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WestJet To Launch Canada's Low-cost Carrier

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WestJet Airline Ltd. (WJA.TO) said it plans to launch a new ultra-low-cost carrier in Canada by the end of 2017 to cater to price-sensitive consumers. The plan is subject to agreement with the airline's pilots and regulatory approvals.

The Canadian airline expects the service to start in late 2017 with an initial fleet of 10 high-density Boeing 737-800s. The ultra-low-cost carrier ULCC will provide Canadians with no-frills, lower-cost travel options, WestJet noted.

"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. 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," Clive Beddoe, co-founder of WestJet and Chair of the Board of the Directors said.

There are currently more than 100 low-cost airlines around the world and a relatively new category called ULCCs, offering much lower fares and unbundled product offering along with increased seat density.

Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and CEO said, "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."

In February, WestJet said it will increase its capacity by 74 percent, adding new routes to and from Montreal and Quebec. The airline also said it plans to add 105 new weekly flights.

by RTT Staff Writer

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