WestJet’s Swoop takes off

Canadian WestJet’s new low-fare airline brand Swoop is scheduled to start flights in June, with the carrier to fly 51 weekly flights.

The no-frills airline, launched using an ultra-low-cost-carrier business model, will operate 24 weekly flights from Hamilton and 27 from Abbotsford, both in Canada.

“Swoop is travel without the flair,” said Bob Cummings, WestJet’s executive vice-president, strategy, and the executive member responsible for the new brand’s launch. “Buy the seat and customise the features you want.”

Starting 20 June, the airline will fly six times per week between Abbotsford and Hamilton, and six times weekly between Hamilton and Halifax. On 25 June it will start six weekly flights between Hamilton and Edmonton and between Hamilton and Winnipeg. A service between Abbotsford and Edmonton will begin on 25 July and operate three-times daily.

The airline will use Boeing B737-800 aircraft in a 189-seat configuration, with customers able to buy a seat and then paying to add any ancillary features they want such as bags, movies, Wi-Fi, more legroom and onboard snacks and beverages. It plans to operate a fleet of up to 10 B737s by the end of next year.

Cummings praised the regional airports that it is working with on the launch: “We thank our launch airports for their support in getting Swoop off the ground. Low-cost is the key and Hamilton and Abbotsford are examples to be followed. Keeping costs low so that the savings can be passed on to the travellers is what Swoop is all about. These airports are on the exact same page as us and we have worked side by side to make today happen.”

“We are delighted to welcome Swoop to Hamilton International Airport this coming summer season,” said Cathie Puckering, acting president & CEO at John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. “Our airport is quickly becoming a hub for convenient, affordable air travel for the growing Southern Ontario region. We are confident in our ability to support Swoop’s success by keeping costs low and passengers happy as they travel through our facilities.”

“The addition of Swoop to the Canadian aviation market is exciting for passengers,” added Tom Ruth, president and CEO of Edmonton International Airport. “This new option brings more choices for passengers, and we foresee an increase in the number of Canadians travelling by air.”

“We look forward to welcoming Swoop and their unique product offering to the Winnipeg market,” said Barry Rempel, president and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “Having more choices for travellers is a good thing and the addition of Swoop provides passengers at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport another option to connect to the rest of the country.”

“We are pleased that Halifax has been chosen to be a part of Swoop’s initial route network,” said Joyce Carter, president and CEO of Halifax International Airport Authority. “Low fares stimulate demand and open up additional opportunities to explore our beautiful country and connect with family, friends and colleagues from coast-to-coast.”

Swoop will join existing Canadian low-fare carrier Enerjet and Flair Air, while Jetlines is also due to launch next year. It is also expected to eventually begin flights to locations in the southern US and Mexico later this year.

 

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