|It's more like the media in Castlegar, and other locations, are working themselves into a frenzy about the theoretical possibility that WJX could operate in YCG.
With 76-78 seats, I think you'll see far more substitution of airframes out of existing city pairs in the early days of WJX than the addition of new destinations. In other words, free up 737 airframes from ultra short haul flying, (which for a 737, is with some notable exceptions, anything under about 300 miles), and reallocate the airframes on to more efficient, longer haul flying.
Sure, they'll be a few new destinations announced, but they'll be very carefully selected to ensure that the demand is in sync with aircraft capacity, that the destination doesn't overly canibalize other operations and that the service can operate with sched reliability year round. Oh yea....it better pencil in with "no BS" op margins at least 15%.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure which airports are likely in and strategically speaking, which ones have a higher priority over others.
The airport conference is a good way of obtaining market info for the WJ planning team. It's also a good way to control the never ending enquiries that are likely very time consuming for the team to have to deal with. They'll get what they need and be able to politely give the airports a "don't call us, we'll call you" message.
It's a short haul airline. WJ regularly and extremely successfully launched countless markets in the first 5-7 years with little more than 45 days, and as little as 30 days, advance ticket sales. WJ's original launch sched in 1996 wasn't set until about 3 days before the announcement of sales in early Feb with the first flight on the last day of the month.
Smaller airports can make the changes necessary in a surprisingly short period of time. Comox and Abbotsford come to mind. YXX turned a truck washing bay into a terminal in about 6 weeks......
I think it unlikely WJX could launch before the middle to end of 2Q 2013 so you can kinda do the math here.
Besides, why would WJ prematurely announce new destinations any earlier than necessary and give their competitors all the time in the world to devise a competitive response?
I'd do a SRB and publicly not confirm or deny any of the 30+ likely new destinations a mature WJX could ultimately operate into until the very last minute, ie, for a June 2013 launch, no earlier than about Easter 2013.
Keep 'em guessing.
The competition only have so many fingers and toes.