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Low Cost Travel To Canada From The UK...

Wed Jun 22, 2005 6:12 am

How come there are so many airlines offering cheap tickets between the UK and Canada this summer???

There seems to be big demand to Toronto, Vancouver and many other regional cities in Canada from the UK and they are operating from many regional airports in the UK including Exeter, Cardiff Newcastle and Edinburgh as well as the favourites like Gatwick, Glasgow and Manchester.

The prices for these tickets is stupid with Zoom Airlines offering seats for £59+Tax one way to Toronto. They certainly seem to be successful because if you look at their website for flights over the summer month's you see a page full of Sold Out flights.

Air Transat, Thomas Cook Airlines (chartered by Canadian Affairs) and Sky Service (chartered by are all getting in on the act too and offering flights for crazy prices and service they are offering on many of the flights seems to exceed the quality of many of the Scheduled carriers like AC and BA with regards to IFE, Seat Pitch and Service. Many of these flights are operating daily too. For Example TCX are offering 35 inch seat pitch on their 752 services to Toronto.

How come Canada is such a popular destination with these kind of charters and offering such competitive prices? Most of these flights are sold individually and not part of a package holiday like the UK tour operators do for flight to Florida.

You don't see these kind of flights operating to the US, India or Australia which could work equally well.

Is this a new market that has emerged over recent years or have there always been this sort of number of flights to Canada in recent decades?

I notice Zoom airlines markets themselves as the only Long Haul low cost operator is this a true representation of the airline? As the service they promote on there flights seems quite standard to any other scheduld carrier.
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RE: Low Cost Travel To Canada From The UK...

Wed Jun 22, 2005 6:25 am

As per my reply last time you asked the question!


Sun Oct 3 2004 22:06:11 UTC+2

Don't think the UK-Canada charter market has expanded at all - in fact being mainly a VFR market it seems to be contracting as time goes on and ties are broken.

In the early 1990s it was dominated by Nationair and Air Transat, UK carriers didn't have any flights at all. When Nationair folded in 1993, Caledonian took up their large programme, with B757s and TriStars mainly used to Toronto and DC-10s to Western Canada - on behalf of Canadian Affair I seem to remember!

Throughout the 1990s Canada 3000 expanded their UK programme to eventually become a major player in the market, with multiple weekly flights from several UK airports to YYZ/YYC/YVR as well as YHZ and YEG. Their new A330-200 fleet was mainly deployed on UK flights when they were delivered in 1998, and around the same time Royal entered the UK market.

It's only since the demise of Canada 3000 in late 2001, which left a huge gap in the market that Canadian carriers couldn't fill, that UK airlines have re-gained a presence in the UK-Canada charter market.

While some airlines may be be adding flights, it seems to just be a case that the charterers are re-allocating their capacity to new carriers. Candian Atffair's expansion of their Thomas Cook flights has been at the expense of Air Transat, but even then they are using B757s in place of A310/330s.

Air Tansat's current UK programme is a shadow of it's mid-1990s self with flights from places like Leeds/Bradford and Exeter, while Royal offered flights from Bristol and Standsted.

Hopefully no airline will putting too much reliance on the UK-Canada market, it's volatile, very seasonal, very price-sensitive and the charterers have a history of switching airlines when they can get a cheaper deal elswhere, leaving their existing carrier out in the cold.


The Explosion In Charter Flights UK-Canada

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RE: Low Cost Travel To Canada From The UK...

Wed Jun 22, 2005 6:30 am

Quoting Gilesdavies (Thread starter):
Is this a new market that has emerged over recent years or have there always been this sort of number of flights to Canada in recent decades?

The British are the largest "ethnic" group in Canada. Over 1M Cdns were born in the UK, over 3M Cdns either have or are eligible for UK citizenship being 2 or fewer gens removed from the UK, and an estimated 40% of Cdns have some British blood (>50% outside Quebec). Until 1970 or so, the UK was the primary source of immigration to Canada. So clearly the ethnic ties are very strong.

Apart from LHR/LGW which is a business and all-tourist destination, all other UK airports with charters to Canada are serving this vast British diaspora in Canada.

The relative geographic closeness of Canada to the UK (ie, permitting 752 ops between many city pairs) encourages the proliferation of charter carriers.

Having said all this, the fares do seem ridiculously low. It is hard to see how many charter carriers make money on Canada-UK services but they seem to keep coming back.
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RE: Low Cost Travel To Canada From The UK...

Wed Jun 22, 2005 6:34 am


MyTravel Airways also offer a comprehensive schedule to Canada from Gatwick, Manchester and Glasgow on behalf of Canadian Affair to Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver etc...

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