DALLAS — Today in Aviation, the first incarnation of Canadian low-cost leisure carrier CanJet (C6) commenced operations in 2000.
Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the airline was launched as a division of IMP Group in 1999. In May 2001, C6 was purchased by Canada 3000 (2T), then the largest charter airline in the world.
Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Canada 3000 collapsed without warning in November 2001. The airline was subsequently relaunched on June 20, 2002, initially flying to just three destinations.
Management opted for steady expansion, waiting for gaps to appear in the market as other carriers pulled out. This was highlighted when in April 2004 it launched flights from Toronto’s John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport (YHM). This followed WestJet’s (WS) decision to move its Toronto hub to Pearson International Airport (YYZ).
In 2005, the airline began to replace its aging Boeing 737-200s with second-hand 737-500s, sourced from United Airlines (UA). These would be replaced by 189-seat Boeing 737-800s three years later.
A marketing deal was signed with fellow Canadian carrier Harmony Airways (HQ) in May 2006. This allowed both airlines to utilize one another’s route maps and better compete with larger rivals.
Scheduled operations ceased in September 2006, with C6 refocusing its attention on charter flying. Over 1,000 jobs were slashed and four Boeing 737-500s were parked.
The airline limped on for a further nine years. Gradually, aircraft were removed from the fleet, and the staff was laid off. Finally, on September 1, 2015, IMP Group announced that the airline would close. At the time, it had a single Boeing 737-800 in operation.
Featured image: a CanJet Boeing 737-800. Photo: abdallahh https://airwaysmag.com/first-flight-of-the-boeing-737-500/from Montréal, Canada-Canjet C-FTCX Boeing 737-800, CC BY 2.0