Canada Jetlines Ltd., a new ultra-low-fare carrier scheduled to begin operations this December out of its home base at Vancouver International Airport, organized what it describes as a protest concerning the country’s airline duopoly. Using four planes, 18 skydivers and Jetlines CEO, Javier Suarez, the skydive called out the lack of Canadian airline competition.
The company explains its protest was done to rally Canadians, investors and the Competition Bureau around the need for increased competition and decreased airfares in the country. The company also built a dedicated Jetlines’ URL fightback.jetlines.ca to serve as an online petition that will be presented to the Canadian Competition Bureau.
Jetlines states, that while several airlines have attempted to enter the Canadian market, the duopoly – comprised of Air Canada and WestJet – has pushed them out with short-term match-pricing at prices below their avoidable costs.
“Canadians pay among the highest airfares in the world and we’re the only developed country without an ULCC as two high-cost airlines control approximately 85 per cent of the domestic market,” said Suarez. “We know Canadians are fed up as there are between five and six million passenger trips per year by land over to the U.S. each year to fly on U.S. low-cost carriers, based out of northern U.S. airports, that in many cases only operate from those airports due to the robust Canadian passenger traffic. We’re urging consumers to go online and to show their support for more competition and lower fares in Canada.”
The launch of Canada Jetlines’ operations is subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and completion of the remaining financing. In addition to arranging financing, the company has spent much of 2019 organizing its routes and slots with a number of airports across the country.