Low-Cost Carrier Swoop Announces Winnipeg Expansion

Low-cost airline Swoop has announced five new destinations launching from Winnipeg in Canada. The direct flights will operate in the winter months of 2019 and 2020, transporting passengers to and from locations in the U.S. and Mexico.

Swoop will now be offering services to five destinations from Winnipeg. Photo: Swoop Airlines

The new services

Despite the MAX grounding looking like it would hamper Swoop’s expansion, the airline has this week kicked off some new routes. Swoop has expanded ultra-low cost services in four U.S. destinations and one Mexican town.

On Friday 15th November 2019, the first services connecting Winnipeg to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and to Orlando International took off. Today (16th November) sees the inaugural flight to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The airline will also then begin flights to Los Cabos International Airport in Mexico and Tampa International Airport for the first time on 17th November.

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All of the services will be operating out of Winnipeg Richardson International Airport twice weekly. As winter scheduled destinations, the airline says the services will run from now until the end of April 2020.

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Swoop is adding to its network with five new seasonal routes. Photo: Swoop Airlines

Why the Winnipeg expansion?

There are a plethora of reasons for Swoop to open up its Winnipeg airport network.

For starters, it’s chosen destinations with winter sunshine which makes the sun-seeker holiday market profitable outside of peak season. But more importantly, Swoop has chosen to make that expansion mainly in the U.S.

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In 2018, the airline became the first Canadian ultra-low-cost airline to offer flights to the United States. The move was a memorable tie that now allows passengers in both Canada and the U.S. to benefit from more affordable travel. By reinvesting in these areas now, like Tampa and Las Vegas, the airline is reaffirming its commitment to travelers and to the area.

But again, there’s more. The airline is using these routes to show off its new gear. Swoop says that it is confident in its network and is using new aircraft to branch out this winter. In a press release, the President of Swoop said that the new aircraft would help it to deliver its mission. Steven Greenway said:

“The 2019 winter schedule adds Los Cabos and expands service at existing domestic locations….This past year we’ve learned that our network is solid and now we’re tweaking it using our next three planned aircraft deliveries.”

Promising growth for Swoop and its native Canada

According to Swoop, the airline has already received one of the three anticipated aircraft deliveries bringing its fleet to eight aircraft. The airline will receive the final two before the end of the year. At that point, it will have 10 Boeing 737NG 800 aircraft. These are the aircraft that will help service the winter routes.

Swoop will use brand new Boeing 737 aircraft to help manage demand from the expansion. Photo: Swoop Airlines

But Swoop is also using the winter schedule as a strategic bolster to generate interest in Winnipeg’s tourism and economy.

“Increased connectivity has the potential to strengthen our economy and is good for our community. With Swoop adding more routes, it shows they are confident in Winnipeg as a place to grow their business.” 

That’s how the President and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc., Dayna Spiring, sees the development, according to a press release. If Swoop can operate profitable low-cost service out of Winnipeg then maybe other airlines can too.

Already Swoop has demonstrated its confidence in its model. The airline officially launched flights in June 2018 as a WestJet subsidiary. Since then has developed a fleet of nearly 10 aircraft as well as services to 17 destinations across Canada, the U.S., and the Caribbean. In May 2019, it hit a milestone of one million passengers carried and this current expansion is just one of the health-checks that demonstrates its strength. The airline will begin offering flights from San Diego from Abbotsford and Alberta in summer 2020.

How do you feel about Swoop’s U.S. and Mexican expansion? Let us know in the comments!

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