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Southwest Routes Into Canada  
User currently offlineAloha 737-200 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (12 years 12 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1382 times:

Aloha!

Do you think, perhaps in the future, that Southwest might pick up some routes into Canada. Currently, they are an all-intra U.S. carrier, but as the system grows, do you think it might be a possibility.

I say yes because I see alot of potential for a low-fare, economic connection, fed by Southwest, from and between medium- large-cities in Canada, into the U.S.

My question is why haven't they done this already, and what would the merits be of such an expansion.

Would it be economical for SWA, and which cities hold the highest potential. Which U.S. cities would go well with a Canadian city for SWA?

Just a what-if question, please forgive me if this has been asked before.

Aloha 737-200!!  Wink/being sarcastic



23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDelta-flyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2676 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (12 years 12 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1300 times:

I am sure Canada has erected all kinds of obstacles to thwart any more competition in the trans-border airline industry - just like they always have.

Pete


User currently offlineMark_D. From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 1447 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (12 years 12 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1277 times:

Aloha 737-200--My question is why haven't they done this already

A few things, most of which, there's just not that much traffic! (Canada an enormous country, but population is just not that much, comparable to just California alone. So not the same traffic markets as in the States). Most of the transborder flying, particularly out West, is handled either by Air Canada regional or its Star Alliance United Codeshare partner. And then as well, still a fairly nascent--and trendy-- de-regulated air travel market, so now domestically WestJet's a lot like a Canadian version of Southwest. To which to some extent Canada 3000 adds an additional low-cost alternative. Market already getting a bit crowded!

In the East, most of the transborder medium-density routes are now firmly RJ-territory, whether by AC or by American regionals.


User currently offlineN202PA From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1562 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (12 years 12 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1267 times:

I would absolutely *love* it if Southwest were to fly Canada routes, as I am constantly flying up to Toronto from the Washington, DC area. And fares are usually pretty ridiculous unless you get them on sale--I usually pay upwards of $250 R/T, but often fares are around $275-325. Who's got that kind of money?

If they were to do so, I could definitely see them starting service to Hamilton to start, then perhaps Calgary and Vancouver somewhere down the line. Initially, I think, they could run BWI-YHM, HPN-YHM, MHT-YHM and PVD-YHM to serve the high-density Washington, New York, and Boston regions. Perhaps even MDW-YHM, if they have enough room to expand at Midway.

The great thing about Southwest going into Canada would be that they would be able to take Air Canada to the woodshed with their low-fares...Given that there really isn't any serious competition on routes to Toronto (unless you want to fly through the American carriers' hubs, which often costs 2-3 hours more), AC has the market all to themselves right now. That's the cost of having a monopoly airline run your country--the high fares that inevitably restult! But Southwest would be able to compete with them in their own country on transborder runs.

There are some problems to bring up here, though. First, there's the issue of turning the aircraft around, something that people have brought up time and time again. Because of customs and other issues that Southwest doesn't have to face domestically, their quick turn time might be increased, leading to lower profitability. Second, there's the issue of increased fares due to fees associated with flying international runs. Who knows if these will be significant or not. Third, there's the issue of getting authority to fly into Canada, from both governments. Then, of course, there's the issue of having the ability to continue sensibly expanding in the United States like they always have, without taking on the risk of flying to a new country, where their brand recognition is lower. Maybe they do plan to go to Canada in the future, but are reserving such service until they've reached their potential in the U.S.

I think Southwest might do well to work with a ground transportation company in the Buffalo and Seattle areas to transport passengers across the border to the airport, from which they can fly WN with cheap fares. I could definitely see this, as there is no such link right now, and it would allow them to cheaply gain increased market share in these regions. But WN seems pretty bent on not expanding into Canada for the time being.

If you're looking for a low-fare connection between the U.S. and Canada, I'd bank on WestJet to get it done. They have begun setting up a base at Hamilton, and their CEO has made statements in the past about being interested in starting low-fare transborder service to such destinations as PIT and BWI. And I really hope they do get those services started sometime soon, because AC could really use some competition. Between flying for $100-$150 on a low-fare carrier and paying $250 to get Aeroplan miles, I think I know which one I'll choose.


User currently offlineMark_D. From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 1447 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (12 years 12 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1248 times:

Delta-flyer I am sure Canada has erected all kinds of obstacles to thwart any more competition in the trans-border airline industry - just like they always have.

Some personal sour grapes in there, or something?  Big grin

(it`s not that big a prize, really. Or so easy or profitable a market to serve)


User currently offline737doctor From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1332 posts, RR: 39
Reply 5, posted (12 years 12 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1242 times:

I really don't see us doing anything like that anytime soon...but never say never.

However on the 7th, we will officially announce new service to Norfolk.



Patrick Bateman is my hero.
User currently offlineCV640 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 952 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (12 years 12 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1235 times:

I think it will be a while before they do any major league expansions and Canada would be a huge change for them. they may do it one day, but I doubt it'llbe any time soon

User currently offlineAirbus380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 12 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1230 times:

I am very doubtful.

User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16285 posts, RR: 56
Reply 8, posted (12 years 12 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1234 times:

I agree completely with N202PA. There is alot of potential & demand for SWA or SWA-type service betw the US & Canada.

The US & Canada have an open skies agreement...any airline on either side of the border can enter any transborder city pair mkt (assuming slot availability).

There would be some addl cost for SWA to operate into Canada...the provision of Customs Clearance docs for passengers inflight. Maybe some currency conversion/supply issues for C$ revenue & expense.

I think the main reason keeping SW out of Canada so far is that there is still plenty of growth potential in the US. When (if?) that ever ends (and there's no sign it will be soon), SWA will no doubt move into Canada & Mexico.

When/if that happens, SWA will focus on unconstrained airports with no delays: that eliminates YYZ/YYC/YVR....pretty well leaves YHM (Hamilton) as the logical point....service to Chi-Midway, BWI makes most sense.

Don't forget, Canada now has its own SWA in the form of Westjet.....expect WJ to expand into the US long before SWA expands north.

One final comment, despite not having any flights to Canada, SWA is well known thru-out Canada with a very high recognition factor.



Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineThomasphoto60 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3967 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (12 years 12 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1231 times:

Actually,there was a wild rumor some time ago that WN was looking at Canada, it never went beyond that however.

Ol' Herb, is rather picky about where he flies and frankly I hope (I am sure he will) his successor will follow what has proven to be a very sucessful formula.

As for a chance of a Canadian service, well if I am not mistaken most Canadian cities have only one major commercial airport, save for Montreal and Toronto and the fact that WN prefers the smaller, less congested, (though they do serve a few biggies such as LAX, PHX and IAH) lower operating cost airports, might put the chances of a possible Canadian service in doubt.

Though I am certain that more than a few Canadian spotters would love to see 'Lone Star 1', Arizona 1, Nevada 1, 'New Mexico 1', 'California 1' as well as 'Triple 1', Silver 1 or the 'Shamus' at any number of Canadian airports. But hey who knows, it could happen one day!



Thomas



"Show me the Braniffs"
User currently offlineMcdougald From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (12 years 12 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1220 times:

A year or two ago, Canadian Business magazine sent a reporter down to talk with Southwest's Colleen Barrett. Barrett plainly said that Southwest is happy to stick to its niche as a domestic-only carrier, and is not particularly interested in starting flights to either Canada or Mexico.

The main turn-off was having to deal with customs and immigration formalities (one of her more pithy quotes was, "Herb doesn't like Customs.") I'm not 100% sure on this, but I think she also mentioned winter weather, and the delays that causes, as a reason why Southwest hasn't expanded not just into Canada, but also into some northern U.S. airports.

Westjet is currently busy building up its domestic network, but has hinted it might expand south. Hamilton is well-placed as a launching point for short-haul flights to airports in the Boston, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit and Washington/Baltimore areas. The Open Skies treaty, which lifted many of the old, arcane restrictions on Canada-U.S. air travel, should make such expansion possible (and profitable) in due course.


User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16285 posts, RR: 56
Reply 11, posted (12 years 12 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1219 times:

Hamilton (YHM) serves as a 2nd Toronto airport....situated about 40mi west of Toronto. Served by Westjet, Fedex, UPS.

Abbottsford (YXY I think) BC also serves as a 2nd Vancouver airport. Served by Westjet.

Those are the 2 most likely WN targets!

Neil/Toronto.

PS....some WN/Canada trivia....back around 1981, I used to see a WN 732 in Toronto several times/day....but never heard any news about new service...turned out to be a WN 732 on short term lease to Nordair for the summer.




Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineThomasphoto60 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3967 posts, RR: 22
Reply 12, posted (12 years 12 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1211 times:

Neil,

Thanks, I knew that was a smaller commercial airport around Toronto (aside from the city airport used by the commuters). That would be exactly be the airport that WN would look for if it were interested in Canada. Someone mentioned WN's famous 15 minute turns and that is a very good point in which I forgot to mention. With your brutal Winters that could certainly hinder WN's quick turns. I believe that was one of the reasons that WN pulled out of DEN in the 80s, as well as poor load numbers.

Still, never say never!

Thomas



"Show me the Braniffs"
User currently offlineN202PA From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1562 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (12 years 12 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1208 times:

Yyz717,

Thanks for the info. regarding the open skies agreement and the WN brand recognition in Canada. I did not know about either.

The former explains how AC has been able to start service to so many U.S. medium-market destinations so easily (ie, Norfolk, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Cleveland, etc.)--the open skies agreement, plus their seeming abundance of mainline CRJ's. Add Air Ontario into the mix, and they've been able to create an effective monopoly on nonstop routes from the U.S. to Canada. WN and WJ would do well to shake them up.


User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16285 posts, RR: 56
Reply 14, posted (12 years 12 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1202 times:

Winter ops can be expensive and hinder quick turnarounds....but WN now operated into numerous US cities with cold/snowy winters.....Midway being a prime one. Chicago gets far more snow than Toronto/Hamilton or Vancouver.

Regards
Neil

PS. The downtown Toronto airport (Toronto Island/YTZ) is closed to jets....only Air Ontario DHC-8-100's fly there. The airport authority is busy trying to woo NW Link or CO Express into YTZ with Saab 340's or COEX ATR's. US Airways Express pulled their Metro service last year.



Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16285 posts, RR: 56
Reply 15, posted (12 years 12 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1194 times:

AC has been very aggressive as adding service to US cities (primarily from Toronto). The Canadian market gets relatively less attention from US carriers. Although YYZ/Toronto for instance is AA's biggest intl market with 21 flights/day (ITO flights, not pax).

NW has been the most aggressive at expanding into Canada...they added service to YYC/YXE/YQR/YOW/YHZ and MSP-YYZ when the open skies agreement was announced. Perhaps their northern MSP HQ gave them more of a 'Canadian' focus.






Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineB747ca From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 677 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (12 years 12 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1196 times:

Sunquest will be operating flights during the winter months from Hamilton. They will fly to Cancun, Punta Cana and Ciego de Avila aboard Airbus 320.

Hamilton also caters to Purolator Courier Canada3000 Cargo (formally Royal Cargo) and various smaller courier companies. Just my 2 cents (and that's all it's worth)

Tony/Hamilton



ma va funk ulo
User currently offlineB747ca From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 677 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (12 years 12 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1184 times:

Anybody know if USAir still flies to Hamilton? Checked web site and no mention of service into Hamilton. I know that Continental Hamilton to Cleveland was disco'ed Aug 1/01.


ma va funk ulo
User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16285 posts, RR: 56
Reply 18, posted (12 years 12 months 3 days ago) and read 1159 times:

Ya, looks like US Airways Express pulled out of YHM. No flights listed on usair.com. I knew that they terminated PIT-YXU (London ON).

The YHM-PIT route was the only US route ex-YHM.

I don't remember any announcement of US Exp pulling out.




Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineFly_yhm From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 1681 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (12 years 12 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1152 times:

B747ca
USair express pulled out in july of 2001 i belive

Its nice to see another Hamiltonian in here. Hey did you see the AC A340 doing touch and goes last wednesday? Also about SWA coming north there was talk about them coming to YHM but they were unhappy with the transportation links which now is fanally being taken care of.

Westjet kick ass.

fly_yhm

ICQ#87245300



Where will you spend eternity? He,s more real then you think!!!!!
User currently offlineYoungDon From United States of America, joined May 2001, 412 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (12 years 12 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1148 times:

Isn't YYC a big focal point for AC as well as YYZ? Would WN consider going into YYC if it expanded into Canada?

User currently offlineB747ca From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 677 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (12 years 12 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1135 times:

No, I did not see the A340 working nights (as I am right now) so I was fast asleep when it was in Hamilton.

I wonder if there are any more Hamiltonians out there????



ma va funk ulo
User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16285 posts, RR: 56
Reply 22, posted (12 years 12 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1133 times:

Despite the strong economy and population growth in YYC, YYC airport has severe congestion & flow control problems....just the things that WN likes to avoid.

Best Canadian airports for WN entry are Abbotsford & YHM. IMHO




Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineB747ca From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 677 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (12 years 12 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1135 times:

Yyz717, aggreed


ma va funk ulo
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