COVID-19 (new corona virus) INFORMATION

Procedures to help minimize possible exposure to Coronavirus (March 28, 2020)

Transport Canada has issued new regulations for travelers within Canada.

Following recent new regulations issued by Transport Canada regarding the Coronavirus, please find procedures to help minimize possible exposure to Coronavirus, which are in effect as of Saturday March 28th 2020.

In order to protect from COVID-19, anyone who has cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms must be denied boarding.

Anyone which such symptoms need to be self-isolated for 14 days. It is critical that you declare if you have any such symptoms.

We would ask for your immediate, truthful, response in answering questions from the agent as well as when an agent denies you boarding.

We are very thankful for everything you do to help all of us in overcoming this virus. We are confident you feel the same way!

In consideration for other passengers on board, we strongly recommend that you wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before boarding as well!

Rest assured that we are cleaning and disinfecting the aircraft on a stepped schedule.

Thank you for your cooperation, we appreciate it greatly.

***

We understand our passengers may have questions about their travel plans and steps Air Creebec is taking to ensure their safety and that of our crew and other employees in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

As a result of the global pandemic facing us and after careful consideration of our passengers, our employees and the need to flatten the curve of infection for the population as a whole, Air Creebec has decided to further reduce our scheduled flights. This is a dynamic situation which we take very seriously and are making all efforts to be a good corporate citizen while maintaining a level of service to the remote and isolated communities we serve. We are actively changing our operations to adjust for the betterment and protection of all.

While the decision did not come without much discussion, we firmly believe it is in the best interest of all to do so. At this time, we do not intend to cease all service as we view the service we provide to our passengers and our clients as essential. We will do our utmost to continue providing an adequate level of service while acting with social responsibility to the population as a whole.

Please refer to our search flight block above for flight schedules as they may change depending on restrictions enforced, the need to protect all those we service and our employees and to encourage actions to be undertaken to assist in controlling the COVID-19 virus.

If you still have questions after reading below, please consider contacting us directly.

Is it safe to fly?
Safety is Air Creebec’s top priority and we are committed to providing our passengers and employees a safe travel and work environment.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has assessed the public health risk associated with Coronavirus (COVID-19) as low for Canada. Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available. Please consult the Coronavirus (COVID-19) page on travel.gc.ca for the latest information including travel advice.

We encourage our passengers and employees to travel with their own regulation-size hand sanitizers or disinfectant wipes (in containers 100 ml/100 g or less) and to engage in effective preventative measures.

The most recent travel advisories for Canada are available here.

How are aircraft cleaned?

Air Creebec aircrafts are given a light groom after every connecting flight, a full groom every 24-hours, a complete interior detail monthly and an enhanced hyper-focused groom periodically as required, such as following the transport of a person who is known or suspected of having contracted COVID-19, other infectious illnesses, or has accidently expelled bodily fluids.

In response to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Air Creebec has taken additional precautionary measures to disinfect aircraft daily at our main bases. Provisions to disinfect at connecting bases are also available as required.

We are continuing to clean with our approved products, including disinfectant wipes and sprays known to be effective against COVID-19.

These products are used on tray tables as well as general seating areas to ensure all guest contact surfaces are thoroughly disinfected. These products are used to accomplish the cleaning of our galleys, lavatories, tray tables, seat armrests, headrests, seatbelt buckles, the PSU panel, overhead bin door latches and lavatory door handles.

How clean is the air on the plane?

The idea that all aircraft air is recirculated is a common misconception. On our aircraft, fresh air is introduced into the cabin continuously in order to maintain pressurization. As such the air is constantly refreshed.

How can you protect yourself?
As indicated above, human Coronaviruses cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs. They are most spread from an infected person through:

  • respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze
  • close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

We encourage all passengers and employees to engage in preventative measures as outlined:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • stay home if you are sick
  • when coughing or sneezing:
    • cover your mouth and nose with your arm or tissues to reduce the spread of germs
    • immediately dispose of any tissues you have used into the garbage as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards

More information is available here

Why are some of your employees wearing masks and some are not?
Air Creebec continues to follow the guidance of the World Health Organization (WHO), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others such as Transport Canada that say that face masks are neither needed nor recommended.

Based on the above information, and, due to the worldwide shortage of masks, we are reserving the use of the mask supply we have for those passengers who are exhibiting cold or flu like symptoms. This is as a purely precautionary measure. Some of our employees may have obtained their own personal supply, and, may be exercising their personal choice to wear their mask, as it makes them feel more at ease.

How and when should masks be worn?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), if you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection or if you are coughing or sneezing.

Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.

Hand washing is still the preferred method. Alcohol based hand rub is effective but too common a use could possibly lead to the development of microbes and viruses that develop an immunity to these products. That, apparently, does not happen with soap and water.

More information on masks is available here on WHO’s website.

What happens if someone is sick on my flight?
Should a passenger present ill or fall ill during travel, our agents and crews are capable of handling scenarios and situations that can arise on the ground or on board our aircraft. They have access to local health authorities as needed.

It is the agent’s and crew’s duty to assess, refuse or move anyone who is exhibiting signs of not being fit to fly due to illness.

To be noted that there has been no known transport of a passenger with COVID-19 to date. The only area in which we operate to have any persons infected with COVID-19 is Montreal and the airport there has a program in place to monitor for such passengers.

What do I do if I am not feeling well on a flight?
It’s important to self-identify so that our employees can ensure your safety along with the safety of other passengers and crew. Agents and crews are trained to handle multiple scenarios and situations that can arise on the ground or on board our aircraft. Local health authorities can be called in as needed.

Temporary conditions
For all Classes of tickets and for a trip planned before April 5, 2020, we accept to keep the ticket valid for a period of 12 months with the possibility of changing the date without any fees. Only one change of date will be authorized by this procedure. If the passenger prefers a refund, we will proceed with a 30% charge on all tickets. We will reassess the situation for the period after April 5, 2020.

Social distancing
Given this exceptional situation, the first 2 rows on our commercial flights will be kept free, to promote social distancing. In agreement with most of our clients for chartered flights, we will avoid using the front row to limit the risk of virus spread and promote social distancing. We understand that this limits the number of seats available, however, these are exceptional measures for a situation that is just as unusual. This procedure allows us to maximize the chances of continuing our services without the risk of interruption due to a lack of air crew.
Please note, that our counter agents will ask you to hold your ID card rather than touch it. They will also ask you questions about your condition in order to allow you access to boarding. Thank you for your collaboration as our goal is to protect all passengers.

In-flight service
Meals are no longer served on our commercial flights. No snacks, no beverage, no coffee. Only water and juices are available in case of diabetic passenger need. Provision of this type of service is also under review for our charter customers.
All media material from the seat pockets (magazine, newspapers and others) have been removed. Only the security card is available in the seat pocket. This card is also on the list of items to be cleaned.

Boarding
Following recent new regulations issued by Transport Canada regarding the Coronavirus, you will see, at all our stations, posters of Covid-19 symptoms available in English, Cree and French.
Before all flights, in order to protect the spread of COVID-19, we ask all passengers for immediate, truthful, response in answering questions from the agent. A passenger can be denied boarding by our agent based on the answers.

Special schedule
Please refer to our bloc “SEARCH FLIGHT” above.

Cargo services

In Québec, as regular flights are reduced, please contact our Cargo services for information at 544 636-8501.

For more information on our services in Ontario, call 705 264-9521 at extension 3159.

 

 

Where should I go to find out more information?

Public Health Agency of Canada

Quebec/Coronavirus (French-Français)

Québec/Publications COVID-19 (French – Français)

Government Travel Advice and Advisories

Government of Canada Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

World Health Organization

IATA – Air transport communicable diseases

Cree board of health and social services of James Bay

COVID-19 WEBSITE FOR EEYOU ISTCHEE

Guide autosoins (french only)

 

 

If you still have QUESTIONS, please consider contacting us and select the subject of you choice.  For schedule, flight or tariff condition, please select “Customer Service”.

Air Creebec will offer a very special flight for students

On June 8 and 9, sixty students from the Commission Scolaire l’Or-et-des-Bois and the Western Quebec School Board will be given the opportunity to board a Dash-8 100 from the regional airline, Air Creebec, and experience a 40 minute flight over the region. These students, from Grade 5 to Secondary 5, Adult Education and Vocational Training, selected for their hard work and perseverance during their school year, will experience an exhilarating time on the occasion of one of two flights, Saturday or Sunday.
“The Val-d’Or Air Show is a wonderful opportunity to incite young people’s interest in the aviation field, and for this occasion, we have offered school boards the opportunity to fully engage students,” explains Matthew Happyjack, President.
Ms. Tanya Pash, Chief Operating Officer at Air Creebec, hopes that this endeavour will allow young people, who do not have the opportunity to fly, the chance to experience a memory of a lifetime… a first flight!
In addition, it is worth mentioning that one of the company’s sixteen Dash-8 aircraft, and one of the very broad Hawker 748 cargo planes will be among the aircraft that all visitors will be able to see at close range during the Air Show in Val-d’Or.

Airfare reduction program of the Gouvernement du Québec

Who is eligible ?

  • Residents of a remote area
  • Full-time student whose parents are residents of a remote area
ComponentsEligible communitiesReductionAnnual maximum
Component 1Communities not linked to the road network
(Whapmagoostui, Île d’Anticosti, Basse-Côte-Nord, Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Schefferville)
60 %$3 000
Component 2Communities linked to the road network and recognized by Revenu Québec as remote
(Eeyou Istchee Baie-James, Fermont and Minganie)
40 %$1 500
Component 3Other communities linked to the road network
(Gaspésie, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Côte-Nord, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Abitibi-Témiscamingue)
30 %$500

How to proceed ?

  • Find out more on the website of the AirFare Reduction Program clic here
  • Make a request using the paper form

This program is an official program of the Gouvernement du Québec
Air Creebec is not the manager of this program and is not responsible for the decisions of the Gouvernement du Québec regarding its implementation

Taking wing Starting an airline from scratch takes courage and determination

On July 5, 1982, a bright orange Twin Otter took off from the Val-d’Or airport. After stops in Matagami, Rupert House, Eastmain, Wemindji and Fort George, the plane landed in Whapmagoostui, marking the maiden voyage of Air Creebec and Eeyou Istchee’s foray into the air transportation industry. This summer marks 35 years in the business, an opportunity to reflect on the company’s success and look forward to what the future has in store. “I remember the early days when I was very young, hearing, “Hey, the Crees own an airline now,” says Chief Operating Officer Tanya Pash. “I would have been about eight years old and we had one aircraft. It was something to be proud of – my parents always told me I was a shareholder of an airline!.” What started small has grown steadily over the years, adapting to the needs of the Cree Nation and those who work in northern Quebec and Ontario – while also developing valuable new partnerships and services. Most recently, this has included the creation of medical shuttles for patients who need to get to major hospitals in Val-d’Or and Montreal. “Today, we have 19 aircraft on our certificate,” says Pash. “We are competitive with major airlines, and have the same standards as national airlines such as Air Canada and Air Transat.” Air Creebec’s initial leadership group had to learn quickly and prove people wrong, fighting both unfamiliarity with a competitive industry and stereotypes perpetuated about Indigenous people. “They went into an industry that they had little to no knowledge about,” Pash explains. “Most of them had no formal training and many of them came from the trapline. They were put in a place where they had to succeed in a business environment that they weren’t groomed for – these people were groomed to be trappers. The leadership proved that Crees are capable people, they we are able to succeed.” Pash noted that the birth of Air Creebec came partly out of necessity and partly as a push for Cree self-determination. People like former Grand Chief and company president Billy Diamond looked at their environment and knew that to take Eeyou Istchee’s future into their own hands the Cree needed to be directly involved in transportation on their territory. As Air Creebec President Matthew Happyjack notes, this idea of autonomy was born in 1975 with the signing of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. “Crees were looking for different ideas on how to grow their money,” he told the Nation. “Since the only way to access the communities at that time was by plane, they knew they needed to start an airline.” Getting the company off the ground did require some outside support. However, securing a partnership with the Deluce family, which has since gone on to start Porter Airways, gave Air Creebec access to financial backing, existing infrastructure and a wealth of aviation experience. While things weren’t always easy, starting out with the right partners and growing slowly but surely allowed the company to flourish – the key acquisition being the purchase of the Deluce family’s share of the airline in 1987. Since then Air Creebec has been 100% Cree-owned with all-Cree representation on its board of directors.

“Of course there were growing pains,” says Happyjack. “Getting to know the industry, expanding to Montreal, establishing ourselves with medical and mining companies. We stabilized the company eventually but it was really tough at first.” As Air Creebec continues to grow it must also adapt to new regulations and the ever-changing conditions of Canada’s aviation industry. Most recently, the company was forced to adjust its flight schedule due to new restrictions on the number of hours pilots can fly in a single day. The weekend schedule remains unchanged and while there are now two flights from Montreal to Val-d’Or each weekday, some of the flights to the other Cree communities had to be altered. (See the full schedule at aircreebec.ca) “We’re governed by the highest level of standards available to airlines in Canada,” says Pash. “One of those things is the pilot duty/rest period. They’re going to be limited on the number of hours they’re allowed to fly during the day, limited even further than they were before. What we used to be able to do with one crew will now take two or three. All airlines must continuously adapt to market conditions as well as regulatory conditions. That’s why the airline is phasing in new flights in anticipation of the new regulations. Looking to the future, Happyjack and Pash believe that careful planning, innovation and a team approach are the key ingredients to growing the Air Creebec brand and improving the services it provides to Eeyou Istchee and beyond. “We’ll continue to make long-term partnerships with our major clients,” says Happyjack. “We have safety objectives, operational objectives and financial objectives. That’s the key thing – planning and executing our goals.” Many people play important roles in this story of success. “The board really supports us, and our Cree shareholders are part of the company,” Happyjack emphasizes. “Plus, the employees are the key component of the company – they are the backbone.” Long term, the goal is to grow the company and achieve brand recognition. “I want us to be well-known outside of Eeyou Istchee and the area we serve,” says Tanya Pash. “I want people to know that Air Creebec is a solid airline that provides a safe and reliable service. I want to be right up there with the other 705 operators, like Air Canada and Air Transat, so that when people are flying in an area we serve we’re one of the names that pops into their head.”

 

 Par Joshua Grant (The Nation)