WestJet Airlines Ltd. says it plans to launch a new cheap airline later this year.
WestJet said Thursday it will start with 10 Boeing 737-800 aircraft in its initial fleet and offer no-frills, lower-cost flights.
Travel Best Bets President Claire Newell is excited and says because WestJet is an established airline, they could make a go of it.
“We’ve seen success in Europe and other parts of the world where larger airlines then start a division that they consider a low-cost carrier, where it’s really unbundled fares and we see them all over the world.”
LISTEN: Travel Best Bets President Claire Newell explains what the new WestJet carrier could mean for travellers
She adds she’s hopeful Canadian travellers could begin to see ticket prices more akin to those offered in other countries.
“We’re going to have these options we’re used to everywhere else in the world: Australia, South America, Asia, Europe. In Europe there are 150 city pairs and the average low-cost fare between 2 cities, one-way, was 20 Euro. We see nothing like that here in Canada.”
The new yet-to-be-named carrier is subject to agreement with its pilots and any required regulatory approvals.
Co-founder and chairman Clive Beddoe said the so-called ultra-low-cost carrier will broaden the company’s growth opportunities as it goes after the price-sensitive end of the market.
WestJet started in 1996 with just three aircraft serving five destinations in Western Canada.
The airline, together with regional carrier WestJet Encore, now offered scheduled flights to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe.
With files from the Canadian Press.