Editor’s comment: The circle of ‘airline’ life

Regional Gateway editor Chloë Greenbank summarises the latest happenings across airports serving business, regional and low-fare routes.

The year has only just got started and already airports are bidding farewell to another European carrier, with Berlin-based Germania filing for insolvency on Monday 4 February and grounding flight operations that same evening.

With the demise of the German carrier following closely on the wings of Cobalt Air and Primera Air, which both ceased operations in October 2018, the industry is warning that fierce competition and over capacity in the European market could signal more airline casualties in 2019.

However, over in Canada, both Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport and Kelowna International Airport are hoping it will be a very different story for planned ultra-low cost carrier, Jetlines. The Canadian airline has revealed it intends to add both airports to its network as part of a wider destination map covering hubs throughout Canada, the US, Mexico and the Caribbean when it launches later this year.

Javier Suarez, Jetlines’ CEO, commented that: “Our very low fares should encourage people in Winnipeg and Kelowna to travel more often and see more of their own country. Similarly, driven by these low fares, both markets should experience an increase in the number of tourists in their regions.”

But, having backed away from an initial start date in June 2018, citing “increased demand and decreased supply” of used aircraft available for lease, Jetlines’ firm launch date is yet to be given the green light. Time will tell whether the airports on its network map will be welcoming the ULCC as a soaring success in the coming years or lamenting the loss of another promising start up!

The editor’s comment is published weekly as an accompaniment to the Regional Gateway e-newsletter. If you do not currently receive our email updates, you can subscribe here.

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