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Greyhound Air

At the same time that Clive Beddoe was establishing WestJet in 1996, Greyhound Canada was establishing its own airline, Greyhound Air. It was centred in Winnipeg and was to offer flights from Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, and Edmonton in the West, and Ottawa, Hamilton, and Toronto in the East. Greyhound was operated by Dial Corp out of Phoenix, which made a deal with Kelowna Flightcraft Air Charter limited, in British Columbia.

The plan was to have the existing Greyhound bus system linked to an airline to provide effective, rounded service to passengers. The Greyhound system of ticket agents were to provide scheduling and marketing, while Kelowna Flightcraft Air Charter was to operate the fleet composed of seven Boeing 727s.

The service was launched on 8 July 1996, and began with a good record, integrating bus and air service, and moving travellers efficiently to their destinations. But high start-up costs and the unexpected delays caused by the Canadian regulatory system caused the airline to shut down on 21 September 1997.

It is said that WestJet has survived thus far by keeping expenses as low as possible in the face of expansion.

 

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