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Fly for Less, Eh?

Cheaper Flights. More Companies. But is it really good news?

By Kelly ThompsonPublished 5 years ago 3 min read
photo courtesy: kafl/Thinkstock

Flying is getting cheap in Canada. Now with four Ultra-Low-Carrier-Cost airlines either coming to, or already operating in, Canada, from a financial standpoint we should ask ourselves: is this really a good thing?

Now, I am not a professional economist, nor am I the world's biggest stock trader. Here, I'm just going to point some things out from layman's terms. Please don't take this advice as be-all, end-all advice.

Flair Airlines

Remember Newleaf? The first Canadian ULCC that was going to make waves? Well, Newleaf now is Flair Airlines (well, Flair bought Newleaf, but same thing.)

Flair currently has a hub from Edmonton International Airport where they serve Canadian locations. They have been around the longest out of the four airlines mentioned here, and have a secure base in Canada.

Want to invest? No can do. They're privately held at the time of writing.


Swoop is the second airline to join the fun, with operations commencing June of 2018. Serving a handful of destinations (including the ever popular Hamilton and Abbotsford, which all ULCC airlines seem to cater to), Swoop is starting with a modest line of destinations, but with a big backing: owned 100% by WestJet (TSE: WJA), this airline seems to have a solid foot in the door. Full disclosure, I own shares in WestJet, but that won't stop me from sharing my nervousness when it comes to this airline. I'm hesitant to say that they'll be a success story. With Flair already serving more Canadian destinations, and the fact that they're owned by one of the two biggest airlines in Canada, I don't know for sure if Swoop will have what it takes to make it out of the gate.

Canadian Jetlines

Jetlines (CVE: JET) is an airline I am excited for. Once again, full disclosure, but I also own shares in this company as well.

Where I think Jetlines will do well is their intended locations: instead of focusing on diversifying Canadian destinations, Jetlines has publicly released many plans for international destinations, including places such as Las Vegas, Cancún, and Orlando.

My hesitation with Jetlines comes from their late arrival to the game, with flights now projected to start in early 2019. That being said, if they can find a strong start, hopefully they can see themselves off the ground and ready to tackle international destinations before 2020.


To be honest, Enerjet has announced plans for a ULCC called "FlyToo," but that's about all the information I can find. There's no website nor information that can readily be found about this airline. I don't think we will see this airline taking off anytime soon.

Overall, I'm excited about the direction the ULCC air travel is heading in Canada. As a large country with quite a small relative population, air travel is essential to feeling like we're able to bring our country together. In the end, I'm confident that at least one of the companies that are listed above will be able to to create some sort of positive change in the air travel industry, and that at least one of them will have the staying power to get past the start up phase.

The biggest challenge will be expanding and continuing to offer low fares while being able to match competition from Air Canada and WestJet. These companies also face difficulties due to the higher cost of doing business in Canada. That being said, I'm confident that more, cheaper flights will be offered.


About the Creator

Kelly Thompson

renaissance man and cultural commentator from #YEG.

fiction, non-fiction, poetry, screenplays and theatre. i try to do it all.

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