ElPistolero wrote:jimbo737 wrote:cirrusdragoon wrote:What if they partnered with Spirit or Allegiant or Frontier?
Established operators have no interest in partnering with outfits that will cause them nothing but commercial grief.
Flair has absolutely no strategic planning. They have no clue, nor the pockets, nor the patience required to develop a sustainable operation in the tiny Canadian marketplace.
Toronto to Chicago is a business market. There's virtually no VFR traffic. It's a UAL / Star Hub. The only way it works is with high frequency, high yield, low trip cost equipment with at least 40% of traffic connecting or through both directions. Unless you commit to 3x daily or more, and offer up a good FF plan that allows road warriors their near free flights to Fort Myers in January, you're pi$$ing in the wind.
Flair has none of those things going for it. They'll blow their brains out and hemmorage even more precious equity for a few weeks before pulling out.
Had Flair done any homework, they'd have noticed that after nearly 20 years, Porter rarely achieved loads over 60% on their service to MDW, operating a 78 seat aircraft. Sure, their fares were higher, but even a $59 fare to Chicago will appeal to few when there's no fundamental reason to go to Chicago in the first place. And judging by Porter's current legal battles, they haven't exactly been a commercial success since day one, (though they had huge success in the real estate development game).
This is what happens when your route planning guy understands nothing about Canadian travel patterns and communities of interest.
According to Chicago, ~1,490 Canadians visited the city per day / 10,432 per week in 2019 (544K). I expect tourism will be summer seasonal (as will the route), hard to believe that 0.05% of that isn’t price sensitive leisure traffic originating in the YYZ catchment area.
If it runs for only 6 months, it’s ~15,000 seats. To put that in perspective, 18,000 Australians travelled to Chicago in 2021 (down from 55,000 in 2019). Chicago is not exactly a tourism backwater. Throw in some price stimulation … we’ve seen some weird routes throw up some interesting leisure traffic surprises (Iceland comes to mind)
All of which is to say, dismissing it out of hand seems a bit premature. We can probably agree that certain other Canadian airlines would never be able to make this route work, but thats as much a function of their unique characteristics as it is a function of the actual market. F8 appears to be adopting the more traditional ULCC model; it doesn’t seem to be too keen on becoming Canada’s newest overpriced LCC masquerading as a “premium” airline.
And to be fair to the guy who doesn’t understand “Canadian travel patterns and communities of interest”, there are established airlines in Canada that still haven’t figured out the second largest province in the country (or FF programs for that matter). Maybe it really is that tough. Or not.
You're dealing with the fact that Chicago and Toronto are both Star Alliance fortress hubs for both United and Air Canada; it is very likely that anyone flying between the two airports are likely connecting passengers, not origin passengers.
Furthermore, Chicago and Toronto flights also compete with people deciding to drive or the bus between the two cities for those who are even more price conscious.