Come October 2021 expect to see a fleet of Q400 turbo-props flying from Billy Bishop airport in downtown Toronto to high-value, short-haul destinations in the in the Northeast and Midwest United States.
But this is not Porter Airlines (finally) resuming service, long suspended owing to COVID-19. This will be Connect Airlines, a new operation to be launched by Massachusetts-based Waltzing Matilda Aviation (WMA).
We are passionate about how aviation brings people, cultures and business together. Especially in these challenging times, we are committed to delivering the world’s most rewarding premium travel experience with safety, service, convenience and reliability.– John Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of Waltzing Matilda Aviation
While the overall route map and target customer base look very similar, Connect Airlines and Porter Air are approaching it from different angles. Or at least from different sides of the border. Connect Airlines will remain a US-based airline that just happens to have its primary focus of operations in a different country.
Potentially hampering these plans are restrictions on trans-border travel. Porter suspended operations last March and continues to delay its resumption of service pending the ability for passengers to travel freely between the US and Canada. It most recently delayed its expected restart until June.
“Airline-in-a-box” IT solutions
One advantage WMA brings to the market is launching with a completely new IT stack, fully outsourced to IBS Software, a leading SaaS solutions provider to the travel industry globally. IBS Software’s SaaS model fully supports the needs of the start-up airline minimizing fixed costs.
John Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of WMA, notes a need for airlines “to be lean, agile and digital-first.” This is driven not just by the industry’s recovery, but passenger expectations. Thomas continues, “We can manage the airline on a single integrated platform, meaning we can spend more time focusing on our customers, rather than IT headaches.”
That seamless digital platform covers passenger-facing and back-office systems, including:
- iFly Res, a next generation, customer-centric passenger service solution; the first NDC natively compliant solution in the market, with advanced ancillary management capabilities,
- iFlight Lite, an integrated end-to-end fleet and crew operations platform to enable the airline to run efficiently from the beginning,
- iFlight MRO, a maintenance and engineering software solution that provides the foundation to implement best-in-class business process to control overall maintenance costs.
In addition to those operations interfaces IBS Software will also build and host Connect’s website and mobile app.
A favor to ask while you're here...
Did you enjoy the content? Or learn something useful? Or generally just think this is the type of story you'd like to see more of? Consider supporting the site through a donation (any amount helps). It helps keep me independent and avoiding the credit card schlock.