WS7M8
Topic Author
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:35 pm

The WestJet Thread

Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:44 am

Hoping this thread can be a permanent depository of information regarding WestJet, Canada's 2nd leading airline, with a promising future.

1. Last week they announced an unexpected 2Q 2019 profit. A nice turnaround from the turmoil of last year, and especially with the Max situation, which has grounded 13 of their aircraft. The rest of their fleet has been extraordinarily busy.

https://ca.reuters.com/article/business ... L2PF-OCABS

2. In parallel with their 2Q profit, they announced their winter 2019-2020 schedule

https://ca.travelpulse.com/news/airline ... 92020.html

As the ultimate WestJet fan, I pulled a couple interesting things out of that:

Calgary-CDG B787 seasonal service is starting March 12th. This year it started in late May. Here's guessing that route exceeded expectations. On the other hand, DUB will likely be restarting in late May or June of 2020, we'll have to wait for the precise dates when the schedule for next year is announced later this year.

B787s are slowly moving to YYZ! It will be taking over YYZ-LGW in the late fall, when seasonal service YYC - CDG/DUB ends.

Ottawa-Ft Myers is increasing to twice weekly. I'm kind of bittersweet on this. The last few years, WS has been getting away from non-hub flying, dropping a lot of Florida flying from YOW, YUL, and some Atlantic Canadian cities. There are some definite benefits to funneling traffic through YYZ, but I think they realize they might have overplayed their hand. A lot of Canadians do not like connecting through YYZ. Throw in any sort of weather / ATC / gate availability / deicing issue, and a lot of people misconnect (a problem hardly unique to them - happens a lot to AC at T1 also). People like to be able to go directly from their city to the sun. That explains so much of Sunwing's growth the last 15 years. I think we'll gradually see WS return to more southern non-hub flying from Eastern Canada. YOW - RSW is an easy one. FLL / MCO from YOW, not to mention those two RSW from YUL will also be coming back. If Air Canada Rouge can do 5-6 B767s YUL-FLL on a regular basis, there is no reason why WS can't fit in a 737-800 or two. Even if they are a poor third behind AC and TS, these are markets they should be in.

3. I always wish those airline schedule announcements included what isn't coming back!

4. The Onex acquisition of WestJet keeps on moving along.....

https://business.financialpost.com/tran ... -onex-corp

More than 92% of shareholders voted in favour of it. Different articles I read on the subject cited as many as five other regulatory or other hops they'll have to go through. WS is projecting the buyout to be done by late 2019.
 
Jean Leloup
Posts: 1991
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2001 10:46 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:14 am

You started this thread pretty late in the day to get much Canadian interest before it slips down the page, but I'll chip in. :)

I am an AC guy so I don't follow WS too closely, but being Alberta-based, I am of course affected by everything they do! I don't have much insight, but do have a couple of questions:

1. Are any changes to the Westjet Link operations coming soon? Other than a press release puff piece celebrating the 1 year anniversary of the service last month, I couldn't find any info about changes to this operation. Would love to see it expand beyond the current cities, but no idea whether it's doing well enough for that to be the case. As I recall, the advent of Westjet Link may have caused an actual downgrade in service for Prince George (replacing some other flights), but it's been a godsend to Lethbridge (my home airport), Medicine Hat, Cranbrook, and Lloydminster, as it has broken the AC monopoly.

2. I was under the impression that WS might be building a few of its own lounges now, to coincide with the addition of 'real' business class. Is this correct, and if so, where are lounges being built? I believe WS is now 'operating', loosely speaking, the Chinook Lounge at YYC, but I'm very much hoping that's just a temporary situation - for selfish reasons.

3. Surely, the roll-out of 'new' business class on the 737's of all stripes must be delayed due to the nil slack in the current schedule. Are they at least able to get the new cabins put into the MAX's that are being built but not placed in service? And are there still a few NG frames getting the new seats when they are in for heavy maintenance that can't be deferred in the current crunch?

JL
Jean Leloup - original a.net moderator and still recovering!
 
Jayce
Posts: 534
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 1999 10:36 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:17 am

I flew on a 600 the other day that had the new business class and food. It was really impressive! There’s a curtain to divide economy and business, definitely a step up!
"Trying is the first step towards failure" -Homer Simpson
 
Jean Leloup
Posts: 1991
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2001 10:46 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:03 pm

Jean Leloup wrote:

2. I was under the impression that WS might be building a few of its own lounges now, to coincide with the addition of 'real' business class. Is this correct, and if so, where are lounges being built? I believe WS is now 'operating', loosely speaking, the Chinook Lounge at YYC, but I'm very much hoping that's just a temporary situation - for selfish reasons.

JL


I did find an answer to my own question in this case. Looks like WS is building 9 of its own lounges, 3 each at YYC, YVR, and YYZ. Obviously those are their three biggest stations but I'm disappointed they couldn't try at least a domestic lounge at YEG and YWG - airports where Air Canada has lounges and where WS business customers will, therefore, remain second-class citizen!

JL
Jean Leloup - original a.net moderator and still recovering!
 
jimbo737
Posts: 429
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:18 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:12 pm

ty
I’m not exactly sure why WS’s 2Q 2019 numbers were a “surprise”.

How quickly people forget that 2Q 2018 was wiped out by the defacto pilots strike that decimated last minute / high yield bookings for about 6 weeks and messed up overall bookings well into Q3.

WS had net earnings of $46m in 3Q 2018, $29.1m in 4Q 2018 and $45.6m in 1Q 2019.

Prior to 2Q 2018, WS had a long and enviable string of net profitable quarters, even whilst taking on multiple larger strategic initiatives simultaneously.

The misleading headlines would have people think WJ has been unprofitable for quite some time when in fact, it was a defacto strike-driven single quarter anomaly.

This is part of the reason WS is being taken private. Having to deal with misleading news stories, often written by, um, shall we say, “reporters” often happy to have “stories” handed to them on a silver platter from, er, dubious and self-interested sources, makes running a public company, with a strategic vision longer than the next 90 days, very difficult.
 
fraT
Posts: 1098
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 4:32 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:28 pm

jimbo737 wrote:

This is part of the reason WS is being taken private. Having to deal with misleading news stories, often written by, um, shall we say, “reporters” often happy to have “stories” handed to them on a silver platter from, er, dubious and self-interested sources, makes running a public company, with a strategic vision longer than the next 90 days, very difficult.


Donald, you here on A.net?
 
Dominion301
Posts: 2225
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:48 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:27 pm

WS7M8 wrote:
Hoping this thread can be a permanent depository of information regarding WestJet, Canada's 2nd leading airline, with a promising future.

1. Last week they announced an unexpected 2Q 2019 profit. A nice turnaround from the turmoil of last year, and especially with the Max situation, which has grounded 13 of their aircraft. The rest of their fleet has been extraordinarily busy.

https://ca.reuters.com/article/business ... L2PF-OCABS

2. In parallel with their 2Q profit, they announced their winter 2019-2020 schedule

https://ca.travelpulse.com/news/airline ... 92020.html

As the ultimate WestJet fan, I pulled a couple interesting things out of that:

Calgary-CDG B787 seasonal service is starting March 12th. This year it started in late May. Here's guessing that route exceeded expectations. On the other hand, DUB will likely be restarting in late May or June of 2020, we'll have to wait for the precise dates when the schedule for next year is announced later this year.

B787s are slowly moving to YYZ! It will be taking over YYZ-LGW in the late fall, when seasonal service YYC - CDG/DUB ends.

Ottawa-Ft Myers is increasing to twice weekly. I'm kind of bittersweet on this. The last few years, WS has been getting away from non-hub flying, dropping a lot of Florida flying from YOW, YUL, and some Atlantic Canadian cities. There are some definite benefits to funneling traffic through YYZ, but I think they realize they might have overplayed their hand. A lot of Canadians do not like connecting through YYZ. Throw in any sort of weather / ATC / gate availability / deicing issue, and a lot of people misconnect (a problem hardly unique to them - happens a lot to AC at T1 also). People like to be able to go directly from their city to the sun. That explains so much of Sunwing's growth the last 15 years. I think we'll gradually see WS return to more southern non-hub flying from Eastern Canada. YOW - RSW is an easy one. FLL / MCO from YOW, not to mention those two RSW from YUL will also be coming back. If Air Canada Rouge can do 5-6 B767s YUL-FLL on a regular basis, there is no reason why WS can't fit in a 737-800 or two. Even if they are a poor third behind AC and TS, these are markets they should be in.

3. I always wish those airline schedule announcements included what isn't coming back!

4. The Onex acquisition of WestJet keeps on moving along.....

https://business.financialpost.com/tran ... -onex-corp

More than 92% of shareholders voted in favour of it. Different articles I read on the subject cited as many as five other regulatory or other hops they'll have to go through. WS is projecting the buyout to be done by late 2019.


For YYC-CDG, I think the earlier start is largely due to the fact that the 787s were still doing their domestic proving runs in March 2019, which won’t be an issue in 2020.

For YOW-RSW, it was a pleasant surprise to see its frequency getting restored to twice weekly. Like you said, on high volume Florida routes (i.e. FLL & MCO) most people at YUL & YOW don’t want the YYZ connection. The low yielders will drive the 1 hour to Upstate NY before YYZ. AC are of course massive on YUL-Florida and are the dominant carrier for YOW-Florida with YOW-TPA increasing to 4x weekly this winter...and AC are bringing Rouge to YOW this winter for the first time ever. We’ll see if the privatized WS will take YOW and YUL a little more seriously.

If WS want to be taken even remotely seriously in the 2nd & 3rd largest Eastern Canada markets, they’ll at some point need to restore YUL/YOW-YEG & YVR to year-round (and YUL-YWG) and re-enter YOW-FLL, YOW-TPA and YUL-Florida (MCO and FLL) and up the likes of YOW-MCO back up to daily. WS has never served YUL-RSW. There’s funnelling traffic through your hub and then there’s driving away business because there is sufficient traffic to warrant a nonstop and you ignore the market to the point of handing your competitor additional business.

For your #3, keep dreaming. WN are the only ones with the guts to do so...at least on this continent. Ryanair do so to, usually with blaming someone else in the process for raising fees as their rationale for a cut.
 
jimbo737
Posts: 429
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:18 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Mon Jul 29, 2019 2:11 am

You can safely assume the privatized WS will continue to chase profit and not market share.
 
Whiteguy
Posts: 1359
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 6:11 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Mon Jul 29, 2019 2:39 am

Jean Leloup wrote:
You started this thread pretty late in the day to get much Canadian interest before it slips down the page, but I'll chip in. :)

I am an AC guy so I don't follow WS too closely, but being Alberta-based, I am of course affected by everything they do! I don't have much insight, but do have a couple of questions:

1. Are any changes to the Westjet Link operations coming soon? Other than a press release puff piece celebrating the 1 year anniversary of the service last month, I couldn't find any info about changes to this operation. Would love to see it expand beyond the current cities, but no idea whether it's doing well enough for that to be the case. As I recall, the advent of Westjet Link may have caused an actual downgrade in service for Prince George (replacing some other flights), but it's been a godsend to Lethbridge (my home airport), Medicine Hat, Cranbrook, and Lloydminster, as it has broken the AC monopoly.

2. I was under the impression that WS might be building a few of its own lounges now, to coincide with the addition of 'real' business class. Is this correct, and if so, where are lounges being built? I believe WS is now 'operating', loosely speaking, the Chinook Lounge at YYC, but I'm very much hoping that's just a temporary situation - for selfish reasons.

3. Surely, the roll-out of 'new' business class on the 737's of all stripes must be delayed due to the nil slack in the current schedule. Are they at least able to get the new cabins put into the MAX's that are being built but not placed in service? And are there still a few NG frames getting the new seats when they are in for heavy maintenance that can't be deferred in the current crunch?

JL


The new build MAXs were already starting to be delivered with the new business class seats before the grounding. Since then, all MAXs have been reconfigured and one 600 & 5 800s have been done. No new MAXs are due until the end of the year, only 2 remaining this years.
 
SXDFC
Posts: 1963
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 6:07 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:03 am

Anyone know when they will be repainting their current 737s in the new livery?
 
Whiteguy
Posts: 1359
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 6:11 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:30 am

SXDFC wrote:
Anyone know when they will be repainting their current 737s in the new livery?


Don’t expect anything to be done while the MAXs are grounded....
 
User avatar
cirrusdragoon
Posts: 77
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:42 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:18 pm

SXDFC wrote:
Anyone know when they will be repainting their current 737s in the new livery?


From my understanding , It was mentioned internally that the new livery will gradually appear across WestJet’s fleet as new aircraft are delivered and as aircraft are repainted in their normal cycle.
 
SpaceshipDC10
Posts: 6387
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:44 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:20 am

Next summer, their YYC-CDG service will start two months earlier with 3x weekly before going 4x weekly from May 1st.

https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/ai ... ce-in-s20/
 
Dominion301
Posts: 2225
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:48 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:08 am

jimbo737 wrote:
You can safely assume the privatized WS will continue to chase profit and not market share.


Flying something like YUL-MCO daily in winter isn’t chasing market share, it’s simply having a presence on a key route so that you’re not completely irrelevant in the marketplace.

Now that WS will soon be (perish the thought) central Canada owned, I think you’ll start to see WS pay a bit more attention to central Canada in the next 2 or 3 years.
 
jimbo737
Posts: 429
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:18 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:25 am

WJ operated YUL to Florida routes with loads in the low 90’s and cancelled them.

It’s no different than Alaska running 93% on YVR - LAX a few years ago and cancelling the route.

If it isn’t profitable, what’s the point? Low yield, point burning routes for Aeroplan junkies.

When the yields improve, which is easy to ascertain with Form 41 data, others will return to the market.

Until then, there are more lucrative opportunities to pursue.
 
Dominion301
Posts: 2225
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:48 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:56 pm

jimbo737 wrote:
WJ operated YUL to Florida routes with loads in the low 90’s and cancelled them.

It’s no different than Alaska running 93% on YVR - LAX a few years ago and cancelling the route.

If it isn’t profitable, what’s the point? Low yield, point burning routes for Aeroplan junkies.

When the yields improve, which is easy to ascertain with Form 41 data, others will return to the market.

Until then, there are more lucrative opportunities to pursue.


A big difference is AS isn't seeking to be a strong #2 player at YVR. WS claim they're now a 'network carrier'. If you are, don't ya think you want to be a strong #2 to AC at the likes of YUL or YOW? In order to be that, you'll need to ocassionally take on that 'trash' to build a loyal FF base (not sure too many YULers are dying to redeem WS dollars to go to Fort Mac). Until WS do that sort of stuff, they'll never be more than a regional network carrier.

Remind me again why WS lite (aka Swoop) ran YHM-YEG about 11x weekly this past winter, yet WS didn't fly YUL-YEG or YOW-YEG and won't again this winter? Must be all that high yield gold at YHM that AC are clearly too dumb not to recognize to jump on. :rotfl: :roll:
 
jimbo737
Posts: 429
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:18 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:21 pm

Or perhaps the reason WS’s operating margin was nearly double that of AC’s last winter was that WS focused on chasing profit, not market share.
 
cumulushumilis
Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:49 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:25 pm

In other news, 737-700 C-FIWS after 18 years of service finds itself sitting in GYR most likely to be parted out after 62 775 hours and 28852 flights. She’s lived a good life, happy retirement!
 
Skywatcher
Posts: 798
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2002 11:19 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:58 am

Regarding non-YYZ to Florida eastern Canada traffic I don't think WestJet can effectively compete with Sunwing/Rouge/Transat on cost I suppose. They are all profitable so I'm wondering where Westjet's "higher profit opportunities" are? I thought WestJet was the lower CASM carrier? I'm confused.
 
TObound
Posts: 311
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 12:54 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:28 am

I'm wondering if WestJet might be better off ditching the MAX 7. For the E2 or A220. The E2 in particular could replace the 73G and the Q400s in due course.
 
TObound
Posts: 311
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 12:54 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:29 am

Skywatcher wrote:
Regarding non-YYZ to Florida eastern Canada traffic I don't think WestJet can effectively compete with Sunwing/Rouge/Transat on cost I suppose. They are all profitable so I'm wondering where Westjet's "higher profit opportunities" are? I thought WestJet was the lower CASM carrier? I'm confused.


WestJet needs to pull their own Transat and buy Sunwing.
 
n471wn
Posts: 1714
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 12:23 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:31 am

cumulushumilis wrote:
In other news, 737-700 C-FIWS after 18 years of service finds itself sitting in GYR most likely to be parted out after 62 775 hours and 28852 flights. She’s lived a good life, happy retirement!


She is not being parted out but going to United Airlines! Thought you knew.
 
ac7e7
Posts: 751
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 7:27 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:27 am

jimbo737 wrote:
ty
I’m not exactly sure why WS’s 2Q 2019 numbers were a “surprise”.

How quickly people forget that 2Q 2018 was wiped out by the defacto pilots strike that decimated last minute / high yield bookings for about 6 weeks and messed up overall bookings well into Q3.

WS had net earnings of $46m in 3Q 2018, $29.1m in 4Q 2018 and $45.6m in 1Q 2019.

Prior to 2Q 2018, WS had a long and enviable string of net profitable quarters, even whilst taking on multiple larger strategic initiatives simultaneously.

The misleading headlines would have people think WJ has been unprofitable for quite some time when in fact, it was a defacto strike-driven single quarter anomaly.

This is part of the reason WS is being taken private. Having to deal with misleading news stories, often written by, um, shall we say, “reporters” often happy to have “stories” handed to them on a silver platter from, er, dubious and self-interested sources, makes running a public company, with a strategic vision longer than the next 90 days, very difficult.


Give me a break. WS is being taken private by Onex because WS is turning into a basket case, and they see an opportunity . WS is a disorganized mess with no focus. If anyone believes Onex is buying WS and will not be making any significant changes as Mr. Sims has been preaching, you are living in a dream world.

The idea that they are being taken private because some reporters write inaccurate stories is ridiculous. AC is trashed by the media and the public almost every day. Does AC management care? No, they stay focused on the task at hand, and produce results for investors.

WS is a cocky organization, and sat back and ignored their largest competitor while AC cut costs and focused their business. Today, WS doesn’t know how to deal with a strong competitor. They are completely disorganized, and are going in all directions trying to catch up with AC. Onex recognized this, and decided to invest. Onex will be kicking some butts here in Calgary in short order.

Oh, and in a few years when WS is spun back into a traded company, they will have to deal once again with those pesky analysts and their 90-day outlooks.
 
jimbo737
Posts: 429
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:18 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:14 am

So let me get this straight.

WS is unfocused?

I’m hard pressed to think of a niche, any niche, AC does not try to dominate.

Premium service, ULCC service, umpteen aircraft types either directly or indirectly operated, to a bazillion destinations ranging in size from 5,000 or less to the biggest city in the world. Cargo. Luxury charter jets. Multiple hubs, some as little as a couple hundred miles apart.

If there’s a more complex airline out there, please advise us all which one it is, with annual revenues in similar territory.

I couldn’t devise a more complex, (and therefore), high cost operation even if I tried.

How about this?

CB said from day 1 that the moment the unions took hold at WS, he’d be gone.

Anyone who knows the inside story could have easily predicted this event.

And if WS was such a basket case, even though it produced higher margins than AC last winter, please enlighten us as to why GS would offer shareholders a $10 premium over the share price at the time?

The bottomline is I could care less. I’ll take the $31, (or $30 and change), pocket it and roll a portion of it it into my 4th startup, and continue to distance myself from the Canadian market and it’s 37m people.

There are far, far bigger fish to fry elsewhere.
 
cumulushumilis
Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:49 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:39 am

n471wn wrote:
cumulushumilis wrote:
In other news, 737-700 C-FIWS after 18 years of service finds itself sitting in GYR most likely to be parted out after 62 775 hours and 28852 flights. She’s lived a good life, happy retirement!


She is not being parted out but going to United Airlines! Thought you knew.


Did not know that. Up until a few months ago the plan was to part her out. Her return to GECAS has been delayed a couple of months as well, so I’m going off of less than perfect information. I wonder if she was returned with the airstairs that were pulled out years ago?
 
Whiteguy
Posts: 1359
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 6:11 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:59 am

cumulushumilis wrote:
n471wn wrote:
cumulushumilis wrote:
In other news, 737-700 C-FIWS after 18 years of service finds itself sitting in GYR most likely to be parted out after 62 775 hours and 28852 flights. She’s lived a good life, happy retirement!


She is not being parted out but going to United Airlines! Thought you knew.


Did not know that. Up until a few months ago the plan was to part her out. Her return to GECAS has been delayed a couple of months as well, so I’m going off of less than perfect information. I wonder if she was returned with the airstairs that were pulled out years ago?


It’s done. Grounded as of midnight on the 31st, it will be parted out.
 
n471wn
Posts: 1714
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 12:23 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:05 pm

[threeid][/threeid]
Whiteguy wrote:
cumulushumilis wrote:
n471wn wrote:

She is not being parted out but going to United Airlines! Thought you knew.


Did not know that. Up until a few months ago the plan was to part her out. Her return to GECAS has been delayed a couple of months as well, so I’m going off of less than perfect information. I wonder if she was returned with the airstairs that were pulled out years ago?


It’s done. Grounded as of midnight on the 31st, it will be parted out.


This aircraft is going to United Airlines—no indication from them that it is for parts
 
User avatar
767333ER
Posts: 967
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:14 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:36 pm

ac7e7 wrote:
jimbo737 wrote:
ty
I’m not exactly sure why WS’s 2Q 2019 numbers were a “surprise”.

How quickly people forget that 2Q 2018 was wiped out by the defacto pilots strike that decimated last minute / high yield bookings for about 6 weeks and messed up overall bookings well into Q3.

WS had net earnings of $46m in 3Q 2018, $29.1m in 4Q 2018 and $45.6m in 1Q 2019.

Prior to 2Q 2018, WS had a long and enviable string of net profitable quarters, even whilst taking on multiple larger strategic initiatives simultaneously.

The misleading headlines would have people think WJ has been unprofitable for quite some time when in fact, it was a defacto strike-driven single quarter anomaly.

This is part of the reason WS is being taken private. Having to deal with misleading news stories, often written by, um, shall we say, “reporters” often happy to have “stories” handed to them on a silver platter from, er, dubious and self-interested sources, makes running a public company, with a strategic vision longer than the next 90 days, very difficult.


Give me a break. WS is being taken private by Onex because WS is turning into a basket case, and they see an opportunity . WS is a disorganized mess with no focus. If anyone believes Onex is buying WS and will not be making any significant changes as Mr. Sims has been preaching, you are living in a dream world.

The idea that they are being taken private because some reporters write inaccurate stories is ridiculous. AC is trashed by the media and the public almost every day. Does AC management care? No, they stay focused on the task at hand, and produce results for investors.

WS is a cocky organization, and sat back and ignored their largest competitor while AC cut costs and focused their business. Today, WS doesn’t know how to deal with a strong competitor. They are completely disorganized, and are going in all directions trying to catch up with AC. Onex recognized this, and decided to invest. Onex will be kicking some butts here in Calgary in short order.

Oh, and in a few years when WS is spun back into a traded company, they will have to deal once again with those pesky analysts and their 90-day outlooks.

Welcome to Alberta where everything is done to spite the rest of the country and then blames the rest of the county when it fails.

I love how Jimbo blames unions and the media for WS having a bad quarter and getting bought out by Onex because you know evil unions and fake news which are also popular sayings in Alberta compared to the rest of Canada.
Been on: 732 733 734 73G 738 752 763 A319 A320 A321 CRJ CR7 CRA/CR9 E145 E175 E190 F28 MD-82 MD-83 C172R C172S P2006T
 
YYZatcboy
Posts: 1173
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2005 2:15 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:11 pm

n471wn wrote:
[threeid][/threeid]
Whiteguy wrote:
cumulushumilis wrote:

Did not know that. Up until a few months ago the plan was to part her out. Her return to GECAS has been delayed a couple of months as well, so I’m going off of less than perfect information. I wonder if she was returned with the airstairs that were pulled out years ago?


It’s done. Grounded as of midnight on the 31st, it will be parted out.


This aircraft is going to United Airlines—no indication from them that it is for parts


The aircraft is being scrapped.

https://twitter.com/WestJet/status/1156988224037937152

Other sources are not public.
DH1/3/4 MD11/88 L1011 A319/20/21/30/50/80 717 727 735/6/7/8/9 744 762/3 77E/W E40/75/90 CRJ/700/705 CC150
J/S DH8D 736/7/8 763
 
YYZLGA
Posts: 357
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:28 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:55 pm

jimbo737 wrote:
And if WS was such a basket case, even though it produced higher margins than AC last winter, please enlighten us as to why GS would offer shareholders a $10 premium over the share price at the time?

The bottomline is I could care less. I’ll take the $31, (or $30 and change), pocket it and roll a portion of it it into my 4th startup, and continue to distance myself from the Canadian market and it’s 37m people.

There are far, far bigger fish to fry elsewhere.


You always offer a premium in a takeover. The fact remains that despite its "complexity," AC has been a far better investment, by your metric of share price, than WestJet. I just looked it up and $1,000 invested in AC 5 years ago would be about $5,500 today. $1,000 invested in WestJet would be $1,062 today. A few weeks ago before the takeover bump, you'd have had $640.

Comparing margins is foolish for the very reasons you mentioned: WS and AC are in completely different businesses. WS is a Canadian domestic carrier with a modest overseas and sun destination leisure business. AC is an international network carrier with all that entails. More importantly, the idea that margins are the only measure of a business' health is very flawed. WalMart has been one of the most successful businesses of the past decades and its margins are tiny. No doubt Macy's has higher margins, but which one is the more successful retailer?

That being said, WestJet has many strengths. It's a good airline and I always have good experiences when I fly them. I think Swoop has huge potential if WestJet sticks with it and invests the capital and sustained attention required to make it work. In fact, I think WestJet's best opportunity is to expand the Canadian domestic market through thinner margins. Just like Ryanair, the most successful airline in Europe over the past few decades, has done. Hopefully that's what they're trying to do with Swoop.
 
Dominion301
Posts: 2225
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:48 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:30 pm

jimbo737 wrote:

CB said from day 1 that the moment the unions took hold at WS, he’d be gone.

Anyone who knows the inside story could have easily predicted this event.


Shouldn’t those initials been anti-union champion GS’? CB left the CEO helm almost a decade before the unions came a knockin’. Yet at the same time he’s still Chairperson and the unions are there and GS is nowhere to be found.

It’s always the ‘big bad unions’ boogeyman eh! It’s never the fault of the ultra-rich CEO, CFO and COO. The union presence simply reflects the fact WS have grown up and the “CULTure” kool aid’s worn off.
 
jimbo737
Posts: 429
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:18 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:04 pm

I will defer to all the various experts out there, all of whom have intimate, insider knowledge of everything that’s ever occurred in the business in Canada.

I don’t think you’ll find too many unhappy WJ shareholders out there.

It’s been a heck of a run, for some from 25 cents to over $104. Anyone who was at WS prior to the 1999 ipo was likely buying shares for as little as $1.50 a pop, and post IPO at half the market value.

And for some, it may be an opportunity to do it all over again elsewhere in the world.
 
n471wn
Posts: 1714
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 12:23 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:41 pm

[threeid][/threeid]
YYZatcboy wrote:
n471wn wrote:
[threeid][/threeid]
Whiteguy wrote:

It’s done. Grounded as of midnight on the 31st, it will be parted out.


This aircraft is going to United Airlines—no indication from them that it is for parts


The aircraft is being scrapped.

https://twitter.com/WestJet/status/1156988224037937152

Other sources are not public.


Sorry to have to keep saying you are wrong but you are. My sources are not public but they are unimpeachable and the aircraft is going to United and United has it in their fleet plan. Let’s just wait and see who is right on this.
 
User avatar
767333ER
Posts: 967
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:14 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:09 pm

jimbo737 wrote:
I will defer to all the various experts out there, all of whom have intimate, insider knowledge of everything that’s ever occurred in the business in Canada.

I don’t think you’ll find too many unhappy WJ shareholders out there.

It’s been a heck of a run, for some from 25 cents to over $104. Anyone who was at WS prior to the 1999 ipo was likely buying shares for as little as $1.50 a pop, and post IPO at half the market value.

And for some, it may be an opportunity to do it all over again elsewhere in the world.

How about many of the unhappy employees, many of them are shareholders, right.?
Been on: 732 733 734 73G 738 752 763 A319 A320 A321 CRJ CR7 CRA/CR9 E145 E175 E190 F28 MD-82 MD-83 C172R C172S P2006T
 
jimbo737
Posts: 429
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:18 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:44 pm

Today at 15:06Z, WestJet’s first 737 NG, A/C 001 C-FIWS, touched down in Goodyear Arizona. This will be the last flight for this aircraft, as it is scheduled to be parted out.

The first flight was from YYC to YEG on May 26th, 2001. Since that first flight, the aircraft has had:

• 28,852 flights
• 62,775:37 hours in the sky
• 472 tire changes
• 4,947 daily Checks
• 11 engine changes
• 4 landing gear changes
• 12 APU changes
• Averaged over 4.3 flights a day for 6640 days

The last revenue was YYJ-YYC where it landed at 01:25Z 31/07/2019 in YYC.
 
jimbo737
Posts: 429
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:18 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:50 pm

767333ER wrote:
jimbo737 wrote:
I will defer to all the various experts out there, all of whom have intimate, insider knowledge of everything that’s ever occurred in the business in Canada.

I don’t think you’ll find too many unhappy WJ shareholders out there.

It’s been a heck of a run, for some from 25 cents to over $104. Anyone who was at WS prior to the 1999 ipo was likely buying shares for as little as $1.50 a pop, and post IPO at half the market value.

And for some, it may be an opportunity to do it all over again elsewhere in the world.

How about many of the unhappy employees, many of them are shareholders, right.?


Roughly 80% of WS employees are shareholders.

They’ve been able to buy shares at 50% off since day 1.

There are no shortage of WS employees who have a cost base of around $10-$12 and will sell at $31, and pay a low capital gains tax on that nice little windfall.

The misery is palpable as I sit in full 320 seat Dreamliner winging my way across the skies.....
 
YYZatcboy
Posts: 1173
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2005 2:15 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:55 pm

jimbo737 wrote:
767333ER wrote:
jimbo737 wrote:
I will defer to all the various experts out there, all of whom have intimate, insider knowledge of everything that’s ever occurred in the business in Canada.

I don’t think you’ll find too many unhappy WJ shareholders out there.

It’s been a heck of a run, for some from 25 cents to over $104. Anyone who was at WS prior to the 1999 ipo was likely buying shares for as little as $1.50 a pop, and post IPO at half the market value.

And for some, it may be an opportunity to do it all over again elsewhere in the world.

How about many of the unhappy employees, many of them are shareholders, right.?


Roughly 80% of WS employees are shareholders.

They’ve been able to buy shares at 50% off since day 1.

There are no shortage of WS employees who have a cost base of around $10-$12 and will sell at $31, and pay a low capital gains tax on that nice little windfall.

The misery is palpable as I sit in full 320 seat Dreamliner winging my way across the skies.....


The stock is sold to employees at market rates. Employees can contribute up to 20% of their salary to the stock purchase program which WestJet matches. There is no 50% discount on the sale price, all shares are purchased at the market rate.
DH1/3/4 MD11/88 L1011 A319/20/21/30/50/80 717 727 735/6/7/8/9 744 762/3 77E/W E40/75/90 CRJ/700/705 CC150
J/S DH8D 736/7/8 763
 
Skywatcher
Posts: 798
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2002 11:19 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:14 pm

Matching 1 for 1 equals a 50% discount net in the end does it not?
As far as WestJet stock goes I owned it and bailed out after about 6 months at a small loss-it was dead money.
It is rare for anybody to hold stock for as long as Jimbo737 implies. There are many temptations for people to sell at some point (need cash, dump in a downturn, cash out a gain, diversification etc.). No doubt there were a few winners who had the patience to hold but I suspect those people would be relatively few in number (despite what they may say publicly).
 
YYZatcboy
Posts: 1173
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2005 2:15 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:33 pm

Fair. I was thinking 50% off the market rate, but yes I guess 2 for 1 also is 50%, just didn't think about it like that, was thinking about the market rate.
DH1/3/4 MD11/88 L1011 A319/20/21/30/50/80 717 727 735/6/7/8/9 744 762/3 77E/W E40/75/90 CRJ/700/705 CC150
J/S DH8D 736/7/8 763
 
cumulushumilis
Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:49 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:44 pm

jimbo737 wrote:
Today at 15:06Z, WestJet’s first 737 NG, A/C 001 C-FIWS, touched down in Goodyear Arizona. This will be the last flight for this aircraft, as it is scheduled to be parted out.

The first flight was from YYC to YEG on May 26th, 2001. Since that first flight, the aircraft has had:

• 28,852 flights
• 62,775:37 hours in the sky
• 472 tire changes
• 4,947 daily Checks
• 11 engine changes
• 4 landing gear changes
• 12 APU changes
• Averaged over 4.3 flights a day for 6640 days

The last revenue was YYJ-YYC where it landed at 01:25Z 31/07/2019 in YYC.


Your late to the tail 001 party man.

Did you happen miss the entire discussion that was already happening above? 4 people say it’s to be parted out and one says it’s been sold to United. That’s where we are at in this discussion.
 
cumulushumilis
Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:49 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:44 pm

cumulushumilis wrote:
jimbo737 wrote:
Today at 15:06Z, WestJet’s first 737 NG, A/C 001 C-FIWS, touched down in Goodyear Arizona. This will be the last flight for this aircraft, as it is scheduled to be parted out.

The first flight was from YYC to YEG on May 26th, 2001. Since that first flight, the aircraft has had:

• 28,852 flights
• 62,775:37 hours in the sky
• 472 tire changes
• 4,947 daily Checks
• 11 engine changes
• 4 landing gear changes
• 12 APU changes
• Averaged over 4.3 flights a day for 6640 days

The last revenue was YYJ-YYC where it landed at 01:25Z 31/07/2019 in YYC.


You’re late to the tail 001 party man.

Did you happen miss the entire discussion that was already happening above? 4 people say it’s to be parted out and one says it’s been sold to United. That’s where we are at in this discussion.
 
n471wn
Posts: 1714
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 12:23 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:00 pm

cumulushumilis wrote:
jimbo737 wrote:
Today at 15:06Z, WestJet’s first 737 NG, A/C 001 C-FIWS, touched down in Goodyear Arizona. This will be the last flight for this aircraft, as it is scheduled to be parted out.

The first flight was from YYC to YEG on May 26th, 2001. Since that first flight, the aircraft has had:

• 28,852 flights
• 62,775:37 hours in the sky
• 472 tire changes
• 4,947 daily Checks
• 11 engine changes
• 4 landing gear changes
• 12 APU changes
• Averaged over 4.3 flights a day for 6640 days

The last revenue was YYJ-YYC where it landed at 01:25Z 31/07/2019 in YYC.


Your late to the tail 001 party man.

Did you happen miss the entire discussion that was already happening above? 4 people say it’s to be parted out and one says it’s been sold to United. That’s where we are at in this discussion.



Thank you for this. I have never seen so many people that want 001 scrapped. And people who do not read the threads above before commenting (as you pointed out). For those still insistent that 001 will be scrapped, there is a public source (mine are not) called Skyliner and go to new registrations and see what it says about this aircraft.
 
Thenoflyzone
Posts: 2838
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2001 4:42 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:10 am

18 years isn't a long time for a 737NG. Hence why the United move makes sense. The LOV (limit of validity) for a 737NG is 100,000 cycles and/or 125,000 hours.

Page 10.

Interesting that WS is getting rid of this bird so "early", so to speak, especially with the MAX grounding still in progress. You would think they would keep all the NG's in house until the MAX issue is resolved, especially one that still has plenty of life left in her.

Wonder what is the real cause of her early exit from the fleet. A hangar queen maybe, or an upcoming expensive D check?

YYZatcboy wrote:
The aircraft is being scrapped.

https://twitter.com/WestJet/status/1156988224037937152

Other sources are not public.


This one is, and it says the plane is going to United, which would make sense, as C-FIWS has plenty of life left in her.

https://www.skyliner-aviation.de/regdb. ... av4&page=3
us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
 
User avatar
767333ER
Posts: 967
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:14 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:29 pm

Thenoflyzone wrote:
18 years isn't a long time for a 737NG. Hence why the United move makes sense. The LOV (limit of validity) for a 737NG is 100,000 cycles and/or 125,000 hours.

Page 10.

Interesting that WS is getting rid of this bird so "early", so to speak, especially with the MAX grounding still in progress. You would think they would keep all the NG's in house until the MAX issue is resolved, especially one that still has plenty of life left in her.

Wonder what is the real cause of her early exit from the fleet. A hangar queen maybe, or an upcoming expensive D check?

YYZatcboy wrote:
The aircraft is being scrapped.

https://twitter.com/WestJet/status/1156988224037937152

Other sources are not public.


This one is, and it says the plane is going to United, which would make sense, as C-FIWS has plenty of life left in her.

https://www.skyliner-aviation.de/regdb. ... av4&page=3

The thing with this one is it’s a -700 which is an inefficient and worthless commodity to be used as a plane especially at its age (I’ll get to that in a moment), but for parts it can be worth quite a lot still. I don’t pretend to know what it’s future will be and if it’s going to United they seem to pretend to like the -700 a lot so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them use it, but all the same I think it would make more sense to part it out and support their much better newer -800s and -900ERs with it.

Now the thing that I see that it is nearly 20 years old and generally speaking it could have about 10 years of life left in it, but I’ve noticed that 737NGs often aren’t lasting much past 20 years as American for example wants rid of their older 738s, of course not an option at the moment. I believe it may have to do with that supposed fuselage joining corrosion people used to go on about. They used to say they’d find level 2 corrosion in the fuselages of 737NGs only 8 years old or so and while it was a fixable problem it would become very costly over time to the point where it’s just not worth it anymore.

Or they have heavy MX coming up they don’t want to do which is usually when an old plane retires unless it hits its certified hours or cycles which is basically when airlines like Air Canada have been retiring A320s. It’s interesting to see older 737NGs now that there are some not lasting as long.
Been on: 732 733 734 73G 738 752 763 A319 A320 A321 CRJ CR7 CRA/CR9 E145 E175 E190 F28 MD-82 MD-83 C172R C172S P2006T
 
TR1
Posts: 238
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:43 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:11 pm

Does anyone know what the long-term plans are for the 737-600 fleet?
 
marcogr12
Posts: 233
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:36 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:31 pm

767333ER wrote:
Thenoflyzone wrote:
18 years isn't a long time for a 737NG. Hence why the United move makes sense. The LOV (limit of validity) for a 737NG is 100,000 cycles and/or 125,000 hours.

Page 10.

Interesting that WS is getting rid of this bird so "early", so to speak, especially with the MAX grounding still in progress. You would think they would keep all the NG's in house until the MAX issue is resolved, especially one that still has plenty of life left in her.

Wonder what is the real cause of her early exit from the fleet. A hangar queen maybe, or an upcoming expensive D check?

YYZatcboy wrote:
The aircraft is being scrapped.

https://twitter.com/WestJet/status/1156988224037937152

Other sources are not public.


..and to think that some airlines are still flying the 733s which are 28yrs old

This one is, and it says the plane is going to United, which would make sense, as C-FIWS has plenty of life left in her.

https://www.skyliner-aviation.de/regdb. ... av4&page=3

The thing with this one is it’s a -700 which is an inefficient and worthless commodity to be used as a plane especially at its age (I’ll get to that in a moment), but for parts it can be worth quite a lot still. I don’t pretend to know what it’s future will be and if it’s going to United they seem to pretend to like the -700 a lot so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them use it, but all the same I think it would make more sense to part it out and support their much better newer -800s and -900ERs with it.

Now the thing that I see that it is nearly 20 years old and generally speaking it could have about 10 years of life left in it, but I’ve noticed that 737NGs often aren’t lasting much past 20 years as American for example wants rid of their older 738s, of course not an option at the moment. I believe it may have to do with that supposed fuselage joining corrosion people used to go on about. They used to say they’d find level 2 corrosion in the fuselages of 737NGs only 8 years old or so and while it was a fixable problem it would become very costly over time to the point where it’s just not worth it anymore.

Or they have heavy MX coming up they don’t want to do which is usually when an old plane retires unless it hits its certified hours or cycles which is basically when airlines like Air Canada have been retiring A320s. It’s interesting to see older 737NGs now that there are some not lasting as long.
Flying is breathing..no planes no life..
 
WS7M8
Topic Author
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:35 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:01 am

Jean Leloup wrote:
You started this thread pretty late in the day to get much Canadian interest before it slips down the page, but I'll chip in. :)

I am an AC guy so I don't follow WS too closely, but being Alberta-based, I am of course affected by everything they do! I don't have much insight, but do have a couple of questions:

1. Are any changes to the Westjet Link operations coming soon? Other than a press release puff piece celebrating the 1 year anniversary of the service last month, I couldn't find any info about changes to this operation. Would love to see it expand beyond the current cities, but no idea whether it's doing well enough for that to be the case. As I recall, the advent of Westjet Link may have caused an actual downgrade in service for Prince George (replacing some other flights), but it's been a godsend to Lethbridge (my home airport), Medicine Hat, Cranbrook, and Lloydminster, as it has broken the AC monopoly.



It is my impression that the WestJet Link product has been quite successful. One of WestJet's primary goals when they created WS Encore was to generate incremental passenger growth for connecting flights. To that effect, they have greatly increased their reach now, with 47 Q400s criss-crossing Canada on a daily basis, feeding their network. And the success of Encore is reflected in their growing widebody program.

As Encore matures, they also came across the realization that sometimes a Q400 is too much airplane for certain routes. Hence Link, and the Pacific Coastal subcontract. Their are five current Link destination cities: Cranbrook, Lethbridge, Lloydminster, Medicine Hat and Prince George (in addition to Calgary, where they all hub out of). The first four are places where a Q400 would have been too much capacity. Being from Alberta myself, I've been hearing rumours about WestJet going to Lethbridge or Medicine Hat for a long, long time. When Encore was created, I figured they surely would be among the inital destinations. Bottom lines is that WestJet knows their market, and the Link product (34 seat Saab) is the right amount of capacity, for now. I'll be interested to watch as these destinations have been on line now for over a year for any capacity tweaks. Will some of them get additional daily flights, or perhaps be upgauged to an Encore Q400. That will be fascinating to watch.

Prince George (YXS) is a whole different animal. WS has served it for years going back to their 737-200 days. When Encore was launched, it was among the first destinations to be handed to them. However here's guessing that they were not successful on the YYC-YXS segment. Possibly it was because of many BC resource projects being shelved, possibly it was because of the five year slowdown in the AB economy, but Link allows them to keep feed from Prince George to Calgary. For now a Link Saab keeps them in that market, and allows them to reallocate the Encore Q400 to more profitable flying. Note they are maintaining service on Encore from YVR-YXS.

My WestJet Link predictions is as follows. Look for the Link product to be selectively rolled out across the country, beginning with Western Canada. Since Pacific Coastal Airlines, their Link subcontractor, is based in Vancouver, and WJ has a significant YVR hub, I think we'll see a natural progression of Link to the BC / YVR market within the next year or two. Pacific Coastal's operation out of YVR is based at the south terminal (not the main pax terminal, but a smaller one on the south side of the airport). My guess is the reason it hasn't happened yet is twofold. The first is that Pacific Coastal's BC regional network is profitable as they trace their routes back to the 1960s, and the second is that their BC flying is too Beech 1900 centric.

Map of Pacific Coastal Airlines network:
https://www.pacificcoastal.com/wp-conte ... r-2018.pdf

Hypothetically, if Pacific Coastal would make a commitment to get more Saab 340Bs (which can be had on very affordable leases) and move their operation to the main terminal (where there is plenty of space), we would see a formalized WestJet Link operation for BC. I don't think every city on the current map would be there as I don't think WestJet wants to get into Beech 1900 flying, but I think most could support Saab 340 service oriented towards WestJet connections.

Canada sometimes surprises me with the sheer amount of independent regional air carriers. Pacific Coastal certainly has a lot to offer WestJet in terms of the BC market. Their regional network is doubtlessly feeling some pressure from Encore's service. While they won't quite be like Hawkair, a YVR - Terrace operator who went bankrupt within three years of Encore opening the route, I think their longer term future is under the WestJet Link umbrella, vs as an independent.

For the longer-term future of WestJet Link, once feed is established and secured in Western Canada, I project something similar to show up in YYZ. There are too many markets in Ontario / Quebec and even Atlantic Canada that WestJet could get into if they had a 30-50 seat aircraft partner. Sudbury, North Bay, Timmins, Windsor, Kingston, Sault St Marie, supplemental service to YXU, possible new destinations like Montreal-St Hubert or Sherbrooke, etc....
 
WS7M8
Topic Author
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:35 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:54 pm

A few additional thoughts:

Pacific Coastal may feel some reluctance to partner with WJ on a Link product for BC because of how it would cannibalize their existing operation, which is largely geared to intra-BC travel. Here's saying they could spin off some of their Beech 1900 flying to their Wilderness Seaplanes Division. But I'm guessing they are doing their due diligence comparing existing data to what WJ feed would add to the network. Or the convenience of the South Terminal at YVR to the added benefit of WS passengers... They couldn't run their existing BC flying as a stand-alone plus be a WJ partner on a nearly-identical operation.

Finally, part of the reason I believe WJ has transitioned to Link-sized aircraft is to help them flex their muscle in Calgary. Up until quite recently, AC offered more seats / day out of YYC, despite the fact WJ was the home town airline. AC hardly described YYC as a hub....more as a "focus city." Since Link was added, AC terminated the regional Air Georgian Calgary B1900 contract, upgauged some of those routes (Medicine Hat, Lethbridge) to Jazz DHC-8s, dropped other cities (Red Deer - a non-Link city roughly equidistant between YYC and YEG), not competed in others Link cities (Lloydminster - did Georgian they used to go there?), and not seen the necessity to compete in other markets (Prince George, Cranbrook) as you can easily connect to those places on AC through YVR.

There are four main hubs where AC and WJ are battling in Canada. In three of them (YYZ, YUL, YVR), AC is the top dog. YYC is the closest fight between the two. Link is another tool for WJ to collect as many passengers as they can through Calgary, to enable the growth of the hub (eg widebody & expanded B737 + Encore flying). They are making slow but steady progress. There are numerous city pairs through YYC where you connection would be a Link Saab to say an Encore Q400, vs the old days when it was just one WS B737 to another WS B737. Will be really interesting to watch the next few years unfold.
Last edited by WS7M8 on Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
WS7M8
Topic Author
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:35 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:06 pm

Deleted - accidental double post.
 
Whiteguy
Posts: 1359
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 6:11 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:03 pm

WS7M8 wrote:
Jean Leloup wrote:
You started this thread pretty late in the day to get much Canadian interest before it slips down the page, but I'll chip in. :)

I am an AC guy so I don't follow WS too closely, but being Alberta-based, I am of course affected by everything they do! I don't have much insight, but do have a couple of questions:

1. Are any changes to the Westjet Link operations coming soon? Other than a press release puff piece celebrating the 1 year anniversary of the service last month, I couldn't find any info about changes to this operation. Would love to see it expand beyond the current cities, but no idea whether it's doing well enough for that to be the case. As I recall, the advent of Westjet Link may have caused an actual downgrade in service for Prince George (replacing some other flights), but it's been a godsend to Lethbridge (my home airport), Medicine Hat, Cranbrook, and Lloydminster, as it has broken the AC monopoly.



It is my impression that the WestJet Link product has been quite successful. One of WestJet's primary goals when they created WS Encore was to generate incremental passenger growth for connecting flights. To that effect, they have greatly increased their reach now, with 47 Q400s criss-crossing Canada on a daily basis, feeding their network. And the success of Encore is reflected in their growing widebody program.

As Encore matures, they also came across the realization that sometimes a Q400 is too much airplane for certain routes. Hence Link, and the Pacific Coastal subcontract. Their are five current Link destination cities: Cranbrook, Lethbridge, Lloydminster, Medicine Hat and Prince George (in addition to Calgary, where they all hub out of). The first four are places where a Q400 would have been too much capacity. Being from Alberta myself, I've been hearing rumours about WestJet going to Lethbridge or Medicine Hat for a long, long time. When Encore was created, I figured they surely would be among the inital destinations. Bottom lines is that WestJet knows their market, and the Link product (34 seat Saab) is the right amount of capacity, for now. I'll be interested to watch as these destinations have been on line now for over a year for any capacity tweaks. Will some of them get additional daily flights, or perhaps be upgauged to an Encore Q400. That will be fascinating to watch.

Prince George (YXS) is a whole different animal. WS has served it for years going back to their 737-200 days. When Encore was launched, it was among the first destinations to be handed to them. However here's guessing that they were not successful on the YYC-YXS segment. Possibly it was because of many BC resource projects being shelved, possibly it was because of the five year slowdown in the AB economy, but Link allows them to keep feed from Prince George to Calgary. For now a Link Saab keeps them in that market, and allows them to reallocate the Encore Q400 to more profitable flying. Note they are maintaining service on Encore from YVR-YXS.

My WestJet Link predictions is as follows. Look for the Link product to be selectively rolled out across the country, beginning with Western Canada. Since Pacific Coastal Airlines, their Link subcontractor, is based in Vancouver, and WJ has a significant YVR hub, I think we'll see a natural progression of Link to the BC / YVR market within the next year or two. Pacific Coastal's operation out of YVR is based at the south terminal (not the main pax terminal, but a smaller one on the south side of the airport). My guess is the reason it hasn't happened yet is twofold. The first is that Pacific Coastal's BC regional network is profitable as they trace their routes back to the 1960s, and the second is that their BC flying is too Beech 1900 centric.

Map of Pacific Coastal Airlines network:
https://www.pacificcoastal.com/wp-conte ... r-2018.pdf

Hypothetically, if Pacific Coastal would make a commitment to get more Saab 340Bs (which can be had on very affordable leases) and move their operation to the main terminal (where there is plenty of space), we would see a formalized WestJet Link operation for BC. I don't think every city on the current map would be there as I don't think WestJet wants to get into Beech 1900 flying, but I think most could support Saab 340 service oriented towards WestJet connections.

Canada sometimes surprises me with the sheer amount of independent regional air carriers. Pacific Coastal certainly has a lot to offer WestJet in terms of the BC market. Their regional network is doubtlessly feeling some pressure from Encore's service. While they won't quite be like Hawkair, a YVR - Terrace operator who went bankrupt within three years of Encore opening the route, I think their longer term future is under the WestJet Link umbrella, vs as an independent.

For the longer-term future of WestJet Link, once feed is established and secured in Western Canada, I project something similar to show up in YYZ. There are too many markets in Ontario / Quebec and even Atlantic Canada that WestJet could get into if they had a 30-50 seat aircraft partner. Sudbury, North Bay, Timmins, Windsor, Kingston, Sault St Marie, supplemental service to YXU, possible new destinations like Montreal-St Hubert or Sherbrooke, etc....


WS just announced daily YVR-YXC-YVR service starting Oct 27th with Link.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos