Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

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Lotro
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Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#1 Post by Lotro » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:32 pm

http://www.niagarathisweek.com/news-sto ... 5-minutes/
Niagara-On-The-Lake Town Crier
By Luke Edwards

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE — At 10:23 a.m. Tuesday morning Regional chair Alan Caslin arrived among the vineyards of Niagara-on-the-Lake, not even 15 minutes after leaving behind the skyscrapers and cranes of downtown Toronto.

Caslin and members of the media made the trip from Billy Bishop Airport to the Niagara District Airport by air Tuesday morning to showcase the new regular commuter/connector flights that will be flying between Niagara and Toronto daily, beginning Sept. 15

“We were 14:43 from wheels up to wheels down. It was the fastest I ever got from Toronto to Niagara,” the Regional chair said.

Greater Toronto Airways will be bringing the new flights to Niagara, offering trips from Toronto to Niagara and Niagara to Toronto, Monday to Friday, that will get travellers to their destination before 9 a.m. Return flights will fly to Niagara at 4:30 p.m. and to Toronto at 6 p.m.

“We plan to start with the business sector and expand to the tourism sector,” said Chris Nowrouzi, president and CEO of Greater Toronto Airways.

Flights will be aboard one of three Piper Navajo Chieftain planes. With a maximum speed of 420 km/h, the small planes can carry six or eight passengers to Toronto from Niagara in less than 15 minutes. In fact, after Caslin timed the flight to Niagara at 14:43 one of the pilots remarked, “we can do faster.”

The flights are being billed not only as an easy way for business people to get to Toronto’s downtown core without fighting the traffic of the QEW, but as a connector flight as well. Grimsby regional councillor Tony Quirk said with the new flights travellers can connect with Porter flights out of Billy Bishop to flights across North America.

“You can leave Niagara and be in New York City in three hours,” he said.

“Give Chris (Nowrouzi) and Fly GTA credit, they see a niche and the potential.”

Flights will cost $85 for one-way or a $159 round-trip ticket. The planes convert from a six-seat executive style to an eight-seat commuter style.

Robin Garrett, co-chair of the Niagara District Airport, said the local airport is set up perfectly to welcome the new patrons. Travelers only need to arrive 15 minutes before their flight, and with free parking, she said there’s plenty to like about the flights.

“It’s going to be a very efficient service,” added Niagara District Airport Commission chair Gary Murphy.

Between the free parking offered and a transit line that goes right past the airport going from the Niagara-on-the-Lake outlet mall into Niagara-on-the-Lake, Caslin said there are opportunities to get people to the airport. And with an excited hotel industry eager to jump on board, he envisions shuttle as well as fly-and-stay packages offered.

Those interested can now book their flights when the service begins Sept. 15. For more information or to book a flight, visit flygta.com.
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#2 Post by Lotro » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:33 pm

Just to clarify, I have no association with this at all.

I just think it's neat when people hit their heads so hard that they decide to launch some sort of airline service.

Good luck!
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#3 Post by jschnurr » Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:01 pm

haha, their fleet is chieftan and a seneca :lol:
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#4 Post by pdw » Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:30 pm

They had to start with something. We've been waiting a long time for this connection.
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#5 Post by ogopogo » Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:48 pm

I've often wondered what business people do if they live in Niagara and (say) have to slip into Montreal or Ottawa for a quick business meeting. It must be brutal to get to Pearson for a 45 minute flight. Considering the population of the GTA, including Niagara, why is YYZ still the centre of the universe?
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#6 Post by lazyeight » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:23 pm

420kph in a Navajo? Maybe in descent with a 30kt push. Lol.
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#7 Post by niss » Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:45 am

I'll do it in the cherokee for $80 each way or $150 RT.
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#8 Post by cgzro » Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:57 am

I don't know about Niagra, but I occasionally have to go from Ottawa to Toronto on business. Its usually faster to drive.
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#9 Post by schnitzel2k3 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:28 am

I think there is a valid market being served.

Is it enough to sustain an air taxi? Time will tell. My well wishes are to the budding entrepreneur Chris Milad. I hope he's found that niche under served market.

An aside, I know West Wind runs a service between Saskatoon and Regina - 45 minutes each way, and saves you the awful prairie drive. Runs out of the FBO so essentially its like flying private and it's a couple hundred bucks each way (beer, wine and snacks included).

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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#10 Post by bobm » Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:11 am

Some YTZ sked history....

The late 1980s saw the Government of Canada substantially deregulate regional airlines in a bid to increase competition and improve service. In 1986, Trillium Air started operating flights from the island to St. Catharines, Ontario to serve Niagara Falls business and tourists. The flights included a shuttle to the Brock Hotel in Niagara Falls, and customers could use the City Express shuttle from downtown in Toronto.[113] The flights ended in October after Trillium determined it was an unprofitable service.[114]

Also in 1986, Skywalker Airlines (a division of Inter-City Airways) started a several-times-daily shuttle flight to Buffalo International Airport,[115] and added daily flights to Rochester, New York in March 1987.[116] City Express itself added flights to Newark, New Jersey and London, Ontario by 1987.[117]

A plane en route to the island airport crashed in Lake Ontario in January 1987, during snow squalls. The plane sank, leaving its two occupants floating in the lake wear life jackets for an hour before rescue. The pilot died due to hypothermia, while the passenger survived. A crash inquiry was held into the circumstances of the crash. It was found that the rescue of the two occupants of the plane was delayed by communications problems in the notifications of appropriate search-and-rescue authorities......

April 1988 saw Skywalker end its operations at the airport. The airline attributed it to a drop in demand for the service. Connecting flights in Buffalo and Rochester had ceased to operate, giving consumers less opportunity to save on fares by using American carriers offering discount travel. Skywalker reduced flights but ultimately decided there was not enough demand.[
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#11 Post by pdw » Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:47 am

Can you get more info on the lake crash ? The tragedy was a from a fuel issue ... and it hurt Niagara Airport business; locals were without a service. A good host airport/atmosphere is what's required to make it work.
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#12 Post by golden hawk » Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:57 am

- 431,000 people on the Niagara Penninsula per Wikipedia.

- The QEW from St Catherines to downtown Toronto is usually jammed

- Parking in Toronto is expensive

- Toronto tourists could get to the Falls

Who knows, maybe with good marketing strategy this could work. Only $170 return. KD Air in Qualicum Beach runs a similar operation to YVR quite successfully. Weather in winter could be an issue though.
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#13 Post by pdw » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:13 am

It will work. Locals will not want to lose this opportunity ... so we have to make sure to put out a welcome mat here in Niagara, smiles etc; the Porter terminal has that nicely covered at the Toronto end.

It is real easy to say no-go and transport by car. No need to push it; but yes, the back-up plan is very important ... to make the customers feel they are being looked after no matter what. Emergency transport by bus is so easy in a pinch when weather turns icy, as long as pre-pared, and the seeing the pilot knows well ahead of time if there is going to be a weather issue on the lake .. or fogged in. There's local businesses that would help out ... i.e back-up transport direct to a TO destination.

I tried a few flights first as I started the business five years ago (Small Air Advantage), and pax didn't even care that the IFR departure procedures (via YSN beacon) and getting 3rd in a row of arr/dep Porter Planes took 30-40 minutes instead of 15 to TZ. The experience to arrive in TO or Niagara is worth every penny. Great photo ops

I reside 3 miles from the new Niagara District terminal here in Niagara/cysn. The place is abuzz this morning with the news ... everywhere you go in town ..
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#14 Post by YYZSaabGuy » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:03 am

pdw wrote:I tried a few flights first as I started the business five years ago (Small Air Advantage), and pax didn't even care that the IFR departure procedures (via YSN beacon) and getting 3rd in a row of arr/dep Porter Planes took 30-40 minutes instead of 15 to TZ.
PDW, I had no idea about Small Air Advantage. Based on your involvement and experience, what would you say are the biggest obstacles facing this new start-up?
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#15 Post by bald seagull » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:14 am

When they outgrow the Navajo, get one of these!

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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#16 Post by pdw » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:25 am

:idea: Can't hurt to keep one of those on standby during ticket sales nearing the 15th of September or if there's a charter sale in there some where. The media publicity was huge, so never know what interest that marketing strategy has yielded so far; it might be undesireable to turn away too many customers if the demand is greater than expected for seats available.
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#17 Post by Lotro » Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:25 pm

Can anyone out there do some back of the napkin math on something like this?

I see $160 return for 8 people. So a full plane is $1280 total revenue. A round trip is being called 30 minutes, but I'm guessing you'd likely experience delays in and out of the Island (I mean, Porter does OWN the place).

The last Navajo I knew chartered for around $1000/hr. I have no idea what the cost to operate would be and I'm under the impression that in and out of Toronto Island is expensive (landing fees, fuel etc.)

Don't divulge trade secrets, but my question to someone in the know is: does the math work?

I know aviation margins are slim, but there should be some profit, right?
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#18 Post by pdw » Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:18 pm

Hobbs time can count on just inside an hour for the roundtrip, including taxiing out on the departures and back in on the arrivals. 10 min for load/unload at each end add 20-25 minutes for actual 2way-time. It sounds realistic to average a TZ-SN-TZ roundrip in one hour, when fitting well into the traffic flow at each end. Four roundtrip crossings in the morning and another four in the afternoon per aircraft/crew is possible ... would be a sum of 32 crossing-opportunities for the 2 aircraft within normal business hours alone.

Looks like capacity for 300 people a day.

Need about 100 pax a day to make that work well ... 50 on average thru the fall/winter anyways (maybe 8-12 crossings on the slower days).
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#19 Post by valleyboy » Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:42 pm

Maybe a good idea but choice of equipment could torpedo the whole enterprise. Cabin class twins should be banned from unit toll but if you must they should be restricted to about 4 male pax but no they will pack 8 in and you now have performance of a single engine a/c - scare them or hurt them and you're done.
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#20 Post by pdw » Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:31 pm

To get the ticket sales moving you need some seats ready to go. You're right there actually; I'll bet as soon as 4 people show up they can even just go then ... since two planes are set up for that. Less people/weight better climb rate / to speed, quicker turnaround time.

Ever been on a Porter flight; I saw it somewhere ... "available for charter". As soon as they get too many calls for tickets, it's easy to upgrade to a Porter Charter ... wouldn't it be ?... caus the planes are right there already at CYTZ. Must have enough seats sold to even have a beginning. In case something too negative gets in the way of the initial plans, these entry level aircraft are much easier to sell, or if goes OK, to use elsewhere.
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#21 Post by xchox » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:03 pm

15 minutes? That thing turbocharged?
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#22 Post by photofly » Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:48 am

Lotro wrote:Can anyone out there do some back of the napkin math on something like this?

I see $160 return for 8 people. So a full plane is $1280 total revenue. A round trip is being called 30 minutes, but I'm guessing you'd likely experience delays in and out of the Island (I mean, Porter does OWN the place).
Delays into and out of an airport are determined by ATC (NavCanada) on the basis of safety, not by the airport operator (PortsToronto), and not by the airport operator's tenant (Porter). Maybe some of the CYTZ tower staff who are here can comment on the suggestion that they'd delay traffic because Deluce told them to.

CYTZ to CYSN is 28nm direct. On a VFR day (and you can fly over the lake at 500') that's going to take about 12-15 minutes. Out of the Island you'd be cleared direct to YSN within about 3 seconds of taking off, and into the island you'd be cleared into the control zone direct to the left or right base for 26 or 08 respectively, just like all the other GA traffic coming over the lake.

IFR, you get your approach sequencing and clearance from ATC like everyone else - they're at Pearson and don't have even the remotest business, political or geographical connection to Porter.
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#23 Post by pdw » Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:37 am

xchox wrote:15 minutes?
Wheels up to wheels down from tz to sn was 15 (14:43) on their trial run.

Having chartered the Navajo at YSN 5 years ago in the reciprocal direction to Toronto off rw24 to rwy26, (it was an IFR flight) first went SW 4-5 miles via the SNbeacon 150deg right turn then about 38nm NE against a honkin headwind into a long approach in from 10 miles ENE of CYTZ ... following some Porter flights in (was around 11am mid-week). From engine start until disembarked at the Porter ramp was 45 minutes. Going back to CYSN took 25.

ONE HOUR per roundtrip is not an exaggeration ( too high estimate or too low) even without a turbo. Can they can use rwy 15 out-of and rwy 22 in-to YTZ when favourable? That keeps it within the hour no problem ...

edit for error

ps (from below)
The website must getting a lot of hits ..
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#24 Post by photofly » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:54 am

Runway 15/33 is now shut, permanently. Runways 26 and 24 are not operated independently as they are too close.
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Re: Toronto to Niagara in 15 minutes

#25 Post by xysn » Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:03 pm

I hope this succeeds but lots of Niagara is not particularly well off (maybe just for now ... home prices are rising because of GTA spillover) ... regular GO train service is supposed to start in 2023 to Niagara Falls. I spend a lot of time in this area (it's also where I fly) so it's pretty exciting news.

I see the potential for a weekend operation but daily seems like a bit of a stretch.

I'm not sure they've really exploited the buzz generated by their announcement though, I was over on their website and it took quite a bit of clicking around before I figured out how to book the YTZ-YSN route ... if you look on the website of every other airline, the booking interface is right on the landing (hah) page. Also no mention of their announcement on the website, nothing on Facebook, nothing on their Instagram page.

In any case, best of luck to the company, I will be booking a flight for sure, even if just for the novelty of it!
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