The Globe and Mail reports in its Friday edition that WestJet Airlines is creating an ultralow-cost carrier (ULCC) that is scheduled to begin operating before the end of the year.
The Globe's Greg Keenan writes that the airline will make the move down market in what some analysts regard as a defensive measure against fledgling ultralow-cost carriers Canada Jetlines and Enerjet. "We believe this is the best approach for us for the price-sensitive end of the market," WestJet executive vice-president Bob Cummings said. "We do believe there's a significant market out there beyond what we have today."
Mr. Cummings would not reveal route plans, fares or other operating details, but said that WestJet will begin with 10 Boeing 737 800 aircraft in a high-density seat configuration.
Ultralow-cost carriers jam as many seats into an airplane as possible while charging fees for baggage, food and drinks, inflight entertainment, paper tickets, and other services. The ULCC service is likely to offer flights both within Canada and to the United States.
"A 737 has a range of almost 3,000 miles, so it makes sense for us to look beyond domestic," Mr. Cummings said. WestJet closed Thursday at $22.91, down 21 cents.
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