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QUESTION: First Air And WestJet Combination  
User currently offlineYYZatcboy From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1202 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 3 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3055 times:

With all the USA merger talks going on, I am curious to see what a combined First Air and Westjet would look like.

(Route map WestJet ) http://c3dsp.westjet.com/guest/desti...6sqgPwpj3Gl9vGxycpNTKgX!1908737337

(Route Map First Air)

I know that the fleets are different, with First Air having a mix of older boeings and turboprops, and Westjet has newer 73G's. Would a fleet merger be possible?

With regards to route structure it seems to me that First Air's route structure would mesh well with Westjet's, filling in northern Canada, while providing great connections for the residents up there to the rest of the world. (I'm not sure if First Air has any codeshare agreements worked out. I did not see anything other than participation in Aeroplan, no mention of an AC agreement)

This is a purely hypothetical though, no rumors of it actually happening. I'm just curious to see what you guys think about how something like this would work.

DHC1/3/4 MD11/88 L1011 A319/20/21/30 B727 735/6/7/8/9 762/3 E175/90 CRJ/700/705 CC150. J/S DH8D 736/7/8
10 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3022 times:

They have some longer haul turbo prop flights

User currently offlineZBBYLW From Canada, joined Nov 2006, 2019 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3016 times:

I think they could work out a code-share agreement, but will never join at the hip. WS would have to much to loose. Right now they are an efficient company with 1 aircraft type and a management structure that suits them extremely well. They would not want to merge with anyone else. Also I believe first air is owned by the Inuit, and they would not want to give that up. A code share agreement could work though...

Just my opinon...

Keep the shinny side up!
User currently offlineYYZatcboy From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1202 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2995 times:

Agreed. I'm not suggesting that it could work, I'm just curious, if it could, what would it possibly look like?

DHC1/3/4 MD11/88 L1011 A319/20/21/30 B727 735/6/7/8/9 762/3 E175/90 CRJ/700/705 CC150. J/S DH8D 736/7/8
User currently offlineDaBuzzard From Canada, joined Sep 2007, 136 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2964 times:

AFAIK, you can already book flights through Air Canada that connect with First Air. Don't know what kind of deal they have in place though.

User currently offlineYfbflyer From Canada, joined Sep 2006, 304 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2933 times:

Quoting ZBBYLW (Reply 2):
Also I believe first air is owned by the Inuit

You are thinking of Canadian North.

As for a merger I think the simple volume of passenger air traffic in the arctic is just too low. The real money for First Air and Canadian North comes from cargo service.

As second hand information I have heard of people arranging for interline baggage checking with the northern carriers and Air Canada.

User currently offlineSafeFlyer From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 627 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (8 years 3 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2906 times:

Quoting Yfbflyer (Reply 5):
You are thinking of Canadian North.

Nope, he is right. 7F is owned by Makivik Corp, an Inuit owned company.


User currently offlinePnwtraveler From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 2406 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2878 times:

Very interesting idea. Never thought of this.

Serving the North requires a totally different mind set. The weather and other delays suit it to a much more flexible operation than someone like WestJet is used to. They are professional and are a good company but still have a lot of bush pilot roots that may not mesh well with a bigger corporate entity.

User currently offlineAC183 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 1532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2847 times:

First Air and Canadian North are both owned by the Inuit. I believe Air North is also fully or at least partially owned by an Inuit investment group.

I have a hard time seeing WestJet merging with any of these carriers. The north is simply a different operating environment. Freighters and combis are important. And lots of old airplanes are used up there because there's quite a few spots with gravel runways. It just doesn't fit in with WS strategy. I think the routes WITHIN the north will remain the domain of specialist carriers. I also don't see AC combining with them, since both Canadian North and NWT Air were sold off by CP and AC some years ago (NWT Air merged with 7F).

More likely routes TO the north, meaning the busier and less remote northern cities (the ones with better airfield facilities, whether YZF, YXY or perhaps eventually even YTH or YFB) will have some interest from WS to serve them or to see AC service expanded, and the arctic carriers will have to feed from those points rather than from YEG, YWG, YOW, YUL.

I would wonder, however, if Air North wouldn't make sense to merge with either Canadian North or First Air, simply because they really lack the economies of scale to support their own fleet (2 737's and 4 HS.748's). For that matter Calm Air could also potentially fit with a larger northern carrier. But to some extent the arctic operating environment is ideal for several smaller carriers to provide local service - it's the last domain of the bush pilots.

User currently offlineDrgmobile From Canada, joined Aug 2006, 827 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 3 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2757 times:

Both First Air and Canadian North are owned by Native interests, and pretty much have to stay this way to maintain access to the lucrative cargo contracts involved in supplying the north.

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 29484 posts, RR: 24
Reply 10, posted (8 years 3 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2643 times:

The business models and operations of WestJet and First Air are so totally different I cannot possibly imagine them establishing any kind of relationship.

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