Next year will bring forth some potentially favourable changes for Canadian travellers. The recent rise of ultra-low-cost carriers in the country will make travel, both domestic and abroad, a lot more affordable.
This is great considering that Canada is one of the least affordable countries to fly out of, according to a 2017 Flight Price Index by Kiwi.com (Canada ranked 65th out of 80). With a line-up of new airlines offering flights for more than 40% off regular prices, that ranking is sure to improve in 2018.
Here are 5 new airlines that will sell flights to Canadians for $199 or less next year:
1. Canada Jetlines - Flights for $100 and under
Canada Jetlines has signed agreements to operate from airports in Hamilton and Waterloo, ON. It has also named Abbotsford, BC as its primary operating centre for Western Canada, and will expand to Florida and Mexico in six months. The company is aiming to sell for $100 or less, or in the CEO’s words, “as cheap as a pair of jeans.” It will also give away $10 flights to its first 1,000 Canadian customers when it launches in the summer of next year.
2. Flair Airlines - Flights for 23% less than regular price
Flair Airlines is based in Kelowna, BC and is looking to expand operations to Vancouver and Toronto by December 15, 2017. It acquired the assets of former ticket reseller NewLeaf, and promise to provide the lowest fares possible via a “label-less” model. It currently flies to Abbotsford, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Hamilton.
3. Primera Air - Flights to London and Paris for $199
Primera Air is one of the newcomers to the ultra-low-cost carrier scene in Canada. Based in Denmark and Latvia, the airline is launching flights in May 2018 from Toronto to various places in Europe, including London, Birmingham and Paris.
4. Swoop - Flights for 40% less than regular price
Swoop is WestJet’s take on budget travel. The airline, which will sell significantly discounted flights, will begin operating sometime early in the new year, however no locations have been announced so far. Some drawbacks to this airline include a slew of added fees for features such as check-ins and in-air refreshments, as well as less legroom due to the use of aircrafts with more seating.
5. WOW Air - Flights to Iceland and Europe for $99.99+
WOW Air has been in operation in Canada for two years now, and it’s one of the first services to demonstrate the potential of budget airlines in the country. Based in Iceland, the airline has routes form Toronto and Montreal to a variety of countries in Europe, including London, Paris and Tel-Aviv ($199.99 each). The airline also flies to Reykjavik, Iceland for $129.99 and has a stopover program for those flights.
6. FlyToo - No pricing models announced yet
FlyToo is a Calgary-based airline that looks to target smaller markets across Canada. They want to appeal to travellers from small towns and save them the hassle of having to drive out to an international airport that’s potentially hundreds of miles away just to travel. Though the company has not yet revealed any pricing models, it still promises to offer “widely available inexpensive airfares” to Canadians.
7. Frontier Airlines - Flights to various U.S. locations for $69 or less
Frontier Airlines is looking to run a Denver-to-Calgary route beginning on May 31, 2018. The company believes Calgary is “the biggest city of reasonable distance from the U.S. border” and hopes to tap into a consumer base of travellers who don’t have the option to simply drive across to the U.S. Fares will start at US$69 but can drop to as low as US$49 for Frontier members.