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hehehe Jun 16, 2022 6:47 PM

What I'm struggling to understand is, why? Q400 and other domestic flights from YYZ haven't been doing bad at all for years. Why the significantly change?

esquire Jun 16, 2022 6:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whatnext (Post 9651797)
Sounds like someone at WS or Onex is essentially trying to unwind a lot of the expansion that positioned them as Canadian Airlines II.

Is this pandemic driven? Or would it have happened either way? Because it seems that WS is dialing back just at the time that everyone else is ramping up again.

Jaws Jun 16, 2022 7:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hehehe (Post 9651655)
I highly doubt they're going to get rid of the Q400. It provides a lot of feed and was wildly successful for them.

Correct. How else will flyers get from YEG to YYC?

whatnext Jun 16, 2022 7:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 9651822)
Is this pandemic driven? Or would it have happened either way? Because it seems that WS is dialing back just at the time that everyone else is ramping up again.

There was always a lot of questions as to why Westjet would stop following the Southwest model and seek to become more of a traditional mainline carrier. That was done under previous management and I'd guess the new regime doesn't think it is a viable strategy (a view born out by history).

thewave46 Jun 16, 2022 7:50 PM

I am curious about the behind the scenes operations. This sort of pause makes me think Westjet is having operational issues and not easily fixable ones. Pilots may be the big one, but crew in general.

Some Q400s can be parked easily. Dropping some weaker markets won’t hurt feed much.

The meat and potatoes are the 737s flying around. Keeping the pilot/crew pool filled there means that Westjet’s coffers stay filled.

The 787s are underused for what Westjet does with them. A couple of regular London flights, summer leisure to Europe, some thick domestic routes, and sun/Hawaii in the winter do not make enough money to keep expanding the 787 fleet. Unless they want to double down and really play against the big boys (does Onex want to shovel in that cash? Especially now?) on international travel, they’ve no need of them. Three more 787s means more pilots out of their 737 pool.

So, what they’re left with:

Swoop is the Flair/Lynx/ULCC attack dog of Westjet. So, no codeshare, frills, or operational slack. You buy cheap ticket, you get cheap experience.
Sunwing becomes the sun/leisure arm of Westjet, replacing Westjet Vacations. It aims at Air Transat and Rouge.
Westjet is North America mainline/light Europe seasonal option. It competes with Air Canada’s operation in North America. It also nibbles at AC’s and AT’s Europe flights.

Canadian Airlines II dreams go quietly into the good night for now. Shovelling in the cash at peak airline mania seems to be a poor use of money. Let a few cards fall where they may, maybe revisit it post-mania.

casper Jun 16, 2022 10:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thewave46 (Post 9651907)
I am curious about the behind the scenes operations. This sort of pause makes me think Westjet is having operational issues and not easily fixable ones. Pilots may be the big one, but crew in general.

Some Q400s can be parked easily. Dropping some weaker markets won’t hurt feed much.

Not clear how much of the use of the Q400 is geared around increasing frequency vrs opening new markets. Places like Saskatoon had 737 service to Calgary and Toronto before the Q400 entered the fleet. Adding the Q400 was more about frequency.

Quote:

Originally Posted by thewave46 (Post 9651907)

The meat and potatoes are the 737s flying around. Keeping the pilot/crew pool filled there means that Westjet’s coffers stay filled.

The 787s are underused for what Westjet does with them. A couple of regular London flights, summer leisure to Europe, some thick domestic routes, and sun/Hawaii in the winter do not make enough money to keep expanding the 787 fleet. Unless they want to double down and really play against the big boys (does Onex want to shovel in that cash? Especially now?) on international travel, they’ve no need of them. Three more 787s means more pilots out of their 737 pool.

The big take away for me was the language in the press release represented a switch back to leisure instead of business destinations. I don't think WS has done well capturing the corporate business market in Canada.

The European destinations are all tourist oriented.


Quote:

Originally Posted by thewave46 (Post 9651907)
So, what they’re left with:

Swoop is the Flair/Lynx/ULCC attack dog of Westjet. So, no codeshare, frills, or operational slack. You buy cheap ticket, you get cheap experience.
Sunwing becomes the sun/leisure arm of Westjet, replacing Westjet Vacations. It aims at Air Transat and Rouge.
Westjet is North America mainline/light Europe seasonal option. It competes with Air Canada’s operation in North America. It also nibbles at AC’s and AT’s Europe flights.

Canadian Airlines II dreams go quietly into the good night for now. Shovelling in the cash at peak airline mania seems to be a poor use of money. Let a few cards fall where they may, maybe revisit it post-mania.

I don't think Flair/Lynx/ULCC are making a profit. What does Swoop have that would tip it towards profitability? Rouge benefits from access to the AC fleet. Swoop could equally benefit from the WestJet network if it wanted to.

hollywoodcory Jun 16, 2022 10:19 PM

WS appears to have already removed YYZ-BCN in S23. No other changes as of yet.

Also oddly enough, the winter initial coordination reports have started to come out, and WS again requested and obtained DXB slots, enough for 4x weekly. Report lists ZZF as the destination. Given today's news, sounds like these will still go unused.

https://app.powerbi.com/view?r=eyJrI...I0NWQwYjY3YiJ9

thewave46 Jun 16, 2022 10:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by casper (Post 9652048)
Not clear how much of the use of the Q400 is geared around increasing frequency vrs opening new markets. Places like Saskatoon had 737 service to Calgary and Toronto before the Q400 entered the fleet. Adding the Q400 was more about frequency.

The big take away for me was the language in the press release represented a switch back to leisure instead of business destinations. I don't think WS has done well capturing the corporate business market in Canada.

The European destinations are all tourist oriented.

I don't think Flair/Lynx/ULCC are making a profit. What does Swoop have that would tip it towards profitability? Rouge benefits from access to the AC fleet. Swoop could equally benefit from the WestJet network if it wanted to.

The Q400 will stick around, but some of the marginal feeder routes will probably go. This frees up pilots and crew to move to Westjet mainline, or just give the Encore operation a little more slack in their ops.

I agree with your second point. A big problem with Westjet’s business strategy was the lack of slots at key European airports, such as Heathrow and Amsterdam. It is also the network effect - until one has a reasonably good network of international destinations, business won’t switch all their flights to one airline. I suppose if Westjet joined SkyTeam and went into a closer partnership with Delta and KLM? Then again, if one wants to fly to Amsterdam from Calgary or Edmonton, why not just fly KLM? Doubling down on international flying would have been costly and would have yielded questionable results.

I do not think Swoop was designed to make money per se. If it makes money that’s fine, but the primary purpose of Swoop seems to be to zealously defend the ULCC market against new entrants. I can’t prove that, though.

hehehe Jun 16, 2022 10:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hollywoodcory (Post 9652065)
WS appears to have already removed YYZ-BCN in S23. No other changes as of yet.

Also oddly enough, the winter initial coordination reports have started to come out, and WS again requested and obtained DXB slots, enough for 4x weekly. Report lists ZZF as the destination. Given today's news, sounds like these will still go unused.

https://app.powerbi.com/view?r=eyJrI...I0NWQwYjY3YiJ9

Is it safe to assume LHR/LGW/FCO/DUB/CDG will stay from YYC?

casper Jun 17, 2022 12:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hehehe (Post 9652086)
Is it safe to assume LHR/LGW/FCO/DUB/CDG will stay from YYC?

They talk about leisure in their press release. FCO and BCN are leisure markets. There just is not a lot of Canadian business happening at those destinations. Cruise ships also use those are post cities.

London and Paris are big enough destinations that they should have a good mix of leisure and business passengers and connections.

I have never understood DUB. From Vancouver I have been trying to plan out a trip to Faro. The best options all look to be Air Canada connecting in Dublin. If the same is happening for other people, then this may be a good connecting airport. Not what I would have expected.

casper Jun 17, 2022 12:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thewave46 (Post 9652073)
I do not think Swoop was designed to make money per se. If it makes money that’s fine, but the primary purpose of Swoop seems to be to zealously defend the ULCC market against new entrants. I can’t prove that, though.

I can't prove it either, but I would suspect Swoop role is to go out killing the markets that the ULCC remotely show an interest in. What other purpose would it have. The risk with swoop is that it will cannibalise WestJet main business. It is a tool that must be closely controlled.

Sunwing has a strong presence in Central Canada including Montreal. It is likely to stay.

My guess is WestJet is spooked by the coming recession. It does not have a good hold on the business market. The vacation market is going to suffer with a recession as people are going to stay closer to home.

Air Canada has its business base that will limit the downturn to some extent. Porter is also likely going after that market.

thenoflyzone Jun 17, 2022 12:32 AM

WS de-emphasizing the east.

AC, Porter and Transat are smiling and saying thank you right about now.

WS seem lost. Back to an LCC focus mostly from out west. Its safe to say their 787/ full service / international expansion agenda hasn't panned out.

thewave46 Jun 17, 2022 1:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thenoflyzone (Post 9652211)
WS de-emphasizing the east.

AC, Porter and Transat are smiling and saying thank you right about now.

WS seem lost. Back to an LCC focus mostly from out west. Its safe to say their 787/ full service / international expansion agenda hasn't panned out.

Porter yes, especially with their planned expansion.

Transat = a wash. Westjet never was strong in Quebec and now owns Sunwing to aim more squarely at them at Pearson for sun destinations. More leisure Europe from YYZ might be the biggest break they get with Westjet stepping back.

AC probably is a wash as well. Watching Westjet futilely bleed themselves trying to be full-service probably did more good to AC than anything. Having Westjet get more back to its roots and focus on what it did best while keeping costs down and profits up is a longer term threat.

casper Jun 17, 2022 1:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thewave46 (Post 9652240)
Porter yes, especially with their planned expansion.

Transat = a wash. Westjet never was strong in Quebec and now owns Sunwing to aim more squarely at them at Pearson for sun destinations. More leisure Europe from YYZ might be the biggest break they get with Westjet stepping back.

AC probably is a wash as well. Watching Westjet futilely bleed themselves trying to be full-service probably did more good to AC than anything. Having Westjet get more back to its roots and focus on what it did best while keeping costs down and profits up is a longer term threat.

The negative impact for AC will be YVR. That AC hub will see increased pressure from WS and it tries to become the dominant airline in the west. Currently AC is mostly running 737MAX out of YVR. I suspect they may find that harder and will need to do more A220 as WS introduces capacity in the west.

stephan.richard Jun 17, 2022 2:08 AM

My concern with Westjet’s new strategy on decreasing frequency out east especially in New Brunswick will limit the ease of connectivity into Pearson. Now an example in Moncton we are down to one flight a day to Toronto at noontime on a Q400 while Air Canada VIA Rouge with a A319/320/321 With two flights a day. For me when I look at booking WestJet or Air Canada I will choose Air Canada due to frequency and the need of not doing an overnight trip into Toronto to wait for a connecting flight out to Moncton.

nname Jun 17, 2022 2:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by casper (Post 9652277)
The negative impact for AC will be YVR. That AC hub will see increased pressure from WS and it tries to become the dominant airline in the west. Currently AC is mostly running 737MAX out of YVR. I suspect they may find that harder and will need to do more A220 as WS introduces capacity in the west.

For the past few years, seems like AC is slowly kicking WS out of YVR when they introduce new route to match WS's offering. First with SAN, then SNA, and now YHZ. The only exception is LIH where AC pulled out (partially due to the MAX issue).

Not sure if WS had suspended the YVR-YHZ route for July? There is no availability on Google Flight right now...

peytol Jun 17, 2022 3:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nname (Post 9652294)
For the past few years, seems like AC is slowly kicking WS out of YVR when they introduce new route to match WS's offering. First with SAN, then SNA, and now YHZ. The only exception is LIH where AC pulled out (partially due to the MAX issue).

Not sure if WS had suspended the YVR-YHZ route for July? There is no availability on Google Flight right now...

Not sure if YVR-YHZ falls into this, but I believe they cut back a decently large percentage of flying this summer to help with staffing shortages and delays.

Encore was not really competitive out east, yyz-yul why fly on a q when the competition has a 737. Routes like yqm-yyz where too long. Its just not clear if they are abandoning routes like YYZ-YUL or running reduced frequency on the 37.

casper Jun 17, 2022 3:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nname (Post 9652294)
For the past few years, seems like AC is slowly kicking WS out of YVR when they introduce new route to match WS's offering. First with SAN, then SNA, and now YHZ. The only exception is LIH where AC pulled out (partially due to the MAX issue).

Not sure if WS had suspended the YVR-YHZ route for July? There is no availability on Google Flight right now...

Yes.

I am assuming WestJet are careful and deliberate is selecting their words. They don't talk about the dominate airline in Calgary. They talk about being the dominant airline in Western Canada. Some working about more direct flights etc. That would suggest adding flights in places like YVR.

LO 044 Jun 17, 2022 5:33 AM

Casper makes an important point about the Q400 and frequency. From what I've read on many of these forums, is not frequency important to a business traveler? So will the amount of Q400's go down? If so then that means less choice for the business traveler.

I found this comment interesting:
Quote:

“Flying with a Q400 turboprop 14 times a day between Toronto and Montreal (both ways combined), that’s not regional flying,” he said. “That’s being with the wrong aircraft in the wrong market. And that’s what we are fixing.”
He's right in the sense that i would fly AC any day especially when they run the odd 787 or 330 between YUL and YYZ. It seems like the turboprops are a dying breed. But then AC has monstrous hubs at YUL and YYZ so there is more to it than running a 220 or 320 on the route just so it's not a turboprop.

The Q400 is also interesting in that when it came out it seemed to get as much fanfare as the 220 and now people seem to be happy to get rid of the plane. I find it interesting in Europe where LO was one of the few European operators to lease the Q400 and now they have gotten rid of it like the plague. What's up with that? Is the Q400 better for longer routes? But then not as comfortable and people don't actually want to fly those routes on it? I'm sure someone on here can explain.

As to the YYC fortress, I think WS is kidding itself. They better improve the airport because all you hear is complaints about it. I only needed to connect once through there from YEG and I give it a failing grade. I will use YVR way faster than I will ever use YYC. Just a terrible layout and a long (literally walking) connection for a YEG-YYC-MCO flight. I understand YVR, YUL and YYZ are large airports with history but the architect/planner for YYC must have worked on the airport in Berlin. You might as well add a couple of flights to YEG where you walk down one straight line to connect to another flight.

Another question is where will all these extra flights to YYC come from? I mean will WS start flights to Reno, Spokane, Tucson, Austin, Milwaukee? I'm totally making these up but i just don't see where all these options will come from? Out east you have so many US airports to choose from but Western Canada? Kelowna OK. Penticton OK. Will Osoyoos open up an airport? Red Deer doesn't work. I don't know what's left.

I feel like the WS CEO came out with this press release and everyone is confused. It's like when the US President makes a statement and then has to "clarify" himself the next day because all the reporters assumed a story that is different than what the President really "meant".

casper Jun 17, 2022 8:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LO 044 (Post 9652409)
Casper makes an important point about the Q400 and frequency. From what I've read on many of these forums, is not frequency important to a business traveler? So will the amount of Q400's go down? If so then that means less choice for the business traveler.

I found this comment interesting:

He's right in the sense that i would fly AC any day especially when they run the odd 787 or 330 between YUL and YYZ. It seems like the turboprops are a dying breed. But then AC has monstrous hubs at YUL and YYZ so there is more to it than running a 220 or 320 on the route just so it's not a turboprop.

The Q400 is also interesting in that when it came out it seemed to get as much fanfare as the 220 and now people seem to be happy to get rid of the plane. I find it interesting in Europe where LO was one of the few European operators to lease the Q400 and now they have gotten rid of it like the plague. What's up with that? Is the Q400 better for longer routes? But then not as comfortable and people don't actually want to fly those routes on it? I'm sure someone on here can explain.

As to the YYC fortress, I think WS is kidding itself. They better improve the airport because all you hear is complaints about it. I only needed to connect once through there from YEG and I give it a failing grade. I will use YVR way faster than I will ever use YYC. Just a terrible layout and a long (literally walking) connection for a YEG-YYC-MCO flight. I understand YVR, YUL and YYZ are large airports with history but the architect/planner for YYC must have worked on the airport in Berlin. You might as well add a couple of flights to YEG where you walk down one straight line to connect to another flight.

Another question is where will all these extra flights to YYC come from? I mean will WS start flights to Reno, Spokane, Tucson, Austin, Milwaukee? I'm totally making these up but i just don't see where all these options will come from? Out east you have so many US airports to choose from but Western Canada? Kelowna OK. Penticton OK. Will Osoyoos open up an airport? Red Deer doesn't work. I don't know what's left.

I feel like the WS CEO came out with this press release and everyone is confused. It's like when the US President makes a statement and then has to "clarify" himself the next day because all the reporters assumed a story that is different than what the President really "meant".

I re-read the press release. It is starting to make more and more sense.

The start of the press release talks about the ware in Ukraine, inflation, labor shortages. They did not use the recession word but clearly that is part of the mix. Basically travel to Asia and Europe is doing to be negatively impacted. My read of it is pausing the 787 simply reflecting the reality, they have other areas to focus on just now. They will come back to expanding the European network when demand picks up.

I think they are going to announce an order for a small jet. Either the A220 or E95. That is what they need for their slots to New York or YYZ-YOW and YUZ-YUL.

I think they also need to codeshare between the three brands Swoop, Sunwing and WestJet.

As a WestJet passenger, I use to find they were friendly and accommodating. More recently they have just become difficult. Going back to friendly and accommodating would be a positive.

YYC was fine before the expansion. They just did not have enough gates. They could have added another D and E pier in a similar design to the existing ones and called it a day. Perhaps add an extra overhead floor to hold segregated international and US passengers. Instead they created that poorly thought out expansion.


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