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edmountain
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YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:47 pm

So I'm sitting here in a mostly empty restaurant at YYC waiting for a flight and I'm reading about their expansion plans. I can't help but think it's being overbuilt. 22 international gates and 72 bridge gates in total? By my calculations YYZ has 87 bridge gates and SYD 55. One could argue Sydney is underbuilt but still.
 
Thenoflyzone
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:58 pm

Think of it this way...they are building for the future ! They might have exaggerated a tad with 22 international gates, considering YYC's movements are 70% domestic, but nonetheless, from what i hear, the current terminal building is cramped and in need of a makeover, so it had to be done to a certain level.

I rather have an airport planning for the future well in advance, such as YYC and YYZ, rather than a certain airport that recently built an international jetty and is now scrambling to expand it since there are not enough contact gates to handle the number of international flights. (cough....YUL....cough)

Thenoflyzone

[Edited 2014-11-08 14:06:03]
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alevik
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:40 pm

Quoting edmountain (Thread starter):
So I'm sitting here in a mostly empty restaurant at YYC waiting for a flight

Do you fly out of YYC regularly and find it empty? If so, please let me know your secret.

The US departures area during peak times sees line ups out the door from customs, and inside every seat at the small eating establishments taken.

The old A concourse (not sure what it is called now after gate renumbering) is also standing room only quite often.

As noted, 22 new gates might be more than required today, but some expansion was required.

Pete
Improvise, adapt, overcome.
 
edmountain
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:51 pm

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 1):
Do you fly out of YYC regularly and find it empty? If so, please let me know your secret.

The US departures area during peak times sees line ups out the door from customs, and inside every seat at the small eating establishments taken.

The old A concourse (not sure what it is called now after gate renumbering) is also standing room only quite often.

As noted, 22 new gates might be more than required today, but some expansion was required.

Not being a frequent YYC flyer I'm speculating the current calmness is mostly a factor of time of day? US check in area currently completely vacant but I'm sure it's not generally that way.

Some expansion for sure is always a good thing. As hinted previously I find the Australian way of waiting for a crisis to arise before acting incredibly frustrating. But looking at YYC financial statements show $1.8 billion of long term debt up from $1.4 billion a tear ago. I've no idea how this compares to other airport authorities but it seems like a lot.
 
flyb
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:59 pm

I think YYC is building for the future. That terminal needs more room in general. With both WS and AC growing their hubs at YYC the increase is justified, especially taking advantage of today's rates. I personally feel that while the increase in size is grand, it doesn't overproject based on the growth in the Alberta market and the future potential of YYC.

Looking north many people felt YEG was over built and if you were to sit in a airport having a beer at many off peak hours the current terminal feels dead. But then go to the same area around say 5pm you would be hard pressed to find a seat at your establishment of choice.

All depends on the time of day. YYC is due for this increase IMO.
 
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VCEflyboy
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:12 pm

I totally agree that YYC is overbuilt and I mentioned it in a few other threads on Western Canada.

The city sure has money to burn but even in the most rosy circumstances, there won't be any a380 parking at those multi-million dollar a380-capable gates.

Also, there are two major challenges now: firstly with the oil price dropping, one might wonder is Calgary's economic boom can be sustained.

Secondly, with YEG getting KL flights to Europe, and SEA and YVR becoming decently-sized secondary hubs, there is really no need for yet another hub.

I think YYC management has realized that, hence they are working to lure more cargo business (EG CX, and probably we will see more in the near future), which is good, but still you won't see large crowds walking through the airport.



Quoting alevik (Reply 2):
The US departures area during peak times sees line ups out the door from customs, and inside every seat at the small eating establishments taken.

You are talking about the busy morning bank. The scene is quite different the rest of the day.

[Edited 2014-11-08 15:19:12]
 
Thenoflyzone
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:25 pm

Quoting VCEflyboy (Reply 5):
The city sure has money to burn but even in the most rosy circumstances, there won't be any a380 parking at those multi-million dollar a380-capable gates.

Until airlines start removing the premium heavy configurations on the A380s and replace them with 800 or so economy seats, you will not see anymore A380s ANYWHERE in Canada, not just YYC.

If EK wasn't restricted to 3 weekly at YYZ, it wouldn't fly the A380 there either. It would most likely be double daily 77W.

Thenoflyzone
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Noise
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:39 pm

You have a city bursting at the seams with a booming economy and an airport with fast-growing passenger numbers. In addition, you have a hometown airline with plans on expanding internationally. The international terminal might seem excessive in 2014, but by 2024 they might be thankful for building such a big facility.

Never forget the fact that Calgary's and Alberta's economy in general is simply booming and far outperforming the economy of the rest of Canada (save for Saskatchewan, which is also performing admirably).
 
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VCEflyboy
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:48 pm

Quoting Noise (Reply 7):
You have a city bursting at the seams with a booming economy and an airport with fast-growing passenger numbers. In addition, you have a hometown airline with plans on expanding internationally. The international terminal might seem excessive in 2014, but by 2024 they might be thankful for building such a big facility.

If the city at the peak of economic boom cannot sustain more than a handful of international routes (US not included obviously), how will it be able to sustain more flights when the economy has cooled off?

Besides, WestJet's plans are far from ambitious. Their international (non-US) destinations will be operated by their 737s and a couple of leased old 767s for Hawaii and a couple of seasonal European destinations.
 
Viscount724
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:58 pm

Quoting VCEflyboy (Reply 8):
Quoting Noise (Reply 7):
You have a city bursting at the seams with a booming economy and an airport with fast-growing passenger numbers. In addition, you have a hometown airline with plans on expanding internationally. The international terminal might seem excessive in 2014, but by 2024 they might be thankful for building such a big facility.

If the city at the peak of economic boom cannot sustain more than a handful of international routes (US not included obviously), how will it be able to sustain more flights when the economy has cooled off?

Besides, WestJet's plans are far from ambitious. Their international (non-US) destinations will be operated by their 737s and a couple of leased old 767s for Hawaii and a couple of seasonal European destinations.

YYC's economy has always had its ups and downs, but in the long term most cities would be very happy to be in YYC's place. And many airports would be envious if they had enough capacity to handle future expansion like YYC will. And costs will be much lower now than if they waited 10 or 20 years.

YYC will always be Alberta's major hub regardlesss of a few new carriers at YEG. YYC (and YEG) are also rare among major Canadian cities in being too far from the U.S. to make driving across the border convenient to benefit from sometimes lower fares. To go almost anywhere from YYC except nearby points in Alberta there are few options but flying.
 
edmountain
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:13 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 9):
YYC's economy has always had its ups and downs, but in the long term most cities would be very happy to be in YYC's place. And many airports would be envious if they had enough capacity to handle future expansion like YYC will. And costs will be much lower now than if they waited 10 or 20 years.

But with such a high debt they will still actually be paying 10 or 20 years from now anyway and the cost of servicing their debt could become prohibitive when interest rates go up.
 
Noise
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:19 am

Quoting edmountain (Reply 10):

But with such a high debt they will still actually be paying 10 or 20 years from now anyway and the cost of servicing their debt could become prohibitive when interest rates go up.

If demand to/from Calgary remains strong and growing thanks to their awesome economy, airlines might be willing to fork over higher landing fees if it means reaping the rewards of high-yield flights to/from YYC. I cannot emphasize how strong the YYC economy is and how strong is has been for the past 15 years. It is a very attractive city to serve because of the high number of corporate headquarters located there. As the city grows, blowing past 1.4 million people when it was barely 1 million just 10 years ago, demand for international air service will increase to a point where where non-stops to MEX, PEK, PVG, HKG, ICN, CDG, MUC, DXB, etc become viable.
 
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Acey
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:28 am

Quoting edmountain (Thread starter):

So I'm sitting here in a mostly empty restaurant at YYC

At 3 pm on a Saturday. What a shocker.
If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
Viscount724
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:30 am

Quoting Noise (Reply 11):
As the city grows, blowing past 1.4 million people when it was barely 1 million just 10 years ago, demand for international air service will increase to a point where where non-stops to MEX, PEK, PVG, HKG, ICN, CDG, MUC, DXB, etc become viable.

YYC already has nonstop cargo service to HKG. CX began twice-weekly 747-8F service a couple of weeks ago. Nonstop westbound only, arrives from JFK.

Video coverage of the inaugural here. The captain was a native of Calgary.
http://globalnews.ca/news/1622111/ma...ouches-down-at-yyc-for-first-time/
 
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VCEflyboy
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:33 am

By definition an economic boom cannot be sustained. Especially so if such a boom is based on oil.
Now, if oil prices go down, profits will evaporate. If oil prices go up, demand will go down.
It is a lose-lose scenario. The Saudis, the Emirati, the Qatari and the Norwegians all know it, and other oil rich countries have learned this.

The only way to sustain growth is to invest oil profits in alternative sources of income (finance, real estate, tourism, etc.). Calgary has done nothing like this, instead investing over $1 billion dollars and counting in this mausoleum of an airport.
 
edmountain
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:37 am

Quoting Noise (Reply 11):
If demand to/from Calgary remains strong and growing thanks to their awesome economy, airlines might be willing to fork over higher landing fees if it means reaping the rewards of high-yield flights to/from YYC. I cannot emphasize how strong the YYC economy is and how strong is has been for the past 15 years. It is a very attractive city to serve because of the high number of corporate headquarters located there. As the city grows, blowing past 1.4 million people when it was barely 1 million just 10 years ago, demand for international air service will increase to a point where where non-stops to MEX, PEK, PVG, HKG, ICN, CDG, MUC, DXB, etc become viable.

I guess I'm a little jaded because I see so little inherently appealing about Calgary (or Edmonton for that matter) that I always scratch my head wondering what will all these people do when the oil runs out.
 
Noise
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:47 am

Quoting edmountain (Reply 15):
I guess I'm a little jaded because I see so little inherently appealing about Calgary (or Edmonton for that matter) that I always scratch my head wondering what will all these people do when the oil runs out.

1) The oil in the Athabasca Oil sands will last us a century if not more. You nor I nor anyone living in Alberta at the moment will not be alive by the time the oil runs out.
2) A 10% Provincial Flax Income Tax is one reason people come and stay.
3) The highest income per capita in the country is another reason people come and stay.
4) Banff? Skiing? Meh, I guess that's all secondary to the first three points.
 
edmountain
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:01 am

Quoting Noise (Reply 16):
1) The oil in the Athabasca Oil sands will last us a century if not more. You nor I nor anyone living in Alberta at the moment will not be alive by the time the oil runs out.
2) A 10% Provincial Flax Income Tax is one reason people come and stay.
3) The highest income per capita in the country is another reason people come and stay.
4) Banff? Skiing? Meh, I guess that's all secondary to the first three points.

That's my point entirely: none of those things are inherent to either Calgary or Edmonton. You could wipe those cities from the face of the Earth and everything you said would still be true (economic consequences notwithstanding).
 
ac7e7
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:08 am

Quoting VCEflyboy (Reply 14):

I love it when people ask what will happen when the oil runs out. I doubt you or I will be around when the wells run dry.

Having lived in Montreal, Vancouver, Victoria, and now Calgary I can tell you that Calgary, despite its economic ups and downs, is the most affordable and politically stable city I have lived in. Great place to live.

Weekends at YYC is rather slow, but I can tell you that the weekdays are brutal, especially in the mornings.
 
Viscount724
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:10 am

Quoting Noise (Reply 7):
The international terminal might seem excessive in 2014, but by 2024 they might be thankful for building such a big facility.

YYC now handles more passengers than LHR did the year the 747 made its first flight (almost as many as LHR and LGW combined then).
 
NYC-air
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:17 am

Keep in mind that the 22 new gates will need to be split between intl and US pre-clearance. I'm sure it's easier to do this with a few extra gates and, since it's Alberta and there is space there, why not build em?

Let's not exaggerate this or portray it as a boondoggle. YYC's international facilities are currently lacking (customs hall is in a small basement-like space, US departures and arrivals are cramped, no direct inttl->US like YYZ/YVR). YUL, YVR, and YYZ all have spacious terminals and obviously Calgary wants one too. I can understand that they don't want a terminal full of "swing-gates" that keep changing between US/Canada/Intl.

Lastly, this will let them reconfigure the existing (future domestic) terminal with connections between all three concourses. It will allow for more flexibility and more shopping / dining post-security. It will also them to close portions for renovation without stressing over airport operations.
 
Noise
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:23 am

Quoting edmountain (Reply 17):
That's my point entirely: none of those things are inherent to either Calgary or Edmonton. You could wipe those cities from the face of the Earth and everything you said would still be true (economic consequences notwithstanding).

But hey, what do you know, Edmonton and Calgary DO exist and they happen to be in Oil Rich, Low Tax Alberta  

Is there anything truly inherent to Toronto or Vancouver then?
 
Thenoflyzone
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:43 am

Quoting Noise (Reply 11):
As the city grows, blowing past 1.4 million people when it was barely 1 million just 10 years ago, demand for international air service will increase to a point where where non-stops to MEX, PEK, PVG, HKG, ICN, CDG, MUC, DXB, etc become viable.

Lol....name me a N. American city below 3-4 million people that has service to PEK, HKG, MUC, ICN or DXB !

Aint gonna happen until YYC triples its population ! And when that happens, by then the oil truly might run out !

YYC is already envied by several other cities its size since it already has service to LHR, AMS, FRA and NRT. I highly doubt that list will double anytime soon, at least not on a scheduled year round basis.

[Edited 2014-11-08 17:55:33]
us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
 
Bingo1
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:58 am

Even with the current economy I think YYC is overbuilt. Now if Ontario continues with it's somewhat unfriendly attitude toward businesses we'll see more of their headquarters moving west. In that case YYC "may" not have been overbuilt. Their current airport is somewhat tight but they are over building by a long ways.
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TWA772LR
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:08 am

Isn't Calgary a big oil city? Or is it Edmonton? Either way, oil drives air travel demand, especially the premium cabin. And Canada has tons of oil and natural gas.

Honestly if EK or TK aren't in Calgary within the next 5 years, I'd be surprised.
When wasn't America great?


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VCEflyboy
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:15 am

The ME3 and TK will not fly to YYC or YVR for at least a decade due to bilaterals.
 
pnwtraveler
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:27 am

Oil is a cyclical industry and right now it is dropping. When times are good you build like crazy. So yes YYC needed additional US Customs space and the domestic wing was tired. That many International Gates is overbuilding but so be it. I just don't see the volume to take advantage of the International space for quite a while.

YYZ was mentioned as over building for the future, but during key periods there is very little gate space and planes need to be moved out of gates quickly. There are remote stands where the (A380 gate in T2 and BA747 in T3) is moved until close to departure. I don't know if some of the aircraft are being groomed and catered off gate or not. I don't think it will be long until another pier is built with US. Customs moving to it and the current Hammerhead pier moving to more International.

It has helped some of the new traffic International traffic is morning such as Egypt Air, Saudi, and Ethiopian.
 
ac7e7
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:37 am

Quoting Bingo1 (Reply 23):

The airport is extremely tight, especially the transborder/international wing. Airports are in the business of attracting new airlines to their facilities. An attractive terminal that can handle the capacity is an important part of attracting airlines. There is only so much space at the current international/transborder wing. When the international flights from Europe all arrive and depart within a certain time frame, it makes things very tight in the terminal.

I realize the world revolves around Toronto    , but the growth in Alberta is absolutely incredible. That is why I move out here. Calgary needs a modern airport terminal. The current transborder/international wing is dated, and too small to attract new carriers.
 
opethfan
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:38 am

YYC will grow for domestic and commuter travel, but I don't see a lot of international growth happening, simply because YYC will always be overshadowed by YYZ and YVR in that regard. Even if WS join an alliance (which I feel is inevitable) or simply keep adding more codeshares, those will mostly be through YYZ and YVR because those are the biggest population centres and have the demand for international travel, so those will get the additional domestic and transborder feeds. Once visa free transit is implemented, will YYC even be able to handle connections without security?
 
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alevik
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:21 am

Quoting VCEflyboy (Reply 5):
You are talking about the busy morning bank. The scene is quite different the rest of the day.

I hope the rest of your assumptions you make about YYC transborder flights are better founded. Do you actually fly out of YYC? Just curious. No, I wasn't talking about the morning rush, which can be quite busy. The last two flights I have taken, one to PHX at 3:35pm and one to LAX at 1:35pm (both on Thursday) I was fortunate to avoid the one hour customs line with my Nexus card.

Quoting edmountain (Reply 17):
That's my point entirely: none of those things are inherent to either Calgary or Edmonton. You could wipe those cities from the face of the Earth and everything you said would still be true (economic consequences notwithstanding).

Hopefully I misunderstood what you meant by this. The Athabasca Oil Sands are COMPLETELY dependent on Edmonton and Calgary. All the oil company head offices are in YYC. It costs $250/hour on site in YMM for labour with camp and travel costs, Edmonton is $125/hour. The fact that Alberta has the third largest oil reserve in the world (behind Saudia Arabia and the ever so stable Venezuela) means that Calgary and Edmonton will be relevant as long as oil is. Yes, oil price fluctuates but on a five or ten horizon has always been positive trending. Given the current YYC expansion has been more than five years in construction, it is sound to plan ahead.

Seems to me there's a lot of people doing armchair stats but have little experience flying though YYC. YMM just increased the number of jet bridges by a factor of 5 or 6. Did they over build? Unless you have actually flown through YMM and experienced the old airport, statistics provide only one narrow view of the answer to that question. The passenger experience is important or else we'd all be deplaning to busses at remote stands and transiting to a small terminal in every airport in the world. It also seems people think of international as outside of North America. The new terminal will serve the US which is a huge part of the capacity problem in the existing terminal.

Building is expensive, but more expensive to add on than build green field. Better to build bigger than build small and renovate. Build a 2,000 square foot house, then try to expand it to 3,000 square feet. The extra 1,000 will be easily 2x more expensive than if you built it in off the start. I've been a part of over $20 billion in major projects in Alberta over the past 20 years, and this has been true for all those 20 years.

The main "freeway" in YYC - Deerfoot Trail - was built in the early 1980's without understanding of a 1 million person population. Now, this key artery is choked and to expand it will cost billions. I applaud the YYC planners for having more foresight.

Pete
Improvise, adapt, overcome.
 
madviking
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:46 am

Quoting VCEflyboy (Reply 14):

The only way to sustain growth is to invest oil profits in alternative sources of income (finance, real estate, tourism, etc.). Calgary has done nothing like this

Thanks for making me laugh!
 
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VCEflyboy
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:40 am

Well glad you had a laugh. 10-15 years ago people laughed at Dubai too.
Look at where they are now. It is a major global financial hub and luxury tourism destination.
And Norway, which is comparable in population to Alberta, has the largest public wealth fund in the world, top education, highest number of electric cars, owns properties all over the places.
 
briguychau
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:23 am

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 22):
Lol....name me a N. American city below 3-4 million people that has service to PEK, HKG, MUC, ICN or DXB !

YVR? Although no DXB service (yet), and MUC is seasonal.
 
chrisair
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:44 am

Quoting alevik (Reply 2):
The US departures area during peak times sees line ups out the door from customs, and inside every seat at the small eating establishments taken.

There's a reason they put that big banner up that says "Do not enter customs until 2 hours before your flight." I got to YYC about three hours before my flight this summer and sat around twiddling my thumbs for a good 2.5 hours. With NEXUS I cleared the non-existent customs and security lines (btw why does everything go in a bin, including my roller?!) in about 10 minutes.
 
fetzervalve
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:13 pm

Slightly off topic but of interest is this link on the runway improvements and the planning surrounding it
http://www.airportimprovement.com/content/story.php?article=00585
 
777fan
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:39 pm

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 22):
Lol....name me a N. American city below 3-4 million people that has service to PEK, HKG, MUC, ICN or DXB !

Uh, Chicago (2.7M as of 2013)?! Washington, DC (665K)? No doubt the counter-argument will center around the size of the metro areas (roughly 8M and 6M, respectively), but that itself can be countered with the point that both metro areas are served by multiple airports.

YYC's growth is impressive (the city) but you have to wonder at what point carriers would consider larger aircraft vice additional frequencies at which point those extra gates may not be in high demand. How much new service (new carriers) can the city reasonably expect to attract in the coming decade or so? While it's an apples-to-oranges comparison of sorts, PIT nevertheless writes a cautionary tale for massive airport expansion.

777fan
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Thenoflyzone
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RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:24 pm

Quoting briguychau (Reply 32):
YVR? Although no DXB service (yet), and MUC is seasonal.

Yes, you're right. It's the only one. And even YVR struggles to maintain daily flights to those destinations year round.

AC's flights to PEK, HKG, LHR, ICN and PVG are all being reduced to 6 weekly this month.

As you said, MUC was added this past summer season.

Bottom line is, most airports with service to those destinations are in the 5-6 million + metro area range. I was actually low balling it when i said 3-4 million. So talking about YYC, with a metro area slightly above 1 million, getting service to those places in a few years, or even 10 years, is laughable at best !

Quoting 777fan (Reply 35):

Uh, Chicago (2.7M as of 2013)?! Washington, DC (665K)? No doubt the counter-argument will center around the size of the metro areas (roughly 8M and 6M, respectively), but that itself can be countered with the point that both metro areas are served by multiple airports.

Indeed I was referring to metro areas. YVR is the only one with a metro area blw 3 million that has service to those destinations.

What's your point with the multiple airports?

Quoting fetzervalve (Reply 34):
Slightly off topic but of interest is this link on the runway improvements and the planning surrounding it

That parallel runway was needed 10 years ago. YYC handles 230,000+ movements a year. Almost every other airport in North America barring DCA, LGA (and recently FLL) that handles 200,000+ movements a year has parallels. YYC operated without one for all these years. It was a long time coming !

Thenoflyzone

[Edited 2014-11-09 07:44:41]
us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
 
777fan
Posts: 2256
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:09 pm

RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:48 pm

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 36):
Quoting 777fan (Reply 35):

Uh, Chicago (2.7M as of 2013)?! Washington, DC (665K)? No doubt the counter-argument will center around the size of the metro areas (roughly 8M and 6M, respectively), but that itself can be countered with the point that both metro areas are served by multiple airports.

Indeed I was referring to metro areas. YVR is the only one with a metro area blw 3 million that has service to those destinations.

What's your point with the multiple airports?

Does that make YYC any more prominent than other North American cities with 3-4M people? BOS serves a comparable catchment and serves most of the pairs you noted (save ICN and HKG, I believe); does that make it less relevant than YYC in terms of North American air travel? Of course not - it's situated up the infamous I-95 corridor from NYC and DC and is often just another stop along a business or leisure road trip for foreign visitors. That said, it's still served by a number of international carriers for O&D travel.

My post was to note that those metro areas - while larger - are commensurately served with multiple airports and are also within reach of other local or regional mass transit options. Comparatively speaking, YYC is the only game in town in part because it's somewhat geographically isolated. "Size matters" to a point but so does proximity to other locales.


777fan
DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
 
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kgaiflyer
Posts: 2741
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:22 am

RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 4:26 pm

Quoting edmountain (Thread starter):
So I'm sitting here in a mostly empty restaurant at YYC waiting for a flight

Okay--admit it. For such an enlightened city, Calgary has some righteously awful airport food. And if you mean up in the mezzanine, then it definitely may be the restaurant food and not the airport. Plus they do filter who can go up there. And if I have a luggage trolley, I'd prefer a restaurant where it's welcome.
 
Ferminios
Posts: 121
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:01 pm

RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 4:33 pm

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 36):
So talking about YYC, with a metro area slightly above 1 million, getting service to those places in a few years, or even 10 years, is laughable at best !

You're only using population data, which in itself says little about the potential of an airport. I'll place a bet here, I think that by 2020 there will be at least YYC - PEK and YYC - ICN, as well as another service to Europe. Let's face the facts:

1) Calgary's median house income is almost 40% higher than YYZ, YUL or YVR. ( http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tabl...um-som/l01/cst01/famil107a-eng.htm )

2) Alberta's exports are the 2nd largest in Canada (Ontario is 1st by some margin) , which is 150% that of Quebec (3rd), and triple that of BC (4th). While most of this is energy, non-energy exports still account for 26 billion.
http://www.international.alberta.ca/...uments/Alberta_Exports_in_2013.pdf

3) Top trading nations for Alberta (see same report as in 2) , further down) are: 1) US, 2) China, 3) Japan, 4) Mexico, 5) South Korea and 6) Netherlands. Such trade generates demand, and service to PEK and ICN all of a sudden does not seem that far fetched anymore.

4) Tourism. YYC, although not the most attractive of cities, remains a gateway for tourism into the Canadian Rockies.


As you can see, YYC has some considerable factors going for it.
 
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kgaiflyer
Posts: 2741
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:22 am

RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 4:39 pm

Quoting chrisair (Reply 33):
There's a reason they put that big banner up that says "Do not enter customs until 2 hours before your flight." I got to YYC about three hours before my flight this summer and sat around twiddling my thumbs for a good 2.5 hours. With NEXUS I cleared the non-existent customs and security lines (btw why does everything go in a bin, including my roller?!) in about 10 minutes.

Congratulations to you. We -- the poor slobs who aren't registered with NEXUS -- stand in line sometimes up to 45 minutes. And it's utterly unpredictable. And god help you if by whim, an agent tells you, "I don't like the looks of your documentation; go sit in the room."
 
Thenoflyzone
Posts: 3078
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2001 4:42 am

RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:07 pm

Quoting Ferminios (Reply 39):
As you can see, YYC has some considerable factors going for it.

I never said it doesn't. Those same factors are the reasons why it has LHR, AMS, FRA and NRT. As I said, for a city of 1 odd million, YYC is in an enviable situation. Let's not get carried away however.....i.e

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 24):
Honestly if EK or TK aren't in Calgary within the next 5 years, I'd be surprised.


Even if the U.A.E and Canada had an open skies agreement, you wouldn't see EK at YYC !

As for your bet....

Quoting Ferminios (Reply 39):
I'll place a bet here, I think that by 2020 there will be at least YYC - PEK and YYC - ICN,

I'll take you on. Only one, PEK or ICN, "MIGHT" come online (yes, capitals and quotation marks, such is the level of my doubt !). ICN having the upper hand, 3-4 weekly at best. This new service will eat into the profits of YYC-NRT however. As for European service, YYC will get TS like service to places like LGW or MAN by WS. If that.

I think WS will concentrate the bulk of its long haul flying from YYZ and YVR.

here's another bet....YUL, with it's 40% less household income and 150% less exports, will get PEK ahead of YYC !

Thenoflyzone

[Edited 2014-11-09 09:34:54]
us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
 
pnwtraveler
Posts: 1074
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 2:12 am

RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:15 pm

I haven't said there won't be new service open up, rather the volume of it. particularly during Europe prime time departures.

As for the the parallel, I think it is a good expansion that will service long into the future. Better to get runways in sooner than if all around the airport and the approach routes are fully built up and then you get the noise squawking from people who should know better.

I for one will be glad when it is over because that massive walk from the domestic pier to the regional service is horrible. In April I flew from YYZ to YYC to YEG (in order to get a J Class seat on the longer leg). The walk felt like it was as long as the flight.
 
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longhauler
Posts: 6488
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 12:00 am

RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:20 pm

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 40):
Congratulations to you. We -- the poor slobs who aren't registered with NEXUS -- stand in line sometimes up to 45 minutes. And it's utterly unpredictable.

NEXUS is $50 for five years, and Global Access is thrown in for free. I pay more than that at Starbucks in a week.

All it takes is "one time" ... you know the "one time" when you enter the Customs hall with thousands of other passengers ... and ten minutes later you are through because of your NEXUS card, and the money is well spent. And, in Canada NEXUS card holders can use priority security lines.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
Noise
Posts: 2470
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 1999 7:38 am

RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:39 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 43):
NEXUS is $50 for five years, and Global Access is thrown in for free. I pay more than that at Starbucks in a week.

All it takes is "one time" ... you know the "one time" when you enter the Customs hall with thousands of other passengers ... and ten minutes later you are through because of your NEXUS card, and the money is well spent. And, in Canada NEXUS card holders can use priority security lines.

Amen.

You can also apply for TSA Pre Check in the USA with the Nexus card.
 
JoeCanuck
Posts: 4704
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 3:30 am

RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:00 am

People seem to forget that Alberta's economy was booming not so long ago when oil was 20-40 dollars per barrel. Supplies have increased but so has demand...and demand will increase again as the price of oil falls.

In 1982, when Ralph Kline told those 'eastern creeps and bums' who were flooding into Alberta's oil patch, to stay home, the economy was booming with oil less than 40 dollars per barrel.

If the Alberta economy seriously turns down, YEG will lose traffic first and air travel, especially international, will consolidate at YYC.

My point is that it will take a much bigger drop in the price of oil to seriously affect YYC or Alberta and if it does drop, YYC will survive nicely, like it always has.
What the...?
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:08 am

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 36):
So talking about YYC, with a metro area slightly above 1 million, getting service to those places in a few years, or even 10 years, is laughable at best

YYC had 2 nonstop carriers to Europe (CP and AC) in the 1960s when the population was about 300,000.

Looking at Canada census (every 5 years) data since 1901 (when YYC's population was barely 4,000), and even with the ups and downs in the oil industry over the years (the first major oil strike in Alberta was in 1947, near the current site of YEG airport), there have only been a few 5-year periods when YYC's population hasn't grown by double-digit percentages. And the only 5-year period with a slight drop in population was during the great depression in the 1930s.


1901
4,091

1906
11,967 +192.5%

1911
43,704 +265.2%

1916
56,514 +29.3%

1921
63,305 +12.0%

1926
65,291 +3.1%

1931
83,761 +28.3%

1936
83,407 −0.4%

1941
88,904 +6.6%

1946
100,044 +12.5%

1951
129,060 +29.0%

1956
181,780 +40.8%

1961
249,641 +37.3%

1966
330,575 +32.4%

1971
403,319 +22.0%

1976
469,917 +16.5%

1981
592,743 +26.1%

1986
636,107 +7.3%

1991
710,795 +11.7%

1996
768,082 +8.1%

2001
878,866 +14.4%

2006
988,193 +12.4%

2011
1,096,833 +11.0% (metro area 1,214,839)

2012 (city only, not metro, annual civic census data)
1,120,225
 
saloman
Posts: 110
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:31 pm

RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:59 am

Really interesting thread to read as a "YYCer". Couple of thoughts:

1) Anyone who thinks they are drastically over-building hasn't spent much time in there at peak times. (pro-tip for customs: the two hour rule doesn't apply to nexus card holders). The transborder area in particular is an absolute disaster in terms of space and food options.

2) Lots of armchair economists here who pretend to have a clue what will happen to the future price of oil. It is a constant concern here in the Calgary business community, but the fact as has been illustrated by some posters above is that the price needs to drop a fair bit more, and stay there for an extended amount of time to have a serious impact on the industry, and that's before we even mention the buffer that the currency depreciation has provided. I think there is a legitimate argument to be made that Alberta doesn't manage their royalties very well, but to say that a complementary/supplementary industries like finance and real estate haven't accompanied the boom is false. Calgary is very quickly becoming a financial services hub for western Canada.

3) There have been a lot of international destinations mentioned that quite simply won't happen in my lifetime. There is fantastic international coverage relative to other North American cities of similar size. YYC needs to continue to prove itself on the NRT route, and perhaps in the future as China involves itself further in Calgary's economy through energy and real estate a PEK route may be possible a few times a week. But future international growth will likely be driven by what WS does, as they would likely base their eventual long haul fleet in YYC and YYZ. Someone above mentioned that YVR would see the WS widebodies over YYC but I just don't see that happening. WS has significant catchment from Saskatchewan, Alberta, and interior BC that is routed through YYC. This catchment will only grow as Encore expands, and can help sustain international routes. But this also means that YYC has to be an efficient connecting hub for passengers, which the renos should help with.
 
chrisair
Posts: 2176
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2000 11:32 pm

RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:36 am

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 40):
Congratulations to you. We -- the poor slobs who aren't registered with NEXUS -- stand in line sometimes up to 45 minutes.

Get NEXUS then....It's paid for itself about 50 times over already and I'm on year 3.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 43):
I pay more than that at Starbucks in a week.

Someone has a problem... 
 
opethfan
Posts: 940
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:35 am

RE: YYC Being Overbuilt?

Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:08 am

Quoting saloman (Reply 47):
Someone above mentioned that YVR would see the WS widebodies over YYC but I just don't see that happening. WS has significant catchment from Saskatchewan, Alberta, and interior BC that is routed through YYC. This catchment will only grow as Encore expands, and can help sustain international routes. But this also means that YYC has to be an efficient connecting hub for passengers, which the renos should help with.

WS may be basing their widebodies in YYC, but the international demand (and therefore connections) is in YVR. CX, JL, MU, QF, etc. are all operating to YVR but not to YYC. Calgary works for intra-NA feed, but the advantages Vancouver has geographically and as a hub facility are hard to overcome. It hasn't been noted much, but WS' piers in YVR are being completely rebuilt with a focus on expediting international to domestic transfers and vice versa.

Quoting Noise (Reply 44):
You can also apply for TSA Pre Check in the USA with the Nexus card.

That's one of the key reason why I got it. I'd never fly without Nexus and Pre ever again, if I can help it.

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