Porter riding higher as airlines recover...Aeroplan choices widen...Tokyo bound!
That's quite the increase in traffic for Toronto-based Porter.
As outlined today in the Star's business section by reporter Dana Flavelle, Porter in August reported a "load factor" of 63.9 per cent. That's up from 52.5 per cent a year ago, and far, far ahead of the 47 per cent occupancy rate, if you will, they had in the first quarter of this year.
Porter says it has a break-even load factor of just 49 per cent, given its costs and economies of scale at the Island Airport, so they should be starting to make some real money after quite some time in the red. Whether it's enough to get that long-rumoured IPO going in the market, we'll have to see.
Interesting to see Air Canada's business continue to improve, as well, with a load factor of 86.8 per cent in August. That's a very good number, and a fair bit higher than the 82.2 per cent figure that WestJet was reporting.
You wouldn't know it by looking at U.S. President Barack Obama's polling numbers, but the worldwide economy has certainly rebounded when it comes to air travel. The International Air Transport Association had been forecasting a $2.5 billion (U.S.) profit for airlines this year, compared to a loss of about $26 billion last year. Now, however, the IATA is talking about a profit for this year of $8.9 billion.
AEROPLAN CHOICES...FROM COOKING TO CUBA
Star reporter Adam Bisby had a chance to check out some of Aeroplan's latest offerings to loyalty customers the other day, and found out a lot more than just the chance to book sun trips to Havana. Here's his report:
Members of the media got a sneak peak at the Aeroplan loyalty program’s latest rewards last week, when the Montreal-based company hosted its “Pre-Holiday Shopping Party” at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York hotel.
While the products on offer have become increasingly diverse since Air Canada launched the program 26 years ago — now ranging from the practical (Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses for 14,500 miles) to the stylish (Swarovski crystal cufflinks for 10,500 miles) to the extravagant (a Panasonic 3-D TV package for 462,000 miles) — Aeroplan seems to be embracing its frequent-flyer roots with a wider range of travel-oriented, “experiential” items.
Ontario experiences include bike and van outings with Niagara Wine Tours International (13,000 to 19,500 miles), and admission to Collingwood’s Nordic-style Spa Scandinave (14,500 to 19,500 miles, with other locations in Montreal, Whistler, B.C., and Mont Tremblant, Que.). Further afield, Aeroplan members can rack up calories with Miss Cupcake Montreal’s cupcake decorating parties (21,500 miles), or burn them off with B.C.’s Bella Coola Heli Skiing & Flyfishing (117,500 to 126,000 miles). South of the border, Cirque du Soleil’s seven Las Vegas shows are packaging tickets and merchandise (7,500 to 32,500 miles), while GoCar Tours is offering satellite-guided, narrated excursions of San Francisco, San Diego and Miami in its unique miniature racing coupes (18,500 miles).
For more information: www.aeroplan.com
NEXT STOP JAPAN
Off today for Tokyo. I have a day in the city, then a day and-a-half in Kyoto, then two more days in Tokyo. I have a long list of things to see and not enough time, but I'm looking forward to seeing Japan for only the second time in my life.