CanadaEH From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 1341 posts, RR: 4 Posted (9 years 11 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5384 times:
WestJet Announces A Tripling of Toronto Service
CALGARY, ALBERTA--WestJet today announced the following changes to its
schedule effective April 18, 2004. These changes are part of WestJet's
2004 expansion plans announced on December 22, 2003 but include schedule
details as well as details of a redeployment of capacity from Hamilton
to Toronto. To facilitate this redeployment, WestJet will be moving its
Toronto operations to the larger Terminal 1 (New) from Terminal 3 on
April 8, 2004. A complete list of WestJet's schedule changes is
available in the accompanying Schedule Change Backgrounder.
Clive Beddoe, WestJet's President, CEO and Executive Chairman, said
today: "I am very pleased to announce the details of this, the
latest phase of our aggressive schedule enhancements for 2004 which will
provide 1,580 weekly network departures. These changes are made possible
by the addition of one new 737-700 series aircraft and the redeployment
of capacity from Hamilton.
"These schedule enhancements have also been made possible by the
opening of and our move to Terminal 1 (New) in Toronto's Pearson
International Airport. With this move WestJet will now occupy a prime
location in Canada's largest airport and will have the opportunity to
serve from Toronto the key markets of Montreal, Ottawa, Halifax and
Winnipeg, improving profitability as a result. Our guests have continued
to ask us to provide WestJet services between these major Canadian
cities and we are pleased that this new schedule will allow us to meet
WestJet's new schedule, effective April 18, 2004, features 1,580 weekly
departures across Canada, including 182 from Toronto's Pearson
International Airport, nearly triple today's Toronto schedule.
Throughout 2004, WestJet will add 11 new Next-Generation aircraft to its
fleet. WestJet currently operates a fleet of 44 Boeing 737 aircraft, 25
of which are state-of-the-art Next-Generation 700-series aircraft
equipped with leather seats and enhanced legroom. WestJet will be
installing live seatback satellite TV on its entire fleet of 737-700
PVD757 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3395 posts, RR: 17 Reply 1, posted (9 years 11 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5305 times:
Seems things in Canada are about the same is in the U.S. LCC hitting the "incubmant" (AC) where it hurts. Hope AC can continue to get themselves on track before its too late! Otherwise great news for all except maybe Hamilton.
Tennisace From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 217 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (9 years 11 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5214 times:
Wow!! Talk about a turnaround in philosophy. WJ originally had huge plans for Hamilton, now it is being scaled right back. I'm sure the Hamilton airport authority and many residents there will not be impressed with WJ much anymore, after all the promises they made. I guess they're chasing the money to YYZ. Looking at the new flight schedules, I see that Westjet will indeed be making connections in YYZ, so this is another about face. And in T-New to boot! I assumed that T-New was all for AC or Star Alliance.
Just shocking, shocking news.........but Clive hasn't been wrong yet.
Rattibone From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 125 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (9 years 11 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5191 times:
This is awesome! T1-New was primariliy going to be for AC and Star Alliance but with this announcement, T1-New is offically a common use terminal. This is going to be great. Watching an airline doing very well competiting head to head and in the same terminal with an airline with difficulties. I can't wait to see how this will be.
Olympus69 From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 1737 posts, RR: 8 Reply 4, posted (9 years 11 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5181 times:
Hamilton must be really unhappy - losing about 11 flights a day. That leaves them with about 6 departures a day. Most of the losses are flights to Montreal and Ottawa - all switched from Hamilton to Toronto.
WS must have gotten a good deal from GTAA to move into the new Terminal 1. It'll be interesting to see if they have anything set up in time for the next trial on January 24th. Probably not, as they don't start flying from there until April 18.
FraT From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 1101 posts, RR: 1 Reply 6, posted (9 years 11 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5161 times:
So they reduce Hamilton to nearly nothing.
Everytime AC drops a single route short after inauguration, there's a big bashing going on here. WS is dropping a hub a couple of years after opening it - and gets applause.
Kind of weird.....
Cayman From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 905 posts, RR: 9 Reply 8, posted (9 years 11 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5070 times:
I am surprised that we haven't heard from FLYYUL on this one......
I think the GTAA is going to address the costs issue and is trying to stimulate new business. There is lots of active interest in YYZ these days, especially from a number of big international carriers. Now WS needs to come up with some means of booking pax out of country...not necessarily code share but even a preferred price or something that could provide some degree of seamless travel.
Meanwhile AC can go off and set up all the unnecessary secondary hubs they want, spend huge sums of money doing it and push themselves further towards the cliff....
Captaingomes From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 6413 posts, RR: 56 Reply 9, posted (9 years 11 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5069 times:
Very interesting and weird news if you ask me. I agree with Tennisace. Seems as though the philosophy is changing at WS. Let's look at the changes they have made in the recent past (not necessarily in chronological order, but close).
- Replacing the old 737-200's with all brand new 73G aircraft. Some will argue that they could have been more conservative and purchased slightly used second generation 737's, and maybe combine those with some new 73G's. Whether or not anyone agrees with the purchase of the new 73G's in such a large scale, it shows a less conservative approach to acquiring aircraft. This costs a lot of money, but should also save a lot of expenses in the long-haul.
- Expansion to eastern Canada. Expanding away from their core market around YYC and other airports in mainly Alberta, B.C. and Manitoba, also costs a lot of money. You need the infrastructure, new contracts at airports, ground handling, equipment, staffing, and of course advertising and other expenses. This was a bold move, and eventhough WS did a great job of it, I am sure there were many people nervous about expansion. There are many unknowns. They were chartering into new territory. This has obviously done very very well for them though.
-Starting service YYZ. After successfully establishing YHM as their eastern hub, with their low costs and serving not only the Greater Toronto Area, but also areas west of there that are more conveniently accessible to YHM, WS also increased their cost structure I am sure with service to YYZ. The yields are surely higher in YYZ, but higher costs are also reflected in this change. Landing, parking and other fees must be considerably higher. This to me also signals a continued change in the philosophy at WS where increasing costs to attract higher yields is a good thing.
-Bell ExpressVue Satellite TV. Adding PTV's with live 24 (I think?) satellite TV to every seat also increases costs. The idea here is to attract more business, and potentially higher fares. Again, higher cost structure to attract not only more passengers but higher yields.
-Increased seat pitch to 34". 34" of seat pitch! That is excellent! That is roughly the same as the 34-35" in AA's much enjoyed MRTC in their long-haul aircraft. I believe their domestic aircraft have slightly less legroom in MRTC than the WS aircraft. But the cynic in me begs a questions ... as some of us know, adding PTV's to seats noticeably reduces the usable space for passenger's legs. Is the seat pitch increased to add the same number of inches of legroom, or is it partly or fully to compensate for the addition of the PTV's? Regardless ... the fact they can advertise the legroom will allow them to increase yields.
-Today's news. Already well dealt with above by other members.
The bottom line is this. Whether or not it is a good move or not, WS is clearly going away from being a strictly low-cost airline. They are increasing the number of frills on board for passengers. They are adding brand new aircraft at a very quick pace. They are moving into the most expensive terminal in the most expensive airport in Canada. They are increasing their cost structure to attract higher yields. I just hope they don't get greedy. Jetsgo and Canjet will clearly have lower cost structures (if they are close to being as efficient as WS).
All in all, way to go WS! Good luck!
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
CanadaEH From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 1341 posts, RR: 4 Reply 11, posted (9 years 11 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5048 times:
Not a good strategy.
This will be the start of a new trend. West Jet on the decline.
Air Canada, as it emerges from bankruptcy will be able to compete head to head with WestJet. AC will kill them as soon as they get those new RJs
WestJet offers shit service, no Aeroplan miles, no nothin....
How do you know this is a poor strategy? Hamilton's airport is maxed out right now for capacity, perhaps the redeployment (notice how the word redeployment was used in the news release) is temporary until a new terminal is built in YHM? The flights cut from Hamilton were mainly short haul flights (YUL, YOW) but the long haul (YYC, YEG, YQM) flights were kept, but with less frequency. We recently built a hangar in Hamilton which we paid for - and we don't normally throw money around, which leads me to believe that perhaps in the future, once a new terminal is built in YHM, that more flights will be added back there. Just my opinion though.
We don't offer Aeroplan miles, we don't codeshare with other airlines, and we don't have lounges. So what? How exactly do we offer shit service? Our 27 consecutive quarters reflect out popularity, so tell me how we offer shit service?
YHU From Canada, joined Jun 2000, 426 posts, RR: 1 Reply 12, posted (9 years 11 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5045 times:
True, but I don't think AC setting up secondary hubs, whethere it be YVR, YUL or YYC, is what's pushing them OVER the cliff. I think they have much bigger problems than that. Many airlines around the world have at least one Secondary hub and are doing fine.
As for Westjet and YHM, I am very disapointed to see the YUL-YHM service go. And not, I'm not glossing. I have to get from Montreal to the Niagara region about 4 times a year. So the Westjet service was VERY usefull. But, I guess if it's not making money then it's not making money. It was just nice flying into a small, quiet terminal that much closer to where I was going.
Fly_yhm From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 1661 posts, RR: 10 Reply 13, posted (9 years 11 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4987 times:
My 2 cent at first I was not happy but a few things 1 this opens up opportunity for other airline to fill the gaps and airlines have been speaking Hamilton Airport Authority. Im sure jetsgo and Canjet are kinda not happy about this so we shally see. Whether or not this was a good move last I looked Westjet stock was dropping. Like was mentioned earlier I don't think this is really bad and once the HAA gets thier heads on straight and spends some money we should see an increased presence again. They have a hangar here. Its just going to be interesting to see how some of the other airlines respond to this.
Where will you spend eternity? He,s more real then you think!!!!!
Goose From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 1840 posts, RR: 16 Reply 14, posted (9 years 11 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4953 times:
WS has a vested interest in YHM.
I'm surprised no-one here has compared this to the fact that WN in the 'States operates to something like four airports in the LA Metro area - granted, Toronto isn't close to Los Angeles in terms of market size, but the strategy is also similar. So is the current WS setup in the YVR metro area - while they fly quite a few parrallel flights out of YXX to (mostly to YYC and YEG), which isn't all that far away.
And no, apparently the YHM-YUL flights weren't making piles of money. They weren't even half-full, even during Xmas, as far as I was told....
And a lot of the flights from YHM-YOW actually continued onto YYT and YQX, which were also cut out of YOW. Why were they cut? Because they probably flew out of YHM with more far pax for YYT than for YOW.... so it'll probably be replaced by a non-stop.
WestJet on the decline? Hrm, well.... the stock price may go down marginally, but I'd guess it's still a sound investment. The activity I saw on the TSX were some small sales of shares, but the price looked to be holding steady. It's still hovering around $28/share.... while Air Canada hovers around $1.50 a share.
Mark_D. From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 1447 posts, RR: 5 Reply 15, posted (9 years 11 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4892 times:
Cayman -- I am surprised that we haven't heard from FLYYUL on this one......
He's busy (maybe in the middle of the Caribbean right now, on his way to St. Maarten and likely at least a bit of spotting there amongst other things. Maybe he'll visit you too, who knows )
But about the Westjet big news today-- wow, sure is a downer for air travelers to and from the Niagara peninsula region :- / And chopping YUL-YHM entirely okay I guess that's only natural if they're going to move the flights --and expand frequency overall in the process-- to and from YYZ T1N instead.
However chopping YOW-YHM down to 0 too, sheesh that one seems a mite harsh. Seems to me there oughtta be at least a market for a daily departure there -- but oh well maybe it's just temporary for a few months while YHM Admin (and Hamilton Chamber of Commerce guys and whoever else) perhaps get together to make some sort of decision to get jetbridges at YHM so it can become a more real 12-months-a-year airport or something like that. Hope that's all it is, and that afterwards --maybe even by year's end if all goes well for them at YYZ with the newly expanded operations there, WS can beef up YHM service again too.
Sure going to be interesting to see how AC freaks out about handles the gauntlet thrown down for the premier inter-city route in the country (YUL<-->YYZ). Going to be a few interesting little fireworks there for a while, I imagine. Jetsgo is in for some challenges too though-- their MD80s departing a half-dozen or so times daily on the run currently seem to be about 1/3 full, on average. Yikes now what are they going to do when here Westjet redraws the landscape and throws some 20 or so percent more seats into the total mix, all in one fell swoop. It can't look good for Jetsgo , even though what they're doing currently seems to be kind of loss-leader connection traffic for the route anyway.
Huge Westjet newsday overall though -- today they announce they're "reaching the summit" of Canadian domestic air travel service (such as it is anyway, heh ) I wish 'em well!
P.S. Also great that YUL-YWG nonstops are to be inaugurated, as part of all this too. Good news and well ahead of summertime, to boot.
Yegbey01 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1711 posts, RR: 3 Reply 16, posted (9 years 11 months 5 days ago) and read 4840 times:
I travel regularly from YYZ to YEG (about 20 times a year) . I can always get the same price if not cheaper on AC than WestJet. Here's what I get from AC: Food, entertainment, access to lounge, Aeroplan Miles, better schedule.
Why would I want to switch to WestJet...
WestJet wants to compete here in the East, but their strategy just isn't going to work. The market is saturated given how cheap airfares are.
Hamilton offers lower cost structure, quicker turnaround time and a niche market. WestJet just pissed off a significant portion of the Hamilton catchment area.
Mark_D. From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 1447 posts, RR: 5 Reply 19, posted (9 years 11 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4735 times:
Yegbey01-- Here's what I get from AC: Food, entertainment, access to lounge, Aeroplan Miles, better schedule.
YYZ T1New will probably be a leveler, when it comes to airport infrastructure that WS gets to make use of versus what AC gets --the place is so huge that pretty much anybody that flies in there stands to benefit from the faciilites. As for IFE Westjet isn't going to be able to be touched by anybody in Canadian skies, period, in a few months' time. Food options, okay, that's about the only real downside to flying Westjet, especially on medium and longhaul (but then hey, make or buy a sandwich to bring aboard, okay no silverware or cups, plates and trays to play with and be somewhat more elegant using, but then no real biggie, especially if the electronic form of IFE is great instead
Plan points, okay for anybody with tons of Aéroplan points already, AC does make a whole lot of sense over Westjet.
WestJet wants to compete here in the East, but their strategy just isn't going to work. The market is saturated given how cheap airfares are.
It's a risk, all right, no question about it-- today's announcement is one of the biggest in their entire history. Maybe even THE biggest. Sure going to be interesting to see the fireworks that come from this on the 'Rapidair' circuit (YUL/YOW-YYZ). I think they'll be okay, though I do worry now more than ever about how Jetsgo's going to do .
Hamilton offers lower cost structure, quicker turnaround time and a niche market.
Too small a niche for YUL . O &D market for the Niagara peninsula is probably 2 737s a week, 3 in summertime. On the whole, not that much at all and probably not worth WestJet's while given YYZ is so close by and SO much more O&D as well as now even Westjet-connection-alluring instead. Even same-plane service too, with the new sked--their new YUL-YYZ flights in the morning go on to Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Calgary, even Vancouver, with just one YYZ stop in-between. Sunday service even one-stop same-plane to Saskatoon from YUL -- two-stops to Victoria
But for YOW, yeah it is real sad that they're axe-ing everything here. Though I do have to think it's just temporary -- and let's face it, YHM if it is so great and handy a YYZ alternative then it should be able to get by with other interested parties in Canada besides just Westjet who are not by any means closing down there altogether, as has been pointed out already here. Plus there remains the issue of YHM getting jetbridges to be a true 'all season, all weather" YYZ bypass -- I guess in another year or so some plans will be set in motion to address this by the airport Admin and local community interests.
WestJet just pissed off a significant portion of the Hamilton catchment area.
It's true it's kind of a black day for Niagara Peninsula air travelers, however I think they --and the airport-- will still be all right in any event. YHM is still going to have a lot of Westjet flights, especially considering the size of its catchment area . And let's face it the routes it's losing outright, with the exception of YOW-YHM, it can probably get by with not having anyway, especially since daily nonstop service to YHZ, YQM, YEG, YYC is going to be preserved (according to Westjet website info, anyway). Not too shabby at all.
C-GRYK From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 751 posts, RR: 39 Reply 20, posted (9 years 11 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4727 times:
And the point of that was???
On topic, I think it's odd to see WS shrinking at YHM. They announced service there in 2000 with quite a bit of hype. I was under the impression they were in YHM for the long haul. Oh well I guess market forces dictate the change of focus. Good luck Westjet! They will give AC a run for their money that's for sure.
PS. I'm wondering what's gonna happen with AC's proposed YHM-YUL flights now? (rhetorical question... no response needed )
Mark_D. From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 1447 posts, RR: 5 Reply 21, posted (9 years 11 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4714 times:
where did you get that from???
C'mon. It's a black day for the YHM community. Only natural there'd be some disappointment even cynicism, over today's news, as it does look like kinda a betrayal of sorts from a YHM perspective.
Even with all the cutbacks though they're still going to have --with the exception of YOW service which I really think should be reinstated-- quite good service levels indeed, given the size of the catchment market.
Spyderz From Canada, joined Apr 2001, 651 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (9 years 11 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4672 times:
What a debacle for both Hamilton and Toronto airports. With reduction in Westjet service at Hamilton, I think the question of terminal expansion is put in serious jeoporady. It is difficult for investors to put new money into a terminal when the largest tennant is reducing flights. The question of YHM trans-border flights is also not looking good. As for YYZ, the entire design of T1-New was to be a hub for Air Canada. Terminal designs were modified to allow convenient hubbing at YYZ for Air Canada, and this raised design and engineering costs significantly. With Westjet using T1-New, it appears the terminal is being used differently from what it was designed for. GTAA will claim that the terminal was built for O&D passengers, yet the piers were specially integrated to allow hubbing. For YYZ this is by no means a disaster like in YHM, but its a bit of a shame that such a mega-terminal will not be used as it was intended, sorta like Terminal 3 for Canadian Airlines.
Mark_D. From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 1447 posts, RR: 5 Reply 23, posted (9 years 11 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4625 times:
Spyderz-- With Westjet using T1-New, it appears the terminal is being used differently from what it was designed for. GTAA will claim that the terminal was built for O&D passengers, yet the piers were specially integrated to allow hubbing.
Well it's only natural that AC gets the prime real-estate wherever in Canada they fly, really. Even if it's not always --or even is often not-- desireable for the littler guys Though it's good at least that Westjet will be there "right from the outset", so maybe that puts them at a bit less of a disadvantage than otherwise. Hope so, anyway.
Plus when it comes to "terminal being used differently from what it was designed for", is there anything more glaring in that department in Canada than YUL Still a little more than a year away before the International facilities are going to be any good at all. And the domestic side, lol, a bit cruddy in general and for everybody --AC check-in is actually even probably the worst since the lineup space alloted to it way up front with the original 40+ year old design is woefully inadequate. Situation may even continue that way for another two or three years or so, too, though there is talk of pushing back those AC check-in desks sometime sooner. Wouldn't hold my breath about that one though, lol.
And it's going to be real interesting to see what YUL gates Westjet gets for all those new flights, especially the YYZ shuttles since the past year they've been marooned out at the old aeroquay , with tunnel and all, at Gates 37 and 39 along with the likes of Jetsgo and Canjet. Talk about not-very-accomodating digs compared to AC! ( which hogs pretty much all of the domestic pier and will have turf rights on the brand-new gates 47-49 and their boarding lounges along the airside facade of the main terminal building as well.)
As for YHM and the bid to get terminal upgrade work --whether just jetbridges or way more than that-- and transborder sked service, etc, yeah it's going to be tough sledding at least for a little while, anyway. Still though, Toronto's way too huge a market for YHM to every really shrink from the role it has now -- with no Pickering airport or anything and Buttonville still being basically GA-grade, Toronto has to have some kind of contingency alternative nearby, and of course YHM is it. So the airport'll be okay, even if today is a sad today for its fans and users and business interests and so on.