Again, I find it hard to comprehend our idiotic Canadian aviation sector. Regardless of the oil downturn, it seems that most of the globe is using this downfall to its advantage for quick expansions. I had read in a few articles that many carriers have or are planning to bring back several routes that were not feasible while fuel costs were higher. Not only that, but many have voiced and confirmed plans to maintain and/or resurrect older, heavier gas burning fleets. Seeing much positive growth in more active geographical sectors should be represented in other areas, much like our own country. But seeing the previous comments and discussions, it seems that this subject raises mixed reviews.
Yet, hearing the WJ CEO's comments and plans just makes me shake my head in disbelief. This issues clearly demonstrates a very common Canadian problem that affects us in all areas of our economy, not only aviation. So please allow my late night minimalistic view of our goddamn dysfunctional industry:
A few other nations out there are renown to be stubborn culturally. I believe we can add Canada on the list. The problem about us Canadians is that we tend to concentrate too much on one aspect. Thus detaching ourselves from the real goal and becoming totally oblivious to the original idea. Where do I want to go with this? The first thing that comes in mind is Alberta/Oil. Yes there is a downturn in economy in that geographic sector. And yes I can understand that the demand compared to other areas could decrease. But a company should NEVER uniquely base its operational ethics on one area.
Exactly like our dwindling economy: We though that being able to export raw materials and scrap manufacturing could help us maintain a lucrative and stable economy = I don't think I have to describe where that brought us. WJ seems shy to shift operations East. Yes they mentioned it, but in-depth details in regards to this were never released. What I want to make people understand is that WJ is concentrating to much on an ultra-saturated markets and is potentially overlooking areas that would need to be looked at and filled. Its good to have competition against AC, but it would also be great to extend roots into new domains that could could be brought to benefit.
WJ's International network, beyond just transborder flights, should have been implemented at least 7 years ago. The arrivals of B767's in 2015 is late. WJ did have a solid financial standing 7 years ago to enable such projects. Every official will say that the bulk of revenue from a major carrier is its international routes. For a close to home example, this applies to U.S airlines as well. Canada detains only 1 and a half companies that serve the international destinations: AC and Air Transat. Sunwing does not count as it is solely a charter operation. Therefore, having a reduced number of airlines for the International sector is keeping costs relatively high and maintaining AC as having a monopoly over the cause. This is where WJ's should emphasize for the 2016/2017 and beyond. They should take advantage of a lower dollar CAD value for inbound flights. And here comes the ''shift to the east'' = revamp the eastern Hubs. A lower dollar could help revitalize Trans-Atlantic flights.
The retirements rates from AC will keep the industry going for a few years. Hiring might slow down, but hiring will be maintained. Fleet renewal is still on the table as well, a key factor for recruitment trends. I can't really see any retirement factors for WJ, as many Capt. seen on the deck have only been there for a few years and the company is still relatively new. So for people having trend questions for hiring, no need to worry; unless you guys know something I don't. In conclusion, a company should not base its operations on just one type of clientele nor a geographical area. Which WJ seems to do at the moment.
Times and circumstances ebb and flow, year after year and Decade after Decade!
AC had some very ruff times with some issues that had little or no effect on WJ. A perfect example was 9/11. It shut WJ down just a few days as there was almost no exposure to US destinations at the time. AC , on the other hand flew into almost 50 US cities at the time and cross border travel suffered greatly for untold months after this event.
Another example was SAR's, it caused untold millions in losses to AC and virtually no damage to WJ! Volcanic ash over Iceland; big losses for AC...nothing to WJ.
The current situation with Oil in the dumpster, WJ has seen a sizable loss of demand in the west as a lot of traffic is western based. AC has seen big drops in demand in western Canada as well but due to International routes, the overall hit has not been quite as severe.
Remember in the previous cases, International flying almost destroyed AC while WJ felt almost no pain with those events. The point is, any Airline can be seriously kicked in the groin by circumstances completely unpredictable.
AC had years of stagnation over the last 20 years and WJ expanded steadily during that entire time. Almost no hiring at AC for many years and now with some very modest expansion and enormous numbers of retirements over the next 10 years, times seem good. WJ's rapid expansion has slowed considerably and with a much younger pilot group, retirements will not contribute to fast career progression for some time.
Each Airline has suffered very different fates on any given day! What pilots forget over and over is that the economy goes thru cycles up and down every 7 to 10 years. When the economy is doing well, EVERYONE travels for business or pleasure. When it tanks, business travel drops to an absolute minimum. Leisure travel can fall off the charts! As families, we need to pay the mortgage, car expenses, food bills etc. The trip to Disney has to wait until better times. Airline travel is either very active or in the dumpster depending on the state of the economy.
I hope we learn to take a lot less glee at the plights of each others Companies. The shoe can change to the other foot in a heart beat. I personally think it is prudent to pull back and watch the cash flow closely when needed. AC has seen layoffs before and may well see it again some day. WJ may someday have to join the club. Fly safe and as you have in the past, work with your team to keep moving forward. All the Best!
Haha, yeah and what were the salaries then?And lest anyone forget, WJ had 100% exposure to Alberta and BC in the late 90's when oil was in the tank and Glenn Clark and the BC NDP were working their magic. WJ managed ok then, certainly a lot better than their two domestic competitors.
Oh oh oh, I know this one, Captains were paid 55.00/hr but don't forget about the stocks options!Confliction wrote:Haha, yeah and what were the salaries then?And lest anyone forget, WJ had 100% exposure to Alberta and BC in the late 90's when oil was in the tank and Glenn Clark and the BC NDP were working their magic. WJ managed ok then, certainly a lot better than their two domestic competitors.