WestJet Airlines plans to launch new cheap airline later this year
A pilot taxis a Westjet Boeing 737-700 plane to a gate after arriving at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., on Monday, February 3, 2014. WestJet Airlines says it will use low fares to compete with new discount rival NewLeaf but its "ancillary revenue" will come only from extra fees that it thinks will "add value" for its guests. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, April 20, 2017 9:41AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 20, 2017 9:58AM EDT
CALGARY -- WestJet Airlines Ltd. (TSX:WJA) has announced plans to launch a new discount airline later this year in a bid to offer travellers a no-frills, low-cost option.
The Calgary-based company said Thursday the yet-to-be-named carrier will start with 10 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, subject to agreement with its pilots and any required regulatory approvals.
WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky said the airline industry has changed since the company began flying in 1996.
"The complete unbundling of services and products in order to lower fares for the price-sensitive traveller has created the ULCC (ultra low cost carrier) category," he said in a statement.
"Our new airline will provide Canadians a pro-competitive, cheap and cheerful flying experience from a company with a proven track record."
WestJet did not say where the airline would fly.
Air Canada launched its discount brand Rouge with flights in 2013 with service to destinations Europe and the Caribbean.
WestJet started as a discount carrier with three aircraft serving five destinations in Western Canada. The airline launched WestJet Encore, a regional airline, in 2013.
Together with WestJet Encore, the company offers scheduled flights to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe.