12 Low-cost air­line bat­tle heat­ing up

Fledg­ling Canada Jet­lines tak­ing on WestJet Busi­ness

Metro Canada (Vancouver) - - BUSINESS -

The ul­tra low-cost air­line bat­tle is heat­ing up as fledg­ling air­line Canada Jet­lines pre­pares to take on WestJet’s ef­forts to re­gain its man­tle as the coun­try’s low­cost leader.

The up­start air­line’s chief ex­ec­u­tive told an in­vestor con­fer­ence Tues­day that WestJet’s dis­count brand Swoop won’t be able to match its low costs, which will al­low prices to av­er­age at less than $100.

“This coun­try needs low fares. No doubt about it,” Stan Ganek told the Sco­tia­bank trans­porta­tion and aero­space con­fer­ence.

But he said WestJet’s cre­ation of a Swoop di­vi­sion just won’t cut it. “We all know that’s go­ing to be a tem­po­rary mea­sure and then rwigh­hetnbthacek­coump­paeg­taiti­ino.nSios wwih­poe’ds out, guess what, the air­fares go kid­ding whom?”

Gadek said Canada Jet­lines will emvien­riymthizinegcbousttsp­bi­ly­oto­su­atnso­dufrl­cig­in­hgt at­ten­dants. Tick­ets will only be avail­able on the in­ter­net, which dra­mat­i­cally cuts dis­tri­bu­tion costs. That will en­able the air­line to fill its planes and make a profit on each de­par­ture.

By con­trast, he said Swoop will be fight­ing in­ter­nal re­sis­tance from peo­ple who are used to do­ing things a cer­tain way, along with higher costs.

He said Canada Jet­lines is pre­pared for a fight with WestJet and is pre­pared to take it to task for un­com­pet­i­tive ac­tions, as WestJet did when it took on Air rCeam­naad­ina ivne1ry99a6g.gres­sive in de­fend­ing

WestJet coun­tered that it will its mar­ket share.

CEO Gregg Saret­sky told the hcois­nto­fer­ricean­ll­cyestuh­pap­toCr­taen­damdaorheath­sna’nt the equiv­a­lent of 2.5 air­lines.

He said the plans for three new star­tups in­clud­ing Flair Air­lines and Canada Jet­lines, along with Swoop and Air Canada Rouge, will make for a crowded mar­ket.

“With one ULCC al­ready fly­ing (Flair) and two seek­ing cap­i­tal­iza­tion to start, that’s about two-and-a-half times more than the coun­try can sup­port.”

Saret­sky added that WestJet won’t make Air Canada’s mis­takes in launch­ing Rouge in 2013 by en­sur­ing pas­sen­gers don’t get saen­pyan­raat­se­ty­wseubrp­sir­ties,ecs.heck-in will

Flights will be booked on a be at a sep­a­rate Swoop air­port counter and the uni­forms will beAairdiCf­faen­raed­nat ccohlioeuf fri.nan­cial

of­fi­cer Michael Rousseau also told the con­fer­ence that the coun­try’s largest air­line is watch­ing the bat­tle closely and is pre­pared to ex­pand Rouge to com­pete, if re­quired.

Canada Jet­lines plans to start oper­a­tions from Hamil­ton, Ont., and will add Ab­bots­ford, B.C., in 2019 and hopes to fly out of Mon­treal down the road.

WestJet says it will ag­gres­sively de­fend its man­tle as the coun­try’s low-cost leader as fledg­ling air­line Canada Jet­lines pre­pares to take off.

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