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Porter Airlines CEO Deluce says future belongs to regional carriers

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Porter Airlines CEO Deluce says future belongs to regional carriers
Rising fuel prices suggest the future of the airline industry lies squarely with regional airlines that serve targeted niche markets, according to the president and chief executive officer of Porter Airlines.


September 9, 2008
By The Canadian Press

Rising fuel prices suggest the future of the airline
industry lies squarely with regional airlines that serve targeted
niche markets, the president and chief executive officer of Porter
Airlines said Monday.

Robert Deluce told the Canadian Club of Montreal that the
high-cost structure of traditional airlines like Air Canada
and more recently WestJet Airlines work with
fixed costs that are still too high given the difficulties the
airline industry is facing.
Deluce also took the opportunity to attack Porter's main
competitors, accusing Air Canada of being the “world airline leader
in passenger fees'' and WestJet of basking in a “comfortable
duopoly'' with Air Canada, which controls 93 per cent of the
domestic market.

Deluce says large-scale mergers, such as the one between Air
Canada and Canadian Airlines in 2000 and an impending one in the
United States between Delta and Northwest Airlines, do nothing
except create large unwieldy companies.
Those companies “lose the ability to react quickly and
decisively in order to take advantage of opportunities, when you get
too big,'' he said.
Porter Airlines, with a fleet of Bombardier Q400 aircraft, which
are easy on fuel, says it is one of the most profitable transporters
in the world today.

The company, which provides nine daily trips between Montreal and
Toronto, hopes to increase that to 15 per day by next year.