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Old December 26th, 2010, 09:20 PM   #1021
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New rules for jet financiing to hit Air Canada
Bombardier could also be affected by global agreement on government funding

23 December 2010
The Globe and Mail

MONTREAL -- Two major Canadian companies are grappling with the potential fallout from a global deal that aims to level the field on export subsidies for commercial aircraft.

The agreement in principle, reached in Paris Wednesday between negotiators for Canada, the European Union, the U.S., Brazil and Japan, proposes to bring the cost of state-provided financing for jet exports more in line with commercial rates.

The proposed deal means that airlines, which have traditionally been able to borrow money cheaply from government agencies to purchase new aircraft, will find it more difficult to obtain financing on such favourable terms. It is meant to address concerns by some major U.S. and European airlines that the system was tilted against them, giving their competitors in the Middle East and Asia more advantageous financing on the purchase of Boeing Co. and Airbus SAS jets than they were eligible to receive.

But Air Canada said it is not happy with the new regime, which will come into force in February if it is ratified by Jan. 20. The airline has ordered 37 new Boeing 787s, to be delivered starting in the second half of 2013.

The airline has used lower-cost financing help from the U.S. Export-Import Bank for past buys but is still working out financing for the 787 deal, spokesman John Reber said. “They would add financial costs to deliveries of the Boeing 787s we have ordered,” he said. “Our position is to maintain the existing OECD agreement.”

The deal was announced Wednesday under the auspices of the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Aerospace manufacturer Bombardier Inc. faces a curb on the financial incentives it can offer customers for its new C Series jet under the revised rules.

The new regulations are expected to narrow the distinction between financing for large and regional jets. Under the existing rules, smaller jets such as the ones that Bombardier specializes in are eligible for more advantageous financing terms than big aircraft.

Both the United States and the EU – backed by Boeing and Airbus – had opposed plans by the Canadian government to provide export credit financing to foreign buyers of the new 110-to-130-seat C Series jetliner on terms that would place it in the smaller-model category.

Now, the new rules blur the lines between larger and smaller jets, with both categories to be subject to similar, more stringent financing terms.

Bombardier's Brazilian rival Embraer SA, which is also moving into the larger-plane segment, will be subject to the same constraints.

“For the moment, we're not going to comment in detail,” said Marc Duchesne, a spokesman for Bombardier Aerospace. “But we have always pushed for a level playing field based on market principles. It should not be based on whether or not one country or another offers more favourable financing.”

Airlines that are not eligible for the government-backed financing have for years been griping about the system. For example, European airlines British Airways, Deutsche Lufthansa and others complained they could not take advantage of government-supported export credit agencies to finance the purchase of new jets, while rapidly expanding rivals in the Gulf states did.

On the other hand, state-supported financing was a godsend during the global recession, when commercial credit dried up, said Richard Aboulafia, vice-president of analysis at aviation consulting firm Teal Group Inc. in Fairfax, Va.

Robert Palmer, spokesman for Calgary-based WestJet Airlines Ltd., said in an e-mail message that while export credit will be more expensive, “with WestJet's excellent credit we will continue to be able to access reasonable rates to finance our future aircraft deliveries.”

WestJet uses a single fleet of narrow body Boeing 737s that seat between 119 and 166 passengers.

Full details of the agreement were not released. The OECD said in a news release there will be a transition period for certain previously-ordered aircraft that will be covered by existing financing terms.

“The objective of the agreement is to create and maintain a market- and risk-based fee system that produces a level playing field between manufacturers, airlines and governments,” the Paris-based OECD said.

The Air Transport Association of America welcomed the new rules but said more work needs to be done to get to a truly fair playing field.

The agreement is an improvement over the existing pact in terms of pricing, but subsidies and market terms have not been completely brought into line, ATA general counsel David Berg said.

Export credit financing should be restored to what it was originally intended for – making financing available when airlines are not able to access credit markets, he said.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 07:32 PM   #1022
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Old January 7th, 2011, 08:10 AM   #1023
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WestJet flies emptier planes in December

OTTAWA, Jan 6 (Reuters) - WestJet Airlines Ltd flew fewer passengers in December versus a year earlier, but Canada's second-biggest airline still sees improved fourth-quarter unit revenue, it said on Thursday.

WestJet's load factor -- the percentage of available seats filled with paying customers -- fell to 80.3 percent last month from 81.7 percent in December 2009.

Revenue passenger miles, or traffic, increased by 10.9 percent, as available seat miles, or capacity, grew 12.9 percent from the year-prior period.

Load factor for the fourth-quarter was 0.1 percent higher as traffic increased 13.9 percent and capacity rose 13.8 percent.

For the full year, load factor rose 1.2 percent, traffic was up 12.9 percent and capacity 11.1 percent.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 04:14 PM   #1024
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WestJet flies out of Saint John, N.B.; city left with two carriers
7 January 2011
The Canadian Press

SAINT JOHN, N.B. _ WestJet has pulled out of Saint John, N.B.

Bernard LeBlanc, president and CEO of the Saint John Airport Authority, says the airline told him just before Christmas that it would not be back in May to offer its seasonal service to Toronto.

LeBlanc says traffic was down about 20 per cent last year over previous years.

The airline began offering flights to Toronto from May to October in 2007.

The loss of WestJet (TSX:WJA) means Saint John now has two carriers: Air Canada Jazz and during the winter, Sunwing.

Saint John Board of Trade president Imelda Gilman says the news is ``disappointing.''

``We were hoping we could convince WestJet to do year-round service and have been working with the airport to do that,'' she said.

``We're trying to improve our service.''

Gilman said the board will be working very closely with the staff and board of the airport to make sure the city has ``timely, efficient and affordable'' air service in and out of Saint John.

WestJet represents about eight per cent of the airport's total traffic, LeBlanc said.

Now, the challenge is to secure a third carrier. LeBlanc said Porter is considering flying out of Saint John.

``It's nice to have a variety of carriers and options for our passengers,'' LeBlanc said.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 06:20 PM   #1025
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AIR CANADA REPORTS DECEMBER TRAFFIC

MONTREAL, Jan. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - For the month of December, Air Canada reported a system load factor of 80.8 per cent versus 81.2 per cent in December 2009, a decrease of 0.4 percentage points. System traffic increased 7.2 per cent on a system wide capacity increase of 7.6 per cent. Air Canada reports traffic results on a system basis, including regional airlines from which Air Canada purchases capacity.

"For the month of December and full year 2010, Air Canada recorded load factors of 80.8 and 81.7 per cent, respectively," said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer. "These strong results, including an all-time record for the full year 2010, were achieved as we continued to increase utilization of our existing fleet and deploy capacity to pursue strategic opportunities in international markets. In December, led by 23.8 per cent traffic growth in the Pacific, we recorded a system wide traffic increase of 7.2 per cent, the twelfth consecutive month of traffic increases.

"I am proud of our employees who demonstrated their professionalism and care for our customers while maintaining a safe operation during the peak holiday travel period impacted by significant weather-related issues in Europe, the United States and Canada. I want to thank them for achieving both Customer Satisfaction and On-Time Performance objectives for the month despite these challenges. It is especially rewarding that our customers have recognized these efforts and have ranked Air Canada as the Best North American airline in recent readership surveys conducted by two international business magazines for the second consecutive year."

In 2010 readership surveys, Global Traveler magazine readers voted Air Canada Best Airline in North America, and Business Traveler magazine readers voted Air Canada as the top airline in North America for Best Flight Attendants, Best In-Flight Services, Best Business Class Service, Best North American Airline for International Travel, as well as for Best Airline Web Site.

http://aircanada.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=408
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Old January 21st, 2011, 02:11 PM   #1026
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Old January 22nd, 2011, 09:44 AM   #1027
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Air Canada delays Toronto Island airport launch

OTTAWA, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Air Canada Inc has no schedule for starting to fly from Toronto's downtown airport after failing to reach a deal with the terminal operator in time for the February launch it had planned.

The country's No. 1 airline said negotiations are continuing with City Centre Terminal Corp to lease space at Billy Bishop Airport, but it would not identify the issues in contention.

Billy Bishop is a small airport on Toronto Island in Lake Ontario, close to the city's core.

"We are not in a position to confirm a revised timeline for start-up, but suffice it to say we look forward to resuming service as soon as possible," Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said.

The airline had planned to offer up to 15 daily nonstop flights from the airport.

Air Canada flights will be operated by Sky Regional Airlines Inc, a switch from Air Canada's regional carrier, Chorus Aviation Inc , which flew from the airport until 2006 under its previous name Jazz Air.

Sky is a regional operator that won Air Canada's competitive bid to operate the Island airport service.

Air Canada has said flights will be operated with Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft and that it intends to lease five of the planes.

Privately owned regional carrier Porter Airlines currently has a monopoly on flights from the Island airport. Porter Chief Executive Robert Deluce also heads City Center Terminal Corp, which is in talks with Air Canada.

Deluce said the negotiations are confidential and he could not discuss details.

"We understand that Sky Regional is still in the process of finalizing licensing with Transport Canada," he said. "This licensing is required before any service can begin."

Air Canada lost a court fight last summer against the Toronto Port Authority, the federal agency that owns and operates the Island airport, and Porter Airlines to get additional flying slots at Billy Bishop.

The port authority announced in June that Porter had secured 44 of 90 new slots, Air Canada 30, and U.S.-based Continental Airlines Inc 16.

Air Canada had argued the allocation process was flawed.

Air Canada shares were down 2.6 percent at C$3.00 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday afternoon.

($1=$1.00 Canadian)
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Old January 26th, 2011, 08:10 AM   #1028
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Quote:
Star Alliance carriers Air Canada and Continental starting this week has launched codeshare service on Trans-Atlantic service, between North America and Europe. All European service carries AC and CO code, except AC service to Denmark and St. John’s – London Heathrow, as well as CO service to Germany.
With this codeshare service, all Star Alliance members involved in “Atlantic Plus-Plus” 4-way Joint-Venture agreement (Air Canada, Continental, Lufthansa, UNITED) sees US/Canada – European service carrying these carrier’s flight numbers.
Codeshare flight numbers and routes:



Code:
Route	AC Codeshare	CO Operating
Houston – Amsterdam	AC2520	CO058
Amsterdam – Houston	AC2453	CO059
Houston – London Heathrow	AC2524
AC2526	CO034
CO004
London Heathrow – Houston	AC2501
AC2503	CO035
CO005
Houston – Paris CDG	AC2522	CO032
Paris CDG – Houston	AC2473	CO033
Newark – Amsterdam	AC2448
AC2450	CO102
CO070
Amsterdam – Newark	AC2449
AC2451	CO103
CO071
Newark – Athens	AC2454	CO104
Athens – Newark	AC2457	CO105
Newark – Barcelona	AC2456	CO120
Barcelona – Newark	AC2459	CO121
Newark – Belfast	AC2458	CO094
Belfast – Newark	AC2461	CO095
Newark – Birmingham	AC2460	CO026
Birmingham – Newark	AC2463	CO027
Newark – Brussels	AC2464	CO060
Brussels – Newark	AC2467	CO061
Newark – Copenhagen	AC2470	CO122
Copenhagen – Newark	AC2475	CO123
Newark – Dublin	AC2472
AC2474	CO022
CO126
Dublin – Newark	AC2477
AC2479	CO023
CO127
Newark – Edinburgh	AC2476
AC2478	CO036
CO108
Edinburgh – Newark	AC2481
AC2483	CO037
CO109
Newark – Geneva	AC2486	CO080
Geneva – Newark	AC2491	CO081
Newark – Glasgow	AC2484	CO016
Glasgow – Newark	AC2489	CO017
Newark – Lisbon	AC2496	CO064
Lisbon – Newark	AC2505	CO065
Newark – London Heathrow	AC2488
AC2490
AC2492
AC2494	CO018
CO028
CO112
CO110
London Heathrow – Newark	AC2493
AC2495
AC2497
AC2499	CO029
CO113
CO111
CO019
Newark – Madrid	AC2498
AC2500	CO062
CO144
Madrid – Newark	AC2507
AC2509	CO063
CO145
Newark – Manchester	AC2502
AC2504	CO020
CO100
Manchester – Newark	AC2511
AC2513	CO021
CO101
Newark – Milan Malpensa	AC2508	CO044
Milan Malpensa – Newark	AC2517	CO045
Newark – Oslo	AC2510
AC2512	CO038
CO138
Oslo – Newark	AC2519
AC2521	CO039
CO139
Newark – Paris CDG	AC2466
AC2468	CO056
CO054
Paris CDG – Newark	AC2469
AC2471	CO057
CO055
Newark – Rome	AC2480	CO040
Rome – Newark	AC2485	CO041
Newark – Shannon	AC2514	CO024
Shannon – Newark	AC2523	CO025
Newark – Stockholm	AC2452
AC2455	CO068
CO069
Stockholm – Newark	-	-
Newark – Zurich	AC2518	CO078
Zurich – Newark	AC2527	CO079
CO Codeshare	AC Operating
Calgary – Frankfurt	CO4092	AC844
Frankfurt – Calgary	CO4091	AC845
Calgary – London Heathrow	CO4118	AC850
London Heathrow – Calgary	CO4117	AC851
Edmonton – London Heathrow	CO4098	AC898
London Heathrow – Edmonton	CO4097	AC899
Halifax – London Heathrow	CO4108	AC860
London Heathrow – Halifax	CO4107	AC861
Montreal – Athens	CO4074	AC828
Athens – Montreal	CO4073	AC829
Montreal – Barcelona	CO4078	AC816
Barcelona – Montreal	CO4077	AC817
Montreal – Brussels	CO4132	AC832
Brussels – Montreal	CO4133	AC833
Montreal – Frankfurt	CO4090	AC874
Frankfurt – Montreal	CO4089	AC875
Montreal – Geneva	CO4130	AC830
Geneva – Montreal	CO4131	AC831
Montreal – London Heathrow	CO4112
CO4114	AC866
AC864
London Heathrow – Montreal	CO4111
CO4113	AC867
AC865
Montreal – Paris CDG	CO4126	AC870
Paris CDG – Montreal	CO4125	AC871
Montreal – Rome	CO4084	AC892
Rome – Montreal	CO4083	AC893
Ottawa – Frankfurt	CO4088	AC838
Frankfurt – Ottawa	CO4087	AC839
Ottawa – London Heathrow	CO4110	AC888
London Heathrow – Ottawa	CO4109	AC889
Toronto – Athens	CO4076	AC826
Athens – Toronto	CO4075	AC827
Toronto – Barcelona	CO4080	AC814
Barcelona – Toronto	CO4079	AC815
Toronto – Dublin	CO4082	AC894
Dublin – Toronto	CO4081	AC895
Toronto – Frankfurt	CO4094
CO4096	AC872
AC876
Frankfurt – Toronto	CO4093
CO4095	AC873
AC877
Toronto – London Heathrow	CO4100
CO4102
CO4104
CO4106	AC868
AC856
AC848
AC858
London Heathrow – Toronto	CO4099
CO4101
CO4103
CO4105	AC869
AC857
AC849
AC859
Toronto – Madrid	CO4120	AC836
Madrid – Toronto	CO4119	AC837
Toronto – Munich	CO4122	AC846
Munich – Toronto	CO4121	AC847
Toronto – Paris CDG	CO4128	AC880
Paris CDG – Toronto	CO4127	AC881
Toronto – Rome	CO4086	AC890
Rome – Toronto	CO4085	AC891
Toronto – Zurich	CO4123	AC878
Zurich – Toronto	CO4124	AC879
Vancouver – London Heathrow	CO4116	AC854
London Heathrow – Vancouver	CO4115	AC855
(Airline Route, 2011)
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Old January 26th, 2011, 05:39 PM   #1029
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AC Air Canada to increase Calgary-Tokyo flights March 26
Canada Stockwatch
Wednesday January 26 2011 - News Release

Mr. Ben Smith reports

AIR CANADA INCREASES CALGARY-TOKYO NON-STOP FLIGHTS; PLANS YEAR-ROUND SERVICE IN RESPONSE TO STRONG DEMAND

Air Canada is boosting its Calgary-Tokyo non-stop flights in response to strong demand after introducing the new route last summer. Air Canada will increase its existing schedule to five weekly flights from three, effective March 26, 2011, as it takes steps toward continuing the non-stop service on a year-round basis, subject to obtaining the necessary approvals in Japan.

"Demand for Air Canada's non-stop Calgary-Tokyo Narita service has been strong from business and leisure travellers, as well as freight forwarders. We are very pleased after just one season operating the only scheduled direct service between Alberta and Asia to be able to increase flights on this route," said Ben Smith, executive vice-president and chief commercial officer. "Service to Narita offers a multitude of connecting flights with our Star Alliance partners to key destinations throughout Asia including Hong Kong, Manila, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Bangkok, Taipei and several points across Japan. This is a good example of how we can work well with the business and tourism communities to achieve success in some markets. With the support of the Calgary business community, the Calgary Airport Authority, Travel Alberta and our travel partners, we look forward to being able to maintain a year-round schedule, pending approvals in Japan."

As a result of lower than expected demand for planned Vancouver-Tokyo Haneda non-stop flights, offering point-to-point service between the two cities, the launch of that route will now be delayed until more convenient arrival and departure times can be obtained that will enable customers to connect to flights at Haneda for onward travel to points within Japan and throughout Asia.

Calgary-Narita non-stop service complements Air Canada's daily year-round Vancouver-Tokyo Narita and Toronto-Tokyo Narita non-stop flights, both operated with Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. This summer, the carrier will offer 19 flights each week from Canada to Tokyo's Narita International Airport.

In addition to offering efficient connections at Narita to points throughout Asia with Air Canada's Star Alliance partners, ANA, Asiana, THAI and United Airlines, Air Canada's Narita flights from both Calgary and Vancouver are timed to offer convenient connections to and from communities across Western Canada served by Air Canada.

Air Canada's increased scheduled of Calgary-Tokyo flights will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, departing Calgary at 12:45 p.m. and arriving in Narita the following day at 2:25 p.m. Flights will depart Narita on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 4 p.m., arriving at Calgary the same day, at 10:40 a.m.

Air Canada operates its Calgary-Tokyo flights with fully refurbished 211-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft offering a choice of economy class and executive first service featuring 24 lie-flat bed suites. Further details and a virtual tour of Air Canada's new cabin amenities, including complimentary personal seatback entertainment at every seat throughout the aircraft, are available at Air Canada's website.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 07:24 PM   #1030
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Last edited by hkskyline; January 30th, 2011 at 06:59 AM.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 07:33 PM   #1031
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Old January 28th, 2011, 11:45 AM   #1032
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Flying monkeys raise eyebrows
Air Canada obliged by federal law to accept lab animals as cargo

25 January 2011
The Toronto Star

The arrival of 48 monkeys on a flight from China this weekend has brought Air Canada under fire for shipping primates destined for research labs, but the airline says it is obliged by federal law to accept monkeys as cargo.

A Pearson International Airport employee tipped off the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection that a shipment of monkeys destined for Montreal was being held at the Toronto airport after arriving from China Saturday.

Sarah Kite, director of communications and special projects for the BUAV, said research monkeys are usually transported in cramped wooden crates in the plane's cargo hold, where they can be subject to fluctuations in temperature, stopovers and long delays.

"I think most people would be alarmed to know that monkeys could be travelling alongside their luggage in a cargo hold," Kite said, adding these monkeys, typically macaques, are often factory farmed for research purposes in countries such as Laos and Mauritius.

Air Canada is one of a small number of airlines that continues to transport these primates, Kite said. Under pressure from animal rights groups and the public, many airlines have banned the practice. British Airways, for example, has a policy of "not carrying live animals that are for use in any laboratory, or for experimentation or exploitation," according to media liaison manager Sophie Greenyer.

But Air Canada's hands are tied because of an old government ruling. In 1994, the airline refused to carry a shipment of monkeys from Barbados because they were destined for a lab.

The Primate Research Center and Wildlife Reserve of Barbados filed a complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency, which ruled in 1998 that Air Canada could not refuse to carry the monkeys because they were not a nuisance to passengers in flight. According to the ruling, the "opinion" that the monkey shipment was offensive on "humane or moral grounds" wasn't good enough.

"We cannot by law refuse the carriage of animals for the sole reason that they could ultimately be destined to a laboratory or for research," said Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick in an email.

In 2007, Air Canada stopped shipping beagles used for medical research after a passenger complained about the dogs yelping from the cargo hold.

According to the Pearson tipster, this weekend's shipment was destined for Montreal, but it is unclear whether the monkeys travelled by truck from Toronto or were held overnight for a connecting flight.

At LAB Research, a facility in Laval, Que. that tests drugs for diabetes and cardiovascular disease on rodents and other animals, a veterinarian who did not want his name used for fear of retaliation by animal activists, said monkeys are usually shipped by truck from Pearson to avoid long layovers.

The veterinarian would not confirm that the monkeys had arrived at LAB, but did say the primates there lead comfortable lives with TV, toys and candy.

After a drug trial is over, he said the researchers try to reuse the animals by keeping them or transferring them to another lab certified by the Canadian Council on Animal Care. He said sometimes the animals are put to sleep so their organs can be studied.

With files from Allison Cross
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Old January 28th, 2011, 07:20 PM   #1033
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Old January 30th, 2011, 07:00 AM   #1034
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Old February 6th, 2011, 07:22 AM   #1035
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Air Canada moves to protect Mumbai route
5 February 2011
The Globe and Mail

Air Canada has renewed its partnership with Jet Airways (India) Ltd., a strategic move designed to keep their Canada-India route competitive against Emirates Airline.

Effective Feb. 21, a new three-year pact kicks in, ensuring that travellers will be able to continue booking seats on an Air Canada plane from Toronto to connect onto Jet at London's Heathrow Airport, from where Jet then flies to Mumbai. Air Canada and its Star Alliance partner, Germany's Deutsche Lufthansa AG, also serve the Canada-India market through their Frankfurt hub.

Air Canada signed its first partnership pact with Mumbai-based Jet in 2008, clearing the way for the carriers to sell tickets on each other's flights on the Toronto-Mumbai route. But Emirates, which launched its Toronto-Dubai service in October, 2007, introduced the Airbus A380 double-decker to the route in mid-2009, stepping up the battle against Air Canada and its allies.

Emirates, owned by the Dubai government, competes for passengers by offering service between Toronto and India via the Gulf carrier's Dubai hub. Last fall, Ottawa rejected requests from the United Arab Emirates for more Canadian landing slots. Emirates currently has three flights a week on the Toronto-Dubai route, but wants daily landing rights at Canada's largest city.

Emirates has said that its expanded presence in Canada would broaden consumer choice and generate a range of spinoff benefits for the economy.

But Air Canada needs to shield the Canada-India air corridor from further incursions by Emirates because the Montreal-based carrier is eyeing non-stop service to New Delhi, said Rick Erickson, an aviation consultant who heads RP Erickson & Associates.

In 2007, Air Canada cancelled its own Toronto-New Delhi service, through Zurich, but Mr. Erickson said the economics will be vastly improved when the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is introduced within three years to the fleet of Canada's biggest carrier.

Air Canada expects to start receiving Boeing 787s by late 2013, though it could be delayed into 2014, given production snags at the aircraft maker, analysts say. In the meantime, until the Dreamliner arrives, Air Canada is keen to keep Emirates at bay.

“The 787 is going to be a real game changer for Air Canada, but the airline needs to protect its market share on the Indian subcontinent because Emirates wants to take traffic away,” Mr. Erickson said.

On Friday, Air Canada reported that its transatlantic routes saw a 4.1-per-cent increase in traffic in January, compared with the same month in 2010. Over all, Air Canada's worldwide load factor climbed to 78 per cent in January, up from 77.5 per cent a year ago.
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Old February 7th, 2011, 04:38 PM   #1036
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WestJet, Delta sign interline agreement
7 February 2011

Feb 7 (Reuters) - WestJet Airlines Ltd , Canada's No. 2 carrier, said it has entered into an interline agreement with Delta Air Lines Inc that allows customers of both airlines to purchase connecting flights on one ticket.

The agreement, effective immediately, also allows the customers to receive boarding passes for all segments at their first check-in and tag bags through to their final destination. Passengers now can connect between WestJet and Delta flights at more than 25 gateways in Canada and the United States, the airlines said in a statement. Seats are on sale immediately via most Delta ticketing channels.
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Old February 7th, 2011, 04:39 PM   #1037
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Air Canada, unions begin contract talks
7 February 2011
The Globe and Mail

Contract talks begin this week between Air Canada and the union representing airport customer service agents and call centre staff, the first in a series of bargaining sessions as labour leaders focus on the carrier's climb out of its financial hole.

Negotiators for the Canadian Auto Workers union will meet Friday with management amid a business climate in the industry that has vastly improved since the last round of talks during the recession in 2009. Air Canada narrowly averted filing for bankruptcy protection in the summer of 2009, when pension and labour pacts were secured with the CAW and four other unions.

The CAW's collective agreement lapses on Feb. 28, while March 31 is the contract expiry date for the rest – the Air Canada Pilots Association, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Canadian Airline Dispatchers Association and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

“Our work needs to be valued, appreciated and paid accordingly. Significant wage gains will go a long way to addressing our need for recognition and appreciation,” the CAW said in a newsletter to its 3,800 members. “As the global economy recovers, so too will investments for pension plans. We will be vigilant in protecting our pension plans, as secure pension benefits for our current and future retirees must be maintained. We do not intend to have this round of bargaining sidetracked by pension discussions.”

Analysts say new labour contacts will likely lead to increased expenses for wages and pensions in the coming years at Air Canada, which reports its fourth-quarter and 2010 results on Thursday. Chorus Aviation Inc., which owns regional carrier Jazz Air LP, releases its financial report on Tuesday.

WestJet's board of directors will meet in Toronto this week as the carrier seeks to promote its flights in Central Canada and the East Coast. Calgary-based WestJet announces its results on Wednesday.
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Old February 7th, 2011, 10:09 PM   #1038
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Westjet seems to be interlining with every airline entering Canada available.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 06:20 PM   #1039
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WestJet sees partnership potential with Emirates
Calgary-based airline ‘would not oppose' more landing rights in Toronto for Persian Gulf carrier
8 February 2011
The Globe and Mail

WestJet Airlines Ltd. envisages signing up Emirates Airline as a partner in the long term, holding out hope that Ottawa will eventually grant extra landing rights in Toronto to the Persian Gulf carrier.

WestJet would benefit from flying passengers to and from Toronto, where they could connect with Emirates' flights to and from Dubai, said Hugh Dunleavy, WestJet's executive vice-president of strategy and planning.

Calgary-based WestJet and Emirates, owned by the Dubai government, have exchanged several e-mails on potentially working together. But with the Middle East carrier limited to only three flights a week in Toronto, WestJet would prefer to await more landing slots for Emirates before embarking on any partnership talks, Mr. Dunleavy said in an interview Monday.

“We would like to see more open access to the Canadian market,” he said. “We would not oppose more landing rights in Toronto for Emirates. WestJet can move traffic out of Toronto to the rest of our network.”

Last fall, Ottawa rejected requests from the United Arab Emirates for increased landing rights in Toronto for the Arab country's carriers.

Air Canada and its Star Alliance partner, Germany's Deutsche Lufthansa AG, oppose Emirates' strategy to expand in Canada, saying their Frankfurt airport hub would lose lucrative international traffic to their rival's Dubai hub.

Emirates also wants to introduce Calgary-Dubai and Vancouver-Dubai routes, but Mr. Dunleavy cautioned that WestJet stands to lose connecting traffic under such western expansion plans, so he's counting on Emirates to devote its energy to acquiring daily service in Toronto and leave Western Canada alone.

Mr. Dunleavy said WestJet will focus this year on potential international partners that already have a minimum of daily service into Canada, relegating Emirates to the backburner for now, though talks are possible in 2012.

He made the comments after WestJet added Delta Air Lines Inc. of Atlanta to its growing list of “interline” arrangements, whereby WestJet and foreign carriers co-operate on flights and baggage handling, making it easier for passengers on inbound trips to catch WestJet's connecting, domestic service.

WestJet also has interline deals with Air France-KLM, Taiwan's China Airlines, Hong Kong-based Dragonair and American Airlines Inc. of Fort Worth, Tex. A preliminary interlining deal with British Airways PLC is expected to take effect later this year.

The interlining contracts are designed to evolve into even greater co-operation in the form of “code-sharing” pacts that go deeper into areas such as electronic ticketing. WestJet has confirmed one code-sharing deal so far, with Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd.

Cathay, British Airways and American are three of the founding members of the Oneworld alliance of global carriers. Delta and Air France-KLM are part of SkyTeam.

Delta will be a “robust” interline partner for WestJet, providing more Canadian gateways than American's schedule offers, said Robert Kokonis, president of airline consulting firm AirTrav Inc. He noted that WestJet likes the flexibility of signing partners from both Oneworld and SkyTeam, instead of siding with a single global airline alliance.

WestJet is looking to gradually broaden its partnerships in Europe and Asia, while seeking to co-operate with foreign carriers in the Middle East and South America.
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Old February 9th, 2011, 04:22 PM   #1040
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WestJet Airlines Q4 profit more than doubles

OTTAWA, Feb 9 (Reuters) - WestJet Airlines Ltd said a rebound in travel demand and new partnerships helped it more than double quarterly profit and position Canada's No. 2 carrier for more profitable growth.

The low-cost carrier, which is aggressively seeking new ways to grow revenue through alliances and expansion, also said it would defer delivery of six Boeing 737 planes as fuel costs rise.

The order for the 737s, extending from 2012 through 2018, remains intact but can now be better matched to the timing of lease returns, the Calgary-based carrier said.

WestJet said it is well equipped to withstand fuel price volatility due to its low-cost structure and fuel-efficient fleet. It said it expects first-quarter fuel prices, excluding hedging, of 82 Canadian cents to 84 Canadian cents per liter.

The airline said it earned C$47.9 million ($48.15 million), or 33 Canadian cents a share, in the fourth quarter, up from C$20.2 million, or 14 Canadian cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 22 percent to C$692.8 million, said WestJet, whose main rival is Air Canada Inc , the country's biggest airline.

Analysts had expected earnings of 17 Canadian cents a share on revenue of C$664.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

WestJet said the key performance measure of revenue per available seat mile, or RASM, rose 7 percent in the quarter.

"We also expect the positive RASM trend to continue into the first quarter of 2011 and estimate that year-over-year improvements will be roughly in line with those reported in the fourth quarter," Chief Executive Gregg Saretsky said in a statement.

Yield, or the average price paid by one passenger to fly one mile, rose 6.7 percent from a year earlier.

The company declared a cash dividend of 5 Canadian cents a share for the first quarter. It announced its first-ever dividend in November.

WestJet shares, which have lost 2 percent in value over the past year, closed at C$13.20 on Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. ($1=.9947 Canadian Dollar)
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