It has been 3 years since they stopped flying. Still, the idea of Flyglobespan Airlines keeps popping into my mind. This low cost carrier was based in the Scottish city of Edinburgh. Its small fleet was composed of four B-767-300ER, three B-737-800 and two B-737-700 passenger aircraft. The B-767 was the primary carrier on its transatlantic route, but, remarkably it did operate the B-737-800 to cross the pond. It is that fact that has always intrigued me. Is this aircraft financially viable on a transatlantic route. I am guessing that it would receive a flight certificate for only a far North Atlantic route. It B-737 most likely is required to remain within one hour of land. That means keeping close to Newfoundland, Canada – Greenland – Iceland – Faeroe Islands, and Ireland.
Although not planned into their flight schedules, I have read where Flyglobespan flights had commonly be diverted to Gander Airport, Labrador or Bangor International, Maine for refueling caused by excess fuel consumption as a result of strong headwinds en-route to their Canadian or U.S. destinations.
That’s what made me think. Why not plan a flight that required a refueling stop as part of a traveler’s itinerary and source for additional passengers. There are two airports in Niagara Falls – Niagara Falls (USA) International Airport with its near 11,000 ft main runway, and Niagara District (Canada) Airport with its 5,000 ft runway. Both can handle a B-737 flights.
The Niagara Region is a tourist destination because of the Niagara Falls, casinos, scenic gorge, amusement parks, wineries, etc. It is also economically depressed and totally reliant on what big city, Toronto-Montreal-New York-Chicago, tour operators decide to send it in terms of tourists for short stays. Eight hundred to one thousand miles to the east of the Niagara Region lies Canada’s Maritime Provinces, each province is a tourist attraction of itself and equally financially troubled and in need of development.
To resolve the dilemma a meeting of the minds and a union of 4 cities working together could very well do the trick in attracting international carriers and the tourists and business travelers the flights would bring. Niagara Falls, USA/Canada – St. John’s, Newfoundland – Halifax, Nova Scotia should work together to find a willing scheduled or charter airline to run at first a seasonal route(s) in cooperation with a tour packager that would include 3 to 4 days in each of the three cities served on these potential routes – two thousand of the route miles would be over the North Atlantic and doable by the B-737-800.
Niagara Falls – St. John’s – London 3,154 nautical miles
Niagara Falls – Halifax – London 3,167 nautical miles
Niagara Falls – St. John’s – Glasgow 2,962 nautical miles
Niagara Falls – Halifax – Glasgow 2,961 nautical miles
Niagara Falls – Halifax – Birmingham 3,096 nautical miles
Such an operation would most likely require local subsidies to get the flights started. That should not be a problem because the potential return should out-weight the initial cost. It could also be something that United Kingdom charter airlines like Thomas Cook Airlines, Monarch Airlines or Air Transat, Air Canada, etc. might want to look at. I would also guess that low cost landing fees would also be an attraction to go along with vacation alternative for their customers.