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Air Canada union says flight crews should be self-isolating, airline disagrees

Union says precautions such as gloves and masks aren't always available for flight crew

Mon Mar 16, 2020 - CBC News

The union that represents a large number of Air Canada's flight and cabin crew says its members should be isolating themselves any time they return to Canada for two weeks just as government authorities suggest everyone else does, but the airline says its employees are exempt from that policy.

Wesley Lesosky, president of the Air Canada component of Canadian Union of Public Employees, told CBC News that the union became aware over the weekend that the airline thinks its staff are "exempt" from the advice of numerous government agencies that anyone arriving to Canada from abroad right now self-isolate themselves in case they have contracted the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 illness.

CBC News has obtained what appears to be a memo from the airline to its staff stating that after having "discussions with government authorities, we can confirm that these conditions do not apply to you as operating, deadheading or commuting cabin crew." Deadheading refers to when Air Canada staff ride on a plane while not working it, in order to get to a new destination where they are required to work a flight.

The airline has not responded to a CBC News request about the veracity of the memo's contents. But the union says the policy is "inexplicably dangerous, short-sighted, and ignorant to the health of thousands of flight attendants who continue to work through these extremely trying times."

"You're exempted given you're well trained and prepared to protect yourselves, spend less times in the countries being visited and have access to and use protective measures on board, including hand sanitizers, masks and gloves when and as appropriate," the airline's memo to staff reads.

The union takes issue with that portion, suggesting that gloves and masks "are not always available for our Air Canada mainline or Air Canada Rouge crews when reporting for duty. This is outrageous and totally unacceptable."

"We understand the risks we undertake in continuing to do our jobs," Lesosky said, "but we are not guinea pigs. We will continue to play our pivotal role in bringing Canadians home as this pandemic escalates, but we will not accept the company or the government taking us or our safety for granted any longer."




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Air Canada flight attendant tests positive for COVID-19

An Air Canada flight attendant has tested positive for the coronavirus in Hawaii, and was the first of that state’s 16 current COVID-19 patients, according to local media.

“As a general rule, for privacy reasons we cannot comment on our employees,” Air Canada’s media relations department said in an email to the Star.

But Maui Now reported the female fight attendant arrived in Maui on March 8, developed symptoms March 9 and self-isolated at the Royal Lahaina Resort until her test came back positive. She was then placed in isolation.

The paper said Air Canada had made arrangements to fly her home.

“We believe that any risk to any passengers on the previous flight is low,” said Gov. David Ige at a news conference March 15.

“We also understand that this individual was exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case in Germany on March 4,” said Maui Mayor Michael Victorino.

'While WestJet is posting public notices online regarding passengers on their planes who have subsequently tested positive for the sometimes-deadly virus, Air Canada is not'

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  • 2 weeks later...

Air Canada suspends all flights to and from Sydney, N.S.

News provided by CBC News – link to story and updates

Daily flights between Sydney and Halifax suspended from April 2 until at least April 30

Wendy Martin · CBC News · Posted: Apr 01, 2020

ns-hi-sydney-airport-852.jpg Air Canada is suspending its two daily flights from Sydney to Halifax, and has already suspended its daily Sydney-Toronto flight. (CBC)

Air Canada is suspending all its flights to and from Sydney, N.S., starting Thursday.

J.A. Douglas McCurdy Airport in Sydney made the announcement Wednesday morning on social media.

Air Canada has two flights a day between Sydney and Halifax. They’re suspended until the end of April, and the airline said that may be extended.

View image on Twitter Sydney Airport@flyYQY

Air Canada cancelled its daily flight from Sydney to Toronto March 23.

WestJet flies into Sydney once a day, and that flight is still available for booking on the airline’s website.

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  • 1 month later...

Fly like a pro. Experience Air Canada Jetz.

From Air Canada – 23 May 2020


While our favourite sports teams are on hiatus, we’re bringing our special fleet of Air Canada Jetz Airbus A319 aircraft to you.


Beginning June 1st, we’re introducing our Air Canada Jetz aircraft on select flights between Toronto – Montreal and Toronto – Ottawa.

Flights will be departing from prime gate locations and begin boarding only 25 minutes before departure. The aircraft features only 58 seats, as compared to the 120 seats on our mainline A319s – an exclusive offering and spacious cabin configuration providing more comfort and less waiting time when boarding and deplaning.

Air Canada Jetz Express seats

Air Canada Jetz A319s feature in-seat power and on-board Wi-Fi (available for purchase)

Air Canada Jetz Express seat map

Featuring only 58 seats for quicker boarding and deplaning

Air Canada Jetz Express seats angle

Spacious recliner seats with 42-49 inch seat pitch, as compared to our mainline A319 Business Class pitch of 37 inches.

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6 hours ago, Falken said:



14 hours ago, j.k. said:


Nope, essential.  I have worked through the whole pandemic.

As a humorous poke at putting on the 'covid 19' during furlough (like the 'freshman 15?)  if you can't smile at that, I suspect that certain body parts are way too tight.

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Air Canada posts new Charlottetown flights for June and July

News from CBC News – link to story

Airport still waiting to hear from other carriers

Kevin Yarr · CBC News · May 26, 2020

airport-gets-new-walk-in-cooler-for-seaf Charlottetown Airport is currently hosting just nine flights a week. (ACOA)

Air Canada has added a daily, direct flight connecting Charlottetown to Toronto for June.

Currently service out of Charlottetown Airport has been very limited in the COVID-19 pandemic, with a daily connection from Air Canada to Montreal arriving at 11:39 p.m. and departing at 6 a.m., and twice weekly flights from WestJet to Toronto.

Air Canada has also posted a second daily flight to both Toronto and Montreal starting July 1.

The summer schedules are subject to change, said Charlottetown Airport CEO Doug Newson, but Air Canada is trying to start the recovery process.

“That will certainly be a challenge in provinces like Prince Edward Island where we still see a restriction on essential travel only and 14-day self-isolation requirement,” said Newson.

doug-newson.jpg Summer schedules are subject to change, says Charlottetown Airport CEO Doug Newson. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

“We’re aware of the travel restrictions and we’re certainly aware why they’re in place, but as long as they do remain in place it’s going to be very difficult for airlines to add flights this summer.”

Newson said he is still waiting to hear from other airlines about their summer plans, but he expects many previously announced flights will not happen this summer.

The flights currently operating out of Charlottetown Airport are not busy, said Newson, and he does not expect the lifting of restrictions to allow seasonal residents to come to the Island in June will make much of a change in operations at the airport.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Air Canada Vacations eliminates expiry dates for future travel credits

News from Travelweek Group – link to story

Tuesday, June 16, 2020 Posted by Travelweek Group

MONTREAL — Air Canada Vacations announced today that it has eliminated expiry dates for its future travel credits issued for cancelled vacations due to COVID-19.

ACV says the change is in addition to the flexible changes that were previously announced in April including the possibility to transfer the credit to another person, and the ability to keep the residual value of the credit resulting from a fare difference.

“With the rapid changes we’ve seen over the last few months, it is abundantly clear that we must provide our travel partners and our mutual customers with more flexibility. This is why we’ve introduced future travel credits with no expiry date, ultimately giving customers greater peace of mind when they begin to think about their next travel plans,” said Nino Montagnese, Managing Director at Air Canada Vacations.

Clients with cancelled ACV bookings scheduled to depart March 4 – July 31, 2020, inclusively, will automatically receive a future travel credit with no expiry date.

These revised credits will be sent to travel agents directly by email.

ACV also notes that Air Canada’s July operating schedule includes the resumption of some services to the U.S., Caribbean, South American, European and Pacific markets.

Retail travel partners with clients interested in travel for July can book starting today. To learn more about the updated operating schedule click here.

Air Canada Vacations also recently announced that the CareFlexPlus program is extended and will be available until June 30, 2020. For $59, the program, which includes a reduced refundable deposit of $100, allows travellers to cancel with a full refund to the original form of payment up to 25 days prior to departure, change their booking or transfer.

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Air Canada rouge to use A321s on trans-Atlantic routes


Air Canada rouge (RV, Toronto Pearson) will continue to serve "some" trans-Atlantic routes using its narrowbody Airbus aircraft even after the B767-300(ER)s are permanently retired, Chief Executive of parent Air Canada Calin Rovinescu said during an online fireside chat hosted by Aviation Week.

"rouge will become a narrowbody operator, focusing on leisure destinations in the Caribbean, the sunny states in the US, and eventually returning to transatlantic services with the Airbus A321, which is an aircraft that we like very much," Rovinescu said.

Air Canada announced in early May 2020 that it would retire all B767s as a part of its COVID-caused restructuring and fleet simplification. All twenty-five of its remaining units of the type are currently operated by rouge, which was launched as a lower-cost subsidiary for widebody operations in 2012. However, since then rouge has also expanded as a narrowbody carrier and currently operates twenty-two A319-100s, five A320-200s, and fourteen A321-200s.

Rovinescu clarified that while the decision to retire the B767s and convert rouge into an all-narrowbody operator has been made, it did not mean that the carrier will not operate any more B767 flights. Subject to the picking up of demand, it could restart widebody operations before the B767s are fully retired.

As of now, Air Canada does not have any A320neo Family aircraft in its fleet or on order. As such, rouge would have to deploy the A321-200s on trans-Atlantic routes, becoming one of the very few airlines to use previous generation narrowbodies on this market.

However, the carrier has reportedly been eyeing A321-200neo(LR) for its future growth. Air Canada recently reduced its outstanding firm order for B737-8s from thirty-seven to twenty-six units, which are due to join the twenty-four B737 MAX 8s already delivered to Air Canada  https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/91955-air-canada-rouge-to-use-a321s-on-trans-atlantic-routes?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

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Well, let’s see.....

There are no Rouge Pilot positions left in the equipment bid. So if a Rouge paint A321 does a transatlantic flight then will it have to be a mainline NB Airbus pilot on the AC O/C?

Will all mainline NB Airbus pilots have to get ETOPS qualified?

Sounds complicated. 2 operating certificates seemed like a great idea... not.

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1 hour ago, Homerun said:

There aren’t any ETOPS 321’s in the fleet either or any with the range.

Interesting, but ......  is it just an rubber stamp exercise or is the aircraft different?   https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/press-releases/en/2006/05/airbus-a320-family-approved-for-180-minute-etops-by-the-faa.html

Airbus A320 Family approved for 180 minute ETOPS by the FAA


Airbus A320, A321 and A319, including the corporate jet version, are approved for 180 minute extended range twin-engine operations (ETOPS). The approval was granted by the Federal Aviation Administration after European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had granted the same approval in March 2004.

The first 180 minute ETOPS aircraft certified by the FAA, an A319 corporate jet is planned to be delivered in May to an undisclosed US customer.

A318 ETOPS approval (EASA and FAA) is targeted for 2nd half of this year, leading to the complete Airbus Single Aisle Family to be ETOPS certified by both Authorities.

This 180 min ETOPS Type Design approval granted by the FAA recognises the compliance of aircraft design with current US ETOPS rules and the significant ETOPS experience accumulated worldwide as well as the high reliability of A320 family ETOPS operations.

ETOPS, is an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) rule permitting twin-engined commercial aircraft operators to fly routes that are up to 180 minutes flying time from the nearest airport.

Airbus is an EADS joint company with BAE Systems
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Even though the model is certified, each individual airframe has to be equipped and certified. You would have to buy service bulletins from Airbus that detail how the airframes have to be modified. Things like Long Range Radio systems (HF/Satcom), cargo fire suppression, rafts etc. It is quite expensive to upgrade an airframe to ETOPS rather than buy it from the factory already equipped.

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AC’s 321’s, mainline anyway, barely have the range for YYZ-LAX/SFO.  

The 321’s being talked about for overseas are a different animal.  A quick search indicates the NEO version increases range by 500nm to 3500.

The LR gets you 4100-4500nm range and the newest XLR is 4700.

Bottom line...I think you would at minimum require an ETOPS equipped 321 NEO for any YYZ/YUL- Western Europe mission.

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