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Jetlines AIRLINES


Jetlines will initially fly in and out of Vancouver


G


iven it’s based to the immediate north of the land of the free, it seems apt that Jetlines CEO


Javier Suarez considers Canada the land of opportunity. The LCC boss will be launching the airline, initially using two Airbus A320- 200s with a 180-seat configuration, at some stage this year in a country he believes is currently the easiest place in the world to do so. He argues a combination of factors – including the country’s big distances, educated market and lack of competition – all bode well for the country, adding claims that Canada’s airport charges are too high are essentially null and void. But most of all, he argues the current


market is set up in such a way that it is crying out for a new LCC operator. Speaking during an interview at Routes America 2019 in Québec City, Suarez says: “Canada is a very unique market. There is no other developed market where two carriers control 80% of the market and have very high costs.” He adds in contrast to Canada, the LCC


market has a penetration rate of more than 50% in some of Europe’s bigger countries; in the US the sector it has a market share of more than 30%; while in Mexico, more people fly on LCCs than they do the country’s legacy carriers. “There’s plenty of room (in Canada),”


Suarez says. What we’re saying to investors is, assuming a 15% LCC penetration in Canada, there will be room for 100 aircraft flying under this ULCC model. There’s plenty of room for low cost carriers to grow.”


Unique situation


He adds with as many as five million Canadians travelling south of the border to catch flights on US LCCs, the market is well educated on what to expect from the sector and is ready to start booking with the new airline. “People are not happy with the existing


carriers,” Suarez says. “They know there’s not enough competition, and being an airline that allows them to fly and visit their friends and family more often and go on vacation once a year by being the lowest fare airline is going to be more than enough.”


Nor does he believe Canada’s small population compared to its physical size is a limitation, as some people have claimed. Suarez says: “Australia has a similar population and while it’s not as


Canadians will


cross the border to access US LCCs


routesonline.com ROUTES NEWS 2019 ISSUE 2 33





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