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20 April 2017, 07:18 | Erica Roy
Calgary-based West Jet has announced plans to launch a no-frills ultra-low-cost carrier later this year
April 20 WestJet Airlines Ltd said on Thursday it plans to launch an ultra-low-cost carrier in Canada, in an attempt to grow its market share amid increasing competition.
The Canadian airline expects the service to start in late 2017 with an initial fleet of 10 high-density Boeing 737-800s.
Bartrem says consumers around the world have started to embrace the idea of ultra-low-cost air travel, but Canadian airlines have so far been slow to respond, partly because of the country's unique geographical challenges.
"As the price-sensitive consumer seeks out alternatives to what is presently available, we believe there is no better airline suited to bring [ultra low-priced carriers] to Canada than WestJet", WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky said in a statement.
Since WestJet started as a discount carrier with three aircraft in Western Canada, airlines have trimmed the extras and started charging for things like checked baggage and meals on flights.
Together with regional airline WestJet Encore, which it launched in 2013, WestJet offers scheduled flights to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe.
"Launching a ULCC will broaden WestJet's growth opportunities and open new market segments by offering more choice to those Canadians looking for lower fares". "We believe WestJet is well poised to bring that model to Canada". "Seats?" reader John Smith posted on public broadcaster CBC's website.
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