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Why Are Airlines Avoiding Ywg?  
User currently offlineJets From South Africa, joined Dec 2010, 0 posts, RR: 0
Posted (15 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2466 times:

It seems that every major airport in the world has at least have flights to 5 different international city. That's not the case for YWG. The only cities that YWG has flights to outside of Canada id MSP, ORD and DEN and there is only 1 international airline that flies out of here (Northwest), and when AC merged with CP, they hardly did anything to increase the flights here.There aren't even any overseas flights out of YWG. Can someone please explaine to me why airlines or avoiding YWG???

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineAC183 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 1532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (15 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2351 times:

For one thing the terminal is bursting at the seams, and until the new one is built there won't be a whole lot of room. I've seen aircraft waiting on the tarmac for a gate for quite a bit of time, and while that may mostly occur at peak times it is fair to note that most international airlines only want to fly at peak times.

Another reason is that YWG tends to have an extremely predictable traffic flow, and existing carriers simply fill the flights right up, and take the market for granted.

Also, consider that being so close to MSP, it is very convenient to simply hop on NW and make a connection to anywhere in the world that NW flies.

Another reason is simply the market. YWG has a few cities with which it has very strong ties, and as such the demand for flights is concentrated to fewer cities.

For what it's worth, YEG isn't really in any better shape. It has flights to SEA and LAX now as well as to ORD, DEN and MSP, but because ORD and MSP frequencies are lower it doesn't make much difference between the two.

Also, Royal does fly to Stansted non-stop, but AC likes to fly everything it can via its major hubs (just look at YEG, again).

There are a fair number of seasonal flights to international destinations on Royal and Canada3000 using their A310's, 757's, A320's and A330's.

Oh, yeah, another reason why- look at the way things were in the recent past. AC had the largest part of the market and flew all the major routes, but didn't have a feeder network in Manitoba. CP had CalmAir providing feed, but didn't have a mainline network to feed into. I think that kind of held it down as well.

With WestJet's expansion I think you will see that the geographic position of Winnipeg is so good, and the market having been underserved, that they will grow at YWG as well. After all, just this year they've doubled flights to YWG! Now gate space is more of a problem, though...

User currently offlineSamurai 777 From Canada, joined Jan 2000, 2461 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (15 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2317 times:

AC183 - YEG is actually in a bit better postion than YWG, thank you very much. The only reason it's not getting that many flights is that it's too close to YYC, of course. The airport authority has been aggressive in trying to get new direct flight out of YEG for some time. There are about 3 new transborder routes(or more likely flight frequecies, I'm not sure which), and chances are very good that YEG will get a new nonstop to Europe (either London or more likely Frankfurt - there's a lot of German-Canadians in the Edmonton area and businesses that have European links, especially in Germany.) on a scheduled carrier. But apart from that, they're not releasing much more details than that.

While YEG is already in the middle of an major expansion, it sounds to me like that YWG should've done so at least a few years ago. I thought there are plans to expand YWG within 2-3 years, but I haven't heard much about that.

User currently offlineAC183 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 1532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (15 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2301 times:

Samurai777, I am very surprised to see you saying that. Remember when we were discussing underserviced airports and you promptly nominated YEG?

Anyways, for the sake of debate let's disect these things:

First of all you claim the only reason YEG doesn't have more airlines is because of YYC. Now if you ask me the proximity to MSP is why YWG doesn't have more airlines? Sounds like both airports are in the same position that way, doesn't it?

Now as to the comments of having not heard a lot about YWG expansion. They are working on it, they're probably 3 years behind YEG in terms of when construction would finish, but I have found that Winnipeg Airports is fairly low-key in their approach, and don't use a whole lot of public proclamation, they simply do it. Edmonton Airports, and if you don't believe me I suggest checking their press releases, has been very vocal about what is happening and what they want. When AC announced new routes it appears EAA was the only airport authority in the country to promptly announce a news conference, just to illustrate what I mean! EAA is quite vocal about everything they do, for better or worse. (BTW, in the meantime until there's a new terminal I've seen some talk of adding more gates to YWG.) Also, I want to add that according to WAA, they are the only airport authority in the country that will be able to finance their expansion with mostly cash and not too much debt, as they are and have been putting money aside for the terminal. In the meantime parkades, terminal improvements, and a new hotel have gone up.

Now let's talk about the level of service. YEG is a larger airport, and Edmonton is a larger community, but essentially the major difference is the YEG is close enough to YVR and YYC to have commuter traffic. If you neglect commuter traffic, YEG and YWG have essentially similar route structures, and service levels. Let's dissect that a little further.

Transborder-YEG has service to SEA and LAX. YWG and YEG have equal service to DEN, and YWG has more service to ORD and MSP than YEG. Essentially it's a trade off, better frequency or more routes. The reason YEG needs the more routes is because geographic position makes it less convenient to use MSP or DEN to go to LAX.

Transcontinental-I suggest checking out Air Canada's, Canada3000's and Royal's schedules, as well as WestJet. On the main routes YWG is better served except for YYC and YVR, which are commuter routes for YEG. No question about it, the WJ flights on YWG-YHM, and the higher concentration of flights on YYZ-YWG, as well as higher frequencies to YOW and YUL from YWG than from YEG make YWG better served in this respect.

Regional-in my view they're another equal trade-off. YEG has AC/CP connector service to several communities. YWG has CalmAir to AC/CP connections and Bearskin, roughly equal to those at YEG. YEG has higher northern traffic, but CalmAir, FirstAir, and many smaller northern operators (Ministic, Perimeter, etc) funnel traffic into YWG. There is also a notable amount of traffic into YWG from Perimeter, Ministic, etc which doesn't go through the main terminal, so it isn't counted by WAA traffic reports. Also note that YEG is sorely lacking for Regina (on AC, anyways, although WJ does serve the route) and Whitehorse non-stops. YWG has YQR flights, and Whitehorse isn't within the regional scope of YWG.

Now on the overseas flights. YEG is a bit stronger market for that than Winnipeg, but there is a lot of people in Winnipeg from Germany, Russia, the Ukraine, Poland, England, Holland, and the list goes on. The problem with this is that it splits up destination traffic too much, so flights have to be hubbed to various connections, but there certainly is a large ethnic community. Edmonton has a more concentrated, lower number of substantial ethnic groupings, so it can better justify nonstops, but until LH or whoever actually start up a YEG route I will be skeptical. Any word on when they would startup, or at least announce it?

Now given this is a debate, I look forward to your rebuttals,



User currently offlineJets From South Africa, joined Dec 2010, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (15 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2288 times:

What kind of expansion are they making at YEG? And after all the expansion is done, how many gates will there be at YEG?

User currently offlineSamurai 777 From Canada, joined Jan 2000, 2461 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (15 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2268 times:

I still haven't forgotten what I said about underserved airports! I remember that pretty well. I was nominating YEG only because at that time, I had no idea just how badly underserved YWG is.

When I said the only reason that YEG is not getting many new flights was its closeness to YYC, that was the only really major reason that is no different from YWG being so close to MSP. You're right, but YEG is closer to YYC then YWG is from MSP, and that seems to hamper YEG's chances of getting not only mre international and transborder flights, but domestic ones. YEG is actually placed OK for north-south routes, but not east-west. Look at how YEG didn't have any direct routes to YUL until recently. The same goes for the lack of flights to Saskatoon and Regina(you pointed that one already). One does not usually go from YWG to MSP to connect to YYZ. If YYC didn't exist as a major airport, or Calgary as a major metropolitan area, as it does today, YEG'd be getting at least as many flight as YYC does today!

YEG is in a bit better position for two major reasons, one that you already pointed out: Edmonton's a bigger market area than Winnipeg and more tourists go there than in Winnipeg, I believe (to see West Ed - you wouldn't believe how many tourists go there) and the economy is generally better than Winnipeg's.

As for the new international nonstop flight into Europe from YEG, I saw an article in the Edmonton Journal that ERAA wants get one started by early next year or even sooner, before the World Track & Field Championships get started next year. LH? I'm not too sure. I'm still a little skeptical, probably as much as you are. Like I said, while ERAA is aggressive, it usually doesn't give out too much details until it's time.

User currently offlineAC183 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 1532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (15 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2259 times:

Ah, yes, rebutting the rebuttals. Here I go again:

Fist of all, if my memory is correct I think we agreed some time ago that London, Windsor, Lethbridge, and an assortment of smaller airports tended to be the most underserved. My whole thesis in this is that both Winnipeg and Edmonton are in similar situations in that their traffic patterns are similar (save for YYC and YVR commuter traffic, as noted above) and that both airports have similar gaps that need filling in.

Now, on the question of your noting YEG is closer to YYC than YWG is to MSP. I would have to note that MSP is approximately the same distance from YWG as YQR is (only about 350 miles, closer than you think!). Also, I had in mind (but didn't really state) that we were talking about international/transborder service. Yes, YYC does change YEG's domestic routings, but the effects of YYC and MSP are the same for transborder flights, and they put development of routes somewhat behind what they should be in both Winnipeg and Edmonton.

Also, funny enough you'd mention flying YWG-MSP-YYZ, but actually my friend on the ramp at YYC said he had handled groups flying YYC-MSP-YYZ before, so even though it sounds odd, it does happen!

As you noted, YEG is better placed for north-south routes, which aren't that important as almost all of our population is along the east-west axis. YWG is superbly placed to route traffic along east-west routes, but has been miserably ignored in that potential (other than Greyhound), but hopefully we'll see some connecting traffic built as WestJet grows, as AC now has both feeders into YWG, and of course the charters have also used YWG sometimes to route traffic through. This is one reason why I see good future potential for YWG.

YEG does have twice daily Canadian Regional flights to Saskatoon, but Regina should definitely be a priority for Edmonton Airports to get.

If I was back home in Alberta I'd agree Edmonton's economy is better, but having been here for a while I've noticed a lot of growth (honestly I can barely recognize southwest Winnipeg from 2 years ago, and I lived through that incredible growth in Calgary for the last decade!) so I'm starting to think perhaps Winnipeg is a "silent leader." I just have to say I'm overall quite impressed by the Manitoba economy. Lucky for Alberta we have oil, but these Manitobans have a much more diversified economy. I also wanted to note that YWG is a much more stable and predictable market, it doesn't fluctuate as badly as Edmonton, and that is an advantage. As far as tourism, yeah people go to West Ed, but tourism pales in comparison to that in Calgary, which has proximity to the Royal Tyrell Museum, Fort MacLeod & Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Banff National Park, and so on.

Anyways, to summarize, I think the airports should set the following goals (in order of priority, in my view):

-attract more competition on main routes (really needs 1-stop WJ service to YHM, in my view Edmonton Airports should push hard for that to happen)
-get another major US carrier in (heard that Hudson General had won a contract for AA handling at YYC, YEG and YVR as a group, could that mean AA will fly to YEG, or is it just part of the contract package not necessarily for use?)
-fill in missing regional routes
-grow sked and charter overseas flights

-successfully add RootsAir, CanJet, Transat into YWG service (all already announced), in addition to existing AC/CP, Royal, Canada3000 and WestJet flights on main routes (actually the main YYZ route is looking pretty crowded here, it's about time airlines served it properly, I've heard of lots of people BEFORE the integration who couldn't buy seats to YYZ it was so badly undercapacity, and YWG is VERY attractive to low-fare traffic generation-many more people will fly now with lower fares)
-the underserved regional routes need development, specifically from WestJet to build traffic to Regina, Thunder Bay, and possibly add routes like Montreal or Ottawa non-stop, maybe Lethbridge, etc, to fill in the gaps that are in WJ's network out here
-bolster transborder routes, such as filling in AC's gap to MSP, changing aircraft types to ORD and DEN (due to changes in ACPA contracts it should happen), boosting NW service by adding DTW (there is, I would say, enough traffic), and getting another US carrier in (perhaps RJ's would be a reasonable start). Also, I would like to see (although it's unlikely) a flight to Fargo, North Dakota.
-bolster international traffic, starting with charters as the market probably isn't ready for a lot of sked flights yet, the good news is that there's supposed to be a big increase in seasonal southbound routes this winter  

And I think this does, in a round-about way relate to why YWG is ignored by foreign carriers, and how that applies in exactly the same way to YEG.

By the way, Samurai777, regarding the Frankfurt rumours, I remain quite cautious about that because they've said they're getting these routes before, and been wrong, as I'm sure you're aware... I certainly hope they're right this time, but I also hope to see that AA rumour come to fruition too!  

User currently offlineYwg777 From Canada, joined Oct 1999, 1264 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (15 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2254 times:

Boy oh Boy this is becomming a Heck of a Hot Topic here. We haven't discussed this for now 5 montrhs and its funny I am not the one who posted this....
First of all AC183,
I weill agree with you on a Fargo flight. There is a need to serve North Dakota with eatier UA express, Northwest, or Air Canada(Air B.C). I can see a daily flight out of this in the future because of the fact There has been a increase in flights to Fargo with Perminter Airlines. They have 2 DAILY FLIGHTS TO FARGO on Metro aircraft. Second AC would do very well with a Dash 8-100 to start. Next YWG is getting a terminal expansion in a couple of years. AC183 you say more jetways are comming to YWG? Please explain where you herd this and when they are comming? As for routes are consirned YWG does have a lot of people who fly to Europe on a daily bases. There fore a flight into LHR would be good to connect up to BA. I can see a 3rd flight to DEN comming up. Both BAE-146's are pretty full as we speak. I had a look at the loads for that route and the numbers are high. A possible CRJ would be the next move for AC. Also YWG has become a MAJOR WESTJET MINIHUB right now thats a good thing. WJ traffic has Doubled from last year and more flights are serving YWG. I will say that YWG has a big LOW-COST deal here which is why Canjet decided to compete with Westjet into YWG. The next place to the USA I can see for YWG will be eathier SLC or CIN with eathier AC/DL. As you all know by now thy are partners as of October 29th 2000. Any thoughts to this? Please go crazy typing this out.

User currently offlineAC183 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 1532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (15 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 2237 times:

Not sure I want to get into discussion of this stuff again, I've e-mailed some answers to you YWG777, so you can do it that way. Just curious though, is Perimeter's flights to Fargo for freight or pax? Also, the only Dash8's at YWG are the RCAF's, AC has pulled them out and replaced with F28's so no way they would use Dash8's if they went to Fargo, but if Perimeter flies the route I don't see them flying it at all.

Jets, to briefly go onto YEG (and please feel free to update us here, Samurai777) the first part of the new terminal will look like this:

This should be done for next year, and a new concourse where the commuter aircraft are shown is supposed to be added as demand grows (from the photos I've seen the shown image isn't the complete commuter concourse). The additional concourse would be use http://www.dewbridge.com style bridges to handle commuter flights as well as jets. Sam777, how is construction coming, have you been there recently? Also, Jets, see http://www.edmontonairports.com/Atr/atr.htm for info.

User currently offlineSamurai 777 From Canada, joined Jan 2000, 2461 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (15 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2233 times:

The last time I was at YEG was on the Easter weekend in April. Unfortunately, I won't be flying as much as I'd like, so I won't be coming near YEG for quite some time until probably August. Frankly, I'm not sure how the construction's coming along right now, but I imagine the departures ramp is probably almost complete and the terminal building may already be in the process of getting fitted with gates and windows by now, but it might be a bit early for this.

I'm taking a C++ programming course, which is extremely difficult(failure rate's about 50% among students, I'm told) this summer, and since the summer semester is only 3 months long, compared to 4 in the other semesters at NAIT, it gets very intense! And this does not leave me any time to travel until after the course ends July 21.

Remember this picture drawing you posted is actually just an artist's conception, so things could be a little different in real life in the future. Especially the hotel at the north (right) end of the current terminal, as it could well be different. The hotel hasn't been approved yet, and ERAA could hire an architecture firm with different designs for it.

User currently offlineTravelin man From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3626 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (15 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2232 times:

Perhaps you answered yourself in your question: You said every MAJOR airport has service to at least 5 international cities, so why doesn't YWG? Answer: Winnipeg is neither a major airport, a major hub, nor a major origin/destination city.

I am not trying to bag on Winnipeg, but in what POSSIBLE scenario could YWG support anything more than cross-border US flights?

Winnipeg Metro Area Population (1996): 667,209 (source: Statistics Canada)

Let's compare to other metro areas of other cities of comparable size:
Edmonton: 862,597
Quebec: 671,889
Ottawa-Hull: 1,010,000
Allentown/Bethlehem PA: 616,000
Albuquerque, New Mexico: 678,000
Albany/Schenectady NY: 871,000
Bakersfield, CA: 631,000
Buffalo, NY: 1,152,000
Columbus, OH: 1,469,000
Dayton, OH: 948,000
Fresno, CA: 870,000

...and on and on.

These cities have no or little int'l service (mainly to Canada).

Why would Winnipeg have more int'l service, much less trans-Atlantic service?

User currently offlineAC183 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 1532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (15 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2229 times:

Travelin Man, you're right perhaps that compared to major world cities Winnipeg isn't huge. But in a country the size of Canada, which has only a tenth of the population of the US, air travel is different in importance (we have very little rail service and it's too far to drive mostly), traffic patterns are different, and although on an international scale it may seem small, it is one of the few important Canadian cities. I'm from Calgary myself, and although I like to think my city is bigger than it is, I have to sigh when thinking of the market as well and remember that on a global scale things are different (YYC enjoys overseas international flights, but only on AC and some charters, and I am really hoping to see BA come to YYC). (by the way, Quebec City isn't comparable, it is quite isolated in many ways including air travel because of language and politics). One other thing- based on demand there is room for a bit more service to the US from YWG (not any huge expansion, but a couple more flights). More charters to europe also have potential, although the market isn't mature enough for sked, yet (that is charters here means seasonal weekly flights, but really they're the same as saying low frequency sked).

Hey S777, I've taken a C++ course as well, so I know what it's like! I believe I was the first year to take C++ in engineering, as we've just switched from the archaic Fortran code...

My grandmother in Edmonton is flying somewhere next week, but I don't think I'll ask her for an update, it's probably not the sort of stuff she'd notice...

By the way, any idea why ERAA hasn't got the hotel project going? YEG is so far from downtown an airport hotel would seem to be more important there than most airports. And I would think they would lease the land to a hotel developer, so they wouldn't have to pay for construction or anything, so I wonder what's holding up the hotel. If I was ERAA I would be putting out requests for proposals for investors to build the hotel, and get that built as it wouldn't take much if any out-of-pocket money other than perhaps skywalks to the terminal maybe costing ERAA.

User currently offlineHmmmm... From Canada, joined May 1999, 2114 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (15 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2216 times:

Winnipeg is dead-end town. Why should anyone but the Canadian carriers bother? Just be thankful that Air Canada still flies there. What do you want, a Lufthansa flight from Winnipeg to Toronto? Perhaps a Concorde from Moosejaw to Winnipeg? And dammit all, how come Air Force One avoids YWG? The Pres got something against Winnipeg? Send an angry letter to your MP demanding that more international airlines fly into Winnipeg. With big planes. Your constitutional rights as a plane spotter are being violated by big international airlines that are deliberately avoiding Winnipeg for no better reason that it is a small hick town in the middle of nowhere with no population. That's just not right! You have rights as a plane spotter! Just because you live in Winnipeg is no reason for 747s from China to avoid you. They could at least land for gas, or to use the facilities, or something. This is a discriminatory practice and it's an assault on the basic tenets of our constitutional charter of rights and freedoms. And it's just plain rude. And it has to stop!

disgruntled Winnipeg plane Spotter

An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
User currently offlineYWG777 From Canada, joined Oct 1999, 1264 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (15 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2210 times:

The Fargo flight by Perminter is a passenger flight. I pick it up on my radio scanner everyday. I saw TS come to YWG today and believe it or Not there was a major traffic jam on apron 1. YWG needs more gates and more building space. Will YWG ever get a direct flight to Europe or Asia. Do you think YWG could handle any more US or International flights besides the ones they have?

User currently offlineYWG777 From Canada, joined Oct 1999, 1264 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (15 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2184 times:

Will YWG ever see a International airline come to serve the airport? Also YWG flights took a decrease from 681 to 677. By the time WJ increases the flights and Canjet and Roots Air comes in we should be above 681 flights. Any thoughts?

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