Canadian ULCCs: 2020 to be the shakeout year

Premium Analysis

It seems as if the ULCC movement in Canada was stuck in the development phase for years. But with WestJet's debut of its new ULCC subsidiary Swoop in Jun-2018, and the transition of Flair Airlines to the ultra low cost business model, operators brandishing the ULCC banner have finally materialised in the country.

Jetlines' start date has moved around several times, but after three CEO changes during the past couple of years the company plans to make its market debut in 1H2019. As it works toward finally launching operations, Jetlines continues to stress that the Canadian market is ripe for more than one ultra low cost operator.

Those three airlines, Swoop, Flair and Jetlines, will largely remain in a build-up phase in 2019, but their fleet levels will continue growing into 2020. That could be the period when the market could send signals about the optimal number of ULCCs for Canada's aviation market.

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