Most travellers fly economy. AC's market share in economy is shrinking. There is no plan for AC to become an all F or B airline, so they remain under serious competitive attack. I think you are talking more from nostalgia than cold-headed analysis Nuno (no offense).
's market share was declining, but it's domestic market does not appear to be shrinking. It's domestic trafffic is rising, at it has an 80% domestic load factor right now, actually higher that Westjet.
It is possible that lower fares are stimulative, and that a recovering economy is stimulative, because there are more people flying this year domestically.
In fact, in recent months AC
's market share appears to have stabilized and its domestic traffic is growing in the aggregate despite the expansion of the LCCs. At this point in time, the statistics do not support your argument.
Just putting a few cheap flights into a market doesn't necessarily appeal to everybody, as Canjet and Westjet have found with their largely unsuccessful forays into the Montreal-Toronto-Ottawa triangle. How do you know WS is unsuccessful in this market?
I know from my AC
sources that AC
remains very successful in this market
I know from my own flying experiences and other of others I network with that WJ has difficulties on many these routes, but especially Montreal-Toronto.
I know it from the considerable availability of the very lowest priced fares on Westjet when AC
has sold out a plane departing at the same time and at a range of fares averaging out much higher than that super-low WJ fare. I know it from the number of passengers who have bought Latitude Passes, which is proving to be an excellent retention mechanism for the high yield passengers. I know from the fact Canjet is dropping off the Montreal-Hamilton route on Sept 15.
I also know that AC
is the only airline reining in capacity this winter while the LCCs are all adding aircraft, throwing them into routes and situations that are further and further away from their core competences. Air Canada is well armed with excellent retention mechanisms and now a great deal of cash with which to sustain itself for years. These other airlines will have to scrounge the business with non-compensatory fares. If they can't take it off AC
, where will it come from?
If fuel was cheap, it might not be such a problem, but when they are flying 30 passengers around in a 180-seat jet in January, this is going to be a huge problem. I predict at least one LCC will fail in the next 12 months.