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Airline Mergers = Super Savings.

Business travellers wanting to beat down their travel expenses may find that the price is right with the discount airlines

Canada 3000 recently gobbled up Royal Airlines and CanJet, and the result is a delicious deal for business travellers who want to lighten the financial weight of their business travel budget.

Highlights of this expanded Canada 3000 airline include more flights between more cities, with more frequency. For example, the airline now serves 21 Canadian cities and there are 11 flights daily between Toronto and Montreal.

A twice-daily scheduled service is offered to New York (Newark) from Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto (Monday to Friday). Daily service to Los Angeles is available from Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax (Monday to Friday). Not only is the frequency a boon to business travellers, but economy airfares are 60 to 85% less than Air Canada rates, according to the discount airline.

Angus Kinnear, president of Canada 3000 said at an April press conference, "We are proud to offer a made-in-Canada solution that's providing convenient, competitive, domestic air travel. With the announcement of our new integrated flight schedule, the vast majority of Canadians, wherever they live, and wherever they wish to travel in Canada, will now have access to a fully national, affordable airline. Canada 3000 is the true national alternative."

Michel Leblanc, vice chairman and managing director of Canadian scheduled services for Canada 3000 says, "Canada 3000 is taking a major step in meeting the air travel needs of Canadians in every part of the country at dramatically reduced prices. Regular one-way fares are more than 60% less than Air Canada's. A flight from Montreal to Halifax costs $89; Calgary to Winnipeg costs $96 and Toronto to Vancouver costs $199.

Club C3, launched June 1, is their business travel service. This includes a wider seat, express check-in, upgraded meal service and full complimentary in-flight service. "Club C3 is a true alternative for the business traveller," says Leblanc. "It provides maximum comfort and convenience at half the cost of Air Canada's business class. For example, Toronto to Calgary's business class price is $753; Montreal to Halifax costs $349; and Ottawa to Vancouver costs $939."

International business travellers will benefit from Canada 3000's service to over 100 destinations worldwide, with a global route structure extending from Sydney, Australia to Vienna, Austria. The airline will also begin flying to India this October.

The new Canada 3000 employs 4,400 staff and had a profit of $9.5 million with its 36 planes last year. Operating revenues were $756 million.

Since Air Canada pulled out of a pre-takeover deal where its Aeroplan points were offered on Royal Airlines flights, Canada 3000 honours American Airlines AAdvantage Rewards and other One World partners.

Reservations can be made by calling 1-888-3000-669 or at


The other discount competitor is WestJet of Calgary. In December 1999, WestJet announced that it would extend its successful low fare strategy across Canada. In March 2000, WestJet added service to Hamilton, Ont. (the airline is now the only domestic passenger service at the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport) and began to build the city as it's eastern hub.

In April 2000, WestJet added Moncton to its network and in June 2000, Ottawa was also added. WestJet now offers service to 17 destinations across Canada on a fleet of 23, 737-200 jets. In 2001, WestJet will add its first of 94 new 737-700 aircraft, and will increase connections between cities in its network. Currently, the airline flies to Victoria, Vancouver, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Prince George, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Hamilton, Ottawa and Moncton.

An economy WestJet fare for Calgary to Vancouver costs between $208 and $486 and comes with plenty of flexibility. Most fares (except discounted Web site-only fares) are changeable up to two hours prior to flight time. If cancelled, the remainder of the fare (after applicable fees) can be transferred to a WestJet credit file for future flights. Credit files are valid for one year from the date it was created, and in the same name as the reservation. WestJet also offers refunds for reservations that are made and cancelled within that working day, and it has no minimum or maximum stay-over requirements.

Call (403) 250-5839 within Calgary, or toll free at 1-888-WESTJET or 1-800-538-5696.

Air Canada

Air Canada is competing with the discount airlines and, in May 2001, formed an agreement with Skyservice, the owner of Roots Air.

Michael Budman, co-founder of Toronto-based Roots Canada Ltd., heralded the deal. "Roots is delighted with this deal. Russ Payson and the Skyservice team are world-class operators and now with Air Canada, the business opportunities are tremendous. We look forward to working closely with our new partners," he says.

Don Green, Roots co-founder, says, "This is a totally positive experience for our brand. Since the inception of Roots Air, it has been part of our business model to align ourselves with a high-quality global aviation partner. We are responsible for the design of the uniforms, the Roots Air lounge and the entire graphic identity of Roots Air. We are proud of what we have accomplished and look forward to the future and our further involvement with Skyservice and Air Canada."

Currently, Air Canada has 375 planes, broad national coverage, frequent flights (1,100 flights throughout the country daily), full business class, international connections and the powerful Aeroplan program with 5.7 million members, linked with credit cards and partners in Star Alliance. A Calgary to Vancouver economy fare can range from $226 to $1,041.

Although there are only three airlines to choose from now, business travellers looking for a deal might just get it.

Diane McDougall ( is a freelance writer based in Oakville, Ont.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Society of Management Accountants of Canada
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Title Annotation:discount airfares
Author:McDougall, Diane
Publication:CMA Management
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Sep 1, 2001
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