Interesting article from the Scottish press (Evening Times). In my excited state, I naively assumed the fare was both return & inclusive of tax....on reading the article, it states that tickets to Canada will start from £89 one way and there doesn't seem to be any mention of tax.
That means £178 + (possibly) tax.
Oh well, I was getting ready to book my easyJet staff ticket to GLA....
Nevertheless, it is probably still a relatively good deal, and it looks as if Zoom will offer flexible cheap tickets.
Can £89 flights to Canada get off the ground?
FLYING SCOTSMEN: airline bosses John, front, and Hugh Boyle. Picture: Mark Gibson
EDDIE FRIEL: This sends a message that Glasgow Airport is the place to be
SCOTS tycoons Hugh and John Boyle have unveiled what they claim are Britain's cheapest flights across the Atlantic from Glasgow Airport.
Chief Reporter DAVID LEASK today examines whether they will be able to make a success of the venture.
THEY have come a long way from a licensed grocery in Bellshill.
Five years after they sold their Direct Holidays travel empire for £81million, brothers Hugh and John Boyle have again reinvented themselves.
The sons of a Lanarkshire shopkeeper are back with a new airline, called Zoom, which they claim will offer Britain's cheapest transatlantic flights - and from Glasgow Airport.
But they have still to prove that they have found the key to flying low-cost across the Atlantic that has escaped many previous airlines since flamboyant entrepreneur Freddie Laker launched his doomed Skytrain in 1977.
Zoom, set up in Canada by Hugh junior, is the latest venture for the brothers who have run everything from football clubs to airlines.
To celebrate the new flights, this weekend they flew a holiday jet over their hometown of Hamilton and the grocery once run by their dad, also Hugh.
Proud Hugh senior today said: "The boys have got on well. All their pals had degrees but mine didn't - but they have made it."
And it is the brothers' understanding of family that is at the root of their new venture.
Their new flights to Canada are aiming for a solid core of business from the 2million Scots who live there - and their families and friends back home.
The airline has picked the cities in Canada with huge Scots populations: Halifax, Nova Scotia; Toronto; Ottawa; Vancouver and Calgary.
Hugh junior, who now lives in Ottawa, said: "We want to bring families together."
The Evening Times last week revealed the airline's plans to sell tickets at prices as low as £89 one-way to Canada in what is another major boost to Glasgow's status as Scotland's gateway to North America.
Aviation experts believe the brothers have grabbed a niche in the market that means they will not repeat the mistakes of other airlines that have tried - but failed - to keep up year-round flights between Scotland and Canada.
Currently Air Canada operates scheduled services between Glasgow and Toronto in the summer only, competing with charter operators for the holiday trade.
Most scheduled airlines mainly look to business passengers, the frequent-flying well-heeled travellers who often keep services afloat.
Zoom has developed a completely different strategy.
Scots-based John, who has invested in his brother's airline, said: "We are going to offer the ticketing strategy of easyJet, which people understand now.
"The earlier you book, the cheaper it will be. But we are going to offer better quality service than the low-costs and the charter operators, who use the same planes to fly to Canada as they do to fly to Spain.
"I love the low-cost airlines flying to Europe and I'll happily pack my own sandwiches.
"But you can't offer that level of service when you're flying 11 hours to Vancouver.
"We'll have more legroom and free food and wine on board."
The brothers have come up with two more ways of making sure every seat is sold to prop up the Canadian services.
First, they plan to fill their planes with families headed for all-inclusive holidays in the Caribbean destinations served by Zoom from its bases in Ottawa and Halifax.
Second, they will offer more flexibility than most scheduled airlines, allowing passengers to fly into one city and out of another - known as "open-jaw" tickets.
Eddie Friel, chief executive of the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Valley Tourist Board, said he believed the Boyles had cornered several niche markets at once.
"We are very excited about this in the tourism industry.
"They will offer open-jaw tickets which will enable Canadians to fly to Glasgow and fly out of London. Just think of the marketing opportunities."
"This sends a message to other airlines that the level of investment by Zoom shows real confidence in Glasgow Airport."
John Boyle admits the airline has also benefitted from the misfortune of others.
Planes are currently far cheaper to lease than they were before September 11 brought an international downturn in air traffic.
The Boyles have leased three Boeing 767s, one of which will be based full-time at Glasgow Airport, that Air France could no longer fill.
Stephen Baxter, the managing director of Glasgow Airport, today said he was delighted to have another plane based at Glasgow.
The Zoom announcement means Glasgow Airport will be base to 25 planes next summer, far more than any other Scots airport.
Mr Baxter said: "The Scottish travelling public has broadened its horizons and I really think they are ready for this product.
"Our key objective is to get people to fly long-haul direct from Glasgow."
Hugh Boyle added: "Zoom has made a major commitment and our services will be year-round.
"Our fares will be the lowest around and our standards will be as high as all scheduled airlines."
Zoom will now launch a major advertising campaign urging Scots to fly direct from Glasgow.
[Edited 2003-10-06 15:51:56]