Swoop kicks off three new routes for the summer season

“Keeping costs low is what Swoop is all about”: ULCC gears up for June 20

CALGARY — Swoop has switched to selling introductory fares starting at $39 one-way, all-in after its $0 fares sold out for its June 20 launch.

The airline will launch six weekly flights between Abbotsford and Hamilton and six weekly flights between Hamilton and Halifax on June 20. On June 25 Swoop will start six weekly flights between Hamilton and Edmonton and between Hamilton and Winnipeg.

Swoop’s service between Abbotsford and Edmonton will start July 25 and will operate three times daily.

Overall the airline will have 45 weekly flights: 24 weekly flights from Hamilton and 27 from Abbotsford.

Billing itself as Canada’s “first true ultra-low-cost carrier”, Swoop “is travel without the flair,” says Bob Cummings, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Strategy and the executive member responsible for the launch of Swoop.

Swoop’s main competitor in the Canadian ULCC market so far is Flair Airlines. Flair has been in business for more than a dozen years as a charter carrier, and has five planes, with four now operating scheduled flights on its 7-city Canadian network including Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Abbotsford, Kelowna and Vancouver. The Toronto, Vancouver and Kelowna flights launched in December 2017.

Last month Flair made headlines with its new CEO, Canada Jetlines founder and former CEO Jim Scott, as well as new ownership and the possibility of new U.S. routes.

Already live with Amadeus, Flair plans to go live with Travelport (Worldspan/Galileo) in mid-February and is in final negotiations with Sabre.

Canada Jetlines, another ULCC, is hoping for a summer 2018 launch, making for a crowded field. Many wonder if the Canadian market can support three ULCCs.

Swoop put its first 2,000 seats on sale for $0 fares plus taxes and fees (each way) on launch routes. Seats were available for purchase on FlySwoop.com.

Routes will operate on Swoop’s B737-800 aircraft with 189 seats. The airline says the customer is in control of what they pay, purchasing only the seat and adding the features they want without having to pay for those they don’t. Features for purchase include a bag, movies and WiFi, more legroom or less, and buy-on-board snacks and beverages. Bringing a small personal item on board is free.

“We thank our launch airports for their support in getting Swoop off the ground,” said Cummings. “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.”

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