The 2nd charter flight carrying people fleeing the war in Ukraine lands in Montreal


Emotions ran high at Montreal’s Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau International Airport, where a second charter flight carrying people fleeing war in Ukraine landed on Sunday morning.

The flight from Poland landed in Montreal shortly before 11 a.m., carrying some 306 Ukrainians who have been approved for emergency travel to Canada.

It is the second federally chartered aircraft to arrive in the country in the past seven days after a first flight arrived Monday in Winnipeg.

A third flight, bound for Halifax, is due to land on June 2.

Newcomers were welcomed with open arms, as dozens of Montrealers held signs and clutched balloons, stuffed animals and flowers to offer families.

While many at the airport were sponsor families to welcome those they would welcome, others like Michel and Élyse St-Hilaire simply came to show their support.

“To applaud them, to support them, because I find what is happening appalling and it affects us. I think it affects everyone,” said Michel.

The city of Montreal, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, the Quebec Department of Immigration and the Union of Quebec Municipalities have joined forces to support the settlement of Ukrainians in the city.

Dignitaries such as Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly and Jean Boulet, the provincial minister responsible for immigration, labor and francization, were at the airport Sunday morning to welcome the new arrivals.

“Welcoming these families to Montreal reminds us of the human impact of [Vladimir] of Putin’s war and Canada’s continued promise to provide temporary refuge to those in need,” Joly said in a written statement.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said the three flights would bring about 900 Ukrainians approved for emergency travel to Canada.

The federal government has already taken in thousands of Ukrainians since the first attack by Russian forces in late February.

According to federal government data, Canada has received just over 259,000 applications for temporary residence as of May 25, of which 120,668 have been approved.