Since March, Canadian budget airline Swoop has had to suspend all of its transborder and international operations due to the global health crisis. However, to facilitate essential travel, the airline continues to fly domestic operations by performing a rather unique service known as “The Swoop Sprint.”
One route. Four cities.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, Swoop has had to make some temporary changes to its network. Beginning on April 7, the airline launched the Swoop Sprint, a route that consists of through-flights from Halifax to Abbotsford, with stops in Hamilton and Edmonton.
On other days of the week, the airline connects eastbound travelers going from Abbotsford to Halifax with quick stops in Edmonton and Hamilton.
For those unfamiliar with a ‘through-flight’, it simply looks like a city bus route on a large scale, flying in one direction and making stops along the way. In the case of the Swoop Sprint, “if you’re in Edmonton and need to get to Halifax, you can hop on, and with just one quick stop in Hamilton, we’ll get you to the East Coast” the airline says.
In most cases, travelers are even able to remain on the aircraft during these flights. However, there may be circumstances that require passengers to temporarily deplane.
Providing essential service from coast to coast
While international travel faces fairly strict bans, domestic operations have not been crippled in the same way – although numbers are down significantly and non-essential travel has been highly discouraged. We asked Swoop if they could comment on the ‘success’ of the route during the pandemic. Here’s what they had to say about it:
“The Swoop Sprint is comprised of Abbotsford, Edmonton, Hamilton and Halifax, and allows us to continue delivering on our mission of making air travel accessible and affordable to Canadians. We are starting to see some green shoots, and this week began increasing frequencies on our key Edmonton-Hamilton-Edmonton route to six times a week, in addition to the Swoop Sprint…We’ve heard from our travellers that access to low-fare air travel remains critical during these unprecedented times, as there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to defining what is essential travel.
High hopes postponed
Swoop had some exciting plans for the summer travel season. Unfortunately, a lot of that has been put on hold.
The new routes for summer 2020 were to include an inaugural flight from Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (YWG) to Licenciado Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR) in Puerto Vallarta (Mexico). This would have been Swoop’s second route from Manitoba.
Additionally, Swoop was to begin direct flights to Victoria and Kamloops in British Columbia and San Diego, California, in the United States. Hopefully, in time, we’ll see these services take off.
Have you flown “The Swoop Sprint” yet? Would you ever try it? Let us know in the comments.