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs

“Airports throughout Manitoba are important to residents and businesses alike, many of whom depend on their local airports for personal and business travel, but also for access to routine and emergency medical care in larger centres. Never is this more important as our country begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and reopens our economies.”

Terry Duguid
Member of Parliament for Winnipeg and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Western Economic Diversification Canada) and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (Canada Water Agency)

“Today’s announcement is good news for this region. Our collective social and economic recovery depends on connectivity and this commitment from the federal government accelerates our recovery by investing in the critical infrastructure needed at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport.”

Barry Rempel
President and CEO
Winnipeg Airports Authority

Quick Facts

  • The Airport Critical Infrastructure Program, launched in May 2021, will distribute $489.6 million in funding over five years to airports for eligible infrastructure projects related to safety, security or connectivity to mass transit systems.
  • The federal contribution will be up to 50% of total eligible expenditures of the projects, up to a maximum contribution of $6.95 million. The Airport will provide the remaining funding for the projects.
  • The Airport Relief Fund, launched in May 2021, will provide $64.8 million in funding in 2021-2022 for targeted airports whose 2019 revenues were less than $250 million.
  • The amount of funding to each targeted eligible Airport Relief Fund recipient was calculated using a tiered formula-based approach, based on 2019 revenues.
  • Funding provided from the Airport Relief Fund must be used to cover activities that are directly related to the airport’s operations to ensure that the airport remains open to travellers and surrounding communities.
  • First introduced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the Airport Critical Infrastructure Program and the Airport Relief Fund are part of a federal stimulus recovery plan designed to build a stronger, more inclusive and more resilient economy post-COVID-19.

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Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca

Government of Canada announces easing of border measures for fully vaccinated travellers

From: Public Health Agency of Canada

News release

International flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at five additional Canadian airports

July 19, 2021 | Ottawa | Public Health Agency of Canada

The Government of Canada is prioritizing the health and safety of everyone in Canada by taking a risk-based and measured approach to re-opening our borders. Thanks to the hard work of Canadians, rising vaccination rates and declining COVID-19 cases, the Government of Canada is able to move forward with adjusted border measures.

On September 7, 2021, provided that the domestic epidemiologic situation remains favourable, the Government intends to open Canada’s borders to any fully vaccinated travellers who have completed the full course of vaccination with a Government of Canada-accepted vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and who meet specific entry requirements.

As a first step, starting August 9, 2021, Canada plans to begin allowing entry to American citizens and permanent residents, who are currently residing in the United States, and have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering Canada for non-essential travel. This preliminary step allows for the Government of Canada to fully operationalize the adjusted border measures ahead of September 7, 2021, and recognizes the many close ties between Canadians and Americans.

Subject to limited exceptions, all travellers must use ArriveCAN (app or web portal) to submit their travel information. If they are eligible to enter Canada and meet specific criteria, fully vaccinated travellers will not have to quarantine upon arrival in Canada.

To further support these new measures, Transport Canada is expanding the scope of the existing Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that currently directs scheduled international commercial passenger flights into four Canadian Airports: Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport.

Effective August 9, 2021, international flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at the following five additional Canadian airports:

  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport;
  • Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport;
  • Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport;
  • Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport; and
  • Edmonton International Airport.

These airports, in cooperation with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency and Transport Canada, are working to implement the measures necessary to safely welcome international passengers as soon as possible after August 9, as conditions dictate.

All travellers, regardless of vaccination status, will still require a pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test result. However effective August 9, 2021, the Government of Canada is adjusting its post-arrival testing strategy for fully vaccinated travellers. Using a new border testing surveillance program at airports and land border crossings, fully vaccinated travellers will not need a post-arrival test unless they have been randomly selected to complete a Day 1 COVID-19 molecular test. There are no changes to the mandatory testing requirements for unvaccinated travellers.

This strategy allows the Government of Canada to continue monitoring variants of concern in Canada and vaccine effectiveness. Using these layers of protection, the Government of Canada can monitor the COVID-19 situation in Canada, respond quickly to threats, and guide decisions on restricting international travel.

Finally, with the advent of increased vaccination rates in Canada, declining COVID-19 cases and reduced pressure on health care capacity, the three-night government authorized hotel stay requirement will be eliminated for all travellers arriving by air as of 12:01 A.M. EDT on August 9. Fully vaccinated travellers who meet the requirements will be exempt from quarantine; however, all travellers must still provide a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine, in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet the necessary requirements.

While Canada continues to trend in the right direction, the epidemiological situation and vaccination coverage is not the same around the world. The Government of Canada continues to advise Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada – international travel increases your risk of exposure to COVID-19 and its variants, as well as of spreading it to others. Border measures also remain subject to change as the epidemiological situation evolves. As Canada looks to welcome fully vaccinated travellers from the U.S., the federal government will continue to monitor the situation and provide updated travel advice to Canadians.

Quotes

“Canadians’ safety and security always come first. With rising vaccination rates and fewer cases in Canada, we can begin to safely ease border measures. A gradual approach to reopening will allow our health authorities to monitor the COVID-19 situation here and abroad. Canadians have worked hard and sacrificed for each other, and because of that work, we can take these next steps safely.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

“The health and safety of Canadians remains our top priority. Using a risk-based and measured approach to easing border measures will allow for non-essential international travellers who meet vaccination and other requirements to enter Canada. Working collaboratively with provinces, territories, Indigenous partners, and others to encourage Canadians to get vaccinated and follow public health advice is enabling us to begin welcoming more travellers back to Canada. Our government will continue to work with Canadian and international partners to ensure the border reopening is done in a safe and responsible way.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

“The Government of Canada recognizes that people have been anxiously awaiting a re-opening of the border to the world. We have been fully engaged with our American counterparts given the deep economic and family ties between our two countries. Today’s announcement is another big step in our approach to easing border measures which is guided by facts, scientific evidence and the advice of our public health experts.”

The Honourable Bill Blair
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“Thanks to the extraordinary commitment of Canadians to getting vaccinated and following public health advice, we are seeing improvement in the public health situation in Canada. As a result, today we announced new steps in our re-opening approach, including that international flights carrying passengers will be allowed to land at five more Canadian airports.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport Canada

“Thanks to the incredible progress that Canadians have made in our fight against the pandemic, we are now able to take the next step in Canada’s gradual reopening of the border. We look forward to welcoming fully vaccinated Americans shortly, followed by travellers from the rest of the world in early September. Not only will this make a big difference for Canada’s travel and tourism industry and all those whose jobs depend on it, it will also make it easier for those with a Confirmation of Permanent Residence letter to come to Canada and play a role in our recovery from the pandemic.”

The Honourable Marco Mendicino
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

“The easing of Canada’s border measures is welcome news for tourism businesses across the country, the thousands of Canadians employed by the sector and the communities who rely on it. It has been a challenging year as we balance the need to protect both the health of Canadians and our economy but tourism businesses have demonstrated incredible resilience. Our government has been proud to be by their side since the beginning of this crisis and we will continue to be there as they prepare to begin to welcome vaccinated travellers from around the world to our beautiful shores.”

The Honourable Melanie Joly
Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Quick Facts

  • To be eligible to enter Canada for discretionary travel on the basis of vaccination status, travellers must use the ArriveCAN app or web portal. Travellers must ensure that mandatory requirements are met prior to departing for Canada. In addition, some provinces and territories may have their own entry restrictions in place. Check and follow both the federal and any provincial or territorial restrictions and requirements before travelling.
  • In addition to receiving a full series of a vaccine authorized by the Government of Canada, fully vaccinated travellers must also: provide COVID-19-related information electronically through ArriveCAN (app or web portal) including proof of vaccination prior to arrival in Canada; meet the pre-entry testing requirements; be asymptomatic upon arrival; and have a paper or digital copy of their vaccination documentation in English or French (or certified translation) ready to show a government official on request as evidence.
  • A person who submits false information on vaccination status could be liable to a fine of up to $750,000 or six months imprisonment or both, under the Quarantine Act, or prosecution under the Criminal Code for forgery. Violating any quarantine or isolation instructions provided to travellers by a screening officer or quarantine officer when entering Canada is also an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to a $5,000 fine for each day of non-compliance or for each offence committed, or more serious penalties, including six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines. Non-compliant air travellers may also be subject to fines of up to $5,000 for each offence committed under the Aeronautics Act.
  • Based on public health advice, Transport Canada has extended the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that restricts all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India for an additional 30 days (i.e. until August 21, 2021, at 23:59 EDT). All direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India are subject to the NOTAM. Cargo-only operations, medical transfers or military flights are not included. Transport Canada has also extended the requirement related to third-country pre-departure COVID-19 tests for travellers to Canada from India via an indirect route. This means that passengers who depart India to Canada via an indirect route will continue to be required to obtain a COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country other than India before continuing their journey to Canada.

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WestJet launches new routes to multiple Vancouver Island airports

From CHEK News – link to source story – thanks to CW

July 1, 2021 NICHOLAS PESCOD/CHEK NEWS

NICHOLAS PESCOD/CHEK NEWS

WestJet recently launched four new non-stop flights from three Vancouver Island airports and restored previously cancelled service on six other Island routes.

As travel restrictions continue to loosen across the province, the nation’s second-largest airline has launched four new routes to airports across Vancouver Island.

WestJet recently launched four new non-stop flights from three Vancouver Island airports and restored previously cancelled service on six other Island routes.

The new direct routes are Comox–Toronto, Victoria–Ottawa, Victoria–Saskatoon, and Victoria–Winnipeg.

WestJet has also restored service on its Comox–Edmonton, Comox–Vancouver, Nanaimo–Vancouver, Victoria–Toronto, and Victoria–Kelowna routes, which they had cancelled due to the pandemic.

The airline also brought back long-desired direct flights between Nanaimo and Edmonton, following a five-year hiatus.

All of the routes are now in operation, with Victoria–Toronto flights resuming June 30.

“We have been talking to a lot of people and we are listening to what investments Vancouver Island wants and needs and all of these routes have been planned in advance,” Morgan Bell, media spokesperson for WestJet, told CHEK News. “It’s exciting that they are now going to fully take flight.”

With British Columbia reopening and the demand for domestic travel slowly increasing, Bell says it’s only natural for the company to not only restore cancelled routes but launch new ones.

“Canadians are going to travel domestically this summer and inbound tourism to Vancouver Island is important,” Bell explained. “While I know everybody loves to stay on Vancouver Island, there are also people from Vancouver Island that want to get back out and connect with friends and family across the country and other places.”

Comox gets direct flights to Toronto, Edmonton flights return to Nanaimo

Perhaps the most eye-catching of the new routes is the non-stop service between Comox and Toronto, which operates on a weekly basis — at least for now.

“The hope is that as more and more people begin flying again and these flights get full, we’ll add more service,” said Bell.

The new route launched June 26 — just as Air Canada restarted non-stop service between Canada’s most populated city and nearby Nanaimo — and brings the total number of airports on Vancouver Island with direct Toronto flights to three.

“It’s going to be great to see a major city like Toronto connect directly into Comox,” said Bell.

Another notable route is Nanaimo to Edmonton, which began operations on June 25 and runs twice a week. Although it was listed as a new route in the company’s press release, WestJet briefly operated non-stop flights between the two cities in early 2016 but cancelled them after only three months due to the economic downturn in Alberta.

Bell says WestJet is thrilled to restart service after more than five years, explaining that there has been no shortage of demand for service between the two regions.

“There’s so much interest in northern Alberta that’s coming through the Edmonton airport from Nanaimo, and also guests from Vancouver Island going into Edmonton,” she said. “There are pretty strong connections between the two cities, so it’s great to see that route come back.”

While the restoration of old routes and the addition of new routes, may seem like a lot, Bell says WestJet is still operating well below pre-pandemic levels.

“We’re still at 60 per cent reduction in terms of capacity from what would have been 2019. In July 2019, we were operating about 600 flights a day, and this July, we’re only looking at about 300,” she said. “We still have a really long way to go.”

Airport, flying experience will be different amid the pandemic

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With an increasing number of people becoming comfortable with the idea of getting on a plane after more than a year on the ground, Bell says those who are planning on taking to the skies should be prepared for some changes.

“It’s definitely very different. I took my first flight today in six months, and it felt very different,” she said.

That’s because airports have implemented new rules and safety measures throughout the pandemic such as mandatory mask-wearing, dedicated entrance and exit flow, and increased cleaning throughout terminals. Victoria International Airport, for example, is limiting access to its terminal building to just passengers with tickets, though there are some exceptions.

“While we’re restoring all this and people are excited to get on the move again, we also understand that it’s going to be a new experience for them,” said Bell. “I mean, people haven’t been in an airport for potentially 18 months.”

“I think it’s going to be a good experience, but it’s also going to be something that people need to prepare for and be ready for.”

As a result, Bell suggests people read all the rules and travel requirements well before their flight and arrive at the airport even earlier than the recommended 90 minutes prior to departure.

“We’re still in the pandemic, there are new rules, and there are different screening points and security points to get through,” she said. “So, I would just always say give yourself extra time and just be willing and flexible to adapt to any changes that come your way.”

Air Canada updates from Gander, Goose Bay, Kamloops & Winnipeg

1 July 2021

It’s good to be back in Gander, a city we have served for several decades. It’s time to reconnect communities across Canada and reunite friends and families.

Today was the first day in 156 days that @AirCanada flew to Gander.

There were epic hugs for the ages in the parking lot.

The sun on your shoulders.

Something in the air – new promise, perhaps?

Summer lies ahead, an open road.

This feels like a beginning.

Originally tweeted by Gander Airport (@GanderAirport) on 28 June 2021.

Originally tweeted by Air Canada (@AirCanada) on 28 June 2021.


It's wonderful to return to @C_YYR and we are thrilled to welcome back our customers on board.

Fantastic day in the Big Land as Air Canada and their crew rev their engines once again !!! Good news for our passengers as we launch into the new world 🙂 Bring on the travel!!!

Originally tweeted by Goose Bay Airport (@C_YYR) on 29 June 2021.

Originally tweeted by Air Canada (@AirCanada) on 29 June 2021.


We are thrilled to be back to @KamloopsAirport! We have safely restarted and we look forward to welcoming customers on our flights. ✈️

Welcome Back @AirCanada! Now servicing @FlyYYC & @yvrairport. #flyyka #kamloopsairport

Originally tweeted by Kamloops Airport (@KamloopsAirport) on 29 June 2021.

Originally tweeted by Air Canada (@AirCanada) on 30 June 2021.


Starting out the week with blue skies and added service at #YWG as @AirCanada brings back direct service from Winnipeg to @FlyYYC. As vaccination levels continue to climb, this familiar route will play a vital role in serving our community in the months ahead.

Originally tweeted by Winnipeg Airport (@YWGairport) on 28 June 2021.

WestJet reconnecting routes across British Columbia

Airline to restart eight routes and inaugurate new flights between nine communitiesby early July

CALGARY, AB, June 25, 2021 /CNW/ – WestJet is further restoring British Columbia’s domestic and interprovincial connectivity with the restart of eight routes to and from destinations across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. The airline is also set to inaugurate 10 new routes by July 5, 2021. Full schedule details and resumption dates are outlined below.

“We continue to work towards the restoration of our pre-COVID domestic network to ensure that when our guests are ready to travel, we are there for them,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “WestJet remains committed to building back stronger for the betterment of all Canadians and as we look ahead to reconnecting friends, family and loved ones, the safe restart of travel is essential to Canada’s economic recovery.”

WestJet’s investments are critical to ensuring British Columbia’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and by the end of June, the airline is set to inaugurate new flights between Abbotsford and Prince George and restore WestJet Link service between Vancouver and Cranbrook.

“As a leader in aviation, WestJet has been working with industry, tourism and business across the province to ensure their voices are being heard as we safely restart travel. We thank Premier Horgan and his government for prioritizing travel as a critical component of the government’s restart plan. While progress has been made in British Columbia, we continue to advocate for safe travel framework from the Government of Canada,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President.

This July, WestJet will offer non-stop service from Vancouver to 18 cities, from Victoria to eight cities, from Kelowna to seven cities, from Comox to four cities and from Nanaimo to three cities. From the communities of Kamloops, Penticton and Prince George, the airline will connect to two communities non-stop.

Love Where You’re Going Again – WestJet’s Latest Video

For more than 17 months, Canadians from coast-to-coast have been separated from the people and places they love. WestJet’s latest brand moment is a reminder to Canadians that it’s time to love where they’re going, again.

British Columbia route restarts between now and June 30, 2021

RoutePeak FrequencyRoute restart date
Victoria – Winnipeg *3x weeklyJune 24, 2021 
Kelowna – Regina *2x weeklyJune 24, 2021 
Nanaimo – Vancouver  2x dailyJune 25, 2021 
Nanaimo – Edmonton *2x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Comox – Vancouver  2x dailyJune 25, 2021 
Kelowna – Saskatoon *2x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Kelowna – Victoria  4x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Vancouver – Cranbrook  1x dailyJune 25, 2021 
Abbotsford – Prince George *2x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Prince George – Calgary  4x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Victoria – Ottawa * 1x weeklyJune 26, 2021 
Comox – Edmonton 5x weeklyJune 26, 2021 
Comox – Toronto *1x weeklyJune 26, 2021 
Victoria – Saskatoon *2x weeklyJune 27, 2021 
Victoria – Toronto2x weeklyJune 30, 2021
Penticton – Edmonton * 2x weeklyJuly 4, 2021
Kamloops – Edmonton *2x weeklyJuly 5, 2021
Vancouver – Fort St. John 4x weeklyJuly 13, 2021
*New Route

About WestJet 

In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

WestJet reconnecting Alberta routes

Airline to restart 10 routes across province and inaugurate new service from Edmonton to Penticton, Kamloops and Nanaimo

Non-stop service between Calgary-Charlottetown to launch on July 29

CALGARY, AB, June 25, 2021 /CNW/ -WestJet is further restoring Alberta’s domestic and interprovincial connectivity with the restart of 10 routes to and from destinations across British Columbia, the Yukon, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia from Calgary, Edmonton and Medicine Hat. The airline will also start operation of three new routes to and from Edmonton and begin non-stop service between Calgary and Charlottetown. Full schedule details and resumption dates are outlined below.

“We continue to work towards the restoration of our pre-COVID domestic network to ensure that when our guests are ready to travel, we are there for them,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “WestJet remains committed to building back stronger for the betterment of all Canadians, and as we look ahead to reconnecting friends, family and loved ones, the safe restart of travel is essential to Canada’s economic recovery.”

Connecting Alberta to Prince Edward Island non-stop

After being delayed due to the pandemic, WestJet will bridge new domestic connections between the east and the west with the introduction of new twice-weekly, non-stop service between Charlottetown, P.E.I., and Calgary, beginning July 29. The service connecting the two provinces was previously scheduled to start in June 2020.

WestJet’s investments are critical to ensuring Alberta’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and this July, WestJet will offer non-stop service from Calgary to 42 cities and from Edmonton to 16 cities. 

“This week’s meeting with more than 70 Northern Alberta industry partners demonstrates the value of listening to our partners as we enter the recovery phase of the pandemic. We thank Premier Kenney and his government for leading the safe restart of travel for Albertans. While progress has been made in Alberta, we continue to advocate for a safe travel framework from the Government of Canada,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President.

Love Where You’re Going Again – WestJet’s Latest Video

For more than 17 months, Canadians from coast-to-coast have been separated from the people and places they love. WestJet’s latest brand moment is a reminder to Canadians that it’s time to love where they’re going, again.

Alberta route restarts between now and July 6, 2021

RoutePeak FrequencyRoute restart date
Edmonton – Nanaimo*2x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Regina 6x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Comox 5x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Calgary – Prince George4x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Calgary – London, Ont.4x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Winnipeg 6x weeklyJune 30, 2021
Calgary – Windsor2x weeklyJune 26, 2021
Calgary – Whitehorse2x weeklyJune 27, 2021
Calgary – Medicine Hat5x weeklyJune 27, 2021
Edmonton – Halifax 2x weeklyJuly 1, 2021
Edmonton – Penticton*2x weeklyJuly 3, 2021
Edmonton – Kamloops*2x weeklyJuly 4, 2021
Edmonton – Saskatoon 6x weeklyJuly 6, 2021
Calgary – Charlottetown *2x weeklyJuly 29, 2021
*New route

About WestJet 

In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

COVID-19: Kelowna International Airport seeing increase in passenger traffic

From Global News – link to source story

By Travis Lowe, Global News | June 22, 2021

Kelowna International Airport is seeing an increase in air traffic passengers.
Kelowna International Airport is seeing an increase in air traffic passengers. Kelowna International Airport

After almost a year-and-a-half of COVID-19, Canadians are ready to pack their bags and go on vacation.

The director of Kelowna’s airport, Sam Samaddar, said there’s already been an increase in the number of people looking to fly the friendly skies, thanks to the loosening of some travel restrictions.

“We’re expecting a very, very busy summer,” Samaddar told Global News.

“We’re anticipating by July 1, the province is going to make the announcement that they are going to welcome Canadians from coast to coast to British Columbia.”

Staff at Kelowna International Airport are already dealing with what’s being called a “pent-up demand” by passengers looking to take a vacation from COVID-19 quarantining.

“On a daily basis, we were down to about 300,” said Samaddar. “We’re seeing now at least our outbound numbers are up 1,000.”

Samaddar says those passenger numbers will only rise as the number of domestic routes is set to increase at YLW.

“Prior to COVID, we had nine destinations in Canada that we flew to,” Samaddar said.

But as air traffic takes off at YLW once again, that number will rise to 16, including a connection to Canada’s other wine region, Niagra.

Click to play video: 'Planned fee change will raise the cost of most taxi rides to Kelowna’s airport'Planned fee change will raise the cost of most taxi rides to Kelowna’s airport – May 18, 2021

Just this past Sunday, YLW also saw the inaugural flight of Swoop’s new non-stop service to Hamilton.

Swoop is an ultra-low-fare airline.

And besides Toronto and Hamilton, next Sunday, June 27, Swoop will add another YLW route to its list of destinations: Kelowna to Winnipeg.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Halifax woman calls out low-cost airline for lack of public health enforcement'Coronavirus: Halifax woman calls out low-cost airline for lack of public health enforcement – Dec 28, 2020

YLW will also see flights expanded to include Kitchener-Waterloo and Ottawa in August.

But the big expansion in service that Samaddar is excited about is Quebec with Air Canada on June 26.

“We are going to launch Montreal to Kelowna — a tremendous opportunity for the region and a tremendous opportunity for the people of our region to go to Montreal and Quebec,” Samaddar said.

Click to play video: 'Ottawa lays out how funding for airports will be distributed amid COVID-19 pandemic'Ottawa lays out how funding for airports will be distributed amid COVID-19 pandemic – May 11, 2021

But YLW’s director wants to remind the public that COVID-19 has likely changed air travel forever.

And, as such, travellers will have to be patient as the industry continues to ensure the safety of its passengers.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Winnipeg airport wants ‘equal footing’ in federal plans to reopen international travel

From CBC News – link to source story

Only Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary allowed to accept international flights

CBC News · Jun 22, 2021

The Winnipeg Airports Authority wants the federal government to come up with a clear plan for reopening all international airports in Canada. (CBC)

The Winnipeg Airports Authority calls the federal government’s plan to restore international flights unfair to smaller cities. 

The federal government announced Monday that it plans to allow fully vaccinated people to return to Canada without quarantining.

Only Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary can accept international flights right now.

“It’s really about our community having access to the rest of the world,” said Tyler MacAfee, vice-president of communications and government relations at the Winnipeg Airports Authority.

“And when we start to look at reopening the country, when the time is right for non-essential travel, we want to be on equal footing with the rest of the country.”

International airlines like Delta haven’t operated in the city since the travel restrictions were imposed, and they need to know now what to expect in the future, MacAfee said.

“It’s not as simple as the government coming out on a Monday and saying that, you know, service can return to this community and having the airlines back on Tuesday. This takes months for the airlines to be ready to do this.”

Airlines have to bring staff back, and many past employees likely have already found new jobs, MacAfee said. 

The airport has seen its business plummet by 85 per cent from pre-pandemic levels, and MacAfee said this summer season is already lost.

MacAfee wants the federal government to lay out a clear path to bring all airports back to full business. 

“We need clarity from the federal government on what those requirements are going to be. What does it take? What does the airline have to do to get that passenger on the plane?”

Earlier this month, the Manitoba government announced it would provide an immunization card to residents two weeks after they’ve received a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, which will allow Manitobans to travel within the country without being required to self-isolate for two weeks upon return. 

With files from Meaghan Ketcheson