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YYZ to become Canada's major hub

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TORONTO, Oct. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) and Air Canada announce an enhanced commercial relationship to further develop Toronto Pearson as a global hub. In addition, the new commercial agreement is designed to deliver continued improvements to customer service, offering Canadians greater flight frequencies to existing markets and opening up access to more global destinations.

"As Canada's largest airport, it is important to work with our air carriers to further develop Toronto Pearson as North America's premier gateway. This agreement with Air Canada will allow us to continue to support our local and national economy, improve service levels for all of our passengers, and help Canada to compete globally," said Howard Eng, President and CEO of the GTAA.

"This agreement provides momentum to our strategy to develop Toronto Pearson into an even stronger North American gateway and a truly global airline hub. It will transform our relationship with the GTAA, enabling us to better work together to enhance the Toronto Pearson experience and position Air Canada to capture a larger share of growing international traffic flows on a more cost effective basis," said Ben Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Air Canada. "Toronto has the potential to become a preferred global routing because it offers some of the best elapsed travel times between the U.S. and major centres in Europe and Asia. At Toronto Pearson, Air Canada customers benefit from dedicated transborder and international Maple Leaf Lounges featuring concierge service and a newly streamlined transit process to expedite connections; all reasons why Air Canada and Toronto Pearson are the best options for travel to and from North America."

The agreement, which takes effect on January 1, 2014, is for an initial five year term and includes annual fixed aeronautical fees for Air Canada, representing its share of aeronautical costs in relation to landing fees, general terminal charges and apron fees. The fixed annual fees may be adjusted in certain circumstances, including instances when fees for all other carriers operating at Toronto Pearson are adjusted. The initial five year term will be extended for a further five years, if agreed passenger volumes are met.

The agreement commits both Air Canada and the GTAA to continued passenger service improvements, including baggage delivery and aircraft de-icing wait times.

The GTAA continues to maintain rate setting autonomy for all air carriers and business partners operating at Toronto Pearson, including its aeronautical charges, the Airport Improvement Fee and other commercial fees for airport tenants and air carriers. This non-exclusive agreement, which provides Air Canada the opportunity to earn rebates based on substantial incremental passenger volumes in excess of certain growth targets, maintains the GTAA's ability to enter into similar commercial agreements with other air carriers, as well as to continue to enhance the travel experience for Toronto Pearson passengers.

I increasingly see US based pax on long haul flights to Asia and Europe so the strategy seems to make sense but will possibly make for more upgrade competition.

YYZ has vastly improved the operating efficiency of its fast moving walkway at the International finger.

Baggage delivery is now much faster than ever but could still use some improvements although I assume for cnx pax it doesn't really matter.

Tim Horton's in the domestic finger is now open 24/7......that alone makes it a major hub

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I would love to read some-one's translation of this pile of bafflegab. I've read it a couple of times and seems to say absolutely nothing. I don't get what it means to me as a passenger.

I came through YYZ last week and continue to be quite unimpressed by the snail's pace of baggage delivery.

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What a joke.

Sure is but its on you. YYC is rapidly expanding to be the western Canadian major hub. YUL has expanded which still leaves YEG as a wannabe and YYZ as the major domo in Canadian airports.

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