Swoop Airlines, WestJet’s low cost subsidiary, has received its 4th B737. Entering service on the 16th August, it is initially serving the company’s new Abbotsford to Winnipeg route.
The low cost airline sector in Canada is really “taking off” at the moment. Along with WestJet launching a low cost subsidiary, a competitor Jetlines Canada is looking to launch services in the first half of 2019. Until now Canada has been incredibly underserved by low cost carriers, but spotting a gap in the market, everything is beginning to change.
The airline currently serves 5 destinations in Canada. These are Hamilton, Halifax, Edmonton, Abbotsford, and Winnipeg. On October 11th, the airline is launching routes to 5 destinations in the United States of America. Phoenix, Tampa Bay, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale will start receiving flights in addition to Las Vegas.
Of all of these, Hamilton will serve as the airline’s primary hub, with Abbotsford being a second focus city. Interestingly, Hamilton will serve all of the airlines destinations bar Phoenix Mesa. This route will originate in Edmonton.
Swoop Airlines currently has 4 Boeing 737-800 aircraft each with 189 seats. Swoop has named each of their aircraft, with the current fleet named #Chinook, #Hamilton, #Bob, and #Abbotsford. In addition to these four lovingly named aircraft, Swoop has plans for a further 2 aircraft to be delivered by the end of 2018, with 4 more bringing the fleet to 10 in 2019.
The B737 aircraft operated by Swoop Air have 189 seats each. Of these, 39 seats on each aircraft have extra legroom. Each of the extra legroom seats offer between 4-6 inches of extra legroom. For a seat reservation you can expect to pay anywhere from $5.25 to $78.75 depending on the route and seat.
You are also able to pay for priority boarding on all Swoop flights. The prices for this range from $10.50 at the time of booking, to $21 at check in. Services like these are how low cost carrier subsidise their cheap fares. The airline incurs no costs allowing a passenger to board early or select a seat. This means that all the money for the service goes straight to the airline.
What sets this airline aside from airlines like Ryanair and Pobeda is the difference in prices of additional services between purchasing the flights, and retroactively. While Ryanair will also charge more for seat reservations and priority boarding after the flights have been purchased, they don’t charge twice as much in contrast to Swoop.
Finally, the aircraft offers wifi (at an extra cost) and power at each seat. Following on in the footsteps of Delta, the airline’s in flight entertainment system is provided through an app. The app, called swoop stream, is currently free to use. It saves the airline money, as they can provide passengers in flight entertainment while not investing in screens for each individual seat.
With flights available from just $9, ($1.45 for the ticket, and $7.55 in taxes), Swoop Airlines is certainly worth considering next time you’re jetting around Canada.
All prices in this article are in Canadian Dollars.