WestJet announced Monday that it is considering starting a low-cost airline with regional flights to smaller towns and cities across Canada as early as 2013. A Toronto Star article suggests that destinations could include British Columbia’s Cranbrook, Prince Rupert and Fort St. John; Brandon and Thompson in Manitoba; and in Ontario, Sudbury, Sarnia and Timmins.
The move would put WestJet in direct competition with Air Canada’s Chorus Aviation and Porter Airlines, though WestJet would likely add several destinations in western Canada, where Porter does not fly. (Porter CEO Robert Deluce is apparently not fazed.)
More competition will hopefully mean cheaper flights for travellers, more opportunities for travel for residents, and could mean easier access to far-flung adventure vacation trips.
But for now, the only plans in motion are to take a vote among employees about the possible expansion. On Twitter yesterday, a WestJet spokesperson wrote, “We haven’t made any decisions just yet about starting a new airline. We’ll keep our Twitter followers updated with any news.”