It's leasing its aircraft, crew to another carrier; expected to return in spring or fall
After announcing an optimistic launch last September, with its inaugural flight landing in Calgary, Canada's newest discount airline has temporarily pulled out of the Calgary market and will focus on leasing its aircraft to another carrier.
Canada Jetlines began operations on Sept. 22 and was scheduled to service twice weekly flights from Toronto's Pearson International Airport to Calgary International Airport.
But earlier this year, it quietly removed Calgary as a destination from its website. It currently flies travellers from Toronto to Vancouver, Las Vegas and Cancun and back.
The company's chief commercial officer, Duncan Bureau, says the decision is temporary.
"We still believe Calgary is an important part of our market," he said.
The original plan was to service Calgary year-round, Bureau says, but plans changed when the airline received an opportunity to lease one of its two aircraft and crew to another carrier.
Now, one of its planes is operating into high-demand destinations in Mexico and the United States and its other plane is dedicated to an ACMI (airplane, crew, maintenance and insurance) operation.
"We will be back into Calgary probably in the spring or fall of 2023," said Bureau, though he says that depends on the airline's ability to add new aircraft to its fleet.
Canada Jetlines currently has two Airbus A320s — an all-economy jet with 174 seats. Bureau says the plan is still to fly 15 aircraft by 2025.
Prioritizing ACMI operations
Bureau says Jetlines recently came off an ACMI contract, and has just signed another five-month daily contract.
ACMI operations are when airlines offer their airplane, crew (both cockpit people and cabin crew), maintenance and insurance to another individual or company. It operates completely on that individual or company's schedule and under their marketing.
"What that does for Jetlines is it gives us guaranteed flying hours at a negotiated rate. So the risk for us is significantly less because someone else is taking the risk of the operating cost of the aircraft," said Bureau.
Bureau wouldn't say who the aircraft is being leased to, but he said it's an attractive offer for airlines and they usually take the opportunity.
In a previous version of this story, an aviation analyst incorrectly said Canada Jetlines made an order for five Boeing aircraft. In fact, the company that made that order was a previous iteration of Canada Jetlines and the current airline did not make an order with Boeing.Apr 04, 2023 3:28 PM MT
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