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SpaceshipDC10
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Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:34 am

Just on month after adding a third frequency, Air Canada has decided to completely stop the service as of March 30th. In the meantime, flights will be reduced to once daily from January 9th.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4712423/air- ... eal-route/

Here are the schedules when service was announced back in 2016: https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/ai ... -may-2016/
 
skymiler
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:22 pm

Interesting. I had thought that this route would have potential. When I lived in YHM many years ago NordAir had 737's on this route and it was SOOO convenient not to have to fight my way to YYZ (and that disaster of the original round terminal). The is a large catchment are south and west of YYZ (Niagara Peninsular, west towards Brantford, etc) that might appreciate this service, although US destinations can use BUF (as I am later this week on my way to YHM...).
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Jetsouth
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:25 pm

It makes one wonder if YHM can really be an alternative to YYZ. Westjet originally started operations there, which were quickly transferred to YYZ. And Flair did the same thing. One could argue that Swoop was only there to try to stop Flair. Will Swoop now end its scheduled flights from there? Seems that Hamilton's market can only be the occasional flight to the Caribbean, and perhaps the Westjet flight to Calgary. Besides that, for scheduled flights it appears that it is still more convenient to go to Buffalo or Toronto. Perhaps Buffalo beats Hamilton in price, and YYZ beats Hamilton in flight frequency.
 
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longhauler
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:50 pm

Jetsouth wrote:
It makes one wonder if YHM can really be an alternative to YYZ.

YHM is a great airport for a passenger, so I never really understood why it doesn't do better than it does. A lot of airlines have tried without success.

As a young lad, in the 1970s, I remember flying YHM-YOW-YUL on a ND FH-227, returning YUL-YHM on a ND L188 ... so the service has been around a long time!

I do note however, historically, YHM has been more expensive than YYZ for both YOW and YUL ... right back to the Nordair days. Presently, about $70 more for the round trip YHM-YUL-YHM over YYZ. For a family of 4, that would be worth the 45 minute drive to YYZ from YHM.
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Skywatcher
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:25 pm

I would have thought that transferring in YUL for European flights would be better than driving on the QEW to YYZ instead. I guess not-maybe AC didn't price it effectively?
 
Jetsouth
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:45 pm

Skywatcher wrote:
I would have thought that transferring in YUL for European flights would be better than driving on the QEW to YYZ instead. I guess not-maybe AC didn't price it effectively?


If one takes the 407 from Hamilton you get to YYZ in no time, even in rush hour. Probably easier to just drive to YYZ and avoid the transfer in Montreal. Plus more European destinations, including discount flights, from YYZ than from YUL.
 
Jetsouth
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:57 pm

What people forget is that, for instance if you live in eastern Hamilton, or in Burlington, it is only about 50 km to YYZ, (about 35 min) , assuming you take the 407. If you go from the same locations to YHM, its about 25km, (about 20 min). For the extra 25 km, and 15 min of driving, it is worth the lower flight costs, and increased flight options out of YYZ
 
CFWAD
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:33 pm

Maybe airlines or the airport itself should start marketing it as Hamilton/Niagara Falls Airport? Purely marketing, I understand, but YHM is the closest Canadian airport offering commercial flights to Niagara Falls.

I wonder with YHM's cargo revenue, how much is used to offset their passenger airline incentives, if any.
Does YHM have an AIF? Am too lazy to Google.
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Jetsouth
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:10 pm

The only way that YHM may work is if they offered significant frequency. For instance, I think that SCOOP only flies to Halifax from Hamilton a few times a week. This does not make sense for a business person going there for a one-day conference, that he may have to stay there an additional day or two if he wants a flight back to Hamilton. But on the other hand, if there were daily flights there, or more than one flight a day, there just may not be significant demand to fill all those flights. The frequent flights from YHM to YUL offered by AC may certainly have been convenient, but there just wasn't enough people to fill all those flights.
 
maximairways
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:34 pm

Any chance of seeing AC start BUF-YUL. With them ending ROC-YYZ, SYR-YYZ, and YHM-YUL that leaves a decent sized region without AC service.
 
Dominion301
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:19 pm

Jetsouth wrote:
The only way that YHM may work is if they offered significant frequency. For instance, I think that SCOOP only flies to Halifax from Hamilton a few times a week. This does not make sense for a business person going there for a one-day conference, that he may have to stay there an additional day or two if he wants a flight back to Hamilton. But on the other hand, if there were daily flights there, or more than one flight a day, there just may not be significant demand to fill all those flights. The frequent flights from YHM to YUL offered by AC may certainly have been convenient, but there just wasn't enough people to fill all those flights.


Swoop have announced a partial summer schedule already and will continue serving YHM to YWG, YHZ, YEG and YXX, plus all the new YHM-transborder stuff they'll be flying this winter. WS mainline continues to serve YYC-YHM.

https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/s ... 21282.html

In the coming months, Swoop will finalize the remaining additions to the schedule including incorporating plans for their seventh aircraft, which is expected to be delivered in May of 2019.


So AC are leaving YHM again. They never did try to capture any meaningful YHM-YUL O&D traffic as a) as longhauler noted the fares are way higher than YYZ and b) they surely would have re-launched YHM-YOW if they were focussing on O&D.

I still am baffled that Flair left YHM for YYZ given they're still such a Mickey Mouse outfit and I don't see how they're getting a YYZ fare premium of offset the higher YYZ costs.

Jetlines, which in 2019 truly seem like they are at last on the verge of launching, have said they'll be at YHM.

YHM always seems to be one step forward, two steps back.
 
Dominion301
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:27 pm

longhauler wrote:
Jetsouth wrote:
It makes one wonder if YHM can really be an alternative to YYZ.

YHM is a great airport for a passenger, so I never really understood why it doesn't do better than it does. A lot of airlines have tried without success.

As a young lad, in the 1970s, I remember flying YHM-YOW-YUL on a ND FH-227, returning YUL-YHM on a ND L188 ... so the service has been around a long time!

I do note however, historically, YHM has been more expensive than YYZ for both YOW and YUL ... right back to the Nordair days. Presently, about $70 more for the round trip YHM-YUL-YHM over YYZ. For a family of 4, that would be worth the 45 minute drive to YYZ from YHM.


Going back to CanJet, part of the problem, seemed to be, right airline, wrong aircraft type...that sums of CanJet as a whole. I'd fly YOW-YHM on a Friday or Sunday night and the 737 would be 100% full almost always. But on a Tuesday or Wednesday night there'd be 40-60 pax on board almost always...40 or less in the dead of winter, yet in dead of winter Friday/Sunday flights would still be nearly full. If CanJet had bought Q400s to go along with the 737s and had a clear vision as to what they wanted to be (and had non-friends and family running the place), they'd probably be the ULCC alternative today with 30-50 aircraft flying around.
 
EChid
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:13 pm

As a potential candidate for the flight (from an O/D perspective), the things that never made me take it were:
- It was either the same price as YUL/YYZ or more expensive, and YYZ offers much more frequency and more reliable transfer to a rental car
- The services on the other end weren't super reliable (lots of reviews of car rental agents just not being there despite bookings)
- YUL>YXU was even closer to where I wanted to be and more convenient

Still, with the way that AC prices these flights, they seem only useful for business flyers or if priced into a connecting European ticket. They are almost always exceedingly expensive from an O/D perspective, and a total luxury that I only opt for a couple times a year. One recent return flight to YXU and back from YUL, booked two weeks in advance, cost $620 CAD. The best I've seen is $375. Ridiculous for most people.
 
YYZLGA
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:17 pm

There are a few problems with YHM. One is fundamental and the others can be overcome. The fundamental problem is that it's on the wrong side of Hamilton. If it were in Flamborough, it would be much better located for most GTA traffic and would make a much better reliever.

The other problems are that the costs are too high: the AIF isn't much different from YYZ, which is crazy given that they have an old, long-paid-for terminal. They're never going to attract more ULCC traffic that way. Most airlines have never priced YHM flights meaningfully cheaper than YYZ flights, so why not just use YYZ where there are so many more options? Most baffling of all, there has never been a serious effort made to make YHM easily accessible. Every Ryanair airport has a direct bus to the city centre. If there were a bus from Union Station, maybe with a stop at Aldershot GO station, to YHM, it would be a much more attractive airport to the very type of people who would fly ULCC. All the attempts to add service to YHM have always been so half-hearted that it's no surprise they failed.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:30 pm

On a 50-seat jet? I don't see how this could have worked when Air Canada is 11 daily (10 mainline) between YUL and YYZ. (WestJet,a distant second, is 5x daily on WestJet Encore.) This is a lot like Air Canada's attempt to maintain service to JFK when it already served LGA with mainline traffic. (At the time, it had planned to move Vancouver service to JFK when that was still on the A319, but it stayed put at Newark...would there be adequate gate space today if they had moved to JFK and using a B789, which AC uses YVR-EWR?)
 
Jetsouth
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:39 pm

The only reason why SWOOP may be staying at YHM is to fend off new-starts like Canada Jetlines which is supposed to start next year, with Hamilton as one of their bases.
 
Jetsouth
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:42 pm

I wonder if there is any justification for Porter to commence flights between YHM and YUL and between YHM and Ottawa now that AC is out of the picture. Certainly Porter would have lower operating costs than AC? But then again, there may simply not be the demand to commence such operations
 
jimbo737
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:25 am

aemoreira1981 wrote:
On a 50-seat jet? I don't see how this could have worked when Air Canada is 11 daily (10 mainline) between YUL and YYZ. (WestJet,a distant second, is 5x daily on WestJet Encore.) This is a lot like Air Canada's attempt to maintain service to JFK when it already served LGA with mainline traffic. (At the time, it had planned to move Vancouver service to JFK when that was still on the A319, but it stayed put at Newark...would there be adequate gate space today if they had moved to JFK and using a B789, which AC uses YVR-EWR?)


What WestJet sched are you looking at?

They are 10x daily YUL-YYZ, not 5x, and flights are timed to minimize flying empty aircraft between 9am and about 2 pm.

It took about 3 years for WS to figure out there's basically no short haul market out of YHM, and that discovery was made very expensively between 1999 and 2002. Fares at that time were as low as $39, with 6-7 frequencies a day, in an era of no ancilliary charges and it made no meaningful difference to total number of passengers carried.

Others have repeatedly tried, with zero success, Air Canada being the latest in their second attempt at it.

It's one of the rare examples of a short haul market that was not able to be profitably stimulated.

Others should pay attention to the macro lesson learned, though I doubt they will.
 
Jetsouth
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:48 pm

YYZLGA wrote:
There are a few problems with YHM. One is fundamental and the others can be overcome. The fundamental problem is that it's on the wrong side of Hamilton. If it were in Flamborough, it would be much better located for most GTA traffic and would make a much better reliever.

The other problems are that the costs are too high: the AIF isn't much different from YYZ, which is crazy given that they have an old, long-paid-for terminal. They're never going to attract more ULCC traffic that way. Most airlines have never priced YHM flights meaningfully cheaper than YYZ flights, so why not just use YYZ where there are so many more options? Most baffling of all, there has never been a serious effort made to make YHM easily accessible. Every Ryanair airport has a direct bus to the city centre. If there were a bus from Union Station, maybe with a stop at Aldershot GO station, to YHM, it would be a much more attractive airport to the very type of people who would fly ULCC. All the attempts to add service to YHM have always been so half-hearted that it's no surprise they failed.


Indeed, this is the big problem with Hamilton. In order for Hamilton to be a success as it relates to domestic flights, it needs to have frequency. No business person is going to take a flight, for instance, to Halifax if there are only 2-3 flights a week. But the problem is, there simply is no demand for frequent flights, and for the additional 15-20 minutes in travel time, one may as well go to YYZ. Both Flair and Westjet, which had operations in Hamilton quickly found that out and moved operations to YYZ. In addition, Hamilton airport is hard to get to, no major highway goes directly to it, nor does public transit. It is almost like a Mirabel and only suited to cargo flights. Hamilton's success will only be limited to certain flights, like the daily to Calgary, where one can connect to other western locations, or the weekly warm weather flights in the wintertime which thelocal population will take.
 
jimbo737
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:29 pm

What's surprising to me is that some airlines have tried YHM short haul not once, but twice.

If said airlines had capacity discipline, they'd never even contemplate such a move because they wouldn't have the capacity to do so. It'd be tied up on more profitable flying.
 
Whiteguy
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:21 pm

jimbo737 wrote:
What's surprising to me is that some airlines have tried YHM short haul not once, but twice.

If said airlines had capacity discipline, they'd never even contemplate such a move because they wouldn't have the capacity to do so. It'd be tied up on more profitable flying.


Many airlines, including WS, do the same thing.....
 
jimbo737
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:34 am

WS has retired at least 15 perfectly serviceable 737-700’s over the past year or so, rather than keeping them around for “Easter Sunday”, and then suffering from massive seasonality profitability swings, as is the case with certain other airlines one could mention.

Historically cheap fuel has been a manna from heaven for this strategy.

There are most certainly a few airline execs out there who are wiping there brows at the recent and fortuitous decline in fuel prices as they entered the winter season with all that high cost capacity burning low yields through the sky.
 
EChid
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:39 am

jimbo737 wrote:
What's surprising to me is that some airlines have tried YHM short haul not once, but twice.

If said airlines had capacity discipline, they'd never even contemplate such a move because they wouldn't have the capacity to do so. It'd be tied up on more profitable flying.

Part of me wonders whether we keep seeing this because YHM or the community offers some inducement financially to give it a go. This happens all the time in the US. If it works, the airline stays on past the end of the financial inducement. If it doesn't, the flight is dropped.

I think this route also came about as part of Air Canada's efforts to highlight YUL as an expanding TATL hub, defocussing numbers within the GTA from the relatively overrun YYZ. Not sure how that worked...but I think that was the intent. Same things for YXU>YUL.
 
sixtyseven
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:02 am

jimbo737 wrote:
WS has retired at least 15 perfectly serviceable 737-700’s over the past year or so, rather than keeping them around for “Easter Sunday”, and then suffering from massive seasonality profitability swings, as is the case with certain other airlines one could mention.

Historically cheap fuel has been a manna from heaven for this strategy.

There are most certainly a few airline execs out there who are wiping there brows at the recent and fortuitous decline in fuel prices as they entered the winter season with all that high cost capacity burning low yields through the sky.


I would suspect Westjet execs are exactly those people. An underwhelming 2018, new airplanes (piles of capital), a depressed Alberta market, flying these from said capital of depression, to where? Paris??

All the while trying to convince people you’re a full service airline?

Yep. Thank god oil is cheap or you guys would be triple effed.

Please tell me you guys didn’t buy 10 787s to fly to Europe from Calgary. You’re gonna have to utilize em better than that bud.

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Dominion301
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Re: Air Canada cancelling YUL-YHM

Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:40 am

jimbo737 wrote:
aemoreira1981 wrote:
On a 50-seat jet? I don't see how this could have worked when Air Canada is 11 daily (10 mainline) between YUL and YYZ. (WestJet,a distant second, is 5x daily on WestJet Encore.) This is a lot like Air Canada's attempt to maintain service to JFK when it already served LGA with mainline traffic. (At the time, it had planned to move Vancouver service to JFK when that was still on the A319, but it stayed put at Newark...would there be adequate gate space today if they had moved to JFK and using a B789, which AC uses YVR-EWR?)


What WestJet sched are you looking at?

They are 10x daily YUL-YYZ, not 5x, and flights are timed to minimize flying empty aircraft between 9am and about 2 pm.

It took about 3 years for WS to figure out there's basically no short haul market out of YHM, and that discovery was made very expensively between 1999 and 2002. Fares at that time were as low as $39, with 6-7 frequencies a day, in an era of no ancilliary charges and it made no meaningful difference to total number of passengers carried.

Others have repeatedly tried, with zero success, Air Canada being the latest in their second attempt at it.

It's one of the rare examples of a short haul market that was not able to be profitably stimulated.

Others should pay attention to the macro lesson learned, though I doubt they will.


There definitely is short-haul potential out of YHM. The problem is nobody has ever served it with the right mix of a) aircraft type, b) frequency and c) true commitment to developing a loyal YHM following. Either YHM-YOW/YUL needs to be flown 4x weekly in the evening peak on a 180 seater with an ULCC that ops (at least initially) on days 1,4,5,7 when loads on CanJet were north of 90% those days...perfect for weekend getaways to Niagara if marketed properly (vs the 35% loads on a Tuesday morning) or minimum 5x daily on an aircraft type no larger than a Q400 and that provides at least some connections to/from every flight. The former scenario is much more likely.

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