Canada slated to get ‘ultra-low-cost’ airline
An upcoming entrant in this country’s airlines scene is promising to remove less money from travellers’ pocketbooks when it comes to buying airfares.
Canada Jetlines is slated to begin operations in summer 2018, based in Hamilton and Region of Waterloo International Airport
in Ontario, and company CEO Stan Gadek says it will bring financial relief to Canadian air travellers.
“Airfares are extremely high here in Canada,”
he said during a news conference in Hamilton last week. “Canada Jetlines is here to change that.”
Company officials are promoting Canada Jetlines as an “ultra-low-cost” airline, with Gadek saying neither WestJet or Air Canada will be able to match its fares, thanks to a business model that he said will give Canada Jetlines the lowest operating costs of any carrier in the country. The savings – resulting in part from using “secondary” airports that cost users less than the likes of Toronto’s Pearson Airport and having a “state-of-the-art commercial system” that he said will be cheaper than relying on a traditional GDS or the likes of Expedia or Orbitz – will translate into Canada Jetlines spending 9.5 cents for every air seat mile, less than the 12.5 cents WestJet spent per ASM in 2016 and further below Air Canada’s ASM figures.
“If you have the lowest costs, you will win. That has been proven time and time again,” said Gadek, who denounced “the lack of competition when it comes to airfares” within this country.
Gadek didn’t cite specific Canada Jetlines fares, but said they will be the same as a “pair of jeans. Jeans come in all sizes and prices. These are going to be very affordable jeans.”
Canada Jetlines plans to begin operation with two planes, initially having Halifax, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg – along with its Ontario bases – in its network. The number of planes will rise to six within six months and more Canadian destinations will be added. Cross-border service to Las Vegas and Orlando will be available some three months after start-up. The airline expects to have 12 planes after 24 months and during that timeframe will also begin carrying people to Mexico and the Caribbean and adding more destinations north of Mexico.
Gadek – whose background includes having worked for US carrier Sun Country – said Canada Jetlines has already been receiving interest about the carrier that promises to undercut established Canadian carriers price-wise.
Canada Jetlines plans to operate B737-800 aircraft that will have 189 seats in an “all-coach configuration.”
Passengers will pay extra for the likes of baggage and on-board drinks.
Gadek said his carrier’s low operating costs mean neither Air Canada or WestJet will be able to match its prices. American Airlines tried to match JetBlue fares, but those flights became unprofitable for larger AA, he said.
He noted the southern Ontario-area Canada Jetlines will be based in is heavily populated, giving it a large number of potential clients.
Canada Jetlines says it will begin ticket sales via jetlines.ca this spring.
Success of new airline entrants in this country has been clearly mixed, with some, such as Porter and WestJet, growing quickly. However, many others have been forced to shut down.
There was no immediate word on whether Canada Jetlines plans to pay commissions to travel agents.