Air Canada flew its first flight from Toronto Pearson to JFK International in New York today.
It's the latest in the Toronto-New York air wars, and it's only really just getting underway.
Air Canada will have three flights a day from YYZ to JFK, using a 50-seat CRJ regional jet.
"With the new route, existing service to Newark Liberty International Airport and an additional daily flight between Toronto and LaGuardia Airport that began May 1 to bring that service to hourly, Air Canada will operate up to 38 non-stop return flights a day between Canada and New York City this summer," Air Canada said.
"New York is a popular destination and Air Canada is very pleased to offer our customers three-times daily service to John F. Kennedy International Airport and now hourly service to LaGuardia from Toronto Pearson in addition to our Newark service. These added flights mean Air Canada is providing customers the most frequencies, widest choice of airports and greatest convenience of all airlines flying between New York and Canada. The flights are timed to enable customers to easily connect at our Toronto hub to other destinations in our extensive domestic and international network, such as Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. All eligible customers will also be able to collect and redeem Aeroplan miles," said Ben Smith, Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada.
WestJet will launch seven non-stop flights each business day between Toronto and New York City starting June 4 of this year. On July 12, WestJet will increase to eight non-stop flights each business day. Flight times offer business travellers the flexibility and convenience to change plans on their day of travel at no cost, officials say.
WestJet is transitioning to its summer schedule. New destinations include Kingston, Jamaica, which launched on April 30, and service to Aruba, Chicago and Whitehorse will all start this month.
WestJet, by the way, issued some pretty good numbers today. The airline said it flew 120,000 more passengers in April of this year than in April, 2011. Their load factor grew from 83.6 per cent in April 2011 to 86.2 per cent last month.
MACAU BOOM GETS A RESTART
Macau has approved a multi-billion dollar casino resort by Steve Wynn, a move the Wall Street Journal said signals "a restart to the building boom that made the Chinese territory the world's largest gambling market."
Yeah, in case you missed it, Macau some time back eclipsed Las Vegas. By a long shot. Estimates show Macau had an incredible $33.5 billion in gambling revenue in 2011; five times that of the Vegas strip.
Macau's gambling revenue jumped 26 per cent in the first four months of this year alone.
I don't like gambling much, and to me that's the least interesting part of Macau. Far more enjoyable when I visited a few years ago was the old town, with a great, old hilltop fort and meandering streets filled with Portuguese restaurants or Chinese places selling strange sweets and roasted meats; even, I'm told, roasted pigeon. Senado Square (see photo) is lovely; a must see, with wavy patterns on the ground and a fountain and cool, old buildings.
The outer portion of Macau is Coalane, where you'll the great Hac Sa Beach, plus lovely walking trails along the ocean and a great seafood joint called Fernando's that's wonderful for seafood. And DO NOT MISS the custard tarts at Lord Stow Bakery; they're smashingly good.