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Airline Insider: July/August 2009

Skyservice has revealed a full 2009-2010 winter flying schedule with its two largest customers – Sunquest Vacations and Signature Vacations, operating eight aircraft for each company to traditional sun destinations.

July 27, 2009  By Brian Dunn

Skyservice has revealed a full 2009-2010 winter flying schedule with its two largest customers – Sunquest Vacations and Signature Vacations, operating eight aircraft for each company to traditional sun destinations. New agreements negotiated with both the pilot and cabin crew unions have contributed to the airlines’ ability to re-sign key customers. For the summer, four aircraft and crews are based in Europe and two aircraft are based in Canada.

A planned code-share partnership between WestJet Airlines and Southwest Airlines has been put on hold because of a sharp slowdown in air travel, according to WestJet. It said Southwest decided to put the funds earmarked for the code-share program to other unnamed uses in the current slow travel environment.

The code-share program, which was announced last July and was expected to be operating by the end of 2009, would have seen the two airlines selling seats on each other’s flights. This would have meant cheaper and easier access to new customers for each carrier. Southwest said it will delay the startup of the code-share initiative until late 2010 at the earliest, at least a year behind schedule.

At press time, a smaller code-share agreement was scheduled to begin in July for WestJet with Air France and KLM that covers baggage handling and electronic ticketing on inbound flights. WestJet also intends to launch its frequent flyer program by the end of the year and is set to implement its Sabre reservation system in the fourth quarter.


The airline has begun a new non-stop seasonal route between Edmonton and Yellowknife along with its summer service between Toronto and Sydney, N.S., with flights operating three days per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Additional summer routes and increased service include flights between Vancouver and London, Ont., Saskatoon, Regina and Fort McMurray. 

Air Canada has launched a new daily, non-stop service between Calgary and San Diego, the only daily non-stop flight between the two cities.

Flights are operated by Air Canada Jazz 75-seat CRJ-705 aircraft with a choice of executive or economy class service, featuring individual seatback entertainment throughout the aircraft. Flights are timed for connections in Calgary to and from Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg and Toronto. This new service complements the carrier’s daily Vancouver-San Diego flights.


Air Canada has also increased its flights between Toronto and Rome from July to September to meet peak season summer demand on this route. Currently, there are daily flights from Toronto and Montreal to Rome. The new flights will boost the overall number of flights to 17 per week to Rome from Toronto and Montreal.

In addition, Air Canada and fellow Star Alliance partner Spanair have entered a code share agreement that expands their networks between popular business and leisure destinations in Canada and Spain. This follows the reintroduction on May 1 by Air Canada of non-stop flights between Toronto and Madrid, the only scheduled service between Canada and Spain.

The expanded agreement gives Air Canada access to six additional cities in Spain, including Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga, Alicante, Bilbao and Valencia. Spanair customers will have connection service from Toronto to Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver. The daily non-stop 767-300 operated by Air Canada to/from Madrid will also carry the “JK” code for Spanair.

Porter Airlines is investing over $45 million in a new 150,000-square-foot passenger terminal at Toronto City Centre Airport (TCCA), as the carrier continues adding flights, creating jobs and contributing to economic growth. Phase one of the terminal is scheduled to open in November and includes passenger facilities, aircraft gates and office space. The full facility, including 10 bridged aircraft gates, U.S. and Canadian Customs, and two passenger lounges, is expected to be complete by next spring. The new terminal includes a mix of retail, food services, duty-free, car rentals and other services. Standard complimentary Porter amenities, including business centres, lounge-style seating, beverages and Wi-Fi access will be enhanced in the new building. Porter Airlines recently took delivery of two additional DHC8-Q402s and is expecting several more throughout the remainder of 2009. Schedule frequency has already increased on the Toronto-Ottawa and Toronto-Montreal routes.
Announced on June 18, Porter is adding Boston to its growing list of destinations as part of its fall schedule. Service between Toronto City Centre Airport (TCCA) and Boston Logan International Airport begins Sept. 14, with up to three daily non-stop roundtrips. Porter will be the only carrier offering service between these two airports.

Porter has also reintroduced seasonal flights to Halifax and Quebec City with up to five daily flights between Halifax, Ottawa and Toronto City Centre Airport and six weekly flights between Quebec City and TCCA.  Porter also offers three daily round trips between Thunder Bay and TCCA with connections to Chicago, New York and Montreal.


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