Ignite a Sp@rk of inspiration. October 1, 2014 Issue

OCTOBER 1, 2014

Meetings & Events
Corporate Travel Management
Incentives & Rewards

If you've got deep pockets and nerves of steel, then hey, go ahead and start an airline.

Reggie Lang, manager, business development for groups, conventions and incentive travel for WestJet was in Toronto recently to address a meeting of SITE Canada. Here are some of his interesting stats surrounding our domestic airline industry, and specifically how it relates to group business.


First off, there's a 98 per cent failure rate for North American airlines. This industry is not one for the faint of heart. Lang says his company is aiming to keep airfares affordable. Suggestions from WestJet employees have saved the company millions of dollars in operating costs; one example is the new installation of a lighter Wi-Fi system that will save on fuel costs.

Fees and taxes

Canadian airports have some of the highest fees and taxes in the world. Lang says we need to talk to the federal government as a group to lobby for a reduction in those fees. "We lose millions of guests to U.S. border airports because of our heavy airport fees. The U.S. subsidizes their airports, our government taxes ours."

Best rates

For groups looking for the best rates, it pays to avoid peak flying times, and being flexible on time of day departures. Splitting up a group can also save you money, and remember that you ultimately pay for everything you ask for. Lang says WestJet flew over 17 million guests last year, but margins are so slim that they only realize a profit of about $14 per person. It's also cheaper to fly scheduled flights rather than a charter. It pays to work with your airline representative he says. They can work with you to add special touches and have some flexibility on when deposits and names are due.

No Frills

There are some potential start-ups in Canada this year, Lang reports—Canada Jetlines Ltd., an ultra low-cost airline that intends to serve secondary and under-serviced markets in western Canada, and Jet Naked, that expects to offer fares for about 60 per cent less than other airlines—but don't expect any extras before or during your flight.

U.S. Player

Lang also mentioned that SouthWest Airlines, based in Dallas, TX could be the biggest challenger to enter the Canadian market. He says their fleet is bigger than both WestJet and Air Canada combined, and is currently the world largest low-cost carrier.

Look for more cost-saving ideas at ignitemag.ca. To share your own best practices with other readers, meet us on facebook, twitter or at IgniteMeetingsConnect.

Editor's Choice

Holiday Lantern

Save the date

PCMA Canada East Chapter
Canada Innovation Conference

When: November 23 - 25, 2014
Where: Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, Montreal, QC
Why go: Canadian-based educational sessions allow you to earn CEU credits towards your designation. There's plenty of inspirational speakers and networking opportunities to interact with industry decision-makers.

More industry events at Ignitemag.ca

Good to know

Hotel X Reveal
The renderings for Hotel X are now online, giving meeting and event planners the first glimpse of the new 406-room hotel at Exhibition Place, scheduled for a late 2015 opening. The 29-floor tower will overlook the Toronto waterfront. The complex will also contain a conference centre, complete with two ballrooms sharing a pre-function hall and overlooking a garden view. Two levels of space will provide up to 11 separate meeting areas. A huge sportsplex area including tennis and squash courts, a yoga/pilates centre and a spa, plus a two-level cinema will make Hotel X a multi-functional space for locals and visitors alike. A roof-top 50-foot long heated swimming pool with four levels of surrounding event space—some glass enclosed, literally tops it off.

Travel Costs Add Up
Travel glitches, beyond the annoyance factor, now have a definitive price tag, according to the latest survey from the Global Business Travel Association. The average cost for domestic travel setbacks on the road clock in at $1,475 and about 2.3 days of lost work time. Costs go up to about $2,148 if the mishaps occurred on an international business trip. Not surprisingly, air travel difficulties were the cause for the majority of problems with international travel, taking about 11 hours to resolve, resulting in missed work and out of pocket expenses. About a third of the 500 business travel survey participants said they would start using travel insurance within the next year.

The Future of Travel
This fascinating study by Skyscanner presents their version of the future of travel in 2024. Although seen through the lens of a leisure traveller, the study outlines a world in which mobile wearable devices will be able to track virtually every facet of our online personalities to fashion tailor-made itineraries of a perfect vacation. Travellers of the future will be willing to try out a space station hotel in low orbit over the earth, or explore stunning undersea resorts. The report says the airport of the future will become a welcome part of the journey as breezing through airports equipped with biometric scanning systems and facial recognition software makes security lines a relic of the past. Internet connectivity and the mobile devices that enable it will be seamlessly integrating Big Data captured on social media to shape every aspect of future travel.

Share your event news, case studies or story ideas with us here at ignitemag.ca.

Job code: Opportunities in the world of work

Work the Salon
The Bram and Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Public Library is now hiring for a Salon associate. This permanent part-time position, under the direction of the senior salon sales supervisor will coordinate the logistics and bookings in the Salon. You will work with clients, plus internal and external service providers to ensure that events run according to plan and budget. You will need a college diploma in events management, tourism or hospitality administration and a minimum of one year's experience in events coordination. Please send your resume to bkawecki@torontopubliclibrary.ca

Legal Events
Put your event planning skills to the test with the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary. The department needs a full-time event planner for two years. You will have a key role in managing and implementing a number of events during the school year. You will also act as a course coordinator for business or clinical courses between external students and the professors in the faculty. You will manage and execute all special events and activities, and also coordinate all travel requirements of keynote speakers. You will have one to two years of proven success in a related position, and a post-secondary credential in event management is desirable.
Sky High
The CN Tower is searching for an event planner, sales, responsible for all aspects of planning and production for meetings and events. You will be required to conduct site inspections, and work with internal services to facilitate all events to the client's satisfaction. You will need a minimum of three to five years of related experience in the hospitality and tourism related field, and event planning.
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