WestJet Airlines, Canada’s largest low-cost carrier announced that it will launch a new ultra-low cost carrier (ULCC) in 2018. What is a ULCC? Think Allegiant or Spirit Airlines for Canada. Ouch! Poor Canadians!
In a statement, WestJet said, “The name Swoop denotes exactly what we plan to do,” said Bob Cummings WestJet Executive Vice-President, Strategy and the executive member responsible for the launch of Swoop. “It’s a powerful verb that demonstrates we plan to swoop in to the Canadian market with a new business model that will provide lower fares and greater opportunity for more Canadians to travel.”
Swoop will provide Canadians with a no-frills, lower-fare travel option backed by an airline with a proven track record of bringing lower fares to Canadians and an investment-grade credit rating.
In addition, Swoop has chosen Calgary as the location of its headquarters. An exact location will be announced at a later date.
“As we looked around for the home for Swoop’s operations, Calgary quickly rose to the top of the list,” said Cummings. “The city offers Swoop the opportunity to save costs through shared services with WestJet’s corporate head office, the availability of existing infrastructure, and talented, experienced WestJetters to draw from. We are confident that these qualities will support our ultra-low-cost operations and our guests well into the future.”
Swoop will fly a fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft, presumably refurbished jets from WestJet’s fleet. Like Allegiant and Spirit Airlines, Swoop will charge for carry-ons, luggage, snacks, in-flight entertainment, and seat assignments. Additionally, the seats onboard Swoop aircraft will have a standard configuration which might mean a standard seat pitch and a pre-reclined option utilized by other ULCCs.