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Canada's Fascinating Rescue Flight To Morocco – One Mile at a Time

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Countries around the world are operating repatriation flights at the moment, though Canada’s flight to evacuate citizens from Morocco is probably the most interesting as an airline geek.

In this post:

What are repatriation flights?

We’re increasingly seeing governments add new immigration restrictions. In some cases the restrictions are mild, while in other cases they’re extreme. For those outside their home country, this can be a challenging time, especially with many airlines drastically cutting their schedules.

As a result, we’ve seen some flights operated with the intention of bringing home people who are “stuck” abroad. I’m not really sure about the back-end economics of these. My assumption would be that the government is essentially paying to lease a plane, whether that plane comes from a commercial airline, or is coming from a wet leasing aircraft company.

Nolinor 737-200 used for transatlantic flights

The Boeing 737-200 is one of the original versions of the 737, and that’s exactly what Canada is using for at least one flight intended to evacuate Canadians from Morocco.

The 737-200 in question is being operated by Nolinor, which is a charter airline based in Montreal. The carrier operates a variety of aircraft types, the largest of which is the 737 (they have both a -200 and a -300).

Well, Nolinor’s 737-200, with the registration code C-GNLN, was used to operate one of the Morocco evacuation flights. The plane in question is nearly 37 years old, and funny enough used to fly for Royal Air Maroc (from 1983 until 2007), until it was transferred to Nolinor.

How did a 737-200 fly from Canada to Morocco?

Tracking the flight data for C-GNLN the past few days is absolutely fascinating.

How did the plane get from Montreal to Casablanca?

  • On Thursday morning the plane flew from Montreal to Goose Bay
  • On Thursday afternoon the plane flew from Goose Bay to Reykjavik
  • On Thursday evening the plane flew from Reykjavik to Shannon
  • On Friday morning the plane flew from Shannon to Casablanca

The direct air distance would have been ~3,500 miles, but instead the plane operated a total of four segments to get there, covering a distance of over 4,500 miles, with a total flight time (in the air) of just over 10 hours.

The plane took exactly the same routing on the way back — it must have been a long day for the crew, because they turned around from Casablanca the same morning they flew in from Shannon (they had spent the night in Shannon).

I would imagine the reason for all the stops came down to a few factors:

  • The plane doesn’t have the range to fly nonstop
  • The 737-200 has limited ETOPS capabilities, so needed to stay fairly close to suitable diversion points, meaning flying over Iceland, etc., was necessary
  • While three stops may seem unnecessary, the range of the plane would have really been pushed if they cut out any of those stops

Bottom line

There are dozens of repatriation flights going on right now, though this one is pretty unique. The mighty 737-200 flew eight segments over a couple of days to get people out of Morocco. It’s not every day you see a 737-200 operating a transatlantic flight.

Bonus points to them for using a former Royal Air Maroc 737-200 — I’m sure the plane was happy to visit its former home. 😉

I’m sure we’ll never know, but I’d be curious about the economics of this. I would assume there weren’t that many people who needed to be on this particular flight, and therefore this was the most cost effective option. But still, you wouldn’t assume they’d use a 737-200 that requires four segments in each direction.

Now can we see an airline use a turboprop for a transatlantic repatriation flight? That would make for an even more interesting flight path…

(Tip of the hat to Flightradar24, featured image courtesy of Jean-Philippe Richard)

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No winning ticket for Friday night's $70 million Lotto Max jackpot – CTV News

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TORONTO —
No winning ticket was sold for the $70 million jackpot in Friday night’s Lotto Max draw.

However, five of the 19 Maxmillions prizes of $1 million each were won by ticket holders in the Prairies and in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The jackpot for the next Lotto Max draw on Apr. 7 will again be $70 million and there will be 20 Maxmillions prizes up for grabs.

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Demand Destruction Will Decimate Oil Prices – OilPrice.com

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Demand Destruction Will Decimate Oil Prices | OilPrice.com

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    I have been warning since January that the long-term ramifications of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on the oil industry could be significant and long-lasting. In March we saw significant impacts on price and demand. What we don’t know is how long this crisis will last.

    But, I believe we are in the midst of an existential crisis for the oil industry as we know it. This will not be the same industry after this dark period ends. Only the strongest companies are going to survive the financial pain that lies ahead.

    There are many variables in this equation, and they are constantly changing. Demand is plummeting, production and prices are following, and Saudi Arabia and Russia are jockeying to hold onto market share.

    Vitol, the world’s largest independent oil trading company, has said that oil demand could slump as much as 20 million barrels per day (BPD) over the next few weeks, which would lead to an annual decline of 5 million BPD. Vitol CEO Russell Hardy said “It’s pretty huge in terms of anything we’ve had to deal with before.”

    Goldman Sachs said it expected March demand to be down 10.5 million BPD, followed by a further decline to 18.7 million BPD in April. The company noted that this deep plunge would be beyond the ability of OPEC to counteract: “A demand shock of this magnitude will overwhelm any supply response including any potential core-Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries output freeze or cut.”

    Related: U.S. Shale Ready To Fire Back In The Oil Price War

    Meanwhile, benchmark prices have temporarily settled in the lower $20s, but local prices have dropped even further. In a story that warned of the largest idling of oil wells in the past 35 years, Oilprice.com reported that last week some crude prices were trading in the $1 per barrel range

    The oil and gas sector has been crushed, and there will be a great deal of collateral damage. It’s hard to see when the sector will emerge from this crisis, or what the supply situation will be when we do. But it’s inevitable that there will be fewer players in the sector when this crisis ends.

    By Robert Rapier

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      Five Canadian banks cut credit card interest rates to ease COVID-19 impact – Canoe

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      TORONTO — Bank of Nova Scotia, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, National Bank of Canada and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce said on Friday they are cutting interest rates on credit cards to provide relief to customers affected by COVID-19 pandemic.

      Late on Friday, Scotiabank said it would reduce credit card interest rates to 10.99% for personal and small business clients who have been approved for, or seek, payment deferrals.

      Earlier, in separate statements, TD Bank said it will cut credit card interest rates by 50% for customers experiencing hardship, and Royal Bank said it will reduce the charges by the same extent for clients receiving minimum payment deferrals.

      National Bank will allow credit card customers to defer minimum payments for up to 90 days and reduce annual interest rates to 10.9% for these clients, it said.

      CIBC too will reduce interest rates to 10.99% on personal credit cards for users who request to skip a payment, Canada’s fifth-largest lender said. (https://reut.rs/3aHZM9Q)

      Most Royal Bank, TAD, Scotiabank and CIBC credit cards charge 19.99% interest on purchases. Most National Bank cards charge 20.99%.

      Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government had urged banks to help alleviate the burden credit card interest rates placed on Canadians. Friday’s moves are the latest in a raft of measures announced by the banks to ease the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on customers.

      Canada’s six biggest banks unveiled a mortgage-relief plan two weeks ago to allow homeowners to defer or skip mortgage payments for up to six months as businesses come to a grinding halt due to the pandemic.

      National Bank said it will refund additional interest accrued on the deferred mortgage payments. The lender will also waive fees for transfers and stop payments on checks and pre-authorized debts, and will not charge overdraft fees on checking and high-interest savings accounts, it said.

      Since the mortgage-relief plan was announced, the banks have received nearly half a million requests that have been completed or were being processed.

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