Plane change reduces costs, increases complaints

  • Sep. 15, 2004 7:00 p.m.

Air Canada’s decision to switch to a smaller aircraft on the Vancouver-Sandspit run has resulted in several complaints about bumped cargo.
Air Canada spokesperson Isabelle Arthur said the company is looking for ways to fix the problem for unhappy cargo customers. Meanwhile, more space should become available as passenger numbers drop off towards the end of September, she said.
Air Canada always changes to Dash-8 service in winter, Ms Arthur said, but this year the switch came a month earlier than usual, at the beginning of September instead of the end.
“It is very unfortunate we had to do this now,” she said. However, Air Canada had to return the larger BA-146 jet it had been using on this route to the owner. The return is part of the company’s restructuring and an attempt to lower costs, she said.
“We are going to be acquiring new jets that are much more fuel efficient,” Ms Arthur said.
In Vancouver, cargo handler Phil Rodriguez said there have been lots of complaints about service to the Charlottes. He estimated that the Dash-8 has about one-quarter the cargo space of the BA-146. Terrace and Whitehorse have been affected by the same switch, he added.
“We’ve been getting a lot of phone calls – ‘Where’s my product?'” he said. “There are lots of problems there.”

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