Canada’s Swoop To Raise Funds For Healthcare Workers

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Yesterday, June 4th, budget airline Swoop announced the launch of a new charitable initiative to raise funds in support of Canadian healthcare workers and hospital foundations. The airline will partner with an organization known as The Frontline Fund in this show of appreciation.

Swoop
Swoop is the low-cost subsidiary of WestJet – which is Canada’s second-largest airline. Photo: Swoop

“On behalf of The Frontline Fund and the participating hospital foundations from coast to coast, we are so grateful to corporate donors like Swoop for supporting us in the fight against COVID-19. We also thank Swoop travellers who will support the cause and, in turn, support fellow Canadians who are frontline workers.” -Caroline Riseboro, President and CEO of Trillium Health Partners Foundation

Taking donations for Canada’s healthcare workers

Launching yesterday, Swoop has begun making disposable masks available at airport check-in. The airline is asking for a minimum donation of C$2.00 (US$1.45) for each mask. 100% of after-tax proceeds will support Canada’s healthcare workers and hospitals via The Frontline Fund. This initiative will run through August 31. In addition to this, Swoop will donate C$5.00 (US$3.60) per traveler, per booking from new bookings made through the month of June.

“As Canadians, we owe the health care professionals who protect our communities a debt of gratitude and our continued support in the battle against COVID-19. Swoop is proud to offer our support by contributing to funding for supplies, support and research.” -Charles Duncan, President of Swoop

Swoop is raising money on behalf of Canadian healthcare workers and hospitals. Photo: Swoop

What will donated funds actually do?

According to the airline’s press release, the funds raised go towards supporting three main areas:

  • Supplies – personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, disinfectants, and disposable clothing; ventilators, diagnostic and testing equipment, digital infrastructure needed to enable virtual patient care;
  • Supports – Peer-to-peer mental health support, counseling, accommodation, and food for healthcare workers that need to self-isolate, recognition and appreciation initiatives;
  • Research – Support for clinical and basic research, COVID-19 clinical trials, and vaccine development.

 

Swoop Airlines 737
Due to a drop in demand, Swoop had 269 employees “impacted through voluntary and involuntary means” in March. Photo: Swoop Airlines

The impact of COVID-19 on Swoop operations

Due to travel restrictions, and the general encouragement for all would-be travelers to stay home, Swoop had to make significant changes to its operations throughout the month of March. This included the suspension of its transborder and international flights while reviewing its internal and capital costs and letting go of contract staff.

The swoop sprint
While transborder and international operations remain suspended, Swoop has been operating a cross-Canada, multi-stop service. Photo: Swoop

Unfortunately, these efforts were not enough, and 46% of “Swoopsters” (Swoop airline employees) elected voluntary options such as reduced hours, early exits, and leave of absences. Additionally, the airline says it had 269 employees impacted through voluntary and involuntary means.

While transborder and international flight suspensions remain in place until July 31. The airline has continued to fly what it calls “the Swoop Sprint” – a cross-country, multi-stop service. It will continue this until June 30. Sadly, this falls far short of the airline’s original summer plans.

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What do you think of Swoop’s support of healthcare workers? Let us know in the comments.

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