The COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity for smaller airlines to make gains in the Canadian market, with carriers like Flair Airlines and Porter Airlines announcing ambitious expansion plans for 2022.
Flair has positioned itself as an Ultra Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC) and has aggressively expanded within Canada in recent years, increasing the size of its fleet, and adding more routes including to new sun destinations. Porter Airlines is also expanding operations, announcing in July that it will purchase 30 Embraer E195-E2 aircraft with the option to purchase an additional 50 jets.
But whether these carriers will make a dent in Canada’s airline industry and take away market share from Air Canada and WestJet – which control 80 per cent of the domestic seat capacity – remains to be seen. On this episode of Editor’s Edition, Mark Satov, founder of Satov Consultants, is “not bullish” when it comes to the idea that the new entrants will take away market share from Air Canada and WestJet.
“I think Air Canada and WestJet let them have their fun until they decide they don't want to,” Satov said.