In the unlikely event that United or even Continental (there's an article on that in the Edmonton Journal today, BTW, but I'm skeptical that either will start service to YEG anytime soon) does start service to YEG, what kind of a/c would one suppose might be used?
If it's UAL, then it's likely to be a 737-500, 737-300 or A319 at least once daily to DEN.
If CO were to fly into YEG, it's likely to be probably a 737-500 to IAH or DEN once daily, believe it or not.
For either service, this is a slight overall capacity drop. When you think about it, 2xBAe 146 flights a day to DEN is about 154 seats (an AirBC BAe 146-200 has 77 seats). A single 737-500 flown by UAL would have about 125 seats in total, for instance.
UAL was planning to put up service to YEG, but that was before those terrorist decided to their horrendous attacks on Sept. 11. With huge cuts already in the offing among US carriers, UAL is likely to actually delay any addition of service to any Canadian destinations for at least 6 months to a year, or until business picks up. That's why I'm skeptical about all this.
Please check out this article below if you will.
Denver flights up for grabs
Continental, United looked at to fill void left by Air Canada
Bryant Avery, Journal Business Writer
Friday, October 12, 2001
Continental Airlines has joined United Airlines as a possible carrier between Edmonton and Denver when Air Canada abandons the route, says Sid Hanson, chairman of Edmonton Regional Airports Authority.
Earlier this week, AirBC, a division of Air Canada, announced that on Nov. 4 it will axe the popular route, which links Edmonton-area businesses with destinations in Texas and Arizona.
"Continental is a very potential supplier of that route," Hanson said Thursday. "Continental is very interested in Edmonton."
Prior to the Sept. 11 suicide air attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., Edmonton and Continental officials had discussed initiating direct flights between the Alberta capital and Houston, where Continental is based.
"We are actively pursuing them now" by phone, Hanson said.
Not that United Airlines is out of the picture. "United is still the prime candidate," Hanson said.
United uses Denver as a primary hub. For Continental, Denver is a secondary hub.
Hanson predicted Edmonton will gain a new direct connection to the United States within six months, barring further atrocities. Possible destinations include Denver, Houston, San Francisco or Chicago.
Denver is the favourite, Hanson said. "Whoever takes this up will do very well."
Ridership levels on Air Canada flights to Denver were over 70 per cent, he said, but Air Canada had to share revenue with connecting airlines -- especially United -- and used old, inefficient four-engine planes.
"That's the distressing part of this," Hanson said. "Air Canada couldn't make money, where others potentially can."
Jim Edwards, president of Economic Development Edmonton, agreed the Denver route is a money-maker, but backed away Thursday from guaranteeing that United will take it up.
"I'm not at all sure what the odds are," he said, "but they are better than even (money)."
At United's headquarters Thursday, spokesman Chris Braithwaite was non-committal: "We don't talk about our plans going forward." But in the next breath, he said United has cut 26 per cent of its flights.
In Edmonton, PCL Construction Group executive Alan Bodie hopes flights to Denver will survive. Half of PCL's $3.4 billion in revenue is generated in the United States, said the president of the PCL Constructors division, and Denver is the company's U.S. base.
PCL averages about 20 to 30 flights per month through Denver.
The company also needs to get to Chicago where it is constructing a $500-million, 1,100-megawatt power plant. Air Canada eliminated direct flights to Chicago in February.
"One by one, direct flights to our areas of development have disappeared," Bodie said.
The loss of the Denver flight also makes life more difficult for Dreco Energy Services, the Edmonton arm of Houston-based National Oilwell. "That one flight was very good to us," said local manager Ken Singh.
In the past, half-a-dozen executives routinely flew to Houston via Denver twice a month. Without a Denver route, Dreco personnel have to go through Calgary and Salt Lake City, or Minneapolis, the Northwest Airlines hub. On occasion, staff have even gone via Toronto, Singh said.
Bodie and Singh said their companies are cutting back on flights, for reasons of security and savings. Bodie said he's using more teleconference calls.
Singh said Dreco has 13 employees providing support to service rigs in Oman, Alaska, South Africa, Brazil and Venezuela.
© Copyright 2001 Edmonton Journal