travelin man
Posts: 3205
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2000 10:04 am

Canadian Questions

Tue May 09, 2000 6:57 am

I've been reading the thread about the problems with the merger between Canadian and Air Canada, and I have a couple of questions.

1. Why is there an assumption that service will get any better when the merger is complete? The new Air Canada will have a virtual monopoly on a lot of routes. Economics class taught me that not much good ever came out of a monopoly (higher prices, lower quality, etc.) I saw some discussion about WestJet, and I assume it is an alternative on some markets.

2. Do Canadian citizens care that their choice for air travel will be limited in the future? Living in California, I don't get a lot of Canadian news, so I don't know how this merger has been accepted by the public. California has a few more people than Canada, but there are no fewer than 4 airlines flying intra-California routes. I'd be pretty pissed if my choices were suddenly limited to 1.

3. Will there ever be truly open skies between the U.S. and Canada, where I'd have the opportunity to fly Air Canada from LAX-ORD, and someone living in Vancouver could fly Southwest to Calgary?

4. Why do all Canadian cities' airport codes begin with the letter Y? It is annoying...  
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Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 5:30 am

RE: Canadian Questions

Tue May 09, 2000 7:01 am

Travelin Man: There's a whole thread answering the Canadian airport code question. Just page down to look for it. Very interesting.
An unexamined life isn't worth living.
travelin man
Posts: 3205
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2000 10:04 am

RE: Canadian Questions

Tue May 09, 2000 7:10 am

Thanks, I found the thread about the Canadian airport codes. It is interesting. I guess they are just not very intuitive to me (YYZ, YEG, YUL etc.). The only one I can ever remember is YVR= VancouveR
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Joined: Tue May 25, 1999 7:40 am

RE: Canadian Questions

Tue May 09, 2000 7:28 am

1) I don't know if people think that the service will be better, but now that AC owns CP and will eventlualy merge to form one airline AC has access to some of the routes that were formerly owned by CP but that CP could never fly to because of lack of funds. These cities include Amsterdam, Nagoya, Sydney, and Auckland. As Robert Milton stated AC now has access to the same cities that 5 or 6 US airlines must compete for access too.... Given that I am sure that AC's domestic service will suffer as a result but you have to rememer that AC's service is still superior to most US airlines, and i doubt that AC will let their service go bellow the level of the US airlines, just equal to it....

2)I don't think that there will be a limited choice for Canadian flyers in the future, Canada 3000 ROYAL and Air Transat have all been granted schedual operations, and access to some very heavy routes, such as London, Paris, Sydney, and Japan. I am sure that these airlines will work to improve their service so as to be able to compete with AC on Domestic and International Routes.

3) Finaly for your 3rd point...
GOD I HOPE NOT!!!!! Firt of all if AC was alowed to fly within the US then it would be bad for the US airlines because this just increases the copetition, and that would mean that the US economy would suffer because an ticket purchsed on AC would mean that the money would go to Canada and in US dollars at that.....Furthermore, if US airlines flew in Canada then all Canadian airlines would suffer not just AC because the US operators could sell their tickets at much lower prices because they have the larger capital base to back it up....and pretty soon you would see only AA or UA over Canadian skies.......besides I think that the STAR ALLIANCE does virtually the same thing, I can fly from YYZ to ORD and then to LAX and always be on an a flight with an AC flight number, just like you could go from LAX to ORD and then YYZ on flight with UA flight numbers......
"Clive Beddoe says he favours competition, but his actions do not support that idea." Robert Milton - CEO Air Canada
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Joined: Tue Jul 06, 1999 10:52 am

RE: Canadian Questions

Tue May 09, 2000 8:56 am

First of all, on the "service" comment. Although there are are problems in merging the airlines, the primary reasons there are problems right now are physical. The airlines have different terminals at YYZ, different check-in counters, different reservation systems, etc. Once these are consolidated into a single, efficient, and compatible operation the operations type problems will for the most part disappear. And this is coming along very quickly, so this is why service will improve. Instead of passengers being confused and frustrated by where to check in, and so on, there will be far less confusion.

On the topic of competition. At this point Canada is largely dominated by AC, and this is not likely to change on the lower density routes, where there isn't enough traffic for competition to be effective. There is, however, going to be a major increase in competition in the coming years, and WestJet, Canada3000, Royal Aviation, Air Transat, CanJet, and other smaller regionals are entering markets to increase competition. In fact, when you look at it the Winnipeg-Toronto route (one of the 10 busiest in the country) already has competition other than AC/CP taking up 35% of the capacity. And there are other key routes where competition is growing or present (ie- Calgary-Edmonton-Vancouver triangle). There is more to competition to come. This is one reason I don't have too much fear about competition, as I believe that although the market may appear tilted toward AC, when you look at WJ's growth and its fantastic financial outlook, the news is good in the competition sector.
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Joined: Tue Jul 06, 1999 10:52 am

And A Short Lesson Of Canadian Airport Codes...

Tue May 09, 2000 11:47 am

The reason why airport codes in Canada start with Y traces back to their origins as railway station codes, but you can find more on that if you look in the forum archives. In short, here are a few airport codes for major Canadian airports:

Canada has 8 Class 1 International Airports:
YVR- Vancouver International
YYC- Calgary International
YEG- Edmonton International
YWG- Winnipeg International
YYZ- Toronto Lester B. Pearson
YOW- Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier
YUL- Montreal Dorval
YHZ- Halifax International
These airports are frequently referred to only by their code on this forum, so those 8 are the most important.

Just a quick list of a small selection of second level airports include:
YYJ- Victoria
YXE- Saskatoon
YQR- Regina
YHM- Hamilton
YYT- St. John's
YQM- Moncton

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