WestJet pilots seek vote to unionize under the Air Line Pilots Association

The deal still approval from pilots and regulators, 680 NEWS senior business editor Mike Eppel said.

Canada remains the only G7 nation without a true ultra-low-cost carrier in operation.

Westjet chief executive Gregg Saretsky said this marks a "complete unbundling of services and products" that used to be included in ticket prices, but did not elaborate.

In making its announcement Thursday, Calgary-based WestJet said its version of a no-frills carrier will start with an initial fleet of 10 Boeing 737-800s that have been reconfigured to hold more seats and passengers.

"Jetlines will continue to work toward its goal of providing new low-priced options for the more than 10 million Canadians who are not choosing to fly in Canada and repatriating the five million annual flights Canadians have been accessing via USA airports, by providing Canadian consumers with a genuine ULCC and more competition." .

The airline, together with regional carrier WestJet Encore, now offers scheduled flights to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe.

He noted that WestJet has grown "beyond its low-priced roots", serving more than 100 destinations globally, and now needs to offer a separate product to capture Canada's most price sensitive passengers. The risks and uncertainties that may impact WestJet and the launch and success of the ULCC, include but are not limited to: changes in guest demand; changes in fuel prices; delays in aircraft delivery; significant maintenance events; changes in general economic and industry conditions; changes in the competitive environment; challenges to WestJet's ability to effectively implement and maintain its critical systems; and other factors and risks described in WestJet's public reports and filings.

WestJet started in 1996 with just three aircraft serving five destinations in Western Canada.

Morgan said his company is not scared off by WestJet's size or the quick time frame in which it has said it will get its low-priced flights in the air.

Though no provisional launch date has yet been set, Jetlines does plan to operate flights throughout Canada and provide non-stop service from Canada to the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

  • Lila Blake