Back in 1986, Air Canada bought out Robert Deluce's family businesses of Austin Airways and Air Ontario. Part of the deal involved unlimited lifetime first class Air Canada tickets for Deluce and his wife. Sweet.
To date, Deluce has apparently used an average of $11,000 per month of Air Canada services, mostly for business and occasionally for pleasure, according to Deluce himself. Problem is, Air Canada unilaterally reneged on their contract last year, so Deluce is now suing them for $5 million or reinstating the passes.
Air Canada foolishly assumed that Deluce would be flying for pleasure to vacation destinations into his retirement, and failed to attach any conditions to the offer. Instead, he began building new rival Porter Airlines on AC's tab, which has got to sting a little.
On paper, Deluce is completely right and Air Canada is the deadbeat dad in the deal. But the optics conflict with that legal conclusion.
Porter Airlines has been a bee in Air Canada's bonnet, due mostly to competition on short-haul flights to Ottawa and Montreal. Porter has the advantage of flying out of Toronto's island airport, which until now has been off limits to competitors.
Now I like Porter (but not their ads, which suck eggs). Porter uses Canadian technology in their Bombardier Q400 turboprops, one of the quietest and most efficient passenger aircraft made. Also, they are competition for the big guys and competition is good.
Porter and AC have sparred endlessly over preferential treatment on the island airport, and to be honest there are good reasons for no airline to be there, due to noise and pollution in a quiet residential natural area. So Porter's monopoly with the regulators is already sweet and a little bit deviant from a level playing field.
But Bob, you are so lame in being the CEO of a supposedly proud and competitive company, by personally flying the hell out of your chief competitor.
That is so pathetic. Grow a spine.
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