To keep things semi thread related how long did it take AT to build up their wide body fleet? Does anyone remember if they had growing pains the way it seems like WJ is having?
I don't think the problems Team Teal are having are unique to them. It happens to pretty much every Canadian operator each year, its just a matter of what hits the press and what doesn't.
For example, Sunwing runs a very tight schedule with their B737s in the winter months. Maintenance issues happen, and when they do occur, in say Gander, where there is no standby airplane ready to swoop in and take a planeload of hard-working Newfoundlanders down to their vacation destination but instead a 12 hour wait for maintenance to arrive on the scene and crew rest to be reset, of course people are going to be pissed, newspaper articles are going to be written, and folks are going to swear they will never fly the said airline again. If you don't believe me look up their reviews online. Last summer, on several occasions I couldn't help but notice Air Transat A310s parked on hardstands for maintenance issues, often with the engine cowling popped open and folks working on it, and then I'd go inside the terminal and see a virtual madhouse by their gates.
The bottom line is with the exception of Air Canada operations within Canada, air operators in our country do not have backup airplanes to cover their flights 100% of the time. With Air Canada overseas, it is more a matter of luck and how they can route you to your destination. WJ plans their schedule to allow some spare coverage and they even have the Omni 767 standing by, but plan as you may, there is only so much you can do. Stuff happens. I have no doubt the higher-ups at WJ are hard at work ironing out the kinks so that things will run smoother in the future.