patrickjp93 wrote:China's been heavily involved in Vancouver since the 80s. You can pretty much get a 1:1 correlation between Chinese money flowing into Canada and real estate prices soaring on their speculation. In fact Tshingua Group is still quietly fishing around for a small but capable international airline based in North America. Only problem is Transat is basically dead and Delta and Emirates both have their fingers in WS' pie already, and the US3 are not about to give Jet Blue any breathing room to get slots into China.
The slots were valuable enough to become AC's big push for Euro flights in the early 2000s. Strategy rarely gets executed quickly when it involves infrastructure.
I don't know if I agree with you. That's a lot of speculation.
The 1990s was a miserable time for Canada and airlines. It didn't get better in the early 2000s, either (Westjet excepted).
I feel as if we're connecting the dots backwards, sometimes. It's all and wonderful to look at the current peak in aviation and say that AC had an unfair advantage, but a time machine trip back to 2001 would likely reveal that the Canadian merger was a disaster, compounded by the downturn of 9/11. Then there was the misery of the late 2000s, with high fuel prices and the recession.
It also begets another question: Who would have bought the slots? Westjet was nowhere near ready to go on an Asia/Europe expansion in 1999, having started operations in 1996.
I mean, aside from LHR, what did Canadian have that was terribly valuable? Some 767s?