OTTAWA – Canada’s six NHL teams are scrambling to find alternative travel arrangements south of the border after the U.S. Department of Transportation banned Air Canada’s charter fleet from flying between U.S. cities.
In a furious exchange with the Obama administration over the mid-August ruling, Canada has launched its own investigation and will soon close its skies to U.S. sports team charters in retaliation, warns Transport Minister John Baird.
Part of this appears to be driven by the greed of a union:
The matter was pushed by the U.S. Air Line Pilots Association. It had demanded an investigation of passenger lists on the NHL flights, which found a few examples of injured players, personal trainers and team owners boarding the charter south of the border and departing at another U.S. city in a technical violation of the agreement.
Despite the small number of passengers involved, the American side ruled it was enough to shut down an arrangement negotiated eight years ago during the George W. Bush presidency.
There are so few flights chartered for the NHL. Why would they be so concerned about it? And why now? Is it because they knew the president that was purchased by the unions would okay it while the previous one wouldn’t okay the stopping of the charters?
The USAPA is looking out for their own. US teams such as Anaheim and Boston chartered with Air Canada and Jetz instead of Pace or Miami. So the USAPA found a loophole and pushed it. They’re technically correct and they’re looking out for the interests of the US charter business, which their members work in. I’m not saying it’s right, but that’s what they’re doing; protecting American pilots’ jobs.
The Florida Panthers left for Nova Scotia yesterday via Miami Air to start the preseason games against Canadian teams. The Miami Air flight then immediatly returned to Florida. Miami Air gets a loss in revenue since the Panthers will now have to charter a Canadian company to fly them across Canada.
Seems to me that America just shot themselves in the foot in this instance.
Since there are more American NHL teams than Canadian and only 2 US teams currently use Jetz, I would think that Jetz will pick up a good share of business while the US teams travel on Canadian road trips.
Either way, it is a VERY stupid rule to impliment.
I believe 4 US teams were contracted for the season with Jetz, but others in the Bus Conference(east) that don’t have a charter contract will use them on a trip-by-trip basis when they venture out west or into Canada.