Inaugural Flight to Montréal Takes Off
The gate area was decorated with red and white balloons, a bagpiper played, maple cream cookies and coffee was served as Air Canada Flight 1281 arrived from Montréal on Saturday, November 6. As the plane pulled up to the gate, the crowd celebrated. This flight was significant for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and the Valley of the Sun, launching the first-ever nonstop service between Phoenix and Montréal.
The new flight will operate on Saturdays and Sundays until April 30, 2011. The flight is timed so that travelers will be able to make connections to other Canadian cities as well as cities in Air Canada’s broad international network.
Aviation Director Danny Murphy opened the inaugural event and remarked about how important this flight is for the Phoenix area as Canada is Phoenix’s largest and fastest growing international market. Murphy says that this flight is part of continued efforts to strengthen and develop Sky Harbor’s air service.
“Thanks to the hard work of city staff, our Canadian business partners and the Montréal Airport, with strong support of the Phoenix Mayor and City Council, we have successfully partnered with Air Canada to make this service to Montréal a reality,” Murphy said.
Then Murphy turned the microphone over to Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon who arrived on the very first flight with Montréal Mayor Gerald Tremblay.
“I’ve just had the pleasure of traveling quickly to the fair city of Montréal,” Phoenix Mayor Gordon said. “While not an official sister city of Phoenix like Calgary, our partnership with the city of Montréal, the province of Quebec and the entire country of Canada is incredibly strong.”
In fact, Mayor Gordon shared some important statistics about the relationship between Phoenix and Montréal. There are over 128,000 jobs in Arizona that are directly related to trade with Canada; over 140 private companies are involved in this trade; and Canadians have replaced Californians as the number one source of home buyers in the state.
“For effective partnerships and positive business development between our two regions, we must have competitive air service,” Mayor Gordon said. “So thank you Air Canada for recognizing the importance of Phoenix to your business plan.”
Mayor Gordon then introduced Montréal Mayor Tremblay who thanked Mayor Gordon and Phoenix Sky Harbor for the opportunity to be here and discussed the relationship between the two cities.
“This new direct link confirms the economic vitality of our two cities,” Mayor Tremblay said. “Phoenix and Montréal are alike in a number of ways – aside from the weather! Both are cities of knowledge and high technology, with world-class museums and concert halls and an endless variety of things to see and do.”
And, Mayor Tremblay highlighted the fact that the cities can do more business together.
“Phoenix, the Valley of the Sun and Montréal, the city of festivals are now closer than ever,” Mayor Tremblay said. “Now it’s up to you to take advantage of this new connection, as tourists and entrepreneurs. This new direct flight will let our respective firms do business faster and more productively.”
Also in attendance at Saturday’s event were Phoenix Councilman Michael Johnson; Yanick Godbout, Acting Head of the Quebec Government Office in Los Angeles; Rick Stephenson, Consul & Senior Trade Commissioner, Consulate of Canada, based here in Phoenix; and Jude Welch, Director of Community Relations for Air Canada.
In addition to offering this new, nonstop service to Montréal, Phoenix Sky Harbor also has nonstop flights to Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and soon Regina and Saskatoon.
Pictured in the photo above are: Aviation Director Danny Murphy, Air Canada's Community Relations Director Jude Welch, Assistant Aviation Director Paul Blue, Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, Phoenix Councilman Michael Johnson, and an onlooker.
First posted: 11/8/10