Jetsgo

Jetsgo

Jetsgo Corporation was a Canadian low-cost carrier based in Montreal, which served 19 destinations across Canada, 10 destinations in the United States, and 12 scheduled weekend-charter destinations in the Caribbean. Jetsgo abruptly ended service and entered bankruptcy protection on March 11, 2005, leaving thousands of passengers stranded, right at the beginning of the busy March-break travel season. According to news outlets, the airline was still processing orders and taking payments for the very night before they claimed bankruptcy.

Soon after its demise, the company pledged to make a comeback as a charter-only airline, but on May 13, 2005, the airline officially declared bankruptcy, cancelled plans to relaunch service, and began the process of liquidation.

History

Jetsgo was launched on June 12, 2002 and ceased operations on March 11, 2005. The airline was Canada's third largest airline at the time with up to 10% of the domestic market. Expert analysts widely blame the airline itself for poor management. Founder Michel Leblanc had previously founded Royal Aviation, which he later sold to Canada 3000.

On March 11, 2005, Jetsgo abruptly announced that it had ceased operations. The action stranded hundreds of passengers in airports and at their travel destinations with no way home, the defunct airline having made no arrangements with other carriers to handle their passengers. This occurred on the Friday morning before the March Break holiday season, one of the busiest air travel days in 8 of 10 provinces. 1200 employees also lost their jobs. Jetsgo accumulated $55 million in debt in the last eight months before it closed.

Employees were finally paid for the time prior to the airline's shutdown on March 14, 2005. Passengers who had purchased Jetsgo tickets were forced to apply for refunds through their credit card companies or travel agencies. Air Canada and WestJet ran additional flights to bring the stranded passengers home.

Because of its abrupt shutdown, the Jetsgo name was frequently corrupted to "Jetsgone" in media reports, and a website for former employees operated under that name for some time after the company's demise.

Public mention of the airline occurred again in February 2007 when it was reported that the US military was using the former call sign assigned to Jetsgo during flights over European Union (EU) territory. The report went on to allege that the call sign had been used by flights involving so-called "Extraordinary rendition" flights.

Staff

The following is a list of employees employed at the time of the airline's insolvency:

  • 1,200 full-time
  • 1,350 part-time
  • 550 pilots and flight attendants
  • 430 maintenance and ramp crew
  • 220 customer service representatives

Source: Toronto Star March 14 ,2005 p A7

Incidents and accidents

In March 2005 Transport Canada said that investigators found issues with the operating methods of Jetsgo. The deficiencies were discovered during "a special inspection" into engine problems revealed after a forced landing in January 2005.

Here is a list of incidents reported about Jetsgo:

  • Year # of incidents
  • 2002 - 5
  • 2003 - 15
  • 2004 - 32
  • 2005 - 7
  • Total (2002-2005): 60

Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada / Toronto Star March 17, 2005 p C9

On 20 January 2005 a Jetsgo McDonnell Douglas MD-83 landing in poor weather and low visibility at Calgary International Airport, Canada, veered left off runway 34 and hit a runway hold-short sign, damaging landing gear and flaps. The plane then declared a missed approach, took off and landed again. There were no casualties (ref: Flight International, July 2005).

Destinations

Canada

United States

Jetsgo was in competition with other carriers, such as Air Canada, Air Transat, WestJet, Canjet, American Airlines, and United Airlines.

Charter operations

Jetsgo also operated weekend scheduled charter services from Toronto and Montreal to destinations in:

Cuba

The Dominican Republic

Mexico

Fleet

Jetsgo operated a fleet of 14 McDonnell Douglas MD-83 and 15 Fokker F100; three more Fokker 100s were due for delivery in 2005. All aircraft were configured in an "all-economy" setting typical of low-cost carriers. Jetsgo also had special "comfort plus" sections on most of their planes which featured more leg room on seats A and B in rows 1 - 12, as well as no middle seat.

Slogan

"Jetsgo. Pay a little. Fly a lot."

"Jetsgo. Moins cher, plus souvent"

External links

References

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