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ElPistolero
Posts: 2050
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:56 pm

yzfElite wrote:
Yet nobody blinks when WS shows up in YQX and cancels after the summer or PD to YYT or WS to YXY for summers only. AC have managed to shoot themselves in the foot enough times to deserve the bad pr, but they are just a company trying to make a profit like any other. WS served YYG with a government subsidy to maintain service and YEG is king famous for enticing airlines other than AC. If folks want service they have to use it or pay for it.


In fairness to WS, they don’t roll out obsolete notions like claiming to be the “Canadian champion” either. One would have thought that the experience with that other “Canadian champion” - Bombardier - would have rendered the concept obsolete for good, but I guess AC is still embracing it - as is evident in this thread.

The problem with the “Canadian Champion” approach is that it conflates what’s good for AC with what’s good for Canada/Canadian taxpayers. The flaws are obvious; it stands to reason that many things that are good for AC are not necessarily good for Canadians, and vice versa.

If AC wants to be treated like any other private airline in a market economy, then it should drop the “Canadian champion” pretense that it’s been using to demand favourable treatment on issues of competition, for example (as noted by then-Competition Commissioner Aitkens). WS, by contrast, has kept its powder dry. Not that it is, in any sense, a better (or worse) airline.

(All of) That said, I agree with AC’s decision here. If no one is flying those routes, no reason to keep them. If people want to live in the back of beyond, the onus is on them to figure out how to get around. Maybe start their own airline or two, like the Territories have.

It is going to be interesting to watch how TC tries to square its apparent embrace of the “AC as a Canadian Champion” approach with the reality of unaligned AC and national goals. Maybe this COVID reset will succeed where the Emerson report failed - in getting TC to finally discard its 1970s mindset - “Canadian champions“, 3 weekly frequencies etc).

GSP psgr wrote:
The political angle on this is that the Trudeau government wants to eventually win back a majority government, largely through winning a bunch more seats in Quebec. Being perceived as fighting for air service to the Quebec regions is good politics for them, and it's a good fight to pick. AC's eventually going to need some government assistance, and this may be the price of said assistance.


Indeed. The job cuts were also rumoured to be about putting pressure on the government to hand out money. Playing politics is a dangerous game though. While some parts of the Liberal party seem to have (at least temporarily) bought into the TC way of doing things - i.e. whats good for Canadian airlines is good for Canadians - there is some history here. I’m sure some Liberal activists remember AC’s foray into partisan politics under the previous government.

“The fact that Air Canada's COO is a former Liberal staffer is interesting but absolutely beside the point here. He's decided his friends are the Conservatives ... and the Liberals are an enemy who need to be attacked.”

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/po ... cle610783/
 
dr1980
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:55 pm

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:12 pm

If the government wants a private company to operate routes for the public good rather than profit maybe they need to look at something like the EAS program in the US?
Dave/CYHZ
 
crosscheckyyz
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:50 am

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:58 pm

ElPistolero wrote:
yzfElite wrote:
The problem with the “Canadian Champion” approach is that it conflates what’s good for AC with what’s good for Canada/Canadian taxpayers. The flaws are obvious; it stands to reason that many things that are good for AC are not necessarily good for Canadians, and vice versa.


I'm quite confused....where does this Canadian champion stance come to in regards to AC? In fact isnt it a Canadian past time to crap all over AC? Is this term coming from an Air Canada employee?
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 2050
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:33 pm

crosscheckyyz wrote:
ElPistolero wrote:
yzfElite wrote:
The problem with the “Canadian Champion” approach is that it conflates what’s good for AC with what’s good for Canada/Canadian taxpayers. The flaws are obvious; it stands to reason that many things that are good for AC are not necessarily good for Canadians, and vice versa.


I'm quite confused....where does this Canadian champion stance come to in regards to AC? In fact isnt it a Canadian past time to crap all over AC? Is this term coming from an Air Canada employee?


AC’s CEO has been talking about it since 2010. The concept of a “national champion” predates him - it’s a hangover from the 60s or 70s, but he uses the term “global champion” or “Canadian global champion” frequently these days.

From one of his more recent speeches (2019)

“Surviving this near-death experience emboldened us to set out in 2010 the then-audacious goal of truly making Air Canada a global champion. No one outside the company believed we could make it happen but as I stand here before you today, I think we have largely achieved that.”
...
“We need a big billboard and a communication strategy that says Canada is open for business; Canada likes business; Canada wants to develop the best talent in the world. Canada admires and supports global champions.“

https://www.aircanada.com/content/dam/a ... 4-2019.pdf

As to how it came up on this thread, you’ll have to ask flyyul what his affiliations are.
 
beechnut
Posts: 927
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 12:27 am

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:04 pm

crosscheckyyz wrote:
In fact isnt it a Canadian past time to crap all over AC?


Once upon a time, the same invective was hurled against the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway).

I grew up in the transition era ;)

Beech
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 2050
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:49 pm

beechnut wrote:
crosscheckyyz wrote:
In fact isnt it a Canadian past time to crap all over AC?


Once upon a time, the same invective was hurled against the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway).

I grew up in the transition era ;)

Beech


Becoming a bit of a global pastime over the past year.

JD Power’s 2019 survey on transatlantic and transpacific customer satisfaction puts AC at below average / “the rest”. In fact, on TATL, the only airline with a lower score is Norwegian - the US3 all do better. AC does, however, out score UA and MU by 3 and 1 points on TPAC. But the gap with DL (50 points) is significant.

https://www.jdpower.com/business/press- ... tion-study

Similar tale on their North America - better than Frontier and Spirit - and UA in one of the two categories, but generally “below average”. WS isn’t much better.

https://www.jdpower.com/business/press- ... tion-study

YMMV ok how much value you put in these surveys (or skytrax, for that matter), but I would submit that between the refund issue and whatever prompted these survey responses, that pastime is going to become more popular.

In fairness to AC, I recall reading that they were actually planning to overhaul their soft Y product this summer - better catering or some such. Then this pandemic happened.
 
Thomaas
Posts: 682
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:52 pm

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:33 am

ElPistolero wrote:
beechnut wrote:
crosscheckyyz wrote:
In fact isnt it a Canadian past time to crap all over AC?


Once upon a time, the same invective was hurled against the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway).

I grew up in the transition era ;)

Beech


Becoming a bit of a global pastime over the past year.

JD Power’s 2019 survey on transatlantic and transpacific customer satisfaction puts AC at below average / “the rest”. In fact, on TATL, the only airline with a lower score is Norwegian - the US3 all do better. AC does, however, out score UA and MU by 3 and 1 points on TPAC. But the gap with DL (50 points) is significant.

https://www.jdpower.com/business/press- ... tion-study

Similar tale on their North America - better than Frontier and Spirit - and UA in one of the two categories, but generally “below average”. WS isn’t much better.

https://www.jdpower.com/business/press- ... tion-study

YMMV ok how much value you put in these surveys (or skytrax, for that matter), but I would submit that between the refund issue and whatever prompted these survey responses, that pastime is going to become more popular.

In fairness to AC, I recall reading that they were actually planning to overhaul their soft Y product this summer - better catering or some such. Then this pandemic happened.

A satisfaction survey is certainly not an objective metric. I very much doubt that Air Canada's Y product that guarantees you a PTV and wifi on planes as small as 76-seats, free beverage and food for purchase is actually a worse experience then flying AA for example, where you get less legroom and no PTV, as well as equivalent buy-on-board offerings.
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 2050
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:04 pm

Thomaas wrote:
A satisfaction survey is certainly not an objective metric. I very much doubt that Air Canada's Y product that guarantees you a PTV and wifi on planes as small as 76-seats, free beverage and food for purchase is actually a worse experience then flying AA for example, where you get less legroom and no PTV, as well as equivalent buy-on-board offerings.


Indeed. As noted, YMMV on how much stock you put in these surveys. That said:

- Air Canada Rouge is part of Air Canada. If legroom and no PTVs are the criteria, ACr has a 29” pitch to AA’s 30”. Those are the numbers I’ve come across - feel free to correct them.

- The TATL / TPAC rankings pit flagship products against each other. I’m sure somebody will pop around to say AC’s 1-2-1 J is objectively better than what the EU carriers offer. That’s true, but most people fly Y and that seems to be dragging AC customer satisfaction down quite a bit. In two words: “Banana bread”.

As to objective metrics, a PTV and seat pitch can be overwhelmed by (relatively poor) OTP:

“For the second year in a row, Air Canada has found itself last among among the top 20 “mega airlines” around the world in terms of scheduled flights, with an on-time performance rating of 66 per cent, behind Air China (69 per cent) ... Air Canada’s fell, if slightly, from 67 per cent in 2018 to 66 per cent in 2019.”

(WS is at 80%, US3 spread between 77 and 84%)

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/west- ... 54688.html

Does customer satisfaction matter? Maybe. Maybe not. But it does raise questions about the whole “national/global champion” narrative.

For that, you need to be seen as doing your bit within the country (i.e. not permanently culling 8 bases/30 routes - this might have gone down better if it was branded as a temporary suspension for now - don’t need to google too much to find local backlash).

And you need to be seen as doing better than below average / “the rest” in your major markets abroad (how many folk here think of CA as a global champion for China?).
 
crosscheckyyz
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:50 am

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:09 pm

Thomaas wrote:

In fairness to AC, I recall reading that they were actually planning to overhaul their soft Y product this summer - better catering or some such. Then this pandemic happened.

A satisfaction survey is certainly not an objective metric. I very much doubt that Air Canada's Y product that guarantees you a PTV and wifi on planes as small as 76-seats, free beverage and food for purchase is actually a worse experience then flying AA for example, where you get less legroom and no PTV, as well as equivalent buy-on-board offerings.[/quote]

I can't quite grasp what you're trying to state. AC can't guarantee PTV and wifi on planes and offers free beverage and food for purchase so that is a worse experience than AA where you have less leg room and no PTV and similar offerings on board? Why would less leg room mean better experience - I'm not sure does AA have PTVs on all their aircraft with less than 76 seats?

What routes are ACs 76 seaters flying compared to what AA fly? Are you talking about the Dash-8s? CR2s? Or Maybe rouge aircraft?
 
yyztpa2
Posts: 109
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:30 pm

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:25 pm

lots of drift in this discussion. Perhaps another thread needed?

With the Dash 100 removed from the fleet and the 300s allocated, is AC lacking suitable equipment to make these markets work? What options might be available in the future either directly or a partner for either AC or WS to re-introduce service to smaller markets?
 
Skywatcher
Posts: 882
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2002 11:19 am

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:45 pm

In the local YUL press Air Creebec said they are upping YUL-Val D'or service in august to compensate for the pull out of AC. There's also talk of Quebec provincial subsidies (on no) in the affected markets. As much as I hate subsidies all of the routes in question would qualify for the American EAS "pig trough" program if these were in the states.
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 2050
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:08 pm

yyztpa2 wrote:
lots of drift in this discussion. Perhaps another thread needed?

With the Dash 100 removed from the fleet and the 300s allocated, is AC lacking suitable equipment to make these markets work? What options might be available in the future either directly or a partner for either AC or WS to re-introduce service to smaller markets?


As Skywatcher mentions, Air Creebec is looking at replacing some of the lost capacity.

“ The carrier, which partly belongs to the Cree nation, intends to offer a connection between Montreal, Val-d'Or and Rouyn-Noranda starting in August.”

https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/mobile/air- ... -1.5009769

Out east:

“EVAS Air won't be moving in to pick up Air Canada's slack. But he didn't rule it out in the future, as since his company owns its planes and has the human resources to run them, taking on logistics like ticket sales and reservations isn't an unmanageable idea.”
...

“Barron said he had spoken to PAL Airlines about possibly taking up some of Air Canada's slack. PAL declined an interview with CBC, but in a press release it said the airline wanted to reassure its customers in Atlantic Canada that nothing was changing in its operations.”

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfound ... -1.5634678

The main problem for the regional operators is that they would have to invest in setting up the logistics side - and possibly equipment - to keep people moving, but once the pandemic is over, AC and WS would come back in and render those investments a waste of time, money and effort.

And so we end up in a situation where aircraft are available, pilots are unemployed, service is (allegedly) needed, but the duopoly market is too messed up to sort it out. Not a lot of solutions handy:

- Do you block AC and WS going forward to make the upfront investment worthwhile for local carriers?

- Do you force AC and WS to subcontract to these carriers going forward if they want to service the area?

- Do you just subsidize these routes under an EAS scheme and block WS and AC?

- Do you just start government owned regional airlines to cover these routes on a cost recovery basis and lock AC and WS out (slippery slope, that)?

I’m sure someone smarter than me can come up with more options, but these types of cuts highlight the friction between ‘for profit’ ventures, and the “national champions” that countries actually need.
 
Dominion301
Posts: 2809
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:48 pm

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:30 pm

ElPistolero wrote:
yzfElite wrote:
Yet nobody blinks when WS shows up in YQX and cancels after the summer or PD to YYT or WS to YXY for summers only. AC have managed to shoot themselves in the foot enough times to deserve the bad pr, but they are just a company trying to make a profit like any other. WS served YYG with a government subsidy to maintain service and YEG is king famous for enticing airlines other than AC. If folks want service they have to use it or pay for it.


In fairness to WS, they don’t roll out obsolete notions like claiming to be the “Canadian champion” either. One would have thought that the experience with that other “Canadian champion” - Bombardier - would have rendered the concept obsolete for good, but I guess AC is still embracing it - as is evident in this thread.

The problem with the “Canadian Champion” approach is that it conflates what’s good for AC with what’s good for Canada/Canadian taxpayers. The flaws are obvious; it stands to reason that many things that are good for AC are not necessarily good for Canadians, and vice versa.

If AC wants to be treated like any other private airline in a market economy, then it should drop the “Canadian champion” pretense that it’s been using to demand favourable treatment on issues of competition, for example (as noted by then-Competition Commissioner Aitkens). WS, by contrast, has kept its powder dry. Not that it is, in any sense, a better (or worse) airline.

(All of) That said, I agree with AC’s decision here. If no one is flying those routes, no reason to keep them. If people want to live in the back of beyond, the onus is on them to figure out how to get around. Maybe start their own airline or two, like the Territories have.

It is going to be interesting to watch how TC tries to square its apparent embrace of the “AC as a Canadian Champion” approach with the reality of unaligned AC and national goals. Maybe this COVID reset will succeed where the Emerson report failed - in getting TC to finally discard its 1970s mindset - “Canadian champions“, 3 weekly frequencies etc).

GSP psgr wrote:
The political angle on this is that the Trudeau government wants to eventually win back a majority government, largely through winning a bunch more seats in Quebec. Being perceived as fighting for air service to the Quebec regions is good politics for them, and it's a good fight to pick. AC's eventually going to need some government assistance, and this may be the price of said assistance.


Indeed. The job cuts were also rumoured to be about putting pressure on the government to hand out money. Playing politics is a dangerous game though. While some parts of the Liberal party seem to have (at least temporarily) bought into the TC way of doing things - i.e. whats good for Canadian airlines is good for Canadians - there is some history here. I’m sure some Liberal activists remember AC’s foray into partisan politics under the previous government.

“The fact that Air Canada's COO is a former Liberal staffer is interesting but absolutely beside the point here. He's decided his friends are the Conservatives ... and the Liberals are an enemy who need to be attacked.”

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/po ... cle610783/


Your blaming of TC is laughable. Guess you haven’t heard of the Blue Sky policy of the past 15 years. How is Open Skies with the entire EU, “1970s thinking”? Even the UAE that everyone likes to cite, has seen an expanded bilateral.
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 2050
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:57 pm

Dominion301 wrote:
Your blaming of TC is laughable. Guess you haven’t heard of the Blue Sky policy of the past 15 years. How is Open Skies with the entire EU, “1970s thinking”? Even the UAE that everyone likes to cite, has seen an expanded bilateral.


“Blue Skies”? Rings a bell. Is that the 2006 policy that was (very politely) trashed in the 2016 Review of the Canadian Transportation Act. To wit:

“Canada’s approach (that would be “Blue Skies”) has outlived its usefulness and now renders our air services less competitive, less trade-friendly, and more costly than those of our global competitors.“

Page 197-198 here: https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/ctareview2014/CTAR_Vol1_EN.pdf

That the recommendation made in that report on daily frequencies hasn’t been taken on 4 years later, suggests that TC thinks 3/4/5 weekly frequencies dating back to PAN AM 707s doing global milk runs (aka 1970s mindset) is still appropriate in 2020.

“Laughable” is an apt descriptor of TC/Blue Skies indeed.

Granted, the questions one can ask of TC goes beyond that. For example, on cockpit duty rules (See graph on Page 6 here - https://dms.ntsb.gov/public/61000-61499 ... 614672.pdf). And, of course, APRs/refunds.

Strong hints that TC puts Canadian airlines welfare above that of Canadians writ large. Which is why it looks like it’s been caught flat footed by these AC cuts.
 
Dominion301
Posts: 2809
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:48 pm

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:11 pm

ElPistolero wrote:
Dominion301 wrote:
Your blaming of TC is laughable. Guess you haven’t heard of the Blue Sky policy of the past 15 years. How is Open Skies with the entire EU, “1970s thinking”? Even the UAE that everyone likes to cite, has seen an expanded bilateral.


“Blue Skies”? Rings a bell. Is that the 2006 policy that was (very politely) trashed in the 2016 Review of the Canadian Transportation Act. To wit:

“Canada’s approach (that would be “Blue Skies”) has outlived its usefulness and now renders our air services less competitive, less trade-friendly, and more costly than those of our global competitors.“

Page 197-198 here: https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/ctareview2014/CTAR_Vol1_EN.pdf

That the recommendation made in that report on daily frequencies hasn’t been taken on 4 years later, suggests that TC thinks 3/4/5 weekly frequencies dating back to PAN AM 707s doing global milk runs (aka 1970s mindset) is still appropriate in 2020.

“Laughable” is an apt descriptor of TC/Blue Skies indeed.

Granted, the questions one can ask of TC goes beyond that. For example, on cockpit duty rules (See graph on Page 6 here - https://dms.ntsb.gov/public/61000-61499 ... 614672.pdf). And, of course, APRs/refunds.

Strong hints that TC puts Canadian airlines welfare above that of Canadians writ large. Which is why it looks like it’s been caught flat footed by these AC cuts.


Blue Sky is still TC policy. A basic search of their website would reveal that: https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/policy/air-blu ... u-2989.htm

Lots of new or expanded agreements since then. What gaping hole is there with Canada’s bilaterals? Maybe Australia...but keep in mind it takes two to tango. What exactly are you looking for? Cabotage?

If you want to talk about pilot fatigue rules, start a new topic. Even the international agreements as they relate to AC’s DOMESTIC cuts is a stretch.

Back on topic, AC’s cuts present an opportunity for regional players or WestJet to expand. We always talk about how weak WS are in markets with large francophone populations...well AC have left some holes to fill. Air Creebec have already announced increased service for YVO. So if WS want in, they’d better move fast.
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 2050
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:13 pm

Dominion301 wrote:
Blue Sky is still TC policy. A basic search of their website would reveal that: https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/policy/air-blu ... u-2989.htm

Lots of new or expanded agreements since then. What gaping hole is there with Canada’s bilaterals? Maybe Australia...but keep in mind it takes two to tango. What exactly are you looking for? Cabotage?

If you want to talk about pilot fatigue rules, start a new topic. Even the international agreements as they relate to AC’s DOMESTIC cuts is a stretch.

Back on topic, AC’s cuts present an opportunity for regional players or WestJet to expand. We always talk about how weak WS are in markets with large francophone populations...well AC have left some holes to fill. Air Creebec have already announced increased service for YVO. So if WS want in, they’d better move fast.


Yes, well done. The point there wasn’t about Blue Skies existence; it was about it’s usefulness. Or outdatedness.

Do all those policies connect into this? Fair question. They all hint at TC buying into the “national/global champion” nonsense and effectively favouring airline interests over consumer interests. This seems to have been done on the apparent belief within TC that these airlines would repay the favor by maintaining some of these transport links.

Now that’s blown up in a politically sensitive way, and the immediate response from the PM: “we allow (these airlines) to operate on the most profitable routes” ergo “we expect (these airlines) to serve remote parts”. The whole “we expect” hint at a a quid pro quo: airline friendly policies in return for not creating this kind of mess for TC.

It’s blown up badly because AC has upended the system. Now TC is stuck dealing with a duopoly pleading poverty to absolve itself of any government “expectations”, and smaller carriers like EVAS and PAL that think the upfront investment of filling this void is too risky because the duopoly can flex their muscles at any time and toss them out of the market.

As such, it’s plainly evident - even in your post - that AC and WS control the market and effectively control not just their own service to some regions, but any service to those regions (by virtue of the threat they pose to alternative airlines). We probably disagree about the degree to which TC bears responsibility, but it’s hard to divorce this type of messed up market dynamics from deliberate policies. Intentionally or unintentionally, there has been a concentration of power in the hands of AC - and to a lesser degree - WS, and now they pose a challenge for TC’s own objectives.

I’ve posed four questions on this particular issue in an earlier post. Your only answer to them -“WS needs to do something” - is telling in itself.
 
Dominion301
Posts: 2809
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:48 pm

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:10 am

ElPistolero wrote:
Dominion301 wrote:
Blue Sky is still TC policy. A basic search of their website would reveal that: https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/policy/air-blu ... u-2989.htm

Lots of new or expanded agreements since then. What gaping hole is there with Canada’s bilaterals? Maybe Australia...but keep in mind it takes two to tango. What exactly are you looking for? Cabotage?

If you want to talk about pilot fatigue rules, start a new topic. Even the international agreements as they relate to AC’s DOMESTIC cuts is a stretch.

Back on topic, AC’s cuts present an opportunity for regional players or WestJet to expand. We always talk about how weak WS are in markets with large francophone populations...well AC have left some holes to fill. Air Creebec have already announced increased service for YVO. So if WS want in, they’d better move fast.


Yes, well done. The point there wasn’t about Blue Skies existence; it was about it’s usefulness. Or outdatedness.

Do all those policies connect into this? Fair question. They all hint at TC buying into the “national/global champion” nonsense and effectively favouring airline interests over consumer interests. This seems to have been done on the apparent belief within TC that these airlines would repay the favor by maintaining some of these transport links.

Now that’s blown up in a politically sensitive way, and the immediate response from the PM: “we allow (these airlines) to operate on the most profitable routes” ergo “we expect (these airlines) to serve remote parts”. The whole “we expect” hint at a a quid pro quo: airline friendly policies in return for not creating this kind of mess for TC.

It’s blown up badly because AC has upended the system. Now TC is stuck dealing with a duopoly pleading poverty to absolve itself of any government “expectations”, and smaller carriers like EVAS and PAL that think the upfront investment of filling this void is too risky because the duopoly can flex their muscles at any time and toss them out of the market.

As such, it’s plainly evident - even in your post - that AC and WS control the market and effectively control not just their own service to some regions, but any service to those regions (by virtue of the threat they pose to alternative airlines). We probably disagree about the degree to which TC bears responsibility, but it’s hard to divorce this type of messed up market dynamics from deliberate policies. Intentionally or unintentionally, there has been a concentration of power in the hands of AC - and to a lesser degree - WS, and now they pose a challenge for TC’s own objectives.

I’ve posed four questions on this particular issue in an earlier post. Your only answer to them -“WS needs to do something” - is telling in itself.


You make it sound like TC, the department make these types of decisions unilaterally. News flash: they don’t. The public service provides non-partisan advice to the government du jour as to what they think is the best solution to a transportation-related matter. Do they always get it right, of course not. BUT, at the end of the day, it’s the Minister / government that make the final decisions, and you’d probably be surprised the frequency with which the final decision is not what was recommended by the public service.

However, recommendations TC have made and have been enacted by governments of different political stripes, such as Blue Skies, customs-free international-to-international connections (a huge competitive advantage over American airports), increasing foreign ownership to 49%, etc. are why pre-Covid-19 Canada’s airlines were on fire (even Flair was making money and were about to embark on a big eastern expansion) and laid the foundation to enable AC to turn YVR, YUL & YYZ into North American gateway powerhouses (while simultaneously turning AC into one of the world’s 20 biggest airlines), and WS was starting to do the same with YYC. Just because AC might have been pricing LAX-YYZ-MAD cheaper than YYZ-MAD, doesn’t mean Canadians didn’t greatly benefit from increased choice and job creation. All airlines price Xth freedom connections that way. Even the US3 do it with their inferior international-to-international airport connection offerings.

FLYYUL, who knows a thing or two about AC, cited some pretty incredible job-creation stats. You can’t blame an airline for demand literally drying up overnight, thereby making the last of the 19 seaters unsustainable, while the long-known timing out of the DH1s, left some smaller communities vulnerable to being cut with no suitable 37 seater replacement.

Oh and I never said WS “should do something”. I said AC are leaving an opening for WS to increase their lacklustre eastern presence. Air Creebec are already capitalizing. Maybe EVAS will go it alone or align with PAL to provide them with sub-Dash 8 capacity or (gasp) switch allegiances to WS and become the WS Link of the east.
 
jmt18325
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat May 07, 2016 6:08 pm

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:18 am

Well this thread was ruined. I think with Air Canada, like many things, people see what they want to see. What you can't argue with (well, some do, but they're objectively wrong) is Air Canada's overall success pre covid. The airline has completely turned itself around.
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 2050
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:58 am

Dominion301 wrote:

You make it sound like TC, the department make these types of decisions unilaterally. News flash: they don’t. The public service provides non-partisan advice to the government du jour as to what they think is the best solution to a transportation-related matter. Do they always get it right, of course not. BUT, at the end of the day, it’s the Minister / government that make the final decisions, and you’d probably be surprised the frequency with which the final decision is not what was recommended by the public service.


Yes , sure, we’re all familiar with the “advisors advise; ministers decide” maxim. The consistency in policy - despite ministers of different stripes - tells its own tale. The advice, it seems, is pretty uniform. And by the looks of it, hasnt changed for around 4-5 decades now.

Dominion301 wrote:
However, recommendations TC have made and have been enacted by governments of different political stripes, such as Blue Skies, customs-free international-to-international connections (a huge competitive advantage over American airports), increasing foreign ownership to 49%, etc. are why pre-Covid-19 Canada’s airlines were on fire (even Flair was making money and were about to embark on a big eastern expansion) and laid the foundation to enable AC to turn YVR, YUL & YYZ into North American gateway powerhouses (while simultaneously turning AC into one of the world’s 20 biggest airlines), and WS was starting to do the same with YYC.


Was Blue Skies written by Ministers or by TC? Contradicts your point above, no?

As to the rest, Blue Skies is a supply side policy but most of the benefits you list above are driven by the demand side. Looks like you’re conflating two different things there.

Questionable to suggest that YVR, YYZ and YUL would not be major hubs under an Open Skies regime. That demand would still be there, and Canada’s geography dictates that a lot of the traffic would still have to transit through those gateways. The only difference would be more foreign carriers, with Canadian consumers - not the government - picking the winners (and losers).

This isn’t some kind of binary AC/WS hub or no airport growth issue. All this Blue Skies policy has done is let the government pick winners and losers. In properly functioning markets, consumers do that.

Dominion301 wrote:
Just because AC might have been pricing LAX-YYZ-MAD cheaper than YYZ-MAD, doesn’t mean Canadians didn’t greatly benefit from increased choice and job creation. All airlines price Xth freedom connections that way. Even the US3 do it with their inferior international-to-international airport connection offerings.


The unsaid piece there is that the US also benefits when Americans fly AC. US pax can take the dollars they save flying AC and invest it in the US. That’s why the US has embraced Open Skies - and let’s consumers pick winners and losers.

But anyway, take your argument to its logical conclusion. If the government forces everyone to buy only Canadian manufactured goods and services, it will create lots of jobs in Canada, and Canadians will benefit. And yet we haven’t put quotas on Apple or Samsung phones to retain Blackberry jobs. The holes in this “so what it if costs Canadians more; it supports some Canadian jobs” are so self-evident, you could drive a truck through them.
Dominion301 wrote:
FLYYUL, who knows a thing or two about AC, cited some pretty incredible job-creation stats. You can’t blame an airline for demand literally drying up overnight, thereby making the last of the 19 seaters unsustainable, while the long-known timing out of the DH1s, left some smaller communities vulnerable to being cut with no suitable 37 seater replacement.


Indeed. “Demand” is the key function there. No demand, no AC jobs. Not sure why we should be impressed with AC creating jobs when, in the absence of government intervention, the demand itself would have created most or all of those jobs anyway. If AC didn’t exist, WS would have created those jobs. If WS didn’t exist, PD would have create those jobs. And so on. As the Minister has said recently, air travel is “essential”. Essential sectors do a pretty good job of generating jobs on their own - regardless of the brand you slap on them.

As an aside, as mentioned previously, I don’t actually disagree with AC cutting these routes. I don’t “expect” AC to serve them. Whoever explained the situation to the Prime Minister does - at face value - “expect” AC to do that because “some of the most profitable routes” etc. Which hints at a quid pro quo approach.

Dominion301 wrote:
Oh and I never said WS “should do something”. I said AC are leaving an opening for WS to increase their lacklustre eastern presence. Air Creebec are already capitalizing. Maybe EVAS will go it alone or align with PAL to provide them with sub-Dash 8 capacity or (gasp) switch allegiances to WS and become the WS Link of the east.
[/quote]

Air Creebec has added what - 1 or 2 new routes? If AC decides to come back, they’ll be pushed right off them. Air Creebec is willing to risk that. Others aren’t. That’s why regional governments are scrambling to restore links while these smaller airlines are sitting it out. They know that the moment they make those routes work, they’ll get booted out by AC or WS.

And thats the fundamental problem with the TC’s approach of letting the government, rather than consumers, pick winners and losers. That’s created this vicious cycle where government intervention in the market has messed up market dynamics and created more problems that can only be resolved through more government intervention.

After all, would EAS be willing to fill the void with AC/WS’ Damocles sword hanging over it? Probably not without government assurances - perhaps even restrictions on how AC/WS re-enter some of these markets in the future. Which is good for precisely no one. Certainly not consumers.
 
Airlinerdude
Posts: 182
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 3:07 am

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:38 am

jmt18325 wrote:
Well this thread was ruined. I think with Air Canada, like many things, people see what they want to see. What you can't argue with (well, some do, but they're objectively wrong) is Air Canada's overall success pre covid. The airline has completely turned itself around.


I disagree. This thread quickly ensued to discussion on how these route closures could have been prevented had there been some attempt at explicitly subsidizing AC and/or these particular routes.

The subsequent discussion pointed out just how AC has been implicitly subsidized for years already. It also addressed why other airlines will likely not bother trying to fill the void left by AC, which address the other half of this discussion: who will try and fly these routes when AC leaves?
 
jmt18325
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat May 07, 2016 6:08 pm

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:42 am

Some routes are just too small to be served by major airlines. That's reality.
 
Dominion301
Posts: 2809
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:48 pm

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Mon Jul 06, 2020 12:57 pm

Getting back on topic: I don't think this has been discussed yet, AC are also converting YGR / Iles-de-la-Madeleine service from a year-round station into a summer seasonal-only station. The seasonal YUL-YGR route remains while the year-round YQB-YGP-YGR route is dropped.

With all of these cuts, I do believe that AC will no longer have any 1- or 2-stop same-plane thru flights any longer.
 
ExMilitaryEng
Posts: 630
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 7:12 pm

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:25 pm

At least a non-stop YUL - YGR / Iles-de-la-Madeleine will be maintained during the summer.
I really hated when I got stuck on those Dash 8-100 two or stops (Quebec - Mont Joli and what not) flights.

I hope Pascan will serve the route in the winter (free parking in St-Hubert/YHU!!!) with their "new" Saab 340.
 
Dominion301
Posts: 2809
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:48 pm

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:52 pm

ExMilitaryEng wrote:
At least a non-stop YUL - YGR / Iles-de-la-Madeleine will be maintained during the summer.
I really hated when I got stuck on those Dash 8-100 two or stops (Quebec - Mont Joli and what not) flights.

I hope Pascan will serve the route in the winter (free parking in St-Hubert/YHU!!!) with their "new" Saab 340.


Pascan serves YGR year-round, but they route through the other Gaspésien airport Bonaventure. With AC out of the way, I wonder if they'd look at also flying to YGP?

For those that aren't aware with YVO, Air Creebec had been competing for years with AC on YUL-YVO, now they will have the route to themselves, but will also now start competing with AC on YUL-YUY...sounds like on a YUL-YVO-YUY-YUL triangle routing.
 
dr1980
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:55 pm

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:51 pm

I wonder if there’s enough of a market for anyone to take a stab at the regional flying out of YHZ to YQM, YFC, YSJ, YYG that was previously done by Evas.

To argue against myself, I’ve also always wondered who actually uses those flights given that all airports (Pre-covid) had direct connections to large hubs (YUL and/or YYZ). As an AC monopoly, it was very expensive to fly on these routes that could be driven in a Reasonable amount of time (Halifax to Moncton as the greatest example...just a 2:20 drive). Mostly regional business travel i guess?

I remember looking up a flight from YHZ-YQM once and it was around $500 return, the same price as a YHZ-YYZ flight for a weekend trip. Sorry Moncton, Toronto wins that battle :)
Dave/CYHZ
 
Airlinerdude
Posts: 182
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 3:07 am

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:24 pm

It would be very exciting to see Porter expand their presence in the region, perhaps targeting some of those maritime routes.

There could be a few opportunities to fill in gaps left by AC at both YHZ/YOW. YFC and YQM could be extended to YHZ from their existing YOW flights. YXU could be added from YOW. YYG could be a through flight from YHZ to either YUL/YOW. YYB resumed from YTZ.

My ideas are likely a bit optimistic, but PD are well known in the maritime region and have a pretty strong brand presence in YHZ/YUL/YOW. With there being a significant number of very cheap Q400s coming to the market, maybe they could look into becoming a bit more of a regional player.
 
Dominion301
Posts: 2809
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:48 pm

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:08 pm

Airlinerdude wrote:
It would be very exciting to see Porter expand their presence in the region, perhaps targeting some of those maritime routes.

There could be a few opportunities to fill in gaps left by AC at both YHZ/YOW. YFC and YQM could be extended to YHZ from their existing YOW flights. YXU could be added from YOW. YYG could be a through flight from YHZ to either YUL/YOW. YYB resumed from YTZ.

My ideas are likely a bit optimistic, but PD are well known in the maritime region and have a pretty strong brand presence in YHZ/YUL/YOW. With there being a significant number of very cheap Q400s coming to the market, maybe they could look into becoming a bit more of a regional player.


PD already fly YOW-YFC/YQM/YSJ...when they’re flying. I bet they’re ecstatic that AC are cutting YOW-YFC/YQM. Extending them to YHZ would just cannibalize their YOW-YHZ nonstops.

I’d say YQM is the least likely of all of them to come back as driving or the bus is faster. The other three, maybe as they’re long enough drives to have some O&D traffic. They used to be DH8 routes and a long time ago had Air Atlantic on them too. Loads back then must have been under 30% on these routes. YHZ was a 2.5 million pax per annum airport back then.

I bet having no LHR flight to connect to/from at YHZ for the past 18 months probably hurt all of them. I imagine most non-O&D pax on these flights were connecting to Newfoundland or YQY.

One route I’m surprised that has never returned is CanJet’s old daily YQM-YYT route. It had consistently good loads, especially in summer. I’m kinda surprised PD never tried it at least on a summer seasonal basis.

YOW-YXU on PD could certainly help strengthen YOW-ATL CAN traffic.
 
Dominion301
Posts: 2809
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:48 pm

Re: Air Canada Cutting 30 Domestic Routes, 8 Stations

Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:55 pm

Pascan say they're ready to step up in Quebec with AC's cutbacks (link in French): https://www.versants.com/pascan-pret-a- ... da-region/

It says they have 6 SF3s on the way with 6 options. It even says they're looking at eventually adding 70 to 100 seaters. :shock: If they want to stay exclusively intra-Quebec, that's overkill...even if 70 seater = DH4!

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