Higher demand predicted for Bombardier Global 7500 business jet after certification

ALLISON LAMPERT | MONTREAL | REUTERS | SEPTEMBER 20, 2018

BBD_Logo_Bk_largeCanadian aircraft leasing company Global Vista, one of the largest customers for Bombardier’s long-range Global 7500 business jet, said on Thursday it expects greater demand for the plane after Canadian and U.S. regulators certify the aircraft.

Bombardier expects Canadian certification this month, a necessity if the Montreal-based plane-and-train maker is to begin delivering its flagship business jet to clients, Reuters reported this week citing sources. Regulator Transport Canada has the final say on timing.

“My personal belief is that after the aircraft is certified there will be pent-up demand because people want to see a certified aircraft,” Vista Global Chairman Thomas Flohr said in a phone interview.

The Global 7500, which is sold out until 2021, is expected to enter service this year and is crucial to Bombardier’s turnaround efforts after it sold a majority stake in its CSeries commercial jetliner program to Europe’s Airbus.

Bombardier has not disclosed the number of orders it has received for the Global 7500, which will challenge U.S rival Gulfstream Aerospace’s dominance of the top end of the market for long-range corporate planes.

The aircraft has a range of 7,700 nautical miles and carries up to 19 passengers and crew.

Flohr said Vista Global, a business aviation group that operates separate divisions aimed at services like leasing and chartering aircraft on a pay-for-hours structure, said he expects to begin taking deliveries from Bombardier in September 2019.

Flohr said he would make delivery slots for the 7500 available to customers through Vista Global’s leasing arm in 2020.

His remarks came after privately held Vista Global on Thursday agreed to buy California-based charter XOJET, which offers on-demand access to its 43 corporate planes through membership programs.

Vista Global expects further consolidation in the fragmented corporate charter market, as part of an industry trend that would help reduce costs and create more uniform standards for private jets.

Flohr would not disclose the deal’s value, or Vista Global’s revenues.

While a hefty supply of used aircraft has prompted planemakers to cut production of new corporate jets in recent years, some forecasters expect sales to pick up between 2019-2027, in line with global GDP growth. Buyers include individuals and corporations, but also owners of fleets who sell either on-demand programs, or equity in a plane through fractional ownership.

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Passenger satisfaction has improved in two years at Canada’s three largest airports

THE CANADIAN PRESS September 19, 2018

TORONTO — A J.D. Power survey says passenger satisfaction has improved in two years at Canada’s three largest airports.

Vancouver International’s score rose five points to 781 on a 1,000-point scale that measured satisfaction with check-in; food, beverage and retail; accessibility; terminal facilities and baggage claim.

Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport scored 774, up from 760 in 2016.

Toronto’s Pearson International Airport received 761 points, up from 745 two years ago. Calgary’s score was unchanged at 756.

Overall airport satisfaction at North America’s 64 largest airports reached a record high of 761 points, 12 points higher than in 2017 and 30 points above 2016 when Canadian airports were last measured.

Increased scores are primarily driven by higher satisfaction with food, beverage, retail and security checks.

Competition tribunal to hear case on airline food starting in October

THE CANADIAN PRESS Updated: September 18, 2018 – VANCOUVER — The federal Competition Tribunal has set a date for hearings between the Vancouver Airport Authority and Canada’s competition watchdog, which has accused the airport operator of stifling competition among in-flight catering companies.

In a case launched in 2016, the competition commissioner argued the airport authority had exploited its market position by denying new airplane catering suppliers access to the airport, resulting in higher prices and worse service.

The commissioner has asked the Competition Tribunal for an order requiring the Vancouver Airport Authority to open Vancouver International Airport to greater competition.

The airport authority has told the quasi-judicial body it aims to foster competition but also has limited influence on the airline food market.

“In addition, to the best of the authority’s knowledge, the demand for catering and related services at the airport is not sufficient to support additional entry at this time,” it said in court documents.

The airport had two full-service caterers in 2016.

Airlines generally select their catering providers, but the Vancouver Airport Authority determines which companies can access the “airside,” the area past the security perimeter where suppliers must enter to provide services. For an in-flight caterer, no airside access can effectively bar airport operations.

In court filings, the commissioner said the airport authority “completely controls the market” for galley handling and “stand1/8s3/8 as a wall between” passenger airlines and “new-entrant firms.”

In-flight catering involves preparing on-board meals, and galley handling comprises loading, unloading, storing and transporting catering products.

“The Vancouver Airport Authority has abused its dominant market position by excluding and denying the benefits of competition to the in-flight catering marketplace at Vancouver International Airport,” then-competition commissioner John Pecman said in his September 2016 application.

“It has no legitimate explanation to justify the substantial prevention or lessening of competition that has resulted in higher prices, dampened innovation and lower service quality,” he said.

The hearings are slated to run for 17 days between Oct. 2 and Nov. 15.

Jetlines Partners with Radixx, a World-Class Reservation System

Jetlines_LogoPNGSeptember 18, 2018 – Canada Jetlines Ltd. (TSX-V: JET) (the “Company” or “Jetlines”) is pleased to announce that the Company has signed a definitive agreement with Radixx International, Inc. (“Radixx”), a world-class technology company as its Reservation System provider.

Radixx newest reservation system Radixx Res, includes a booking engine that allows the Airline to manage all passenger bookings, and a customized website and mobile application that will allow customers to make their bookings paying only for the services they want to receive.

The Radixx platform uses innovative and cost-effective solutions that strongly align with the ultra-low cost business model. In addition, its flexibility, ability to scale, and ability to offer unique merchandizing tools made Radixx a clear partner of choice for Jetlines. These features will allow Jetlines to operate at maximum efficiency in order to minimize costs throughout all points of the customer journey, giving the Company a competitive cost structure to attract and retain future customers.

“We are very excited to announce this strategic partnership with Radixx. This is a very important milestone for Jetlines; it is the foundation of our all our commercial systems,” stated CEO, Javier Suarez. “Their new reservation system offers a full suite of services including a new responsive website and mobile application tailored to the needs of our customers, all while allowing Jetlines to maintain the necessary low-cost structure needed to provide our customers with ultra-low airfares.”

John Elieson, Radixx CEO, commented “Radixx is committed to being a valued partner of Jetlines. We’ve been impressed by the accomplished management team and their business plan, and look forward to partnering with them.”

Jetlines also announces that it will grant 500,000 Restricted Share Units (“RSUs”) to certain directors and officers. The RSUs vest over a two-year period from the date of grant, with one half vesting at the end of each year during the two-year period.

Chorus Aviation announces acquisition of aircraft on lease to Azul Airlines

Delivering regional aviation to the world

HALIFAX, Sept. 18, 2018 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR) announced today the acquisition of an ATR72-600 aircraft. The aircraft was purchased with an existing lease attached and further expands Chorus’ relationship with Azul Airlines, one of the leading airlines in South America.

Commenting on the purchase, Chorus Aviation Capital’s President, Steven Ridolfi, stated “This ATR72-600 constitutes the third aircraft on lease to Azul Airlines and, together with other pending transactions that have been recently announced, brings Chorus’ total leased fleet to 70 aircraft. Since its establishment in 2017, Chorus Aviation Capital has expanded its leasing business to include relationships with 11 well-established major regional airlines in 11 countries spanning six continents. Its diversified fleet of quality regional aircraft consists of seven aircraft types from the top three manufacturers – ATR, Bombardier, and Embraer.”

Chorus Aviation Announces Multi-Aircraft Leasing Transaction with Philippine Airlines

Delivering regional aviation to the world

HALIFAX, Sept. 18, 2018 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR) announced today lease agreements with Philippine Airlines (‘PAL’) for three new Bombardier Q400 aircraft.

The new Q400s are scheduled for delivery to Philippine Airlines in the third and fourth quarters of 2018 and will mark Chorus’ first leasing transaction in the fast-growing Southeast Asia region.

Commenting on this latest transaction, Chorus Aviation Capital’s President, Steven Ridolfi, stated “Philippine Airlines is a celebrated airline with a long and renowned history as the flag carrier of the Philippines, and we are very proud to count them amongst our customers.”

For his part, PAL President & Chief Operating Officer Jaime J. Bautista said, “We are very pleased to form this working partnership with Chorus Aviation Capital and we look forward to building business ties with them. By joining their growing portfolio of aircraft lessees, Philippine Airlines will be able to further grow its domestic market. New aircraft help us to build new air links and increase flight frequencies on routes that are vital to national commerce.”

Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Chorus, stated “We are demonstrating our ability to originate our own deals directly with airlines and go after new, high-growth markets. I’m proud of the Chorus team’s professionalism and discipline in evaluating and executing these transactions, and grateful to the many people at Chorus who are helping make our leasing venture a success.”

Transat issues statement on Canadian Press report

AirTransatLogo17 September 2018 MONTREAL — Transat has issued a clarification of a report by The Canadian Press that said the company has pledged to raise prices next summer following a spike in fuel costs.

Published on Sept. 13, the report “mistakenly gave the impression that Transat had voluntarily decided not to increase prices during the summer of 2018 in response to a rise in fuel costs” while its competitors did raise prices for that very reason.

The Canadian Press also reported that Chief Operating Officer Annick Guérard said the company “opted not to join” competitors in raising prices. But according to the transcript of Transat’s Third Quarter 2018 conference call, Guérard, in fact, said: “We haven’t been able to see any increase on pricing for the summer.”

According to an official statement by Transat, the plan to increase pricing next summer should not have been construed as a “vow” or a “pledge”. Rather, the move to raise prices is not only voluntary, but also an adaptation to competitive conditions.

The CP article went onto imply that Transat has kept prices low in a market that “climbed 28% overall in Canada in the first half of 2018.”

This, said Transat, was misleading, as it did not see any significant increase in prices on its routes, and has said as much in its investor-relations communications.

“If prices have indeed increased by 28%, this no doubt reflects price changes in markets in which Transat is not active, and/or in fare classes specific to competitors (ie. First Class, Business Class) and not Transat,” the company wrote.

Moreover, the 28% figure was drawn from a Statistics Canada table of the non-seasonally-adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI). The table is accompanies by a disclaimer, which states: “Users are reminded that the methodology for the air transportation index was updated in March 2018 as part of the regular review of the CPI methodology. Interpretation of the 12-month price change indicator should be made with caution, particularly in the year following the implementation of the new methodology.”

ALS Canada Brings the Eighth Annual Plane Pull to End ALS to Billy Bishop Airport

The October 20, 2018, event is an opportunity for corporate teams to pull a 37,000-lb plane 100 meters and raise funds to support a future without ALS.

TORONTO, Sept. 17, 2018 /CNW/ – Today, ALS Canada is excited to announce that the eighth annual Plane Pull to End ALS will take place at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on Saturday, October 20. Hosted by comedian Justin Landry, this signature fundraising event challenges teams of 10-12 people to work together to pull a 37,000-lb Porter Airlines plane — by hand — 100 meters to raise funds for ALS Canada.

Last year’s winning team pulled the plane in just 44 seconds. This year’s fundraising goal is $90,000 and net proceeds from the event will be invested in community-based support, advocacy and research for a future without ALS.

“The Plane Pull for ALS is an incredibly unique, team-building experience and an opportunity for the corporate community to rally behind a cause that is so in need of support — ALS is a terminal disease of progressive paralysis with no cure, it steals lives within two to five years of diagnosis,” said Tammy Moore, CEO, ALS Canada. “This new partnership with Porter Airlines and PortsToronto will give our highly-motivated teams a first-class experience like no other and at the same time they will be making a difference.”

For the first time ever, the Plane Pull will offer participants a rare opportunity to experience Billy Bishop Airport as they never have before. Starting at 8:00 am Saturday morning, teams will be given their security and safety briefing as they are shuttled across the runway to the event area. Once airside, the 10-person teams will be assembled, rope in hand to pull a Porter Airlines plane as fast as they can. As they return to the terminal, the event will continue until 1:30 pm with awards, prizes, food and music with DJ Docta.

“Every plane pull needs a plane, and we’re able to contribute this, along with the support of our team members,” said Robert Deluce, President and CEO, Porter Airlines. “This is an ideal event for Porter to get involved with at our home airport.”

“We are thrilled to partner with ALS Canada and host the organization’s eighth annual Plane Pull to End ALS at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport,” said Geoffrey Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, PortsToronto. “PortsToronto is looking forward to participating in the Plane Pull and cheering on all the teams who will be pulling together to raise funds to end ALS.”

Media are invited to cover this worthy event and have the chance to be on-site at Billy Bishop Airport. Interviews are also available in advance with spokespeople Tammy Moore, CEO ALS Canada; Dr. David Taylor, VP of Research, ALS Canada; returning team captain Lolo Lam of Equitable Bank, a sponsor of the event; and host Justin Landry.

Limited media opportunities are available on-site to cover/photograph the event.

Registration for the Plane Pull is almost full and only a few spots remain for teams of 10-12 people each. Visit als.ca/planepull to sign up your team and begin fundraising. You can also support an existing team or make a one-time donation. Attendance at this exclusive event is limited only to those who have entered teams.

The Plane Pull to End ALS is sponsored by Equitable Bank, Porter Airlines and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

For more information and updates leading up to the Plane Pull, visit als.ca and find the Plane Pull on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: @ALSCanada using #ALSPlanePull

 

Sky Regional Airlines Welcomes Thunder Airlines to its Sky Path Pilot Gateway Program

TORONTO (September 13, 2018) –Thunder Airlines has joined the Sky Regional Sky Path pilot gateway program, Sky Regional announced today. Pilots who are accepted into the Sky Path program will be eligible to be hired as First Officers on Sky Regional’s fleet of modern Embraer 175 jet aircraft after gaining significant experience flying for Thunder Airlines.

Sky Regional Airlines welcomes Thunder Airlines into the Sky Regional Sky Path Pilot Gateway Program. Pictured (from left): Jim Holm, president, Thunder Airlines; Tim Eckensviller, chief pilot, Thunder Airlines; Satesh Ramdeo, chief pilot, Sky Regional Airlines; Brent Card, vice-president, Flight Operations, Sky Regional Airlines. Sky Regional Photo

Sky Regional operates flights to destinations across Canada and the United States under the Air Canada Express banner.

“The Sky Path program affirms Sky Regional’s commitment to fostering the best aviation talent in Canada, and offers excellent career opportunities with our airline,” said Brent Card, Vice President Flight Operations at Sky Regional. “We are very pleased to welcome Thunder Airlines in providing its capable pilots this opportunity.”

“Sky Regional’s Sky Path program will enable our pilots to realize important career advancement opportunities in commercial aviation,” said Jim Holm, Thunder Airlines President. “Our agreement with Sky Regional ensures that Thunder Airlines pilots have the best chance to succeed.”

Prospective candidates interested in learning more about Sky Regional’s Sky Path pilot gateway program can email skypath@skyregional.com.

Hamilton International Doubling Winter Flights For Coming Season

AIRLINES & AIRPORTS  JIM BYERS  SEPTEMBER 13, 2018

Ontario’s Hamilton International Airport has a full slate of winter flights on the way and twice the winter capacity as last year.

John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport is happy to announce that its winter seat capacity is twice the size of last year, thanks to the return of several popular destinations, as well as the launch of some new routes this winter. Whether passengers want to fly to destinations in Canada, Florida, Las Vegas, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe, Hamilton International wants customers to know ‘we fly there’.

Year-round service continues from Hamilton to Abbotsford, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal and Halifax with partners Air Canada, Swoop or WestJet. In October, Swoop will also introduce service to the popular U.S. destinations of Las Vegas, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa Bay. Returning sun destinations in Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico will be served by Air Transat, Sunwing or Swoop.

At the end of March, Norwegian Airlines will commence non-stop, daily service from Hamilton to Dublin, Ireland. This new route will be the Airport’s first and much-anticipated transatlantic service from Hamilton in 10 years.

Here are some additional details providing more information about the exciting 2018/2019 winter program for each airline flying from Hamilton International Airport:

– Air Canada will introduce a third daily flight from Hamilton to Montreal on October 29. This mid-day flight will offer fantastic options to passengers looking to travel from Hamilton to additional connecting destinations in Canada such as Ottawa, Quebec City and St. John’s through Air Canada’s Montreal hub. In addition, ideal connections are also available to the U.S. destinations of New York, Chicago, Boston; the Europe destinations of London, Paris and Frankfurt; and the destinations of Tokyo and Shanghai in Asia.

– Air Transat will bring back weekly flights to Cuba (Varadero – Saturday and Cayo Coco – Sunday), Dominican Republic (Punta Cana – Sunday and Puerto Plata – Monday) along with twice weekly to Mexico (Cancun – Tuesday, Saturday).

– Norwegian launches daily direct service from Hamilton to Dublin, Ireland beginning March 31, 2019. This new exciting transatlantic service will offer customers more connections throughout Europe via Dublin to destinations such as Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki.

– Sunwing will also offer weekly flights to Cuba (Varadero – Wednesday) and Dominican Republic (Punta Cana – Friday) along with air service to Jamaica (Montego Bay – Thursday).

– Swoop will offer a robust winter schedule for passengers looking to travel across Canada with daily frequencies to Abbotsford, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Halifax as well as popular U.S. destinations in Florida such as twice weekly flights to Fort Lauderdale (Friday, Saturday) as well as three times weekly service to Orlando (Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday) and Tampa Bay (Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday). Swoop will also operate four weekly flights to Las Vegas (Monday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday) from Hamilton. In addition to this list of destinations, today Swoop announced that this December it will begin service to Montego Bay, Jamaica twice weekly (Wednesday, Sunday).

– WestJet will continue to offer daily direct flights from Hamilton to Calgary which will offer travelers great connections to destinations in California, Hawaii and beyond.

Hamilton International remains your low-cost airport option for the busy winter and holiday travel season. Not only does Hamilton International host low-cost airlines, it offers low-cost parking options for as low as $15 a day. Easy access to Hamilton with minimal traffic congestion, and a short walk to the terminal and your gate make this an exciting time to fly from your low-cost airport.