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WestJet makes a passive-agressive non-bid bid for access to the island airport

WestJet makes a passive-agressive non-bid bid for access to the island airport
The island airport, from above. (Image: sean hill)

The island airport makes some people very, very angry, but for WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky, the feeling is probably more like mild despair, perhaps mixed with envy and a soupçon of frustration with Porter and Air Canada—the airlines that currently have exclusive dibs on the tiny but oh-so-convenient transportation hub.

WestJet has been angling for slots at the island airport for quite some time, but, with Porter’s jet proposal about to come to a vote at city hall, even the merest whisper about Saretsky’s situation is enough for the media to pile on, as they did yesterday when he told the Globe: “We would like to have the opportunity to fly jets ourselves from that airport.”

The Toronto Port Authority, the airport’s owner and operator, is finding WestJet’s approach kind of puzzling. While Saretsky apparently has no issue with talking to the media, he hasn’t actually, you know, floated the idea with the people who actually have the power to begin granting his request.

“We are delighted WestJet is interested in offering service from the popular Billy Bishop Airport,” says a statement posted to the TPA’s website earlier today, “but [we] find their approach through the media curious.” The statement adds that no new commercial slots are available at the airport. But we guess it never hurts to ask.

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