Air Canada Rejects Jets At YTZ

Open Jaw

AC’s position on jets at Toronto’s Billy Bishop airport is “crystal clear,” says Derek Vanstone, V.P. Corporate Strategy, Government & Industry Affairs. “We do not support jets at Billy Bishop - we prefer to see a growing downtown airport focused on short-haul passengers using modern turboprop aircraft, which would be more consistent with the spirit and intent of the original tripartite agreement at Billy Bishop,” Vanstone said.

AC says it believes YTZ “
can certainly prosper and grow as a turboprop airport, serving communities within the 2 hour range that can be accomplished with Toronto-assembled Bombardier Q400 aircraft.”

The airline says a 31MAR public consultation for the Master Plan for the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport by the Toronto Port Authority revealed that only 1 option is being considered - “extending the runway at both ends and removing restrictions on jet aircraft to accommodate the stated business plan and objectives of Porter Airlines.”

AC says it appears that no consideration has been given to its preferred approach of expanding turboprop operations at the airport.

Another major complaint from Air Canada concerns slot allotments, “Currently, Porter Airlines has been awarded over 85% of the slots and we are unable to serve more than 1 market, Montreal, despite huge demand from our customers for Ottawa, New York / Newark and other short haul markets,” Vanstone says.

“Moreover, if the slot growth at the airport was capped as proposed, and even if Air Canada was awarded all of these outstanding slots, it would be insufficient to allow us to commence even the most basic level of service to these new destinations. Indeed, slot caps of the sort being advanced by Ports Toronto can only benefit Porter and enhance its existing dominant position.”

Vanstone accuses the Toronto Port Authority of being “simply irresponsible” by focusing on “the interests of a single stakeholder.” He suggests that as an agency of the federal government it has a mandate to “operate this public asset in the public interest.”

(will not be published)