'Rising Risks' Cut CanJet Flights

Discount carrier CanJet Airlines stunned the airline industry yesterday when it blamed "rising business risks" for its decision to get out of the business of offering regularly scheduled flights.

The Halifax-based company, owned by IMP Group International Inc., issued a brief statement saying it would offer refunds or alternative travel arrangements for anyone booked on CanJet flights after Sunday.

"With the rising business risks of operating a scheduled airline, IMP has decided to suspend year-round scheduled airline service and focus on their increasing charter business," chairman and CEO Ken Rowe said in a release.

Rowe could not be reached for comment yesterday.

IMP Group also operates businesses involved in aerospace, aviation, manufacturing, health care, industrial marine products and hotels.

The privately owned company said many of CanJet's 500 employees will be offered positions with IMP.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Transportation Agency said those holding CanJet tickets should make alternate travel arrangements with another carrier. Travellers who purchased tickets with a credit card should be aware that some credit card companies will void the charges if asked to do so. As well, those who purchased tickets with cash should keep all tickets and receipts issued by the carrier..

CanJet Airlines moved into the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport in April 2004 after WestJet cut 60 per cent of its service. But it pulled out again July 18, 2005, after barely a year at the airport, citing a lack of passengers.


The Canadian Press

* CanJet first took to the skies with six aircraft in late 2000, but the no-frills carrier reported heavy losses and was shut down less than seven months later when its parent announced it would be sold to Canada 3000 Inc. for $7 million in an all-stock deal.

* The company's employees were supposed to be absorbed by Canada 3000, but that airline abruptly shut down in November 2001.

* In April 2002, IMP Group said the airline would fly again. But Air Canada's discount service, Tango, was in the air and another airline, Montreal-based Jetsgo, lowered its fares in Atlantic Canada a week before CanJet's rebirth.

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