Canadian ULCC start-ups still carving out positions in the market

Premium Analysis

Canada's two ultra low cost airlines have adopted different network profiles. WestJet's ULCC subsidiary Swoop is in the midst of deploying a significant portion of its capacity on seasonal warm weather routes, while Flair is focusing its efforts on Canada's domestic market.

Swoop also largely focuses on secondary airports, whereas Flair's major bases are located at Canada's larger airports. But that has not stopped Flair from stepping up its claims that Swoop and WestJet are engaging in predatory behaviour.

Both Flair and Swoop have recently reached milestones in passengers carried and feel confident of their prospects for the future. However, in fact the real question is whether two ultra low cost operators are viable for the Canadian market over the long term.

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