The first showed up last Friday on the CBC. In it an aviation expert essentially blames Canadian North and First Air of price gouging. That they were simply making so much money off this route that it became inevitable than an airline like Air Canada would come in because the profit margins are irresistible.
This will not exactly come as a surprise to anyone following the little fiasco from last year over massive bonuses given to the airlines board of directors. That's kind of when most people up here got an inkling just how much money the airline is making. No one up here is going all socialist and expecting the airline to operate as a non-profit, but when you hand out that much money in bonuses, people tend to notice. And not be very happy. Plus, it seems, you get companies much bigger than yourselves noticing how much money you're making and deciding they want a cut. All of which could have been avoided if only Canadian North and First Air had cut prices.
So that's why you see some of the cackling over Air Canada's arrival in this part of the north. Because more competition is good, right?
Yes, but if only Air Canada wasn't apparently run by idiots. A couple of reasons for this. First, there is this lovely line in the CBC story. It's paraphrased, so I don't feel comfortable assuming Manon Stuart actually said it. However, the airline is operating under the assumption that since it rarely gets colder than -40C it's perfectly all right to run Bombardier CRJ-705 up here.
Now, there's a couple of delicious bits of vagueness in this statement. First, what's -40C? Is it straight air temperature or is that windchill? If it's straight temperature, they're probably right. If it's with windchill, well, they might want to redefine their idea of "rarely". Because that's the difference between maybe a dozen flights a year and a couple of dozen flights a year.
But if you want a full bore dose of stupidity on Air Canada's part, then this story will certainly leaving you gasping in awe. Air Canada hasn't actually called the airport yet. That's right, they've announced when they're starting flights and what time they're landing and taking off, but they haven't run those little details past the airport's manager.
“I have no idea at this point in time what Air Canada even wants,” (John) Graham said.
I swear to God, if the people running this airline aren't the stupidest sons of bitches on the planet then I want a list of who tops them. But confidentially. If it gets out in the open Air Canada might hire them for senior management.
I used to think the worst public relations job in the world would have to be working for the tobacco companies. Because you're trying to make a company that sells an addictive, sure-to-kill you product look good. You're trying to make evil look good. However, PR has found a way to spin that....they make evil look cool.
But with Air Canada you have to make incompetence and a genuine loathing by the general public into something likable. So far it hasn't happened. And lord knows Air Canada's upper management doesn't seem to be making things any easier for the public relations division.
I really don't think this move to Iqaluit is going to work well for Air Canada. They're doing it far too half-assed. They making a lunge for some quick money without thinking through what they're doing. Short term gain, long term stupidity; that ought to be on the cover of Air Canada's business plan. Like charging $15 for a seats next to the escape doors. Yes, you make a few extra dollars, but it's that kind if nickel and diming that causes such a black, poisonous cloud to hang over them.
It could work, but I wouldn't bet money on it.
1. A boy and his machine gun - Matthew Good Band
2. Big Indian - The Dandy Warhols
3. Telling stories - Tracy Chapman
4. Got to be more careful - Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster
5. Some days are better than others - U2