Wings Magazine

News
Editorial-July/August 05

It’s an interesting time for aviation in Canada. Despite the high cost of fuel and insurance, there is an air of optimism in much of the industry.


September 28, 2007
Drew McCarthy

Let me introduce myself: My name is Drew McCarthy and I’m the new
editor of WINGS Magazine. First of all, I’d like to tell everyone how
pleased I am to be joining the team. In the short time that I’ve been
with the magazine, I’ve had a chance to talk to many of you. I’m
impressed by just how important this magazine is to its readers.

It’s
an interesting time for aviation in Canada. Despite the high cost of
fuel and insurance, there is an air of optimism in much of the industry.

The
Canadian economy looks like it is growing at a steady pace and our GDP
is expected to outpace the global average for industrialized countries.
That’s an important part of the equation and, barring a global
slowdown, both the business and commercial aviation sectors should
benefit.

Intermediate to strong growth is being predicted for
the corporate aircraft sector, at least on this side of the border. The
first of the VLJs (Cessna’s Citation Mustang) will arrive in Canada in
2006. These aircraft will suit the needs of business travellers who are
ready to walk the walk when they say, “Time is money.”

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In the
era of congested hubs, heightened security, baggage searches and other
time-killers, those who can travel by corporate jet, will.

Many
Canadians will also be watching to see how Ed Iacobucci’s new per-seat,
ondemand jet service experiment plays out south of the border In the
commercial sector confidence is even higher. With the demise of JetsGo,
fares are being rationalized and profitability is on the increase.

Air
Canada recently adjusted its fares to reflect fuel prices with barely a
peep from the consumer. It may be that the average Canadian now gets it
when it comes to the cost of fuel. They may even have come to realize
just what a deal air transportation really is.

Both Air Canada
and WestJet have recorded increased load factors in recent months,
including a record 79.9 per cent in May for Air Canada, the highest it
has ever recorded in that month.

Turning those encouraging
figures into profitability comes down to improved efficiency, something
everyone is focused on these days. “Match your aircraft to market
demand,” has become a popular catchphrase.

The events of the
past five or six years have forced companies to reevaluate all of their
operations – just in order to survive. Now with these lessons learned,
the industry finds itself well positioned to benefit from the
opportunities that lie ahead.

At the Canadian Airline Investment
Conference, held recently in Toronto, Orion Securities’ transportation
analyst Frederick Larkin told the audience, “I haven’t felt so good
about the industry in years.”

That’s good news for everyone, and for me – it’s an extremely positive atmosphere in which to begin this new challenge.


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