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whywhyzee
Posts: 1099
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:12 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:46 pm

I think what is being lost here is the fact that yes, AC is the better airline for business travellers in Canada RIGHT NOW. WS is the new upstart, it takes time to become a viable competitor on all fronts. That will come, will they ever be as big as AC, who knows, probably not to be honest, but that's not the measure of success that they should really strive to achieve. I see WS and AC as having a VS/BA relationship, they can target different markets, overlap on the big ones and target specific subgroups. Looking at the premium offerings, AC targets old money no doubt about that, just take a look at the cabins, whose prominent colours are grey, light grey and you guessed it, dark grey. They are the business airline. WS on the other had targets new money, they are more 'colourful' so to speak, literally and metaphorically. Think new business travellers, and people travelling for personal/pleasure trips, but want a quality product.

WS currently has 3 widebodies with 3 more coming soon. (with the 767s leaving, let's rule them out altogether, they are on their way out and don't represent what WestJet is becoming). It's all new for them, this is only just the very top of the iceberg. Lounges are planned at all of the hubs, and the premium product will continue to be refined as it matures. It's not an apples to apples comparison yet, think about where the puck is going, not where it's been.
 
ac7e7
Posts: 762
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 7:27 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Thu Dec 12, 2019 6:19 pm

whywhyzee wrote:
I think what is being lost here is the fact that yes, AC is the better airline for business travellers in Canada RIGHT NOW. WS is the new upstart, it takes time to become a viable competitor on all fronts. That will come, will they ever be as big as AC, who knows, probably not to be honest, but that's not the measure of success that they should really strive to achieve. I see WS and AC as having a VS/BA relationship, they can target different markets, overlap on the big ones and target specific subgroups. Looking at the premium offerings, AC targets old money no doubt about that, just take a look at the cabins, whose prominent colours are grey, light grey and you guessed it, dark grey. They are the business airline. WS on the other had targets new money, they are more 'colourful' so to speak, literally and metaphorically. Think new business travellers, and people travelling for personal/pleasure trips, but want a quality product.

WS currently has 3 widebodies with 3 more coming soon. (with the 767s leaving, let's rule them out altogether, they are on their way out and don't represent what WestJet is becoming). It's all new for them, this is only just the very top of the iceberg. Lounges are planned at all of the hubs, and the premium product will continue to be refined as it matures. It's not an apples to apples comparison yet, think about where the puck is going, not where it's been.



Look, I used to fly WS all the time. I have WS aircraft models in my office. As an aviation fan, I think they have done a great job growing their airline into what it is today.
As a frequent flyer, I think it is healthy to have competition. As an AC SE100K, I know the competition will only push AC to higher levels of service. In fact, I am looking forward to trying WS’ business class at the earliest opportunity.

People here can call me a troll or whatever else they want to call me. Just because I critique their business plan doesn’t mean I want them to fail. I was very critical of AC’s financial position and business plan back in the early-mid 2000s. The issue I have with WS is if they are not careful they will go down the same path as CP and others. With Sims already on record as saying they want to attract AC business travellers, I am worried for their future (Onex as owners or otherwise).

I agree with you - when comparing WS and AC today they are not apples to apples. That is why WS has been profitable all these years. If they want to attract AC business travellers, they had better offer a completely different product all together. If they are striving to be everything AC is, WS is in for a rough ride.
 
Whiteguy
Posts: 1424
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 6:11 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:05 pm

 
Dominion301
Posts: 2445
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:48 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:11 pm

Whiteguy wrote:


Well that took longer than expected. ;)
 
Dominion301
Posts: 2445
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:48 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:13 pm

Whiteguy wrote:


Well that took longer than expected. ;)

On a separate note, WS' CEO says the newly privatized WestJet wants to grow its YYZ, YOW & YUL presence: https://business.financialpost.com/tran ... ments-area
 
YYZORD
Posts: 442
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:26 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:19 pm

WS has an advantage to make the route year round once the WS/DL JV is put in place.
 
YYZORD
Posts: 442
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:26 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:08 pm

Seems like WN wants to disrupt the current WS service from YYZ-LGA once the WS/DL JV is formed by taking WS 16 LGA slots away. https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news ... stjet.html
 
whywhyzee
Posts: 1099
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:12 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:01 am

ac7e7 wrote:
whywhyzee wrote:
I think what is being lost here is the fact that yes, AC is the better airline for business travellers in Canada RIGHT NOW. WS is the new upstart, it takes time to become a viable competitor on all fronts. That will come, will they ever be as big as AC, who knows, probably not to be honest, but that's not the measure of success that they should really strive to achieve. I see WS and AC as having a VS/BA relationship, they can target different markets, overlap on the big ones and target specific subgroups. Looking at the premium offerings, AC targets old money no doubt about that, just take a look at the cabins, whose prominent colours are grey, light grey and you guessed it, dark grey. They are the business airline. WS on the other had targets new money, they are more 'colourful' so to speak, literally and metaphorically. Think new business travellers, and people travelling for personal/pleasure trips, but want a quality product.

WS currently has 3 widebodies with 3 more coming soon. (with the 767s leaving, let's rule them out altogether, they are on their way out and don't represent what WestJet is becoming). It's all new for them, this is only just the very top of the iceberg. Lounges are planned at all of the hubs, and the premium product will continue to be refined as it matures. It's not an apples to apples comparison yet, think about where the puck is going, not where it's been.



Look, I used to fly WS all the time. I have WS aircraft models in my office. As an aviation fan, I think they have done a great job growing their airline into what it is today.
As a frequent flyer, I think it is healthy to have competition. As an AC SE100K, I know the competition will only push AC to higher levels of service. In fact, I am looking forward to trying WS’ business class at the earliest opportunity.

People here can call me a troll or whatever else they want to call me. Just because I critique their business plan doesn’t mean I want them to fail. I was very critical of AC’s financial position and business plan back in the early-mid 2000s. The issue I have with WS is if they are not careful they will go down the same path as CP and others. With Sims already on record as saying they want to attract AC business travellers, I am worried for their future (Onex as owners or otherwise).

I agree with you - when comparing WS and AC today they are not apples to apples. That is why WS has been profitable all these years. If they want to attract AC business travellers, they had better offer a completely different product all together. If they are striving to be everything AC is, WS is in for a rough ride.


You are right, and you are completely entitled to voice your opinion on here as well, it isn't trolling, this is a forum after all, it should be a place where opinions can be voiced.

I personally like the Onex deal, they seem to be pretty dedicated to growing the company sustainably on the surface, and to be very fair, in this day and age, there are limitations out of their control that will limit growth from getting overly excessive. Pilots, AMEs and other aviation professionals are in very short supply, airlines will really be stretched, especially with the new duty regs coming into place. I think that will force WS to focus on core markets and grow at a level the industry can sustain, which by my estimation is less than that which the market can sustain. I think there will be overlap, their application for LHR slots pretty much confirms where they want to fight AC, but I also think they have a lot of potential, especially here in Calgary where they are building a very substantial international operation. Their challenge moving forward will be to build a sustainable international operation year round in Calgary. Growing connection opportunities and the Delta partnership could be very helpful to keep routes like Paris and London year round at a higher frequency. Their growth, asides from crews will be limited by what they can manage to fill during the winter, 787s are too expensive to have sit idle during the offseason, and Hawaii/Tcons alone wont do it.
 
WS7M8
Topic Author
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:35 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:13 pm

Whiteguy wrote:



Has YYC ever had a non-stop to Boston before? Seems like the kind of route AC may have done in the not-too-distant past. Regardless, Calgary has picked up two flights to Boston this summer by Canada's two major air carriers. Interestingly, I think WS may be better positioned at either end, as their YYC ops are slightly bigger than AC's, and in BOS they'll have the advantage of the DL codeshare / connection possibities, with the JV coming on line soon. They may also be able to push some European partner traffic through BOS at busier times.

As for the flights, they are basically timed the opposite of each other. WestJet's is the mid-morning YYC departure / late afternoon BOS arrival, and late afternoon return from BOS / midevening arrival YYC, whereas AC has the early morning flight from BOS which gets to Calgary midmorning and the late afternoon flight from Calgary, which equals a late evening arrival in BOS.

WestJet is starting the route a month and half before AC - this bears watching. How will AC respond? They announced it first, and had about a week head start, but WS has shown they are willing to fight for this market. AC's commitment to the route seems marginal for a carrier of their magnitude - daily from June 22nd to September 7th. It seems the kind of route they could easily let slide in say February if advance bookings aren't good, as YYC-BOS traffic could easily be rerouted through YYZ / YOW / YUL where they have many daily frequencies to BOS and connections to Western Canada destinations.

Interestingly, when WS launches YYC BOS (May 14th @945 am), that will make 3 daily flights in the mid-morning departure bank to Eastern USA Delta hubs, JFK @950 am and ATL @ 10am being the others. The dots are starting to connect.

Interesting times ahead.
 
hollywoodcory
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:29 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sun Dec 15, 2019 1:52 am

I'm 500% sure AC knew before announcing YYC-BOS that WS would follow suit. I think they'll still operate it as planned and re-examine afterwards. Whether or not they choose to continue after this summer, I guess time will tell.

I don't see WS adding anything else for YYC in S20.

Also today's inaugural YYC-PUJ flight was first delayed 11 hours and then cancelled. Makeup flight planned for tomorrow morning. Good thing there was no festivities beforehand. The first flight to RTB goes out tomorrow.
 
Whiteguy
Posts: 1424
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 6:11 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:23 am

WS7M8 wrote:
Whiteguy wrote:



Has YYC ever had a non-stop to Boston before? Seems like the kind of route AC may have done in the not-too-distant past. Regardless, Calgary has picked up two flights to Boston this summer by Canada's two major air carriers. Interestingly, I think WS may be better positioned at either end, as their YYC ops are slightly bigger than AC's, and in BOS they'll have the advantage of the DL codeshare / connection possibities, with the JV coming on line soon. They may also be able to push some European partner traffic through BOS at busier times.

As for the flights, they are basically timed the opposite of each other. WestJet's is the mid-morning YYC departure / late afternoon BOS arrival, and late afternoon return from BOS / midevening arrival YYC, whereas AC has the early morning flight from BOS which gets to Calgary midmorning and the late afternoon flight from Calgary, which equals a late evening arrival in BOS.

WestJet is starting the route a month and half before AC - this bears watching. How will AC respond? They announced it first, and had about a week head start, but WS has shown they are willing to fight for this market. AC's commitment to the route seems marginal for a carrier of their magnitude - daily from June 22nd to September 7th. It seems the kind of route they could easily let slide in say February if advance bookings aren't good, as YYC-BOS traffic could easily be rerouted through YYZ / YOW / YUL where they have many daily frequencies to BOS and connections to Western Canada destinations.

Interestingly, when WS launches YYC BOS (May 14th @945 am), that will make 3 daily flights in the mid-morning departure bank to Eastern USA Delta hubs, JFK @950 am and ATL @ 10am being the others. The dots are starting to connect.

Interesting times ahead.


I don’t believe BOS has ever been operated from YYC before, not since I’ve been here anyway. AC didn’t really have much of a head start announcing it, it was 2 days prior to WS. I’m guessing AC only announced because they somehow found out WS was going to announce it in the new year. AC hasn’t really been adding to the YYC market over that last few years.
 
YYZORD
Posts: 442
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:26 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:45 am

if YYC-BOS can work, what's to say that YYZ-SEA can't work for either WS or DL? It's the only DL hub that YYZ is not connected to through DL and their partners. I'm sure there is more pax on YYZ-SEA than YYC-BOS. SEA can be good for asian connections like BOS is good for european connections.
 
WS7M8
Topic Author
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:35 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:47 pm

YYZORD wrote:
if YYC-BOS can work, what's to say that YYZ-SEA can't work for either WS or DL? It's the only DL hub that YYZ is not connected to through DL and their partners. I'm sure there is more pax on YYZ-SEA than YYC-BOS. SEA can be good for asian connections like BOS is good for european connections.


I'd agree strongly on that one. Plus AC is not only doing YYZ SEA, they added YUL SEA for summer 2020, so the market definitely exists from Eastern Canada to the Emerald City. Interestingly, although AC has an Airbus 319 on SEA YYZ, they have the Airbus 220 doing SEA YUL, which may be optimal usage of their newest aircraft type.

Once the JV gets approved, it will be fascinating to watch how WS & DL handle things. Would DL do SEA YYZ with one of their A220s, possibly use a bigger aircraft in their portfolio (A319? B738?), or would it be a WS B737, presumably a -700?
 
WS7M8
Topic Author
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:35 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Mon Dec 16, 2019 3:08 pm

hollywoodcory wrote:

Also today's inaugural YYC-PUJ flight was first delayed 11 hours and then cancelled. Makeup flight planned for tomorrow morning. Good thing there was no festivities beforehand. The first flight to RTB goes out tomorrow.



Too bad. I'm mildly surprised they didn't have a spare, as from what I can gather, WestJet's B767 utilization is not that heavy. How are the 767s doing on CUN/MBJ/PUJ? Seems an ideal fit for them. Any news on how much longer the 767s are going to remain in Teal?
 
YYCFlier
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:42 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:22 pm

ac7e7 wrote:
I realize WS fanboys are easily triggered when someone actually prefers AC over their favourite airline. However, you should be listening to people like me rather than calling me a troll. Why does WS continuously fail to attract lucrative business travellers in the Toronto/Montreal/Vancouver markets? Why do people like me spend our dollars at AC rather than WS? While WS became complacent and believed they were far superior to AC, AC upped their game significantly. If WS believes adding a few nice seats and one lounge will attract business travellers away from AC, they are living in a dream world.


WestJet's claim to fame isn't going to be "do what Air Canada does". For example, YUL is not a WS hub and will never be one. It's an outstation. To suggest launching any service from YUL of any significance is ludicrous. Once they eat Transat it will be a fortress hub for AC. I don't think WS has any intention of trying to challenge AC as the dominant business carrier and they simply cannot do so; AC is too entrenched. WestJet has a good network in the West and is still largely tilted to leisure travelling despite trying to grow up. It will continue to attract those travellers for NA and Sun travel, with some premium travel on TATL.

I don't think you're in their target market, but there is another airline with whom you're already familiar where you are. Copying another company's business strategy only works if you can do it at lower cost, and that is never going to happen. So stop suggesting they should.
 
hollywoodcory
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:29 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:12 pm

In this weekend’s schedule update, YYC-PDX was increased to 2x daily for S20.
 
ac7e7
Posts: 762
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 7:27 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:26 am

YYCFlier wrote:
ac7e7 wrote:
I realize WS fanboys are easily triggered when someone actually prefers AC over their favourite airline. However, you should be listening to people like me rather than calling me a troll. Why does WS continuously fail to attract lucrative business travellers in the Toronto/Montreal/Vancouver markets? Why do people like me spend our dollars at AC rather than WS? While WS became complacent and believed they were far superior to AC, AC upped their game significantly. If WS believes adding a few nice seats and one lounge will attract business travellers away from AC, they are living in a dream world.


WestJet's claim to fame isn't going to be "do what Air Canada does". For example, YUL is not a WS hub and will never be one. It's an outstation. To suggest launching any service from YUL of any significance is ludicrous. Once they eat Transat it will be a fortress hub for AC. I don't think WS has any intention of trying to challenge AC as the dominant business carrier and they simply cannot do so; AC is too entrenched. WestJet has a good network in the West and is still largely tilted to leisure travelling despite trying to grow up. It will continue to attract those travellers for NA and Sun travel, with some premium travel on TATL.

I don't think you're in their target market, but there is another airline with whom you're already familiar where you are. Copying another company's business strategy only works if you can do it at lower cost, and that is never going to happen. So stop suggesting they should.


I don’t need to suggest it. WS’ own CEO is on the record saying he is targeting AC business travellers. Onex is also on the record saying they want WS to be more aggressive in the Montreal/Toronto-Ottawa corridor.

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/mobile/westjet-ceo-says-new-routes-to-europe-partly-a-grab-for-air-canada-customers-1.4129516

https://business.financialpost.com/transportation/airlines/westjet-eyes-more-eastern-canada-routes-under-new-owner-onex-corp


Re target market - Apparently you are right - Earlier this year I requested a status match (I am SE100K). They offered me Gold. They did not even offer me Platinum. I spend over $25K per year with AC alone and WS doesn't even offer me their top tier (which only requires $8K total spend).

Everyone here keeps telling me that WS is doing something different. What is that exactly?

Onex acquired WS for a reason. They want business travellers. They bring in tons of $ for airlines. Their is no room to grow chasing the likes of Flair. Onex knows that. WS is currently spending resources fighting for market share against airlines like Flair, while trying to attract business travellers at the top. Even AC kept out of the ULCC battleground because they are focused on travellers that bring in more $.

Onex will bring some much needed focus to WS. Onex is not going to settle for “something different” that includes lower business fares and a sub-par FF program. They want business travellers who spend $ on higher fares, and fly frequently. Unless they add frequency, improve their FF program, and offer more to top-tier travellers than a smile when sh*t happens, good luck attracting those travellers away from AC.
 
User avatar
cirrusdragoon
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:42 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:21 am

ac7e7 wrote:
YYCFlier wrote:
ac7e7 wrote:
I realize WS fanboys are easily triggered when someone actually prefers AC over their favourite airline. However, you should be listening to people like me rather than calling me a troll. Why does WS continuously fail to attract lucrative business travellers in the Toronto/Montreal/Vancouver markets? Why do people like me spend our dollars at AC rather than WS? While WS became complacent and believed they were far superior to AC, AC upped their game significantly. If WS believes adding a few nice seats and one lounge will attract business travellers away from AC, they are living in a dream world.


WestJet's claim to fame isn't going to be "do what Air Canada does". For example, YUL is not a WS hub and will never be one. It's an outstation. To suggest launching any service from YUL of any significance is ludicrous. Once they eat Transat it will be a fortress hub for AC. I don't think WS has any intention of trying to challenge AC as the dominant business carrier and they simply cannot do so; AC is too entrenched. WestJet has a good network in the West and is still largely tilted to leisure travelling despite trying to grow up. It will continue to attract those travellers for NA and Sun travel, with some premium travel on TATL.

I don't think you're in their target market, but there is another airline with whom you're already familiar where you are. Copying another company's business strategy only works if you can do it at lower cost, and that is never going to happen. So stop suggesting they should.


I don’t need to suggest it. WS’ own CEO is on the record saying he is targeting AC business travellers. Onex is also on the record saying they want WS to be more aggressive in the Montreal/Toronto-Ottawa corridor.

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/mobile/westjet-ceo-says-new-routes-to-europe-partly-a-grab-for-air-canada-customers-1.4129516

https://business.financialpost.com/transportation/airlines/westjet-eyes-more-eastern-canada-routes-under-new-owner-onex-corp


Re target market - Apparently you are right - Earlier this year I requested a status match (I am SE100K). They offered me Gold. They did not even offer me Platinum. I spend over $25K per year with AC alone and WS doesn't even offer me their top tier (which only requires $8K total spend).

Everyone here keeps telling me that WS is doing something different. What is that exactly?

Onex acquired WS for a reason. They want business travellers. They bring in tons of $ for airlines. Their is no room to grow chasing the likes of Flair. Onex knows that. WS is currently spending resources fighting for market share against airlines like Flair, while trying to attract business travellers at the top. Even AC kept out of the ULCC battleground because they are focused on travellers that bring in more $.

Onex will bring some much needed focus to WS. Onex is not going to settle for “something different” that includes lower business fares and a sub-par FF program. They want business travellers who spend $ on higher fares, and fly frequently. Unless they add frequency, improve their FF program, and offer more to top-tier travellers than a smile when sh*t happens, good luck attracting those travellers away from AC.


I whole heartedly agree ac7e7
 
PlaneMad134
Posts: 170
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:59 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:17 am

Does anyone know roughly how long it will be before WestJet announce their 767 plans for next summer?
 
Dominion301
Posts: 2445
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:48 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:27 pm

PlaneMad134 wrote:
Does anyone know roughly how long it will be before WestJet announce their 767 plans for next summer?


If they don’t announce anything by mid-January, it probably means they’re going to be relegated to BCN and domestic transcons. However, I suspect something is coming. They won’t announce anything over the holidays of course.
 
YYCFlier
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:42 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Tue Dec 24, 2019 8:26 pm

The 767-300ERs are doing YYC-YYZ and BCN for sure - YYC-YYZ looks daily.
 
YYCFlier
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:42 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Tue Dec 24, 2019 8:45 pm

ac7e7 wrote:
Onex acquired WS for a reason. They want business travellers. They bring in tons of $ for airlines. Their is no room to grow chasing the likes of Flair. Onex knows that. WS is currently spending resources fighting for market share against airlines like Flair, while trying to attract business travellers at the top. Even AC kept out of the ULCC battleground because they are focused on travellers that bring in more $.

Onex will bring some much needed focus to WS. Onex is not going to settle for “something different” that includes lower business fares and a sub-par FF program. They want business travellers who spend $ on higher fares, and fly frequently. Unless they add frequency, improve their FF program, and offer more to top-tier travellers than a smile when sh*t happens, good luck attracting those travellers away from AC.


If their plan is to compete head to head with Air Canada, they will fail. There is absolutely no reason why someone with your annual spend and travel profile would want to switch to WestJet. In particular:

  • WestJet is not part of any world wide alliance
  • The frequent flier program has some niche use within North America but is largely useless for worldwide travel and has many fewer perks
  • WestJet does not have the aircraft, nor any orders to have enough aircraft to build a decent international network
  • WestJet lacks proper lounges even at its hubs let alone other major airports

I wouldn't want to switch with your profile, even as a YYC-based traveller. I think WestJet would do much better at growing their international operations where they can make money, which at the moment is TATL particularly during summer. They continue to grow the network at YYC to fill the 789s, and I imagine an expansion at YYZ in 2021 when the last 4 frames come. If WestJet wants to get serious they need to exercise their options and put in another widebody order.

WestJet is good for North American travellers who primarily want domestic/trans-border/sun destinations and have some travel to Europe. It will get some business travel on the TATL destinations as the price is very competitive for the product, but it will remain largely a leisure and North American airline until it can radically improve these shortcomings. For the North American flier who goes places WestJet flies (and once WestJet fixes the remainder of the fleet to get proper J cabin), and want a way to Europe, it's a good option. For the high spend business travellers, it's not there yet. Any expansion in the East will be at YYZ where they have tons of room to grow; I don't see them touching YUL ever.

They could try to offer a more compelling eastern triangle offering, but to be honest, AC beats them at this even in the western triangle. Of the biggest perks AC offers between YVR/YYC/YEG is free standby even at lower fare classes. And they'll need proper J cabin before they can do this; I can't see this being done with the MAX out of commission until end of 2020 (the 737-800s are done now).

I can see WestJet buying Porter; it would be a very natural way to expand their network in the East with an aircraft they are largely familiar with operating. YTZ slots would be the primary reason for this as it would cost little for them to buy used DH4s and expand WestJet Encore.
 
jbpdx
Posts: 805
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:37 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:21 pm

hollywoodcory wrote:
In this weekend’s schedule update, YYC-PDX was increased to 2x daily for S20.


Would WestJet consider YYZ-PDX? AC only operates 22 May—23 Oct. but last year they started late and ended early. Would WS going year round run AC off the route? AC has no Mileage Plan ties to AS, WS does with Delta.
Major N.A. airports with no PDX nonstops: MIA, FLL, TPA, IND, MSY, CLE, CVG, PIT, MEX, CUN; +BNA, +BWI, +PHL, +YYZ
 
Whiteguy
Posts: 1424
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 6:11 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:36 am

PlaneMad134 wrote:
Does anyone know roughly how long it will be before WestJet announce their 767 plans for next summer?


Summer sked will be announced end of Jan or beginnings of Feb, maybe a bit earlier.
Last edited by Whiteguy on Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
Whiteguy
Posts: 1424
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 6:11 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:40 am

YYCFlier wrote:
ac7e7 wrote:
Onex acquired WS for a reason. They want business travellers. They bring in tons of $ for airlines. Their is no room to grow chasing the likes of Flair. Onex knows that. WS is currently spending resources fighting for market share against airlines like Flair, while trying to attract business travellers at the top. Even AC kept out of the ULCC battleground because they are focused on travellers that bring in more $.

Onex will bring some much needed focus to WS. Onex is not going to settle for “something different” that includes lower business fares and a sub-par FF program. They want business travellers who spend $ on higher fares, and fly frequently. Unless they add frequency, improve their FF program, and offer more to top-tier travellers than a smile when sh*t happens, good luck attracting those travellers away from AC.


If their plan is to compete head to head with Air Canada, they will fail. There is absolutely no reason why someone with your annual spend and travel profile would want to switch to WestJet. In particular:

  • WestJet is not part of any world wide alliance
  • The frequent flier program has some niche use within North America but is largely useless for worldwide travel and has many fewer perks
  • WestJet does not have the aircraft, nor any orders to have enough aircraft to build a decent international network
  • WestJet lacks proper lounges even at its hubs let alone other major airports

I wouldn't want to switch with your profile, even as a YYC-based traveller. I think WestJet would do much better at growing their international operations where they can make money, which at the moment is TATL particularly during summer. They continue to grow the network at YYC to fill the 789s, and I imagine an expansion at YYZ in 2021 when the last 4 frames come. If WestJet wants to get serious they need to exercise their options and put in another widebody order.

WestJet is good for North American travellers who primarily want domestic/trans-border/sun destinations and have some travel to Europe. It will get some business travel on the TATL destinations as the price is very competitive for the product, but it will remain largely a leisure and North American airline until it can radically improve these shortcomings. For the North American flier who goes places WestJet flies (and once WestJet fixes the remainder of the fleet to get proper J cabin), and want a way to Europe, it's a good option. For the high spend business travellers, it's not there yet. Any expansion in the East will be at YYZ where they have tons of room to grow; I don't see them touching YUL ever.

They could try to offer a more compelling eastern triangle offering, but to be honest, AC beats them at this even in the western triangle. Of the biggest perks AC offers between YVR/YYC/YEG is free standby even at lower fare classes. And they'll need proper J cabin before they can do this; I can't see this being done with the MAX out of commission until end of 2020 (the 737-800s are done now).

I can see WestJet buying Porter; it would be a very natural way to expand their network in the East with an aircraft they are largely familiar with operating. YTZ slots would be the primary reason for this as it would cost little for them to buy used DH4s and expand WestJet Encore.


A proper J cabin is being done right now. All B738s, except for 3 going to Swoop, have had their cabins updated and the first B73W has been done.

As for fleet, I would expect an announcement soon for the options of the next 10 B789s to arrive sooner then later.
 
YYCFlier
Posts: 12
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Re: The WestJet Thread

Wed Dec 25, 2019 2:23 am

Whiteguy wrote:
A proper J cabin is being done right now. All B738s, except for 3 going to Swoop, have had their cabins updated and the first B73W has been done.
As for fleet, I would expect an announcement soon for the options of the next 10 B789s to arrive sooner then later.


Yes, I know the 738s are done, but the bulk of WS's fleet is the 737-700s. With only 2-3 frames going under the knife at a time it will take a couple more years to do this. It needs to be done on all aircraft ASAP.
 
YYCFlier
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:42 pm

Re: The WestJet Thread

Wed Dec 25, 2019 2:24 am

jbpdx wrote:
hollywoodcory wrote:
In this weekend’s schedule update, YYC-PDX was increased to 2x daily for S20.


Would WestJet consider YYZ-PDX? AC only operates 22 May—23 Oct. but last year they started late and ended early. Would WS going year round run AC off the route? AC has no Mileage Plan ties to AS, WS does with Delta.


Probably not. WS is running PDX to fill YYC 789s. They don't need PDX to fill the YYZ 789s.
 
YYZORD
Posts: 442
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Re: The WestJet Thread

Wed Dec 25, 2019 3:20 am

It makes much more sense for WS or DL to add YYZ-SEA instead as SEA is a DL hub. PDX works fine out of YYC for WS, maybe they can add YVR-PDX.

jbpdx wrote:
hollywoodcory wrote:
In this weekend’s schedule update, YYC-PDX was increased to 2x daily for S20.


Would WestJet consider YYZ-PDX? AC only operates 22 May—23 Oct. but last year they started late and ended early. Would WS going year round run AC off the route? AC has no Mileage Plan ties to AS, WS does with Delta.
 
Whiteguy
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Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 6:11 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Wed Dec 25, 2019 5:16 am

YYCFlier wrote:
Whiteguy wrote:
A proper J cabin is being done right now. All B738s, except for 3 going to Swoop, have had their cabins updated and the first B73W has been done.
As for fleet, I would expect an announcement soon for the options of the next 10 B789s to arrive sooner then later.


Yes, I know the 738s are done, but the bulk of WS's fleet is the 737-700s. With only 2-3 frames going under the knife at a time it will take a couple more years to do this. It needs to be done on all aircraft ASAP.


Not really, it only took a couple months to get the 800 fleet done when the summer ended. Once the Xmas season is done I’m sure the spool up will begin on the 700s, they’ll all been done by summer.
 
jimbo737
Posts: 483
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:18 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Wed Dec 25, 2019 6:58 pm

ac7e7 wrote:
YYCFlier wrote:
ac7e7 wrote:
I realize WS fanboys are easily triggered when someone actually prefers AC over their favourite airline. However, you should be listening to people like me rather than calling me a troll. Why does WS continuously fail to attract lucrative business travellers in the Toronto/Montreal/Vancouver markets? Why do people like me spend our dollars at AC rather than WS? While WS became complacent and believed they were far superior to AC, AC upped their game significantly. If WS believes adding a few nice seats and one lounge will attract business travellers away from AC, they are living in a dream world.


WestJet's claim to fame isn't going to be "do what Air Canada does". For example, YUL is not a WS hub and will never be one. It's an outstation. To suggest launching any service from YUL of any significance is ludicrous. Once they eat Transat it will be a fortress hub for AC. I don't think WS has any intention of trying to challenge AC as the dominant business carrier and they simply cannot do so; AC is too entrenched. WestJet has a good network in the West and is still largely tilted to leisure travelling despite trying to grow up. It will continue to attract those travellers for NA and Sun travel, with some premium travel on TATL.

I don't think you're in their target market, but there is another airline with whom you're already familiar where you are. Copying another company's business strategy only works if you can do it at lower cost, and that is never going to happen. So stop suggesting they should.


I don’t need to suggest it. WS’ own CEO is on the record saying he is targeting AC business travellers. Onex is also on the record saying they want WS to be more aggressive in the Montreal/Toronto-Ottawa corridor.

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/mobile/westjet-ceo-says-new-routes-to-europe-partly-a-grab-for-air-canada-customers-1.4129516

https://business.financialpost.com/transportation/airlines/westjet-eyes-more-eastern-canada-routes-under-new-owner-onex-corp


Re target market - Apparently you are right - Earlier this year I requested a status match (I am SE100K). They offered me Gold. They did not even offer me Platinum. I spend over $25K per year with AC alone and WS doesn't even offer me their top tier (which only requires $8K total spend).

Everyone here keeps telling me that WS is doing something different. What is that exactly?

Onex acquired WS for a reason. They want business travellers. They bring in tons of $ for airlines. Their is no room to grow chasing the likes of Flair. Onex knows that. WS is currently spending resources fighting for market share against airlines like Flair, while trying to attract business travellers at the top. Even AC kept out of the ULCC battleground because they are focused on travellers that bring in more $.

Onex will bring some much needed focus to WS. Onex is not going to settle for “something different” that includes lower business fares and a sub-par FF program. They want business travellers who spend $ on higher fares, and fly frequently. Unless they add frequency, improve their FF program, and offer more to top-tier travellers than a smile when sh*t happens, good luck attracting those travellers away from AC.


WS needs “much needed focus”?

Name a niche of the sched airline business AC is NOT involved in.
 
whywhyzee
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:12 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:17 pm

Happy New Year everyone. In light of the new year, I thought it might be interesting to discuss what we all think might happen to WS moving forward into this new year. In my opinion 2020 will be a really big year in terms of the direction the company takes. It'll be Onex's first year at the helm, so I imagine we will likely see their intentions reveal themselves. There is also the pending JV with Delta that is likely to soon gain approval, which opens the door to a more extensive transborder network.

Personally, I feel like this is the year we will see the next large order from WS, with potential for jets at Encore, more next gen narrow bodies to continue the gradual replacement of the NGs + gradually expand and the distinct potential of the 787 options being exercised.

Would love to hear everyone's thoughts, wish you all the best in 2020.
 
Whiteguy
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Re: The WestJet Thread

Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:03 am

whywhyzee wrote:
Happy New Year everyone. In light of the new year, I thought it might be interesting to discuss what we all think might happen to WS moving forward into this new year. In my opinion 2020 will be a really big year in terms of the direction the company takes. It'll be Onex's first year at the helm, so I imagine we will likely see their intentions reveal themselves. There is also the pending JV with Delta that is likely to soon gain approval, which opens the door to a more extensive transborder network.

Personally, I feel like this is the year we will see the next large order from WS, with potential for jets at Encore, more next gen narrow bodies to continue the gradual replacement of the NGs + gradually expand and the distinct potential of the 787 options being exercised.

Would love to hear everyone's thoughts, wish you all the best in 2020.


B763s retired after the summer, options for next 10 787s actioned plus order for 25 more......order for up to 40 A220s to replace older B73Ws and maybe an for 15-25 E175s or CRJs to Encore, max 76 seats.... 8-)
 
YYCFlier
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Re: The WestJet Thread

Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:52 am

B763s remain in service throughout 2020 and fly BCN from YYZ along with YYC/YVR-YYZ as trunk routes in S20
787 options for 2021 are exercised, but no additional order
New routes to Europe announced from YYZ on 789
CDG goes year round from YYC
No A220s purchased (WestJet already considered them and opted for 737 MAX 7 instead)
Capacity purchase agreement signed with a carrier in the East, WestJet Link opens to YYZ
No changes to Encore fleet type
Additional capacity shifted to Eastern triangle
YVR goes year round from YUL
 
smallmj
Posts: 162
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Re: The WestJet Thread

Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:26 pm

I'm hoping that once the MAX flies again they'll announce YHZ-AMS, along with full codesharing with AF/KLM for flights in Europe. They don't seem to be interested in fully joining Skyteam, but closer ties with the certain Skyteam members would be nice.
 
Skywatcher
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Re: The WestJet Thread

Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:08 pm

My WestJet predictions for 2020;

Since they are arguably dominant at YVR I see them deploying some 789 capacity there, particularly since the YVR economy is robust. If they do indeed have a cost advantage as some suggest they'll have to go TPAC at some point.
The emb-175 is hugely successful in it's niche. They are late to the game but they'll likely hop on board maybe with the E2. Maybe they could be used to upgrade the Eastern triangle.
When the MAX comes back they'll transfer more 737NG capacity to Swoop and take on Transat/Rouge/Sunwing more.
Given that ONEX is YYZ centric look for more capacity deployed in slugfest with AC.
YEG will get more love now that the AB economy is starting to rebound more.
More unionization will likely be pressured on WJ. No more "let's call this a happy family and under compensate our employees". They can't throw cheap shares at the employees in lieu of pay anymore since they've flatlined.
 
flyb
Posts: 556
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Re: The WestJet Thread

Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:27 pm

I see WS consolidating YEG routes more into YYC in 2020 and beyond; it doesn't make sense for WS to expand anything but connector routes from YEG...other than Swoop that is.
 
BML87
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Re: The WestJet Thread

Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:34 pm

flyb wrote:
I see WS consolidating YEG routes more into YYC in 2020 and beyond; it doesn't make sense for WS to expand anything but connector routes from YEG...other than Swoop that is.


YEG is still very important for WestJet, in 2019 they launched mainline service to St. John's and in 2020 will launch Honolulu. Both these routes bypass hubs.
 
YYCFlier
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Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:02 am

BML87 wrote:
flyb wrote:
I see WS consolidating YEG routes more into YYC in 2020 and beyond; it doesn't make sense for WS to expand anything but connector routes from YEG...other than Swoop that is.


YEG is still very important for WestJet, in 2019 they launched mainline service to St. John's and in 2020 will launch Honolulu. Both these routes bypass hubs.


YEG is their biggest focus city and almost a hub on its own, so yeah I don't see that happening. It will retain good domestic and sun service. HNL will not launch in 2020 - both YYC and YEG are being routed via YVR due to MAX grounding. Nothing else has the range in the narrowbody fleet.
 
BML87
Posts: 70
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Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Jan 04, 2020 1:04 am

YYCFlier wrote:
BML87 wrote:
flyb wrote:
I see WS consolidating YEG routes more into YYC in 2020 and beyond; it doesn't make sense for WS to expand anything but connector routes from YEG...other than Swoop that is.


YEG is still very important for WestJet, in 2019 they launched mainline service to St. John's and in 2020 will launch Honolulu. Both these routes bypass hubs.


YEG is their biggest focus city and almost a hub on its own, so yeah I don't see that happening. It will retain good domestic and sun service. HNL will not launch in 2020 - both YYC and YEG are being routed via YVR due to MAX grounding. Nothing else has the range in the narrowbody fleet.


It won't launch this winter, but is already scheduled for next winter, which is still 2020.
 
Dominion301
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Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:44 am

flyb wrote:
I see WS consolidating YEG routes more into YYC in 2020 and beyond; it doesn't make sense for WS to expand anything but connector routes from YEG...other than Swoop that is.


I don’t. If WS are in fact serious about being more than 3rd fiddle to AC and PD in Ottawa and Montreal, they need to restore YUL/YOW-YEG to being year-round routes (and YVR and in YUL’s case YWG too) as a bare minimum.
 
DFF
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Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:50 am

My guess is WS and Onex will focus on profitable flying and less about running the place like an Airline Sim game.

If a route makes sense, if it’s strategic for major corporate contracts, if it feeds network hubs, then you will see it.

Year-round YWG-YUL hardly sounds like a key initiative.

Look for more YYC. A lot more YYZ.
 
whywhyzee
Posts: 1099
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Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:08 pm

https://www.yyc.com/Portals/0/MEDIA/...r_paxtotal.pdf

YYC November numbers are out, with a huge jump in international traffic. Considering Year over Year, both BA and HU are missing from those numbers, and AC reduced LHR from 298 seats to 250 seats daily each way, speaks volumes to how well WS is doing with their international expansion.

This year, LGW is up nearly 30%, DUB ran at high 90s LFs through the summer, and CDG, while numbers aren't publically available can only be assumed to have done very well given the increase for next year. I think it shows how the YYC market still has vitality and can be an important strategic long haul hub moving forward for WS. All growth doesn't have to be YYZ-centric as has been suggested.
 
flyyul
Posts: 4446
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Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:19 pm

whywhyzee wrote:
https://www.yyc.com/Portals/0/MEDIA/...r_paxtotal.pdf

YYC November numbers are out, with a huge jump in international traffic. Considering Year over Year, both BA and HU are missing from those numbers, and AC reduced LHR from 298 seats to 250 seats daily each way, speaks volumes to how well WS is doing with their international expansion.

This year, LGW is up nearly 30%, DUB ran at high 90s LFs through the summer, and CDG, while numbers aren't publically available can only be assumed to have done very well given the increase for next year. I think it shows how the YYC market still has vitality and can be an important strategic long haul hub moving forward for WS. All growth doesn't have to be YYZ-centric as has been suggested.


WIth all due respect, it's not hard to run high load factors to Europe between June and September. The question is where will these airplanes be deployed in November-April.
 
whywhyzee
Posts: 1099
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:12 am

Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:25 pm

flyyul wrote:
whywhyzee wrote:
https://www.yyc.com/Portals/0/MEDIA/...r_paxtotal.pdf

YYC November numbers are out, with a huge jump in international traffic. Considering Year over Year, both BA and HU are missing from those numbers, and AC reduced LHR from 298 seats to 250 seats daily each way, speaks volumes to how well WS is doing with their international expansion.

This year, LGW is up nearly 30%, DUB ran at high 90s LFs through the summer, and CDG, while numbers aren't publically available can only be assumed to have done very well given the increase for next year. I think it shows how the YYC market still has vitality and can be an important strategic long haul hub moving forward for WS. All growth doesn't have to be YYZ-centric as has been suggested.


WIth all due respect, it's not hard to run high load factors to Europe between June and September. The question is where will these airplanes be deployed in November-April.


Completely fair point, but consider LGW continues to run in the high 90s LFs, in October YYC-LGW grew by 99%, 79% in November, that speaks to a more robust year round demand. Also consider that save for LGW, these were all new routes, which makes the results a fair bit more impressive.

I agree, keeping all of the frames busy in the winter months will be a challenge, in 2020, I imagine we might see YYC-LGW stay daily, YYC-CDG remain for the winter, probably about 3x weekly, YYZ-LGW will probably stay status quo as it is now at daily, that is already nearly half of the fleet. Add in 2-3x daily transcons and Hawaii, and there's 6 frames of utilization right there. I think their goal has to be keeping what they have working, they don't need to worry about 10x 789s on the schedule during winter for another couple years, managing 6 is a step in the right direction.
 
WS7M8
Topic Author
Posts: 57
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Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:22 pm

Things I'd like to see from WestJet in 2020:
 
1. I'd almost write this in bold and caps as I believe it is paramount to their future: Grow the YYZ widebody departures. I do get what they are trying to build in YYC....almost like a poor poor man's version of AC's YYZ Global Hub. But I firmly believe they can be moving elsewhere at the same time. They are taking their time finding the right balance for flights that go 1-2-3 times per week YYC - Europe, when if they'd move the departure to YYZ, they'd have the biggest market in Canada not to mention the benefit of 100+ connecting flights. Here are just a few markets that are proven winners in the Canadian summer that with the right tweaking they could easily do: FCO, CDG, AMS, MAN, DUB.

Thus far their B767s are only committed to 3 weekly summer flights (BCN) for 2020. I am really looking forward to them announcing their summer schedule at some point in the next month. LIkely the Max 8 situation is impacting things and they are keeping the B767s in reserve to cover trunk flying (YYC-YYZ) as this will free up 737s for other things. In a perfect world, even with a small fleet of 4 B767s, that is 3-4 European flights you could run per day. Were it me, I'd build the schedule based on three Euro flights per nights (three aircraft committed) with the fourth as a spare as the WS B767s have had reliability issues. Three flights per night is 21 flights per week. Subtracting the 3 BCN rotations that are already loaded in their schedule, that would leave 18 possible rotations to throw at Europe on a weekly basis. As they have already started taking bookings for FCO from YYC, I'm sure they've developed some data already for it (not to mention years of codesharing with Alitalia). Say 5-6 FCO rotations (Alitalia is a weak company who are having financial issues seemingly every year), 4-6 weekly YYZ CDG rotations and 3 weekly YYZ MAN and YYZ DUB rotations and their schedule starts to fill out the way it should. They could even get exotic and do YUL CDG (aircraft on a W pattern YYZ - CDG - YUL - CDG  - YUL) as YUL CDG is a guaranteed winner in Canada. YYZ MAD, YYZ - Germany, YYZ AMS are all routes that have tremendous demand from Canada and Europe in the summer months.

Regardless of how they do it, the Air Canada - Air Transat merger is giving them a unique opportunity to grow their presence at YYZ and they have got to start claiming their piece of the pie, or someone else will. And I do get their Western Canadian heritage plus trying to squeeze everything they can out of YYC, including that new hangar and departure fee breaks. And I know that they have historically moved in a conservative way as every route has to carry its weight. But opening routes from Eastern Canada to FCO, CDG, or other popular European destinations is going to take place in the WJ universe at some point in the short term future.....might as well use the B767s as a trial.

2. A follow-on widebody order. I too expect Onex to confirm the 10 B787 options, plus likely do some sort of add-on, 20-30 seems about right.

3. Airbus 321XLRs. The one aircraft on the market that I believe could be a real game-changer for WestJet is the Airbus 321XLR. In a nutshell, it offers narrowbody CASM but widebody range. Depending on the configuration, it can do 4000-4700 nm with 220-244 seats (I'd gather a hypothetical WS A321XLR would have ~225-230 seats) As WJ is always looking for an advantage over AC, this is the aircraft that can give it to them. And Air Canada is doing all but a handful of European routes with widebodies. A WJ A321XLR could do YYZ to much of Europe, YYZ to much of South America, or YYC / YEG to Hawaii. Imagine a WestJet network with 10-15 nightly A321XLR departures from YYZ each night to Europe, with the B787 fleet focusing on Western Canada to Europe and on the heavier YYZ - European routes. In a way, this would render their B787s more effective, as with their current route structure, WJ barely touches the sweet spot of the B787's best efficiencies. Nothing against YYZ LGW, but the B787 is ideally suited for YVR LGW, or heck YVR LGW / HKG / NRT / SEL / PEK. Hence A321XLRs would free up the B787s for more far-flung destinations, but keep the WJ presence at an efficient cost structure to much of their existing route. Sounds like a winner to me.

4. Some sort of regional jet at the WestJet Encore level, or a true 100-seat airplane such as the A220 at WestJet. There is too big of a gap in the WestJet network, between the Encore Q400s that can do ~500 nm with 78 passengers, and the smallest WestJet mainline product, the B737-600, which they have brought down to 113 seats. They need a 75-100 seater with 1500 nm range to fill in a lot of possibilities in their network.

5. Growing the WestJet Link product in Canada West / bringing it to Central and Eastern Canada. At the same time, there is also a gap below what WestJet Encore's Q400s enable. Something like a Saab 340 or DHC8 of either the 37 or 50 seat variety would let WestJet to enter or augment a number of markets that are just too small for Encore at present. . 
 
Skywatcher
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Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:15 pm

What are the "departure fee breaks" referenced in the post above?
 
YYCFlier
Posts: 12
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Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:27 pm

Great post. Some thoughts.

WS7M8 wrote:
 
1. I'd almost write this in bold and caps as I believe it is paramount to their future: Grow the YYZ widebody departures. I do get what they are trying to build in YYC....almost like a poor poor man's version of AC's YYZ Global Hub. But I firmly believe they can be moving elsewhere at the same time. They are taking their time finding the right balance for flights that go 1-2-3 times per week YYC - Europe, when if they'd move the departure to YYZ, they'd have the biggest market in Canada not to mention the benefit of 100+ connecting flights. Here are just a few markets that are proven winners in the Canadian summer that with the right tweaking they could easily do: FCO, CDG, AMS, MAN, DUB. . 


I think you will see the final 4 frames go to YYZ. The market is way larger, but there is also much more competition. According to OAG YYZ has the most international destinations in North America, beating JFK.

WS7M8 wrote:
 
They could even get exotic and do YUL CDG (aircraft on a W pattern YYZ - CDG - YUL - CDG  - YUL) as YUL CDG is a guaranteed winner in Canada.


I strongly disagree with this. Not all large cities can be hubs for every airline, and YUL is an outstation for WS. They can't even sustain domestic traffic, and YUL has the biggest percent of international traffic in Canada out of its total (i.e., YUL has the highest percent of international traffic) and it is getting very busy. YUL-CDG would have a lot of O&D and wouldn't need connecting traffic, but there's a ton of competition and much more profit to be earned at YYZ. I will be gobsmacked if WS launches any international service beyond a sun destination out of YUL, especially when Transat gets eaten and YUL becomes an AC / *A fortress hub. I would even say they'd be better off to expand YOW over YUL as it is underserviced and they have better brand recognition.

WS7M8 wrote:
 
But opening routes from Eastern Canada to FCO, CDG, or other popular European destinations is going to take place in the WJ universe at some point in the short term future.....might as well use the B767s as a trial.


While I agree lots of TATL is coming to YYZ from WS I doubt it will be B767 beyond BCN, at least not with the MAX fate unknown. Right now, the 763s are in the schedule doing YYC/YVR-YYZ daily. They could launch one more leisure route in YYZ, otherwise they'd want a spare for this aircraft given how expensive European passenger compensation is for delays; they won't make that mistake again. YYZ expansion will be with 789s mostly.

WS7M8 wrote:
 
2. A follow-on widebody order. I too expect Onex to confirm the 10 B787 options, plus likely do some sort of add-on, 20-30 seems about right.


This remains to be seen. While I agree they will exercise the options, another 20-30 aircraft is a lot. I think WS wants to grow at 3-4 widebodies per year and is timid about anything other than Europe. I think we might see the options announced in 2020, but I don't think we will hear of more widebody orders.

WS7M8 wrote:
 
3. Airbus 321XLRs. The one aircraft on the market that I believe could be a real game-changer for WestJet is the Airbus 321XLR. In a nutshell, it offers narrowbody CASM but widebody range.


Unlikely. WS operates an all-Boeing fleet with no Airbus pilots. And there's a global shortage. The MAX8 can reach Europe from YHZ and YYZ will use 789s. I don't see this at all. It's far more likely AC orders these.

WS7M8 wrote:
 
4. Some sort of regional jet at the WestJet Encore level, or a true 100-seat airplane such as the A220 at WestJet. There is too big of a gap in the WestJet network, between the Encore Q400s that can do ~500 nm with 78 passengers, and the smallest WestJet mainline product, the B737-600, which they have brought down to 113 seats. They need a 75-100 seater with 1500 nm range to fill in a lot of possibilities in their network.


Saretsky has been quoted as saying they considered this aircraft and opted instead for the 737 MAX 7, which has similar range to the A220. It's possible Sims might switch course here but I doubt it.
Unless Boeing continues to crap the bed and can't get it together in the 1H 2020, I don't see them ordering anything Airbus. If anything, and I think this is also unlikely, they would purchase E175s which have the same seat count as DH4s but further range and speed, and a lot of pilots available.

WS7M8 wrote:
 
5. Growing the WestJet Link product in Canada West / bringing it to Central and Eastern Canada. At the same time, there is also a gap below what WestJet Encore's Q400s enable. Something like a Saab 340 or DHC8 of either the 37 or 50 seat variety would let WestJet to enter or augment a number of markets that are just too small for Encore at present. . 


Agreed 100%. I think we will see a capacity purchase agreement announced in the East, perhaps Air Georgian (preferably not but they are no longer operating AC Express in Feb.) ATR 42 might be good for this, we could also see Canadian North do this. The Saab 340s are pretty old and not a lot of them left.
Last edited by YYCFlier on Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
YYCFlier
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Re: The WestJet Thread

Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:28 pm

deleted.
 
LMFNINJA
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Re: The WestJet Thread

Sun Jan 05, 2020 2:52 am

[quote="WS7M8"]Things I'd like to see from WestJet in 2020:
 



3. Airbus 321XLRs. The one aircraft on the market that I believe could be a real game-changer for WestJet is the Airbus 321XLR. In a nutshell, it offers narrowbody CASM but widebody range. Depending on the configuration, it can do 4000-4700 nm with 220-244 seats (I'd gather a hypothetical WS A321XLR would have ~225-230 seats) As WJ is always looking for an advantage over AC, this is the aircraft that can give it to them. And Air Canada is doing all but a handful of European routes with widebodies. A WJ A321XLR could do YYZ to much of Europe, YYZ to much of South America, or YYC / YEG to Hawaii. Imagine a WestJet network with 10-15 nightly A321XLR departures from YYZ each night to Europe, with the B787 fleet focusing on Western Canada to Europe and on the heavier YYZ - European routes. In a way, this would render their B787s more effective, as with their current route structure, WJ barely touches the sweet spot of the B787's best efficiencies. Nothing against YYZ LGW, but the B787 is ideally suited for YVR LGW, or heck YVR LGW / HKG / NRT / SEL / PEK. Hence A321XLRs would free up the B787s for more far-flung destinations, but keep the WJ presence at an efficient cost structure to much of their existing route. Sounds like a winner to me.

I live in Toronto and that the last flight I would take to Europe would be a WS narrow body A321XLR. Flights from Toronto to the major cities of Europe is such a large market that many people, myself included, would not take a narrow body plane when AC, Transat and all the European airlines use wide body aircraft. If WS does order the A321XLR, which I doubt since it has always been an all Boeing airline, then I doubt A321 XLR flights would have a high load factor.
 
WS7M8
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Re: The WestJet Thread

Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:01 am

YYCFlier wrote:
Great post. Some thoughts.

Thanks for the compliment. I'll try to reply, although I struggle with the formatting of putting multiple posts in quotes. You'll find my responses got put in the shaded area - hope it isn't too hard to pick through it all.

WS7M8 wrote:
 
1. I'd almost write this in bold and caps as I believe it is paramount to their future: Grow the YYZ widebody departures. I do get what they are trying to build in YYC....almost like a poor poor man's version of AC's YYZ Global Hub. But I firmly believe they can be moving elsewhere at the same time. They are taking their time finding the right balance for flights that go 1-2-3 times per week YYC - Europe, when if they'd move the departure to YYZ, they'd have the biggest market in Canada not to mention the benefit of 100+ connecting flights. Here are just a few markets that are proven winners in the Canadian summer that with the right tweaking they could easily do: FCO, CDG, AMS, MAN, DUB. . 


I think you will see the final 4 frames go to YYZ. The market is way larger, but there is also much more competition. According to OAG YYZ has the most international destinations in North America, beating JFK.

That would be one of the best things they could do. Although YYZ is competitive, WJ has great pull from 100+ daily flights on Teal-branded airplanes not to mention numerous international codeshare partners. Beefing up their international game is only going to strengthen their existing network. I'm actually surprised how tepid they've been in bringing the B787 product to YYZ. On most normal days throughout the winter, WJ will have merely two Dreamliner departures from YYZ, one to LGW, and the other to YYC. That number needs to go up.

WS7M8 wrote:
 
They could even get exotic and do YUL CDG (aircraft on a W pattern YYZ - CDG - YUL - CDG  - YUL) as YUL CDG is a guaranteed winner in Canada.


I strongly disagree with this. Not all large cities can be hubs for every airline, and YUL is an outstation for WS. They can't even sustain domestic traffic, and YUL has the biggest percent of international traffic in Canada out of its total (i.e., YUL has the highest percent of international traffic) and it is getting very busy. YUL-CDG would have a lot of O&D and wouldn't need connecting traffic, but there's a ton of competition and much more profit to be earned at YYZ. I will be gobsmacked if WS launches any international service beyond a sun destination out of YUL, especially when Transat gets eaten and YUL becomes an AC / *A fortress hub. I would even say they'd be better off to expand YOW over YUL as it is underserviced and they have better brand recognition.

We'll agree to disagree here. YUL CDG is such a massive market within Canada & France, the pie can be divided enough for WJ to get their share. Sort of like NYC-JFK, whereby all the US3 + BA + VS compete on direct flights. Last year I believe there were four operators doing YUL - Paris (AC, Transat, AF, Corsair). A WS B787 with 320 seats is not that much more capacity, when considering AC, Transat, and AF are throwing multiple widebodies at the route every day. But you may well be correct that it is more profitable to do CDG from YYZ, as they can draw from their entire network. I just think after getting a few years worth of data, they'll find it worthwhile to do YUL CDG as well.

WS7M8 wrote:
 
But opening routes from Eastern Canada to FCO, CDG, or other popular European destinations is going to take place in the WJ universe at some point in the short term future.....might as well use the B767s as a trial.


While I agree lots of TATL is coming to YYZ from WS I doubt it will be B767 beyond BCN, at least not with the MAX fate unknown. Right now, the 763s are in the schedule doing YYC/YVR-YYZ daily. They could launch one more leisure route in YYZ, otherwise they'd want a spare for this aircraft given how expensive European passenger compensation is for delays; they won't make that mistake again. YYZ expansion will be with 789s mostly.

In a hypothetical world where the B737 Max-8 were not grounded, I'd be curious how the WJ B767s would be scheduled for this summer. Right now I know their fleet is scheduled extremely tight, with minimal spare coverage.

WS7M8 wrote:
 
2. A follow-on widebody order. I too expect Onex to confirm the 10 B787 options, plus likely do some sort of add-on, 20-30 seems about right.


This remains to be seen. While I agree they will exercise the options, another 20-30 aircraft is a lot. I think WS wants to grow at 3-4 widebodies per year and is timid about anything other than Europe. I think we might see the options announced in 2020, but I don't think we will hear of more widebody orders.

WS7M8 wrote:
 
3. Airbus 321XLRs. The one aircraft on the market that I believe could be a real game-changer for WestJet is the Airbus 321XLR. In a nutshell, it offers narrowbody CASM but widebody range.


Unlikely. WS operates an all-Boeing fleet with no Airbus pilots. And there's a global shortage. The MAX8 can reach Europe from YHZ and YYZ will use 789s. I don't see this at all. It's far more likely AC orders these.

Here's something to chew on. Sticker price of a B787-9 is $243.6 million, whereby an A321XLR lists for ~$130 million. Obviously when airlines buy from the manufacturer there are discounts built in, but if we take that ratio that one B787-9 is equal to 1.87 Airbus 321XLRs......I'd just think WestJet, who are always looking for an edge in their battles with Air Canada, could make some serious inroads in the European market by getting 15-25 of them and putting them in YYZ for TATL flying. That narrowbody CASM, not to mention the greater flexibility of the A321XLR (it would be well-suited for high-volume vacation flying destinations like CUN, MBJ, PUJ, FLL, or MCO), plus it wouldn't have with 16 lie-flats and 28 premium economy seats, although it would have some sort of legit business product (obviously a negative in the summer, but beneficial in that it is readily transferrable to vacation flying) just might help it find a sweet spot in the WJ universe.

And yes - WestJet is all Boeing and doesn't fly Airbuses, but imagine how exasperated their management must be with Boeing after the Max 8 debacle, plus perhaps they don't want to be uniquely reliant on one aircraft supplier, and a 15-25 aircraft subfleet would probably hit the sweet spot in terms of a feasible separate fleet, plus Airbus is probably hoving in the background trying to find a way back into the Canadian narrowbody market......things might just align enough to bring the A321XLR to WJ. In a nutshell, beginning in 2024, they'd be able to build a TATL network similar to ACs, except at narrowbody costs. If that isn't unique, I don't know what is. Plus, the Max 8 is extremely limited as a TATL. It can't even do YUL CDG (don't mean to keep bringing up this route), whereas the A321XLR can do YYZ to anywhere in Western Europe.


WS7M8 wrote:
 
4. Some sort of regional jet at the WestJet Encore level, or a true 100-seat airplane such as the A220 at WestJet. There is too big of a gap in the WestJet network, between the Encore Q400s that can do ~500 nm with 78 passengers, and the smallest WestJet mainline product, the B737-600, which they have brought down to 113 seats. They need a 75-100 seater with 1500 nm range to fill in a lot of possibilities in their network.


Saretsky has been quoted as saying they considered this aircraft and opted instead for the 737 MAX 7, which has similar range to the A220. It's possible Sims might switch course here but I doubt it.
Unless Boeing continues to crap the bed and can't get it together in the 1H 2020, I don't see them ordering anything Airbus. If anything, and I think this is also unlikely, they would purchase E175s which have the same seat count as DH4s but further range and speed, and a lot of pilots available.

I'm actually somewhat surprised they don't go back to whomever is making the Q400s now (Viking? Bombardier?). That airplane just isn't selling and its order book is running out. One would think a follow-on Q400 order for 5-10-15 airplanes at a position of negotiating strength might be in the works.

WS7M8 wrote:
 
5. Growing the WestJet Link product in Canada West / bringing it to Central and Eastern Canada. At the same time, there is also a gap below what WestJet Encore's Q400s enable. Something like a Saab 340 or DHC8 of either the 37 or 50 seat variety would let WestJet to enter or augment a number of markets that are just too small for Encore at present. . 


Agreed 100%. I think we will see a capacity purchase agreement announced in the East, perhaps Air Georgian (preferably not but they are no longer operating AC Express in Feb.) ATR 42 might be good for this, we could also see Canadian North do this. The Saab 340s are pretty old and not a lot of them left.
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