Air Canada announced (27-Jan-2010) new services for seven more US cities making it the carrier with the most daily flights between Canada and the US of any airline - see Route Changes Table for more information. [more]
Air Canada expands service to seven more US cities; pursues growth strategy for Toronto hub
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Canada's Porter Airlines’ 10th anniversary is clouded by an uncertain future. Where to next...
Three years ago Canada’s Porter Airlines had a different vision of how its business would take shape by its 10th anniversary in Oct-2016. The company decided to pursue ambitious expansion at its largest and strategic base by lobbying for an expansion of the runway at Billy Bishop Toronto airport to support the operation of jets at the airport, and at the same time placing an order for Bombardier CSeries jets.
Porter’s efforts ultimately failed, and during the past year the airline has been largely silent about how it intends to shape its future. Even though it generates positive customer sentiment, the lack of clarity about how it intends to shape its future has fuelled speculation over Porter’s ultimate staying power.
It is not clear if privately owned Porter is profitable, but after the sale of a terminal at Billy Bishop its balance sheet is undoubtedly in favourable shape, giving the airline some flexibility when and if it crystallises any plans for expansion.
Canada’s government paves the way for ULCCs Enerjet and Jetlines to jump into the marketplace
Two of Canada’s aspiring ultra-low cost airlines made a major breakthrough in Nov-2016 after they were granted exemptions from foreign ownerships restrictions, which allow foreign entities to hold up to 49% of Enerjet and Jetlines. Now Enerjet has taken on some heft by partnering with the global ultra-low cost airline investor Indigo Partners, which was instrumental in Spirit Airlines’ ULCC transition and now owns the ULCC Frontier Airlines. Another new Canadian ULCC, NewLeaf Travel, boasts former Spirit Airlines CEO as chairman of the board.
It is tough to predict how those influential backers will affect the outcome of efforts by the new crop of ULCCs to successfully execute the model in Canada. Although Canada is one of the few mature aviation markets without a true ultra-low cost competitor, the nuances of the Canadian domestic market could create challenges for the long-term viability of NewLeaf, Enerjet and Jetlines in the marketplace.
Jetlines and Enerjet, operating as FlyToo, aim to debut in Canada’s market during 2017. Unsurprisingly the country’s two airlines Air Canada and WestJet plan to compete vigorously with the start-ups, with WestJet vowing to defend its franchise and match the fares of its new competitors.