WestJet today announced very exciting news. By the end of 2017, WestJet plans to launch a new ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) subject to pilot agreement and regulatory approvals.
The air travel industry has changed remarkably since the launch of WestJet in 1996. The concept of a low-cost airline was still relatively new when WestJet took to the skies on February 29 1996, serving five destinations in Western Canada with three aircraft and 200 employees. Fast forward to where we find ourselves today – there are more than 100 low-cost airlines around the world and there is a relatively new category called ULCCs where airlines offer much lower fares with a completely unbundled product offering and increased seat density. This has allowed the traveling public to select what they would like to add onto their ticket, thus keeping the overall cost of travel lower.
As the price-sensitive consumer seeks out alternatives to what is presently available, we believe there is no better airline suited to bring ULCCs to Canada than WestJet; after all WestJet pioneered low-cost travel in Canada in 1996.
Today, we have grown WestJet beyond its low-cost roots. We offer more than 100 destinations worldwide, state-of-the-art aircraft, codeshare partners around the world, an award-winning WestJet Rewards and credit card program, WestJet Connect, and WestJet Vacations with flexible packages offered to all of our leisure destinations.
There is much work to be done from now until we plan to launch at the end of 2017 and much more news to share with you in the weeks and months to come. The one constant in all of this will be the remarkable people we call WestJetters. Whether you travel on WestJet, WestJet Encore or our new, yet-to-be-named airline you’ll recognize the friendly smiles and warm greeting you’ve come to expect from us and we can’t wait to share more news with you.