Pamela Walker

LOOKING BACK: When Canada 3000 signed off, this travel agent jumped into action

The travel industry observed a solemn anniversary earlier this week, marking 22 years since 9/11.

The events of that day changed the industry forever, and in the months that followed, there was more upheaval on the way.

In the early months of 2001 Canada 3000 pulled off a triple merger, first with its acquisition of Royal Airlines, and then CanJet.

But it couldn’t make it through the turbulent months following 9/11. With 90+ destinations and 4,500 employees, Canada 3000 abruptly ceased operations in November 2001.

Pamela Walker, an award-winning destination wedding specialist with Weddings by Escapes (she also heads up ‘Say I Do’), tells Travelweek she remembers 2001 in vivid detail. “Not just for 9/11, but also the demise of Canada 3000 Airlines and the fallout from that … I personally had the biggest challenge of my career up to that point. It was a huge learning and growing lesson that shaped my future in the industry.”

In this latest instalment of industry memories for Travelweek’s 50th anniversary series, Walker shares her memories from that year.

“I had been in the travel industry for only two years by this time, and I had my first destination wedding group on the books (my intended niche), ready to depart Nov. 10 to Mexico,” Walker tells Travelweek.

“Two days before their departure date, on Nov. 8 just after midnight, Canada 3000 quietly put signs up at their airport desks and closed up shop. For good.

“The ensuing chaos in the following days brought much frustration and anxiety, tears and curse words.

“But long story short, I was able to rebook the group for departure one day later on another airline. Everyone got to destination, and the wedding couple got hitched on their intended wedding day.”

Walker says the ordeal and its ultimately positive outcome “was a huge win for me and solidified why I became a travel advisor – to specialize in destination weddings.”

And more than two decades later, Walker says she’s enjoyed “a fabulous and successful career, helping hundreds of couples head south to tie the knot.”

Want to take part in Travelweek’s 50th anniversary celebrations with your own industry memories? Email or Images are welcome! Plus, try your luck with our contest, ‘It Happened This Week’, featuring a new headline (and a new chance to win!) every week from Travelweek’s 50 years of travel industry news coverage.

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