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#41 DelsterX

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 01:11 PM

I saw on the A-channel new that they were working on small establishment in the departures lounge that will be licensed. It's happy hour followed by an encounter of snakes on a plane! Imagined or real. Whith the help of Crown Royal you decide.

#42 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 03:35 PM

Harmony Airways grounds scheduled flights
Too many empty seats, not enough revenue
Steve Mertl, The Canadian Press
Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2007
VANCOUVER — Faced with empty seats and soaring costs, tiny Harmony Airways is headed for a forced landing early next month.

The privately owned boutique carrier announced Tuesday it is ending its scheduled flights to Toronto on Friday and all other scheduled flights by April 9.

Peter Buecking, a member of Harmony’s advisory team, said the airline was not bankrupt and is restructuring as a going concern.


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Last scheduled flights will be on April 9.
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Font: **** The four-plane, Vancouver-based carrier served popular U.S. holiday destinations such as Maui, Las Vegas and Palm Springs, Calif., and San Francisco.

But its expansion ambitions, including plans to fly into China, stumbled and billionaire Vancouver businessman David Ho, who founded Harmony in 2002, was unwilling to keep funding the operation.

Neither Ho nor acting president Kirk Henderson, who replaced previous CEO Gary Collins in December, were at a news conference announcing the shutdown.

It was left to Buecking, an airline industry veteran who joined the company three weeks ago, to explain that Harmony would maintain full service until the last flight and issue full refunds for any bookings past its shutdown dates.

Most of the airline’s 350 employees, who are non-union, will be laid off but given generous severance packages and strong recommendation letters, he said.

Rumblings at Harmony surfaced last week when it confirmed it was not renewing the lease on one of its Boeing 757 jets.

In an era of no-frills carriers such as Westjet (TSX:WJA) and a restructured Air Canada (TSX:ACE.B), Harmony prided itself on offering passengers full-service flights.

Buecking said it became clear Harmony’s business model could not be economically scaled up to an efficient size.

“It was a case of a full-service airline in a marketplace where it’s difficult to price at a premium when you don’t have the scale,” he said. “It’s possible to provide full service but you really need a big network, in my view.”

Harmony also needed to attract a lot of profitable business travellers but did not fly to popular business destinations or offer frequent-flyer perks, he added.

Harmony had a clientele of about 10,000, said former general manager Brent Statton, who retired two weeks ago.

Its load factors ranged from more than 80 per cent on its popular holiday flights to 20 per cent on the Toronto run. Meanwhile, costs continued to rise, including a doubling of fuel prices since the airline was launched in November 2002, said Buecking.

Harmony joins the list of defunct Canadian airlines, including Jetsgo, Canada 3000 and CanJet, which rose from Canada 3000’s ashes but stopped scheduled service last fall and is restructuring as a charter carrier.

Airline industry analyst Warren Gill of Simon Fraser University said this announcement underscores the brutal nature of airline competition.

“Airlines are not generally profitable,” he said. “You’ve seen the bloodthirsty competition of the truck carriers for the last 15 or 20 years.”

The delay in Canada receiving approved-destination status from the Chinese government also cramped its plan for a partnership with a Chinese carrier to serve Beijing and Shanghai.

“It’s an important reason,” said Buecking. “I can’t say it’s the major reason.”

Collins, former B.C. finance minister and onetime flying instructor, joined Harmony in December 2004 to oversee the airline’s expansion. He quit last December to pursue other opportunities and later joined a private investment firm.

Analysts considered Harmony’s plans risky at the outset and Buecking seemed to confirm that.

“This was a niche airline that if the operating costs in the environment were lower and there wasn’t as much capacity put in by the competitors, it’s possible it could have grown, particularly if it could have exercised its right to China ...”

Buecking said Harmony will hang on to two of its planes while it considered various options, including resurfacing as a charter carrier or a provider of aircraft — crewed or uncrewed — to other airlines.

He declined to discuss specifics, saying Harmony wants to spent the next two weeks focusing on serving its remaining customers.

Buecking also declined to discuss Harmony’s financial situation because it is a private company. He did say it dismissed the idea of seeking court protection from its creditors, mainly because Ho himself is the main creditor.

An heir to the Hong Kong Tobacco Co. fortune, Ho also owns a Vancouver luxury car dealership and a golf course.

He launched Harmony in 2002 as My Airways, named in honour of his mother, then changed it to HMY and finally Harmony.
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#43 Rorschach

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 07:19 PM

Harmony's fares were not competitive. With the ability search for the best fares online, Harmony never came close to being the best option.

#44 LJ

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 07:49 PM

Harmony's fares were not competitive. With the ability search for the best fares online, Harmony never came close to being the best option.


It wasn't competative because it grossly underutilized it's aircraft, they needed to operate 15 hours a day and were only being used about 10.
Also they did not have enough aircraft and the ones it had were too old and fuel inefficient.
It also sold off seats in the last couple of weeks of each flite at way less than the pre-booked fares, causing people not to pre-book and wait for the cheap fares, which were unsustainable.

That and it was a bad business plan to start with.
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#45 Mike K.

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 08:22 AM

Harmony Airways chops service
But Delta announces it will resume flights to Salt Lake City


BY ANDREW A. DUFFY AND DARRON KLOSTER Times Colonist staff

Victoria International Airport is not counting out Harmony Airways just yet.

On the day the Vancouver-based airline announced it would be terminating scheduled service by April 9 in order to pursue a new business model, Victoria Airport Authority CEO Richard Paquette was taking a waitand-see approach.

“We don’t have scheduled Harmony flights, and as far as I know their season is over out of Victoria, but what is yet to unfold is what the future of Harmony is and what business are they going to be in,” said Paquette. “We want to know if they will continue to be in the charter business next year.”

Harmony did not run scheduled service out of Victoria but did have a once-a-week charter service to Hawaii through the winter. That run wrapped up March 14.

“Right now, it seems there’s a fundamental review going on and only time will tell what happens,” said Paquette. “It will be next season before we know for sure what happens here.”

Paquette said the charter service to Hawaii was immensely popular and if Harmony decides to get out of the Victoria market altogether someone is likely to move in.

“There’s a market here and if they’re not back maybe someone else will pick it up,” he said. “Where there’s a market there will be a carrier.”

Harmony will end its scheduled service to and from Toronto on March 30, with all other scheduled flights shutting down April 9.

“This is the restructuring of a going concern company that will continue to treat its customers, suppliers and employees fairly,” said owner David Ho in a release. “This is not a bankruptcy. This is not a creditor protection arrangement and this is not a company dissolution.”

Ho cited increased operating costs, overcapacity in the market and aggressive price competition from larger carriers as the reasons the company will be looking at other business models.

The four year-old airline will be giving layoff notices to most of its 350 staff.

Harmony will provide full refunds to anyone already booked to travel to or from Toronto after March 30, or any other destination after April 9. The airline will also refund the value of the return portion of tickets for anyone booked to return on Harmony after these dates.

Victoria did recently get some good airline news, with Delta Airlines announcing it will resume daily nonstop service between Victoria and Salt Lake City.

A spokesman for the U.S. airline said the flights — which ran as a pilot project last year between June 8 and Sept. 2 — will now be offered year round. SkyWest, Delta’s Utah-based connection carrier, will continue the service.

Paquette said the Salt Lake-Victoria flights showed strong loads toward the end of the season, prompting Delta to extend the service full time.

The daily flights to Salt Lake using the 50-seat Bombardier CRJ 200 aircraft leave the Utah capital at 11:10 a.m. and arrive in Victoria at 12:25 p.m. There is a 20-minute turnaround here for the return to Salt Lake.

Salt Lake City is considered the largest air hub in the Western U.S. with connections to 115 destinations.

Paquette said the flights will give Victorians more choices, particularly for travels into the Southeast and East Coast of the U.S., including Atlanta, which has the largest passenger counts among U.S. airports.

It is the second American carrier for Victoria International Airport. Seattle-based Horizon, a unit of Alaska Airlines, has six flights daily out of Victoria to Seattle, and non-stop flights from there to Los Angeles and Sonoma County-Santa Rosa.

On April 8, Horizon will start using the larger Q400 aircraft, which seat 74, on four of the six daily flights.

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#46 G-Man

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 08:25 AM

I've done the Salt Lake Run. It is amazing how fast you get there. Salt Lake has a great airport too. There was a brew pub that had a beer called the Polygamy Porter

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#47 Mike K.

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 08:44 AM

March 07's traffic at the airport was up just under 8% over March 06. So far this year traffic is up over 5%.

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#48 aastra

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 09:25 PM

Can someone explain the rules re: the jetway(s) at YYJ? It was raining like Bangkok today and the people coming and going from the Calgary/Edmonton 737's were obliged to walk across the tarmac, getting absolutely soaked in the process.

The airport renovations are pretty good but the low ceilings in the old middle section really do seem anachronistic. I think they should have done away with the upper observation deck altogether and built a really tall, airy hall over the coffee/lounge area. But that's just me.

#49 G-Man

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 07:17 AM

Airlines have to pay extre to use the jetways. If they don't them then the passengers walk in the rain.

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#50 Holden West

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 08:38 AM

^Even those with "[url=http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com/articles/content/a12955/index-12.html:c9eda]First Class tickets to Vancouver Island[/url:c9eda]"?
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#51 Mike K.

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 09:56 AM

They might be leased out to Air Canada because Westjet uses jetways everywhere else.

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#52 aastra

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 11:03 AM

Under no circumstances should any passenger have to walk in rain like that. That's bush league. The weather in Victoria doesn't get much worse. I suppose the rain could have been blowing sideways, in which case the passengers would have been fine because the planes wouldn't have been flying anyway.

#53 Mike K.

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 01:49 PM

Yeah, it's quite lame, to put it bluntly. I've trekked across the tarmac as it was raining cats and dogs. Got soaked. As did my luggage sitting in the carts waiting for the fellas to load everything off the plane.

There is a little covered walkway stretching out from the departures area but you have to get to it first.

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#54 gumgum

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 03:22 PM

Doesn't it have more to do with the size of plane?
You're exposed to the elements in Vancouver as well when embarking in and disembarking from the Vic-Van run, remember.

#55 Mike K.

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 03:24 PM

But westjet uses larger planes than those smaller Van/Vic props. For whatever reason they never use the jetway here but they do in Vancouver/Calgary/Edmonton. I'm pretty sure that the little guys park fairly close to the covered walkway.

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#56 Icebergalley

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 03:27 PM

Are jetways - one size fits all?

I recall in St. John's that CP Air had to build their own - a different design back in them days.. - the 80's..

#57 Mike K.

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 03:28 PM

I'm pretty sure the airplane has to be a minimum height so passengers don't have to scale up the arm to the airport.

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#58 aastra

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 09:20 PM

You're exposed to the elements in Vancouver as well when embarking in and disembarking from the Vic-Van run, remember.


The folks heading to/from the Dash 8's were also getting soaked, but I'm talking about the two 737-600's that were doing the Calgary & Edmonton runs.

#59 m0nkyman

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 09:32 PM

I've yet to see the jetways used. Ever.

Sounds like the YYJ has a stupid pricing policy for jetway usage.

#60 gumgum

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 06:34 AM

I've used the jetways flying in from T.O. several times.

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