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Air Canada Introduces a Digital Solution to Simplify COVID-19 Related Travel Requirements

air_canada_logo.jpg?w=1024
  • Customers can easily and securely submit test and vaccination details, using Amadeus technology

MONTREAL, June 25, 2021 /CNW/ – Air Canada is launching a trial of a new digital solution available through its mobile app for customers to securely scan, upload and verify their COVID-19 test results. This feature will help travellers conveniently validate compliance with government health travel requirements prior to arriving at the airport. Air Canada has developed its new solution with the support of Amadeus, one of the world’s leading travel technology companies. Initially available beginning June 29 for flights from Frankfurt to Toronto and Montreal, the airline plans to roll-out the solution across its network later this summer pending results of the trial and introduce new capabilities so that customers can also pre-validate proofs of vaccination.

“As travel resumes around the world, we’re proud to do our part to support government health protocols that protect passengers and safeguard local communities. Once fully rolled out, this new function from Amadeus will make it easy for customers to securely submit their COVID-19 test results and records of vaccination for review ahead of their flights. Pre-validation of those documents will streamline the airport experience, one of many ways Air Canada is focused on elevating the customer journey with touchless travel services,” said Mark Nasr, Senior Vice President, Products, Marketing and eCommerce. “This new service complements our Covid Information Hub featuring detailed information on travel requirements and testing at aircanada.com/covid19.”

For the Frankfurt departure trial beginning June 29, 2021, the new mobile solution will accept COVID-19 PCR test results from Centogene Labs in Germany. The use of the new function by customers is optional. For users:

  • There is no requirement to download an application, as a link to submit documents will appear on the Air Canada mobile app or mobile website during check-in
  • Within 24 hours of departure, customers checking-in on mobile can securely submit their test results by scanning a QR code of the Centogene lab test result.
  • Customers will then receive a message verifying the test that will enable them to pass through the airport and board their flight without any further requirement to demonstrate the validity of their health documents
  • Customers must bring and retain their original documents for the duration of their journey.

The new feature is based on Amadeus Traveler ID, which automates document verification for travelers in order to minimise queues. Capabilities to manage test results from other labs and also vaccination records will be introduced. To further assist customers, the new solution also provides information about the government health entry requirements of the destination country. It is designed to be compatible with other health passport applications currently under development around the world.

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Direct flights to Toronto resume at Nanaimo Airport

Thanks to CW

Toronto.jpg

Nanaimo, British Columbia (June 21, 2021)

As Canadian vaccination programs make significant progress, direct flights to Toronto are scheduled to resume on a limited basis in July at the Nanaimo Airport.

Air Canada’s flights are part of a measured reopening of the economy. They will boost Vancouver Island’s vital tourism and hospitality sectors and make it easier for Islanders to visit and host family and friends from Eastern Canada via the Toronto Pearson International Airport.

“Air Canada is a valued partner that supported Nanaimo Airport during the pandemic and continues to support us during reopening,” says Dave Devana, President and CEO of Nanaimo Airport Commission. “We share a commitment to safety and have comprehensive plans to ensure passengers can travel safely while reconnecting with family and friends.”

The non-stop flights start July 4, after B.C.’s July 1 planned reopening date for domestic travel within Canada. One flight a week is scheduled initially. The schedule may expand in August depending on the reopening plans and success of the vaccination programs in Canada.

Air Canada will also resume its service to Calgary starting July 1, with five flights planned per week. The airline’s Nanaimo services will return to all three airports it served in summer 2019: Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.

“With Canada’s ongoing vaccine roll-out acceleration together with various provincial governments’ reopening plans that include travel, this summer is looking brighter. As customers are ready to travel, Air Canada is taking a leadership position to support our partners in Canada’s tourism and hospitality sector with service to 50 destinations from coast to coast, the re-start of regional services and new, non-stop flights. We are thrilled to resume our non-stop flights from Nanaimo to both Toronto and to Calgary, offering additional choices to and from Vancouver Island,” said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada.

Travellers on the Nanaimo-Toronto route will fly aboard an Air Canada mainline narrow-body aircraft. It offers a choice of two classes of service, complementary inflight entertainment at every seat and options to purchase wi-fi to stay connected.

This flight signals the restart of air travel and the domestic tourism and hospitality sectors on Vancouver Island, Devana says. “The direct flight to Toronto shows that Air Canada has a vested interest in Nanaimo Airport by putting this route on our schedule as we prudently look to reopen our economy,” he says.

Nanaimo Airport will resume its role as the central Island’s gateway, thanks to connecting flights that put domestic destinations, business markets and employment opportunities within easy reach.

“Air access to Vancouver Island is a critical component for the long-term recovery of the tourism industry in our region,” says Anthony Everett, President and CEO of Tourism Vancouver Island. “It is a positive sign to see a major carrier making this investment in the Mid-Island as the restart of travel begins.”

The airport is a key economic driver for the region. Its operations directly and indirectly support thousands of jobs that provide livelihood for Central Island families.

Nanaimo Airport Commission is taking a leadership position to help fuel the region’s economic recovery, with a $28.8-million infrastructure capital plan.  The investment over the next five years will enhance airport infrastructure to provide additional route development options, including seasonal sun destinations.

The airport will welcome passengers back to its award-winning terminal building. The terminal expansion project won the Community Institutional Award of Excellence in the 2021 Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. The terminal earlier won an Illuminating Engineering Society award for interior lighting design.

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got this by email today, I have completely forgotten about the cancellation but it seems that AirCanada is keeping track and being proactive. I of course responded. 

Good for them.

Booking Reference Number: xxxxxxx

Air Canada is issuing refunds for all tickets with travel dates on or after February 1, 2020 and purchased before April 13, 2021 for flights cancelled either by Air Canada or by you for any reason. Our records indicate that your booking reference number xxxxxx is eligible for a refund.

image.png.1d239563ef8f839553fe589f98bdcdfa.png

Response from AirCanada: Booking Reference:xxxxxx

Date of issue: 20 Oct, 2020  

 

Ticket number: 014222222222


Please allow a minimum of three weeks (unless otherwise stated by applicable law) for your $186.9 refund to be processed and credited to the original form of payment. You will receive an email confirmation once your refund has been processed. Non-refundable travel options such as paid seat selection, Maple Leaf Lounge access and Air Canada Bistro snack and meal vouchers may be applied to future flights, subject to availability. 1 adult

 

Air Transportation Charges

Air transportation charges

168.00

Taxes, fees and charges

Taxes, fees and charges

 
 

Goods and Services Tax - Canada - 100092287 RT0001

8.90

 

Airport Improvement Fee - Canada

10.00

 

Total amount paid - Canadian dollars

$186.90

Balance (refund) - Canadian dollars

$186.90

   
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1 hour ago, Kargokings said:

got this by email today, I have completely forgotten about the cancellation but it seems that AirCanada is keeping track and being proactive. I of course responded. 

Good for them.

Booking Reference Number: xxxxxxx

Air Canada is issuing refunds for all tickets with travel dates on or after February 1, 2020 and purchased before April 13, 2021 for flights cancelled either by Air Canada or by you for any reason. Our records indicate that your booking reference number xxxxxx is eligible for a refund.

A few weeks ago I was completely surprised to learn that the return half of a LHR-YYZ-LHR booking was eligible for a refund as the booking fell within those dates. I’d already used the first leg and cancelled the second, but figured the balance would be lost. Instead, I got a nice down payment towards a new propeller. ?

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On 7/6/2021 at 6:56 PM, Kargokings said:

got this by email today, I have completely forgotten about the cancellation but it seems that AirCanada is keeping track and being proactive. I of course responded. 

Good for them.


Please allow a minimum of three weeks (unless otherwise stated by applicable law) for your $186.9 refund to be processed and credited to the original form of payment. You will receive an email confirmation once your refund has been processed. Non-refundable travel options such as paid seat selection, Maple Leaf Lounge access and Air Canada Bistro snack and meal vouchers may be applied to future flights, subject to availability. 1 adult

 

Air Transportation Charges

Air transportation charges

168.00

Taxes, fees and charges

Taxes, fees and charges

 
 

Goods and Services Tax - Canada - 100092287 RT0001

8.90

 

Airport Improvement Fee - Canada

10.00

 

Total amount paid - Canadian dollars

$186.90

Balance (refund) - Canadian dollars

$186.90

   

 I only applied for the refund on July 06, I was pleasantly surprised to find the refund was credited back to my credit card on July 09.  ?

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UPDATE - Media Advisory - Air Canada to Present Second Quarter 2021 Results Français


NEWS PROVIDED BY

Air Canada 

Jul 14, 2021, 09:53 ET

Please note that the time of the event has changed.

MONTREAL, July 14, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - Michael Rousseau, Air Canada President and Chief Executive Officer, Amos Kazzaz, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, will hold a conference call for analysts on Friday, July 23, 2021 to present the second quarter 2021 results and be available for analysts' questions. Following the analysts' questions, Mr. Kazzaz and Pierre Houle, Vice President and Treasurer, will be available to answer questions from term loan B lenders and holders of Air Canada

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Have to admit that with no spectators these are the strangest games Ive ever watched.  The excitement just isn't there. 

CBC's coverage is kind of lame as well.  I don't want to half a match of anything but they certainly seem to be doing a lot of it.  The published broadcast schedule is not that that great either.   

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  • 2 weeks later...

Suspect a three year bridge may be a bridge too far....

Laid off from Air Canada, a year later long-time worker fights to win back flights — and more

Mon, Aug 2, 2021 - Toronto Star
By Rosa Saba - Business Reporter

jeff_iacobucci.jpg

Jeff Iacobucci is certainly not the only person to have lost his job during the pandemic.

But more than a year later, he’s still fighting to get what he believes is a fair severance package from his former employer.

Iacobucci worked at Air Canada for just over 22 years. Like many, near the end of March 2020 he went home and waited for weeks to find out whether he still had a job to return to.

In June, a phone call confirmed what he feared: he had been permanently let go.

When Iacobucci received his severance package, it wasn’t what he had hoped for. (Air Canada declined to comment on “confidential personnel matters.”)

The package included 12 months of Iacobucci’s base salary. But that wouldn’t include the bonuses he usually received, which were often “quite significant,” he said.

It also didn’t include the overtime and holidays Iacobucci often worked, he said — in other words, the base salary wasn’t anything close to what he would actually make in a year.

Iacobucci’s benefits were also cut — he got a few months of medical coverage, and no dental, he said.

But the most egregious thing for Iacobucci was a benefit he had been looking forward to. After 25 years of service, he said he was supposed to get flight benefits for life, meaning he could get flights for a nominal charge on standby.

Iacobucci was less than three years away from the lifetime of affordable flights he had been anticipating. Instead, Air Canada offered him 20 of those flights in the voluntary severance package, and when he refused that, offered a non-voluntary package with six.

“As soon as I saw the agreement I was like, oh, there’s no way I’m accepting this,” said Iacobucci.

After speaking to some employment lawyers, who told him the whole thing could be settled in a matter of months, Iacobucci hired one. They started with a letter to Air Canada, but the company refused to negotiate, said Iacobucci, so he proceeded with a claim via the Canada Labour Board, which was then referred to the Canada Industrial Relations Board.

After being set up with a mediator, Iacobucci says the airline has been pushing back the mediation date, which he thinks is a stalling tactic.

Iacobucci is especially frustrated with his experience because it’s been the opposite of what he was told it would be.

“The expectation is set up (that) this is going to be really quick and easy and simple,” he said. “My experience has been, it’s anything but that.”

Iacobucci’s lawyer, Howard Markowitz, said COVID-19 is holding labour cases up, making the process frustrating for both claimants and their lawyers.

“There’s a huge backlog,” he said.

Luckily, experts say most severance package disputes are settled before making it to court. If you’ve been terminated, here are some tips to help you tell whether what you’re being offered is a good deal, and how to proceed if you think you’re owed more.

How do I know if my severance package is fair?

Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru said a terminated employee should always assume their severance package is inadequate, and not sign right away.

If your employer has given you a deadline to accept the severance agreement, employment lawyer Stuart Rudner said not to panic.

“If you do not sign and return the documents, you will still receive your statutory entitlements, and you can pursue the additional compensation to which you are entitled,” he said in an email.

Markowitz said a Google search often brings up the legal minimum severance entitlement, and many people won’t look further than that to figure out what they could be entitled to.

There is no hard and fast rule to determine what a fair severance offer looks like, said Samfiru. It’s based on your age, the length of your employment, and the type of position you held at the company. For example, if two people who had each worked at a company for ten years were both laid off, but one was significantly older or had held a position higher up on the management chain, that person would be offered more than the younger, less senior person.

Rudner said most people underestimate how much they’re owed in severance.

“It sometimes surprises people to learn that, generally speaking, you are entitled to have a package that includes all forms of compensation, such as benefits, bonuses, commissions, and car allowance,” said Rudner.

As a rule, Samfiru said these perks should continue for as long as your salary is paid out.

“Would I have gotten it had I continued working there over the severance period?” Samfiru said you should ask yourself. “If the answer is yes, then that has to be included as part of the severance.”

As for something like Iacobucci’s flight benefits, that’s a little more difficult to determine, said Samfiru. But if a perk like those flight benefits would have kicked in had the severance period been a working period — in other words, if Iacobucci’s severance period pushed him over the 25-year mark — then that perk should be on the severance deal too.

Another important component of the severance package is the clause concerning what happens if the terminated employee gets a new job. Samfiru said it’s important to make sure the clause not only extends your benefits until you’re receiving benefits at your new job, but also doesn’t cut off your pay entirely if your new job pays significantly less than your previous one.

Rudner agreed: “Negotiate a minimum income that will trigger this clause. Otherwise, if you work one shift at a grocery store, you could cost yourself months of severance.”

I don’t think I’m being offered a fair severance deal. What should I do?

If you’re unsure about the fairness of the deal you’ve been offered, Samfiru and Rudner suggest consulting an employment lawyer to review it.

Carolyn Levy, president of technology for human resources consultancy Randstad Canada, said you shouldn’t worry about what it will look like to consult a lawyer, as a third party is always helpful.

“Put yourself first,” she said, instead of worrying about what your former employer will think.

You may be able to use the lawyer’s assessment to negotiate on your own if you have a good relationship with the employer, Samfiru said. But having a lawyer send a letter to the company is an effective way to kick-start a negotiation and get a better offer.

Usually, these disputes are over pretty quickly, said Samfiru, as the employer is prepared to give you more, but hoping you don’t ask for it. The process can be more complicated if there are other documents involved, such as an employment agreement that limits your severance options, but those aren’t always binding, he said.

But if the negotiation doesn’t go as planned, your next step is a legal claim, which can still be settled fairly quickly through mediation, said Samfiru.

“Going to court is the rare exception,” he said, noting that it’s only worthwhile if there’s a lot at stake, and if you’re sure you have a good chance at winning.

It’s up to your lawyer to push if there are any unnecessary delays, said Samfiru.

That’s the position Iacobucci finds himself in now.

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Quote

When Iacobucci received his severance package, it wasn’t what he had hoped for. (Air Canada declined to comment on “confidential personnel matters.”)

 

I wonder he did at AirCanada, I was not aware they paid out bonuses

 

 

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I understand the need to speak up for yourself, but this probably is not a smart move on his part.

"Hire me, employ me but if you ever have to let me go for any circumstance, and you don't give me what I feel I deserve (like lifetime passes even though I didn't meet the requirements), then I'll make a stink and take you to court..."

I bet the headhunters will be tripping over themselves to recruit him.

Not.

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This type of proceeding is a LOT more complicated than is conveyed by the news story. The Code prescribes the amount of severance pay to which an employee not dismissed for cause is entitled. A number of cases have established that this is a minimum and can be increased by reference to a number of factors including age, position, length of employment etc.

Where a bonus was so routine an element of compensation, it is normalized and will be considered in calculating proper compensation.

I don't know about travel passes.....haven't we already had the discussion about the " right" to passes....and priority???

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  • 3 weeks later...

Air Canada's worker vaccine policy could set new bar: experts

Fri Aug 27, 2021 - BNN Bloomberg
by Amanda Stephenson

Quote

'The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), the union that represents thousands of Air Canada employees including groundcrews, said in a statement Thursday it “categorically rejects” the use of termination and discipline as a way to increase vaccination rates.'

CALGARY - Air Canada's decision not to offer rapid testing as an alternative for employees who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19 sets a tough new precedent that other companies may emulate, experts say.

The country's largest airline will require all employees to disclose their vaccination status by Oct. 30. Employees who don't have a valid reason for not having their shots, such as a medical exemption, will face consequences “up to and including unpaid leave or termination,” the airline said.

Chantel Goldsmith, an employment lawyer and partner with Samfiru Tumarkin LLP in Toronto, said Air Canada's move is groundbreaking in that it's a true vaccine mandate. She said companies that offer their unvaccinated employees wiggle room in the form of testing aren't really making vaccination a condition of employment at all.

Air Canada's announcement Wednesday came a week after most of Canada's big banks announced their own employee vaccination policies. The airline and banking sectors are both federally regulated industries, and as such, have been ordered by Ottawa to require vaccination for their employees.

However, while many companies - including BMO and TD Bank - will allow unvaccinated workers to remain on the job as long as they submit to a regular COVID-19 rapid testing regime, Air Canada will not.

“Using the word mandating doesn't actually mean mandating in that circumstance,” Goldsmith said.

As long as the airline lives up to its commitment to accommodate employees who, for legitimate reasons, cannot be vaccinated, the airline is within its legal rights, she added.

“I think this is the first we've seen by a big major employer that's taken that step, but I do foresee other employers following suit,” Goldsmith said.

However, that doesn't mean that companies with strict vaccination mandates won't face pushback. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), the union that represents thousands of Air Canada employees including groundcrews, said in a statement Thursday it “categorically rejects” the use of termination and discipline as a way to increase vaccination rates.

“There are other ways to encourage participation in a vaccination program such as regular testing, PPE, remote work, and proven health and safety protocols,” the IAMAW said. “Vaccination should not be the sole method of curbing COVID-19.”

Porter Airlines, WestJet Airlines and Transat have also said say they will comply with the federal government's vaccine mandate for transportation industry employees. However, Porter has said unvaccinated employees can still work provided they get tested 72 hours prior to a shift, while WestJet and Transat have not yet announced the details of their vaccination policies.

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), which represents pilots at WestJet and Transat, said in an internal memo to members obtained by The Canadian Press that it “rejects threats of termination if vaccine requirements are implemented.”

Many Canadian workers who don't work in federally regulated industries will soon need to tell their employer their vaccination status. The City of Toronto, the Toronto Transit Commission and several universities and health care facilities throughout Canada have all recently stated their intention to require proof of vaccination from employees.

Earlier this week, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. - one of Canada's largest oilsands companies - said it will be asking for proof of vaccination from all workers at its Horizon and Albian camps in northern Alberta. The company will offer a rapid testing program for unvaccinated employees.

Perry Berkenpas, executive director of the industry group Oil Sands Community Alliance, said vaccination rates among oilsands workers are as high as 75 to 80 per cent thanks to mass vaccination clinics held at work sites earlier this year.

But he said many companies will continue using rapid testing as an added layer of safety.

“In this case CNRL's made a choice in one direction - I haven't heard where others are going on that yet,” Berkenpas said. “But rapid testing will be used where they think it's necessary.”

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  • 1 month later...

Air Canada Foundation Golf Tournament Nets more than $765,000 for the Health and Well-being of Children and Youth in Canada

  • Thanks to our generous donors, dedicated employees and retirees for making this event a success

MONTREAL, Sept. 29, 2021 /CNW/ – The Air Canada Foundation successfully raised more than $765,000 during the ninth edition of its annual golf tournament. The tournament resumed after a one-year pause due to COVID-19. The fundraising event will support charitable organizations dedicated to the health and well-being of children and youth in Canada. Held at the Saint-Raphaël Golf Club on Monday, September 27, following local COVID-19 protocols, the event welcomed approximately 250 guests.

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I won my silent bid.  The value of the item was given as 'Priceless' but for a modest little sum, myself and 3 of the kids will get a tour of the Toronto Waterfront in the Toronto Harbour Police's zodiac.  I think the kids will get a real hoot out of it.  That's priceless enough for me.

Edited by Specs
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