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WestJet launches new routes to multiple Vancouver Island airports

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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.”

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Source: https://canadianaviationnews.wordpress.com/2021/07/06/westjet-launches-new-routes-to-multiple-vancouver-island-airports/

Aviation

Binter Canarias cancels all flights to La Palma, airport closed

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"Madeira"

Binter Canarias has cancelled all flights to the island of La Palma due to the spreading Cumbre Vieja volcano. Three more towns on the island have been evacuated. The volcano has already destroyed hundreds of homes and forced the evacuation of nearly 6,000 people.

La Palma Airport, operated by Aena, stated air traffic was suspended “due to the accumulation of ash” in the air.

Top Copyright Photo: Binter Canarias ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-500) EC-KGJ (msn 753) TFN (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 955229.

Binter aircraft slide show:

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://worldairlinenews.com/2021/09/25/binter-canarias-cancels-all-flights-to-la-palma-airport-closed/

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Aviation

Brussels Airlines sees 30 to 40% growth in corporate travel out of Belgium

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Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214 OO-SNL (msn 1961) TLS (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 955228.

Brussels Airlines has made this announcement:

  • Corporate travel out of Belgium slowly starts to pick up again
  • Weekly increase in bookings of 30 to 40%
  • Brussels Airlines expects companies to ease restrictions in their travel policies as of October
  • European destinations most popular for business traffic
  • Higher demand for flights to USA due to easing of travel restrictions for fully vaccinated passengers
  • Need for flexibility higher than ever before
Since mid-august, Brussels Airlines notes a light increase in corporate travel out of Belgium. With a weekly increase in bookings between 30 and 40%, the airline expects to welcome around 28,000 corporate passengers out of Brussels in September. While corporate travellers normally book two to three weeks in advance, the trend of the last minute bookings since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis has changed the booking timing to only two to three days ahead of their travel date.

Increasing demand for corporate travel

Some sectors are resuming corporate travel faster than others. The first sectors to pick up business travel again are the European and other political institutions, universities and the Marine business, followed by the automotive industry, international construction companies and producers of building materials. Also NGO’s and insurance companies performing repatriations represent a significant share of Brussels Airlines’ corporate customers.

While many multinationals still apply a (partial) homeworking policy, the airline expects its major corporate customers to ease their travel policies as of October.

Popular business destinations

The most important destinations for corporate travelers are mainly European destinations such as Italy (Milano), Slovenia (due to EU Presidency), Denmark (Copenhagen), Czech Republic (Prague), Germany (Berlin), Austria (Vienna), Switzerland (Geneva), Spain (Madrid & Barcelona) & Portugal (Lisbon).

With the easing of the travel restrictions imposed by the US government, allowing fully vaccinated EU passengers to smoothly enter the U.S.A., Brussels Airlines expects a rising demand for business travel to the United States. In the first 24 hours after the announcement of the end of the travel ban, Brussels Airlines noted a booking increase of 180%. The Belgian airline will offer 4 weekly flights to New York JFK during the winter season.

During the entire crisis, the African network remained of great importance for the airline for both VFR traffic as well as business travel by NGO’s and other companies.

Brussels Airlines expects that the demand for corporate travel will reach the level of 2019 again by 2024. The demand for leisure travel on the other hand recuperates much faster.

Top Copyright Photo: Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214 OO-SNL (msn 1961) TLS (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 955228.

Brussels Airlines aircraft slide show:

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://worldairlinenews.com/2021/09/25/brussels-airlines-sees-30-to-40-growth-in-corporate-travel-out-of-belgium/

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Aviation

Emirates becomes first airline to implement IATA Travel Pass across six continents

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Emirates is the first airline to implement the International Air Transport Association’s IATA Travel Pass solution on six continents as it rolls out this digital health pass to customers at all its destinations.

Following successful trials in April on select routes from its Dubai hub, Emirates gradually expanded the IATA Travel Pass pilot to customers on 12 routes in June and the airline has now signed a contract with IATA to implement the solution across its global network.

Currently available to Emirates customers traveling from 50 cities, the roll-out across all 120+ Emirates destinations is expected to be completed by October.

Key features of the IATA Travel Pass

  • Repository of the latest travel requirements: it enables passengers to find accurate information on travel, testing, and vaccine requirements for their journey
  • Registry of testing centres: it enables passengers to access certified COVID-19 testing centres at their departure location which meet the requirements of their destination.
  • Digital documentation: the app allows passengers to manage their travel documentation digitally. From receiving test results and vaccination certificates directly from authorised labs and test centres, to conveniently and securely sharing these documents with authorities and airlines to facilitate travel.

Travelers today can access over 1,500 COVID-19 test labs via the IATA Travel Pass app, and this number continues to grow. EU and UK citizens can register their vaccine certificate on the app, and work is underway to enable a broader range of verified digital travel documents to linked to, or uploaded to the app. Travelers can download the app and register themselves by creating their digital identify using their passport.

Future enhancements include enabling customers to share their digital documents for travel before they reach the airport, such as COVID vaccination certificates and test results, and these will be securely and automatically reflected in Emirates’ check in systems to facilitate a smooth and hassle-free airport experience.

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Source: https://worldairlinenews.com/2021/09/25/emirates-becomes-first-airline-to-implement-iata-travel-pass-across-six-continents/

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Aviation

Forbes: American Airlines pilots say operations managers must go after summer breakdowns

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According to Forbes, “American Airlines’ pilots union (Allied Pilots Association) have voted to call for replacement of the airline’s operations management team, citing the airline’s shortcomings including breakdowns following summer storms.”

Read the full story:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tedreed/2021/09/23/american-airlines-pilots-say-operations-managers-must-go-after-summer-breakdowns/?sh=64910eb97990

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://worldairlinenews.com/2021/09/25/forbes-american-airlines-pilots-say-operations-managers-must-go-after-summer-breakdowns/

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