• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Malcolm last won the day on March 22

Malcolm had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

527 Excellent

About Malcolm

Profile Information

  • Gender

Recent Profile Visitors

6,828 profile views
  1. There are several copies of that Video and what I see is the Captain defusing the situation, a male passenger being very aggressive (stuck his nose in) and a woman weeping, what I don't see is any violence directed towards the female. I also see that she has a large backpack on and is holding an infant but what we don't see is the stroller or when it was taken from her. Likely happened as she attemped to board with it and normal procedure would be to tell her she could not bring in onboard and then to gate check it and put it in the hold. Likely we will never know the "complete" details.
  2. Seems he may not be offbase at all regarding foreign policy. The Trump Doctrine: President’s emerging foreign affairs philosophy appears surprisingly traditional ‎Yesterday, ‎April ‎21, ‎2017, ‏‎7:28:56 PM | Tom Blackwell Donald Trump was not going to take it any more from Kim Jong-Un. With dictator Kim’s North Korea poised to carry out another nuclear or missile test earlier this month, the U.S. president responded aggressively. A naval group led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson was being redirected toward the Korean peninsula, he said, a potent flexing of military muscle in the face of a volatile enemy. The only catch, media reports later made clear, was where that carrier force actually went. For days, it in fact steamed in the opposite direction, toward a pre-arranged exercise with the Australian navy. Whether the wandering armada’s geographic ambiguity stemmed from a communications glitch or a deliberate feint to rattle the North Koreans, some saw it as a reflection of the new president’s foreign policy generally. Despite no-nonsense assertions on the campaign trail, his international forays so far have included surprises, flip-flops and contradictions. If at this early stage in the administration there is such thing as a Trump Doctrine, it has been difficult to make out. And yet, some experts — even some who were harshly critical of the president during the campaign — are beginning to glimpse consistent themes, even positive ones, emerging from the noise of Trump’s first months in office. If Trump’s election rhetoric was all about blowing up the foreign-policy orthodoxy — ripping apart free-trade deals, questioning NATO and other alliances, giving up the role of world’s policeman — his presidential actions and personnel appointments, they say, have had a decidedly more conventional flavour. “Since the inauguration it seems there has been something of a mainstreaming of his foreign policy,” said Matthew Kroenig, a professor at Georgetown University and advisor in both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations. “I’m more optimistic than I think many in Washington are … In many ways a number of things Trump has done already, including the Syria (missile) strikes, are an improvement over his predecessor.” Peter Feaver was among a group of Republican foreign-policy experts who issued a scathing open letter during the campaign, predicting Trump “would be the most reckless president in American history.” But today the Duke University political scientist, a special advisor in George W. Bush’s national security council, isn’t so sure the president is, in fact, delivering recklessness. Each foreign-policy decision Trump has made since his inauguration has actually moved him further away from the campaign rhetoric that so worried those experts, he maintains. Trump began with his controversial ban on travel from some Muslim countries — now tied up in court and barely mentioned — but moved on to say he no longer believed NATO was “obsolete,” reassure European and Asian allies and take a more measured stance on trade with China, Feaver noted. Having to confront actual events may be reshaping Trump’s nascent foreign-affairs philosophy. “Every president discovers that campaign rhetoric and campaign promises look differently in the light of day than they did in the middle of the campaign,” Feaver said. “No president gets to impose his or her vision of the world onto reality. You have to deal with reality as it exists.” In many ways a number of things Trump has done already … are an improvement over his predecessor The idea of a president’s foreign policy being guided by a unified theme is generally traced back to the Monroe Doctrine, James Monroe’s 1823 manifesto opposing European colonialism in the Americas. Much later, George W. Bush’s doctrine — forged in the wake of the 9/11 attacks — was seen as giving a green light to preventive wars against countries that might attack the States. The Barack Obama doctrine was less well-defined, though generally described as favouring negotiation and diplomacy over unilateral action and confrontation. As for Trump’s grand strategy, some reports have suggested confusion about it even inside the White House. Just three days before the missile strike against Syria, Mike Dubke, the president’s communications director, told staff that Trump lacked a coherent foreign policy, according to sources cited by Politico. “There is no Trump doctrine,” Politico quoted Dubke as saying. Sean Spicer, the president’s press secretary, quickly tried to correct the record, insisting last week the approach remained “America first,” as touted on the election trail. Details during the campaign were scarce, but as a candidate Trump’s worldview generally seemed to look on immigration with suspicion, to disavow military adventures that had no direct benefits for the United States and to make America’s interests the central consideration. He questioned the value of NATO and other alliances, decried most free trade deals, spoke highly of Putin and generally struck an isolationist and protectionist pose. Related U.S. races to install missile defence shield to protect South Korea as tensions with Pyongyang heat up ‘The sword stands ready’: Aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, Pence warns North Korea not to test U.S. military Trump policy reversals could signal shift toward ‘conventional Republicans,’ former GOP foes say Then he moved into the White House and things became muddier. Most dramatically, he ordered missiles hurled at a Syrian airbase, apparently for humanitarian reasons despite having urged Obama to never do the same. He left open the potential of military action against North Korea. His aides voiced criticism of Russia, even though in the past Trump repeatedly praised its president, Vladimir Putin, and mused about a new Russo-American alliance against Islamic terrorism. And after meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at his Florida golf club he quickly backed off his pledge to label China a currency manipulator. “This administration … is running national defence and foreign policy a little like a pick-up team,” says Ilan Berman, senior fellow with the American Foreign Policy Council, a conservative think tank. “It looks, at least for the moment, ad-hoc. That tends to heighten those fears the anti-Trump crowd have about the impermanence and fickleness of their strategy.” But those who see Trump actually slipping into the role of an establishment foreign-policy president point partly to an old saw in U.S. foreign affairs, that “personnel is policy.” Like some of his actions, Trump’s appointments suggest a slide toward the conventional, they say. Gen. James Mattis as defence secretary, H.R. McMaster as national security advisor, Nikki Haley as UN ambassador, Jon Huntsman as envoy to Moscow — all are figures who would tend to promote a traditional U.S. interface with the world. Among other issues, most have voiced tougher, more skeptical opinions of Russia and its intentions than has the president. Alex Brandon/CP NewsU.S. President Donald Trump meets with Chinese President, Xi Jinping, April 7. One theme that suggests an actual doctrine may be developing is the Trump administration’s more emphatic international posture, at least compared to Barack Obama’s. Kroenig argues Trump’s predecessor was not a strong foreign-policy president, leaving the world in perhaps its most dangerous state since the end of the Cold War. Obama’s non-confrontational attitude toward bellicose North Korea, for instance, amounted to “standing idly by” as it built a nuclear arsenal, Kroenig charged in a recent essay in the magazine Foreign Affairs. There was also wide, bipartisan agreement the U.S. should have taken military action when Assad stepped over Obama’s “red line” and first used chemical weapons against his own people, said Kroenig. As a result, Trump’s boldest move yet — the missile strike that followed Assad’s recent chemical bomb attack on a rebel town — earned him broad approval from both the Republican and Democratic establishments, even if some alt-right supporters saw it as a betrayal of his isolationist promises. Such moves seem “intended as demonstrations of U.S. force, U.S. resolve,” said Berman. How Trump’s thinking will evolve from here, however, remains unclear. If the Syrian strike seemed assertive, Max Boot, a historian at the Council on Foreign Relations and former advisor to Republicans John McCain, Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio, compared it to Bill Clinton’s largely ineffective use of cruise missiles against terrorists in Afghanistan and elsewhere, attacks Bush had caustically dismissed. “When I take action,” said the 43rd president, “I’m not going to fire a $2-million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt.” There were no reports of dromedary casualties this time, but the Syrians were flying missions from the Trump-bombed airbase the following day. And while some of Trump’s advisors discussed their desire to see Assad gone, the president insisted he would not force regime change — leaving it uncertain what, if anything, the States would do to try to end the vicious war Assad has waged in Syria. As for Korea, Vice President Mike Pence made a surprise visit this week to the demilitarized zone between North and South, staring down soldiers from the north and insisting “the era of strategic patience” with the communist regime is over. But, Berman says, “it’s not clear what the opposite of strategic patience is, in terms of what we’re actually willing to do to compel the North Koreans to behave better.” There was some clarity in recent days, however, on the naval front. Its training with the Australians finished, that aircraft carrier group was reported this week to actually be heading toward Kim Jong-Un’s back yard. • Email: | Twitter: TomblackwellNP
  3. Is this type of drive-in in our future?
  4. Is Trump showing his age (amnestic mild cognitive impairment) or just ignorance of the world outside of the US? Yesterday he stated that Korea was once part of China and today he "
  5. but it might just sway the "fence sitters". Anyway, I wonder if the new(if it happens) carrier will adopt the Samoa weight charge model?
  6. That might well be the case but it does appear that the announcement has caused quite a ripple of reaction/concern from present WestJet employees and in particular those who believe that their only protection will be unionizing.
  7. Ontario slaps 15% tax on foreign buyers in plan to cool housing When young people can’t afford their own apartment or can’t even imagine owning their own home ... we have a problem. The Ontario government moved forward Thursday with initiatives to rein in the housing market, with 16 new measures to control real estate including a 15-per-cent tax on foreign buyers and expanded rent control rules. VERONICA HENRI Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa, with Premier Kathleen Wynne, right, announces the Liberals’ plan to help cool housing in Toronto on Thursday, including measures such as expanding rent control. Called Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan, Premier Kathleen Wynne said the plan has been in the works for weeks after months of consultation. “The skyrocketing cost of renting or buying in Ontario and the Greater Golden Horseshoe in particular is the unwanted consequence of a strong economy with a promising future,” said Wynne at a press conference, also blaming speculators for rising housing prices and landlords for gouging renters. “When young people can’t afford their own apartment or can’t even imagine owning their own home, we know we have a problem.” The Toronto Real Estate Board said this month that March prices across the region were up 33 per cent from a year ago, while condo research firm Urbanation Inc. said condominium rents rose 8.3 per cent in the first quarter from a year ago. Effective immediately, the nonresident speculation tax (NRST) that deals with foreign buyers will be 15 per cent on all property purchased in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, home to nine million people. “With the tax, we are targeting people who aren’t looking for a place to raise a family; they are only looking for a quick profit,” said Wynne. The tax will have exemptions, such as for skilled workers in the Ontario worker nominee program and refugees. The new plan will expand rent control to include all buildings in Ontario constructed after 1991, which previously had allowed landlords to demand whatever rent they wanted. Those buildings will be subject to regulated rate increases tied to inflation, currently 1.5 per cent. “We have all heard the stories of rent gouging going on in today’s market. It’s wrong. And it is not at all fair.” To appease landlords and developers, the government said it would align property tax rates for new purpose-built rental apartments and other residential properties. The government will also bring in a rebate program for development charges. There are questions of how well any plan will work, given the strength of the economy and the cheap cost of borrowing. The Bank of Canada this month passed on the opportunity to raise interest rates. “Given that it’s virtually costless to borrow (after inflation), there should still be plenty of oxygen to keep this fire going, hopefully at a more contained rate,” said Doug Porter, chief economist with Bank of Montreal. As part of the measures, the city of Toronto will have the power to impose a tax on vacant homes. Other municipalities will have the same opportunity. “(The measure) will encourage owners to sell or rent their unoccupied units,” said Finance Minister Charles Sousa. Municipalities will also be allowed to provide a higher tax on service land approved for development, something the government thinks will help spur housing development of vacant lots. Ontario will also crack down on assignment clauses, which allow a buyer who hasn’t closed a purchase to pass on the right to buy a property. “There are speculators who enter into agreements to purchase property with no intention of buying them or living in them, crowding out families who want to buy their own home,” said Sousa. He believes those “scalpers” are avoiding tax “and should pay their fair share” so the government will now be demanding full disclosure, if a property has been transferred through an assignment clause.
  9. Not surprising: Enerjet committed to airline venture despite no-frills proposal by WestJet A local company that has been working for years to launch an ultra-low-cost airline in Canada said it remains committed to its plan, in spite of a surprise announcement from WestJet that it will launch its own no-frills carrier by the end of the year. Calgary-based Enerjet, which is pursuing regulatory approvals for a low-priced commercial air service offering routes nationwide, said it has known all along that WestJet would take action to defend its market position against new lowcost entrants. “We were wondering how they were going to do that — now we know,” Enerjet’s chief commercial officer, Darcy Morgan, said in an interview. “The best thing we could have is clarity, because this just makes it easier for us to plan.” Morgan said his company is not scared off by WestJet’s size or the quick time frame in which it has said it will get its low-cost flights in the air. He said Canadians have long been paying too much for flights through Air Canada and WestJet, and are hungering for fresh competition. “How Canadians buy airfares is about the value statement that they perceive on the day that they buy,” Morgan said. “The entity that can produce its widgets at the lowest unit cost is the one that has the strategic advantage ... and that is how we plan to compete.” Canada remains the only G7 nation without a true ultra-low-cost carrier in operation. Winnipegbased discount airfare company New Leaf Travel styles itself as an ultra-low-cost carrier, but the company isn’t actually an airline — it is a ticket reseller that sells unused seats on a charter service’s planes. Around the globe, ultra-low-cost carriers — such as Europe’s Ryanair and Easyjet — offer passengers discounted fares by lowering their own operating costs, often by charging extra for things like food, inflight entertainment, reserved seating, even carry-on bags. Calgary-based WestJet said Thursday that its version of a nofrills carrier will start with an initial fleet of 10 Boeing 737-800s reconfigured to hold more seats and passengers. In an interview, WestJet executive vice-president Bob Cummings declined to say where the new airline will fly or what services passengers might have to pay extra for, though he said customers will be able to expect fares that have been discounted “quite a bit” from the company’s main line carrier. “We’ve looked at the size of the price sensitive traveller market in Canada ... and we’re at the point where we’re making the decision to segment our business to serve that end of the market,” he said. “We believe that we’re well suited to do that with our routes — that we will win and own that end of the market.” Cummings acknowledged the prospect of fresh competition on the low-fare end of the market — from NewLeaf as well as potential new entrants like Enerjet — played into WestJet’s decision to move quickly to establish a no-frills option for travellers. “That’s definitely part of it, the competitive set,” he said. WestJet’s decision to launch an ultra-low-cost carrier changes the landscape at the bottom end of the market, said Chris Murray, an analyst with AltaCorp Capital. “We believe the launch of a flanker brand significantly complicates the plans of other participants seeking to start ULCC’s in Canada and protects WestJet from market erosion in the highly sensitive fare category of travellers,” Murray wrote in a report. Developing an ultra-low-cost carrier makes way more strategic sense for WestJet than a significant expansion of its wide-body fleet, Murray added. WestJet has promised to provide details soon around a plan that could see the carrier make a major investment in larger jets capable of flying longer distances overseas, but Murray said the company is more likely to find success in the discounted domestic space. NewLeaf Travel — which has flown over 235,000 passengers since the launch of its low-cost model in July 2016 — said it is “flattered” by WestJet’s imitation.
  10. Cooper has been found. Dog found in Ontario after it was placed on wrong WestJet flight Cooper the dog was found on April 21, 2017. (CTV News) 544 544 The Canadian Press Published Friday, April 21, 2017 8:45AM EDT Last Updated Friday, April 21, 2017 9:59AM EDT HAMILTON -- An east coast dog that went missing in Ontario for nearly two days after being placed on a wrong flight has been found. A Labradoodle named Cooper was supposed to be flown on a WestJet flight from Halifax to Deer Lake, N.L., on Wednesday to stay with family members while the dog's owners headed to Jamaica for a wedding. An image of missing dog Cooper. (Facebook/ Tanya Simon) But the dog was somehow placed on a flight to Hamilton instead and broke away at the airport when an employee took it outside for a bathroom break. WestJet flew Cooper's owners to Hamilton on Thursday where they began searching with the airline and local lost pet search groups. Hans Ashton says he was out all night with his cousin, Terri Pittman, one of Cooper's owners, when they heard from other searchers who had found the dog in a fenced in area near a trap set up with treats. Ashton says the dog is cold and likely hungry, but seems to be in good spirits and is off to a veterinarian for a check up. WestJet has apologized for the mishap.
  11. Talk about beating a subject to death...... Evidently the various "news" sources are lacking for any "real" news.
  12. Air Canada to Operate Biofuel Flights in Support of Environmental Research on Contrails and Emissions MONTREAL, April 21, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada announced today its participation in the Civil Aviation Alternate Fuel Contrail and Emissions Research project (CAAFCER), a research project led by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to test the environmental benefits of biofuel use on contrails. This project will use advanced sensing equipment mounted on a research aircraft operated by the NRC to measure the impact of biofuel blends on contrail formation by aircraft on five biofuel flights operated by Air Canada between Montreal and Toronto in the coming days weather permitting. During these flights the National Research Council of Canada will trail the Air Canada aircraft with a modified T-33 research jet to sample and test the contrail biofuel emissions. The sustainable biofuel is produced by AltAir Fuels from used cooking oil and supplied by SkyNRG. "We are pleased to support Canada's research on the additional benefits of aviation biofuel. This project is an important step in furthering the industry's understanding of how biofuel reduces aviation's carbon footprint and overall environmental impact," said Teresa Ehman, Director, Environmental Affairs at Air Canada. "Air Canada recognizes its environmental responsibilities and the importance of understanding and integrating environmental considerations into our business decisions." "The National Research Council of Canada is proud to collaborate with our Canadian partners on this important research that will further reveal the viability of biofuels. By contributing our unique T-33 research aircraft specializing in contrail data collection and our expertise in emissions analysis, we hope to provide key information toward biofuel inclusion in all future flights," said Jerzy Komorowski, General Manager of NRC's Aerospace portfolio. "We significantly improve airplane fuel efficiency through constant technology and operational improvements," said Sheila Remes, vice president of strategy at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "But additional efforts are required to achieve aviation's ambitious carbon-reduction targets. Sustainable aviation fuels have the single greatest potential to reach those goals. Boeing is committed to supporting projects like this around the world to advance aviation's knowledge and growing use of biofuel." A reduction in the thickness and coverage of contrails produced by the jet engines of aircraft could reduce aviation's impact on the environment, an important beneficial effect of sustainable biofuel usage in aviation. This project involves six stakeholder organizations, with primary funding from the Green Aviation Research and Development Network (GARDN), a non-profit organization funded by the Business-Led Network of Centres of Excellence of the Government of Canada and the Canadian aerospace industry. The project has further financial support from the NRC and the enabling support of Air Canada ground and flight operations. In addition to Air Canada, other CAAFCER partners include (alphabetical order) Boeing, National Research Council Canada (NRC), SkyNRG, University of Alberta, and Waterfall. Air Canada and the environment To reduce its emissions Air Canada has adopted a four-pillar strategy that includes: the use of new technology, improved operations, infrastructure changes and the use of economic instruments. One example is Air Canada's participation as an airline partner in Canada's Biojet Supply Chain Initiative (CBSCI). It is a three-year collaborative project begun in 2015 with 14 stakeholder organizations to introduce 400,000 litres of sustainable aviation biofuel (biojet) into the shared fuel system at Montreal airport. The CBSCI project is a first in Canada and is aimed at creating a sustainable Canadian supply chain of biojet using renewable feedstocks. In 2012 Air Canada operated two biofuel flights one between Toronto and Mexico City as part of a series of commercial biofuel flights that took the secretary general of ICAO to the United Nations conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio de Janeiro; the second flight transported a number of Olympic athletes and officials on their way to the London 2012 Olympic Games. Air Canada is also investing in new aircraft. In 2016 the airline continued taking delivery of the most modern commercial aircraft now in operation – the Boeing 787 Dreamline. Initial results show these aircraft are delivering approximately 20 percent improvement in efficiency over the aircraft they replaced. Air Canada plans to introduce 37 of these new aircraft in the coming years. In addition, later this year, we will be acquiring up to 79 new Boeing 737 Max aircraft, expected to yield a 14 per cent decrease in fuel use over the most current narrow-body aircraft. In total, our aircraft investments represent a commitment of more than $11 billion at list prices. One of Air Canada's most notable recent accomplishment is a 40 percent improvement in average fuel efficiency between 1990 and 2016. Air Canada is taking further steps to reduce its carbon footprint including: Through the National Airlines Council of Canada, supporting the Canadian government in Canada's Action Plan to Reduce GHG Emissions from Aviation; Endorsing targets set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which include cutting CO2 emissions 50 percent by 2050 relative to 2005 levels; and, Building on its strong record of environmental legislative and regulatory compliance, Air Canada has established an Environmental Management System based on ISO 14001 to address long-term environmental issues and challenges. Following publication in September 2015 of an updated ISO 14001 standard, Air Canada commenced a review of its current EMS and will continue working to bring it into alignment with the new standard. For more information on Air Canada's commitment to the environment please consult:!/ About Air Canada Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 200 airports on six continents. Canada's flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2016 served close to 45 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 64 airports in Canada, 57 in the United States and 91 in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,330 airports in 192 countries. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax. For more information, please visit:, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook. SOURCE Air Canada For further information: Air Canada Contacts: Isabelle Arthur (Montreal),, 514 422-5788; Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto),, 416 263-5576; Angela Mah (Vancouver),, 604 270-5741;; Boeing Contacts: Paul McElroy,, 425 373-7775; Green Aviation Research and Development Network Contacts: Joëlle Monné, 514 398 9625 ext. 235; SkyNRG Contacts: Merel Laroy,, 31 204707020, 31 630833505; Waterfall Group Contacts: Fred Ghatala,, 778.863.9075 RELATED LINKS
  13. Time to update this topic. WestJet Employee Association prepares for pilot certification voteots within two years as the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) has filed their application to certify WestJet pilots. CALGARY, April 20, 2017 /CNW/ - The WestJet Employee Association (WEA) is preparing for the second attempt to unionize WestJet pilots within two years as the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) has filed their application to certify WestJet pilots. "The WestJet Pilots' Association has effectively represented our pilots since 1999," said Brad Armitage, WEA chair. "The WJPA has worked collaboratively with WestJet to provide our pilots with continual advancements on compensation and work rules. We believe that the WEA and the WJPA is the right type of representation for WestJetters." "The WEA will continue to provide a collaborative approach to employee/employer relations at WestJet and WestJet Encore as it has for the past 18 years," added Armitage. About the WestJet Employee Association Established in 1999, the WestJet Employee Association (WEA) is the non-union employee representation for over 11,000 non-management WestJet employees across Canada. The WEA is comprised of six unique member associations: Airports Employee Association (AEA), Aircraft Maintenance Engineers' Association (AMEA), Contact Centre Employee Association (CCEA), Technical Administrative Professional Support (TAPS), the WestJet Cabin Crew Association (WCCA) and the WestJet Pilots' Association (WJPA). WestJet Employee Association Website WestJet Employee Association Facebook SOURCE WestJet Employee Association WestJet Pilots Seek ALPA Representation WASHINGTON, April 20, 2017 /CNW/ - WestJet pilots filed membership cards today with the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) to hold an election for representation by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA). "WestJet pilots told us they are ready for a certified union," said ALPA president Capt. Tim Canoll. "Now is the time for them to take the next step and vote for ALPA in order to obtain the resources available to secure their goals." In the next few weeks, the CIRB will verify the membership cards and schedule an ALPA representation vote. ALPA expects that the secret-ballot election will be conducted in May. "WestJet pilots have demonstrated the pilot unity needed to certify a union on the property, and we believe WestJet pilots will be successful in their election for ALPA representation," Canoll said. "The WestJet pilots work for a profitable and productive company, and with the vast resources available through ALPA representation, they will begin the process to legally negotiate the terms of their employment and establish a collective bargaining agreement under the Canada Labour Code that other union-represented aviation groups in Canada enjoy today." ALPA Canada president Capt. Dan Adamus added, "WestJet pilots play a crucial role in the success of their airline and we look forward to their contributions to advancing success with ALPA as we work together to achieve our mutual objectives." Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world's largest pilot union, representing more than 55,000 pilots at 32 airlines in the United States and Canada, including the flightcrew members who fly for Air Georgian, Air Transat, Bearskin, Calm Air, Canadian North, First Air, Jazz Aviation, Kelowna Flightcraft, and Wasaya. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA. SOURCE Air Line Pilots Association, Intl For further information: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440,
  14. WestJet and the leap into no-frills flying The message for passengers? You're on a plane flying somewhere, so be happy that's it, says tourism expert By Tracy Johnson, CBC NewsPosted: Apr 21, 2017 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 21, 2017 5:34 AM ET Calgary-based WestJet is launching an ultra-low-cost carrier later this year. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC) Tracy Johnson Business reporter Tracy Johnson is the senior producer of CBC's western digital business unit. She's been a business reporter/producer with CBC on radio, television and online for 15 years. @tracyjohnsoncbc Related Stories WestJet will outsource in-flight food services WestJet to launch 'ultra-low-cost' no-frills carrier Why airlines overbook flights and what 'bumped' passengers can do about it A flight on an ultra-low-cost carrier can be a trying experience. There's the limited leg-room, of course, and ULCCs, as they are called in the business, have an almost magical ability to "unbundle" the trip. Passengers pay extra for food and luggage; we're all used to that. There's a fee for carry-on baggage as well, in most cases. You want to get on early, so that you can stow that bag in the overhead compartment? There's a fee for that. Can't print your boarding pass at home. That'll cost you. The innovation is limitless. Uzbekistan Airways and Samoan Air charge passengers by weight. Just saying. 'We put you in a plane and we fly you from Ireland to Eastern Europe, or something like that. Be happy, that's all we're doing for you.'- Frederic Dimanche, Ryerson University Most Canadians have flirted with ULCCs in Europe or the U.S., or even here in Canada with NewLeaf in the past year, but the no-frills airline is going mainstream now with WestJet's entry into the market. Pending an agreement with its pilots (which just got trickier because of an upcoming unionization vote) the airline's plan is to take 10 of its existing Boeing 737s, paint them, add more seats, hire a cheaper crew, and get in the air with low prices and no-frills service. It hasn't said where it will fly, but has hinted that the U.S. is in its sights. It seems obvious that Canadians are keen for lower fares and will probably put up with at least some additional misery. But are there enough people and places to go to sustain another airline? WestJet defends its turf WestJet's move may have come as a surprise to employees, analysts and Canadians at large, but it makes more sense when you look at how the aviation market has developed in the past decade, particularly with the entry of NewLeaf last summer, and the expected entry (now questionable) of two other ULCCs. NewLeaf stumbled out of the gate, having to delay its launch and then cancel destinations as WestJet targeted its routes. The head of NewLeaf said at the time that it was a case of the big guy trying to squash the little guy. WestJet to launch 'ultra-low-cost' no-frills carrier NewLeaf cancels flights to Phoenix, blaming WestJet for muscling in on route "WestJet realizes that the proposed low-cost carriers in the market were primarily targeting WestJet's core domestic routes," said Fred Lazar, an associate professor at York University who follows the aviation business. "They decided they might as well just go head to head with NewLeaf and try to stop any new entrants." WestJet couldn't do that with its existing cost structure, which is much lower than Air Canada's, but much higher than Ryanair's. Passengers both love and hate ULCCs There's not much question that ULCCs are a success particularly in Europe. Passengers seem to love and hate them in equal measure. Ryanair carries more passengers than any other airline in Europe. It and EasyJet dominate inter-city travel in Europe, increasingly pushing the legacy carriers like British Airways to the long-haul market. This comes despite the fact that the travel can be miserable. "If you look at the rankings of airlines, the ULCCs always come in at the bottom," said Lazar. "The quality of service on the ULCCs makes United look like the premier airline in the world, and their service really sucks." Ryanair in particular doesn't apologize for its service, said Frederic Dimanche, professor at Ryerson University's School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. "We put you in a plane and fly you from Ireland to Eastern Europe, or something like that. Be happy, that's all we're doing for you." However, Dimanche isn't totally convinced the formula will work here. They have a much bigger market to work with," he said. "Europe has lots of destinations and lots of population that they can draw to their flights. It remains to be seen within Canada if the market is large enough for an ultra-low-cost carrier." Bay Street unconvinced The market was not totally convinced, judging by WestJet's share reaction on Thursday when the airline announced plans to launch an ULCC by the end of the year. Its shares dropped on a day when the broader market was higher and Air Canada's stock barely budged. In a research report, Ben Cherniavsky of Raymond James said he views WestJet's decision to launch a ULCC as a defensive move, but that he's not sure the tactic will work, in part because of the mixed history of having an "airline within an airline." 'It just doesn't work for us': WestJet on new YYC international terminal WestJet at 20: Grown-up airline, grown-up problems Cherniavsky wrote that, "the problem with the model is that usually any cost savings related to denser seats and a cheaper crew (which is usually the extent of the savings) is offset by yield cannibalization, increased complexity and brand confusion." In other words, WestJet will be competing with itself with the new airline. However, Lazar thinks that it had no choice. "It's better that you cannibalize your market than let a competitor do it