Good news for airlines ... Trump T.O. opens soon, so where's the Donald?
Good news reported this week for Canadian airlines as the recovery (for now) continues. Porter Airlines said it flew a record 2.1 million folks last year, up from 1.56 million in 2010. They also reported a December load factor of 63.9 per cent, up 1.5 percentage points from December, 2010.
The overall numbers are quite good and the load factor increase is nice, but Porter still doesn't have anywhere near the load factors of the big boys. WestJet announced it flew a record 1.4 million passengers in December and had a load factor of 80.9 per cent; its second highest figure ever for December. Just to keep some perspective, WestJet in December flew almost as many "guests" as Porter did in all of 2010.
Air Canada? They reported a load factor of 81 per cent in December, up just a bit from the 80.8 figure of December, 2010. Analysts expect the airlines to do relatively well in 2012 unless fuel costs spiral again or the European economic crisis suddenly worsens, which it showed signs of doing on Thursday.
DONALD, WHERE ARE YOU?
Geez, shouldn't we be seeing giant billboards of The Donald in downtown T.O. by now? Or an appearance on Much Music or something?
Last I heard, the Trump Toronto condo/hotel tower was to open here in the Big Smoke on Jan. 31. That's only three weeks from now, less or more, but there's been precious little publicity about the hotel, which will have 261 rooms, a huge spa on the 31st floor, 24-hour concierge service, a highly anticipated restaurant called STOCK, and lots more.
It's at Bay and Adelaide and, with 65 floors, will be Canada's tallest residential building.
Certainly there appears to be some serious anticipation of the hotel's opening. Forbes.Com this week published a list of the "Ten Most Anticipated Hotel Openings of 2012," and Trump Toronto was #2, right behind the soon-to-open St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort outside Miami. The St. Regis is a beachfront property with a Jean-Georges Vongerichten-created restaurant and a Remede Spa, as well as private oceanfront cabanas.
Also on the "anticipation" list:
- The Conrad in New York (another new property in bustling lower Manhattan, this time near Battery Park - wonder if it'll give the Ritz-Carlton a run for its money).
- The (renovated) Park Hyatt Sydney, with new furnishing and lighting and a new spa. I stayed there a year and-a-half ago and loved it; especially the views of the Opera House.
- The W Hotel Paris Opera - The W brand's debut in France comes on, wait for it, Valentine's Day!
- The St. Regis Mauritius Resort - the first St. Regis property in Africa will be on the lovely island of Mauritius
- Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg- a little Canadian content here, as the Four Seasons opens its first hotel in Russia. It's supposed to open in May with a grand staircase, two signature restaurants and a glass-topped spa with Russian-style saunas.
- The ME London - From the Spanish company Melia, it's one of several new spots opening in time for the London Olympics, which begin July 27. The ME is being built in the Aldwych area of town.
- The James Royal Palm - Another new/old property (see photo), this one in Miami. Steps from the beach and from Ocean Drive.