Listen on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
It hasn’t been all that long since the last one, but I’m already back with another interview.
This time, I talk to Stephen Jones, CEO of Flair Airlines. The Canadian market has been absolutely flooded with capacity from both new airlines and airlines shifting strategies. The market isn’t all that big, so something will eventually give. Stephen talks about how he thinks the market will evolve in the future and where the opportunities lie.
You can find the episode on all the regular podcast providers, or you can just listen here:
Fascinating conversation – I have been flying Flair semi-regularly now that I have family in Ottawa. The ULCC model means we can do 3/4 visits per year rather than 1. The Tucson flying is a very interesting idea, I hope that the lack of a Tucson “name” doesn’t hurt the flights they way the Burbank “name” didn’t catch on.
Interesting to hear a bit about the Canadian market.
As an American, I’ve heard so, so many great things about the parts of Canada north/northeast of Maine (Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Gaspe Peninsula, PEI, New Brunswick, etc).
I’d love to visit, but the challenge is that from the Northeast US (and really from much of the Eastern Seaboard of the US), the fares and travel times to visit those places are such that I could fly very deep into the Caribbean or Pac Northwest for less time and money, given the backtracking involved in connecting at Toronto or similar. It might not be a huge market, but I’d love to see a ULCC offer a few nonstop flights a week during the summer from an airport like BOS or JFK to those parts of Canada.
100% agreed. Atlantic Canada is missing out on a lot of potential tourism due to lack of cheap flights from the US. Would be great to see someone try to stimulate demand with ULCC fares and some coordinated marketing. Could potentially be a good way to balance seasonal demand – north-bound vacationers from the US to Atlantic Canada in the summer, south-bound Canadians to Florida, the Caribbean, and the US Southwest in the winter.
Thanks, Alex. I’m surprised Atlantic Canada hasn’t promoted itself more as a tourism destination, at least to the Northeast US, especially if it could get a few more direct flights.
Driving by car across the border to some of those locations is a bit of a trek, even for those who live in the Northeast, and the ferry from Bar Harbor to Nova Scotia runs over $100/person + $200/car each way, so that’s not a super cheap alternative, plus Bar Harbor is a bit of a drive from the population centers.
Flights, however, wouldn’t be too far or long; Yarmouth is only 268 miles from Boston, closer than Philly, while even a very distant destination such as St. John’s, Newfoundland is only 962 miles from BOS, 16 miles further away than ATL, and closer than Florida.
Sure you must keep costs down but still provide a service to retain customers. I used Flair last September, flight was fine and on time but my bag never made it. The service when things go wrong was just not there. The carrier’s mailbox was full, no consistent approach from Flair so still no resolution.
Poor service when things go wrong will give a carrier a bad reputation.