ryanrap1
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Posts: 372
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 9:13 pm

Update on Air Canada in SAT

Tue May 15, 2018 8:41 pm

Just wondering if anyone has insight information as to how Air Canada is doing in SAT?
I saw this article was published yesterday; however; do not have a subscription to read entire story.

https://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/ ... -more.html
 
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Midwestindy
Posts: 3873
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:56 am

Re: Update on Air Canada in SAT

Tue May 15, 2018 8:45 pm

ryanrap1 wrote:
Just wondering if anyone has insight information as to how Air Canada is doing in SAT?
I saw this article was published yesterday; however; do not have a subscription to read entire story.

https://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/ ... -more.html


"Since launching nonstop service between San Antonio and Toronto last May, Air Canada has seen demand for its cross-border flights decrease. Now, the carrier is adjusting its strategy in an effort to increase ridership and protect its connectivity to the Alamo City.

The response after the service was launched was good, but it's waned over time, said Davina River, regional sales manager for Air Canada.

“Now that we’ve been in the market for a year, we are seeing that it’s a bit challenged," River said. "So we are trying to do different things that will bring the flights back to full or near capacity.”

One step Air Canada is taking is to adjust its schedule so that Toronto-bound passengers can arrive earlier. Initially, flights from San Antonio International Airport to Toronto Pearson International Airport departed after 4 p.m. Central time. Those flights have now been moved up to 11:30 a.m.

“The late afternoon departure from San Antonio got folks into Canada way too late,” River said. “Now, we get into Toronto in the 4 p.m. time frame. That gives people time to connect over to Europe, the Pacific and Asia, and to other destinations in Canada as well.”

San Antonio leaders are hopeful the earlier departures will put more passengers on Air Canada planes.

The maneuvering comes roughly a year after San Antonio leaders warned of the importance of keeping new flights the city attracts filled or risk compromising its airborne accessibility.

“Airline service is so competitive now that if a route is falling below 60 percent [capacity], that aircraft will be used on a different route," San Antonio Tourism Council President and CEO Marco Barros told me last May, when local leaders were awaiting the arrival of the first inbound Air Canada flight from Toronto. “It’s very important that we at least keep a 70 percent load so that we can keep the aircraft and the routes.”

Air Canada representatives were in the Alamo City last week to meet with San Antonio airport officials, as well as with local travel planners and hospitality industry leaders.

“We are very committed to these flights. We’ve put quite a bit of marketing activity into this,” said Sal Garza, assistant director of tourism development for Visit San Antonio, a nonprofit that markets the city as a tourist and meeting destination.

In June, Garza said Visit San Antonio plans to bring several top marketers with Air Canada to this city for more discussions on how to further promote the nonstop flights.

“We want to continue to work collaboratively with the airline to keep that flight going and make it even stronger,” Garza said.

Air Canada leadership would like to see more business travel between the two cities as well.

“We are competitive on price. And we are competitive on schedule now. So we are hoping to reinvigorate the energy,” River said.

So far, Air Canada remains committed to San Antonio. The airline has not yet discussed reducing service to and from the Alamo City.

“I know that many carriers have come into San Antonio and then flown right back out again. That’s not our intention,” River said. “We want to do whatever we can to serve San Antonio.”
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Airventure737
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Re: Update on Air Canada in SAT

Tue May 15, 2018 8:58 pm

I hope it works out for SAT. Nice city with lots to offer.

As for MEM, Air Canada added a second daily flight to Toronto on May 1. Good to see the load factors in the upper 80s and low 90s.
 
blueflyer
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Re: Update on Air Canada in SAT

Wed May 16, 2018 1:26 am

Midwestindy wrote:
“The late afternoon departure from San Antonio got folks into Canada way too late,” River said. “Now, we get into Toronto in the 4 p.m. time frame. That gives people time to connect over to Europe, the Pacific and Asia, and to other destinations in Canada as well.”

This regional sales manager has had one tequila shot too many. A 4 pm arrival is good for connecting to Europe, and a few hours late for Asia. Return flights are bad across the board. The 8 am departure out of YYZ is just a tad early for all those inbound flights from Europe, the Pacific, and Asia. If Air Canada is hoping international connections will save SAT, the route is done for.

I love flying Air Canada, but a once-daily isn't going to cut it for international connections. However it is scheduled, there will be a very long connection at least one way, if not both. In order to make these connections work, Air Canada needs either a twice-daily to YYZ or a flight to YUL or YVR (neither of the last two options being optimal).
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TransWorldOne
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Re: Update on Air Canada in SAT

Wed May 16, 2018 6:36 am

I give the service one year. SAT seems to have little international demand outside of Mexico. It's really too bad as it is a rather large city and one would think it could sustain more service but that has been disproved time and time again. San Antonians seem more than happy to connect through DFW and/or IAH or simply drive to nearby AUS which has significantly more air service.
 
Legend757
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Re: Update on Air Canada in SAT

Wed May 16, 2018 1:32 pm

TransWorldOne wrote:
I give the service one year. SAT seems to have little international demand outside of Mexico. It's really too bad as it is a rather large city and one would think it could sustain more service but that has been disproved time and time again. San Antonians seem more than happy to connect through DFW and/or IAH or simply drive to nearby AUS which has significantly more air service.


FYI, the service has already been in place for one year as of May 1. AC is committed to the SAT market and a lot is being invested from all sides to support the route. It will be interesting to see how the new flight schedule affects performance, however.

You're right. Many SAT flyers connect through DFW/IAH just given the shear amount of capacity to those markets. As for driving to AUS, it is not has much as I think many assume- only 8% of all in SAT's catchment in 2016- and the vast majority of those flyers live along the I-35 corridor. Yes, SAT doesn't want to lose that 8%, but I suspect many perceived it was much more. Since 2016, however, SAT has publicly stated many times that they have added over 20 new flights and have had record passenger growth for the last 20+ consecutive months. Their passenger count to Europe continues to climb despite what is going on in AUS as well. With all that in mind, I suspect the percentage of leakage to AUS has likely decreased.

Do I think SAT still has significant potential? Of course. But, SAT has made strides of improvement in two short years (when they instituted a comprehensive strategic air service development program) and it's only the beginning.
 
Dominion301
Posts: 1999
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Re: Update on Air Canada in SAT

Wed May 16, 2018 3:15 pm

The revised flight times should definitely improve this route a lot, especially on the SAT-YYZ leg where it'll connect to the evening international bank at YYZ.

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