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SignalHillHiker Dec 31, 2021 8:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thewave46 (Post 9489278)
You could make a list of each airport's hits and misses (add to my list if you want):

YYT:
Pros: Closest to Europe, can easily be done on a narrowbody. Main airport for most of Newfoundland. No other hubs nearby.
Cons: At its most generous, it serves ~500,000 people (likely closer to 350,000 realistically). There's not tons of business traffic, so heavy leisure orientation.

YHZ:
Pros: Close to Europe, can be done on a narrowbody. A larger city (~400,000) plus a catchment area of hundreds of thousands more within a reasonable distance (~4hrs by car). Largest airport in Atlantic Canada, so things tend to be centralized there.
Cons: There's not many, but the dispersed nature of the larger region doesn't help compared to YOW/YWG/YEG.

YOW:
Pros: Doable to Europe on a specialized narrowbody now (A321LR/XLR). Large population centre (1.5-2m in region). National Capital means large numbers of international flyers with various embassies/staff.
Cons: Close to Montreal, quick hop to Toronto, both much larger hubs. Relative parsimony/small nature of Canadian government on world stage means that government traffic generally goes to a couple of places in Europe (London/connect in Frankfurt), so those holding their breath for a huge numbers of overseas destinations will probably be disappointed.

YWG:
Pros: The only game in town, unless you want to drive to Minneapolis six hours away. Most of the travel to/from Winnipeg is probably air travel, as it is one of the more isolated cities in North America for its size. Reasonably large regional population (~1m)
Cons: Not a huge tourist/business destination. Need to use a widebody aircraft for reliable service, which means you need to fill it with more passengers.

YEG:
Pros: It's a region with a large population (~2m). It does have some significant business connections. Some tourism potential.
Cons: Calgary, which hits the tourism and business angle better, whereas Edmonton is more government focused. You need to fill a widebody to go intercontinental and that's easier to do by connecting passengers in Calgary. The other airline in this country uses Calgary as its main hub. Did I mention Calgary? Vancouver provides better trans-Pacific connections.

It all sounds fair to me - and I agree out catchment is definitely less than 500K. Halifax and Deer Lake probably have a larger market share than St. John’s among people living Grand Falls-Windsor and west.

I’d be happy with one affordable, weekly direct to Europe. I can plan my vacations around that. I don’t travel for work anymore, I’ve seen most I want to see by flying to destinations North America. I only really want to go east. I just need some airline to put down a plane once a week as it passes right over us haha.

For North America, I’d rather be a road tourist - but that too, to quote the VOCM Open Line callers, “Why do I NEED to end up in Port aux Basques? Or North Sydney? Driving 24 hours through nothing I mean who lives out there? There’s nowhere to get a decent meal, you have to pack a bloody lunch. You’re forcing me to take a hotel or two hotels just to get to Montreal. I’d much rather put the car aboard a ferry in St. John’s and relax until at least Halifax.” :haha: But that’d probably be $4-5K per trip so still not worth it.

Marty_Mcfly Dec 31, 2021 3:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker (Post 9487902)
That one was always too expensive anyway - I assume mostly used for business rather than tourism. The Dublin direct was the only accessible option for most of us, with easy connections - you could take RyanAir almost anywhere in Europe for pocket change once you got there. We just need some fresh blood and vision on the airport authority, people with more on their minds than parking. We know we can support one affordable connection - that flight was doing fine - we just didn’t compete at all against YHZ’s lobbying/incentives. I don’t think people here considered them competition - there was a taking for granted because Toronto and Montreal already had every sort of flight, so there’s nowhere for ours to go.

I think something will come back. People got attached fast. Politicians and boards of trade haven’t shut up about the impact of losing it here, and there’s a lot of pressure on YYT to wake up.

And the boys have arrived safely in Malaga. They did Air Canada St. John’s - Toronto - London Heathrow. And Easyjet London Gatwick - Malaga. I suspect Malaga would’ve been a three-leg trip even if they could’ve made it in half the time with a St. John’s - Anywhere East option.

The Dublin flight was good at its inception, but before it god the axe it was no longer cheap like it once was. At that point there weren't many more advantages over flying direct into Heathrow unless you were specifically looking to stay in Dublin. When the route first launched it was an insanely good price, probably too good to keep up.

YYT needs fresh blood and a new vision. They've done a good job of renovating and expanding the airport, it actually feels like an airport now. Before the expansion YYT was basically a cube where flights came and went, heaven forbid if you want to get food or a drink while you were there. But it's all for nothing if it's just an airport for flights to and from Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax.

I'm not sure how heavily the airport authority, or the provincial government, would have to subsidize new international flight routes to places like London, New York/New Jersey, or Boston. Air Canada or West Jet won't do it on their own, spokes like YYT aren't worth it for them.

thewave46 Dec 31, 2021 4:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marty_Mcfly (Post 9490101)
The Dublin flight was good at its inception, but before it god the axe it was no longer cheap like it once was. At that point there weren't many more advantages over flying direct into Heathrow unless you were specifically looking to stay in Dublin. When the route first launched it was an insanely good price, probably too good to keep up.

YYT needs fresh blood and a new vision. They've done a good job of renovating and expanding the airport, it actually feels like an airport now. Before the expansion YYT was basically a cube where flights came and went, heaven forbid if you want to get food or a drink while you were there. But it's all for nothing if it's just an airport for flights to and from Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax.

I'm not sure how heavily the airport authority, or the provincial government, would have to subsidize new international flight routes to places like London, New York/New Jersey, or Boston. Air Canada or West Jet won't do it on their own, spokes like YYT aren't worth it for them.

Your first paragraph is the issue distilled.

Cheap overseas flights to leisure destinations aren’t necessarily sustainable, even though they may be popular initially. If passengers flee (or are willing to put up with much longer flights through a bigger hub in exchange for cheaper tickets) as soon as the price creeps up, it is a dead duck. Losing money on each passenger with the mythical hope to make it up on volume didn’t work for Norwegian Long Haul.

Some may say that flights of a similar length in Canada can be done cheaper, but the economics of flying within a continent are somewhat different than overseas.

If I had to spend YYT’s money, I’d shoot for getting LHR back on Air Canada. It is a major Europe hub that has the best economics (closest), good origin-and-departure loads (means the airline retains the most of the fare), good business hub, and has good onward connections (even if transiting LHR is, um, not great). The second one I’d shoot for is Aer Lingus summer seasonal 2-3x weekly. That airline has the right aircraft (A320), would have to only station minimal crew in NL (they’d be going back home overnight, saving on hotel cost) and could draw connecting traffic into Europe continuing on Aer Lingus metal from Dublin during the morning.

SignalHillHiker Dec 31, 2021 4:21 PM

It did get more expensive, but it was still affordable to me (IIRC, last time I checked years ago to see if I could swing a long weekend in Europe on shorter notice, it would’ve been a little over $900 on WJ and over $2K on AC to LHR) - and I do want to note WestJet said it was their most successful route launch ever, and that passenger numbers continued to increase up until it was moved out of YYT.

esquire Dec 31, 2021 4:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thewave46 (Post 9490133)
Cheap overseas flights to leisure destinations aren’t necessarily sustainable, even though they may be popular initially. If passengers flee (or are willing to put up with much longer flights through a bigger hub in exchange for cheaper tickets) as soon as the price creeps up, it is a dead duck. Losing money on each passenger with the mythical hope to make it up on volume didn’t work for Norwegian Long Haul.

Yeah, pretty much this. I'm assuming YYT-DUB was pretty leisure-heavy which hurts the financial prospects and probably encourages carriers to just channel everyone through a hub instead. Although the fact that airlines can make the route work with a narrowbody probably gives it a decent chance of returning... it would be tough to fill a 787 but maybe a 737MAX stands a good shot of working out.

thewave46 Dec 31, 2021 4:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker (Post 9490144)
It did get more expensive, but it was still affordable to me (IIRC, last time I checked years ago to see if I could swing a long weekend in Europe on shorter notice, it would’ve been a little over $900 on WJ and over $2K on AC to LHR) - and I do want to note WestJet said it was their most successful route launch ever, and that passenger numbers continued to increase up until it was moved out of YYT.

Airlines aren’t in the habit of cancelling profitable routes, so I speculate that it wasn’t making money despite Westjet’s claims.

I think Westjet is the wrong airline for the route regardless. Neither side of it is a Westjet hub. Westjet doesn’t have a real onward connecting partner in Dublin, so it can’t make money with connections.

The best chance for Aer Lingus year round just might be for Air Canada to give up on LHR (again). AC frees up a LHR slot pair for use elsewhere, Aer Lingus gets exclusivity of YYT to Europe flights that don’t have to backtrack. Maybe YYT should go that route.

With respect to westwards travel from YYT, connections don’t require nearly the backtracking eastbound ones do, so I’m not sure subsidized direct flights would be a good value for money.

SignalHillHiker Dec 31, 2021 4:51 PM

Yeah westbound connections aren’t as irritating. It’s all the same general direction. I wouldn’t hesitate to, say, book a cheaper flight to TBay through WPG over a more direct one through TO. Now half a continent would be a bit much. I wouldn’t fly into Vancouver to connect to Saskatoon whatever the cost haha.

*****

The rumour mill here at the time was that the flight was great but YYT was trying to milk WJ for all its worth like our airport was doing them the favour by allowing them to run that route. No idea if it’s true.

esquire Dec 31, 2021 5:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker (Post 9490177)
Yeah westbound connections aren’t as irritating. It’s all the same general direction. I wouldn’t hesitate to, say, book a cheaper flight to TBay through WPG over a more direct one through TO. Now half a continent would be a bit much. I wouldn’t fly into Vancouver to connect to Saskatoon whatever the cost haha.

I don't mind the doubling back connections where the travel times and costs make it more appealing than a more direct route. I've connected in Toronto on Asia/Australia flights and in Vancouver on Europe flights. If I were a business traveler I wouldn't do it but on a leisure trip I can handle it if it saves me enough money.

However, I can see why it's extra painful for someone in St. John's given that it basically doubles the trip length on a flight to Europe.

thewave46 Dec 31, 2021 5:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 9490194)
I don't mind the doubling back connections where the travel times and costs make it more appealing than a more direct route. I've connected in Toronto on Asia/Australia flights and in Vancouver on Europe flights. If I were a business traveler I wouldn't do it but on a leisure trip I can handle it if it saves me enough money.

However, I can see why it's extra painful for someone in St. John's given that it basically doubles the trip length on a flight to Europe.

For a couple of hours difference I can see the argument. My guess is that Westjet figured they were not making enough on YYT to Dublin and decided to funnel everybody via Halifax. It sucks, but it is not backtracking to Pearson awful.

I try and minimize the chances of screw ups if I have to connect. Which means that I try to stay on major airlines at their hubs and avoid transiting third countries. My enthusiasm for travel markedly declines when I’m stuck in an airport for hours on end.

More to the point after a little thought, I’d recommend YYT put out feelers to Aer Lingus.

SignalHillHiker Dec 31, 2021 5:18 PM

I’m getting déjà vu with that suggestion and for some reason in my mind I recall AL hinting they wanted to expand in North America (obviously not specifically thinking about us, if at all) IIRC there was some convo either IRL or here about the exorbitant public funding they wanted (far beyond our ability).

esquire Dec 31, 2021 5:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thewave46 (Post 9490204)
For a couple of hours difference I can see the argument. My guess is that Westjet figured they were not making enough on YYT to Dublin and decided to funnel everybody via Halifax. It sucks, but it is not backtracking to Pearson awful.

Yes, good point. A YYT-YHZ backtrack is probably bearable for most, but YYT-YYZ is a bit much if you're only going as far as Western Europe.

SignalHillHiker Dec 31, 2021 5:30 PM

It’s 1hr40 to 2hr20 depending on the plane - so double that and add maybe 45 minutes on the ground? You’re looking at 4-5 hours, which is about the same as flying to Europe (it’s 5.5 direct from here isn’t it? I can’t even remember lol). So less annoying - at least it doesn’t add a whole day. Still have the mental anguish of taking pictures of NL and SPM en route back to YHZ though :haha:

My last time having to fly back to YHZ first:

https://i.postimg.cc/RZMsPsyg/3-AAEA...8-E9215785.jpg

thewave46 Dec 31, 2021 5:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker (Post 9490208)
I’m getting déjà vu with that suggestion and for some reason in my mind I recall AL hinting they wanted to expand in North America (obviously not specifically thinking about us, if at all) IIRC there was some convo either IRL or here about the exorbitant public funding they wanted (far beyond our ability).

Well my friend, it sounds like you are up a certain kind of creek that you don’t want to try swimming back to shore in.

I’d be curious if Westjet could do a Halifax - St. Johns - Dublin flight work, but those multi stop flights are a rare thing these days.

SignalHillHiker Dec 31, 2021 6:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thewave46 (Post 9490239)
Well my friend, it sounds like you are up a certain kind of creek that you don’t want to try swimming back to shore in.

I do feel better, though. Thanks for the free therapy session lol

TorontoDrew Dec 31, 2021 6:08 PM

I just got back from B.C and I'm always left shaking my head when thinking of going through YVR. This time they were understaffed, massive lines, and no social distancing protocols. Also the security staff had zero public relation skills. It took me 30 mins to clear security when back at YYZ I made it from the train through security with social distancing to my bar stool in under 10 minutes.

someone123 Dec 31, 2021 6:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thewave46 (Post 9489278)
YHZ:
Pros: Close to Europe, can be done on a narrowbody. A larger city (~400,000) plus a catchment area of hundreds of thousands more within a reasonable distance (~4hrs by car). Largest airport in Atlantic Canada, so things tend to be centralized there.

YHZ is not really in Halifax, it's about a 30 minute drive north. It's connected to a fairly well-developed freeway system. Consequently it's in a "hub" position in NS. We hear a lot about how NB has its different cities but actually even rural Kings County NS has a higher population density than the Fredericton CMA. And the Truro CA is 45,000 and just under 40 minute drive to YHZ. I had a look and even Bridgewater NS is only a 1h18 drive to YHZ. Eventually NS highway 113 will be built and this will get faster.

YYT is almost the opposite, cursed by a position on a peninsula. Convenient for the city, but transportation connections in the wider region are difficult.

The local market for YHZ (easy 1 hour drive, not 4+ hr) is somewhere in the 600,000-700,000 range.

(I don't mean this as a cheerleader post, just explaining the demographics of the area.)

Dominion301 Jan 1, 2022 1:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JakeLRS (Post 9489980)
Unfortunately, they'll be flying from YYZ and offering sun routes, probably florida (like sunwing).

Quote:

Originally Posted by casper (Post 9490007)
I don't think that is where the Ottawa slot was allocated.

Historically Air Canada has had three slots that work from a timing perspective for Western Canada. Calgary and Vancouver each with one daily. The third slot has been used for a second daily to Vancouver some years. In the past it was put on Edmonton. Some years it has been split between the three. Way back in the 90s I think it was used on Winnipeg for a few days a year.

Was the Ottawa slot not re-allocated to Montreal?

That is true about the 3 western slots. I had forgotten about that. In that case either the Ottawa or St. John's slot was re-allocated to Montreal and they're squatting on the other one. I think the rule is 80% usage of slots or lose them, so all of these are daily that would mean 10 used / 11 total = 90.9% usage. They can just on paper shuffle flights so that they're using them all to at least 80% in summer 2022. Now it makes sense why AC888/889 are reserved to return probably the following year.

Dominion301 Jan 2, 2022 1:05 AM

AC ad from 1969:

https://scontent.fyzd1-2.fna.fbcdn.n...Fw&oe=61D67DE4

thenoflyzone Jan 2, 2022 1:28 AM

“Quiet DC-9 jet”……lol

Bourkky Jan 2, 2022 7:05 AM

Looks like AC is adding a 4th weekly YUL-DEL for the winter starting this week. Still showing 3 weekly for the summer.


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