Thursday, January 28, 2016

New airline...

Flying into Iqaluit has almost always been a horror show. It's bloody expensive, and getting a meal and a slightly higher baggage allowance only goes so far in taking the edge off when you see how much it costs. Even using special codes, tickets are still around $1,500. Without them you're looking at a ticket closer to $2,400.

So it's hard to get out, but it also hard to get people to pop up for a visit. I mean, you might have friends and family who love you, but you can got to some pretty interesting places in the world for $2,400. My parents have never been up for a visit. Cathy's are coming up in June, but it took about 90 minutes on the phone with Aeroplan to find dates that worked.

And before you roll your eyes and go "pffft, typical Aeroplan" it was mostly First Air and Canadian North's fault. They're computer systems don't play well with Aeroplan, timing out and crashing on a regular basis.

Earlier this week there was a contest that CTV ran in conjunction with the Northern Lights trade show that offer three nights in Iqaluit with accommodations included. That contest went viral pretty quick in Iqaluit, with everyone sharing it with friends and family down south. I've got a bunch of friends I hope win it.

However, this evening we got news that might change things a bit in Iqaluit. Might. At that same trade show a new airline, Fly Savaq, announced they were going to start flying into Iqaluit. Twice a week from Ottawa and once a week from Halifax.

More competition against the other two airlines is good, especially since with codesharing they're essentially the same airline. But what's caught people's eye are what they're charging for a ticket - $499 each way, taxes and fees included. Now, that's the introductory price, so I'm sure it will go up. I'm also sure by this time tomorrow First Air and Canadian North will match it, trying to crush the competition in the bud.

It pretty much worked with Air Canada. Not sure it works as well with Fly Savaq. There's a lot of anger directed at the other two airlines. People are going to throw their business at them just our of irritation. I know we will. We're flying down on a Friday this summer, so we'll probably give them a try. I won't be flying back on a Monday, but oh well. I'll have done my part to support airline competition in the North.

Does this mean I'm expecting friends to suddenly fly up and see us? Well, no. Probably not. $1,000 still isn't exactly chump change. But hey, who knows. My friends are weird, anything is possible....

Last Five
1. Slow and steady - Of Monsters and Men
2. Forest Serenade - The Joy Formidable
3. Shadow of a man - Bedouin Soundclash
4. Talk tonight - Oasis*
5. To much love with kill you - Queen

1 comment:

jkent said...

We took advantage of the "price war". I'd always wanted to go north but the airfares were just too high. Between the time we booked the flight (Canadian North) in April and flew in July the new airline was defunct. In total it cost $1500 return from Ottawa for me and my daughter. One of the best things I ever did in my life. If the fares were cheaper you would be swimming in tourists and the economic benefits flowing from that (not sure if you would think that is a good thing or not?). Here's hoping it was just a shot over the bow and other more established airlines will try to enter the market. That week in Iqaluit was better than any Caribbean vacation hands down!!!