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Everything posted by proview

  1. There is a script with a name like cryptoloot.pro which loads with this page. I presume someone is using this website to mine bitcoin. I have blocked this on the firefox browser using the No-Script add-on.
  2. I am sure the lawyers will post their views shortly, but there was a similar consumer complaint before the Canadian Transportation Agency last year. Swiss Airlines made a booboo resulting in a number of fares going out at about one percent of their intended price. The airline cancelled them as soon as they figured it out, but a large swatch of people had tickets they had snapped up when the news spread on internet blogs and social media. They claimed they had a right to the mistaken fares. The Agency dismissed their claims in an involved judgement. The Agency is only a quasi-judicial body so I suppose the plaintifs could still hire lawyers and take it to a civil court, but I suspect most courts would respect the Agency rulings unless something was really out of whack. Others may see things differently.
  3. Forgive my cynicism, but but when the man says they want to "work with our Canadian airport partners over the summer to determine which Canadian cities best meet the needs of our guests and our operations." I see this as a rather blunt statement that the job is out for bidding.
  4. By a curious coincidence Enerjet has just registered another aircraft, bringing their current fleet to four Boeings. Is one being cynical in suggesting that these items may be related? Seriously, there have been suggestions over the past year or so that Enerjet was wanting to get into this, and had hired investment bankers and whatnot. Perhaps this one and Jetlines and whatever other ones start up may not survive, but it is probably the point in the business cycle when startups will arise. The Canadian airline industry is dominated by a stable duopoly, profits seem good, and there is a supply of relatively modern aircraft and seasoned airline management. All that is needed is investment capital. It is no wonder both Jetlines and this one claim to be following in the footsteps of Ryanair, Spirit, Alegiant, etc. Those are the names the market wants to hear.
  5. There seems to have been some issues with this Air Georgian stuff. I notice that in the past week or so there have been a few emergency decisions of the Canadian Transportation Agency permitting Air Canada to use Regional 1 aircraft and crews for a week or two. I assumed this was related.
  6. I believe the airport has stated publicly that a standard incentive package was offered to Icelandair. Details for these things are always confidential, but the usual offering seems to be a partial remission of some airport fees for a limited period (say two or three years). The airport has also similar arrangements with United for the Newark route, and possibly others as well. There was a substantial incentive package for Air Canada when they restarted the Heathrow flights a number of years ago. Some unkind observers suggest part of the reason for the recent cut in the Heathrow service is because the incentive period has expired and Air Canada wishes to negotiate a new one. Certainly the famous leaked letter was quite explicite that Air Canada was seeking substantial considerations from the Edmonton airport. Presumably shopping the Heathrow slots around to Winnipeg and others is intended to help with negotiations. I think this thing between Air Canada and Edmonton will blow over. These things have happened before and they will happen again. I am more interested in whether the Icelandair initiative provides a template that will be used in other situations; here or elsewhere.
  7. Sorry to prolong this thread but there has not been much airline industry banter around here recently. This Icelandair introduction has created quite a buzz here in Edmonton. There may well be a price war on transatlantic fares this summer for anything I know to the contrary, but I do not think this is the significance of this announcement. Although Icelandair is known for low fares on transatlantic travel, all the low promotional fares on the Edmonton service have already disappeared, and even the moderately reasonable fares for this extra weekly flight are now hard to find. The significance of this adventure, in my opinion, is the remarkable success of this new product launch. This is the third expansion of the service, and they have not started flying yet! I don't know why everthing came together so well. Some parts were good work and others good fortune. The product launch itself was pretty standard, with a press conference and a few press releases. The local market was receptive and there good buzz on the various internet places. The news media was receptive, but that doesn't explain why everybody started buying tickets. Then the route was expanded to year round and the start up moved forward three weeks. Each change increased the buzz. I don't think this was a deliberate attempt at hype. They seem to really have sold out most of the seats through summer. There has recently been a modest advertising and promotion campaign, but not really Hollywood slick. It must be said that Air Canada was most obliging by linking the Icelandair launch to their suspension of the Heathrow service this winter. This booted the issue up from an airline thing to a public issue. All of a sudden there was dramma and human interest. There were white hats and black hats; the forces of righteousness lined up against the forces of evil; David against Goliath. Everybody was talking about it. Everbody seems to have aither booked a seat or knows someone who did. The weird thing is, I don't think Air Canada will lose much business to this at all. A good part of Icelandair's traffic will be new traffic particular to them, and the rest will only take part of the normal increase in demand. For the industry as a whole any significance is, in my opinion, due to the fact that we have a very public demonstration that an airline with no local brand recognition has put a new transatlantic service in and sold all or almost all of the first season's seats before the first fight has taken off. It is sort of like watching an oil prospector in the next field hammering a stake into the ground and watching oil gush out. Word gets around and you never know who else will try their luck. Icelandair themselves, of course, will adapt their future plans somehow because of this, as presumably may other airlines thinking about the transatlantic business. Perhaps some form of the Icelandic model may surface elsewhere. Newer types of aircraft and liberallized air travel agreements may make things possible. A transatlantic service with one connection using smaller narrow body aircraft will be hard to beat cost-wise, if a way can be found to make it work. Sorry to be prolix.
  8. I must disagree with the statement that these are the best results in 77 years. Air Canada is reporting net income for the year 2013 of 10 million dollars. For an operation this size this means they barely broke even. These best ever claims are for non standard measures such as "adjusted net income" and "EDITDAR". I give Air Canada full marks for doing much better financially than they usually do, and their financial position going forward is vastly superior to that in their recent past. However, essentially all major airlines in North America are carting profits off to the bank while this one is barely breaking even. I suspect the market is merely passing judgement on this. Or so it seems to me.
  9. There is a considerable bruhaha in progress about a very similar issue. The IATA (Iinternational Air Transport Association) has been pushing something called NDC (New Distribution Capability) which is an XML (eXtended Markup Language) data communications standard for communications between airlines and travel agents. The original intent perhaps was to make it easier for airlines to market all these extra add-on things they sell through travel agents. However, the GDSs (Global Distribution Sysytems) like SABRE see this as a way for the airlines to bypass the GDSs. There has been much animousity; SABRE and American Airlines have just emerged from a nasty long running legal battle which is said to have cost SABRE a couple of hundred million. The travel agents generally side with the GDSs since they prefer to deal with one GDS rather than with each airline individually. Someone closer to Westjet than am I can fill us in on how they line up on this matter, but the issue is a global one. One thing to remember is that distribution costs are a significant cost of running an airline. There will be new airline competitors over the next ten years. Ryanair got to where they are with just their inhouse web site.
  10. The senior officers of Air Canada regularly make presentations at these business and investor gatherings. I cannot remember any time when they actually made new announcements there. Announcements are usually timed to coincide with other things like earnings announcements and whatnot. However, since the question of the narrow-body order has come up, I note that perhaps a slip-up occurred in the presentation this summer at the 2013 Invester Day in Toronto. On one of the slides exhorting how wonderful Air Canada's future is one sees the phrase : "One family of new technology/low unit cost narrowbody equipment". Most listeners would have trouble not getting the impression that this means the future will be all b737MAX or all a320neo. No split orders or new current generation aeroplanes. It was a mistake to have said this. Mr. R. has already distanced himself from this; saying all options are open, but the damage has been done. If the statement is not true then the Company's credibility with the investment community will take a hit. If it is true then they have much less leverage when negotiating with Boeing and Airbus. Some internet chat suggests that IAG/Vueling got some of their new order at prices as low as 30 million per airplane. But they were carefull to dangle all the options throughout the competition. I expect the presentation next week to be totally boring. A new fleet announcement will occur in due time. This wee slip up will cost them a bit though.
  11. I would use the Air Canada Vacations site. Although we all talk of 'rouge' as though it is a regular airline on we can book passage like any other, it is in many ways more the captive charter carrier of Air Canada Vacations, much like Air Transat is the captive carrier of the Transat/Nolitours/TMR group. In particular, the printable ACV schedule notes which flights are rouge and which are regular Air Canada. How things will be tomorrow I do not know. There are still many unanswered questions about this new adventure.
  12. There is some moderate technical interest here about the way the tickets are sold, but the bigger news is the part about Enerjet and some New York finance types allegedly trying to raise 80 million in new capital. As we all know, investors are loathe to put money into airlines. However, every now and again there is a period when the market is more receptive to the airline industry. I seem to recall a period a few years ago when Air Canada, Westjet, and Transat AT all took advantage of such an opportunity to sell a bit more stock. All eyes will be on this deal to see if they can attract any where near 80 million by the end of the year. If they are successful, I suspect a lot of other airlines will rush in as well.
  13. I am not sure I see the competitive angle concerning Westjet here. All of these routes, except perhaps Calgary - Grande Prairie, are already served by Westjet with Boeing aircraft. These have operated for some time and Westjet does not have a history of carrying unprofitable routes. One has to conclude Westjet operates these with good load factors and profitable yields. Also, as the dominant carrier, Westjet pretty much sets fares. It would take a really good argument to convince them to replace the Boeings with an aircraft with a higher unit cost just to match a smaller competitor. If Westjet were to replace jets with props on Western Canadian routes, this would merely create room underneath for the next competitor. There will be new airlines. It has now been proven that these routes can support service with large aircraft. Air Canada is merely lowering their unit costs as best they can. They still have a certain amount of locked-in connecting business and the Aeroplan fanatics. Western Canada is no longer a competitive marketplace for them. Or so it seems to me.
  14. It has always seemed to me that Air Canada Vacations has never spent much energy on the Western Canada market, so I take it these cancellations are merely the continuation of a policy to cut services whenever an aircraft is needed for some more important task. I note a milestone sneaking quietly past. The Edmonton - Cancun service was the last "Sun" flight operated from Edmonton by Air Canada. I live in Edmonton and I remember in the old days how a route cancellation by Air Canada would raise howls of protest. This one was merely mentioned quietly in a few on-line forums without any emotion. I suspect that although Edmontonians like their southern vacations as much as anyone, there are so many other options that Air Canada's fourteen flights each winter will not be missed. With respect to the question raised by the original poster about whether or not the new Air Canada "LCC" might target these sorts of situations, I suspect not. Although some original announcements mentioned using the new LCC to re-enter markets where the current costs are too high, the most recent announcement has moved back from this. It seems the new "company" will merely take over some existing Air Canada Vacations services. Perhaps if they ever get up to fifty aircraft there will be something new, but that will be a long time from now, if ever. The "Leisure" market continues to expand, so I can understand why Air Canada wants to find a way to catch part of it, but I don't know how successful this new venture will be. There will be new tour companies formed in Canada, and new airlines to service them. Perhaps there will be newcomers active before the new "LCC" finds its feet. As for the Edmonton leisure market, I am afraid that it is pretty much lost to Air Canada now. This coming year I count between 900 and 1000 flights to non USA Sun destinations from here from four tour companies using four airlines. The future of Air Canada's leisure division lies with the Toronto market. Or so it seems to me.
  15. I have not tried to analize this in detail, but I suspect this is merely housekeeping to try and lessen the chance of some unpleasantness down the road such as Telus has recently experienced. From what I gather, that case involved an American private equity company or something similar, who took the company to court to try and make some money on the difference in share price between two classes of shares. In Canada, different share classes are often used to get around foreign ownership regulations. This Telus case illustrates an unforseen downside. I suspect this Westjet case is just an attempt to make similar court challenges unlikely down the line. I too would welcome a more specific explanation.
  16. I would not be so rough with Mr. Doerksen about this. He is merely referring to the previously announced purpose of this Air Canada 'Low Cost Carrier' to compete with the charter carriers like Transat and Sunwing in the Mexican and Caribbean vacation business. The most used aircraft there are low time B737-800s with 189 seats. Flying wingtip to wingtip against these with high time A319 aircraft with fewer seats does cause one to wonder. Perhaps the eventual Air Canada business model will be different from what we have been led to believe.
  17. I base my comment on the annual reports of the major integrated companies, especially of Imperial Oil, which breaks out their figures well (and of whose stock I hold a few shares still!). This past year was remarkably profitable for Imperial, both upstream and downstream, but downstream profit is still barely 25 percent of their total. The previous two years downstream contributed less than 20 percent of profit. Imperial refineries buy most of their oil from other suppliers. Suncor is the only other major Canadian refiner whose figures are easily available. They are a bit smaller, and their downstream has varied more recently, but last year downstream was about 40 percent of total profits. Of course, they differ from Imperial is some important ways. These last few years have been good for integrated oil companies, but upstream continues to be where most of the profit is.
  18. These stories spring up every now and again. Yes Richard Branson was mentioned a while back. The problem is that oil refineries are not very profitable. All the money in oil is at the upstream end. Refining and distribution has usually been a break even business for quite a few years now. This refinery would not be on the market right now if it was wildly profitable. I expect this story to fade to oblivion.
  19. I suppose there is room for different points of view here. I must confess that when I read this announcement the first thing that popped into my mind was the old John Cleese TV skit about the bored airline pilots who, in order to create excitement, announced to the passengers that "there is no cause for alarm!" In this country the airline community, and pilots in particular, are not famous for endearing themselves to the public. I am not sure whether this helps of hurts their cause.
  20. I presume we are speaking about the weather. I have noticed all the newspapers and television newscasts are going on and on about the alleged hot weather currently being inflicted on Canada. Since I had not noticed this personally, I checked up the historical weather on the Environment Canada website. I live in Edmonton. This year has been, by the numbers, another cool year so far. The mean temperature for June was exactly in the middle of the last ten years; five were warmer, five cooler. July is not finished yet so I just checked the number of days with maximum temperatures of 25C or greater. So far we have had five in July. Only three of the last ten years have had Julys with fewer 25C at this point. What is more, we seem not to have experienced a day so far this year with a maximum even so high as 27C. I don't know if we have ever gone this far into the year without a 27C day. Certainly not for twenty years. I guess it all depends on where one looks at it from. Perhaps I should trust our media weather reports more, rather than being so insolent as to look out the window.
  21. Although I respect all these opinions, the business case is that no airline wants to be associated in the public mind with things that go really fast and smash into hard things at high speed.
  22. When travelling to Cuba it is best to assume one will be out of contact with the world for the duration of one's trip. As Canadians we are accustomed to go to Cuba for vacations. There are many flights and charter vacation packages, as there are to other places such as Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Unfortunately, our American friends have an unpleasant relationship with Cuba and do not allow any connections with that island. Hence there are no undersea communications cables. All communications between Cuba and the outside world must go through a couple of satellite chanels. Since the satellite companies all have some degree of U.S. ownership, expansion of these services must have the approval of the U.S. Commerce Derpartment, which has not been forthcoming. Internet service from resorts in Cuba is very slow, usually similar to dial-up speeds. Most vacation forums report that it can take twenty or thirty minutes to send a simple text e-mail. Usually it is just not worth the bother. There is a project afoot to lay a cable from Venezuela to Cuba and Jamaica. The current plan is to have this in operation by the middle of 2011. However, this has already been delayed several times so do not count on this. Have a good vacation! Leave the laptop at home. The beaches are great!
  23. This is all very interesting, but there are still some more things that can drop before the winter season. The original Direct Save announcement in November had five b737 aircraft operating from Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton. With only three aircraft (from Enerjet) there will surely be some tight scheduling if this plan is to be maintained. Since Enerjet is western based they may get a cheaper rate by just covering the western cities and picking up someone else for Toronto. On the other hand they may just start an all Toronto service at first, although the market must be already saturated there. There is a similar dilemma for Sunquest (Thomas Cook) with the Jazz contract. Sunquest flies from Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and Halifax in the east, and Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton in the west. Last winter, remember, Sunquest operated no charters on their own from the west, putting their customers on Transat charters. The Sunquest web site has started loading their winter offerings. Until about a day ago, there were only packages (on Jazz) from the four eastern cities starting in November. This led one to suspect there would be something different for the west. However, today I notice packages from Edmonton to Jamaica (on Jazz), so they must be trying to do the whole country on six airplanes. (As far as I can see, the Westjet deal was only for the summer, as all those packages expire at the end of October). One intriguing statement in this news article is that Enerjet thinks they may eventually do charters for more than one tour operator. Perhaps this means they may do the western summer sun charters as they are doing this year for Sunwing. It might make financial sense for Sunwing, Transat, Sunquest, etc. to farm out the dribble of western flights rather than trying to send an aircraft out west for a couple of days a week. The holes left by the demise of Skyservice, Conquest, etc. have not been completely filled. Nature abhors a vacuum, and new operators may yet spring up. There is still an insatiable demand by Canadians to travel south for vacation, and there still seems to be lots of 189 seat B737 (or equivalent) aircraft available on goods terms for winter leases.
  24. I notice from some of the travel web sites that Enerjet is flying the Sunwing charters from western Canada this summer. Of course this only works out to two flights a week. Last summer I believe they used Aeromexico.
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