Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

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AuxBatOn
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by AuxBatOn »

Gilles Hudicourt wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 12:52 pm
US Airlines received 50 Billion dollar of Federal Aid. Many other countries came to the rescue of their respective airlines.

Canada’s airlines received NOTHING although they spent Millions flying hundreds of thousands of stranded Canadians home.

Why the airlines but not other industries?
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Gilles Hudicourt
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by Gilles Hudicourt »

AuxBatOn wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 1:20 pm
Gilles Hudicourt wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 12:52 pm
US Airlines received 50 Billion dollar of Federal Aid. Many other countries came to the rescue of their respective airlines.

Canada’s airlines received NOTHING although they spent Millions flying hundreds of thousands of stranded Canadians home.

Why the airlines but not other industries?
I‘m not talking about financial aid for Surviving the Covid-19 crisis. I’m talking about the Government reimbursing the airlines for the direct cost of flying the Canadians home. What other industry paid for this ?
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mmm..bacon
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by mmm..bacon »

ayseven wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:46 pm
That said, nobody knows. I see more positives than negatives for the younguns, but it will depend on attitudes, as it always has.
Not sure that I necessarily agree...I wonder how many of the young'uns will fold the tent after a large downturn like this where they might potentially be out of work for 2 or more years? If you are the stereotypical regional hire (1000 hrs, exams written, hoping for PICUS to get your A's, student loan, etc..) how long are you going to wait for the call-back phone call before you go and become an accountant, orcarpenter, or health-care professional, and make some real, stable, money?

That being said, one wonders how many people are going to drop out of training now for the next 1,2,3 years, and what the supply crunch is going to be like in 5 years.. "Son, why are you going to spend all of that money to become a pilot, when your Uncle Bob was just laid off for two years?...I'd get into plastics, young man.."
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Trematode
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by Trematode »

I think I have a problem with the question, fundamentally.

Like so many parts of the western world's decision making process in the midst of this crisis, you're framing the question in economic terms, when we're dealing with a problem that transcends that. The more fundamental concern at play is the moral responsibility all carriers -- and indeed, all flight crew -- have to their passengers. The industry itself would not exist were it not for this bond of trust between the people facilitating the ride, and the people taking it.

I'm just a corporate guy, so maybe it's a little easier for me to see. It's a more intimate interaction: The people in the back aren't just numbers; the crew I fly with are my dear friends. That intimacy makes my responsibilities crystal clear.

In the lead up to the crisis, the machinery of the industry was still running at full bore. This, despite the fact that there was a clear threat to global stability and health and safety around the world. One could safely say that continuing flight ops as normal, dispersing travelers to distant locations around the globe -- and even playing a very real part in facilitating the transmission and spread of this virus -- was utterly irresponsible. To then have any segment of the industry wash their hands of that, and simply shut down operations, and leave their passengers stranded would have been one of the most egregious and blatant displays of greed and inhumanity in the history of the modern world.

Thankfully the industry, when you get right down to it, is still run by real people: The shareholders; the CEOs; the executive management. For as much of a beating as they can sometimes take for their part in playing the harsh capitalistic game in this polarized modern world, they managed to maintain enough for their humanity to make the right decisions, almost universally.

They recognized they have a responsibility to the flying public; that they built their vast organizations of people and machines on the backs of the passengers; and they (the people they transport) must be safeguarded from the minute they step onto the plane, until they walk off the sky bridge back at home.

Without them accepting and taking that responsibility seriously, there never would have been an industry to begin with, and there sure as hell wouldn't be one going forward.

So my answer is a resounding NO.
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Gilles Hudicourt
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by Gilles Hudicourt »

Trematode wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:34 pm
So my answer is a resounding NO.
Nice text. I don’t disagree with it. But..... What if the government aid package was conditional on reimbursing all the passengers that had their flight cancelled, many of which had not yet even left Canada ? For now, they, not the airlines, are paying for it.

The virtuous airline CEOs sacrificed their airlines to bring their passengers home ?

Westjet suspended all international flights on March 22 and stated further repatriations flight would be done “in partnership” with the Canadian government. What did that mean exactly ? Westjet continued flying at its own expense ?
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Trematode
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by Trematode »

Nice text. I don’t disagree with it. But..... What if the government aid package was conditional on reimbursing all the passengers that had cancelled flights, many of which had not yet even left Canada ? For now, they, not the airlines, are paying for it.
The question of reimbursement is obviously going to be secondary to health and safety, so I think that question would be much more open to debate.

I think that when we're in the throws of this -- when Canada reaches its own peak of infection -- people are just going to be happy they stayed home. They will be mourning the loss of loved ones, their own jobs, and businesses. Worrying about money that was spent on a vacation they never took in the face of this disaster, might even seem petty. After all, they had already planned on spending that money. The real loss is their leisure time.

I say let's worry about the immediate problem, and then start putting our lives back together. Reimbursement for trips never taken, should be a long way from the top of our list of priorities.
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Gilles Hudicourt
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by Gilles Hudicourt »

Trematode wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 3:18 pm
Nice text. I don’t disagree with it. But..... What if the government aid package was conditional on reimbursing all the passengers that had cancelled flights, many of which had not yet even left Canada ? For now, they, not the airlines, are paying for it.
I say let's worry about the immediate problem, and then start putting our lives back together. Reimbursement for trips never taken, should be a long way from the top of our list of priorities.
You think someone who lost their job, or worse, a couple, both of whom lost their jobs, don’t care about several thousand dollars they paid for a vacation ?

Right now it is the airlines looking bad for not being able to reimburse the unused tickets (airlines worldwide) for if they did, they would all go under. They all put themselves on the edge of a cliff for flying the passengers home at their own expense, and now the Canadian airlines are being thrown under the bus.
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Trematode
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by Trematode »

You think someone who lost their job, are worse, a couple, both of whom lost their jobs, don’t care about several thousand dollars they have in a paid vacations ?

Right now it is the airlines looking bad for not being able to reimburse the unused tickets (airlines worldwide) for if they did, they would all go under.
I say this as somebody who was supposed to go on vacation next week and hasn't been reimbursed (yet): There are more important things to be worrying about at the moment.

To be blunt, if you're absolutely that strapped for cash, I think the decision to pay for a vacation in the first place may have been the wrong one. The reality is that right now people are going to find themselves in a world of shit for a million different reasons. So I do think it is irrational to think that airlines should be able to honor your request for a refund in the middle of all of this.

As this thing progresses, I think most of the public is going to understand that as well.
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by mbav8r »

Trematode wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 3:44 pm
You think someone who lost their job, are worse, a couple, both of whom lost their jobs, don’t care about several thousand dollars they have in a paid vacations ?

Right now it is the airlines looking bad for not being able to reimburse the unused tickets (airlines worldwide) for if they did, they would all go under.
I say this as somebody who was supposed to go on vacation next week and hasn't been reimbursed (yet): There are more important things to be worrying about at the moment.

To be blunt, if you're absolutely that strapped for cash, I think the decision to pay for a vacation in the first place may have been the wrong one. The reality is that right now people are going to find themselves in a world of shit for a million different reasons. So I do think it is irrational to think that airlines should be able to honor your request for a refund in the middle of all of this.

As this thing progresses, I think most of the public is going to understand that as well.
I agree, I was not happy that initially they were only offering credit valid until the end of this year for voluntary cancellation, I waited until the last minute and because my return flight was cancelled, I was able to get a 24 month credit. This is a realistic possibility to use the credit, end of this year not even remotely.
So ,yes absolutely happy to have a two year credit, providing I can still use it. I already counted that money as gone!
What’s going to happen when everybody starts traveling on credit, that’s the big question I have.
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by ayseven »

It is going to come back. Everyone knows this.
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by Gino Under »

I agree with you Gilles.

“It would have been more economical for all the airlines to park all their aircraft as soon as the first calls not to travel were made by the Prime Minister and lay all workers off.”

It would be nice to see the airline industry return to normal once this is over. At least the normal we knew just weeks ago would be nice. My sense is that it won’t.

The extreme reality right now is that this virus is going to inflict ruin on the industry. I doubt all of our present day airlines are likely to see a return to service. They all won’t. I expect a couple will simply be driven out of business through no fault of their own.
To expect, or even demand the government pay more than what can, at present, be reasonably expected for their survival, is folly. If there is to be any bailout in Canada for ‘the airlines’, it will be Air Canada. We know this. All the others will get kibble. If they’re lucky.

No Canadian airline should be flying at present. We have 5 Polaris (ex-Wardair passenger A310s) in Trenton capable of passenger configurations and therefore able to conduct repatriation flights. Who knows, maybe they’re already doing that. Let them retrieve stranded Canadians and provide quarantine upon return to Trenton. Difficult to do I suppose with limited accommodation. Somehow, forethought, strategic planning and flight sequencing could have gone a long way. Who knows?

I’d speculate that any return to what we might consider normal is going to be slow and agonizing. Families are getting financially clobbered right now. This shutdown will be months. Disposable income is out the window right now for most of us. When things start to crawl toward anything we might consider normal, the furthest thing from any consumers mind is likely to be climbing onto an airplane to go somewhere.

There’s no good news here.
Hang tough everyone. This is gonna sting.

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iflyforpie
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by iflyforpie »

As someone who is not employed in the airline industry—but has still been financially affected by it because of Hollywood accounting BS.... I say, tough luck.

I cancelled my trip when things were looking bad and expected to eat the cost. The graciousness of AirBNB fully refunding my booking ensures that I will use them again when this is all over... and the airlines are playing the same game. When they aren’t coming back they pull a Canada 3000 or JetsGo and leave people stranded.

I don’t believe that businesses should be propped up for the risks their shareholders and creditors assume. We as individuals are expected to have six months of cash saved for emergencies like this while we still have to pay the mortgage, car payment, buy groceries, and nearly all of the same expenses but with no income or a fraction of it through EI...... yet airlines who have billions in market cap and cash reserves are suffering after a mere month of reduced fares even though they’ve slashed costs by furloughing employees and parking planes? Even though they are within their rights to hang on to non-refundable fares? Maybe they shouldn’t be over leveraged and dependent on cash flow. A few unlucky Canadians are about to find this out and I doubt anyone here will feel sorry for them.

These same airlines are the ones that nickel and dime you for everything. Want a checked bag? It will cost you. Want to select your seat? It will cost you. Want to change your booking? It will cost you. Want a meal? It will cost you. Want to collect points? It will cost you. Want a refundable fare? It will cost you. Want a “premium” economy seat that’s the same as a regular economy seat ten years ago? It will cost you.

These same airlines that have made yield management and overbooking an art form? Who could probably fly for years on fares they collected from people who never flew on their planes. The ones who issue that pretty boarding pass where it says CONFIRMED to your dream vacation but GTE on your seat assignment? You hate Gabor Lukacs? This BS is the reason people like him exist.

It’s also why the CTA exists. So that airlines can’t just stop the moment a route becomes unprofitable leaving people stranded. It’s the risk of running a scheduled passenger service and it’s definitely built into the cost of a ticket.

Personally..... I say we give them some meal vouchers and a complimentary upgrade if they choose to use us again within 12 months. ;)
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by iflyforpie »

And I just want to clarify that I really do feel for those on lay-offs, and I hope the government provides the support required for YOUR situation.

The airports and planes are still there, and people like me need a vacation more than ever. Maybe some names will change... lots will remain the same. The shortage of pilots will likely remain constant... less aggressive expansion being matched by increased attrition both from retirements and fewer people wanting to enter the industry.
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by Hangry »

iflyforpie wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:35 pm
As someone who is not employed in the airline industry—but has still been financially affected by it because of Hollywood accounting BS.... I say, tough luck.

I cancelled my trip when things were looking bad and expected to eat the cost. The graciousness of AirBNB fully refunding my booking ensures that I will use them again when this is all over... and the airlines are playing the same game. When they aren’t coming back they pull a Canada 3000 or JetsGo and leave people stranded.

I don’t believe that businesses should be propped up for the risks their shareholders and creditors assume. We as individuals are expected to have six months of cash saved for emergencies like this while we still have to pay the mortgage, car payment, buy groceries, and nearly all of the same expenses but with no income or a fraction of it through EI...... yet airlines who have billions in market cap and cash reserves are suffering after a mere month of reduced fares even though they’ve slashed costs by furloughing employees and parking planes? Even though they are within their rights to hang on to non-refundable fares? Maybe they shouldn’t be over leveraged and dependent on cash flow. A few unlucky Canadians are about to find this out and I doubt anyone here will feel sorry for them.

These same airlines are the ones that nickel and dime you for everything. Want a checked bag? It will cost you. Want to select your seat? It will cost you. Want to change your booking? It will cost you. Want a meal? It will cost you. Want to collect points? It will cost you. Want a refundable fare? It will cost you. Want a “premium” economy seat that’s the same as a regular economy seat ten years ago? It will cost you.

These same airlines that have made yield management and overbooking an art form? Who could probably fly for years on fares they collected from people who never flew on their planes. The ones who issue that pretty boarding pass where it says CONFIRMED to your dream vacation but GTE on your seat assignment? You hate Gabor Lukacs? This BS is the reason people like him exist.

It’s also why the CTA exists. So that airlines can’t just stop the moment a route becomes unprofitable leaving people stranded. It’s the risk of running a scheduled passenger service and it’s definitely built into the cost of a ticket.

Personally..... I say we give them some meal vouchers and a complimentary upgrade if they choose to use us again within 12 months. ;)
Hard to argue with any of that.
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by rookiepilot »

Gilles Hudicourt wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 3:32 pm

Right now it is the airlines looking bad for not being able to reimburse the unused tickets (airlines worldwide) for if they did, they would all go under. They all put themselves on the edge of a cliff for flying the passengers home at their own expense, and now the Canadian airlines are being thrown under the bus.
Hmmmmm.

Do you know how much% of free cash flow AA spent on BUYING back their own shares last year, all to enrich corporate executives, who are then vested stock options based on certain metrics, INCLUDING the share price, which was pumped by the massive share buybacks, in some cases by loading the balance sheet with debt?

In American's case, 96%. 96% that wasn't used to strengthen the balance sheet, or save for a rainy day.

ANY slowdown for any reason would have put them all in jeopardy, cause they all do it, to one extent or another.

I have little sympathy, expect for the employees.

try doing at least enough homework to understand the bigger picture --


IFLY gets it. Companies shouldn't be bailed out for their accounting choices.
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by rookiepilot »

Gilles Hudicourt wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:30 am

The PM of Canada and some Premiers were telling people in Canada to stop travelling and telling those overseas to come home. It was an order from the Government in a moment of national crisis. But who made this possible ?

The airlines. At their expense. That is my point.
Show me anywhere it was a written order for Canadians to come home.
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by Gino Under »

iflyforpie

I doubt I could have come up with any strong rebuttal to your commentary.
What I will say, is this. There are very good reasons as to why the state of the airlines is what it is. The consumer doesn’t want to pay the legitimate cost of an airfare. So, you give them what they want. Lower fares to be competitive. Pure and simple.

You want less, you get less. You want more, you pay more. A rather simple and straightforward concept you’d think.
This is why, as you’ve accurately observed, “These same airlines are the ones that nickel and dime you for everything. Want a checked bag? It will cost you. Want to select your seat? It will cost you. Want to change your booking? It will cost you. Want a meal? It will cost you. Want to collect points? It will cost you. Want a refundable fare? It will cost you. Want a “premium” economy seat that’s the same as a regular economy seat ten years ago? It will cost you.”

Overbooking isn’t an evil deed created by the airlines. Overbooking was the result of double and triple bookings made by passengers. When the numbers of no-shows reached a certain point the carriers acted in self defence and took the overbooking into its own hands. Overbooking became a standard practice, at least initially, by 10%. Passenger behaviour created it.

We have a choice here. Neither one ideal. Success or failure of the entire Canadian airline industry. Which will also have a devastating effect on the aviation industry as a whole. Either preference will cost billions.

Imagine a world that might have once existed. A world where you could fly between Vancouver and Toronto cheaply, no frills, in 5 hours or less, instead of driving or taking the bus or train. Those will soon be the days, if we don't soon choose our poison.

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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by AirFrame »

Gilles Hudicourt wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 12:52 pm
From January through then end of March, The Government did nothing for the Stranded passengers but tell them to come home.
Did any other countries do more than this? I can't recall hearing of any.
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by Eric Janson »

Gilles Hudicourt wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:03 pm
I‘m not talking about financial aid for Surviving the Covid-19 crisis. I’m talking about the Government reimbursing the airlines for the direct cost of flying the Canadians home. What other industry paid for this ?
In the EU any extra rescue flights were done in consultation with the respective Governments ( you can't just fly - you need various permits ).

These flights are effectively charter flights paid for by the Government(s) - I'm not aware of any Airline doing this for free.

There were also extra flights where tickets were being sold.

Do you have any evidence that all of the above was done for free?
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by YYZSaabGuy »

Eric Janson wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:15 am
Do you have any evidence that all of the above was done for free?
I'm not clear how the OP got the impression that Canadian airlines have been forced to do all this flying for free. In fact, press coverage suggests the opposite is true: https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/202 ... dians.html

And as the OP undoubtedly knows, TRZ itself has charged for flights: https://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/ins ... ians-home/ "When the embassy in Madrid announced Air Transat repatriation flights from Malaga, the Osmans immediately went online and snagged two seats for $4,300."
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by Gilles Hudicourt »

From March 15 to March 31,all flights from Canada to foreign destinations were leaving Canada virtually empty and coming back with various load factors of passengers.

Many of those passengers came back on the return portion of round trip tickets they had purchased. The prices of those tickets were based on the outbound leg being also near full. They were empty.

So a load factor under 50%. Many of the empty outbound seats had been sold, but to people who cancelled, and for whom a credit will be provided for future travel, although the outbound portion of their flight had already been flown by the airline, without the customer on board.

So the airlines will have to fly those legs a second time for the passengers who get a credit, although they paid only once.

The government paid charters were a very small minority of the flights done by the airlines between March 15 and April 1.

On March 15 alone, Air Transat sent 48 aircraft overseas to go pick people up, at under 50% occupancy. All of these were the regular scheduled flights. No government charters. At an average round trip flight time of 10 hours, that was 480 hours of flight time with under 50% occupancy. For one single day! Over 10,000 empty seats, which were already flown, for which the fuel was already burned, but for which the airline must give a credit for future flying.

Porter parked all its aircraft on March 20th. COPA, in Panama, parked all its 97 jets on March 21st. Perhaps other airlines should have done the same and let the governments take urgency measures to bring the people home.......
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by Gilles Hudicourt »

YYZSaabGuy wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:57 am
Eric Janson wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:15 am
Do you have any evidence that all of the above was done for free?
I'm not clear how the OP got the impression that Canadian airlines have been forced to do all this flying for free. In fact, press coverage suggests the opposite is true: https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/202 ... dians.html

And as the OP undoubtedly knows, TRZ itself has charged for flights: https://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/ins ... ians-home/ "When the embassy in Madrid announced Air Transat repatriation flights from Malaga, the Osmans immediately went online and snagged two seats for $4,300."
The articles you referenced mostly mentions destinations that Transat does not go to. The vast majority of Transat passengers buy round trip tickets and people mostly came home on the return portion of the tickets they had purchased. Transat in fact allowed people who had tickets on different dates to come back on the available flights with out charging them extra.

A regular Montreal - Malaga ticket sells normally around 600 to 800 dollars one way. This is based on the assumption that seats will be sold in both directions. When the flight is empty in one direction because the government prohibits people from travelling on it, one cannot expect the one way to cost the same.
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by vermont »

Gilles Hudicourt wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 12:52 pm
US Airlines received 50 Billion dollars of Federal Aid. Many other countries came to the rescue of their respective airlines.

Canada’s airlines received NOTHING although they spent Millions flying hundreds of thousands of stranded Canadians home.

Canada’s great repatriation effort of its citizens stranded overseas was entirely funded by its Airlines, which as a consequence are all cash strapped. From January through then end of March, The Government did nothing for the Stranded passengers but tell them to come home. Even Air Canada would be in dire straits today if it had been forced to reimburse all its customers whose flights were canceled. All the Government did to relieve the airlines is have the CTA issue two decisions:
1) that airlines did not have to re-imburse its customers
2) That customer could not take the airlines to court during the COVID-19 crisis

So in the meantime, it is the Canadian travelling public whose flights were cancelled who have funded the repatriation.
wtf do our taxes pay for here? We subsidize nothing (look at the dairy cartel, or our 50 year old 737's because the feds think some airports are important but not enough to pave)
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by Gilles Hudicourt »

Imagine if for some financial crisis, Trudeau had gone on National Television and told Canadians to stop depositing their money in their bank accounts, to withdraw their balance, and to keep their cash at home, but at the same time expected the banks to keep operating as normal and on top of it, to continue providing loans to its customers......

They would have all gone under within weeks......

Banks loan out their customers’ money, and make payments with the money deposited, not with their own.........

When the government changes, without warning, the basis on which a business functions, it must intervene......
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Re: Were airlines sacrificed for the Nation ?

Post by YYZSaabGuy »

Gilles Hudicourt wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:08 am
YYZSaabGuy wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:57 am
Eric Janson wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:15 am
Do you have any evidence that all of the above was done for free?
I'm not clear how the OP got the impression that Canadian airlines have been forced to do all this flying for free. In fact, press coverage suggests the opposite is true: https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/202 ... dians.html

And as the OP undoubtedly knows, TRZ itself has charged for flights: https://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/ins ... ians-home/ "When the embassy in Madrid announced Air Transat repatriation flights from Malaga, the Osmans immediately went online and snagged two seats for $4,300."
The articles you referenced mostly mentions destinations that Transat does not go to. The vast majority of Transat passengers buy round trip tickets and people mostly came home on the return portion of the tickets they had purchased. Transat in fact allowed people who had tickets on different dates to come back on the available flights with out charging them extra.
Well...of the two articles cited above, one notes Spain, which was most definitely an Air Transat destination. From the Toronto Star article quoted above: "Krystyna Dodds, spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada, said the government has worked out a deal with airlines ensuring flights are operated at cost." (Emphasis mine). Assuming this claim is accurate, carriers, including Transat, almost certainly included in their cost base the cost of operating an empty outbound leg: it's a legitimate cost and warrants compensation. I haven't seen any public disclosure that the feds have backed out of this commitment, but if you have, I'd be interested in seeing it posted.

And sorry, but nobody gets points in the current environment for waiving the usual ticket change fees and other add-ons for airline customers desperate to get home on repatriation flights. I am in no way a Gábor Lukács fan, but nickel and diming at that level would be unreasonable, verging on unconscionable. I can't think of a quicker way to piss off a customer base and hurt an operator's long-term reputation.
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