Hriday Balachandran enjoyed his recent trip to Vancouver so much on discount airline Lynx Air that he booked a ticket to Kelowna, BC for Thanksgiving weekend.
It was the first time for Calgarians to use an airline and the price of air tickets was the main selling point. About $100 round trip.
Balachandran also flew Swoop and had a similar experience.
“They are always promoting,” said Balachandran, who previously worked in IT operations for Air Canada and WestJet.
“Where else can you get such a price?”
Canada Jetline’s launch this week brings the number of discount carriers in the country to four, joining Lynx, Swoop and Flair. Airlines focused on offering cheap flights are growing, but so far there has been no noticeable impact on overall ticket prices, enough for the air travel industry to support so many airlines. I have some doubts about the size.
Jetlines currently operates one aircraft on one route between Calgary and Toronto, while Lynx operates six aircraft to ten cities. Flair and Swoop are much bigger.
Aircraft numbers are on the mind of Jason Hampton, who flew to Newfoundland with Lynx to visit family. With Hurricane Fiona approaching, he’s been nervous all week about whether airlines will be able to return to Calgary this weekend.
“My anxiety is of course a possible flight delay or cancellation. I hope they can take me home,” he said. “I don’t know what to expect.”
Otherwise, he was impressed with Lynx. Discounts As with other his carriers, amenities are discounted and extras are charged. There was no in-flight entertainment or food service other than water, but he said it wasn’t a big deal because he was prepared.
The airline industry was one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic in 2020, with many airlines delaying or canceling new plane orders. As air travel began to pick up, new airlines were launching, offering a rare opportunity to gain access to the latest aircraft at discounted prices.
There is more competition in the sky, but ticket prices are about the same as they were before the pandemic began.
According to aviation analytics firm Cirium, the average ticket price in Canada for the month of July, for which the most recent data is available, was $193 one way, before taxes and fees. This is an increase of $3 compared to July 2019.
Both Flair and Lynx offer flights from Calgary to Toronto, along with other airlines such as Air Canada and WestJet. The average ticket price was $236 in July, compared to $237 for the same month in 2019.
However, on the route from Calgary to Vancouver, the average ticket price was $31 cheaper.
Airfare prices in July may not be the best measure, said John Gradek, director of the aviation management program at McGill University.
Given the number of airlines currently operating in the country, some experts say there aren’t enough passengers to keep them all together. Canada already has a long history of bankruptcies and failures in the airline industry.
“We’re going to do some consolidation. It would be silly to think the industry could survive on six airlines operating on routes like Toronto-Calgary or Toronto-Vancouver. It has a lot of capacity.
The airline industry is already in a state of flux. The proposed merger of Air Canada and Air Transat has been canceled in 2021. handle Ongoing between WestJet and Sunwing. This summer, Flair faced the possibility of losing its license due to rules relating to foreign ownership of Canadian airlines, but was finally allowed to continue flying.
Successful low-cost airlines are “those that can keep operations simple. Fewer problems means cheaper fares,” said director Jim Hetzel. At Cirium, by email.
Since all Canadian low-cost airlines are private companies, their financial performance is unknown.
Former WestJet CEO Greg Saletzky said in an interview that low-cost airlines face the tough financial challenge of offering low-cost flights at a time when fuel, labor and airport costs are all high. said to be confronted.
“I don’t think they could be making money,” he said. “I could do some of the envelope math that suggests they’re all burning cash. So unless investors keep pouring more cash into the business, it’s not going to survive. .”
“Everyone is chasing their dreams, but it doesn’t work out.”