A332
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Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sat Mar 12, 2005 12:19 am

After yet another airline is driven into the ground by the likes of the crooked Michel LeBlanc, let's hope he gets the "Frank Lorenzo treatment" and is banned from ever starting up and operating an airline again!
Bad spellers of the world... UNTIE!
 
ramerinianair
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sat Mar 12, 2005 7:35 am

Looks like he will join the list of but not as well known as,
Carl Ichon, Frank Lorenzo . . . etc.
What's the big story here, I assume that he was behind JetsGo - your from Canada.
Thanks,
SR
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ltbewr
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sat Mar 12, 2005 7:42 am

As I noted in the 'Jetsgo Ceases operations' thread, I hope there is an investigation to see if this LeBlanc and his fellow Jetsgo executives commited fraud, other business crimes or operations violations at Jetsgo and have him/them face criminal charges, like we have done in the USA vs. Enron and other companies.
 
yeggerman
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sat Mar 12, 2005 5:00 pm

It would be great to see Transport Canada and/or the Canadian govt. get involved with an investigation into ML.

I mean really, how many airlines // employees // and people does he have to hurt in some form or another before anyone does anything.
"All great things must come to an end"
 
captaingomes
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sun Mar 13, 2005 2:24 am

If there are grounds for an investigation, then I agree something should be done. Otherwise let's face it, it's a tough business to make money in!

I think it's horrible timing to shut down at the beginning of March Break, one of the busiest flying times in the year. But in an article I read, Jetsgo also puts a lot of the blame on Westjet, so if they have all these beefs with Westjet, why didn't they sue? It seems to me that within the airline industry, there is a lot of childish name calling, and pointing fingers, and it's rarely if ever proven in court or elsewhere. The same could be said of Leblanc, perhaps he isn't as crooked at some might suggest? I don't know.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
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yyz717
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sun Mar 13, 2005 3:30 am

Leblanc cannot and should not be banned. He has done nothing illegal. Bankruptcy is not a crime.

The most you can do to him is organize a boycott against any future airlines run by him.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
bmacleod
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sun Mar 13, 2005 4:32 am

LeBlanc may be at fault with Jetsgo but Royal Airlines did quite well before selling to Canada 3000. 7 years is quite an accomplishment for a discount carrier.
The engine is the heart of an airplane, but the pilot is its soul.
 
EnviroTO
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sun Mar 13, 2005 4:36 am

Anyone can run an airline into bankruptcy. AC, UA, US, TW, etc all went bankrupt. What we need to do is put mechanisms in place to protect consumers as a higher level creditor. Basically the consumer should get a refund for services and goods purchased but not received after a bankruptcy before the other creditors which have either known the risk of their investment or have been making money in the past with the company.
 
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yyz717
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sun Mar 13, 2005 4:49 am

What you have to remember is that FAR MORE Canadians have been hurt by Robert Milton than Michel Leblanc. Over 40k Canadians owned stock in the old AC which was wiped out due to Milton's incompetence. Over 10k AC/CP employees lost their jobs due to Milton's incompetence. Hundreds of Cdn companies had credit wiped out and unpaid debt with AC due to AC's bankruptcy, again caused by Milton's incompetence.

The number of Cdns adversely affected by Leblanc is far fewer than Milton.

If anyone should be "banned", it should be Milton.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
atcrick
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sun Mar 13, 2005 4:56 am

Lets see,

Lorenzo
Icahn
Peretti
Milton
Leblanc

Not a list that I want to see continue to grow.
natch!!
 
N1120A
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sun Mar 13, 2005 5:08 am

Quoting ATCRick (Reply 9):
Lorenzo
Icahn
Peretti
Milton
Leblanc

Not a list that I want to see continue to grow.

One should add Wolf and possibly Carty to that
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
yeggerman
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sun Mar 13, 2005 5:10 am

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 5):
Leblanc cannot and should not be banned. He has done nothing illegal. Bankruptcy is not a crime.

No Bankruptcy is not a crime, but if they can prove he willing knew he was going under (which im pretty sure he knew) and yet still took people's money who were booking last minute as in a couple hours before they shut down without warning that is fraud, and this is most certainly a crime.
"All great things must come to an end"
 
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yyz717
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sun Mar 13, 2005 5:13 am

Well ATCRick, luckily 4 of those 5 are now out of the industry. We just need to oust Milton, and ship him back to his upper class Georgia neighbourhood.

Had Milton been born to a poor Georgian family (instead of a rich family with connections), perhaps he'd be in a harmless job such as a bus driver, or factory worker. Instead, his wealthy upbringing ensured his incompetence would wreak havoc in some industry. Unfortunately, it was the Cdn airline industry.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
atcrick
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sun Mar 13, 2005 5:56 am

Yyz717,

Agreed. Well said.
natch!!
 
yul332LX
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sun Mar 13, 2005 6:10 am

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 5):
Leblanc cannot and should not be banned. He has done nothing illegal. Bankruptcy is not a crime.

The most you can do to him is organize a boycott against any future airlines run by him.

Absolutely right. People had plenty of other options, and yet, they kept flying with this guy!

Go figure...

[Edited 2005-03-12 22:11:15]
E volavo, volavo felice più in alto del sole, e ancora più su mentre il mondo pian piano spariva lontano laggiù ...
 
Cactus739
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sun Mar 13, 2005 6:14 am

Who is Peretti?

Never heard of that one...........
You can't fix stupid.... - Ron White
 
captaingomes
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sun Mar 13, 2005 6:16 am

What I find intriguing in all this is that Jetsgo and Canada 3000 both went under in similar circumstances. Both went under just as they entered bankruptcy protection. Makes me wonder if they were forced to shut down as opposed to being able to go through a proper restructuring a la Air Canada.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
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yyz717
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sun Mar 13, 2005 6:31 am

Just a coincidence Nuno. Leblanc has one month (until April 11) to try and negotiate a new credit agreement with existing suppliers. If they agree, he could restart. If it looks hopeless, he can't. If he can make a case that a smaller Jetsgo (with say just the M80's) can be profitable, he could be flying again. If the losses are so overwhelming that no new business case makes sense, it could wrap up very quickly.

The cessation of service is extreme but it is one way of grinding expenses to a halt (as well as revenue of course). Since SG was losing money daily, it made sense to stop services completely.

SG still has a chance to re-organize and restart ops, but it will require considerable creditor agreement. If they insist on ownership, MLB may not agree and the whole thing collapses.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
atcrick
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sun Mar 13, 2005 6:47 am

Cactus,

Hap Peretti was in charge of Presidential Airlines back in the 80's. He left the company in ruins, and when folks turned to their 401k funds to survive, they found that they didn't have any 401k funds. That was one of the reasons that companies no longer manage their own 401k accounts. So he ruined the company and stole the employees savings. Later, he ran Leisure Air (the US version) and it wasnt long before paychecks started bouncing and the doors were locked. I rate him right up there with Icahn and Lorenzo.
natch!!
 
ac7e7
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sun Mar 13, 2005 7:00 am

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 8):
What you have to remember is that FAR / KFAR), USA - North Dakota">FAR MORE Canadians have been hurt by Robert Milton than Michel Leblanc. Over 40k Canadians owned stock in the old AC which was wiped out due to Milton's incompetence. Over 10k AC/CP employees lost their jobs due to Milton's incompetence. Hundreds of Cdn companies had credit wiped out and unpaid debt with AC due to AC's bankruptcy, again caused by Milton's incompetence.

The number of Cdns adversely affected by Leblanc is far fewer than Milton.

If anyone should be "banned", it should be Milton.

Get over it, it's getting old. By the way, great article in the National Post today suggesting it is now time for Clive Beddoe to leave Westjet. It said that even though Jetsgo's business model was not financially viable, it did make a dent in Westjet's finances, and proved that Westjet was not as strong as it once was. Anyway, check it out if you can.

I do agree though, it is a tough business, and unless there are serious violations of Transport Canada maintenance regulations that came directly from the top, you cannot ban him from starting another business. He is a smart guy who knows the airline industry. I doubt this will be the last time we will see Michel LeBlanc.

[Edited 2005-03-12 23:21:42]
 
lnglive1011yyz
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sun Mar 13, 2005 7:03 am

Quoting YUL332LX (Reply 14):
Absolutely right. People had plenty of other options, and yet, they kept flying with this guy!

Go figure...

While I agree with you YUL332, one thing needs to be said -- general public, people who cannot really afford to fly anywhere, are going to fly on Jetsgo, because they don't KNOW the stuff we know. Even though it's common sense that a company cannot be flying planes for 1$ per person, the common person who has NO idea of the way airlines run, would have NO idea.

You cannot blame the general public for this. Although, stupidity is not a defence haha.

1011yyz
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yul332LX
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sun Mar 13, 2005 8:29 am

Quoting Lnglive1011yyz (Reply 20):
While I agree with you YUL332, one thing needs to be said -- general public, people who cannot really afford to fly anywhere, are going to fly on Jetsgo, because they don't KNOW the stuff we know. Even though it's common sense that a company cannot be flying planes for 1$ per person, the common person who has NO idea of the way airlines run, would have NO idea.

You cannot blame the general public for this. Although, stupidity is not a defence haha.

LOL. I agree.

The temptation can be impossible to resist to at some point, especially for the general public.

However, when there are flights like YYZ-LAX at $20, I guess it should be a serious warning to any potential customer. That being said, if (when?) ML starts another venture, I’m sure there will be plenty of pax ready to jump in with him again anyways if the price is ''right''…
E volavo, volavo felice più in alto del sole, e ancora più su mentre il mondo pian piano spariva lontano laggiù ...
 
lnglive1011yyz
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sun Mar 13, 2005 8:57 am

Quoting YUL332LX (Reply 21):
However, when there are flights like YYZ-LAX at $20, I guess it should be a serious warning to any potential customer. That being said, if (when?) ML starts another venture, I’m sure there will be plenty of pax ready to jump in with him again anyways if the price is ''right''…

It just amazed me that SO many people I knew, were taking these super super cheap flights, without even ASKING the most obvious questions -- Is it safe? How can they afford to fill the plane with fuel for my 1$ fare?

It goes to show you, that Westjet was having trouble competing with Jetsgo, so they lowered their fares, which, as we all know, in turn helped generate the worst year they've had in many. The only thing that tells me, is that Jetsgo's model of "lets fill our planes with people, no matter what, profitability or not" doesn't work.

Westjet should have just kept at the pace they were at, reduced capacity if customers were jumping to Jetsgo, and let them fold like they did, then they wouldn't have had that bad year. Guess it's easier said then done though.

1011yyz
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robsawatsky
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Sun Mar 13, 2005 2:44 pm

A couple of clarifications:

1. Jetsgo is suing Westjet, for $50M I believe. They may have some grounds for claims of corporate espionage but Jetsgo tried to gain marketshare by recently expanding into the two most intensely competitive route groupings in Canada and offering fares below cost. That the smallest fish tried to win a competive battle on loss-leader fares is suicide.

2. Those $1, $20, $0.01 fares weren't what they seemed, they were always paired with a mandatory return at "regular low fares". Still money losers though, apparently.

3. Both Jetsgo and C3000 ceased all operations and then headed to court for bankruptcy protection, they didn't file first and then subsequently cease operations. Unlike AC, that still had cash to continue operations, a big leasing company willing to front them credit rather than have to take back a whole whack of planes, and a valuable route structure, Jetsgo and C3000 were apparently in no position to continue operations. The fact that Jetsgo almost lost aircraft to a seizure by NavCanada for unpaid fees 5 days ago underscores that reality. C3000 and Jetsgo didn't and won't likely successfully restructure because new investment just won't be available. And, after ceasing operations, passengers won't be yearning to fly on any resurrected Jetsgo.

The financial picture known now shows that Jetsgo took in the fares for the heaviest booking period with two choices: operate the flights and knowingly lose even more money for the investors and creditors; or cease operations preserving what little cash and assets remain while screwing the passengers. Since the loyalty of the exec's is to the investors, the latter was chosen. Since Leblanc is 90% owner, he has little moral ground to stand on when claiming to protect investors although it may give the creditors some marginal cents/dollar payment when all is said and done.
 
Goose
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 1:50 am

Quoting Captaingomes (Reply 4):
But in an article I read, Jetsgo also puts a lot of the blame on Westjet, so if they have all these beefs with Westjet, why didn't they sue?

They have; there was a lawsuit for a few $M filed a few months ago. It was based off a report that WestJet had obtained JetsGo load factor info and was using it to their advantage - the document was apparently filed in evidence when Air Canada put forward their own lawsuit.

The JetsGo lawsuit will probably fall into obscurity, now.... I believe it's up to JetsGo's creditors whether they persue it further or not....
"Talk to me, Goose..."
 
Goose
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 1:56 am

Quoting Lnglive1011yyz (Reply 22):
It goes to show you, that Westjet was having trouble competing with Jetsgo, so they lowered their fares, which, as we all know, in turn helped generate the worst year they've had in many. The only thing that tells me, is that Jetsgo's model of "lets fill our planes with people, no matter what, profitability or not" doesn't work.

Westjet should have just kept at the pace they were at, reduced capacity if customers were jumping to Jetsgo, and let them fold like they did, then they wouldn't have had that bad year. Guess it's easier said then done though.

WestJet's 2004 year wasn't that bad - I think it was a $9M loss overall. Compared to Air Canada's last few years of losses, that's pocket change.

Their strategy of playing poker with JetsGo on its low fares did, after all, work. They called JetsGo's bluff, and JetsGo folded. You could argue that it was WestJet's continued pressure on JetsGo which caused the "Green Team" to fold up and go home - the proof is in the filing documents which JetsGo claimed WestJet was hurting their business.

Any bets that WestJet made a profit last weekend? And continues to rake in the cash this week?
"Talk to me, Goose..."
 
AirbusCanada
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 2:51 am

Last night, CTV did a piece on LeBlanc. He was driving a S class Benz and parked it beside the BMW M5 SUV in his garage. The piece did not show the house, but I am sure its a multimillion dollar property. In the same piece,CTV showed jetsgo employees were unable to cash their last paycheck.
 
WJA737
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 3:02 am

What a crook. For all the employees good luck.
 
captaingomes
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 3:20 am

AirbusCanada and WJA737, I will not stand here and defend Leblanc. He's made some bad moves, and not only that, ones that raise suspicion of being a bit on the shady side. But what would you expect an airline owner/CEO to be driving? A Cavalier? You expect him to be living in a rental apartment in a bad neighbourhood in Montreal? Does Clive go to work on Calgary Transit? Does Milton go to McDonald's for lunch on a regular basis?

These are not common folk, but that surely doens't make them crooks. What makes them crooks is when they make misrepresent their company financials (aka Leblanc and Royal, although never proved but I believe it), when they illegally gain access to internal computer systems to gain market share (Beddoe), and ... hmmm, I don't know what Milton has done, but I'm sure he's no angel!

Driving an S Class, X5 (plus other nice cars, the man had taste), and living in a multi-million dollar house does not make one a crook. Leblanc, just like Milton, and just like Beddoe, comes from a wealthy family, and all have had their share of failure and success in their careers. They live accordingly.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
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yyz717
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 3:32 am

Quoting AC7E7 (Reply 19):
By the way, great article in the National Post today suggesting it is now time for Clive Beddoe to leave Westjet. It said that even though Jetsgo's business model was not financially viable, it did make a dent in Westjet's finances, and proved that Westjet was not as strong as it once was.

Beddoe is arguably Canada's most successful airline entrepreneur/CEO in history. If anything, he should be cloned. Canada has 2 failed airline CEO's: one filed for bankruptcy on Friday; the other one runs AC.

Quoting AirbusCanada (Reply 26):
Last night, CTV did a piece on LeBlanc. He was driving a S class Benz and parked it beside the BMW M5 SUV in his garage. The piece did not show the house, but I am sure its a multimillion dollar property. In the same piece,CTV showed jetsgo employees were unable to cash their last paycheck.

Well, shame on CTV for getting personal! It's not a crime to go bankrupt, nor is it a crime to be wealthy! Leblanc used his own money to start Jetsgo, and no one was forced to work for Jetsgo or fly on Jetsgo. Rumours of Jetsgo's financial problems have been swerling for months, so any employees who chose to stay with Jetsgo were taking a risk.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 3:38 am

Hmmm, speaking of Robert Milton, I just last night finished his book "Straight From The Top - The Truth About Air Canada". My God, if one is to absolutely believe all he spins, you would come away thinking this man never made ONE error during his 13 years at the carrier. According to Mr. Milton, EVERY positive internal change and implementation of procedures from maintenance to in-flight, every one of them stemmed from HIS ideas. What especially irked me was how he described the Canadi>n employees being easily and smoothly integrated in to the AC fold. Uh......don't think so, Robert. He also has some harsh words for Clive Beddoe, but, given the "WJ espionage" debacle, I can't say I really blame Milton for his expressing his ire.

Re Leblanc driving his Mercedes. I do agree with C.Gomes here. One drives what their income allows them to.
 
ac7e7
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 4:07 am

Who cares what kind of car he drives, and the size of his house. Stick to the issues at hand.

His airline went bankrupt. I'm sorry for the employees, especially the ones who regularly contribute to A.net. The timing of the bankruptcy is questionable and how he went about it without making arrangements with other airlines. It is difficult to give notice to the public that you may or may not declare bankruptcy without it affecting ticket sales. I recall this happening to Canadian Airlines a couple of times, where they were close to declaring bankruptcy and ticket sales dropped dramatically. And when you are trying to secure financing, it doesn't help when your ticket sales drop.

Westjet has said that it is planning on hiring many Jetsgo employees. Good Luck!  Smile
 
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 4:15 am

Quoting AC7E7 (Reply 31):
I recall this happening to Canadian Airlines a couple of times, where they were close to declaring bankruptcy and ticket sales dropped dramatically.

True. Even in Western Canada, where CP enjoyed a very loyal client base (for those not familiar, Canadi>n was very much embraced by Westerner's as "their" airline) as the Goose descended, many Westerner's jumped ship to AC, and Canadi>n never truly got them back. One significant reason for this was that many former CP pax discovered first hand that Aeroplan offered them much more than Canadi>nPlus.

I hope WJ does hire as many former Jetsgo personnel (but hopefully hired on merit as oppossed to sympathy) as it is able to. That is good news to hear.
 
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yyz717
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 4:22 am

Attached is an editorial in today's National Post. It states that Leblanc was a benefit to Canada and the airline industry since he created jobs, economic activity & cheap fares. I agree completely.

We live in a capitalist society (thank God) and entrepreneurs create the wealth that we all reap. Some fail and some succeed, but they all leave a legacy of investment and economic activity that benefits everyone. Put another way, it was not that 1300 Jetsgo employees lost their jobs, it more that they were employed in the first place, some for up to 3 years.

http://www.canada.com/national/natio...133dda-e495-41fb-9f35-190fd41339d5

Millions of us benefited from LeBlanc's wager
Jetsgo was good for passengers, staff, suppliers and even the taxman

Diane Francis
Financial Post

March 15, 2005

The collapse of Jetsgo Corp. left 17,000 travellers stranded and 1,300 unemployed, but its proprietor, Michel Leblanc, deserves credit for what he achieved during the airline's life.

Demands by the Tories and consumers' associations for Transport Minister Jean LaPierre to get the axe are totally off-base. The government did its job by imposing tough safety and financial measures that, in the end, became the straw that broke the camel's back.

But the whiners and critics fail to appreciate how beneficial Jetsgo has been.

Michel Leblanc is a decent guy who adopted two Mexican orphans a few years ago, and wagered his personal wealth in 2002 to create a new discount airline. He took a gamble, like all risk-takers, and, like many others in all kinds of businesses, he personally lost a bundle.

There are no tag days for him. He was a big boy and knew what he was doing. Such risk-taking is how jobs are created and services provided to consumers.

There are also no tag days for his suppliers, bankers and investors. They made tons of money along the way and knew, or should have known, the risks involved.

(Investment giant Fidelity invested millions to buy 10% of Jetsgo, but is also rumoured to own 25% of WestJet and nearly 10% of Air Canada, so it was an overall winner when the bankruptcy caused the other two airlines' stock to jump in value.)

Most importantly, Michel Leblanc's business benefited millions of people. Last year, Jetsgo flew three million passengers, and this year roughly 280,000 per month.

These people were given an opportunity for cheaper fares than they would have paid in the past or will in future, unless another Jetsgo starts up, which is unlikely for awhile.

Jetsgo saved other Canadian travellers millions more by forcing its competitors, such as Air Canada, WestJet and CanJet, to drop their prices too.

I only flew Jetsgo once and never again because it was jam-packed with parents and their youngsters, taking advantage of cheap fares. On a flight to Calgary last July, I sat beside a young mother from Montreal, with three tots, who said she could not have afforded to visit her brother during the Stampede if she hadn't been able to get such low fares from Jetsgo.

Michel Leblanc created 1,300 jobs in this country -- jobs that would not have been created had he not gambled. It's important to note that most workers have been paid up to the minute the company closed, along with the vacation pay they were owed.

Along the way, he also paid millions of dollars in interest payments to lenders, taxes to governments or to suppliers, who sold him everything from computers to paper clips, tools, marketing advice and aircraft.

The main victims in this case were the stranded travellers. Indications are that there will be reimbursements for most Jetsgo ticketholders.

Canadians have an unfortunate tendency to blame government, as well as turn to it for everything. But business failures occur every day as part of the free enterprise system, which demonstrably benefits everyone in our society, directly and indirectly. The facts are, benefits result from the actions of risk-takers like Mr. Leblanc -- even when they lose.

Michel Leblanc never wanted to go bust. He did his utmost to make Jetsgo viable. He wanted to create a service that made a profit by undercutting the competition. Instead, he ran out of money before the other guys did -- one of whom, Air Canada, was able to get out from under most of its liabilities by giving its employees, suppliers and investors a gigantic haircut as part of a bankruptcy protection restructuring.

Arguably, Michel Leblanc did more good, and dramatically less harm, than has Air Canada, which for decades has been a moribund, government-protected and flabby monopoly.

That's why it's sad to read the description of Mr. Leblanc's demeanour in the office Friday, which must have been one of the worst days of his life. "He was almost the same colour as his suit -- grey," said a Montreal staffer.

But to many more, like the young mom from Montreal that I flew with, Jetsgo's green happy-face logo will be missed and deservedly so.

© National Post 2005
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
robsawatsky
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 5:42 am

Hey, there is no doubt Jetsgo provided a practical alternative airline for many passengers, while it was operating. Even stating that Leblanc generated economic activity is true. Noting that he personally and visibily felt loss as Jetsgo shutdown is also not suprising, for anyone with ambition and ego.

What is still to be proven is whether the timing of the shutdown was calculated to minimize his and Fidelity's losses (and maximize passenger loss) or was more or less beyond his control and was kept operating until the last possible moment. The answer to this question will show the ethics of the man regardless of whatever previous good/bad he has done. Not that even this answer totally demonstrates the ethics involved since the choice involve variable losses to passengers, employees, creditors, investors, airport/aviation authorities and other suppliers no matter the timing.
 
Guest

RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 6:03 am

For every point mentioned about Mr. Leblanc and Jetsgo in that National Post article, there is a counterpoint. Very biased (too biased, as the writer could have and should have delved somewhat beneath and offered more than surface/quasi-surface observations). Never mind what the objectives and mandates were, what remains are the tangible results of those objectives and aims.

And the paragraph near the top which starts off with his adopting two children...come on. Good for him and his wife (and kudos to them) for providing two children a good life, and I have no doubt they are loving parents, but come on. The underlying meaning here and the way it is presented is a tad too obvious.
 
AlekToronto
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 6:18 am

Just watching all the hoopla on TV makes me want to barf..why do Canadians just love to be victims? Nothing but finger pointing and such. Listen - YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! Hello?? GET another job (are you only qualified to fling luggage???)

I do agree that Michel might not have closed his airline down to the satisfaction of passengers and at the best time however what do you expect for your $1 fare to Vancouver or Florida? The man did his best and his dreamed died. I don't think he was out to fail. Jetsgo just fell into the same trap other airlines do - they grow too fast for their own good. If Jetsgo stayed at 10 planes they would still be making money.

Somehow through all this hysteria I think that if Michel started another airline in 6 months all those "upset" employees would beg to be given jobs again - and the Canadian public? Give them a $1 fare to Vancouver and all is forgotten.

All this negative energy towards the CAN Gov't should be focused into protesting all these obscene TAXES we pay on every ticket!

Alek
 
swissy
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 6:57 am

Hi YYZ717 you sound very bitter towards AC and maybe we should not include CP in that topic since if I recall it right AC was doing just fine before they got "stuck" with CP

What gets me is MLB should be held accountable of his
action and even would go as far as seizing his personal
assets to for once and all prove that if you do business you
better make sure you know what you are doing.
Yes he created a lot of jobs, how nice is that, how many jobs did he kill, how many creditors are getting ripped off?
I am sure there are quite a few small business witch lost
a lot of money and lets not forget the employees.... and yes
we can go on and on.....
MLB should be banned from running any business and start
growing up and take responsibility for your action and quit blaming everybody else for failure.
Cheers
 
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yyz717
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 7:48 am

Hi YYZ717 you sound very bitter towards AC and maybe we should not include CP in that topic since if I recall it right AC was doing just fine before they got "stuck" with CP

Oh hi Swissy. Nope, not bitter at all about AC. I just get a kick out of badmouthing Canada's worst ever CEO.

What gets me is MLB should be held accountable of his
action and even would go as far as seizing his personal
assets to for once and all prove that if you do business you
better make sure you know what you are doing.


Nada. Can't do that. Jetsgo was incorporated. MLB's personal assets are safe.

MLB should be banned from running any business and start
growing up and take responsibility for your action and quit blaming everybody else for failure.


Banned? You can't ban someone for going bankrupt. We live in a free society. As for blaming others, the Jetsgo employees and customers ned to ask themselves why they worked for or flew on an airline with rumours of financial trouble.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
captaingomes
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 8:28 am

Swissy, should MLB be banned from going into business again because he had two companies go bankrupt? (Royal didn't go bankrupt, and his involvement in C3 was minimal, if non-existent towards the end). The only reasons I can give for him to be banned from going into business again is if it is proven that he ran the company illegally, and scammed his workers, suppliers, taxpayers, etc. Otherwise failure is a punishment in itself, so why punish failure?

Let's not forget, Leblanc has done far better in this industry than the vast majority of others.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
Olympus69
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Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2002 11:21 pm

RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 10:21 am

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 38):
not bitter at all about AC. I just get a kick out of badmouthing Canada's worst ever CEO.

You have referred to Robert Milton more than once as a 'failed CEO'. What I don't understand is, if this is true, why is he still AC's CEO? Is it that the shareholders do not read your posts, and therefore do not know that he is a 'failed CEO'? Or are they just plain stupid?

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 8):
Over 10k AC/CP employees lost their jobs due to Milton's incompetence.

Aren't you trying to have it both ways? This time last year you were blaming RM because AC had far too many employees. I don't like him either, but he can't be all bad - at least I don't think he can. That's my  twocents 
 
airplane
Posts: 239
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 10:46 am

Lets see.
L Blanc collected all the money enough to entirely fill all the planes for March break. And just the day before the show started he shuts down the airline without even filing chapter 11.

Smart move, He should thrown in the can.
The sky´s the limit
 
1world
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 10:57 am

I feel the same as most, If MLB planned to shut down after taking in all the March break revenue than he should be held accountable. I wouldn't want to be in his shoes after going bankrupt and trying to figure out what to do next. Aviation is in his nature and I can't see him staying out forever.

After the employee pay fiasco, the next day all was rectified and it seemed that most were paid even the pilots got their bond back ( this was reported on the news as some pilots were interviewed).

This is more than we got after the C3 bankruptcy.
YYZ spotter
 
Goose
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 11:00 am

Quoting Swissy (Reply 37):
... maybe we should not include CP in that topic since if I recall it right AC was doing just fine before they got "stuck" with CP

AC was not doing fine - they were hurting after their protracted "war" with CP in every market. The die was cast - their debts were piling up and they were going to have to pay up soon. CP was just hurting more....

No-one forced AC to buy CP, no matter what anyone will tell you. AC did that all on their own... Why? Out of fear that AA would buy a larger stake in CP (it was proposed, and CP was lobbying hard for the foreign-ownership cap to be lifted in lieu of AMR buying a larger piece - and AC was very scared of that prospect), out of greed and envy of CP's trans-Pacific routes and markets.... for a larger overall market share. They were all reasons for the buyout - not because of any external pressure.
"Talk to me, Goose..."
 
mozart
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Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:21 am

RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 6:30 pm

Quoting ATCRick (Reply 9):
Lets see,

Lorenzo
Icahn
Peretti
Milton
Leblanc

A European addition to the list: Erik de Vlieger. Not sure how many people acorss the pond are familiar with this guy, but he ran and ruined the Exel group of airlines, he was involved in the failure of VBird, and he's associated with the failure of Air Lib in France. In all of those cases, dodgy business practices were involved. There are a number of threads on this forum on that, and a number of forum members from France are quite familiar with the story of this shady chap.
 
swissy
Posts: 1481
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:12 pm

RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 11:15 pm

With all respect Captaingomes, the way the laws are in
Canada there is no reason for running a success full business, if I understand your reply right it is OK to fail
based on MLB blaming everybody else but him self and
his incompetent senior staff, sorry but sometimes it gets me how people are looking for excuses for there action and
the law protects them, Yea MLB is a real HERO for ripping
quite a few people and suppliers off incl. the company I
currently work for.
 
Guest

RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Thu Mar 17, 2005 1:30 am

Quoting Goose (Reply 43):
No-one forced AC to buy CP, no matter what anyone will tell you. AC did that all on their own... Why? Out of fear that AA would buy a larger stake in CP (it was proposed, and CP was lobbying hard for the foreign-ownership cap to be lifted in lieu of AMR buying a larger piece - and AC was very scared of that prospect), out of greed and envy of CP's trans-Pacific routes and markets.... for a larger overall market share. They were all reasons for the buyout - not because of any external pressure.

True, but one cannot blame Air Canada, being a corporate entity, for wanting the Canadi>n piece of the pie as opposed to AMR. Greed and envy, perhaps, but show me any corporation that does not want to expand its market share, and at the expense of their competitors. Air Canada’s ‘desire’ is hardly exclusive or unique. To spotlight AC in this way is to cast a light on the corporate world in general. In regards to “no-one forcing AC to buy CP”, this is also true, but there’s more to this than meets the proverbial eye. Ottawa, as we all know, was pumping millions into PWA for a long period of time to keep it afloat, again, it must be pointed out, for their own political gain – the Liberals
would spare no cost to ensure support (read: votes) in Western Canada. The myth is that Ottawa truly cared about Canadi>n and its employees at all. This is questionable. If Canadi>n was “allowed” to die, so too would any vestige of Liberal support in the west, and it was a risk the Liberal party was not prepared to take.

It is true that Air Canada, for a long time, coveted CP’s Asian and South American
routes and slots. No brainer. It is equally true that Robert Milton and the Air Canada board of directors did not exactly relish taking the CP employees and the debt load along with these routes. That said, I must state again that from a purely business perspective, one cannot blame Air Canada for this, as no corporation in their right mind would willingly take on such a dead weight. Seeing as how Air Canada, just prior to the CP buyout, was doing relatively well, many felt a CP acquisition/merger would only serve to weaken thhe AC balance sheets, and that is true.

It has been long discussed and argued that Air Canada should have simply sat back, refused to acquire Canadi>n, and let them die, then move in like corporate vultures and pick up the Asian/South American pieces. This was never an option for Air Canada. The former Minister of Transport, David Collenette, was no friend of Robert Milton and AC, as was and is widely assumed. AC and Ottawa were not in bed with each other as much as one would like to think.

When Air Canada was privatized in 1988, it was thought that the carrier would be free of the reigns of Ottawa. Far from it. Many on Parliament Hill deeply resented and regretted the fact they did not have their clutches on the former Crown corporation, and subsequently, after the privatization, Ottawa continued to monitor and exercise restrictions and indirect control on the carrier, just as they exercised control over
Canadi>n – route restriction. It can hardly be said that the Canadian airline industry enjoyed the freedom of market competition that other countries enjoyed. To cut to the chase re Air Canada buyout of Canadi>n. Yes, it is true that AC was not legally bound or forced to buy PWA. However, David Collenette did make it emphatically clear to Air Canada that they would not be allowed to sit back and pick up the Canadi>n pieces.
Collenette hinted strongly at the fact that, given the fact that both routes and slots were not the property of airlines, but were in fact owned by the government of Canada, both the Asia and South American routes were open for any bidders, and it was again ‘hinted’ to Air Canada that Canada 3000 or Air Transat could easily be awarded these prizes (and it is well known that both C3 and TS showed interest to varying degrees). Ottawa, again, had their own political agenda on the front burner, for even though it was true they could offer their property – routes/slots to any Canadian carrier, they were not going to see this happen, as they wanted all Canadi>n jobs saved, again, to ensure that they would maintain, and even build upon, their foothold in the west. Ottawa knew what AC wanted, and backed them up against the wall. It was communicated to Air Canada that should they purchase CP as a whole entity, they would be privy to CP’s market. Air Canada was literally left in a bind. For years, decades, they wished to expand on a global scale. Acquiring Canadi>n would literally bring them the world, but at a high price. And so, in 2000, Air Canada acquired CP, and their route network

Quoting Goose (Reply 43):
AC was not doing fine - they were hurting after their protracted "war" with CP in every market. The die was cast - their debts were piling up and they were going to have to pay up soon. CP was just hurting more....

True. But it must be pointed out here that both Air Canada and Canadi>n Airlines International were both, for many years, helpless victims of Ottawa’s long imposed division and allocation of routes and slots. In terms of international markets, Air Canada was awarded Europe, while CP was awarded Asia and South America. Each mentioned market was lucrative to varying degrees for the two carriers, but definite ceilings, yield and revenue wise were firmly in place. In short, both AC and CP could not expand And evolve into truly viable global carriers as Ottawa (read: Liberals) were determined to ensure that they had a strong foothold – votes in all regions, thus it made perfect political sense to keep both carriers alive yet locked into their respective market domains.

This government imposed market division also resulted in the the genesis which in turn resulted in the East vs West mentality which not only prevailed at AC and CP, but with pax as well. Ottawa ironically created not only industry polarity but as well national political polarity, which continues to this day. CP and AC were truly representative of where Canada stood (and indeed exists today) from a geopolitical perspective. Yes, CP was hurting more, as the Asia/South American market, while lucrative, was nothing compared to what it was today. Yet there was huge potential in this market, CP was determined to hang on to it as much as AC desired it. Likewise CP eyed Europe with a hungry eye - AC was not going to see any of their Europe slots go westward. In short, both carriers desperately needed and coveted the other’s domain. Ottawa saw to it that this would never be the case, and it was their mindset and ruling that saw to it that both carriers would never realize maximum fiscal growth - again for their own political gain.

It must be pointed out that the idea of one national airline as opposed to two went as far back as the 1940's, when then Trans Canada Airline executives emphatically stated that Canada needed but one carrier to service both domestic and international routes, but were vetoed even then by Ottawa. The sky was most definitely not the limit at either Air Canada or Canadi>n revenue wise, so it's no wonder the infamous feud between the two escalated to outright intolerance and ill harbored feelings.
 
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Thu Mar 17, 2005 1:34 am

Quoting Captaingomes (Reply 39):
Royal didn't go bankrupt, and his (Leblanc) involvement in C3 was minimal, if non-existent towards the end).

Really? I don't suppose that Leblanc seriously fudging the Royal books for C3 during buyout talks, the subsequent discovery by C3 that Royal was in far worse fiscal shape than what was presented on paper, the subsequent lawsuit launched by C3 against Leblanc played no part in the downward spiral of C3 and their subsequent shutdown. True, C3 was having serious problems prior to the Royal buyout, but I think we're sweeping Leblanc's role in the demise of Canada 3000 under the rug here?
 
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yyz717
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RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Thu Mar 17, 2005 2:59 am

CP's finances were well-known. It was a given that they were headed for bankruptcy. All AC had to do was wait for CP to go under and then grab the Asian routes. AC got greedy and bought all of CP (along with their debt, fleet, and employee base) which played a big part in AC's own demise, and then foolishly agreed to a no-layoff policy for 3 years, and to not pullout of any Cdn market 3 years.

All these related decisions were just one huge strategic mistake after another. A litany of stupidity from a Georgian rich boy who had never worked his way up an organization. A monkey could not have make a bigger f*ck-up of AC's strategic planning than Robert Milton did.

Lesson to AC's BoD: do not ever parachute in again the MBA son-of-a-rich man to run your airline. Hire a seasoned executive with a track record, not a rich blow-hard.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
Guest

RE: Ban LeBlanc From The Airline Industry!

Thu Mar 17, 2005 4:07 am

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 48):
All AC had to do was wait for CP to go under and then grab the Asian routes. AC got greedy and bought all of CP (along with their debt, fleet, and employee base) which played a big part in AC's own demise, and then foolishly agreed to a no-layoff policy for 3 years,

No, Neil. Collenette and Ottawa made it very clear to AC that they would not be necessarily granted CP's Asian routes if CP died, as they (routes/slots) were not the property of CP but of Ottawa, as all Canadian routes are. Collenette threatened to grant the Asian routes/slots to C3 or TS. IF AC wanted the routes, they had to take the entire package, employees and all - to reiterate, to ensure Ottawa that CP employees (read western votes) would not be jeapordized or lost. AC did not want to risk losing the chance to expand into a truly global carrier. TRUE, in the end, the decision to purchase CP was AC's choice. TRUE, AC acquired the CP load which led to AC's horrific balance sheet, and yes, that was Milton's decision to make.

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