Before there are going to be any new services, there have to be numbers to justify them.
With Winnipeg's metro population having barely changed since the 1996 census, there are no grounds for adding new services on the basis of population growth.
There would be hope if there was evidence of growing demand for the kind of high-yield traffic that airlines love. But there isn't. One warning sign of that was when Holt Renfrew drastically downsized, turning most of its store space into a clearance outlet.
If it's a soft market for Hugo Boss suits, it's probably a soft market for full-fare plane tickets, too.
What Winnipeg needs if it's going to earn (yes, earn -- there is no such thing in airline economics as 'deserve') is the kind of strong economic and population growth that fuels new services to Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Minneapolis and other strong-growth cities.
As for the WAA, their best bet is to come up with cold hard numbers before trying to lure in new services. Or, better yet, think of creative ways of using the services we already have.
Every year, thousands of Manitobans drive or take the bus to watch pro sports at the Metrodome or to the Mall of America. Even Premier Doer is an avowed Minnesota Vikings fan, and the Minnesota Twins launched a campaign in 2001 to change allegiances in what was traditionally Blue Jays territory. Why not team up with the Twin Cities CVB, the sports teams, the mall and Minnesota Tourism to get a deal with NW that would shift some of those people off the Interstate and on to Northwest flights?