Canada Jetlines has paused its domestic routes as the leisure airline shifts its focus to serving sun destinations and leasing out its aircraft.
In turn, Canada Jetlines has signed “wet leases” whereby it provides aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance – known as an “ACMI” contact – for another airline.
This contract consists of daily flying and will run until the beginning of September this year, according to a press release issued by Jetlines last month.
Canada Jetlines, meanwhile, will continue to offer two return flights per week from Toronto Pearson to Las Vegas and to Cancun, Mexico – two destinations it launched earlier this year.
The slight restructuring comes as Jetlines sees growth in demand for its charter and ACMI business, said Canada Jetlines’ CEO and President Eddy Doyle in a statement on March 27.
The airline’s Chief Commercial Officer Duncan Bureau told PAX on Wednesday (April 5) that ACMI contracts “make economic sense” as they provide Jetlines with guaranteed revenue and hours.
“From a business perspective, it was an obvious choice that we operate that ACMI lease,” Bureau said.
The CCO said Jetlines flew an ACMI operation for a third party (which he did not name) last December, completing 50 rotations.
Jetlines recently completed a leasing agreement and has now begun a new contract, which is set to expire on Sept. 5, after which the airline will expand its winter offering, Bureau said.
The carrier currently flies two 174-seat Airbus A320s, which will serve its scheduled routes and the leases.
“We have not exited Calgary or Vancouver”
Meanwhile, the plan is to restore domestic flights from Toronto to Calgary and Vancouver later this year, Bureau confirmed.
“We have not exited Calgary or Vancouver,” Bureau told PAX, clarifying some media reports that may have suggested otherwise. “Both of those markets are strategically important and will be part of our network.”
Bureau said the two routes, which he defined as seasonal, will return in the fall of 2023 or possibly in winter of 2024, depending on aircraft availability.
Looking ahead, Jetlines has three deliveries of narrow-body A320s by year's end and the plan is to still fly 15 aircraft by 2025, Bureau said.
The company, under today’s management, is an Airbus-only operation. The current Canada Jetlines has no past, pending or future orders with Boeing, as some news outlets have incorrectly suggested.
“We have a good strategic plan”
Last month, Canada Jetlines revealed that it was in talks with Qatar Airways about a "potential collaboration" that could possibility result in non-stop flights between Toronto (Pearson) and Doha, which is where Qatar Airways is based.
The airline’s current Las Vegas and Cancun offering is a year-around service, and the frequency of the two flights will be adjusted based on demand, Bureau said.
“We’ve been delivering on our schedule into Vegas and Cancun,” Bureau said. “We’ve had extremely good feedback from consumers and travel trade partners who have flown on our aircraft.”
“We are here to stay and we have a good strategic plan to grow our network.”
Bureau also reiterated Canada Jetlines’ commitment to travel advisors.
“We are pro travel trade,” he said. “We are looking to expand our network with continued support from travel agents. Which we’re getting.”