I think the issue in Edmonton regarding YXD is more than just Westjet bullying the airport authority to close the airport. The problem with YXD is the fact that the small airlines still flying out of that airport are routinely breaking the rules regarding the number of passengers allowed on their flights. Why should these smaller airlines be allowed to operate flights that blatantly break the rules?? I've always like Edmonton's City Centre airport, and I would hate to see it close, but I think that the airlines flying out of there should follow the rules... (perhaps I should have started another thread on this issue - this really doesn't have much to do with the Westjet rumors....) I'm sure Westjet would love to fly into YXD, but that will never happen due to the restrictions that are in place at that airport....
If that were the case, then WestJet should be pushing the Edmonton Airports Authority to enforce the rules with carriers like Peace Air and so on. That sounds fair, and wouldn't be interpreted as bullying. Most of those operators only fly dozen-seat types into YXD
But, what Clive was saying was that these small-time operators were cutting into WestJet's services to YQU and YMM, and that WS
wanted the EAA to close YXD
and force those operators to consolidate at YEG
I can understand Clive's desire to make a bigger buck - he's a businessman - but he should count on the improvements on his own airline's service - IFE, increase legroom, extensive connections - to draw pax to WS
in the YEG
region; not trying to push competitors who serve niche markets, as Peace Air and other operators at YXD
has a lot of business pax who prefer the convenience. Making Peace and others move to YEG
to effectively neuter them and end up bringing those pax to YEG
out of necessity. WestJet doesn't need to use those tactics to improve its yields.... it has enough going for it already.
Alas, I know that YEG
Airport has been noticeably slower in its growth over the past years, as compared to YYC
.... so it may be that WestJet hasn't been seeing steady growth at YEG
that they'd like to see, while small operators out of YXD
have seen some boom times since the expansion of projects in the Oilsands region and elsewhere.
seems to suffer from these problems for as long as I can remember..... Air Canada has increasingly moved to consolidate at YYC
at the expense of flights from YEG
- indeed, YEG
has become more and more of a "spoke" from the YYC
hub over the past years. It makes sense, considering that most of Alberta's population is in the south of the Province, and most of the business interests are based in Calgary. It's really better to promote one large airport to draw international traffic, than it would be to have two mid-size airports vying for the same services.