13 years ago, Serge Larivière has convinced the north american airlines to land at Mont-Tremblant. Today, pandemic or not, he wants to democratise the regional flights to Quebec.
“The heart of the problem in Quebec, it is the price of plane tickets,” says the business man, 56 years old, who is the owner of the international Airport of Mont-Tremblant.
If all goes well, the co-op he wants to start, Treq, will begin its activities in spring 2021, with a few destinations among the following : Gaspé, Mont-Joli, Saguenay, Sherbrooke, Rouyn-Noranda, Sept-Îles, Baie-Comeau, quebec, the Magdalen islands and Fermont.
“It has been told so often by the carriers in place that the prices are high because there is no demand,” he recalls. We, it is said to be completely the opposite : there is no demand because prices are high. “
The employment of Intrawest, Mr. Lariviere has been involved in the development of Tremblant in the 1990s.
To attract skiers from Ontario and the northeastern united states, it is then interested in the pane air by acquiring the former military airport of La Macaza. Continental Airlines has offered flights from New York for a few years, while Porter Airlines and Air Canada have linked Toronto to the Hautes-Laurentides until last winter.
“One of the features at the base of this success is that over the years, we always kept the ticket prices down from $ 400,” says Serge Larivière.
“We enter a little into a new world, but it’s been ten years that one learns the craft through the carriers in Ontario and in the United States,” he says.
Elected officials have finished by the contact, surprised that there are as many flights to Tremblant while quebec regions are generally underserved. Mr. Larivière has even discussed the issue with former prime minister Philippe Couillard.
Project with Hydro-Quebec
In 2017, Serge Larivière has proposed to rent the three propeller planes Dash 8 Hydro-Québec to launch a new regional carrier. The project, however, encountered a refusal of the Crown corporation, which feared a negative impact on its aviation activities.
In the new version of the project, Treq would acquire it-even five of the aircraft Dash 8-400 74 spaces at a cost of approximately $ 60 million. The cooperative would also need approximately $ 30 million of the governments to make improvements to some regional airports.
“We are quite sure to find in Quebec of patient capital to support our project “, said Mr. Larivière, who puts forward the argument of the occupation of the territory.
“The last class “
“While the rest of America uses the aircraft to move quickly, the rest of us, either we spend the day on the 117 between Rouyn and Montreal, or worse, it does not move, lance-t-il. […] If it is the last class in regional air transport, there is an economic cost to that. “
With a regional carrier competitive, many Quebecers would prefer to spend their vacation in the Gaspé or the Magdalen islands rather than in Maine, advance Serge Larivière.
That said, ” you must not think that tomorrow morning, all Quebecers will “pitch” plane. It should be there, it is necessary to be viable, it must be solidly financed and give the time, ” he says, noting that it took three years to get the airport of Mont-Tremblant.