End of February, OWG launched a bold marketing campaign. All major Canadian airlines failed to repay deposits, but OWG offered their client to win back their lost deposit. This action means that the new entrant is not cash-strapped but needs recognition in the market.
The new Canadian operator had a rocky start to its commercial operations this winter. The Spin-off of the Montreal-based Nolinor Aviation wanted to foray into the snowbird market and invested 20 million Canadian Dollars in the adventure.
Aircraft were upgraded with new seatings, schedules announced, and a tour company was the first client. All was ready for the first flight in November, but the second wave of covid destroyed these plans.
Less than two months in the skies
When Nolinor Aviation announced the acquisition of three Boeing 737-400, we were in a different world. A pandemic just hit the world, and we expected to be freed from most restrictions by summer.
OWG desired to start its flights in November. At that season, the weather became much colder in Canada, and that Canadians leave their country from time to time to find some warmer weather. However, travel was restricted, and the launch could not happen on the expected date.
On December 19, the first flight of OWG took off from Montreal to Santa Clara via Toronto. Flights were full. The conjunction of a need for the sun in the middle of winter and a need to escape the pandemic pressure and bad news was helpful for OWG.
Sadly, it did not last long. On January 31, a cold shower fell on OWG. In response to a new wave of the coronavirus, Cuba announced a drastic cut of flights to the island.
Canada was not listed in the affected countries, but the Canadian government pressured to stop Caribbean vacation travels. In agreement with the airlines, it was announced the end of all flights to Cuba till April 30.
Still as planned
We can’t expect a rocket start from a startup in these conditions. Nolinor didn’t even and was reasonably prudent in their business plan. Their plan did not expect flight in 2020 and very little in 2021.
They are not in a hurry to fill planes and flights for survival like another startup. OWG is mainly a brand within an airline. It plans to operate scheduled and charter flights to sunny destinations.
It doesn’t mean the fleet of OWG remained grounded since January, nor that it waited until December to operate flights.
Since the announcement of their acquisition, Nolinor marketed this fleet of Boeing 737-400 to its usual corporate clients. Those are the bread and butter for the Canadian airline for almost 30 years.
Of the free aircrafts, two are active across Canada for various charter flights. One is still grounded at St-Hubert airport near Montreal.
OWG branded flights are expected to restart as soon as the Canadian government allows flights to central America and Carabean again.