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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Air Service: Memphis to Toronto

If you don't live in Memphis or visit Memphis, the news today that Air Canada is adding two daily nonstop flights between Memphis and Toronto probably doesn't register. 

But as a traveler living in Memphis, I think this is great news. Beginning May 17, Air Canada will launch direct service between the two cities. It's not cheap; If I did the flight selector correctly just now it's roughly $550 roundtrip. Delta Airlines, which has a domestic hub at Memphis International Airport, offers a couple of flight options for around $500 roundtrip. (I typed in the same May dates to get similar flight options.)

What was not similar was the fact the Delta flight has layover options in Atlanta and Detroit, adding a couple hours and the hassle of changing planes to the experience.

So for now, cost-wise this new addition to the Memphis market doesn't mean much. But down the road, the competition will hopefully have an impact on prices. And Memphians can't complain about having another airline attempting to make inroads at Memphis International, where the scene has been dominated by Northwest and now it's parent company Delta for years. 

Who knows, maybe having another airline in Memphis, especially if it sees success, might help lure the ultimate to Memphis: Southwest Airlines. As Elvis once sang, "If I Could Dream."

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