N43W79
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Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:14 pm

Question:

Why does Air Canada maintain their headquarters in Montreal? It seems like there are at least 4 times as many aircraft operating out of YYZ. I would imagine that there would be a lot of cost savings to having your people where the planes are. I understand that there are political implications but having a headquarters in Montreal, (and two hubs in the east for that matter) doesn't seem very efficient.
 
N1120A
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:36 pm



Quoting N43W79 (Thread starter):

Why does Air Canada maintain their headquarters in Montreal?

Because they are required to by law

Quoting N43W79 (Thread starter):
I would imagine that there would be a lot of cost savings to having your people where the planes are.

There is no need to have corporate people in the same city as your largest operation. There are many companies headquartered far from where their biggest base is.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
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yowza
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:46 pm



Quoting N1120A (Reply 1):
Because they are required to by law

Really? Can you provide me a little info on that?

YOWza
 
VC10DC10
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:47 pm



Quoting N1120A (Reply 1):

Because they are required to by law

That's interesting. Something left over from the days when AC was a Crown Corporation, I expect?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 1):

There is no need to have corporate people in the same city as your largest operation. There are many companies headquartered far from where their biggest base is.

Quite true. All the accountants, marketing folks, IT people, etc. don't need to be near the planes (or the plants, or whatever it is you use to make cha-ching for your company).
 
N1120A
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:51 pm



Quoting YOWza (Reply 2):

Really? Can you provide me a little info on that?

Sec 6(1)(e) of the Air Canada Public Participation Act.

http://www.tc.gc.ca/acts-regulations/general/a/acppa/act/acppa.html

Quoting VC10DC10 (Reply 3):

That's interesting. Something left over from the days when AC was a Crown Corporation, I expect?

Sort of.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
naritaflyer
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:56 pm

Why go through all the trouble and expense when where they are is just fine? No advantages at being located in YYZ.
 
pnwtraveler
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:03 pm

YYZ would actually cost AC a lot more money because rents in Toronto are a lot higher than in Montreal. Cost of living is higher in Toronto so some support staff salaries would need to be adjusted because there is a salary difference often between the two cities.
 
robsawatsky
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:05 pm



Quoting Naritaflyer (Reply 5):
Why go through all the trouble and expense when where they are is just fine? No advantages at being located in YYZ.

If there was no chance of them leaving Montreal the gov't wouldn't have inserted that clause into the AC Privatization act. Many businesses have moved out of Montreal in the past couple of decades due to real or perceived anti-business attitude of the Quebec gov't and its burden of extra rules dealing with French language in the workplace. GIven that AC is already burdened with French language rules through the Federal AC privatization act and official languages act, it would be less of a burden/benefit to AC regardless of what city they are headquartered. However, given that Toronto is seen as the business centre-of-the-universe in Canada, locating there has a certain attractiveness. Perhaps though Calgary would be a better place to be headquartered; then the AC exec's could get boxes next to the oil company exec's at the hockey games and work some discount fuel deal.
 Smile
 
N1120A
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:09 pm



Quoting Robsawatsky (Reply 7):
GIven that AC is already burdened with French language rules through the Federal AC privatization act and official languages act

Burdened? Get over this concept. French and English are equally the official languages of Canada.

Quoting Robsawatsky (Reply 7):
Perhaps though Calgary would be a better place to be headquartered

Sure, if you wanted to be far away from the majority of the population and business.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
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c172akula
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:13 pm



Quoting Robsawatsky (Reply 7):
Perhaps though Calgary would be a better place to be headquartered; then the AC exec's could get boxes next to the oil company exec's at the hockey games and work some discount fuel deal.

Haha! Great idea! I could just picture them getting all chummy with the oil boys and trying to work out some sort of deal.  Big grin

Quoting N1120A (Reply 8):
Sure, if you wanted to be far away from the majority of the population and business.

You could tell that the statement was a joke right? Then again some would argue that Air Canada still doesn't understand what their customers want, so we might as well move them up to the far north eh?  Wink
 
sebring
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:17 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 8):

Sure, if you wanted to be far away from the majority of the population and business.

Not to mention that Calgary is already the home town for another airline. Surely one would want to put one's headquarters in a market that feels some loyalty to you and where you have deep roots.

Quoting Robsawatsky (Reply 7):
If there was no chance of them leaving Montreal the gov't wouldn't have inserted that clause into the AC Privatization act.

That's called politics. You pass a law so something hypothetical that could cost you votes, doesn't.

Quoting Robsawatsky (Reply 7):
GIven that AC is already burdened with French language rules through the Federal AC privatization act and official languages act, it would be less of a burden/benefit to AC regardless of what city they are headquartered.

I read an interesting article today about Air Canada's websaver concept doing especially well in Quebec because the way it is crafted appeals especially well to French-speaking Quebecers who appreciate a more customized/personalized approach in web marketing. You learn these things by being the home town carrier, employing a lot of locals, etc. As burdensome as some rules may be to AC, there are also benefits from being the local airline that employs a lot of people in town. Since AC has a similar advantage in Toronto, and couldn't possibly duplicate its dominance if it moved to YYC, I don't see the point for even arguing for another city.

[Edited 2007-11-27 13:18:38]
 
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LTU932
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:21 pm



Quoting N1120A (Reply 1):
There is no need to have corporate people in the same city as your largest operation. There are many companies headquartered far from where their biggest base is.

 checkmark 

For example: while FRA is LH's home base, their headquaters are in Cologne.
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yowza
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:22 pm



Quoting N1120A (Reply 4):
Sec 6(1)(e) of the Air Canada Public Participation Act.

http://www.tc.gc.ca/acts-regulations....html

Wow, you learn something new everyday. Thanks

YOWza
 
ayqzbr
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:23 pm



Quoting N1120A (Reply 8):
Burdened? Get over this concept. French and English are equally the official languages of Canada.

However the requirements of the Act do not apply to any other airline in Canada which is to me unreasonable - all airlines should be subject to the same rules. Another part of the law came up recently on another thread about bilingual staff (not recorded safety announcements), another requirement that is legally applied to AC only (along with, as I understand it, the location of maintenance bases).
 
robsawatsky
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:40 pm



Quoting Ayqzbr (Reply 13):
Quoting N1120A (Reply 8):
Burdened? Get over this concept. French and English are equally the official languages of Canada.

However the requirements of the Act do not apply to any other airline in Canada which is to me unreasonable -

Exactly, which goes to show that while French and English are the official languages of Canada, they are by no means equal depending upon: the Province in which a company is doing business, whether the business is federally or provincially regulated, whether the business sector has specific regulations, or in AC's case due to a specific act of the Federal Parliament. The way the laws are enacted now, there is a "burden" on AC to deal with French due to both specific law and its HQ location in Quebec.
 
jamincan
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:46 pm



Quoting Ayqzbr (Reply 13):

However the requirements of the Act do not apply to any other airline in Canada which is to me unreasonable - all airlines should be subject to the same rules. Another part of the law came up recently on another thread about bilingual staff (not recorded safety announcements), another requirement that is legally applied to AC only (along with, as I understand it, the location of maintenance bases).

Not to say that the policy is fair, but it's interesting to note that there is still market pressure to have bilingual services, the erosion of which the act was trying to combat.
 
N1120A
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:47 pm



Quoting Ayqzbr (Reply 13):

However the requirements of the Act do not apply to any other airline in Canada which is to me unreasonable

Is it fair that for decades, Air Canada was subsidized by the state? In order to become a private company, the Government of Canada wanted certain guarantees.

Quoting Ayqzbr (Reply 13):
Another part of the law came up recently on another thread about bilingual staff (not recorded safety announcements), another requirement that is legally applied to AC only (along with, as I understand it, the location of maintenance bases).

The MX base thing is true. They are required to keep bases in Winnipeg, Mississauga (the part of YYZ their MX hangars are on is technically in Mississauga) and in the MUC (which means Dorval in this case). As far as the bilingual thing goes, I personally think that ALL Canadian carriers should be subject to such rules.
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AirplaneFan
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 10:31 pm



Quoting N43W79 (Thread starter):
Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Ok let me ask you this, Shouldn't WNs Headquarters Be At LASWink

It doesn't matter if an airline has thier headquarters far away from their largest operation hub.

Shouldn't Boeing's Headquarters Be At PAEBig grin
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jamesontheroad
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 10:33 pm



Quoting Robsawatsky (Reply 14):

Exactly, which goes to show that while French and English are the official languages of Canada, they are by no means equal depending upon: the Province in which a company is doing business, whether the business is federally or provincially regulated, whether the business sector has specific regulations, or in AC's case due to a specific act of the Federal Parliament. The way the laws are enacted now, there is a "burden" on AC to deal with French due to both specific law and its HQ location in Quebec.

There are also more bilingual people living in Montréal than Toronto, so hiring call centre, customer service staff etc for non-airport jobs is somewhat easier. There should be statistics to show this, but I'm not sure where.

*j*
 
threepoint
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 10:58 pm



Quoting N1120A (Reply 16):
As far as the bilingual thing goes, I personally think that ALL Canadian carriers should be subject to such rules.

Why? This is a lawyer's argument so as to create more rules, regulations and bureaucracy. Every major and most minor air carriers in the country operate in both official languages, whether required to or not. It's a good idea for business, safety and public/political perception.
Imposing rules to enforce what is already voluntarily taking place seems like a boondoggle to me.
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N1120A
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 11:23 pm



Quoting Ayqzbr (Reply 13):

However the requirements of the Act do not apply to any other airline in Canada which is to me unreasonable - all airlines should be subject to the same rules

Again, the Act exists because of Air Canada's former position and both the advantages and disadvantages of that position.

Quoting AirplaneFan (Reply 17):

Shouldn't Boeing's Headquarters Be At PAE?

That is a whole other debate.

Quoting Threepoint (Reply 19):
This is a lawyer's argument so as to create more rules, regulations and bureaucracy.

I am not big on bureaucracy, but I do like rules. The rules in Canada say there are two official languages. As common carriers, airlines should be held to those rules.

Quoting Threepoint (Reply 19):

Imposing rules to enforce what is already voluntarily taking place seems like a boondoggle to me.

Voluntarily? Then why are less than a quarter of all WestJet F/As bilingual?
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
abnormal
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 11:24 pm

I would argue that Quebec is a long standing socialist province. As such unions enjoy much more support than they would elsewhere. I also understand payroll taxes are higher. That alone should cause employers to cringe and rethink putting jobs there.

Then there is the issue of Language. Political correctness makes that a non starter though even though the world they operate is overwhelmingly Anglo. Emails, licences, contracts, you name it, are all written in English. In a world where English is not studied in school things are often misread or misunderstood often and the ensuing costs are significant. I've had to re - argue half mill clauses because of misread contracts several times.

I also used to do a particular job installing industrial equipment and it would take two of us two days if things were less than ideal. I never once had to go back for follow up problems. I watched 4 fellas in Montreal installing the exact same thing in absolutely perfect conditions with way better equipment (tools) and it took them four days. Following the job closely my only explanantion is the difficulty they had reading the manuals which I can only assume were not in french.
 
Tangowhisky
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:09 am



Quoting Abnormal (Reply 21):
I also understand payroll taxes are higher.

This is true. Quebec has one of the highest personal tax rates in Canada. But like Alberta (headquarters of Westjet), Quebec has the lowest provincial corporate tax rates, which may be a good thing.

Quoting Abnormal (Reply 21):
Again, the Act exists because of Air Canada's former position and both the advantages and disadvantages of that position.

Is this your reasoning? Look, CN Rail too was a Crown corporation, and it got privatized and its headquarters are in Montreal. My guess is that the Federal government wanted the headquarters of AC and CN Rail in Montreal for two reasons. First. to promote Quebec's strengths in the transportation sector and aerospace. The second reason is that the province has lost out over the years with companies moving out, rather than moving in. This corporate precipitation and the linked high paid jobs has been terrible for the province's tax base (another reason why the personal tax rate is so high). Quebec is facing a serious financial crisis, and is doing everything it can to promote businesses to operate in Quebec. Its diametrically opposing taxation system of low corporate taxes ("please set your business here"), and high personal tax rates ("we need your tax dollars") is confirmation of its dismal situation. The province therefore does everything it can with Federal government to survive.
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VonRichtofen
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:21 am



Quoting Robsawatsky (Reply 7):
Calgary would be a better place to be headquartered; then the AC exec's could get boxes next to the oil company exec's at the hockey games and work some discount fuel deal.

Yeah but then Westjet execs would have easy access to AC's garbage bins  stirthepot 
 
cayman
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:28 am



Quoting Tangowhisky (Reply 22):
Is this your reasoning? Look, CN Rail too was a Crown corporation, and it got privatized and its headquarters are in Montreal. My guess is that the Federal government wanted the headquarters of AC and CN Rail in Montreal for two reasons. First. to promote Quebec's strengths in the transportation sector and aerospace. The second reason is that the province has lost out over the years with companies moving out, rather than moving in. This corporate precipitation and the linked high paid jobs has been terrible for the province's tax base (another reason why the personal tax rate is so high). Quebec is facing a serious financial crisis, and is doing everything it can to promote businesses to operate in Quebec. Its diametrically opposing taxation system of low corporate taxes ("please set your business here"), and high personal tax rates ("we need your tax dollars") is confirmation of its dismal situation. The province therefore does everything it can with Federal government to survive

As with anything and everything in Canada it's all politics. AC was privatized under the Brian Mulroney govt in the 1980s. That govt comprised a large number of fairly nationalist Quebec MPs. If the govt had privatized AC and then in turn AC had moved down the road to Toronto, the political fallout in Quebec would have been devastating for the conservatives.

The Quebec tail has always wagged the (rest of the) Canadian dog, rightly or wrongly. A province which has perpetually threatened to secede from the country has leveraged itself an inordinate and disproportionate amount of attention, expenditure and political capital. And before anyone jumps all over me for that comment I say good on them: you use your best advantage to your advantage and Quebec most certainly has done so within the Canadian confederation.

It is highly likely that AC would have moved to Toronto or maybe Calgary had they been allowed to, AT THE TIME THEY PRIVATIZED or shortly thereafter. However, the AC Act is now probably a moot point because, time having passed, it is equally likely that for many of the reasons cited by other posters above they would have no commercial reason to move now.
 
hightower
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:20 am



Quoting Abnormal (Reply 21):
Then there is the issue of Language. Political correctness makes that a non starter though even though the world they operate is overwhelmingly Anglo. Emails, licences, contracts, you name it, are all written in English. In a world where English is not studied in school things are often misread or misunderstood often and the ensuing costs are significant. I've had to re - argue half mill clauses because of misread contracts several times.

Don't they learn english in french canada?!  Confused
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N1120A
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:22 am



Quoting Hightower (Reply 25):

Don't they learn english in french canada?!

They do. In fact, I have met far more French Canadians that speak fluent English by proportion than I have met Anglo Canadians that speak fluent French
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
deltal1011man
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:31 am

all i have to say is look at ATA HQ in IND and they don't even fly to IND anymore or FL has there largest hub at ATL but has a MCO HQ
 
hightower
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:51 am



Quoting N1120A (Reply 26):
They do. In fact, I have met far more French Canadians that speak fluent English by proportion than I have met Anglo Canadians that speak fluent French

I don't think it's a fair comparison... you aren't going to get very far speaking french in scandinavia or asia for example, english is _the_ world language, like it or not. Not french or german... I've had my chats with a few french canadians on the 'net, and only one that lived in Ottawa (close to the english speaking border) wrote somewhat good english... so I wondered when that post came up... but that's just my experience.
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N1120A
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:58 am



Quoting Hightower (Reply 28):
english is _the_ world language

So what? French and English are the equal national languages of Canada

Quoting Hightower (Reply 28):
so I wondered when that post came up... but that's just my experience.

I have been to Canada no fewer than 10 times in the last 2 years and am fluent in both French and English. Every French Canadian I have ever met has been fluent in English, while only about 10-15% of the Anglo Canadians I have met are fluent in French. My ex actually spoke better Spanish than she did French.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
avt007
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:33 am



Quoting N1120A (Reply 26):
Quoting Hightower (Reply 25):

Don't they learn english in french canada?!

They do. In fact, I have met far more French Canadians that speak fluent English by proportion than I have met Anglo Canadians that speak fluent French

Since the point of this thread is aviation, I'll mention that I have personally known more than a few Quebec born AMEs that struggle with English, and have some difficulty reading maintenance manuals, which are produced in English only.
As for AC, they have been there so long, they have a substantial infrastructure and employee base in Quebec, and those are things you just can't pack up and move to another city.
 
abnormal
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:45 am



Quoting Hightower (Reply 25):
Don't they learn english in french canada?!

I suspect they ( Francophone kids) might study it but not in any practical or applied sense. When I moved here I stopped for lunch about 15 miles from the US border. I just ordered a number 2 combo in English. The kids behind the counter had to get the manager to Translate. I have since learned French. I won't say I'm fluent but I'm proficient enough now that I can correct my typos in staff's French memos.

Now consider this - If hire a University graduate from Quebec I know that his/her professeurs come from a small pool of qualified Franco phone professeurs and the textbooks he used are not always the latest because of translation issues. The same applies for technical scientific and trade journals. An American or a Canadian from outside of Quebec would not neccessarily have had those restrictions. I've noticed the difference.

Granted many Francophones speak perfect English but when it comes down to the crunch, reading a contract, or complicated document, the language skills very often don't hold up. I'm not happy about it but it is what it is.

(And I'm freaking furious that it took 4 guys 4 days to do a job that should have taken 2 at most.)

On the positive side, I will say that because of the French restrictions imposed upon them, in general Francophones seem to show more imagination and have a much better intuitive ability at problem solving.
 
FreequentFlier
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:47 am



Quoting DeltaL1011man (Reply 27):
all i have to say is look at ATA HQ in IND and they don't even fly to IND anymore

I always thought this was rather amusing post TZ-bankruptcy. I can only imagine the job fairs: "Come work at ATA HQ over in beautiful Indianapolis! We offer a competitive salary with great flight benefits...Midway Airport is just a drive up the road only 5-6 hours away!"  Big grin
 
sebring
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:24 am

Again, being the home town carrier has is benefits. Air Canada is so well entrenched that WS only has a minor presence on the YYZ-YOW-YUL triangle and has yet to enter the Quebec City market. QC is the only provincial capital if I'm not mistaken that WS doesn't serve, in part because it has lacked sufficient French language capability. It has signaled its intention to enter the Quebec City market by the end of next year, its 12th year of operations.
 
evolv
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:31 am

AC wanted to move its headquarters to Calgary but the law put a quick stop on this. What a stupid law. Companies should be located where ever they deam the best place to do business or the place most advantageous for them. Apparently a lot of companies would move their headquarters to Calgary but fear of public outlash is keeping them from going forward. Its going to be interesting to follow politics and opinions when the big Canadian banks start moving their headquarters to Calgary. Ontario will have a lot of Alberta/Calgary haters.
 
Tangowhisky
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:43 am



Quoting Hightower (Reply 25):
As with anything and everything in Canada it's all politics. AC was privatized under the Brian Mulroney govt in the 1980s. That govt comprised a large number of fairly nationalist Quebec MPs. If the govt had privatized AC and then in turn AC had moved down the road to Toronto, the political fallout in Quebec would have been devastating for the conservatives.

You are bang on. Which is why the current Federal government (who by the way are trying to gain Quebec votes) are bending over backwards in recent times to please Quebecers.

Quoting Hightower (Reply 25):
The Quebec tail has always wagged the (rest of the) Canadian dog, rightly or wrongly. A province which has perpetually threatened to secede from the country has leveraged itself an inordinate and disproportionate amount of attention, expenditure and political capital. And before anyone jumps all over me for that comment I say good on them: you use your best advantage to your advantage and Quebec most certainly has done so within the Canadian confederation.

But this type of political maneuvering has taken its toll. This year Bell Canada (one of few remaining headquartered large cap companies in Montreal) was sold to the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund. The Fund managers can now do as they please if they want to move its headquarters. It would be devastating to Montreal. Also this year Alcan was sold off, and its controlling management are no longer in Montreal. So in all, the erosion of Montreal based corporate offices continues.

Now back to Aerospace, Quebec based Pratt and Whitney Canada and Bombardier are top recipients of Federal grants and export financing guaranteed by tax payers of CANADA (note capitals). So yes, they will wag the tail of the Feds as they know the Feds need Quebec votes. But this type of business practice is not sustainable (refer to Bell Canada and Alcan above).

Quoting Hightower (Reply 25):
owever, the AC Act is now probably a moot point because, time having passed, it is equally likely that for many of the reasons cited by other posters above they would have no commercial reason to move now.

Has anyone noted that the last three CEOs of Air Canada have been Americans? Hollis Haris, Robert Milton, Montie Brewer. Sure Holis picked Robert (married Holis daughter), and Robert probably picked Montie (United Star colleague), but the interesting thing is that the airline is doing quite with Americans running it from Montreal, while the carriers main hub is in YYZ.

Quoting Avt007 (Reply 30):
have been to Canada no fewer than 10 times in the last 2 years and am fluent in both French and English. Every French Canadian I have ever met has been fluent in English, while only about 10-15% of the Anglo Canadians I have met are fluent in French. My ex actually spoke better Spanish than she did French.

In my experience it has been the opposite. In fact a recent Quebec media report said that % of Anglos speaking French is now higher than % of Francos speaking English. French public schools in Quebec do not teach English in early years as they do in countries such as Germany, Holland, and Scandinavian countries. Although the Brits are the worse in picking up a second language probably because they too are not eager to push for bilingualism.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 29):
you aren't going to get very far speaking french in scandinavia or asia for example, english is _the_ world language, like it or not.

You are absolutely correct. I travel to Europe often for business and it amazes me to see when for example Germans and French get together in a meeting in they speak English perfectly. Same with a Spaniard with a Dutch. I have sympathies for French Quebecers who are drowned in North America with English all around them, but they need be as proficient in English as well.
Only the paranoid survive
 
jamincan
Posts: 575
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:28 am

RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:45 am



Quoting Hightower (Reply 25):
Don't they learn english in french canada?! Confused

From the 2001 Canadian Census:

Popn of Quebec: 7,125,575
English: 327,045
French: 3,831,350
Both: 2,907,700
Neither: 59,485

This refers to the language people can carry a conversation in, or children are learning at home.

Comparatively, roughly 1/10 of Ontarians, Manitobans, Nova Scotians and PEIers (?) are bilingual or speak only French. That proportion is roughly 50% in New Brunswick and only around 5% in Saskatchewan, Alberta, BC and Newfoundland. Obviously there is great variation across the country. I'm actually kind of surprised by the number of French speakers outside of the province of Quebec. They represent about 20% of the total French-speaking population in Canada.
 
jamincan
Posts: 575
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:28 am

RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:34 am



Quoting Evolv (Reply 34):
Its going to be interesting to follow politics and opinions when the big Canadian banks start moving their headquarters to Calgary.

What is this based on? This isn't the first time I've heard the speculation, but I have a hard time accepting that Canadian banks would want to move to Calgary. What are the benefits?
 
threepoint
Posts: 1294
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:35 am



Quoting N1120A (Reply 20):
Voluntarily? Then why are less than a quarter of all WestJet F/As bilingual?

Who gives a rat's ass? Those that don't parlez have a little button they can press to air a pre-recorded announcement. Serves the purpose. And their website, booking and customer service is offered in both English et francais.
The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
 
pnwtraveler
Posts: 1074
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RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:36 am



Quoting N1120A (Reply 16):
Mississauga (the part of YYZ their MX hangars are on is technically in Mississauga)

The whole airport is in Mississauga. It has been the contention of the Mayor of Mississauga that proper developement fees weren't paid to the city. For those of you who don't know her, I speak of Hurricane Hazel. Payroll and other business taxes are higher in Quebec than Ontario. However salaries are lower in Quebec. Secretarial staff for example are paid $2,000 to $5,000 less on average.
 
threepoint
Posts: 1294
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 10:49 am

RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:44 am



Quoting N1120A (Reply 29):
Every French Canadian I have ever met has been fluent in English

You certainly haven't met any of the tens of thousand Quebecers that don't speak any English.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 29):
My ex actually spoke better Spanish than she did French.

So do many of us. Come to the west coast, and it's the Asian languages everybody's learnning.

Quoting Tangowhisky (Reply 35):
Has anyone noted that the last three CEOs of Air Canada have been Americans?

You forgot Lamar Durrett, CEO for three years immediately prior to Milton.
The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
 
sebring
Posts: 1331
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 12:08 am

RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:50 am



Quoting Threepoint (Reply 38):

Who gives a rat's ass? Those that don't parlez have a little button they can press to air a pre-recorded announcement. Serves the purpose. And their website, booking and customer service is offered in both English et francais.

That doesn't build market share in Quebec. I've had people tell me of hearing passengers on their flights to/from Montreal asking for service in French on WS and being met with blank stares from the crew. That absolutely won't cut it with Quebeckers.
 
threepoint
Posts: 1294
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 10:49 am

RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:07 am



Quoting Sebring (Reply 41):
That doesn't build market share in Quebec. I've had people tell me of hearing passengers on their flights to/from Montreal asking for service in French on WS and being met with blank stares from the crew. That absolutely won't cut it with Quebeckers

Yes, Quebecers can be remarkably particular when it comes to the availability of their language of choice in their home province. But I think you just painted them all with one large brush, which is of course a gross oversimplification. How many Quebecers don't speak French? Lots.
Also, your anecdotal 3rd or 4th-hand evidence is hardly enough to sway an argument. The internet is full of stories from disgruntled passengers who have been met with blank stares and/or indifference from cabin crew of every air carrier in the country. Some of those stories are even true.

I think the point remains that while today's majority of WS cabin crew may not be bilingual, they are well on their way to being able to offer personal French service on every flight. And the company is able today to fully assist any non English-speaking francophone who may wish to travel with them.
The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
 
jamincan
Posts: 575
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:28 am

RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:54 am



Quoting Threepoint (Reply 42):
Yes, Quebecers can be remarkably particular when it comes to the availability of their language of choice in their home province. But I think you just painted them all with one large brush, which is of course a gross oversimplification. How many Quebecers don't speak French? Lots.

Actually, less than 5% speak only English, and more than half can only speak French. Not having on-board service in French would cut out more than half the Quebec market.

For the Quebec metropolitan area, less that 1.5% speak only English and more than 96% speak only French. In fact, there are more people in the Quebec CMA who speak a language other than English or French, than there are English speakers (bilingual and not). No wonder Westjet hasn't served this market earlier. They may be able to order food or get along acceptably in English, but I imagine the vast majority wouldn't be endeared to an airline which doesn't provide complete French service on board.

Note: Stats Canada refers to language proficiency as being able to carry a conversation in a particular language. I imagine most Quebecois would be able to order food etc. in English, just as I could in French, but it wouldn't be without reluctance and discomfort.
 
cgagn
Posts: 292
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2003 5:30 am

RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:36 pm



Quoting N1120A (Reply 20):
Voluntarily? Then why are less than a quarter of all WestJet F/As bilingual?



Quoting Sebring (Reply 41):
That doesn't build market share in Quebec. I've had people tell me of hearing passengers on their flights to/from Montreal asking for service in French on WS and being met with blank stares from the crew. That absolutely won't cut it with Quebeckers.

Who cares? Quebec routes aren't exactly the bread and butter of westjets operation. How about all the people on the YYC-YEG runs who have to hear everything repeated in french, when 99% of the passengers have no idea whats being said. Even the F/As doing the safety demo don't follow that closely the second time around in french. Hasn't hurt Westjets business as far as I can see. It was a nice change to fly BA to LHR last summer since I didn't have to hear every announcement repeated in french.

C-GAGN
Widebodies flown on:A330-300,A340-300,A380-800,747-400,767-200ER,767-300ER,777-200A,777-200ER,777-200LR,777-300ER,787-9
 
Tobi3334
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2004 9:51 pm

RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:52 pm

By the way ..... the Lufthansa registered office is in CGN, not in FRA.

[Edited 2007-11-28 08:57:09]
 
sebring
Posts: 1331
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 12:08 am

RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:58 pm



Quoting Cgagn (Reply 44):

Who cares? Quebec routes aren't exactly the bread and butter of westjets operation. How about all the people on the YYC-YEG runs who have to hear everything repeated in french, when 99% of the passengers have no idea whats being said. Even the F/As doing the safety demo don't follow that closely the second time around in french. Hasn't hurt Westjets business as far as I can see. It was a nice change to fly BA to LHR last summer since I didn't have to hear every announcement repeated in french.

C-GAGN

Oh boo hoo, travel most places in the world and you will hear multiple languages. Fly on CX from YVR to HKG and the cabin crew might have the ability to speak 7-8 languages. Most broad-minded people would love to speak 7-8 languages themselves.

As for why it matters to WS, this is why: French speakers still account for about 30% of Canada's population, and that's a lot of market to be cut off from. Why would you concede 30% of your potential market from the get-go to your largest competitor?
 
manu
Posts: 265
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 1:22 am

RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:01 pm



Quoting Pnwtraveler (Reply 39):
The whole airport is in Mississauga.

Actually that is incorrect. A small sliver at runway 24L and 24R, and along Renforth Dr are all in the City of Toronto. Hardly much really. I know this for two reasons. One: I used to work for YYZ and did a lot of mapping and airport planning with them. Two: I got my first speeding ticket ever from the Toronto Police on Renforth just by the airport.

You can see it below. Draw an imaginary line with the 427 on the south-west side down through Renforth Dr. The city of Toronto actually continues as if the 427 went straight.

Google maps of the Toronto portion
 
YYZYYT
Posts: 1066
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:41 am

RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:31 pm



Quoting N1120A (Reply 16):
Quoting Ayqzbr (Reply 13):

However the requirements of the Act do not apply to any other airline in Canada which is to me unreasonable

Is it fair that for decades, Air Canada was subsidized by the state? In order to become a private company, the Government of Canada wanted certain guarantees.



Quoting N1120A (Reply 20):
Again, the Act exists because of Air Canada's former position and both the advantages and disadvantages of that position.

Not just subsidies, but I seem to recall that AC had other protections re routes, slots etc.

Quoting Hightower (Reply 25):
Don't they learn english in french canada?!

I read that and winced - a thread that wades right into the language debate in Quebec... We'll get right back to sorting out whether A is better than B as soon as we've figured this out. .

Quoting Tangowhisky (Reply 35):
Quoting Hightower (Reply 25):
As with anything and everything in Canada it's all politics. AC was privatized under the Brian Mulroney govt in the 1980s. That govt comprised a large number of fairly nationalist Quebec MPs. If the govt had privatized AC and then in turn AC had moved down the road to Toronto, the political fallout in Quebec would have been devastating for the conservatives.

You are bang on. Which is why the current Federal government (who by the way are trying to gain Quebec votes) are bending over backwards in recent times to please Quebecers.

Not just this government, but any government. IIRC from Cdn Politics 101, no party had ever won a majority government without carrying a majority of Quebec; now this was long before 1993 and the rise of the BQ, but the point is still an important one: you can't form a government without significant presence in Quebec.

Quoting Pnwtraveler (Reply 39):
The whole airport is in Mississauga. It has been the contention of the Mayor of Mississauga that proper developement fees weren't paid to the city. For those of you who don't know her, I speak of Hurricane Hazel.


Sadly for Hurricane Hazel, Canadian constitutional law does not agree.


Let's see. the French-English deate; Quebec Electoral politics; the '"what about Alberta?" passing references; court challenges over the division of powers... this thread IS Cdn. politics 101.

Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 23):
Yeah but then Westjet execs would have easy access to AC's garbage bins

now that was funny.
 
jamincan
Posts: 575
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:28 am

RE: Shouldn't ACs Headquarters Be At YYZ?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:16 pm



Quoting YYZYYT (Reply 48):

Sadly for Hurricane Hazel, Canadian constitutional law does not agree.

But it is apparently common practice for the federal government to pay municipalities in lieu of taxes.

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