Rethinking Canadian Charter Travel

Canada is the world’s second largest country, with a greater land mass than the entirety of Europe. Each region of Canada has a diversity of natural resources, and is populated by vibrant communities. These communities have unique cultures that make Canada into a rich mosaic.

Due to our geography, Canadians are spatially divided. The majority of citizens choose to settle in the nation’s historically prominent communities, with long distances in between. Thanks in part to the development of resources in remote areas, jobs often not proximal to the Canadians that hope to earn a rewarding income and contribute back to their own community. The problem arises: how can we transport ourselves across this vast country in an efficient and cost-effective way? How can we earn a living in a far-away location and continue to be connected with our cultural roots and make contributions to our families and communities?

This issue sparked the interest of Darcy Morgan, Chief Commercial Officer and founding member of Enerjet. In 2006, Morgan and his fellow airline entrepreneurs noticed a gap in the Canadian travel sector; despite the boom in employment opportunities in the energy and construction, few options existed to link related companies with valued workers from distant regions of the country.

Operating under the mandate to provide the best charter service available, Enerjet emerged as a leading competitor and innovator within the Canadian aviation sector.

A Flexible Business Model

Enerjet initially served the workforce transportation market exclusively. Operating primarily in the Alberta oil sands and similar energy resource hubs, Enerjet offered clients the ability to transport industry workers to remote locations at a reasonable cost. However, the company’s success quickly propelled them into other markets.

In early 2014, Enerjet signed an agreement with Transat Holidays to operate select flights between several Canadian and Mexican destinations.

“This is a mutually beneficial relationship,” explains Morgan.

The Enerjet-Transat model works particularly well in conjunction with Enerjet’s workforce transportation service. According to Morgan, “On weekdays we transport work boots in and out of the oil sands; on weekends we transport flip-flops back and forth to Mexico."

Enerjet’s complimentary work and play charter services keep the aircraft and crews on their toes. Enerjet aircraft fly throughout the week and weekend, improving asset utilization and reducing costs for all charter customers. Despite this diversity of flights that carry all sorts of passengers from industrial workers to sun seekers, everyone can be confident that their comfort and safety are Enerjet’s top priority. Enerjet routinely receives compliments from travelers impressed by the friendly service.

The Boeing 737

Enerjet is currently the only charter airline with a bespoke service to the energy industry using the Boeing 737 Next Generation (NG) aircraft. This modern marvel is faster, more fuel efficient, more reliable, and emits less carbon dioxide than its older competitors. Other charter airline companies use the older first and second generation Boeing models.

“When we looked at the market, we saw that oil companies were seeking a more reliable and efficient air service. We recognized this need was underserved and decided to approach the challenge with the third generation of Boeing, a superior model of aircraft,” explains Morgan.

Since Enerjet’s appearance in the market, other charter companies in the workforce transportation sector have responded. While no others yet use the 737 NG, most have upgraded to the second generation Boeing model.

An Unbreakable Focus

“Our mandate is to be the best charter 737 service in the country – that’s an extremely narrow goal,” says Morgan, “We know that in order to provide the best air charter service, we need to be very focused. That’s where our partnerships and integration of services become extremely valuable.”

Morgan directly oversees Enerjet’s integration program. Enerjet manages relationships with several aviation service providers, receiving high-quality professional assistance in such important areas as smaller-gauge aircraft, departure lounges, and airport ground services.

“As the integrator of a diversity of services, we remain accountable to our customers for all aspect of our business,” explains Morgan, “Our partners work together with us to provide the best possible service to our clients. Their expertise contributes to our reputation for reliability and safety.”

This tightly integrated business model allows Enerjet to retain total focus on their mandate. Innovative solutions to problems and new opportunities for growth stem from this singular goal. Enerjet can dedicate 100 percent of its efforts to meeting the needs of its customers.

Working Together in a Competitive Market

Canada is home to other workforce charter companies similar to Enerjet. These businesses, although lacking Enerjet’s Boeing 737 NG advantage, target a similar market and seek to meet similar needs. However, Enerjet doesn’t see their industry competitors as barriers to business, but as like-minded groups with similar goals.

“We’re often collaborators,” explains Morgan, “We help each other out. We [Enerjet] routinely employ other charter providers, and in return we fly for them.”

“Yes we compete, but by also assisting each other we can better move workers that keep the engines of Canada’s economy running.”

Enerjet plans to continue growing their business by following the Alberta Oil Sands Development Plan. Through their focus on safe, reliable, and cost-effective charter travel options, Enerjet believes they continue to connect Canadians with jobs in they need during the week and the holidays they love during the weekend.

Participating in Economic Change

Canada’s domestic commercial airfare prices soar far above those in other developed nations. The average flight between Ontario and Alberta can cost anywhere from $500 to $1000 per trip.

“There is a direct relationship between a widely available, inexpensive air service and the development of our Country. The Canadian social and economic agenda requires that people travel across the country for employment,” explains Morgan, “We need to be free to do business across the country in a cost-effective way. Today, only about one-third of Canadian households can afford to fly. How many more jobs would exist, how much bigger would Canada’s economy be if the other two-thirds of the population could afford to fly? Why should flying be a privilege for the elite? Canada is behind the U.S. Europe, South America and Asia in this regard. In fact Canada is one of the few places remaining in the world where the majority of people are prevented from flying.”

Morgan believes a strong local voice is fundamental in driving the changes that will eventually make flights accessible by the average person. He currently serves as President of his local community association and received The Calgary Heritage Association Lion award for his creation of a heritage asset inventory in 2007.So he knows that Canadians believe in community action. “If we make affordable flying available to Canadians, they will respond by making frequent and productive use of the service”.

The solution to Canada’s airfare constraint cannot be solved by consumer demand alone. Aviation is capital intensive and highly regulated. So investors, political groups, and regulators all need to help with changing the status quo. Through offering exemplary charter airline service at honest prices and by seeking new opportunities to fly for Canadians, Enerjet believes they can be part of the wider solution.