Air Transport World

Canada's SkyWalker builds "Lake Ontario Shuttle." (SkyWalker regional airline)

Canada's SkyWalker builds "Lake Ontario Shuttle'

The first year of flying for fledgling Canadian regional SkyWalker revealed strong competitive marketing skills. But the executives of the small, two-airplane airline used those skills in an atypical way.

Less than a year after opening its pioneering route connecting Toronto Island Airport with Buffalo International Airport in New York, SkyWalker, a General Aerospace subsidiary, won another round before the Canadian Transport Commission (CTC) and geared up its second route linking Toronto Island with New York's Rochester International Airport.

SkyWalker attracts passengers easily on its flights because it has no direct competitors. Indirect competition exists from Toronto's Pearson International Airport. But Pearson is 30 minutes from downtown Toronto versus five minutes from Toronto Island to downtown. SkyWalker also has a bargain C$22 (U.S.$16.50) Buffalo fare.

Similar to the story of City Express, a neighbor and competitor at Toronto Island Airport, SkyWalker's very existence comes from the liberalization of CTC rules governing new airlines and new services (ATW, 12/85).

City Express started service under airline rules progressively loosened by two successive Canadian Transport Ministers, Lloyd Axeworthy and Don Mazenkowski. …

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