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Canada’s small airlines are disappearing into WestJet. What does that mean for travellers?

Canada’s small airlines are disappearing into WestJet. What does that mean for travellers?

Some individuals are questioning the way forward for air journey in Canada after WestJet confirmed this weekend that it’s planning to wind down Sunwing Airways. The information comes on the heels of the airline’s resolution to fold its finances subsidiary Swoop into its foremost operation.

Right here’s what some specialists suppose WestJet’s strikes may imply.

What does WestJet’s transfer imply for travellers?

It relies upon who you ask, and what you worth as an airline passenger, equivalent to worth, flight choice, consolation and safety.

WestJet’s transfer could lead on the airline to scale back its prices and enhance its costs, mentioned John Gradek, a professor with McGill College’s aviation administration program.

“There’s going to be consolidation. Shoppers could have much less selection, and shoppers pays extra,” he informed CBC Information.

WATCH | WestJet says it’s going to soak up Sunwing’s routes: 

WestJet to shutter Sunwing, soak up its routes

WestJet plans to close down Sunwing Airways after taking on the no frills service, leaving Canadians with one much less low-cost journey possibility. Some business specialists are warning the choice will solely drive up air fares.

That mentioned, there could possibly be advantages for travellers, too, in accordance with Lesley Keyter, a journey agent in Calgary who’s often known as the Journey Girl. WestJet will combine Sunwing’s plane underneath its licence, giving it an even bigger fleet and extra pilots.

“I believe in the event that they’ve obtained this large sturdy fleet of plane out there that they will transfer round, I believe this will probably be higher for the buyer and will probably be extra seamless,” Keyter mentioned. 

That would assist in conditions just like the one Sunwing bumped into final winter, when a whole bunch of Canadians wound up stranded in Mexico for days because the airline struggled to maneuver its restricted planes and crew to completely different airports amid winter climate. 

However isn’t having extra selection higher?

As low cost airways equivalent to Swoop and Sunwing disappear into larger ones like WestJet, it’d appear to be travellers have fewer choices.

However the transfer may permit WestJet to supply its prospects extra selection, equivalent to journey packages at completely different worth factors and luxury ranges, Keyter mentioned.

An airplane flies over clouds.
A whole bunch of Canadians have been stranded in Mexico final winter after their Sunwing flights have been cancelled. (Submitted by Sunwing Media)

“I’m a giant fan of competitors, however competitors solely works if it’s actual competitors,” she mentioned. 

“Additionally, keep in mind that WestJet nonetheless has a serious, large competitor within the enterprise, and that’s Air Canada.”

What’s going to Canada’s airline business appear to be sooner or later?

It’s doubtless extra airways will consolidate, in accordance with Gradek. 

“Put up pandemic, enterprise has been good. Planes are full, fares are excessive. Airways are feeling way more comfy in flexing their muscle to have a look at making an attempt to consolidate, cut back the competitors,” he mentioned. 

Final month, WestJet pilots reached a brand new cope with the airline that may see their pay rise 24 per cent over the subsequent 4 years.

The airline is now searching for methods to pay for that by decreasing bills, and probably by streamlining redundant positions throughout Sunwing, Swoop and WestJet, Gradek mentioned.

Different low cost carriers equivalent to Aptitude and Lynx are most likely in WestJet’s sights, he added.

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