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WestJet to launch their low-cost carrier for 2018

September 27th, 2017  |  Canadian Business

WestJet has announced that their low-cost carrier, named Swoop, will be launched in June 2018. The carrier will offer low-cost flights to customers, but are making it clear that any extras, such as checked baggage and boarding priority will come at an added expense.

"You are paying for a seat so, flexibility, convenience, comfort features, if you want extra legroom and so forth, it is unbundled, you'll be paying for those extras," said Bob Cummings, WestJet's executive vice-president of strategy, at a press conference Wednesday while announcing the new name and other details of the discount carrier. "However, we'll be making it extremely easy up front and communicating very clearly with respect to paying for the extras and buying those at point of sale. Whatever you choose to add beyond the seat, that's your choice."

While flight destinations have not yet been released, Cummings said that the carrier would work best in “high-density markets”, so it is a good bet that consumers can expect flight to originate from BC and Ontario.

"It's a 189-seat aircraft, it does need some population density," said Cummings. "Southern Ontario has 8.5 million people, southern B.C. has 2.5 million people. We'll be looking at secondary airports and we're working with airports across Canada."

Earlier this week the notion of discounted airlines making waves in the Canada market was up for debate. Some believe that these “no-frills” are not worth the discounted price of tickets when things like carry-on baggage and the ability to sit with travel partners are often not included.

Swoop will be joining the likes of carriers Enerjet, Flair Air, and Jetlines in the growing Canadian market.