Article: Western Coach Service

  • Image of Bristol 170 Freighter on airport tarmac

    September, 1953, Aircraft & Airport

    A bold step in the development of Canadian commercial air services will be made by Pacific Western Airlines Limited with an air-coach-type passenger service between Vancouver and major Prairie centers. F. Russell Baker, vice-president and general manager of PWA, which only recently broke into the ranks of the big-time, says that it is proposed to operate the service initially with two 48-passenger Bristol Wayfarers, passenger versions of the Bristol Type 170 Freighter.

    The main feature of the service will be a fast, economical operation between Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina and Winnipeg, catering to travelers who cannot afford the time involved in traveling by surface means, but at the same time cannot afford to pay “first-class” rates on the regular airlines.

    Fares are expected to be 30% lower than those of existing carriers due to economy of operation and the large carrying capacity of the aircraft. Plans call for at least one trip a day between the terminal points of Vancouver and Winnipeg. The aircraft would be based at Vancouver where PWA has facilities for maintenance and servicing. Similar facilities would also be arranged at the points of call.

    With an eye on expected opposition to his company’s service, Mr. Baker said in making the announcement: “Pacific Western Airlines is not interested in competing with TCA and CPA or in becoming a luxury type of air line furnishing a first-class standard of service.

    “We believe our future lies in the movement of passengers and goods in high-density aircraft and without the fancy trimmings and frills associated with most scheduled carriers. We are out to provide a service at the lowest price possible, consistent with safety standards in order that the people of Western Canada who cannot afford first-class fares or have not the time or the health to take a journey by day coach or motor coach, may travel by air.

    “We anticipate that our service would tap an entirely new source of traffic and that it will have no detrimental influence whatsoever on the traffic presently handled by the existing carriers”

    PWA has also announced that it is not considering air coach operations east of Winnipeg, but that it expects that a Winnipeg or Eastern Canada operator may institute a complementary service from Winnipeg east.

    Image of Bristol 170 Freighter on airport tarmac

    This article originally appeared in the September, 1953 edition of Aircraft & Airport magazine.

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