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Air Canada to stop flights out of John Wayne

October 27, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Air Canada has just announced it will stop its direct flights between Orange County and Toronto after Friday, just six months after starting service at John Wayne Airport. "You do need time to grow your brand in a new market but for them it's just not working out economically right now," said John Wayne Airport spokesperson Jenny Wedge.

It's the second airline to halt flights at John Wayne airport less than a year after launching service. Virgin America, which offered five flights a day between Santa Ana and San Francisco, left in May due to what officials said was a change in the company's business plan.

John Wayne Airport served 8.7 million passengers last year. The loss of two airlines has meant a drop in travel.

"We've seen about a 3 percent decrease in last several months since Virgin has left," said Wedge.

Officials hope to make up the difference next year when its new terminal three is expected to open.

Airport officials say they are in talks with three airlines that could potentially start service at John Wayne: WestJet, AirTran and Horizon Air.

Some passengers are hoping for more choices, saying the loss of Air Canada means less convenience traveling to Canada out of Orange County. Many will be forced to drive to Los Angeles to catch a non-stop flight.

"It's unfortunate. I've specifically chosen this flight because of its nonstop service," said Michelle May, an Anaheim Hills resident.

Officials urge passengers to contact Air Canada to check on other flight arrangements if traveling between Orange County and Toronto after Friday.


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