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Tuesday, October 19th 2021

"I'm a travel junkie who's hooked on deals from YUL." - Chris Myden



2021
6
July
Cheap Flights Within Canada : What's left for summer? When can I go?

Canada

Back in February 2021, Flair Air announced an ambitious expansion of new routes across Canada.

The *really* interesting prices were from Toronto and Kitchener to British Columbia (Vancouver, Victoria, Abbotsford, Kelowna) and Alberta (Calgary, Edmonton).

And from Montreal to Vancouver and Abbotsford.

WestJet, Air Canada, and Air Transat took notice of this, and swiftly responded with ridiculously cheap prices of their own out of Toronto, Kitchener, and Montreal.

Of course, at the time, Canada was not in the mood for travelling, or even thinking about it. We were just getting over the second wave, and the vaccine supply was relatively non-existent. The low demand, combined with the intense competition, gave Canada prices unlike anything we've seen before.

For many months now, it's been easy to find flights from cities in Ontario/Quebec to cities in B.C./Alberta for less than half of what they would normally cost, even for travel in the peak summer travel months of July and August.

On June 6th, the mainstream media started copying each other's news stories about 'cheap flights within Canada' as though they just suddenly appeared in June, with various theories as to why. The cheap domestic flights were always there, but we Canadians were now starting to notice them as vaccination rates soared.

But as the demand ramps up for travel, and the provinces set dates as to when they would like to see Canadian visitors again, we will likely start to see cheaper summer flights begin to disappear. You'll start to see the more desirable weekend travel dates rise in price, and the cheaper prices may start to only be available in late August or September.

WestJet, Air Canada vs Flair, Swoop

When it comes to comparing prices between WestJet / Air Canada versus Flair / Swoop, if you have intention of bringing *any* luggage (checked OR carry-on), you should probably add about $100-$120 to Flair and Swoop's roundtrip prices, to give you a fair comparison.

Flair and Swoop's base prices will buy you just a seat on the plane, so don't be fooled by the first price you see on search engines. They're not telling you the whole story.

As a general rule, somewhere around $250 CAD roundtrip including taxes and fees has been the rock bottom price you'll find for non-stop flights between Ontario and B.C./Alberta with WestJet or Air Canada.

And with Flair or Swoop, the bottom price will be around $100-$125 CAD roundtrip *before* adding any luggage, and not by coincidence, around $220-$250 CAD roundtrip with checked luggage or carry-on.

So at the end of the day, if your grand total price is in the ballpark of $250 CAD roundtrip per passenger, you're doing very well. It's still a lot better than the $500-$700 roundtrip that Canadians have traditionally paid for summer travel within our own country over the years.

Are there any requirements such as a negative covid test result for flying within Canada?

There have never been any special requirements, such as having a covid test result, when flying between any combination of Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, or Alberta.

Flying between these 4 provinces is essentially identical to pre-pandemic times, and always has been.

The Maritime and Atlantic provinces have each had their own various rules for entry, or what you have to do when you get there. These will be gradually disappearing over the next few months.

Alright, so what's left?

If you click on the links below, it will take you to an example Google Flights search you can start with.

When you get to Google Flights, you can click on the departure date box to browse for the cheapest dates to fly.

PROMO CODE: Flair Airlines has a promo code out for 'Buy one fare, get the second base fare free' from Montreal. Realistically, it might bring your total price down by 15-25%. Use the Google Flights links below to look for the cheapest dates, and then use promo code YUL50 on the www.flyflair.com website. The code expires July 8th at midnight.

British Columbia - Vancouver (YVR) or Abbotsford (YXX)



When can I go? - In B.C., recreational travel everywhere within the province will be allowed again, starting on June 15th. B.C. is also telling it's citizens that Canada-wide recreational travel is allowed again starting July 1st.

Abbotsford is east of Vancouver, and about a 45-60 minute drive into downtown Vancouver (depending on how bad traffic is).

Montreal to Vancouver $267 roundtrip on Air Transat (late August, September)

Montreal to Vancouver $172 roundtrip on Flair (September)

Montreal to Abbotsford $102 to $122 roundtrip on Flair (September)

Alberta - Calgary (YYC) / Banff



When can I go? - There's never been any travel restrictions for travel within Alberta. Banff came back to life with tourists again starting in early June 2021. Alberta is expecting to be completely free of any remaining restrictions by late June or early July.

Montreal to Calgary $274 roundtrip on Air Transat (September)

Nova Scotia - Halifax (YHZ)



When can I go? - Nova Scotia has announced their 5 phase re-opening plan, which started on June 2nd. Phase 4 was estimated to start in the first week of August, when Nova Scotia would allow fully vaccinated travellers from across Canada to visit without quarantine.

However, on June 10th the Premier of Nova Scotia stated that they are discussing the possibility of moving up the dates for lifting restrictions in the Atlantic Bubble.

Premier Iain Rankin commented: "People should be comfortable booking trips within Atlantic Canada around the end of June and probably the rest of the country by about the middle of July. I'm very confident that July 1 dates will be good to go for travel in Atlantic Canada."

Montreal to Halifax $192 roundtrip on Air Canada (September)

Montreal to Halifax $95 to $115 roundtrip on Flair (late August, September)

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