WestJet has announced its intention to launch a new, ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) in Canada subject to agreement with its pilots and any required regulatory approvals.
Service is expected to start in late 2017 with an initial fleet of 10 high-density Boeing 737-800s designed by the airline that first brought low-cost air travel to Canadain 1996. The ULCC will provide Canadians with no-frills, lower-cost travel options.
“We have built WestJet from its low-cost, regional roots into a renowned, international airline with service to 21 countries and today it’s all about disrupting at the price-sensitive end of the market,” said Clive Beddoe, co-founder of WestJet and Chair of the Board of the Directors. “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.”
“The worldview on low-cost airlines has changed since the launch of WestJet in 1996 and we are responding,” commented Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and CEO. “The complete unbundling of services and products in order to lower fares for the price-sensitive traveller has created the ULCC category and our new airline will provide Canadians a pro-competitive, cheap and cheerful flying experience from a company with a proven track record.”
Caution regarding forward-looking information
Certain information set forth in this news release is “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Such forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, information respecting: WestJet’s intention to launch a new ULCC; the in-service date of the ULCC; and the impact of the ULCC, including that the ULCC will broaden WestJet’s growth opportunities, open new market segments and provide a pro-competitive, cheap and cheerful flying experience.