CONTEST: Was it 2015, 2017 or 2019? ‘Onex gets its airline this time around with its proposed $5 billion WestJet acquisition’

CONTEST: Was it 2001, 2002 or 2003? ‘Virgin Atlantic, Roots Air launch by wooing agents with no caps, low agent fares’

TORONTO — This edition of ‘It Happened This Week’ includes a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it airline – and another airline that’s still around, but no longer in the Canadian market.

The throwback headline is: ‘Virgin Atlantic, Roots Air launch by wooing agents with no caps, low agent fares’

Back in the day one of Canada’s most iconic retailers, Roots, got into the airline industry with a handful of aircraft and flights from Toronto to Vancouver and Calgary. Agent-friendly Roots Air offered 8% commission with no caps, and special agent rates. But the start-up shut down within weeks. The flights were absorbed into Air Canada’s schedule after Air Canada bought stakes in Roots Air’s operator, Skyservice.

Meanwhile Virgin Atlantic splashed out with a big travel industry event, hosted by Sir Richard Branson himself, to launch Virgin Atlantic’s new daily Toronto-Gatwick flights. As the Travelweek story notes, Virgin Atlantic was paying 8% commission on Economy fares and 5% on premium economy and Upper Class, with no caps. These days Virgin Atlantic serves more than 30 destinations – but none in Canada.

Did the headline appear in Travelweek this week in 2001, 2002 or 2003?

Fill out the contest form below, with your guess and your email address. We’ll announce the answer and the winner next week, along with the next contest headline. Last week’s headline about Thomas Cook selling its North American assets for $5.3 million ran in March 2013. Our winner for Week #4 is Cornelia Campbell from Handa Travel. Congratulations Cornelia!



Every Wednesday in Travelweek Daily, we’re posting an article from Travelweek’s archives, spanning the years 1973 – 2023. Guess the correct year the story ran, and you could win a $50 Amazon gift card. There’s a new headline and a new chance to win every single week.

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