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Old June 22nd, 2005, 06:01 AM   #161
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Tough shopping for Air Canada
Airline analysts, consultants skeptical Used widebody jets hard to come by

Rick Westhead
Toronto Star
21 June 2005

Air Canada shouldn't expect to find bargains on second-hand planes after the union representing mainline Air Canada pilots voted to quash the carrier's plans to buy new state-of-the-art jets, airline analysts and consultants say.

Demand for widebody jets, typically used to fly routes from North America to Asia and other far-flung destinations, has never been stronger.

With jet manufacturers such as Boeing Co. and Airbus SA still several years away from delivering new models, airlines are gobbling up most of the fuel-efficient second-hand planes they can find.

"The market for passenger aircraft continues to strengthen," Morgan Stanley airline analyst Douglas Runte wrote Sunday in a report to clients. "There are almost no widebody aircraft such as the 767, 777 or A330 available."

In fact, of the 600 Boeing 767-300ER jets produced by the manufacturer, just four were "parked" and available for purchase on the second-hand market in March, Runte wrote. Boeing's 777 model and Airbus' A330 and A340 models are in similarly scant supply.

"Prices are rising and availability is tight," said David Treitel, an executive with New York airline consulting firm SH&E. "There's no easy solution for Air Canada here."

However, Air Canada spokesperson Laura Cooke said the airline remains confident on meeting its target of acquiring three widebody planes next year. Last year, Air Canada acquired six such second-hand planes, and the number available could rise dramatically if any carriers filed for bankruptcy or bankruptcy protection.

Air Canada had originally placed orders worth $6.1 billion (U.S.) for 18 Boeing 777s and 14 of the Chicago-based company's new 787, also known as the Dreamliner for such things as its spacious interior and large passenger windows. Air Canada also acquired the option to purchase 18 additional 777s and 46 more 787s.

Air Canada didn't reveal the cost for each airplane, but Boeing's 777-300ER has a list price of as much as $245.5 million. The 787 sells for $120 million.

Even with the steep price tags, Air Canada hoped the new planes would pare fuel costs by about $300 million within five years. Now, however, the company faces paying relatively steep prices for second-hand jets.

Treitel, whose company has been hired by airlines to buy used planes, said he recently considered a purchase for a group of used 767 jets that were built in the early 1990s and selling for at least $28 million apiece.

Even after the purchase, an airline would face the added cost of refitting the plane to adapt its avionics equipment and conform to the carrier's seating configurations. That alone could add another $15 million to the price, Treitel said.

In a memo to employees announcing the collapse of the Boeing deal, Air Canada executive vice-president Rob Reid noted that "the used aircraft market, especially for wide-bodies is extremely tight, but hopefully, over the course of the next year we will be able to find used A340, A330 and 767 aircraft, which will enable us to achieve the growth that was otherwise planned for 2006 with 777 deliveries.

"While, clearly, we don't feel that this is as attractive economically, especially with today's high fuel prices, we will work our way through it," Reid wrote. "Key for us will be the longer-term issue of replacing our 767 aircraft, but for now, we'll just leave that for another day."

Kent Wilson, president of the Air Canada Pilots Association, confirmed yesterday that the union's members voted 1,140 to 961 to scuttle the purchase, at least partly because of widespread rancour over how pilot seniority lists were merged when Air Canada bought Canadian International Airlines Ltd. five years ago.
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 07:49 PM   #162
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Air Canada's pilots hurt their own cause
Editorial
21 June 2005
The Globe and Mail

As part of its strategy for financial revival and expansion on lucrative international routes, Air Canada was counting on updating its aging fleet with 32 new long-range Boeing jetliners. But the deal was scrapped on the weekend when the airline's pilots rejected changes in wages and working conditions to fly the planes. Air Canada probably made a strategic error by making the order contingent on a reworked labour agreement with a cranky work force, but the pilots made a bigger mistake by allowing old animosities to cloud their judgment.

More than 54 per cent voted against accepting the tentative deal endorsed by their own negotiators. About a third of the 3,000 members of the Air Canada Pilots Association didn't cast ballots, but a large group of disgruntled veterans calling themselves the Original Air Canada pilots managed to win enough support from those who did. “The goal is to redress and correct the inequities of the past four years,” three of the pilots declared in a memo before the balloting. “Vote No so we can rectify this travesty.”

The pilots' simmering anger stems from a loss of seniority after Air Canada's merger with Canadian Airlines International Ltd. in 2000. Many of their counterparts at Canadian moved ahead of the Air Canada pilots when the seniority lists were combined. For some Air Canada captains, that meant demotions and wage cuts. Then came Air Canada's financial collapse in 2003 and further hefty wage cuts and other concessions to help keep the airline afloat. Add in resentment over salaries and perks paid out to top executives in the restructured company and you have the recipe for a confrontation.

The problem is that this is the wrong battlefield. The aircraft deal would have outfitted Air Canada with 18 Boeing 777s and 14 787 Dreamliners, Boeing's next wide-bodied model. The Dreamliners were set for delivery in 2010, the date by which the airline has said it intends to begin phasing out its older long-haul fleet of Airbuses and Boeing 767s. The new planes are more comfortable, more fuel-efficient and cheaper to maintain, qualities that are important if Air Canada is to reduce its operating costs and attract more business on international routes. Thanks to fierce global competition between Boeing and Airbus, which was fighting to retain Air Canada as a customer of its wide-bodied jets, the Canadian airline also got a healthy discount off the $6-billion-plus (U.S.) price tag.

The airline would improve its bottom line with the more efficient fleet, and the pilots would have the chance to fly bigger, more sophisticated jetliners. As a rule of thumb, those steering the biggest planes in the fleet tend to receive the highest pay. That's undoubtedly why the airline gambled that the union would embrace the new deal. Instead, the pilots have cut off their nose to spite their face. The airline, meanwhile, will scour the used-jet market to meet its most urgent needs.

When Air Canada emerged from bankruptcy protection last fall, Mr. Justice James Farley of Ontario Superior Court warned management and employees that they must work together and ditch their “us-versus-them mentality.” Unfortunately, it seems not enough people were prepared to take his sound advice. The pilots, the airline and its customers are the losers for that.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 04:28 AM   #163
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Air Canada to Raise Ticket Prices as Fuel Costs Rise (Update2)

June 20 (Bloomberg) -- Air Canada, the country's biggest airline, will raise ticket prices starting June 23 to counter rising jet-fuel costs.

Fares for flights within Canada will rise by C$8 ($6.49) each way on flights of as many as 300 miles (483 kilometers), C$10 on flights between 301 and 1,000 miles and C$15 for flights of more than 1,000 miles, the Montreal-based unit of ACE Aviation Holdings Inc. said today in a statement.

Fuel is the second-largest operating expense for airlines behind labor, the company said in the statement. The spot price for jet fuel sold at New York Harbor touched $1.73 a gallon today, a 44 percent rise from the beginning of the year and just below a record $1.75 on April 1. Air Canada said first-quarter fuel costs rose 23 percent to C$415 million.

``We monitor fuel costs on a regular basis and will make fare adjustments as warranted,'' Angela Mah, a spokeswoman for the airline, said in a telephone interview.

Shares of ACE fell 92 cents, or 2.2 percent, to C$41.43 by 4 p.m. in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. They've risen 67 percent since the company emerged from an 18-month bankruptcy and the shares began trading Oct. 4.

Yesterday ACE said it plans to cancel a $6.1 billion plane order with Boeing Co. after Air Canada pilots rejected a contract to fly them. WestJet Airlines Ltd. of Calgary is Canada's second- biggest airline.
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Old June 25th, 2005, 04:21 AM   #164
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Air Canada is shopping for five used, wide-body planes to tide it over until it decides how to bounce back from having to cancel a $6-billion (U.S.) order for new Boeing aircraft.

The airline also plans to spruce up aging Boeing 767s with new seats that will feature video-on-demand screens on the back of each seat, and power plug-ins for laptops and other devices, Air Canada president Montie Brewer said Monday in a memo to employees.

The fleet refurbishment program is focused on wide-body Boeing 767s, which are scheduled to be replaced over several years, starting in 2010. Although the interior facelift for the 767s has long been planned, Mr. Brewer said it takes on extra significance in the wake of the cancelled jet order. There are currently 45 Boeing 767s in the fleet, with an average age of 22 years.

“Special attention will be placed on the 767s in this program, which will begin at the end of this year and will ensure that the 767s and other fleets will remain competitive for years to come,” Mr. Brewer said.

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He made the comments after Air Canada notified Chicago-based Boeing Co. on the weekend that it decided to scrap an order for 18 Boeing 777s and 14 Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Canada's flag carrier also had options to buy another 18 Boeing 777s and 46 Boeing 787s.

Montreal-based Air Canada will be short two wide-body planes next year and three more in the summer of 2007, but “I am confident we will be able to find ways to fill these gaps and continue to grow at planned rates,” Mr. Brewer said.

Three new Boeing 777s were scheduled for delivery next year, including one earmarked for the Vancouver-Tokyo route.

In April, Air Canada chairman Robert Milton touted the new fuel-efficient and roomier Boeing 777 and 787 jets as crucial to the carrier's future on international routes, notably to Asia and Latin America.

“The real value of the Boeing deal was the replacement of the 767s in 2010 with the 787s,” Mr. Brewer said. “Again, I am confident that we will in time find a way to address the 767 retirement issue and we have time.”

Air Canada had made its purchase contingent on the approval of its pilots' union for wages and working conditions on the new aircraft. The pilots are embroiled in an internal squabble over seniority, which determines who gets the better-paid jobs flying larger jets.

Members of the Air Canada Pilots Association who cast ballots rejected Air Canada's labour deal for flying the new Boeing aircraft, with more than 54 per cent voting down the tentative pact that had been endorsed by the union's negotiating team. One-third of the 3,000-member union did not vote.

Captain Kent Wilson, president of the pilots' union, said the voting results show that there remains a persistent problem with merged seniority lists for pilots, long after Air Canada's merger with Canadian Airlines International Ltd. in 2000.

The so-called Original Air Canada (OAC) group of pilots are upset that many of their Canadian Airlines counterparts moved ahead of them in seniority rankings.

“A No vote will provide the platform to explain how the Original Air Canada pilots have lost,” said a memo issued last week by three OAC pilots, who complained about “the devastating impact of our loss of seniority” and drop in wages.

Joseph D'Cruz, a professor at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, said he expects Air Canada executives to go back to the drawing board and develop a new Boeing purchase plan that's palatable to cynical pilots.

“Eventually, they have to buy new aircraft,” he said. “Air Canada is looking at growth in point-to-point travel, so that could be Vancouver to Beijing. The Dreamliner is exactly right for that kind of traffic.”

Boeing spokesman Todd Blecher said from Seattle, home of final assembly operations, that the aircraft maker is disappointed at losing the original order for 32 jets. Mr. Blecher described the cancellation of such a large order as a rare occurrence. “We were surprised by the end result,” he said. “There are internal issues that Air Canada needs to deal with at this point.”

Air Canada parent ACE Aviation Holdings Inc. class B voting shares fell $1 (Canadian) to $41.40 Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
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Old June 26th, 2005, 05:11 PM   #165
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Aeroplan set to bring in $250 million
Fund units priced to yield 7 per cent Underwriters have option to buy more

Canadian Press
23 June 2005

MONTREAL -- Air Canada's parent company plans to raise $250 million by selling a 12.5 per cent stake in the Aeroplan loyalty program at the end of June.

The issue as an income fund pegs the market value of profitable Aeroplan at $2 billion, well above the $1 billion to $1.5 billion analysts had earlier expected, and amounts to nearly half the market value of parent ACE Aviation Holdings Inc.

"We are extremely pleased to see the market valuing Aeroplan at $2 billion, making it one of Canada's largest business trusts and the first-ever monetization of an airline frequent-flyer program," ACE chairman and chief executive officer Robert Milton said in a statement.

ACE, which had previously announced it would partially spin off Aeroplan, will sell 25 million units of the Aeroplan Income Fund to a group of underwriters for $10 a unit, the company said yesterday.

ACE Aviation was created last year as part of Air Canada's restructuring. Underwriters have the option to buy up to 3.75 million additional units of the income fund, which appears likely to happen. The over-allotment option would bring the sale to $287.5 million, and leave ACE with 85.6 per cent of Aeroplan, down from the currently planned 87.5 per cent.

The units are expected to provide a yield of 7 per cent a year, based on the initial public offering price. ACE Aviation class B shares closed unchanged at $41.45 yesterday.

ACE Aviation will keep about $125 million of the proceeds, while Aeroplan will get $100 million to help fund a reserve for Aeroplan Mile redemptions and for capital expenditures, with the rest going for fees.

The holding company has other spinoffs planned, including the Jazz regional airline.
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Old June 27th, 2005, 01:39 AM   #166
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Air Canada files complaint
Rick Westhead
25 June 2005
The Toronto Star

In a move that could resurrect its acquisition of 32 new Boeing Co. jetliners, Air Canada has asked the Canada Industrial Relations Board to help settle a long simmering battle over pilot seniority that boiled over and helped to scuttle the airline's $6.1 billion plane purchase.

The carrier yesterday filed its complaint with the industrial relations board, asking for a final determination of the pilots' seniority issue. If the board rules in favour of the airline, it could force another vote.

A week ago, the 3,100 pilots who operate Air Canada's mainline fleet scuppered the carrier's purchase of the new long-range jets largely because they were upset over how the way pilot seniority lists were merged after Air Canada bought Canadian Airlines International Ltd. in 2000. Seniority is used to determine which pilots get coveted routes on larger planes and preferred vacation times. Air Canada has also asked the board to rule that the actions of some of its pilots constitute an illegal strike as they were encouraged to engage in activity such as sick-ins and refusing normal work assignments.

"The actions of the respondents are clearly illegal and interfere with the ability of Air Canada to operate its business in a normal way," Air Canada's complaint says. "Since Air Canada does not have the right or the power to change the seniority ruling, the board, through decision, mediation or otherwise must deal with finality with the seniority issue, so that future activities of the airline will not be harmed."

An Air Canada Pilots Association spokesperson couldn't be reached to comment.

Air Canada's planned purchase of the new planes, originally announced in April, could have been worth as much as $15.9 billion had the carrier exercised its options for more of the new fuel-efficient jets. The jet order was booked pending a vote by the pilots association to accept changes in working conditions.

After the pilots voted against the changes, effectively quashing the purchase plans, the airline said it would buy used aircraft.

The airline's 43-page complaint, which has been brought against eight Air Canada pilots and an airline splinter group known as "The Red Pilots for Seniority Justice" brought to light more details about lobbying efforts by disgruntled union members who quashed the Boeing purchase. "During the ratification vote, groups of pilots in the bargaining unit represented by ACPA known as the (Original Air Canada pilots) and the Red Pilots (red, of course, being the colour traditionally associated with pre-merger Air Canada, in contrast to Canadian's blue) urged a rejection of the agreement on the introduction of the B777 and B787."

Air Canada said the splinter group's goal was to "put economic pressure on Air Canada to illegally ignore" a decision made in 2003 by an arbitrator over how to merge the seniority lists of Air Canada and Canadian Airlines pilots. That decision was recently upheld in the Federal Court of Canada.

In a vote conducted by ACPA, 1,140 members voted against the agreement introducing the B777 and B787, while 961 voted in favour of it and 940 did not vote.
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Old June 28th, 2005, 03:14 AM   #167
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Air Canada braces for flight delays
Long-standing dispute with pilots over seniority may lead to job action
BRENT JANG
27 June 2005
The Globe and Mail

Air Canada is warning that a group of disgruntled pilots has threatened to delay flights as part of an escalating protest over seniority rankings.

Air Canada chief operating officer Rob Reid said in an internal letter to the company's 3,000 unionized pilots that he's concerned about job action by those belonging to the so-called Original Air Canada (OAC) group.

The pilots were hired by Air Canada before its merger with Canadian Airlines International Ltd. (CAI) in 2000.

“Several of our pilots have communicated to their co-workers and called for action to slow down the company's operations,” Mr. Reid wrote on the weekend. “We are all professionals and I know that the vast majority of you do not condone or support this activity. Whenever such activity happens by a few, we all suffer the consequences — company, pilots and fellow employees alike.”

The airline told the Canada Industrial Relations Board late Friday that OAC e-mails encourage pilots to engage in a number of work-to-rule tactics, including ignoring the phone when on call, temporarily resigning supervisory duties, showing “renewed vigilance” in following “professional standards of conduct,” and re-examining their health to see whether they're “fit to fly” or are suffering from “fatigue.”

Such tactics constitute an “illegal strike, with sick-ins and refusal of flights,” according to Air Canada, which emphasized that for now, operations have not been disrupted.

“These suggestions were made just before the start of a summer season which will be of greater than normal importance for Air Canada,” the airline told the labour board, which serves as a quasi-judicial tribunal.

The e-mails cited in the filing to the labour board date from mid-June. Air Canada attached e-mails sent by several OAC pilots who sought to use the seniority issue as a bargaining chip by recommending rejection this month of a proposed labour pact for flying new Boeing jets.

The tentative pact was rejected, forcing Air Canada to cancel its $6-billion (U.S.) order for 32 new wide-body planes from Boeing Inc. because the airline made its purchase contingent on pilots' approval of the labour deal.

Besides bickering among pilots, strained relations between management and unionized employees are evident in an e-mail from a group of OAC pilots that makes reference to Air Canada chairman Robert Milton: “You should also maintain a civil tone and resist any urges to refer to him as any part of your anatomy.”

Members of the Air Canada Pilots Association recently rejected a proposed labour contract that would have boosted many pilots into higher wage brackets and protected their breaks on sleeping bunks aboard new Boeing jets.

OAC pilots say they rejected the labour contract because they wanted to call attention to their anger over many ex-CAI pilots moving ahead of them in seniority rankings in 2003.

Air Canada is asking the labour board to halt actions that constitute an “illegal strike” by OAC pilots.

“This may look like a strong reaction. But keep in mind, permitting this type of illegal activity has negative consequences for all of us,” Mr. Reid said. “We have come through too much to let this set us back.”

In Air Canada's complaint filed Friday with the labour board, the carrier seeks an order to compel a new vote on the rejected contract, which covers wages and working conditions for flying new Boeing 777s and Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
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Old June 29th, 2005, 04:16 AM   #168
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Air Canada, pilots dismiss concerns over schedule
Seniority dispute: Operations won't be affected, airline says
Chris Sorensen
28 June 2005
National Post

Air Canada and members of a group of disgruntled pilots are downplaying fears that a long-standing dispute over pilot seniority issues will affect the airline's operations by delaying flights during the busy summer travel season.

Air Canada said yesterday that it has not experienced, nor does it expect, any flight delays because of labour action by a small group of pilots who are protesting against a federal labour board ruling concerning Air Canada's merger with the former Canadian Airlines in 2000.

"There's been no impact on our operations as a result of pilot-related activity," Laura Cooke, an Air Canada spokesman, said yesterday. She added that the airline is not advising travellers to expect delays.

"We expect that our pilots, because they are professionals, will conduct themselves in a professional manner."

The pilot group opposes the labour board ruling that merged the seniority lists of the two airlines, which some Air Canada pilots say favoured former Canadian Airlines pilots.

Echoing Air Canada's reassurances, three members of the disgruntled Original Air Canada Pilots said yesterday that they "will not, and have not contemplated, any action that would threaten either the safety or convenience of the travelling public."

As well, Glen Phillips, a representative of the OAC pilots, said yesterday that the group did not condone an e-mail sent by one pilot to about 65 others on June 9 that suggests they bog down Air Canada's operations by requesting extra safety checks or refusing to work extra hours, among other things.

Rob Reid, Air Canada's chief operating officer, responded to the threat of job action by sending a memo to Air Canada's 3,000 pilots last weekend, urging them not to take part in any action that would damage the company.

Pilot protest over the seniority question has been identified by the airline as the chief reason why members of the Air Canada Pilots Association earlier this month refused to ratify a negotiated deal over pay-rates and working conditions related to Air Canada's plans to purchase 32 modern, long-range aircraft from Boeing Co. The move forced Air Canada to cancel the order for the Boeing 777 and 787 jetliners. The planes are needed to replace aging wide-body aircraft and implement the airline's new business plan which calls for more long-range, point-to-point international flying.

In an attempt to quash the protest, the airline filed an application last Friday to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) asking it to declare the pilots' actions an illegal strike and respond by ordering them to take another ratification vote.

Ms. Cooke said that, with the ratification in hand, Air Canada would be in a position to negotiate a new deal with Boeing for the 777 and 787 aircraft. A source at Boeing told the Financial Post last week that the aircraft manufacturer was still in talks with Air Canada about the jet order.

Ben Cherniavsky, an analyst at Raymond James, said he has long been warning investors about the potential for labour unrest at Air Canada, which could lead to "material" impact on the company's performance. He added that the seniority issue will not be easy to resolve.
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Old June 29th, 2005, 04:26 PM   #169
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When will Canadian Airlines fly to Dubai..... ?

There are 15,000 Canadians living in Dubai, and that number is growing fast.

There has been a significant increase of the number of tourists between Canada & Dubai.

Dubai is going through the worlds largest construction boom, most of the builders, architects, project managers are Canadian.

A huge number of Canadian businesses are setting up in Dubai.

Dubai even has a small NHL style leage, called THE MIGHTY CAMELS. 95% OF THE PLAYERS ARE CANADIAN.

We have a huge Canadian hotel called the FAIRMONT, two others are opening up, most of the employees are Canadian.

It blows my mind that till this day, there still is no direct link between Canada in Dubai!
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Old June 29th, 2005, 04:39 PM   #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubaiCanadian
When will Canadian Airlines fly to Dubai..... ?

There are 15,000 Canadians living in Dubai, and that number is growing fast.

There has been a significant increase of the number of tourists between Canada & Dubai.

Dubai is going through the worlds largest construction boom, most of the builders, architects, project managers are Canadian.

A huge number of Canadian businesses are setting up in Dubai.

Dubai even has a small NHL style leage, called THE MIGHTY CAMELS. 95% OF THE PLAYERS ARE CANADIAN.

We have a huge Canadian hotel called the FAIRMONT, two others are opening up, most of the employees are Canadian.

It blows my mind that till this day, there still is no direct link between Canada in Dubai!
Since Air Canada emerged from bankruptcy protection, its focus has been on South American and Asian routes, notably China, Hong Kong, and India. These markets are backed by Canada's significant ethnic population. Dubai is different. First of all, it is very far, and AC will most likely have to route its planes via Europe or its Asian hubs, which will tie up the planes for its more lucrative transpacific / transatlantic routes. Second, Canada has a very small UAE expatriate community and business traffic alone will not be able to sustain regular service. Otherwise AC would have launched the route already.

Emirates had voiced interest in flying to Canada before, but that idea has died down lately. Perhaps they want to grow their New York route first before further expansion.
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Old June 30th, 2005, 05:52 AM   #171
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ACE Aviation Completes Aeroplan Income Fund IPO
29 June 2005

MONTREAL (Dow Jones)--Aeroplan Income Fund (AER.UN.T) has completed its initial public offering of 25 million units at C$10 a unit for gross proceeds of C$25 million.

In a news release, Aeroplan Limited Partnership and its owner, ACE Aviation Holdings Inc. (ACE.B.T), said the fund is acquiring a 12.5% (14.4% assuming full exercise of the overallotment option) ownership interest in Aeroplan LP.

They said Aeroplan LP will retain about C$100 million of the net proceeds of the offering to partially fund a reserve for Aeroplan Mile redemptions and for certain capital expenditures, and will distribute the balance of the net proceeds, about C$125 million (C$160 million assuming full exercise of the overallotment option), to ACE. ACE will use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, they said.

ACE and Aeroplan said the fund has granted to the underwriters, co-led by RBC Capital Markets as sole bookrunner, CIBC World Markets, and Genuity Capital Markets, an option to purchase up to an additional 3.75 million units at the offer price for up to 30 days following the closing to cover overallotments, if any, and for market stabilization purposes.

They said distributions will be paid monthly. The first distribution is expected to be paid on or before Aug. 15 to unitholders of record on July 29.

In connection with the offering, they said Aeroplan LP has also completed a C$475 million senior secured syndicated credit facilities. About C$300 million of this will be used to fund the balance of the reserve for Aeroplan Mile redemptions. RBC Capital Markets acted as lead arranger, sole bookrunner and administrative agent.

ACE Aviation Holdings is the parent holding company of Air Canada.

Aeroplan is a loyalty-marketing company.
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Old June 30th, 2005, 07:25 AM   #172
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Is Dubai closer to Vancouver or Toronto?
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Old June 30th, 2005, 07:30 AM   #173
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Dubai - Vancouver: 11, 242 km
Dubai - Toronto: 9, 722 km
These are over The Atlantic so i am not sure about crossing the Pacific.
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Old June 30th, 2005, 04:14 PM   #174
DubaiCanadian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
Since Air Canada emerged from bankruptcy protection, its focus has been on South American and Asian routes, notably China, Hong Kong, and India. These markets are backed by Canada's significant ethnic population. Dubai is different. First of all, it is very far, and AC will most likely have to route its planes via Europe or its Asian hubs, which will tie up the planes for its more lucrative transpacific / transatlantic routes. Second, Canada has a very small UAE expatriate community and business traffic alone will not be able to sustain regular service. Otherwise AC would have launched the route already.

Emirates had voiced interest in flying to Canada before, but that idea has died down lately. Perhaps they want to grow their New York route first before further expansion.
I'm sorry, I strongly disagree...

For one like I mentioned there are 15,000 strong & fast growing Canadian population that lives in Dubai, most will fly atleast once a year back & forth to Canada. That along is massive.

The trade between the 2 countries is exploding, and as I said there are probably 100's of engneers and architecs patictipation in Dubai's massive construction boom.

The majority of the live music bands in Dubai are from Canada.

Canadian business are mushrooming all across Dubai, we have tons of Second cup, Aldo, Lasenza, I got go on & on, and those certainly don't include the many big scale Canadian companies set up all over our free zones.

Lucrative, Dubians have more money than they know what to do with, if Toronto for example promotes itself well to Dubai, it could attract huge money... Australia is a great example, it's as far as Canada is from Dubai, and they are promoting heavily all over in Dubai, and it's been very succesful, Dubai Australia route has always 95% plus occupancy, thousands a month flock to Australia. Dubians are loving it so much, that they are investing hundreds of million of dollars into the Australian economy.

Most importantly Canada does have a huge expatriate community from the UAE. Thousands of Indians, Pakistanies and Arabs of all nationalities, immigrated to Canada from Dubai where they were residents. But when looking at them you think they came from India or Egypt for example. The majority of those imigrants still have strong ties and business links with the UAE.

When I fly to Toronto via British Airways, I fly through London, England, I take this journey at-least twice a year...

I assure you, that always atleast half of my plane, transits with me to continue to Toronto.

It's amazing to me how this route is still being ignored!!!!!!!
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Old June 30th, 2005, 05:25 PM   #175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubaiCanadian
I'm sorry, I strongly disagree...

For one like I mentioned there are 15,000 strong & fast growing Canadian population that lives in Dubai, most will fly atleast once a year back & forth to Canada. That along is massive.

The trade between the 2 countries is exploding, and as I said there are probably 100's of engneers and architecs patictipation in Dubai's massive construction boom.

The majority of the live music bands in Dubai are from Canada.

Canadian business are mushrooming all across Dubai, we have tons of Second cup, Aldo, Lasenza, I got go on & on, and those certainly don't include the many big scale Canadian companies set up all over our free zones.

Lucrative, Dubians have more money than they know what to do with, if Toronto for example promotes itself well to Dubai, it could attract huge money... Australia is a great example, it's as far as Canada is from Dubai, and they are promoting heavily all over in Dubai, and it's been very succesful, Dubai Australia route has always 95% plus occupancy, thousands a month flock to Australia. Dubians are loving it so much, that they are investing hundreds of million of dollars into the Australian economy.

Most importantly Canada does have a huge expatriate community from the UAE. Thousands of Indians, Pakistanies and Arabs of all nationalities, immigrated to Canada from Dubai where they were residents. But when looking at them you think they came from India or Egypt for example. The majority of those imigrants still have strong ties and business links with the UAE.

When I fly to Toronto via British Airways, I fly through London, England, I take this journey at-least twice a year...

I assure you, that always atleast half of my plane, transits with me to continue to Toronto.

It's amazing to me how this route is still being ignored!!!!!!!
I doubt that airlines in both Canada and the UAE are willing to ignore a profitable route. Even if AC is not capable of operating this route right now, Emirates certainly can given its rapid expansion.

15,000 passengers flying two roundtrips a year is actually not very much. A daily service on a long-range Airbus with 200 spaces will result in a capacity of 72,800 each way, which means every member of the UAE community will need to fly over 3 roundtrips each year to maintain a 70% loading factor. Then again, not everyone will fly with one particular airline. Some might choose to fly to New York and continue to Dubai on Emirates. Factoring the percentage of the 15,000 passengers who will fly on the Toronto direct service will mean passengers will need to fly well over 3 roundtrips a year to maintain that 70% loading factor.

The second problem is the routing. A flight to Dubai will need to stop in Europe somewhere to refuel since AC's only long-range Airbus is flying the Hong Kong route. Hence the transatlantic flights may be full of Europe-bound passengers and not enough to sustain the continuing journey to Dubai.
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Old July 2nd, 2005, 03:19 PM   #176
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I'm going to be on one of those aging 767s in March next year - what's the likelihood of it being an upgraded one?
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Old July 2nd, 2005, 03:39 PM   #177
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Canadian government signs travel deal with Westjet

OTTAWA, June 29 (Reuters) - WestJet Airlines Ltd. will offer discounts to Canadian government employees as part of a deal designed to save taxpayers money, officials said.

In a statement dated June 28, Canada's public works ministry said the deal would run until May 31, 2006, with an option to extend the agreement for two years after that. It did not say how deep the discounts would be.

In the 2003-2004 fiscal year, WestJet, Canada's second-largest airline, accounted for 13 percent of travel by government employees, the statement said.
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Old July 6th, 2005, 03:53 PM   #178
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Short sellers bet on impending descent of ACE stock
Rick Westhead
Toronto Star
02 July 2005

Since Air Canada emerged from bankruptcy protection nine months ago, shares of its parent company, ACE Aviation Holdings Inc., have doubled in value, making the company the toast of Bay Street.

Yet with fuel costs climbing to record highs, a growing number of investors are betting that shares of the carrier are poised to hit some turbulence.

While widely traded class B shares of the Montreal company - Canada's largest airline - have soared as high as $43 since they began trading on Sept. 30, bearish bets against the stock in the form of short positions have climbed in recent weeks.

Short sellers, who expect a stock to swoon, sell borrowed stock betting that they'll make money by buying it back at a lower price before returning it to the original lender.

The number of ACE Aviation short positions still active had more than tripled to 1.24 million shares as of June 15, up from 374,503 shares in mid-May. In fact, the number of shares in the company that were in short positions in June was more than the previous three months combined.

Another negative measure may suggest investors' attitude toward ACE shares is cooling. The short-interest ratio, the number of days of average trading it would take to cover all of the short positions on the airline's shares, rose to seven days in June, up from 4.8 days in May and 2.6 days in April.

"The stock is vulnerable," said Fadi Chamoun, an analyst with UBS Canada, who in a May 25 report to clients predicted ACE Aviation shares would climb to $49 over the following 12 months.

Air Canada declined to comment on the short activity.

One reason investors may be skeptical about the prospects for Air Canada's share price is the ever-climbing price of jet fuel, the company's second-largest expense after labour.

The International Air Transport Association recently said the cost of jet fuel rose 58 per cent this year to a record $76.38 (U.S.) a barrel on April 4. In all, the world's airlines might face an $83 billion fuel bill this year, 31 per cent more than a year ago, the trade association said.

It's also possible investors are betting Air Canada shares will ease now that the company has completed an IPO for its Aeroplan frequent flyer program. In the weeks before the airline announced it would proceed with the stock sale, shares of Air Canada climbed in anticipation of the move, analysts said.

To be sure, ACE Aviation still has its fans. Of the 15 analysts that cover the company, 13 recommend ACE Aviation as a "buy," while the other two - analysts at Credit Suisse First Boston and Scotia Capital - have rated the company "hold."

ACE Aviation share supporters argue the company has a healthy potential to grow, considering that many of the large U.S. carriers remain in financially precarious situations. For instance, 29 per cent of the shares of Delta Air Lines Inc., the third-largest U.S. carrier, are in short positions.

Air Canada's parent company, meanwhile, narrowed its net loss in the first quarter to $77 million (Canadian), down from $304 million in the comparable period a year ago when it was still operating under court-ordered protection from its creditors. This year's first-quarter loss was Air Canada's lowest since 2000, when the carrier lost $33 million.
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Old July 6th, 2005, 04:14 PM   #179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tayser
I'm going to be on one of those aging 767s in March next year - what's the likelihood of it being an upgraded one?
AC's 767 in London - quite an old plane
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Old July 7th, 2005, 12:37 AM   #180
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Air Canada slips on Boeing order list
Delay due to labour dispute with pilots costs airline delivery slots for two 777s
BRENT JANG
5 July 2005
The Globe and Mail

Air Canada's hopes of salvaging its $6-billion (U.S.) aircraft order with Boeing Co. have been dealt a severe blow because the airline is being forced to relinquish coveted delivery slots.

Boeing spokesman Brian Walker said in an interview that the aircraft maker is busy processing orders from other airlines, so it can't afford to save delivery slots for Air Canada's plan to buy 18 Boeing 777s and 14 Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Air Canada already has lost its place in line for two of three Boeing 777s sought for 2006, Mr. Walker said.

In mid-June, a slight majority of members of the Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) rejected a proposed labour pact for flying new Boeing jets because the pilots were upset about seniority rankings. That forced Air Canada to cancel its order, placed in April, with Boeing because the airline made its purchase contingent on pilots' approval of the labour deal.

However, in a last-ditch effort to preserve its order, the carrier asked the Canada Industrial Relations Board in late June to help resolve the pilots' labour dispute that scuttled the planned purchase. Air Canada wants the quasi-judicial tribunal to order a new vote on the rejected labour contract.

An airline source said Air Canada and Boeing no longer have any realistic hopes of reviving the original $6-billion order. Instead, Air Canada will seek to renegotiate a new deal with Boeing because the original order is now in tatters, he said.

Air Canada is on the verge of losing its third delivery slot in 2006 for a Boeing 777.

Remaining orders for Boeing 777s were scheduled to be filled once every two to three months, starting in 2007. But so long as the pilots' dispute over seniority drags on, Air Canada will gradually lose more delivery slots that it had previously secured from Boeing.

“We hope in the short term that we do end up winning Air Canada's business,” Mr. Walker said. “In all likelihood they will, to the best of their ability, try to match the deal they had done with us before.”

Air Canada envisaged taking delivery of its first Dreamliner in 2010.

Airline spokeswoman Laura Cooke said the pilots' union is the key. “Should ACPA secure ratification, we would re-engage in discussions with Boeing,” she said.

Air Canada acquired Canadian Airlines International Ltd. in 2000, and has been dealing with union infighting among the pilots over seniority rankings ever since.

Raymond Hall, a spokesman for the so-called Original Air Canada (OAC) pilots, said speculation about Air Canada submitting a revised order for new Boeing jets is premature. OAC pilots remain angry because they see themselves as losers in the merged seniority list developed in 2003 by arbitrator Brian Keller, whose rankings replaced those devised in 2001 by another arbitrator, Morton Mitchnick.

“Unless Air Canada is planning to shove that labour contract down our throats, unless the contract is imposed on us, it's too early to talk about the new planes,” Capt. Hall said during a stopover in Toronto.

“Nothing is going to function properly in this airline until this seniority issue is resolved fairly.”

No date has been set yet for a labour board hearing into Air Canada's complaint that some of its pilots threatened an “illegal strike.”

Steve Garmaise, an analyst with Genuity Capital Markets, said there is plenty at stake for both Air Canada and Boeing.

With European consortium Airbus SAS still wooing Montreal-based Air Canada, “Boeing sees this as a trophy order,” he said.

Air Canada has 20 Airbus and 45 Boeing models in its wide-body fleet of 65 aircraft, so shifting to an all-Boeing strategy for long-haul jets would be a public relations coup for the U.S. aircraft maker.

Although several more delivery slots could be lost, Mr. Garmaise expects Chicago-based Boeing and Air Canada to be flexible and eventually reach “attractive terms” in a scaled-down aircraft order that sets new delivery target dates.

“You know that the pilots' issue is going to keep biting Air Canada for a while, but no one wants to run away from an order if this mess can be fixed,” Mr. Garmaise said.

Boeing said that if a revised jet order can be negotiated, it would help Air Canada find used aircraft to tide the carrier over until new fuel-efficient Boeing planes are built.

Air Canada, which emerged from bankruptcy protection last fall, is now shopping for five used aircraft.

“The market is tight, but there are always used planes available, if someone is a good customer,” said William Clark, a Toronto-based lawyer whose clients include airlines and other companies seeking to buy or lease used aircraft.
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