West Jet ups the ante in fight with Air Canada, Porter ... Deal of Day is Turkey
Big news in the Canadian airline biz today, as WestJet takes aim at both Air Canada and Porter.
Calgary-based WestJet announced today it will start flying twice weekly between Toronto and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (see photo at right), beginning May 2. Air Canada doesn't fly that route but Porter does, out of the Toronto island airport.
Myrtle Beach folks are obviously excited to welcome hundreds more Canadians to their beaches, golf courses and fine restaurants each week.
The airline will also boost flights between Toronto and Orlando to 11 weekly from seven a week, which is great news for Florida fans.
It is moving service between Calgary and Los Angeles to twice daily from once a day. Beginning April 29, it is also introducing daily service between Calgary and Dallas-Fort Worth, which is a hub for WestJet’s code-share partner American Airlines, Lu reported.
A lot of that sounds like warning shots across Air Canada's bow to me. And let's hope it means an air fare war of some kind, as prices these days are crazy high.
The Financial Post is reporting that Encore will serve Fort St. John, Saskatoon, and Nanaimo, from Calgary starting June 24. The Post also said they'll provide Encore service between Vancouver and Victoria with a 78-seat Bombardier Q400 turboprop.
The airline has plans to expand the Encore service to several other routes including flights between Calgary and Edmonton, Regina, and Grande Prairie as of Aug. 13, the paper said.
Last week, WestJet reported strong profits for 2012 of $242.4 million, or $1.78 a share, up from $148.7 million in 2011. Still the airline is embarking on a $100 million cost-cutting initiative over the next three years.
It’s not bad enough that ordinary Torontonians don’t know how to drive in the snow. It’s worse when folks at Pearson Airport can’t handle a dump of the white stuff.
It was chaos at Pearson on the weekend. Every time I turned on the news there was some poor schlep standing in front of a camera explaining how he’s been at the airport since 1998, or something like that, and was still waiting to take his trip to Florida.
“The bad news is I’ve had to wait 15 years for the de-icing equipment to work and for a new flight crew to arrive,” I thought I heard one man say. “The good news is I’m now 75 and I won’t have to take off my shoes when I go through security.”
It was not only crazy inside the airport, but a story in today’s Star outlines how folks had to wait hours and hours just to get their cars out of the lot at the Park'N Fly, which seems crazy.
A report on travelmole.com this morning says more than 7,000 flights were cancelled because of the winter storm that hit eastern Canada and the northeast U.S.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for spring and summer. Because all we’ve have to worry about then is flooding and thunderstorms and hurricanes.
CRUISE SHIP TRAGEDY
It was about a year ago that the Costa ship ran aground in Italy. Now comes word of another tragedy, this one, bizarrely, during a drill lifeboat usage.
The incident took place during a safety drill on the
cruise ship Thomson Majesty while it was docked in Santa
Cruz on La Palma in the Canary Islands.
The lifeboat fell into the water killing five members of crew and injuring three.
Nautilus International, the union for seafarers and maritime professionals, argues that more people get killed and injured during lifeboat drills than rescued by lifeboats.
Andrew Linington, head of communications, said: "This is just ridiculous. There have been dozens of fatalities in the last few years alone due to these drills.”
JAUNT.CA DEAL OF THE DAY
Jaunt.ca, a division of Torstar, has an offering for a trip to fabulous Turkey.
- 16-day/14-night Ottoman Discoveries Turkey Tour with visits to ancient cities, mosques, Turkish markets and more!
- Optional return air from Toronto to Istanbul via Air Transat. Land-only option also available.
- Includes all transfers in Turkey via air-conditioned motorcoach, services of a professional English speaking tour guide, and all sightseeing and entrance fees as per itinerary
- 14 nights' accommodation based on double occupancy. See below for hotels included (or similar).
- Includes 40 meals throughout the tour
- Your small tour and boutique-style accommodations ensure a unique, personalized experience
- You'll visit famous sites of antiquity like Ephesus and Troy
- You'll experience the energy of Istanbul and the healing powers of Turkey's countryside
- Valid for travel on May 19, 2013
- Pricing (based on double occupancy):
Double: $2029 per person, tax included
Single: $2679 per person, tax included
Including Toronto Air:
Double: $2609 + tax
Single: $3259 + tax
Tax: $457.60 per person
- Accommodations included (or similar): Aziyade (Istanbul), Iris (Canakkale), Kalehan (Selcuk), Pam (Pamukkale), Dogan (Antalya), Anamas Konukevi (Beysehir), Upper Greek House (Cappadocia), The Apple Palace (Amasya) & Kadioglu Sehzade Konagi (Safranbolu)
- Valid passport required for travel from Canada
- This offer is refundable until Feb 13 at 5PM EST. After this time, this offer is 100% non-refundable