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ThePointblank
Posts: 4017
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Thu Dec 23, 2021 7:57 pm

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.


Hmmm?

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)

https://www.redlineproject.org/tourism2021.php

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.
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 2644
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Thu Dec 23, 2021 10:12 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
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.


The stats are from the City of Chicago and they’re using hotel night stays as their criteria, so I don’t think it captures transit (or at least same day transit). Therefore stands to reason that the vast majority of the 540,000 Canadians going there aren’t there solely to transit.

Yes, people could drive / take the bus from the Golden Horseshoe for 8-10 hours instead, but my guess would be that Swoop is targeting the upper end of that spectrum - folk who won’t pay mainline fares, but who might pay a little more onto save 6 hours. That’s who they appear to be targeting for NYC anyway.
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 2644
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Thu Dec 23, 2021 11:12 pm

jimbo737 wrote:
Well, you have it all figured out.

We'll see how long YYZ - ORD lasts for the mighty Flair with no feed, no flow and 189 seats to fill with a fully allocated BELF in the 90% or higher range. Good luck with getting any utilization on the route. A 436 mile sector blocked at 1:53 mins in a high capital cost aircraft that needs 12 hours daily utilization to make the economics work. But you're a clever boy. You've probably already figured that one out. On the bright side, with 25% loads, you should be able to turn the aircraft in 30 mins.

Have you ever considered that after 26 years, they might actually have forgotten more about the Quebec market than you'll ever know? Last time I checked, they pulled out of YUL-FLL operating loads in the mid 90% range according to US DoT data with stage length adjusted unit costs at least 25% lower than the dominant airline in the market.

There's no point chasing market share at a loss, especially when they're already 2 players active and known players in the n/s market. Any guesses how many airlines operate PHX - SAN n/s, with an enormous community of interest? What does Flair plan on bringing to the table other than $19 fares and insolvency?

There's no intra Quebec market worth chasing so other than network feed to hubs, and the odd O&D route, the market is well served. If Flair or others want to go in there and operate Montreal to Saskatoon or Victoria, KW or Florida, (and PBG), and blow their brains out even more than is already the case, fill yer boots.

Once again, it shows a complete lack of understanding of market dynamics in Canada.

By the way, how's BUR doing?


“Clever boy”? Lol. Remember how that ended in Jurassic Park? ;)

Dont need to know much (or anything, really) to point out the self evident fallacy in the following statements:

jimbo737 wrote:
Toronto to Chicago is a business market. There's virtually no VFR traffic.

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.


Feel free to argue that there is zero (0) price sensitive/leisure market in YYZ for ORD (and vice versa), but that’s not true, is it? F8 are flying the route 3 weekly, not 3 daily. There’s at least as much reason to believe they’ll be able to fill 567 seats / week as there is to believe that they won’t. Hence my fairly common sense statement: bit premature to make that call, no? It’s a gamble; if they fail, they fail.

As a pure consumer (nope, not affiliated with any airline, Canadian or otherwise), I’m of the minf that we should let them show us what they got, instead of shouting them down and dismissing them every step of the way.

In fairness, I understand the aggression from some WS posters. Must be annoying having other, evidently more aggressive actors barging in on the trough of *A scraps that WS thought was exclusively theirs.

Don’t get me wrong - I’d like to see WS succeed as a FSC; us consumers need that in Canada. The new management lot certainly look good; I’m sure they’ll undo the dithering of past management and build a company that’s more resilient to - and less touchy about - about the newest ULCC on the block.
 
PITFlyer330
Posts: 297
Joined: Fri May 14, 2021 4:56 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Thu Dec 23, 2021 11:57 pm

I will say, flair is doing some BIG expansions lately

what’s next? IAH SEA DFW AUS PHL BOS CLT?
 
User avatar
IceCream
Posts: 470
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:46 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 12:13 am

PITFlyer330 wrote:
I will say, flair is doing some BIG expansions lately

what’s next? IAH SEA DFW AUS PHL BOS CLT?

Honestly, that's probably what's next. I still don't think this is the right method for them to survive, but oh well. If they were slower on the expansion I could definitely see them surviving.
 
CFWAD
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:36 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 1:16 am

Their OTP has been terrible in general, but having 25% of your fleet stuck in the YYZ CDF at the beginning of your day surely does not help.

Any limited potential profit Flair might have seen is now going the way of passenger refunds, delay compensation, winter operating costs (and associated overtime) and international operating costs overall.

Keep in mind, a period of growth that Flair is going through is not cheap. They are simultaneously producing no positive cash flow while spending exorbitant amounts on hiring and training (they are hiring/training non-type rated for their Feb class).

But hey, throwing $120k at a Director of Network Planning, based in downtown Vancouver, for a supposed Ultra Low Cost Airline... that makes a whole world of sense.
 
sxf24
Posts: 1769
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:22 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 3:17 am

jimbo737 wrote:
Well, you have it all figured out.

We'll see how long YYZ - ORD lasts for the mighty Flair with no feed, no flow and 189 seats to fill with a fully allocated BELF in the 90% or higher range. Good luck with getting any utilization on the route. A 436 mile sector blocked at 1:53 mins in a high capital cost aircraft that needs 12 hours daily utilization to make the economics work. But you're a clever boy. You've probably already figured that one out. On the bright side, with 25% loads, you should be able to turn the aircraft in 30 mins.

Have you ever considered that after 26 years, they might actually have forgotten more about the Quebec market than you'll ever know? Last time I checked, they pulled out of YUL-FLL operating loads in the mid 90% range according to US DoT data with stage length adjusted unit costs at least 25% lower than the dominant airline in the market.

There's no point chasing market share at a loss, especially when they're already 2 players active and known players in the n/s market. Any guesses how many airlines operate PHX - SAN n/s, with an enormous community of interest? What does Flair plan on bringing to the table other than $19 fares and insolvency?

There's no intra Quebec market worth chasing so other than network feed to hubs, and the odd O&D route, the market is well served. If Flair or others want to go in there and operate Montreal to Saskatoon or Victoria, KW or Florida, (and PBG), and blow their brains out even more than is already the case, fill yer boots.

Once again, it shows a complete lack of understanding of market dynamics in Canada.

By the way, how's BUR doing?


Jim, is there anything F8 could do right in your mind outside of sticking with a handful of NGs in the charter market?
 
CFWAD
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:36 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 3:49 am

sxf24 wrote:
jimbo737 wrote:
Well, you have it all figured out.

We'll see how long YYZ - ORD lasts for the mighty Flair with no feed, no flow and 189 seats to fill with a fully allocated BELF in the 90% or higher range. Good luck with getting any utilization on the route. A 436 mile sector blocked at 1:53 mins in a high capital cost aircraft that needs 12 hours daily utilization to make the economics work. But you're a clever boy. You've probably already figured that one out. On the bright side, with 25% loads, you should be able to turn the aircraft in 30 mins.

Have you ever considered that after 26 years, they might actually have forgotten more about the Quebec market than you'll ever know? Last time I checked, they pulled out of YUL-FLL operating loads in the mid 90% range according to US DoT data with stage length adjusted unit costs at least 25% lower than the dominant airline in the market.

There's no point chasing market share at a loss, especially when they're already 2 players active and known players in the n/s market. Any guesses how many airlines operate PHX - SAN n/s, with an enormous community of interest? What does Flair plan on bringing to the table other than $19 fares and insolvency?

There's no intra Quebec market worth chasing so other than network feed to hubs, and the odd O&D route, the market is well served. If Flair or others want to go in there and operate Montreal to Saskatoon or Victoria, KW or Florida, (and PBG), and blow their brains out even more than is already the case, fill yer boots.

Once again, it shows a complete lack of understanding of market dynamics in Canada.

By the way, how's BUR doing?


Jim, is there anything F8 could do right in your mind outside of sticking with a handful of NGs in the charter market?


MH saw something 5G (Jetsgo) was going for. It was not something the 4 darlings of WS saw or anticipated. They got lucky / got caught with competitor info. The rest is now history. A lot of WS success is based on timing and luck - not just success and sly business acumen like jimbo would tend to make you believe.

That said, WS is a Canadian aviation success and MH definitely played a part in it. Times, however, are changing and I firmly believe had/if Flair plays their cards right, they could build a decent 3rd player in the Canadian market. Problem being is, they are not.
I again bring in the "non-Canadian" management clause.
Let's see how Wizz and JetBlue play out.
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 2644
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 5:08 am

CFWAD wrote:
sxf24 wrote:
jimbo737 wrote:
Well, you have it all figured out.

We'll see how long YYZ - ORD lasts for the mighty Flair with no feed, no flow and 189 seats to fill with a fully allocated BELF in the 90% or higher range. Good luck with getting any utilization on the route. A 436 mile sector blocked at 1:53 mins in a high capital cost aircraft that needs 12 hours daily utilization to make the economics work. But you're a clever boy. You've probably already figured that one out. On the bright side, with 25% loads, you should be able to turn the aircraft in 30 mins.

Have you ever considered that after 26 years, they might actually have forgotten more about the Quebec market than you'll ever know? Last time I checked, they pulled out of YUL-FLL operating loads in the mid 90% range according to US DoT data with stage length adjusted unit costs at least 25% lower than the dominant airline in the market.

There's no point chasing market share at a loss, especially when they're already 2 players active and known players in the n/s market. Any guesses how many airlines operate PHX - SAN n/s, with an enormous community of interest? What does Flair plan on bringing to the table other than $19 fares and insolvency?

There's no intra Quebec market worth chasing so other than network feed to hubs, and the odd O&D route, the market is well served. If Flair or others want to go in there and operate Montreal to Saskatoon or Victoria, KW or Florida, (and PBG), and blow their brains out even more than is already the case, fill yer boots.

Once again, it shows a complete lack of understanding of market dynamics in Canada.

By the way, how's BUR doing?


Jim, is there anything F8 could do right in your mind outside of sticking with a handful of NGs in the charter market?


MH saw something 5G (Jetsgo) was going for. It was not something the 4 darlings of WS saw or anticipated. They got lucky / got caught with competitor info. The rest is now history. A lot of WS success is based on timing and luck - not just success and sly business acumen like jimbo would tend to make you believe.

That said, WS is a Canadian aviation success and MH definitely played a part in it. Times, however, are changing and I firmly believe had/if Flair plays their cards right, they could build a decent 3rd player in the Canadian market. Problem being is, they are not. I again bring in the "non-Canadian" management clause. Let's see how Wizz and JetBlue play out.


I was hoping that WS appointing a non-Canadian CEO would demonstrate the benefit of bringing fresh thinking to the table, and exposing that “Canadian experience” thing as nonsense, but I guess some worldviews are incompatible with that.

Anyway, SimpleFlying has posted an interesting article that pretty much nails why F8 (and Lynx and others) will probably fail:

“ “In a lot of other sectors of the economy, when competitors engage in predatory pricing – not just to gain market share but to drive competitors out, governments will step in.

“We don’t seem to do that in Canada. Why? We don’t have governments with courage, and we believe that strong airlines are really important for the economy. Air Canada can do what it wants. WestJet was caught on some predatory pricing – but you get caught, and you do it again.””

https://simpleflying.com/can-canada-new ... s-survive/

Forget the Wizz guy, AC’s sainted former CEO would struggle at F8 or Lynx in a market where rules only apply to newcomers, not massive incumbent carriers.

But yeah, it’s the “non-Canadian” foreigners in charge that are the problem here.

What’s the end game, anyway?

Discredit him as a know-nothing foreigner from day 1 so that when the incumbents resort to predatory pricing (apparently normal in Canada - see quote above), it’s his fault because he’s a foreigner, and has nothing to do with others breaking the rules?

If so, it’s not the best tactic; it’s as easy to see through as that bizarre hatchet job trying to link F8 to cocaine trafficking.
 
CFWAD
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:36 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 5:49 am

A non-Canadian ran WS for almost 5 years. Many of their key operational executives are non-Canadian. They have been non-Canadian for years. Hugh ran WS quite successfully, as an ex-LH alumni, in the mid-2000's. It's not who is Canadian or not - it's who understands the Canadian market.

Calin and Ben already played that game. Ben created Tango. Calin played a formidable game against WS during his time. Calin would hardly struggle against F8 and Lynx.

The end game? T7 loses a ton of money and both SJ and GL move to Brisbane for round 3.

I don't discredit him as know-nothing. He is there for a reason. And he has done a formidable job in his prior work. But Canada is not Europe. And he has the benefit of being given a bunch of cheap toys to play with in a forest he knows nothing about. Let them play, earn their salary and they will be gone within the next 1-2 years.

When someone at simpleflying plays the game that jimbo and I do, I'll maybe give it some thought to read.
 
777luver
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:44 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 7:17 am

ElPistolero wrote:
CFWAD wrote:
sxf24 wrote:

Jim, is there anything F8 could do right in your mind outside of sticking with a handful of NGs in the charter market?


MH saw something 5G (Jetsgo) was going for. It was not something the 4 darlings of WS saw or anticipated. They got lucky / got caught with competitor info. The rest is now history. A lot of WS success is based on timing and luck - not just success and sly business acumen like jimbo would tend to make you believe.

That said, WS is a Canadian aviation success and MH definitely played a part in it. Times, however, are changing and I firmly believe had/if Flair plays their cards right, they could build a decent 3rd player in the Canadian market. Problem being is, they are not. I again bring in the "non-Canadian" management clause. Let's see how Wizz and JetBlue play out.


I was hoping that WS appointing a non-Canadian CEO would demonstrate the benefit of bringing fresh thinking to the table, and exposing that “Canadian experience” thing as nonsense, but I guess some worldviews are incompatible with that.

Anyway, SimpleFlying has posted an interesting article that pretty much nails why F8 (and Lynx and others) will probably fail:

“ “In a lot of other sectors of the economy, when competitors engage in predatory pricing – not just to gain market share but to drive competitors out, governments will step in.

“We don’t seem to do that in Canada. Why? We don’t have governments with courage, and we believe that strong airlines are really important for the economy. Air Canada can do what it wants. WestJet was caught on some predatory pricing – but you get caught, and you do it again.””

https://simpleflying.com/can-canada-new ... s-survive/

Forget the Wizz guy, AC’s sainted former CEO would struggle at F8 or Lynx in a market where rules only apply to newcomers, not massive incumbent carriers.

But yeah, it’s the “non-Canadian” foreigners in charge that are the problem here.

What’s the end game, anyway?

Discredit him as a know-nothing foreigner from day 1 so that when the incumbents resort to predatory pricing (apparently normal in Canada - see quote above), it’s his fault because he’s a foreigner, and has nothing to do with others breaking the rules?

If so, it’s not the best tactic; it’s as easy to see through as that bizarre hatchet job trying to link F8 to cocaine trafficking.


To say ACs former sainted CEO would struggle at F8 etc.....HA really? Under what makes you figure that one out? That's laughable
 
sxf24
Posts: 1769
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:22 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 3:07 pm

CFWAD wrote:
A non-Canadian ran WS for almost 5 years. Many of their key operational executives are non-Canadian. They have been non-Canadian for years. Hugh ran WS quite successfully, as an ex-LH alumni, in the mid-2000's. It's not who is Canadian or not - it's who understands the Canadian market.

Calin and Ben already played that game. Ben created Tango. Calin played a formidable game against WS during his time. Calin would hardly struggle against F8 and Lynx.

The end game? T7 loses a ton of money and both SJ and GL move to Brisbane for round 3.

I don't discredit him as know-nothing. He is there for a reason. And he has done a formidable job in his prior work. But Canada is not Europe. And he has the benefit of being given a bunch of cheap toys to play with in a forest he knows nothing about. Let them play, earn their salary and they will be gone within the next 1-2 years.

When someone at simpleflying plays the game that jimbo and I do, I'll maybe give it some thought to read.


What’s so special about the Canadian market? Is it impossible to be successful running a reliable, low cost and low fare airline like in every other country in the world?
 
casperCA
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:38 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 3:35 pm

sxf24 wrote:
CFWAD wrote:
A non-Canadian ran WS for almost 5 years. Many of their key operational executives are non-Canadian. They have been non-Canadian for years. Hugh ran WS quite successfully, as an ex-LH alumni, in the mid-2000's. It's not who is Canadian or not - it's who understands the Canadian market.

Calin and Ben already played that game. Ben created Tango. Calin played a formidable game against WS during his time. Calin would hardly struggle against F8 and Lynx.

The end game? T7 loses a ton of money and both SJ and GL move to Brisbane for round 3.

I don't discredit him as know-nothing. He is there for a reason. And he has done a formidable job in his prior work. But Canada is not Europe. And he has the benefit of being given a bunch of cheap toys to play with in a forest he knows nothing about. Let them play, earn their salary and they will be gone within the next 1-2 years.

When someone at simpleflying plays the game that jimbo and I do, I'll maybe give it some thought to read.


What’s so special about the Canadian market? Is it impossible to be successful running a reliable, low cost and low fare airline like in every other country in the world?


Several of the tricks used by low cost carriers don't work in Canada.

The are a few major cities. They don't have great "secondary" airports. Abbotsford has a different catchment area than Vancouver. Hamilton also has a different catchments area than Toronto. LCC instinctively state in this secondary airports, discover they can't make any money and move to the more expensive ones.

If Europe if the LCC fails to deliver, you can go to plan B, the train or bus easily. Not so much in Canada. The expectation from the consumer is you are moved on the next flight, even if it is the competition. In man cases they are flying close to full capacity.

Most LCC depend on a single type of aircraft (usually a 737 or A320). To big for most routes in Canada. The very few routes where it does work frequently are bread and butter routes for AC and WS. Your going into a price war with the competition flying 787 and A330 on the route. Good luck with that.
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 2644
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 4:21 pm

CFWAD wrote:
A non-Canadian ran WS for almost 5 years. Many of their key operational executives are non-Canadian. They have been non-Canadian for years. Hugh ran WS quite successfully, as an ex-LH alumni, in the mid-2000's. It's not who is Canadian or not - it's who understands the Canadian market.

Calin and Ben already played that game. Ben created Tango. Calin played a formidable game against WS during his time. Calin would hardly struggle against F8 and Lynx.

The end game? T7 loses a ton of money and both SJ and GL move to Brisbane for round 3.

I don't discredit him as know-nothing. He is there for a reason. And he has done a formidable job in his prior work. But Canada is not Europe. And he has the benefit of being given a bunch of cheap toys to play with in a forest he knows nothing about. Let them play, earn their salary and they will be gone within the next 1-2 years.

When someone at simpleflying plays the game that jimbo and I do, I'll maybe give it some thought to read.


Suuuure.

Hard to believe the Austrian guy now running WS knew a whole lot more about Canada’s domestic, TB and sun markets when he was first approached.

At worst, the Wizz guy can be accused of assuming that the Canadian aviation market is governed by laws, which is not an unreasonable impression to be under, given that’s how we like to project ourselves around here. Granted, I didn’t think I’d see Canadian business observers/ commentators literally go on the record to state that this is not the case for the Canadian aviation sector (flag wavers gonna hate that - don’t shoot the messenger).

A Canadian heading F8 or Lynx (even CR) wouldn’t guarantee their survival in these conditions. Which renders the whole “Canadian”/“non-Canadian” thing meaningless. Unless the point is to blame Johnny Foreigners for failures, rather than the apparently mismanagement of the aviation market, because nationalism / self-interest etc.

(I’ll leave you to fight the Calin / Ben straw man you created above).
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 2644
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 4:45 pm

777luver wrote:
ElPistolero wrote:
CFWAD wrote:

MH saw something 5G (Jetsgo) was going for. It was not something the 4 darlings of WS saw or anticipated. They got lucky / got caught with competitor info. The rest is now history. A lot of WS success is based on timing and luck - not just success and sly business acumen like jimbo would tend to make you believe.

That said, WS is a Canadian aviation success and MH definitely played a part in it. Times, however, are changing and I firmly believe had/if Flair plays their cards right, they could build a decent 3rd player in the Canadian market. Problem being is, they are not. I again bring in the "non-Canadian" management clause. Let's see how Wizz and JetBlue play out.


I was hoping that WS appointing a non-Canadian CEO would demonstrate the benefit of bringing fresh thinking to the table, and exposing that “Canadian experience” thing as nonsense, but I guess some worldviews are incompatible with that.

Anyway, SimpleFlying has posted an interesting article that pretty much nails why F8 (and Lynx and others) will probably fail:

“ “In a lot of other sectors of the economy, when competitors engage in predatory pricing – not just to gain market share but to drive competitors out, governments will step in.

“We don’t seem to do that in Canada. Why? We don’t have governments with courage, and we believe that strong airlines are really important for the economy. Air Canada can do what it wants. WestJet was caught on some predatory pricing – but you get caught, and you do it again.””

https://simpleflying.com/can-canada-new ... s-survive/

Forget the Wizz guy, AC’s sainted former CEO would struggle at F8 or Lynx in a market where rules only apply to newcomers, not massive incumbent carriers.

But yeah, it’s the “non-Canadian” foreigners in charge that are the problem here.

What’s the end game, anyway?

Discredit him as a know-nothing foreigner from day 1 so that when the incumbents resort to predatory pricing (apparently normal in Canada - see quote above), it’s his fault because he’s a foreigner, and has nothing to do with others breaking the rules?

If so, it’s not the best tactic; it’s as easy to see through as that bizarre hatchet job trying to link F8 to cocaine trafficking.


To say ACs former sainted CEO would struggle at F8 etc.....HA really? Under what makes you figure that one out? That's laughable


I don’t mean to be rude or question your comprehension, but you may want to read that again.

It (literally says) “ in a market where rules only apply to newcomers, not massive incumbent carriers.”

So yes, I’m quite comfortable stating that CR (if in charge of F8 or Lynx) would struggle if he had to take a new airline into a market where there was one set of rules for AC/WS, and another for “les autres”.

Not that I doubt CR’s ability to succeed in the ULCC sphere. He’s definitely got the ULCC mindset down pat. One need only compare Rouge to Ryanair (actually might be unfair - FR offers more legroom than Rouge) or AC’s 30” 787 seat pitch to DY’s same 787 seat pitch. He had that exceptional ability to cut costs - or just not spend at all - where others wouldn’t dare (think pre-COVID cabin upkeep on LH/LX vs AC).

I think he’d be a roaring success at any ULCC in any market where the rules apply equally. Less convinced that he’d be a good fit at the top tier carriers though (QF/NZ/SQ/JL/NH etc).
Last edited by ElPistolero on Fri Dec 24, 2021 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
sxf24
Posts: 1769
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:22 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 4:46 pm

casperCA wrote:
sxf24 wrote:
CFWAD wrote:
A non-Canadian ran WS for almost 5 years. Many of their key operational executives are non-Canadian. They have been non-Canadian for years. Hugh ran WS quite successfully, as an ex-LH alumni, in the mid-2000's. It's not who is Canadian or not - it's who understands the Canadian market.

Calin and Ben already played that game. Ben created Tango. Calin played a formidable game against WS during his time. Calin would hardly struggle against F8 and Lynx.

The end game? T7 loses a ton of money and both SJ and GL move to Brisbane for round 3.

I don't discredit him as know-nothing. He is there for a reason. And he has done a formidable job in his prior work. But Canada is not Europe. And he has the benefit of being given a bunch of cheap toys to play with in a forest he knows nothing about. Let them play, earn their salary and they will be gone within the next 1-2 years.

When someone at simpleflying plays the game that jimbo and I do, I'll maybe give it some thought to read.


What’s so special about the Canadian market? Is it impossible to be successful running a reliable, low cost and low fare airline like in every other country in the world?


Several of the tricks used by low cost carriers don't work in Canada.

The are a few major cities. They don't have great "secondary" airports. Abbotsford has a different catchment area than Vancouver. Hamilton also has a different catchments area than Toronto. LCC instinctively state in this secondary airports, discover they can't make any money and move to the more expensive ones.

If Europe if the LCC fails to deliver, you can go to plan B, the train or bus easily. Not so much in Canada. The expectation from the consumer is you are moved on the next flight, even if it is the competition. In man cases they are flying close to full capacity.

Most LCC depend on a single type of aircraft (usually a 737 or A320). To big for most routes in Canada. The very few routes where it does work frequently are bread and butter routes for AC and WS. Your going into a price war with the competition flying 787 and A330 on the route. Good luck with that.


There are structural differences in every market. That’s why airlines are run by teams of people, not robots.

If ULCCs can succeed in every other market, I fail to see how they can’t find a way to carve out a piece of the Canadian market. I guess there are probably a lot of AC and WS employees that disagree, but it’s your bigger paycheck and strict work rules that create this opportunity. Start-up airlines can have costs 1/2 that of AC: that creates a huge opportunity to stimulate markets and take lower yielding share.
 
jimbo737
Posts: 644
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:18 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 4:51 pm

How quickly people assume WS success, (net profitable in their third full month of operations May 1996) was due to “luck”.

The Canadian domestic marketplace include the AC family, the CP family, Royal, Transat, Canada 3000, CanJet, Vistajet, Greyhound, Canadian North, First Air and at least a couple of others who came and went.

WS succeeded where others failed because, quite simply, they patiently built a viable and formidable domestic feed network from the getgo and had the perfectly sized 125 seat airframe to make it work. Not sexy, but it ensured their success.

People today would be stunned at the degree of feed / flow traffic WS generated from day one. But then again, these same folks probably believe Southwest was always an O&D carrier.

Every new entrant since chosen an alternate strategy with predictable results.

They never learn.
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 2644
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 5:21 pm

casperCA wrote:

Several of the tricks used by low cost carriers don't work in Canada.

The are a few major cities. They don't have great "secondary" airports. Abbotsford has a different catchment area than Vancouver. Hamilton also has a different catchments area than Toronto. LCC instinctively state in this secondary airports, discover they can't make any money and move to the more expensive ones.

If Europe if the LCC fails to deliver, you can go to plan B, the train or bus easily. Not so much in Canada. The expectation from the consumer is you are moved on the next flight, even if it is the competition. In man cases they are flying close to full capacity.

Most LCC depend on a single type of aircraft (usually a 737 or A320). To big for most routes in Canada. The very few routes where it does work frequently are bread and butter routes for AC and WS. Your going into a price war with the competition flying 787 and A330 on the route. Good luck with that.


I think the main point being missed here is that - in the absence of high speed rail or solid ground transportation a la Europe - a Canadian ULCC would have a (perhaps marginal) advantage insofar as the upper limit on its pricing is dictated by the pricing of other carriers, not cheaper trains or buses. That gives them room to charge more than ULCC prices and still stimulate traffic (and from what I can tell, they’ve been using dynamic pricing for the holiday period - charging $300+ for some one ways). Which is to say, they just need to be cheaper. Which sort of mitigates the cheaper secondary airport issue.

Now, the points you raise about the 330 / 787 is valid, but that assumes that AC will go all in for basic Y price sensitive pax, instead of targeting higher yield/connecting pax. So no matter how cheap AC is willing to sell some of those basic Y fares 8 weeks out, they’ll probably end up leaving a fair bit of room for ULCC 1-2 weeks out.

We know that there’s a price-sensitive market in Canada that’s gone unserved/underserved in the past. It might just be enough to sustain 1-2 ULCCs.
 
DFF
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:41 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 5:26 pm

You can find old WJ schedules - 4 airplanes, 8 airplanes. Even then, you can see connection banks all over the place. Look at pictures from YYC, you can see 4-5 WJ tails together on the old B YYC concourse. They used to have five planes leave all around noon - that was even in the 1998/99 time frame. The idea of flying O&D all over Canada - is a lousy plan with inevitable results.
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 2644
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 5:32 pm

jimbo737 wrote:
How quickly people assume WS success, (net profitable in their third full month of operations May 1996) was due to “luck”.

The Canadian domestic marketplace include the AC family, the CP family, Royal, Transat, Canada 3000, CanJet, Vistajet, Greyhound, Canadian North, First Air and at least a couple of others who came and went.

WS succeeded where others failed because, quite simply, they patiently built a viable and formidable domestic feed network from the getgo and had the perfectly sized 125 seat airframe to make it work. Not sexy, but it ensured their success.

People today would be stunned at the degree of feed / flow traffic WS generated from day one. But then again, these same folks probably believe Southwest was always an O&D carrier.

Every new entrant since chosen an alternate strategy with predictable results.

They never learn.


While it’s great that WS made terrific business decisions 20+ years ago, are we expected to assume that the Canadian aviation market hasn’t evolved in the past 15-20 years?

Canada’s demographic make up has certainly changed a lot in that time; all of the major population centres have evolved significantly. Canadians are travelling more, have been exposed to more products and prices, and have different value-for-money expectations.

Is there any reason to believe the demand-side of the Canadian aviation market hasn’t evolved with them?

In which case, is a 20+ year old strategy, which was developed with a different demand-side aspect, really the only viable strategy today?

Might benefit from keeping the self-congratulation in perspective.
 
CFWAD
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:36 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 7:13 pm

WS did have some luck/timing on its side - 9/11 being a huge catalyst for them (in a positive way). For all the care and attention they had for slowly building their route network, they were forced into becoming Canada's 2nd largest scheduled airline on November 12, 2001.

I have said before, and I will say again - until there is reform on aviation taxes and surcharges in this country (including AIFs and exorbitant land leases that airport authorities/municipalities owe to the Federal government) you simply cannot make viable business selling $49 fares. When an AIF alone is over 50% of that - you start to realize where the real problem is.

Add to that, the inevitable rise in business costs which subsequently will push your model closer to your "legacy" competitors - but without any of their benefits.
 
CFWAD
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:36 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 7:31 pm

ElPistolero wrote:
777luver wrote:
ElPistolero wrote:

I don’t mean to be rude or question your comprehension, but you may want to read that again.

It (literally says) “ in a market where rules only apply to newcomers, not massive incumbent carriers.”

So yes, I’m quite comfortable stating that CR (if in charge of F8 or Lynx) would struggle if he had to take a new airline into a market where there was one set of rules for AC/WS, and another for “les autres”.


Not to be rude, but you do realize Air Canada actually does have to fly by a different set of rules (Federally mandated) than WS or other incumbent carriers?
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 4017
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 8:12 pm

sxf24 wrote:
casperCA wrote:
sxf24 wrote:

What’s so special about the Canadian market? Is it impossible to be successful running a reliable, low cost and low fare airline like in every other country in the world?


Several of the tricks used by low cost carriers don't work in Canada.

The are a few major cities. They don't have great "secondary" airports. Abbotsford has a different catchment area than Vancouver. Hamilton also has a different catchments area than Toronto. LCC instinctively state in this secondary airports, discover they can't make any money and move to the more expensive ones.

If Europe if the LCC fails to deliver, you can go to plan B, the train or bus easily. Not so much in Canada. The expectation from the consumer is you are moved on the next flight, even if it is the competition. In man cases they are flying close to full capacity.

Most LCC depend on a single type of aircraft (usually a 737 or A320). To big for most routes in Canada. The very few routes where it does work frequently are bread and butter routes for AC and WS. Your going into a price war with the competition flying 787 and A330 on the route. Good luck with that.


There are structural differences in every market. That’s why airlines are run by teams of people, not robots.

If ULCCs can succeed in every other market, I fail to see how they can’t find a way to carve out a piece of the Canadian market. I guess there are probably a lot of AC and WS employees that disagree, but it’s your bigger paycheck and strict work rules that create this opportunity. Start-up airlines can have costs 1/2 that of AC: that creates a huge opportunity to stimulate markets and take lower yielding share.

Flair also has very strict work rules as all of their employees are unionized; their pilots are represented by ALPA, and they were previously represented by Unifor. Their flight attendants are also unionized; they are represented by CUPE. Flair has had fairly rocky relationships with their unions, with their flight attendant and pilots unions having threatened a strike a short while ago.
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 2644
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 8:15 pm

CFWAD wrote:
ElPistolero wrote:
777luver wrote:


Not to be rude, but you do realize Air Canada actually does have to fly by a different set of rules (Federally mandated) than WS or other incumbent carriers?


Well played :D.

Admittedly should have been clearer and specified competition laws, but since those laws apparently aren’t meant to be enforced in the Canadian aviation market anyway…

I’ll concede that you’re probably right on another point too: Canada isn’t Europe. Them Europeans are very serious about their laws. And enforcing them.
 
sxf24
Posts: 1769
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:22 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 8:19 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
sxf24 wrote:
casperCA wrote:

Several of the tricks used by low cost carriers don't work in Canada.

The are a few major cities. They don't have great "secondary" airports. Abbotsford has a different catchment area than Vancouver. Hamilton also has a different catchments area than Toronto. LCC instinctively state in this secondary airports, discover they can't make any money and move to the more expensive ones.

If Europe if the LCC fails to deliver, you can go to plan B, the train or bus easily. Not so much in Canada. The expectation from the consumer is you are moved on the next flight, even if it is the competition. In man cases they are flying close to full capacity.

Most LCC depend on a single type of aircraft (usually a 737 or A320). To big for most routes in Canada. The very few routes where it does work frequently are bread and butter routes for AC and WS. Your going into a price war with the competition flying 787 and A330 on the route. Good luck with that.


There are structural differences in every market. That’s why airlines are run by teams of people, not robots.

If ULCCs can succeed in every other market, I fail to see how they can’t find a way to carve out a piece of the Canadian market. I guess there are probably a lot of AC and WS employees that disagree, but it’s your bigger paycheck and strict work rules that create this opportunity. Start-up airlines can have costs 1/2 that of AC: that creates a huge opportunity to stimulate markets and take lower yielding share.

Flair also has very strict work rules as all of their employees are unionized; their pilots are represented by ALPA, and they were previously represented by Unifor. Their flight attendants are also unionized; they are represented by CUPE. Flair has had fairly rocky relationships with their unions, with their flight attendant and pilots unions having threatened a strike a short while ago.


Regardless of current agreements, Flair and other new entrants expect to have costs at least half of AC and meaningfully below WS. This is a pretty strong competitive advantage, albeit not sustainable.

But hey, I’m just an arrogant foreigner who couldn’t properly understand the unique Canadian market that can only adequately served by well-established Canadian airlines that are managed by Canadians.
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 4017
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 8:32 pm

sxf24 wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
sxf24 wrote:

There are structural differences in every market. That’s why airlines are run by teams of people, not robots.

If ULCCs can succeed in every other market, I fail to see how they can’t find a way to carve out a piece of the Canadian market. I guess there are probably a lot of AC and WS employees that disagree, but it’s your bigger paycheck and strict work rules that create this opportunity. Start-up airlines can have costs 1/2 that of AC: that creates a huge opportunity to stimulate markets and take lower yielding share.

Flair also has very strict work rules as all of their employees are unionized; their pilots are represented by ALPA, and they were previously represented by Unifor. Their flight attendants are also unionized; they are represented by CUPE. Flair has had fairly rocky relationships with their unions, with their flight attendant and pilots unions having threatened a strike a short while ago.


Regardless of current agreements, Flair and other new entrants expect to have costs at least half of AC and meaningfully below WS. This is a pretty strong competitive advantage, albeit not sustainable.

But hey, I’m just an arrogant foreigner who couldn’t properly understand the unique Canadian market that can only adequately served by well-established Canadian airlines that are managed by Canadians.

It's easy to cut your costs when you can't even keep to a schedule, with constant delays and cancelled flights. This is an airline that habitually let down their customers while trying to chase market share by over expanding beyond what their fleet and crew can handle.

But hey, we are talking about an airline that according to their former CFO was barely solvent back in 2020, and is under multiple lawsuits from investors about their financial situation, along with a government review of their ownership structure.
 
777luver
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:44 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 9:21 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
sxf24 wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
Flair also has very strict work rules as all of their employees are unionized; their pilots are represented by ALPA, and they were previously represented by Unifor. Their flight attendants are also unionized; they are represented by CUPE. Flair has had fairly rocky relationships with their unions, with their flight attendant and pilots unions having threatened a strike a short while ago.


Regardless of current agreements, Flair and other new entrants expect to have costs at least half of AC and meaningfully below WS. This is a pretty strong competitive advantage, albeit not sustainable.

But hey, I’m just an arrogant foreigner who couldn’t properly understand the unique Canadian market that can only adequately served by well-established Canadian airlines that are managed by Canadians.

It's easy to cut your costs when you can't even keep to a schedule, with constant delays and cancelled flights. This is an airline that habitually let down their customers while trying to chase market share by over expanding beyond what their fleet and crew can handle.

But hey, we are talking about an airline that according to their former CFO was barely solvent back in 2020, and is under multiple lawsuits from investors about their financial situation, along with a government review of their ownership structure.


And went to the federal govt for aid
 
CFWAD
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:36 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Fri Dec 24, 2021 9:44 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
sxf24 wrote:
casperCA wrote:

Flair also has very strict work rules as all of their employees are unionized; their pilots are represented by ALPA, and they were previously represented by Unifor. Their flight attendants are also unionized; they are represented by CUPE. Flair has had fairly rocky relationships with their unions, with their flight attendant and pilots unions having threatened a strike a short while ago.


This is a good point to bring up; Flair has costs (some legacy) - especially to their pilot group - that are not ideal for a ULCC. Their previous agreement (specifically overtime related) could be considered one reason for their cancellation rates (the cost of 2 Boeing drivers cancels out any ancillary profits). They do seem to have a high rate of "maintenance cancellations" for such a brand new fleet. Convenient way to get away with CTA compensation. This will catch up with them.

I would not be surprised if SJ or GL are already (quietly) looking for places to rent in OZ.
 
Dominion301
Posts: 3145
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:48 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Sat Dec 25, 2021 2:51 am

jimbo737 wrote:
How quickly people assume WS success, (net profitable in their third full month of operations May 1996) was due to “luck”.

The Canadian domestic marketplace include the AC family, the CP family, Royal, Transat, Canada 3000, CanJet, Vistajet, Greyhound, Canadian North, First Air and at least a couple of others who came and went.

WS succeeded where others failed because, quite simply, they patiently built a viable and formidable domestic feed network from the getgo and had the perfectly sized 125 seat airframe to make it work. Not sexy, but it ensured their success.

People today would be stunned at the degree of feed / flow traffic WS generated from day one. But then again, these same folks probably believe Southwest was always an O&D carrier.

Every new entrant since chosen an alternate strategy with predictable results.

They never learn.


The last two on your list can't exactly be lumped in with the rest. 5T & 7F got married as the tiny population of the north is better served by one strong carrier than two weak carriers constantly battling one another. They leave the big boys & girls alone and stick to their niche, although 7-10 years ago the big 'uns didn't play nice and invaded YEG-YZF and even YOW-YFB for a while with AC...for some reason AC couldn't figure out that YOW-YFB earns as much revenue from cargo as it does from pax and thought a CR9 with no cargo room was a good idea. It's hard to believe but 4 years ago YEG-YZF was the most competitive route in the country. Quite frankly, I've never understood why Canadian North has never tried to be more like Air North and take some risks, including flying the odd niche southern or sun route here & there. First Air used to do so until 25 years ago.

As for Flair, domestically I think they've done some good things. Exploiting YKF is one, flying routes like YOW/YUL-YXX as an alternative to YVR is another and starting a summer seasonal route like YOW-YLW is smart and something AC/WS wouldn't have ever done. Not long after WS launch a weekly YOW-YYJ, no doubt as a defensive measure against F8.
 
jimbo737
Posts: 644
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:18 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Sun Dec 26, 2021 12:28 pm

ElPistolero wrote:
jimbo737 wrote:
How quickly people assume WS success, (net profitable in their third full month of operations May 1996) was due to “luck”.

The Canadian domestic marketplace include the AC family, the CP family, Royal, Transat, Canada 3000, CanJet, Vistajet, Greyhound, Canadian North, First Air and at least a couple of others who came and went.

WS succeeded where others failed because, quite simply, they patiently built a viable and formidable domestic feed network from the getgo and had the perfectly sized 125 seat airframe to make it work. Not sexy, but it ensured their success.

People today would be stunned at the degree of feed / flow traffic WS generated from day one. But then again, these same folks probably believe Southwest was always an O&D carrier.

Every new entrant since chosen an alternate strategy with predictable results.

They never learn.


While it’s great that WS made terrific business decisions 20+ years ago, are we expected to assume that the Canadian aviation market hasn’t evolved in the past 15-20 years?

Canada’s demographic make up has certainly changed a lot in that time; all of the major population centres have evolved significantly. Canadians are travelling more, have been exposed to more products and prices, and have different value-for-money expectations.

Is there any reason to believe the demand-side of the Canadian aviation market hasn’t evolved with them?

In which case, is a 20+ year old strategy, which was developed with a different demand-side aspect, really the only viable strategy today?

Might benefit from keeping the self-congratulation in perspective.


Sure, Canada’s population has grown 24% from 30m in 1996 to about 37m today.

Interestingly, the capacity of the “go to” LCC airframe being used these days has grown 50% compared to the 120 - 125 seats used back in the day to build the network.

You better have a solid strategy to fill those extra seats at compensatory fares with a sustainable, reliable schedule with that size of airframe that needs to operate 2.5 more block hours a day, every day, 340 day a year to make the numbers work.

A several flights weekly schedule will not attract any yield, especially if you bounce in and out of markets with no staying power.

I’m a prospective Flair customer to fly kids out to visit but every time I try to book, the flights are ill timed or forever changing. And when I suggest they fly Flair to save me a few bucks, they say “no thanks”. They’ve heard too many horror stories of endless delays and cancellations from their friends who got “Flaired” and represent Flairs target market.

Todays generation of what we used to refer as the “back pack” crowd have much higher expectations. They demand reliability and will pay a few $ more to get it.

Back in the day, WestJet did a few innovative things to win people over in the case of inevitable irops with 25 year old airframes. Flair hasn’t figured that out either.

Until that materially changes, Flair is in for a rough time.

Patting yourself on the back because you have a model that works well for 10 days from Dec 20 to Jan 3, for 3.5 days a week from March 1 through Easter, for 70 days from the end of June through early September and 2.5 days a week the rest of the year ‘ain’t gonna cut it.

I’m sure the CFO Flair fired who’s currently suing the company probably figured that out early in the program.

Alas, CFO’s rarely have much to do with strategic planning at airlines.
 
CFWAD
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:36 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Sun Dec 26, 2021 1:03 pm

I would agree.

WS provided service during IRROPs that are unheard of today. They would cover hotel costs even due to weather events. This cost played incredibly well for them. All of Canada loved WS. Families would book their ailing grandparents knowing that they would probably get better care on that '37 than at the retirement home. And this was at a time when there really wasn't a Trip Advisor or real-time online reviews. This was done by word of mouth and from owners that were truly proud of their company.

F8, on the other hand. You only need to cancel 1 flight worth of people, during the holidays, forcing them to pay 10x what they initially paid for last minute fares, for word to get out and that group to never book you again.

In all honesty, if no other option, I would consider taking a CMA B1900 YVR-YYZ with a couple fuel stops along the way rather than risk an even free flight on Flair. I would be surprised who shows up at Pearson first.

Flying from YYC-YOW, with a stopover in YWG. Plane lands in YWG; remainder of flight is cancelled due to crew duty limitations. Passengers are left on their own, in a city they didn't book for and are told to come back next day for their continuing journey. That is incredible.

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Airline_Review-d13635959-Reviews-Flair-Airlines
 
danipawa
Posts: 610
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:18 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Sun Dec 26, 2021 1:26 pm

Caribbean routes??
 
EdmFlyBoi
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:58 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Sun Dec 26, 2021 3:20 pm

Airlines generally get bad reviews. Canadian's love to bash their airlines, AC in particular. During COVID, both AC and WS have made many people unhappy because of schedule changes, delays, refusal to refund, no service, etc. The list of complaints are many.

If you look at the Flair reviews online, they are as bad, or worse, as the reviews of AC and WS.

As many have pointed out, Canada is a big country, with a small population, and 4 major hub cities (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary). The majority of Canadians want to fly to the big populations centres (one could include Ottawa, Edmonton, and maybe Halifax into the list of 4). As a general rule, people living in the GTA will not drive to Hamilton and people in the lower mainland will not drive to Abbotsford. Doing so adds incremental cost which may eat up the savings one gets from choosing to fly from the smaller airports. It is why the ULCC's ultimately relocate to the YYZ or YVR. Flair has chosen YEG as a base, but so has Swoop. With WS's backing, Swoop will likely continue to push Flair's yields down in that market.

Canada has high taxes, high airport landing fees, high airport improvement fees, and high NAVCAN fees. All of these combine to make tickets expensive. The Ryanair model just doesn't work because the add ons to fares (that don't go to the carrier) are high. Flair offering very low fares look much less appealing when the taxes et al are added. If the advertised fare is all in (with the taxes), the amount the carrier gets is quite small.

Canada has terrible weather 4 to 6 months of the year. Winter IRROPs are very common. AC and WS can better accommodate IRROPs because of multiple flights, larger fleets, and, especially in AC's case, the ability to sub a larger aircraft when winter cancels a day's worth of flights (I once flew a 77W between Edmonton and Calgary that AC positioned to get a large number of stranded passengers where they needed to go).

Yes AC has a number of requirements that other carriers in Canada don't have, such as having to have its HQ in Montreal and the strict rules around bilingual service. However, from a operational standpoint, the federal government has continued to be careful about unrestricted bilateral agreements with the Middle East carriers. Canada has an open skies agreement with Europe, but you don't see any of the European carriers flooding the Canadian market. Canada is generally considered low yield with low premium demand. Yes AC was given assistance during COVID, which WS choose not to accept. Most of the aid was either in the form of loans (to be repaid with very low interest) or as an investment at a fixed price per share (roughly between $23 and $27 per share). Many other carriers were provided assistance around the world so AC is not unique in this regard.

WS has very much evolved into a full service carrier with a fleet that provides flexibility to serve smaller centres (Encore's Q400's). They are also able to now match AC on premium transcon service, and will better be able to do that once Boeing gets the remaining 787's delivered. WS has a strong relationship with DL and also has a reasonable relationship with AF/KL. Although not yet a member of Skyteam, relations with its major carriers allow WS frequent fliers to access the Skyteam benefits. AC has a tremendous loyalty program, although people love to bash it. Aeroplan has partnered with many, many carriers not in the Star Alliance that allow Aeroplan members to access flights. Read the traveller blogs and it is generally acknowledged that Aeroplan is one of the better programs.

AC and WS have terrible telephone customer service, which COVID has made worse. And AC's website IT is awful, and has been so ever since the Amadeus transition. Good luck getting through to Flair if something goes wrong.

The reality is Canada is a market that can only support a duopoly (if that). Transat is essentially a scheduled charter carrier whose market is largely Europe in the summer and Mexico and the Caribbean in the winter (and may end up merged with WS since the AC merger did not come to fruition). Sunwing is the same.

The best comparison is Australia, which has been really unable to support more than a single carrier that serves both domestic and international, and also has a history of failed carriers (Ansett, pre-COVID Virgin Australia). It also has only a handful of major population centres and a large area. It does have the advantage of better weather which should result in less IRROPs. It's downside as a market is the absence of the massive country next door (USA), with many routes that can be flown to from its major population centres (New Zealand is really not a reasonable comparison).

The reality is that Flair will struggle as a scheduled carrier on domestic point to point, like the many carriers that have failed before it, if it continues to have terrible OTP and terrible customer service. The 2 majors (AC and WS) have created a relatively comfortable duopoly and will do their best to push out competitors (as they are doing with Swoop and Rouge). Both have deep pockets and many operational advantages despite ongoing poor customer service in many areas. I would be surprised if Flair is operating in its present form in 5 years time.
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 2644
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Sun Dec 26, 2021 5:25 pm

jimbo737 wrote:

Sure, Canada’s population has grown 24% from 30m in 1996 to about 37m today.

Interestingly, the capacity of the “go to” LCC airframe being used these days has grown 50% compared to the 120 - 125 seats used back in the day to build the network.

You better have a solid strategy to fill those extra seats at compensatory fares with a sustainable, reliable schedule with that size of airframe that needs to operate 2.5 more block hours a day, every day, 340 day a year to make the numbers work.

How much has air traffic grown in that time?


Good question. Why not look it up before throwing around whatever stats you think support your narrative?

Air traffic in Canada has grown by 47% since 2008 (not 2000). It’s probably grown over 50% since 2000 (Statscan only goes back to 2008). In that time, transborder has grown by 50% and domestic by 37%.

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en ... 2C20200101

As an aside, let’s work on the assumption that the Deputy CEO of one of the more successful ULCCs has given some thought to these considerations.

jimbo737 wrote:
A several flights weekly schedule will not attract any yield, especially if you bounce in and out of markets with no staying power .


“Any” yield? ULCCs will almost definitely attract some yield. It may not be AC or WS levels, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. They need to be sustainable, not demonstrate that they’re a ULCC/LCC pretending to be a more premium product like AC and WS Y.

jimbo737 wrote:
I’m a prospective Flair customer to fly kids out to visit but every time I try to book, the flights are ill timed or forever changing. And when I suggest they fly Flair to save me a few bucks, they say “no thanks”. They’ve heard too many horror stories of endless delays and cancellations from their friends who got “Flaired” and represent Flairs target market.

Todays generation of what we used to refer as the “back pack” crowd have much higher expectations. They demand reliability and will pay a few $ more to get it.


Sure, and I’m a prospective Air Koryo customer. As you can tell, I don’t buy it. Here’s why:

- Your children clearly draw from the Bank of Mom and Dad. They don’t have to worry about money. An extra $50-$100 bucks means nothing to them. While I applaud you on your success, and being able to offer this lifestyle to them, I think it’s pretty obvious that there are lots of folk - university students; new immigrants caught in the underemployment trap of “no Canadian experience” for the jobs they’re qualified for, but “overqualified” for lower level jobs; lower middle class households where paying the extra $100s to fly AC or WS makes travel completely unviable, and so on. Take it from someone who’s had to cancel many, many east coast cross-border trips simply due to 8-10hr greyhound ride fatigue, because flights were simply unaffordable.

- While I accept that getting Flaired is as miserable an experience as getting Swooped or Rouged, switching to more expensive options isn’t going to be a choice for a lot of the folk mentioned above. Sure, some higher earners will decide it’s not worth the effort, but university students (domestic and international) and people tight on cash aren’t going to disappear anytime soon in Canada. The ULCC (not just F8) market will be dictated by whether people are willing to fly regardless of the risk, not their ability to afford more expensive airlines.

The degree to which demand-side considerations are dismissed by Canadian airline folk cause me no end of amusement. Provides a pretty vivid demonstration of how poorly the Canadian aviation market performs.

jimbo737 wrote:
Back in the day, WestJet did a few innovative things to win people over in the case of inevitable irops with 25 year old airframes. Flair hasn’t figured that out either.

Until that materially changes, Flair is in for a rough time.


Pity they haven’t shared those with Swoop - what with leaving Canadians stranded in other countries for days (think it might have been over a week).

In any case, F8 is flying the same 7M8s as AC and WS, not 25 year old rustbuckets.

jimbo737 wrote:
Patting yourself on the back because you have a model that works well for 10 days from Dec 20 to Jan 3, for 3.5 days a week from March 1 through Easter, for 70 days from the end of June through early September and 2.5 days a week the rest of the year ‘ain’t gonna cut it.

I’m sure the CFO Flair fired who’s currently suing the company probably figured that out early in the program.

Alas, CFO’s rarely have much to do with strategic planning at airlines.


Would that be the same CEO who also served as the CEO at Canada Jetlines? As I recall, you aren’t a big fan of what they’ve been up to for the past 7 years.

Where does all that fit in your theory of Canadian ULCC Ponzi schemes anyway?
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 2644
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Sun Dec 26, 2021 6:23 pm

EdmFlyBoi wrote:
Airlines generally get bad reviews. Canadian's love to bash their airlines, AC in particular. During COVID, both AC and WS have made many people unhappy because of schedule changes, delays, refusal to refund, no service, etc. The list of complaints are many.

If you look at the Flair reviews online, they are as bad, or worse, as the reviews of AC and WS.

As many have pointed out, Canada is a big country, with a small population, and 4 major hub cities (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary). The majority of Canadians want to fly to the big populations centres (one could include Ottawa, Edmonton, and maybe Halifax into the list of 4). As a general rule, people living in the GTA will not drive to Hamilton and people in the lower mainland will not drive to Abbotsford. Doing so adds incremental cost which may eat up the savings one gets from choosing to fly from the smaller airports. It is why the ULCC's ultimately relocate to the YYZ or YVR. Flair has chosen YEG as a base, but so has Swoop. With WS's backing, Swoop will likely continue to push Flair's yields down in that market.

Canada has high taxes, high airport landing fees, high airport improvement fees, and high NAVCAN fees. All of these combine to make tickets expensive. The Ryanair model just doesn't work because the add ons to fares (that don't go to the carrier) are high. Flair offering very low fares look much less appealing when the taxes et al are added. If the advertised fare is all in (with the taxes), the amount the carrier gets is quite small.

Canada has terrible weather 4 to 6 months of the year. Winter IRROPs are very common. AC and WS can better accommodate IRROPs because of multiple flights, larger fleets, and, especially in AC's case, the ability to sub a larger aircraft when winter cancels a day's worth of flights (I once flew a 77W between Edmonton and Calgary that AC positioned to get a large number of stranded passengers where they needed to go).

Yes AC has a number of requirements that other carriers in Canada don't have, such as having to have its HQ in Montreal and the strict rules around bilingual service. However, from a operational standpoint, the federal government has continued to be careful about unrestricted bilateral agreements with the Middle East carriers. Canada has an open skies agreement with Europe, but you don't see any of the European carriers flooding the Canadian market. Canada is generally considered low yield with low premium demand. Yes AC was given assistance during COVID, which WS choose not to accept. Most of the aid was either in the form of loans (to be repaid with very low interest) or as an investment at a fixed price per share (roughly between $23 and $27 per share). Many other carriers were provided assistance around the world so AC is not unique in this regard.

WS has very much evolved into a full service carrier with a fleet that provides flexibility to serve smaller centres (Encore's Q400's). They are also able to now match AC on premium transcon service, and will better be able to do that once Boeing gets the remaining 787's delivered. WS has a strong relationship with DL and also has a reasonable relationship with AF/KL. Although not yet a member of Skyteam, relations with its major carriers allow WS frequent fliers to access the Skyteam benefits. AC has a tremendous loyalty program, although people love to bash it. Aeroplan has partnered with many, many carriers not in the Star Alliance that allow Aeroplan members to access flights. Read the traveller blogs and it is generally acknowledged that Aeroplan is one of the better programs.

AC and WS have terrible telephone customer service, which COVID has made worse. And AC's website IT is awful, and has been so ever since the Amadeus transition. Good luck getting through to Flair if something goes wrong.

The reality is Canada is a market that can only support a duopoly (if that). Transat is essentially a scheduled charter carrier whose market is largely Europe in the summer and Mexico and the Caribbean in the winter (and may end up merged with WS since the AC merger did not come to fruition). Sunwing is the same.

The best comparison is Australia, which has been really unable to support more than a single carrier that serves both domestic and international, and also has a history of failed carriers (Ansett, pre-COVID Virgin Australia). It also has only a handful of major population centres and a large area. It does have the advantage of better weather which should result in less IRROPs. It's downside as a market is the absence of the massive country next door (USA), with many routes that can be flown to from its major population centres (New Zealand is really not a reasonable comparison).

The reality is that Flair will struggle as a scheduled carrier on domestic point to point, like the many carriers that have failed before it, if it continues to have terrible OTP and terrible customer service. The 2 majors (AC and WS) have created a relatively comfortable duopoly and will do their best to push out competitors (as they are doing with Swoop and Rouge). Both have deep pockets and many operational advantages despite ongoing poor customer service in many areas. I would be surprised if Flair is operating in its present form in 5 years time.


Virgin Australia has failed? That’ll come as a surprise to them. Probably explains why they’re experiencing higher than normal call volumes today.

That said, if Canada is fundamentally a low-yield market, why wouldn’t a ULCC be sustainable? I’ll grant that it is a quirky market - people who drive BMWs shop for the cheapest Y tickets. Suggests a growing emphasis on value-for-money. After all, there is a fair bit of money in Canada; some Canadians have just become stingy with airlines.

You can blame Canadians for being “cheap” (despite paying more than their peers in the developed world); that was all the rage here around 5 years ago. But if they’re “cheap”, why are they willing to buy other premium goods? Odd that they become stingy towards airlines only, no? Which suggests that the value-for-money offering provided by the airlines is at least part of the problem.

That’s relevant here because it has a direct bearing on ULCCs prospects in Canada. AC/WS Transborder and domestic Y are bottom-of-the-barrel products when it comes to value-for-money. They’re like US products, but significantly more expensive, and objectively inferior to QF (free Y catering, free check in baggage) while being similar priced or more expensive.

That leaves something of an opening for ULCCs. As hard products go, AC 7M8 Y seat = WS 7M8 Y seat = F8 7M8 Y seat > AC Rouge A32X Y seat. As value-for-money goes, is a free check in bag + PTV + 150ml of carbonated syrup really worth $75-$150 more?

You could argue that IRROPs recovery will be better, but that’s hardly guaranteed for basic Y pax. Theyre bottom of the pile when it comes to allocating alternate routes during IRROPs (behind premium pax, FFs, higher booking classes), especially during peak period. I suspect there won’t be much difference at all - pay $100s today to fly another airline, or AC/WS will accommodate you 2-3days later.

On those grounds alone, I think ULCCs have reasonable prospects. However, this will ultimately be determined by whether predatory tactics go unpunished or not.
 
CFWAD
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:36 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Sun Dec 26, 2021 7:42 pm

ElPistolero wrote:

Virgin Australia has failed? That’ll come as a surprise to them. Probably explains why they’re experiencing higher than normal call volumes today.


Financially, over the course of it's time - yes. It has been a massive failure for their multiple investors.

That said, if Canada is fundamentally a low-yield market, why wouldn’t a ULCC be sustainable? I’ll grant that it is a quirky market - people who drive BMWs shop for the cheapest Y tickets. Suggests a growing emphasis on value-for-money. After all, there is a fair bit of money in Canada; some Canadians have just become stingy with airlines.


Taxes, surcharges, NavCan, AIFs.

That’s relevant here because it has a direct bearing on ULCCs prospects in Canada. AC/WS Transborder and domestic Y are bottom-of-the-barrel products when it comes to value-for-money. They’re like US products, but significantly more expensive, and objectively inferior to QF (free Y catering, free check in baggage) while being similar priced or more expensive.


When QF borders and has to compete in one of the world's largest markets, those freebies would be gone in a heartbeat. AC Y on a 738 is a much better product than both F8 and WS. Further to that, AC and WS have the ability to upgauge / aircraft swap to account for cancellations. Flair has none of that and appears to not have placed any consideration in their network scheduling over winter operations.

That leaves something of an opening for ULCCs. As hard products go, AC 7M8 Y seat = WS 7M8 Y seat = F8 7M8 Y seat > AC Rouge A32X Y seat. As value-for-money goes, is a free check in bag + PTV + 150ml of carbonated syrup really worth $75-$150 more?


If that extra $100 means I can actually get to where I need to be on or around the same day, then yes. AC and WS (and even PD to some extent) have a network that is capable.
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 2644
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Sun Dec 26, 2021 10:39 pm

CFWAD wrote:
Financially, over the course of it's time - yes. It has been a massive failure for their multiple investors.


… but still around and still flying. Maybe they’re on the verge of pulling an AC.

CFWAD wrote:
Taxes, surcharges, NavCan, AIFs.


What about them? Premium cars and goods aren’t tax-free or cheap (pre-tax) in Canada. All kinds of freight charges and taxes exist here. Still valued more.

Has a lot to do with the perceived quality of the product. Canadians travel abroad a lot more these days. They’ve been exposed to ULCCs and ULCC prices. They know what a ULCC configuration/ product looks and feels like. Applying a little lipstick here and there isn’t going to change that.

CFWAD wrote:
When QF borders and has to compete in one of the world's largest markets, those freebies would be gone in a heartbeat.


What’s the logic here? That AC and WS are running those routes at such heavy losses that they have to cut service on profitable domestic flights? If not, why would QF have to get rid of freebies on its domestic flights?

Might want to rethink that one.

(As an aside, neither AC not WS “have to” serve US destinations. They choose to. If it’s such a struggle, no one will begrudge their decision to sit it out).

CFWAD wrote:
AC Y on a 738 is a much better product than both F8 and WS.


Yes, I’m sure it’s a far more comfortable 17” wide 30” pitch seat than the other two 17” wide 30” pitch seats.

Wouldn’t surprise me if all 3 of them bought the exact same seats from the same company.

CFWAD wrote:
Further to that, AC and WS have the ability to upgauge / aircraft swap to account for cancellations. Flair has none of that and appears to not have placed any consideration in their network scheduling over winter operations.


In theory, sure. In reality we’ve seen how that’s worked out for their actual basic Y pax on Rouge and Swoop. Probably won’t take much to find similar stories for mainline.

For basic Y pax, it’s always going to be luck of the draw. Albeit with slightly better odds. Enough to tip the scale? Doubt it. Nothing is guaranteed. As anyone who’s dealt with Y IRROPs in Canada knows.

CFWAD wrote:
If that extra $100 means I can actually get to where I need to be on or around the same day, then yes. AC and WS (and even PD to some extent) have a network that is capable.


Why? Much smarter to just by travel insurance instead. Comes with more guarantees than a basic Y ticket on any airline in Canada.
 
jimbo737
Posts: 644
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:18 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Sun Dec 26, 2021 11:33 pm

ElPistolero wrote:
jimbo737 wrote:

Sure, Canada’s population has grown 24% from 30m in 1996 to about 37m today.

Interestingly, the capacity of the “go to” LCC airframe being used these days has grown 50% compared to the 120 - 125 seats used back in the day to build the network.

You better have a solid strategy to fill those extra seats at compensatory fares with a sustainable, reliable schedule with that size of airframe that needs to operate 2.5 more block hours a day, every day, 340 day a year to make the numbers work.

How much has air traffic grown in that time?


Good question. Why not look it up before throwing around whatever stats you think support your narrative?

Air traffic in Canada has grown by 47% since 2008 (not 2000). It’s probably grown over 50% since 2000 (Statscan only goes back to 2008). In that time, transborder has grown by 50% and domestic by 37%.

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en ... 2C20200101

As an aside, let’s work on the assumption that the Deputy CEO of one of the more successful ULCCs has given some thought to these considerations.

jimbo737 wrote:
A several flights weekly schedule will not attract any yield, especially if you bounce in and out of markets with no staying power .


“Any” yield? ULCCs will almost definitely attract some yield. It may not be AC or WS levels, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. They need to be sustainable, not demonstrate that they’re a ULCC/LCC pretending to be a more premium product like AC and WS Y.

jimbo737 wrote:
I’m a prospective Flair customer to fly kids out to visit but every time I try to book, the flights are ill timed or forever changing. And when I suggest they fly Flair to save me a few bucks, they say “no thanks”. They’ve heard too many horror stories of endless delays and cancellations from their friends who got “Flaired” and represent Flairs target market.

Todays generation of what we used to refer as the “back pack” crowd have much higher expectations. They demand reliability and will pay a few $ more to get it.


Sure, and I’m a prospective Air Koryo customer. As you can tell, I don’t buy it. Here’s why:

- Your children clearly draw from the Bank of Mom and Dad. They don’t have to worry about money. An extra $50-$100 bucks means nothing to them. While I applaud you on your success, and being able to offer this lifestyle to them, I think it’s pretty obvious that there are lots of folk - university students; new immigrants caught in the underemployment trap of “no Canadian experience” for the jobs they’re qualified for, but “overqualified” for lower level jobs; lower middle class households where paying the extra $100s to fly AC or WS makes travel completely unviable, and so on. Take it from someone who’s had to cancel many, many east coast cross-border trips simply due to 8-10hr greyhound ride fatigue, because flights were simply unaffordable.

- While I accept that getting Flaired is as miserable an experience as getting Swooped or Rouged, switching to more expensive options isn’t going to be a choice for a lot of the folk mentioned above. Sure, some higher earners will decide it’s not worth the effort, but university students (domestic and international) and people tight on cash aren’t going to disappear anytime soon in Canada. The ULCC (not just F8) market will be dictated by whether people are willing to fly regardless of the risk, not their ability to afford more expensive airlines.

The degree to which demand-side considerations are dismissed by Canadian airline folk cause me no end of amusement. Provides a pretty vivid demonstration of how poorly the Canadian aviation market performs.

jimbo737 wrote:
Back in the day, WestJet did a few innovative things to win people over in the case of inevitable irops with 25 year old airframes. Flair hasn’t figured that out either.

Until that materially changes, Flair is in for a rough time.


Pity they haven’t shared those with Swoop - what with leaving Canadians stranded in other countries for days (think it might have been over a week).

In any case, F8 is flying the same 7M8s as AC and WS, not 25 year old rustbuckets.

jimbo737 wrote:
Patting yourself on the back because you have a model that works well for 10 days from Dec 20 to Jan 3, for 3.5 days a week from March 1 through Easter, for 70 days from the end of June through early September and 2.5 days a week the rest of the year ‘ain’t gonna cut it.

I’m sure the CFO Flair fired who’s currently suing the company probably figured that out early in the program.

Alas, CFO’s rarely have much to do with strategic planning at airlines.


Would that be the same CEO who also served as the CEO at Canada Jetlines? As I recall, you aren’t a big fan of what they’ve been up to for the past 7 years.

Where does all that fit in your theory of Canadian ULCC Ponzi schemes anyway?


The Bank of Mom and Dad?

You obviously have never met my kids.

Sometimes it’s best to put down the shovel and quit digging.
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 2644
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Sun Dec 26, 2021 11:58 pm

jimbo737 wrote:

The Bank of Mom and Dad?

You obviously have never met my kids.


*shrug* - see below:

jimbo737 wrote:
I’m a prospective Flair customer to fly kids out to visit but every time I try to book, the flights are ill timed or forever changing. And when I suggest they fly Flair to save me a few bucks, they say “no thanks”.


Nobody asked you to share your story about how you pay to fly your kids home. And their apparent indifference to saving a few bucks for you on a ticket you’re paying for.

jimbo737 wrote:
Sometimes it’s best to put down the shovel and quit digging.


Right back at you.

Granted, that wasn’t meant to be a slight in any sense of the word. Just a reflection of the reality that there are some families that can afford to fly their kids home. And some that can’t. The latter are ULCC’s target market, and they aren’t going to disappear anytime soon.
 
CFWAD
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:36 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Mon Dec 27, 2021 12:50 am

ElPistoler]Financially, over the course of it's time - yes. It has been a massive failure for their multiple investors. [/quote]
[quote]… but still around and still flying. Maybe they’re on the verge of pulling an AC. [/quote]

Pulling an AC? They (Virgin Australia) were never born out of a nationalized carrier; never purchased the 2nd largest carrier in near-insolvency, etc. etc.

[quote="CFWAD wrote:
Taxes, surcharges, NavCan, AIFs.


What about them? Premium cars and goods aren’t tax-free or cheap (pre-tax) in Canada. All kinds of freight charges and taxes exist here. Still valued more.

Has a lot to do with the perceived quality of the product. Canadians travel abroad a lot more these days. They’ve been exposed to ULCCs and ULCC prices. They know what a ULCC configuration/ product looks and feels like. Applying a little lipstick here and there isn’t going to change that.


What about them? When you try to charge a $49 fare and over 50% of that comes out in taxes, surcharges and AIFs - how on earth is an airline supposed to make money?

CFWAD wrote:
When QF borders and has to compete in one of the world's largest markets, those freebies would be gone in a heartbeat.


What’s the logic here? That AC and WS are running those routes at such heavy losses that they have to cut service on profitable domestic flights? If not, why would QF have to get rid of freebies on its domestic flights?

Might want to rethink that one.

(As an aside, neither AC not WS “have to” serve US destinations. They choose to. If it’s such a struggle, no one will begrudge their decision to sit it out).


The logic is what I stated - QF does not border a mass market like AC and WS does.

It is actually not a a struggle for AC and in fact is a core part of their operational strategy. They are utilizing USCBP and streamlined processes that YYZ, YUL and YVR have to offer. It is a huge part of why they have won Skytrax awards in the past and are a constant go to for American travelers wanting a convenient customs process.


CFWAD wrote:
AC Y on a 738 is a much better product than both F8 and WS.


Yes, I’m sure it’s a far more comfortable 17” wide 30” pitch seat than the other two 17” wide 30” pitch seats.

Wouldn’t surprise me if all 3 of them bought the exact same seats from the same company.


Well, they did not. And having a PTV as an option while I am working on my laptop, plugged into a power source is, in my opinion, more comfortable. Also, worst case , AC has the benefit of multiple aircraft and seating configurations based on your schedule and route pairing.

CFWAD wrote:
Further to that, AC and WS have the ability to upgauge / aircraft swap to account for cancellations. Flair has none of that and appears to not have placed any consideration in their network scheduling over winter operations.


In theory, sure. In reality we’ve seen how that’s worked out for their actual basic Y pax on Rouge and Swoop. Probably won’t take much to find similar stories for mainline.

For basic Y pax, it’s always going to be luck of the draw. Albeit with slightly better odds. Enough to tip the scale? Doubt it. Nothing is guaranteed. As anyone who’s dealt with Y IRROPs in Canada knows.


Rouge and Swoop are not the same thing. You can't keep comparing them. The basic example I can give is the simple fact they have two separate booking entities - one is blended into Air Canada while the other is completely separate. Another example is Rouge drivers are AC employees while the FA's are Rouge specific at a lower rate. Swoop is a lot separate entity to WS.
 
sxf24
Posts: 1769
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:22 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Mon Dec 27, 2021 1:46 am

How do Ryanair or EasyJet make money on low fares in a high-tax environment?

It’s quite provincial to think that Canadians are not interested in traveling more with low fares and are unwilling to purchase the ancillaries that their peers all around the world buy on a daily basis.

What the legacy airline employees (and champions) fail to realize is that there’s space for different business models. The ULCCs stimulate new traffic and take a bit of the existing. In general, that market grows and there’s chance for all to succeed. Look at Europe, Europe, and other parts of the world as an example.

Ultimately, if so many people are freaking out about Flair, they must be doing something right.
 
CFWAD
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:36 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Mon Dec 27, 2021 2:02 am

How do Ryanair or EasyJet make money on low fares in a high-tax environment?

Simple. Difference in population and stage lengths are quite shorter than most in Canada.

It’s quite provincial to think that Canadians are not interested in traveling more with low fares and are unwilling to purchase the ancillaries that their peers all around the world buy on a daily basis.

There are different markets for a reason. Australians like their free meat pies on a domestic run, TUI has separate brands across Europe catering to different countries' expectations and/or comforts.

What the legacy airline employees (and champions) fail to realize is that there’s space for different business models. The ULCCs stimulate new traffic and take a bit of the existing. In general, that market grows and there’s chance for all to succeed. Look at Europe, Europe, and other parts of the world as an example.


Europe, Asia, America are not Canada. The minimal population base over such a land mass with such high taxation and overall costs makes it incredibly difficult. It could work - but not at the rate nor finances that Flair has.

Ultimately, if so many people are freaking out about Flair, they must be doing something right.


I am by no means "freaking out" and they are absolutely doing nothing right.

To be honest, at the end of the day my concern goes out to the airports that invest in a venture like this. The pilots that invest time, money and energy hoping something like this will work. The vendors that risk getting paid at a later date thinking this will be the next best thing in Canada. I have seen it affect many Canadians in this country over the years - this over expansion brings chills and reminds me when Jetsgo got that 40 million and bought them F100s.
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 2644
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Mon Dec 27, 2021 2:25 am

CFWAD wrote:

Pulling an AC? They (Virgin Australia) were never born out of a nationalized carrier; never purchased the 2nd largest carrier in near-insolvency, etc. etc.


Indeed. A real private company with a lot less protection afforded by the government(e.g. no restrictions on foreign ownership etc.).

Speaking of which, Virgin Australia was bought by Bain Capital last year. For context, Bain Capital’s portfolio is 3X Onex’s and it’s a fully US-owned company. Don’t think they’ll stay “failed” for too long. (Google is Your Friend).

Let’s file this under the long-standing Canadian tradition of …misunderstanding (I’m being charitable here) Australian aviation. Like the claims AC put on its website about Australia in the foreign competition context context. Last I checked, QF was performing as well as AC financially pre-COVID, and is generally considered a top 10 airline worldwide aka superior product to AC (even by Skytrax!)

CFWAD wrote:

What about them? When you try to charge a $49 fare and over 50% of that comes out in taxes, surcharges and AIFs - how on earth is an airline supposed to make money?


Canada’s airfares are 2.1X times US airfares per 100 km. Source here: https://nationalpost.com/opinion/sabrin ... mpetition/

Taxes, AIF etc are fairly static. They certainly l don’t double every 100 km. Don’t think you can blame them for more than 10% of that difference.

CFWAD wrote:

The logic is what I stated - QF does not border a mass market like AC and WS does.

It is actually not a a struggle for AC and in fact is a core part of their operational strategy. They are utilizing USCBP and streamlined processes that YYZ, YUL and YVR have to offer. It is a huge part of why they have won Skytrax awards in the past and are a constant go to for American travelers wanting a convenient customs process.


In the absence of cabotage, the presence of the US next door is irrelevant. Which probably explains the failure to provide any logical basis for your initial claim.

I don’t care much for airline rankings, especially Skytrax, but if you insist on playing that card, then I offer JD Powers to balance it.

WS is in the same segment as Frontier and Spirit in 2019; AC is alongside them in 2020. Both products are perceived as “below average” for both years.

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

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

I think this is better at illustrating just how substitutable ULCC products are for AC and WS Y, especially for the folk who speak “Skytrax”.

CFWAD wrote:

Well, they did not. And having a PTV as an option while I am working on my laptop, plugged into a power source is, in my opinion, more comfortable. Also, worst case , AC has the benefit of multiple aircraft and seating configurations based on your schedule and route pairing.


But if they’re all 30 inch pitch with 17 inch width, how different can they really be? 3 hrs is a long time in those seats.

Anyway, ask strangers if they will pay $100 more for a PTV and a plug. Think we both know how that’ll work out.

CFWAD wrote:

Rouge and Swoop are not the same thing. You can't keep comparing them. The basic example I can give is the simple fact they have two separate booking entities - one is blended into Air Canada while the other is completely separate. Another example is Rouge drivers are AC employees while the FA's are Rouge specific at a lower rate. Swoop is a lot separate entity to WS.


I don’t compare Rouge and Swoop. They both pretend to operate in the ULCC space, no? Beyond that, the differences between them are irrelevant.

If IRROPs is a consideration, basic Y pax would be better off buying travel insurance than flying any other carrier, Rouge, Swoop, AC or WS.
 
sxf24
Posts: 1769
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:22 pm

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Mon Dec 27, 2021 2:47 am

If Canada is so special because of low population density and large geography, how are ULCCs successful in Russia? Or the US for that matter which has relatively low population density.
 
777luver
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:44 am

Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Mon Dec 27, 2021 4:20 am

What the legacy airline employees (and champions) fail to realize is that there’s space for different business models. The ULCCs stimulate new traffic and take a bit of the existing. In general, that market grows and there’s chance for all to succeed. Look at Europe, Europe, and other parts of the world as an example.


Europe, Asia, America are not Canada. The minimal population base over such a land mass with such high taxation and overall costs makes it incredibly difficult. It could work - but not at the rate nor finances that Flair has.

Bingo
 
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IceCream
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Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Mon Dec 27, 2021 4:50 am

sxf24 wrote:
If Canada is so special because of low population density and large geography, how are ULCCs successful in Russia? Or the US for that matter which has relatively low population density.

You could argue for a similar landmass Russia has roughly 130 million people with significantly fewer taxes and fees for airlines/airports while Canada has just 38 million people with those fees.
 
CFWAD
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Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Mon Dec 27, 2021 8:17 am

I might show my age here, but I remember when those HMY 757's (and 1 ex-Air Wisconsin CRJ200) went back to the desert; the night Jetsgo sent their fleet to YQB in early March 2003 on the night of their shutdown, I looked out my window while the sheriff parked a YYCAA tractor in front of a Zoom 767 and stripped the Canadian registration off.

So, yes, I am beyond hesitant what F8 is attempting to do - and have witnessed (in the past) from Aerial Place how things work out.
 
sxf24
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Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Mon Dec 27, 2021 8:47 am

777luver wrote:
What the legacy airline employees (and champions) fail to realize is that there’s space for different business models. The ULCCs stimulate new traffic and take a bit of the existing. In general, that market grows and there’s chance for all to succeed. Look at Europe, Europe, and other parts of the world as an example.


Europe, Asia, America are not Canada. The minimal population base over such a land mass with such high taxation and overall costs makes it incredibly difficult. It could work - but not at the rate nor finances that Flair has.

Bingo


What lease rate does Flair pay?
 
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CrewBunk
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Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Mon Dec 27, 2021 1:49 pm

CFWAD wrote:
So, yes, I am beyond hesitant what F8 is attempting to do - and have witnessed (in the past) from Aerial Place how things work out.

It doesn’t take long before what you describe becomes a part of the product.

People keep spouting that it’s just a seat 30” of pitch by 17” wide (or 18” wide on an A320 series or 19” wide on an A220), but clearly the passenger is purchasing more than just the seat. It comes down to a level of confidence that the airline will in fact exist when travel is required, or will offer the travel within a promised time and will get you to the destination purchased.

So, someone asks you, “Would you fly Flair tomorrow? How about next week? How about next summer?” The answer is probably different. Let’s say you are planning a destination wedding next June; you need 30 round trip seats within a narrow time frame from YOW to YEG for the weekend. Would you book Flair or Westjet? Knowing that a 17 or 35 hour delay, stranding passengers mid continent or simply canceling the route completely would devastate your plans, where would your confidence lie?

That is a part of the product for which people are purchasing. To think that a seat cushion, in flight entertainment or snack service is the only part of the product is very naive. So consider, how much would you pay for that confidence? Imagine how expensive last minute walk up fares, YOW-YEG would be.

Sure, walk up, seeing the green Boeing parked at the gate ready to go, drop down your VISA card and fly. It would make sense that the further from the travel date you are the more reluctant one might be.
 
CFWAD
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Re: Flair Airlines Network Thread - 2021

Mon Dec 27, 2021 4:18 pm

sxf24 wrote:
777luver wrote:
What the legacy airline employees (and champions) fail to realize is that there’s space for different business models. The ULCCs stimulate new traffic and take a bit of the existing. In general, that market grows and there’s chance for all to succeed. Look at Europe, Europe, and other parts of the world as an example.


Europe, Asia, America are not Canada. The minimal population base over such a land mass with such high taxation and overall costs makes it incredibly difficult. It could work - but not at the rate nor finances that Flair has.

Bingo


What lease rate does Flair pay?


I am sure for financial purposes and even possibly to please certain industry regulators, that they are dirt cheap on paper. They've almost gone on record stating as such (being cheap rates).

But the (~$129 million?) loan and premise that T7 Partners was initially brought on by Prescott to help fund an already insolvent and heavily indebted carrier is the more pressing issue. Even KF sued them at one point for not paying for their dispatch services. Their ex-COO and now an ex-CFO were/are suing them; their majority shareholder is suing them (still trying to wrap my head around that one) - even their internet provider sued them for unpaid bills.

Add to that, they are trying to train a bunch of pilots at a time when I am almost certain flight simulators are booked solid and cost a pretty decent premium. With those new Boeings, they no longer have the flexibility of using Canadian North's YEG sim.

I find it somewhat humorous that they've tried to skirt their terrible reputation by changing their image, livery, uniform, social media tags and website address about 3 different times in the last 3 years. If only they spent that care and attention on running an on-time, profitable business.
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