New WestJet discount airline ‘may be based outside of Calgary’

A Boeing 737 (737-700) airliner, belonging to WestJet Airlines, in Calgary in 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Larry MacDougal

Less than a week after WestJet announced the launch of its new no-frills, low-cost airline will be delayed until next summer, the company says it’s looking into the potential of a different home base for the discount operation.

READ MORE: WestJet names executive vice-president for new ‘ultra-low-cost carrier’

“WestJet’s ultra-low-cost carrier may be based outside of Calgary as we are also considering locations that would allow us to take advantage of lower-cost markets,” spokesperson Lauren Stewart wrote in an email to Global News.

Stewart added no decision had been made as of Aug. 7.

“We are continuing our work on this and other elements related to the launch of the airline — namely the organizational structure, routes, schedules, service offering and branding,” Stewart said.

READ MORE: Here’s why low-cost airlines have a tough time surviving in Canada

She said WestJet’s plan for the ultra-low-cost carrier is to minimize costs and pass savings to consumer, “while unbundling all products and services so they can choose that which is most relevant for their trip.”

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The company recently reported it earned $48.4 million or 41 cents per diluted share in its latest quarter, up from $36.7 million or 30 cents per diluted share in the same quarter last year.

With files from The Canadian Press

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