Skyscraper City Forum banner
1 - 20 of 331 Posts

·
Moderator
Joined
·
125,100 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Flight to nowhere: Can the island airport ever be viable?
7 May 2005
The Globe and Mail

To Harvey Silver, Toronto's island airport is a “wonderful treasure.”

“A world-class city like Toronto should make it easy to get to and from the heart of the downtown for business or pleasure,” Mr. Silver said this week as he waited for the ferry to take him to the island, where he was boarding a charter flight.

Mr. Silver, a psychologist and consultant who uses the airport for occasional travel, supports expanding its flight capacity and the number of destinations it serves.

It's an idea that Toronto businessman Robert Deluce was struggling to keep alive this week after the federal government killed plans for an island bridge with a $35-million legal settlement to the Toronto Port Authority.

“It should be the convenience of passengers that determines how airplanes come and go, and not the inconvenience of those who don't want noise,” Mr. Silver said.

But even if Mr. Deluce — who had hoped to launch a new regional airline based on the islands — finds a way to add to the airport's flight roster, he'll have a hard time winning back the frequent-flier set.

The business travellers who make up the majority of the airport's customers are dwindling in number, along with the airport's flight options.

“I've been travelling to Ottawa fairly regularly over the past five years,” said Stuart Hill, a commercial-publication design consultant, “but lately I've been using the island airport less, even though distance-wise, it's more convenient. Pearson offers more choice in flight times.”

Air Canada's Jazz offers the airport's only commercial service on 37-passenger Dash 8s, with a fluctuating schedule of four and five flights a day during the week between Ottawa and Toronto. This July and August, the schedule will be cut to two flights a day, one fewer than last summer. “Our customers are business travellers and the volume just isn't there in the summer,” said Laura Cooke, a spokeswoman for Air Canada.

Even with a reduced schedule, Jazz flights are operating at about 50-per-cent capacity, according to an airport spokesman.

To draw a constant stream of business travellers, the airport needs 10 to 15 flights a day to a destination, said Michael Merrithew, owner of Merit Travel Group, a travel agency that caters to business travellers. “The island airport has to be considered a business-traveller gateway. . . . Nobody has been able to put in the kind of frequency and choice that business travellers can get at Pearson.”

Cheryl Chung, a spokeswoman for Carlson Wagonlit, another agency that serves the business market, agreed, saying her company's bookings for travel from the island airport “have dropped off to almost nothing” as flight schedules were cut back.

Several corporate travel managers confirmed that few of their executives were using the island airport, preferring instead the schedules available at Pearson as well as the larger, more comfortable aircraft.

The current number of landings and takeoffs at the island is 120,000 annually, down from a high of 240,000 in 1962.

When Air Ontario flew from the island, the airport offered service to Montreal, London and Newark, as well as Ottawa.

In 1991, Air Ontario started cutting back service and destinations, says Bill Yule, manager of Toronto City Centre Airport, the official name of the island facility. “Air Canada, which owned them, wasn't happy about bleeding the traffic off down here while they had all that expensive real estate up at Pearson. First, they dropped Newark and three years ago they dropped Montreal and London. Now, they're nibbling away at Ottawa.”

Mr. Yule, who has managed the airport for close to 25 years, said airport officials have been trying to persuade Jazz to increase the airline schedules and expand routes to other regional cities such as New York, Montreal and Washington, “but it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.”

Attempts to attract other carriers to the island airport over the years have always failed because they didn't like the ferry, he said.

Mr. Deluce's plans for a new airline, for instance, hinged on the construction of a bridge.

“Now,” Mr. Yule says, “unless something is done to improve the service to the airport, maybe in the form of a newer, larger ferry and new passenger facilities on both sides of the channel, we're back to the same problem.”
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
125,100 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Looks like Porter has made it viable, and even AC is returning :
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)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,349 Posts
Porter is going to have competition. Toronto Star article:

Air Canada to Fly Out of Toronto Island

Dana Flavelle
Staff Reporter


The country’s largest airline will resume flying out of the Toronto Island airport on May 1 creating competition for Porter Airlines for the first time in nearly five years.

Air Canada said Friday it planned to start service with up to 15 daily non-stop return flights between downtown Toronto and Montréal’s Trudeau International Airport, one of the busiest and most competitive routes in the country.

Tickets will go on sale Monday, March 7, Air Canada said.

Air Canada made the announcement Friday after reaching agreements with Porter Aviation Holdings Inc., which owns the terminal building, and The Toronto Port Authority, which operates the airport.

Air Canada last provided service out of the island airport in February 2006.

Porter Aviation, which owns Porter Airlines, began offering service at the island airport on October that year...

Read More: http://www.thestar.com/business/com...9105--air-canada-to-fly-out-of-toronto-island
 

·
~ Mysterious Entity ~
Joined
·
4,865 Posts
In order for Porter to give up the lucrative island monopoly, AC sure must be offering something really good!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,365 Posts
Porter just increased their service in Thunder Bay to 5 daily flights on weekdays, 4 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday. Almost all of their flights between here and Toronto sell out.
 

·
All Urban
Joined
·
4,348 Posts
In order for Porter to give up the lucrative island monopoly, AC sure must be offering something really good!
Porter owns the terminal and Air Canada has to pay rent. I bet they are happy to be there anyways, landing fees & security fees must be a lot lower than Pearson.

Cheers, m
 

·
Registered User
Joined
·
2,714 Posts
Porter owns the terminal and Air Canada has to pay rent. I bet they are happy to be there anyways, landing fees & security fees must be a lot lower than Pearson.
Porter is an airline. It does not own, control, or have exclusive rights to the terminal.

Robert Deluce, who owns porter, also has ownership of the terminal through another firm. That second firm is also beholden to investors in the same way porter is expected to turn a profit for investors.

They are two separate entities. What is good for one may not be good for the other.

In this case, the company that owns the terminal (NOT PORTER) thought it would be a good idea to have more than one tenant and has made that possible.
 

·
All Urban
Joined
·
4,348 Posts
Porter is an airline. It does not own, control, or have exclusive rights to the terminal.

Robert Deluce, who owns porter, also has ownership of the terminal through another firm. That second firm is also beholden to investors in the same way porter is expected to turn a profit for investors.

They are two separate entities. What is good for one may not be good for the other.

In this case, the company that owns the terminal (NOT PORTER) thought it would be a good idea to have more than one tenant and has made that possible.
sigh...ok...let me rephrase. The owner of Porter also owns the company that owns the terminal.

Satisfied? the rest still applies if you replace the words "Porter" with "the company owned by the owner of Porter" - they would still get rent from Air Canada & Air Canada would probably be happier with the lower landing fees than at Pearson etc.etc.

Cheers, m
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,349 Posts
Toronto Star article:

Porter 'Pleased' with Competition on Island Airport

Cynthia Vukets
Business Reporter
Published On Fri Mar 11 2011

....Porter's load factor for February was 50.6 per cent, up from 46.5 per cent in February 2010, and it recently launched a television advertising campaign. Information released during last June's IPO indicated a 50 per cent load factor would be the airline's break-even point, explained Lazar.

Air Canada begins service out of Billy Bishop May 1, with 15 daily non-stop return flights between downtown Toronto and Montreal's Trudeau International Airport. Porter currently runs 20 return flights per day between Toronto and Montreal.

The lowest Porter fare to Montreal is currently $149 one way, which becomes $455.90 for a round trip when fees and taxes are included. The cheapest Air Canada tickets, which went on sale March 7, come to $444.60 for the same route.

Air Canada flew out of the island airport until February 2006, when City Centre Aviation Ltd., owned by Deluce's holding company, terminated Jazz's month-to-month island lease. Porter began flying out of Toronto Island in October 2006.

Air Canada isn't the only airline coming to the island. U.S. carrier Continental Airlines was granted 16 slots out of Billy Bishop. It hasn't specified when it will begin flying from there, said Suzanna Birchwood of the Toronto Port Authority....

Read More: http://www.thestar.com/business/com...eased-with-competition-on-island-airport?bn=1

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
797 Posts
$455 for round trip between Toronto and Montreal? o_O I'd pay only slightly more to fly from from Vancouver to Toronto round trip.
 

·
All Urban
Joined
·
4,348 Posts
$455 for round trip between Toronto and Montreal? o_O I'd pay only slightly more to fly from from Vancouver to Toronto round trip.
does give one quite a shock after seeing the $89 (wit 20 or 30% discount) one way fares but that is the way of the industry.

Cheers, m
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,365 Posts
According to advertisements here it is cheaper to go from Thunder Bay to Ottawa or Montreal via Toronto than just to Toronto. :crazy: Apparently it costs 40 dollars more to get off the plane at City Centre than to stay on it until Montreal.
 

·
All Urban
Joined
·
4,348 Posts
According to advertisements here it is cheaper to go from Thunder Bay to Ottawa or Montreal via Toronto than just to Toronto. :crazy: Apparently it costs 40 dollars more to get off the plane at City Centre than to stay on it until Montreal.
Airfares are weird.

When I returned to Canada last year I booked tickets from Kuala Lumpur to Toronto via London.

I asked the travel agent how much it would cost to travel from Singapore instead (I was staying with my wife's family about 2 hours from K.L. and 3 hours from the border with Singapore) and she said it would cost MYR700 more (per ticket) for a Singapore-London-Toronto flight than a Kuala Lumpur-Singapore-London-Toronto flight. :lol:

And the funny thing is, a KL-Singapore flight* by itself costs around MYR700!

So in effect Singapore Airlines / British Airways gave the actual tickets for a 400 km flight away for free (MYR 1400 value) and then gave up an additional MYR 700* in lost revenue :nuts:

Cheers, m

*The KL-Singapore shuttle flight is operated jointly by Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines and they split the revenue - so if 2 of us flew on the shuttle (at MYR700 each) Singapore Airlines would collect MYR700.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,349 Posts
National Post article:

United Pulls Out of Toronto Island

Scott Deveau, Financial Post · Apr. 12, 2011 | Last Updated: Apr. 13, 2011 10:19 AM ET

The newly merged United Continental Holdings Inc. has abandoned its plans to launch a new service from Toronto Island, putting into play the 16 landing slots it was granted there.

“We have decided to not to continue with this plan,” Rahsaan Johnson, a spokesman for the airline, told the Financial Post in an interview. “The long and short of it is, with fuel prices where they are, we just don’t think we’ll reach our financial performance expectations.”

The U.S. carrier may consider service from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport sometime in the future, but in the meantime, would be forfeiting its current landing slots, Mr. Johnson said.

“We’ll reassess in the future when economic conditions look more favourable,” he said. “But we’ve elected not to launch that service.”

Continental Airlines was granted 16 landing slots at Billy Bishop last year in an auction that also granted 44 additional slots to incumbent carrier, Porter Airlines Inc., and 30 slots to Air Canada. Continental has since merged with United Airlines under the latter’s name.

Air Canada intends to launch its own service from the Island on May 1, under its new Air Canada Express brand, offering 15 daily flights between Billy Bishop and Montreal....



....Any airline wishing to offer service from the airport, however, will still be subject to an exclusivity agreement between the port authority and the City Centre Terminal Corp., which is also owned by Porter Airlines chief executive, Robert Deluce. Under the terms of the five-year deal, carriers wanting to offer service from Toronto Island must rent terminal space from CCTC....


Read More: http://www.nationalpost.com/United+pulls+Toronto+Island/4603682/story.html
 

·
All Urban
Joined
·
4,348 Posts
National Post article:

United Pulls Out of Toronto Island

Scott Deveau, Financial Post · Apr. 12, 2011 | Last Updated: Apr. 13, 2011 10:19 AM ET

....Any airline wishing to offer service from the airport, however, will still be subject to an exclusivity agreement between the port authority and the City Centre Terminal Corp., which is also owned by Porter Airlines chief executive, Robert Deluce. Under the terms of the five-year deal, carriers wanting to offer service from Toronto Island must rent terminal space from CCTC....


Read More: http://www.nationalpost.com/United+pulls+Toronto+Island/4603682/story.html
I doubt that our only other major airline (Westjet) would be interested in setting up a completely new business - I can see another Air Canada subsidiary being set up to offer "low cost" airline service from smaller airports tho.

But this would be interesting: Golf Air (not Gulf Air) - an airline that takes golfers from Toronto to golf destinations throughout Ontario & Eastern Canada and the US Atlantic coast states throughout the year.

Here's another thought - if Porter can fly Toronto to Myrtle Beach, could they fly, say, to Bermuda?

Cheers, m
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,349 Posts
Air Canada's Express service began today on five Bombardier Q400 turboprop planes, the same aircraft that Porter uses. Toronto Star article:

Air Canada Resumes Island Airport Service Sunday

What a difference five years makes.

Air Canada resumes flying out of the Toronto island airport on Sunday, although it’s now known as Billy Bishop airport, and the airline’s competition is Porter Airlines, the upstart with a raccoon as a mascot.

A new ferry is now running between the airport and the mainland for the 90-second ride. The terminal has gone up-market, with an executive-style lounge complete with iMac computers and free cappuccino available to all passengers.

After years of legal battles, Air Canada will be offering 15 round-trip flights to Montreal, a busy and popular route, hoping to draw business travellers who want to fly in and out of downtown Toronto.

Takeoff and landing slots are tightly controlled for flights out of the island airport, and in the latest round, Air Canada received just 30 slots. Because of that, the airline is focusing on hourly schedules between Toronto and Montreal every day to compete with Porter, which has 156 slots, and flies to many more cities from the airport.

“We’re on record that we’d like to fly to other destinations outside of Montreal,” said Ben Smith, Air Canada’s executive vice-president and chief commercial officer in an interview. “I would think over time, depending whether we get access to more slots, or start new destinations, we may tweak that.”

Continental Airlines, which has merged with United Airlines, was awarded 16 slots last year, but earlier this month the airline backed out of its plan for flights to Newark, N.J., citing rising costs....



....Air Canada, whose Jazz operations were evicted from the airport in 2006 by the terminal company controlled by Robert Deluce, who started Porter in late 2006, believes this new service will be a success....


....Starting Monday, WestJet Airlines has added more flights from Toronto’s Pearson airport to Montreal and Ottawa, as well as an offer of free wine or beer on board. Plus it’s promising that if a flight on those routes is more than 30 minutes late, customers will get a 50 per cent discount on the next trip.

Read More: http://www.thestar.com/travel/north...-canada-resumes-island-airport-service-sunday
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,349 Posts
Montreal Gazette article:

Air Canada Dumps All That's Jazz
Rebrands regional fleet of 130 planes under 'express' logo

By SCOTT DEVEAU, Postmedia News April 28, 2011

Air Canada is set to rebrand its entire regional fleet under a new moniker, "Air Canada express," putting an end to its Jazz brand and opening the door to additional regional partnerships.

The move comes just days before Air Canada is set to launch its new service from Toronto Island on Sunday using a small fleet of Bombardier Q400s operated by Sky Regional Airlines Inc.

The rationale for creating the new brand is to harmonize the flying provided by both Sky Regional and Air Canada's traditional regional partners - mainly Chorus Aviation Inc. through its subsidiary Jazz Aviation LP - a source familiar with the plan said.

The source said the aim would be to eventually fold any new regional partners under the same "express" umbrella.

The rebranding is part of a broader move at the airline to give consumers a clear expectation of the different services they will be receiving, both in terms of crew and plane size.

It differentiates the main line from the regional service and the yet-to-be named lowcost carrier that Air Canada hopes to launch within the next year as a subsidiary company.

The Toronto Island service will be the first to feature the Air Canada express logo in its marketing and on its planes.

The more than 120 planes Chorus operates on behalf of Air Canada will also be fitted with the new logo once they come in for painting as part of their regular maintenance.

Smaller regional affiliates, like Air Georgian and EVAS Air, will get the new name and look, too.

The facelift will have more planes carrying the "express" logo, about 130 in all, than competitor WestJet Airlines Ltd. has in its entire fleet.

The rebranding will effectively put an end to the Jazz brand after a decade at Air Canada....


Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Canada+dumps+that+Jazz/4687090/story.html#ixzz1LLoWV5ht
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,349 Posts
. :doh: Toronto Star article:

Air Canada Plane Gets Stuck in Island Airport Mud

Wendy Gillis
Staff Reporter
Published On Wed May 4 2011

An Air Canada plane bound for Montreal got stuck at Billy Bishop airport last night when one of its wheels sank in muddy grass beside the runway as the pilot made a wide turn.

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said “an unfortunate combination of circumstances” led to the Tuesday night incident, which, grounded the plane and its 16 passengers just three days after the airline resumed flights out of the island airport.

Fitzpatrick said the Bombardier Q400 was on its way to the runway when its right rear wheel rolled off the cement and onto the grass, where it promptly sank.

“If it hadn’t been raining so much I’m sure it would have just gone over the grass,” said Fitzpatrick. “It would have just rolled back onto the cement.”

To get to the runway the plane was to use, the pilot had to make a sharp turn. “This pilot was experienced, but he kinda went a little wide, I guess, on making the turn,” Fitzpatrick said.

No one was hurt and passengers were put on the next flight. However, the plane remained stuck into the night before it could be pulled back onto the paved surface. It was back in service May 4....

Read More: http://www.thestar.com/news/article/985427--air-canada-plane-gets-stuck-in-island-airport-mud?bn=1
 
1 - 20 of 331 Posts
Top