WestJet plans to introduce a new ultra-low-cost carrier with expectations to get it off the ground by late 2017.
The airline said it is still waiting for regulatory approval, but will roll out the service with 10 Boeing 737-800 planes.
"As the price-sensitive consumer seeks out alternatives to what is presently available, we believe there is no better airline suited to bring [ultra low-priced carriers] to Canada than WestJet", WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky said in a statement. "That's from checked bags to bags that you bring in onboard with you, but ultimately driving lower costs for consumers". "The worldview on low-priced airlines has changed since the launch of WestJet in 1996 and we are responding".
WestJet started as a discount carrier with three aircraft serving five destinations in Western Canada.
"We have built WestJet from its low-priced regional roots into a renowned worldwide airline", co-founder Clive Beddoe said in the release.
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Together with WestJet Encore, the company offers scheduled flights to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe.
"You are seeing airlines going to start coming into this market".
Canada's ultra low-priced carrier race is heating up, now that WestJet has thrown its hat into the ring. "We see nothing like that here in Canada".
Some CBC News readers reacted with sarcasm at WestJet's announcement, questioning what frills are left to be discarded. "Seats?" wrote John Smith.
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