Monday, May 30, 2011

Airport Tunnel gets the go-ahead


Calgary, AB. – Following years of discussions, and after careful consideration, The Calgary Airport Authority has agreed to move forward with completion of a final legal Agreement based on the proposal presented by City Council on May 20, 2011. The City and the Authority have established a target date of June 13th for final completion of the Agreement.

Following successful finalization of the Agreement, the City and Airport Authority will move quickly to begin integration of the tunnel construction into the Authority’s $2 billion Airport Development Program, to ensure that the expansion underway at Calgary International Airport will continue on schedule and without interruption.

The Airport Authority appreciates the effort that was put forward by all parties throughout the discussions and will continue to work closely with the City of Calgary as we move forward.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

March 2011 Passenger Stats

The slide seen in February continued on to March with a further decrease in passenger numbers over the same month in 2010.

March 2011 saw passenger numbers drop by a total 2.2% in comparison to March 2010. Compared to February however, all sectors did not decline as positive growth was seen for Transborder numbers but those gains could not overcome the sharp drops in Domestic and International numbers. Domestic travel decreased by 3.4%, Transborder gained 2.6% and International went down by 4.4%. Overall, 1,053,396 passengers used the airport in March.

For the year to date (Q1) YYC has seen total passenger numbers drop by 0.5% from the same period a year ago.

March 2011
Domestic: 694,978
Transborder: 235,196
International: 123,222


Monday, May 16, 2011

TACA to codeshare on select Air Canada routes out of Calgary

As TACA (and joint venture partner Avianca) approach their entry into the Star Alliance, we are starting to see the two Latin American carries expand their codeshare services with partners of the alliance. Of course, with Air Canada being one of the founding members of the Star Alliance, TACA recently began codesharing on some of Air Canada's routes and includes the following from YYC:

To - From TACA Flight # AC Flight #

Los Angeles – Calgary TA4001 AC573
Calgary – Los Angeles TA4000 AC572
Calgary – Edmonton TA4024 AC8162
Edmonton – Calgary TA4023 AC8167

It does not appear that these flights are bookable yet on the TACA website (well YYC-YEG will not be of course, but YYC-Latin America via LAX should be). As we have mentioned in the past this opens up more pricing options for flights out of Calgary as TACA may sell their codeshare flights cheaper then AC.

Source: Airline Route Updates

Friday, May 6, 2011

I Fly Calgary to Ottawa & Edmonton: Wallet Makeover Media Tour continued...

This is part two of my trip report for the Air Miles Wallet Makeover media tour that took place early in March. (Part 1 can be found here).

After spending less then 48 hours with my family over the weekend, the tour had me scheduled for Ottawa on Monday March 14, Edmonton on March 15 and one more spot in Calgary on March 16. I arrive at YYC for my suppertime flight to Ottawa on Air Canada with ample time and breeze through security. The flight is listed as being on time and after grabbing some Starbucks I take a seat at gate A18 where I await my flight. The Starbucks runs through me fast so I figure I should hit the washroom before the flight. As I am exiting the washrooms nearest A18 a whole throng of people are walking by in a line with some complaining "Air Canada always does this" and I figure their flight is delayed. I get back to get A18 and see what they are talking about. The E190 that was to be used for the Ottawa flight has now been switched to the London, ON flight! I move away to go find a FIDS display to see what has happened to my flight. Departure is now delayed by nearly an hour and half and the gate has been changed to B20. Here's what I was thinking: "Couldn't they have delayed the London flight instead of mine?" Now I won't be in my bed in Ottawa until 1:30am or so and have to be up before 6am. Oh well, I've done many nights with short sleeps one more won't kill me. Off to Chili's for a beer and some dry ribs. Once at the gate I await the arrival of the new E190 that will be flying the route to Ottawa. It does not take too long for it to arrive at the gate and the Air Canada employees ensure a quick turnaround and off to Ottawa we go. The flight itself is quite uneventful and relatively smooth. I enjoy the selection on AC's IFE as I watch the runaway train movie Unstoppable and follow this up with a bunch of the Canadian short's from Movieola. The last time I flew into Ottawa (Oct 2010) it was pretty much a straight in approach but this time round as the flight approached Ottawa it conducted a right turn of over 90 degrees so that we were backtracked slightly and then a 180 deg turn to line up with and land smoothly on runway 07. Not sure why this happened but I'm thinking they may have changed the active runway as we approached Ottawa, or maybe one of my readers can tell me if this somewhat of a regular procedure at YOW?

Getting off the plane is quick and easy and I am in cab in under 10 minutes off to the Courtyard by Marriott which is just around the corner from A-Channel Ottawa where my first interview is taking place later that morning. A quick 4.5 hour sleep and I am off to the studio for a live on camera interview with Kurt Stoodley. Those of you who have been in YYC for more then 10 years should recognize that name as he used to be on A-Channel here. The media spot goes well and off to the Rogers Ottawa studio I go for a lunchtime spot on their daytime variety show (and an taped radio interview in between). Another successful interview and I have some time to kill before catching a late afternoon flight to YYZ and then connecting onto YEG. Seeing that my Uncle lives in Ottawa, I invite him to lunch as I don't see him too often and I'd rather be having a nice big lunch rather then some fast food junk at the airport.

My Uncle is nice enough to drop me off at the airport and seeing as I already have my boarding pass go straight through to security and off to my gate to await the short flight to Toronto. When I checked in for my flight the day before the schedule had it being operated with another E190 but as I find out when I hand more boarding pass to gate agent to board the plane my seat is no longer there.... turns out the flight has been switched to the smaller E175 and my original seat near the back of plane does not exist on the E175. The gate agent finds me a new window seat near the back and I am off to YYZ. The flight left YOW early and arrived into YYZ even earlier. Enough time to walk around YYZ for a little bit and grab a small snack and drink from Starbucks. The flight is to Edmonton is delayed of course but only by a  half hour or so as the plane is late getting in from Atlantic Canada. Once boarded, the plane is absolutely packed and only a couple of minutes before the closing of the door one passenger decided that did not want to take the flight and either did not board or got off the plane. Of course they were travelling with luggage so we had another delay of almost half an hour so that the luggage could be found and offloaded. Now I am not superstitious, love flying (if that is not obvious, don't think I'd have this blog if I didn't) but when something like this happens you go back and think about those stories where people had a feeling about a flight, don't board and that plane goes on to crash and wonder if this person felt the same thing. Well, I put that at the back of my head as I know the flight will be just fine. The flight goes off without a hitch and I arrive into YEG and am at the Delta Center Suite Hotel around 10pm allowing for a bit of longer sleep as I have to be at City TV Edmonton around 7:00am for a spot on Breakfast television. I must say, the rooms at Delta Center Suite Hotel are in a serious need of an update to get out of the 1970s and 80s. It must say it was not worth the $270 that my client paid for the room. That brings me back to the Courtyard in Ottawa, another hotel that needs some updating! The lobby was being renovated so hopefully the rooms will follow.

Up at 6am to get ready for the BT spot with Ryan (this guy is a great host and interviewer) and by 8am I am all done. My client had me booked for a mid afternoon flight from YEG to YYC just in case some last minute media request came in. It did not look like anymore were going to bite on their press release so after a quick bite to eat and a long cab ride to the Leduc International Airport (sorry to the Edmonton readers, had to poke some fun here) I arrive at 9am. I am not up for waiting in YEG for 6 hours so I change my flight to the 10am Dash 8 patented tarmac to tarmac service between Alberta's main cities. I advise my client I am taking the early flight. Of course, just as I am about to board the flight my phone rings and they have lined up another interview, luckily it is a radio spot that can be done by phone but the radio station wants it right away. So I delay boarding as long as I can as I await a call from 660 News in Calgary. The phone call comes and I start my interview in the terminal and finish it in my seat at the very rear of the Dash 8-300. Talk about cutting it close. The Dash 9 is full and I am seated next to a couple of Edmonton based Air Canada Jazz pilots who are deadheading to Calgary. Always nice to chat flying and airlines with the pilots who were off to Victoria and Saskatoon that day. The flight is an uneventful one, a quick juice service from the flight attendant and then we are landing on runway 16 and I am back home.

The travelling part of the Wallet Makeover media tour was over but I still had another 2 TV appearances in YYC and some print interviews for some newspapers down east.

I hope you enjoyed my latest trip report and I look forward to writing about more of my trips out of YYC.