Canada West Airlines announces Edmonton launch this fall
EDMONTON, July 18 /CNW/ - Gordon Andrews, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canada West Airlines is pleased to announce that the final steps are being taken for the late fall launch of Canada West Airlines, with its operations, maintenance and head office based in Edmonton, Alberta
Canada West Airlines will initially operate two premium-configured Boeing 757 aircraft with seats spaced to provide more comfort. The airline will offer full-service flights from Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver to European and sun destinations.
"We chose to base our airline in Edmonton because this city is underserved internationally. We believe the public in this community deserves as much choice as other cities in Canada", said Mr. Andrews. "Community support from the Edmonton area to the launch of our airline has been phenomenal, including support from Edmonton Airports, and The City of Edmonton's Economic Development Edmonton team."
Edmonton's GDP growth was a remarkable 5.9% in 2001, with the forecast continuing to show that Edmonton will lead the country with GDP growth of 3.5% in 2002. Edmonton Airports serves a catchment area of 1.8 million people, and was the only major airport in Canada to enjoy positive passenger growth (2.5%) in 2001.
"Edmonton Airports has worked diligently with leadership by the City and Economic Development Edmonton to demonstrate Edmonton's excellent business environment, and strong economy," states Scott Clements, President and CEO of Edmonton Airports. "Canada West will enjoy a receptive home base here in Edmonton and strong support from our community for Canada West services."
"Edmonton offers the lowest overall business costs of 86 large and medium- sized cities surveyed according to KPMG's Competitive Alternatives, an international cost-comparison report released this year," states Allan Scott, President and CEO of Economic Development Edmonton. "We commend Canada West Airlines for their commitment and investment in our City, and we are confident that Edmonton will reciprocate with strong support for Canada West as they launch their new head office in Edmonton."
The company will market and distribute its products through its subsidiary, Canada West Holidays. Former Canada 3000 Holidays Vice-President, Richard Carlin, will be heading the distribution and marketing side. "We will operate a full service Call Centre and support facility based in Vancouver. The company will develop and market both traditional as well as new and innovative products to Western Canadians eager for more competition and diversity," said Mr. Carlin. "Westerners want choice. Westerners support Western initiatives and products, and travellers as a whole are looking for better value for their dollar."
Canada West retained Octagon Capital Corporation to raise the necessary capital for start up. "Octagon is very excited about this project", said Jacques Kavafian, a leading Canadian airline industry analyst and Vice President of Octagon. "The combination of a solid business plan, an underserved market, and experienced management creates a compelling business case for this new entrant."
With the launch of Canada West Airlines, approximately 185 jobs will be created in Western Canada, of which 125 will be flight crew and 60 in support and management positions. Canada West Holidays will employ up to 25 staff in Vancouver.