WestJet vows to compete with NewLeaf on fares, not fees

MONTREAL -- WestJet Airlines says it will use low fares to compete with new discount rival NewLeaf but its "ancillary revenue" will come only from extra fees that it thinks will "add value" for its guests.

See Full Article

The Calgary-based airline's chief financial officer told an investor conference Thursday that WestJet won't follow NewLeaf by charging passengers for carry-on baggage or for printing boarding passes at the airport.

"We want to grow our ancillary revenues but we want to grow it through the things we think add value to our guests and their experience with us," WestJet CFO Harry Taylor told an AltaCorp Capital conference webcast from Toronto.

Winnipeg-based NewLeaf, which begins service next month, plans to start with two planes flying among seven secondary airports in Canada.

Its website clearly courted the budget traveller when its launch was announced Jan. 6, saying: "Your fare gets you the two essentials: a seat and a seatbelt. The rest is up to you."

WestJet originally started in 2009 as a bare-bones discount carrier with a similarly small fleet, but has since grown and added amenities to its flights.

It has also increased "other" revenue, which totalled $355.9 million in the first nine months to Sept. 30 from $267.8 million in the comparable period of 2014 -- up nearly 33 per cent.

WestJet began charging a $25 baggage fee for economy flights to Europe after Jan. 6, and has raised fees for some reserved seating, in order to generate between $15 million and $25 million in additional revenue this year.

Earlier in the conference, Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) said it hopes to win one or two orders from large airlines to ignite the needed momentum for the new CSeries commercial aircraft.

The Montreal-based manufacturer has gone more than a year without a new order for the 110- to 160-seat plane.

Yan Lapointe, manager of investor relations, said breaking into a new market against the strong duopoly of Boeing and Airbus takes time.

However, he said the CSeries is a good plane whose operating performance has exceeded promises.

The delayed and over-budget CS100 plane -- the smallest model and first to be certified by Transport Canada -- is expected to be in service in the coming months.


Latest Economic News

  • Facebook to allow more graphic, potentially disturbing news posts

    Economic CTV News
    Facebook on Friday said that it will begin allowing more graphic or potentially disturbing newsworthy posts to be shared at the leading online social network. "We're going to begin allowing more items that people find newsworthy, significant, or important to public interest -- even if they might otherwise violate our standards," Facebook vice presidents Joel Kaplan and Justin Osofsky said in a blog post. Source
  • 'The whole system is rigged': An insider exposes what stands between you and the ticket you want

    Economic CBC News
    There are a lot of hot tickets out there that any fan would feel lucky to get. But your chances of scoring a seat — let alone a good one — may not have much to do with luck at all. Source
  • Emails show Clinton campaign weighing Keystone XL decision

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Hacked emails show Hillary Clinton's campaign wrestled with how to announce her opposition to construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline without losing the support of labour unions that supported to project. Emails published this week by WikiLeaks show debate and confusion within the Clinton camp as it faced down the unexpectedly strong primary challenge by liberal Sen. Source
  • Quick Facts: Some of the details about the proposed Canada-EU trade deal

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union, also known as CETA, appears to be close to foundering on the objections of a small region of Belgium. Here are some facts about the deal: Source
  • NY enacts restrictions on Airbnb, with fines of up to $7,500

    Economic CTV News
    ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York state enacted one of the nation's toughest restrictions on Airbnb on Friday with a new law authorizing fines of up to $7,500 for many short-term rentals. The measure signed into law by Democratic Gov. Source
  • Loonie dips below 75 cents — and may have more to fall, analyst says

    Economic CBC News
    The Canadian dollar traded below 75 cents US Friday, for the first time since March. The almost one-cent drop comes partly because of signals from the Bank of Canada — although the central bank is likely fine with a lower loonie. Source
  • Ottawa proposes shifting some risks to lenders in cases of insured mortgage defaults

    Economic CBC News
    The federal government said Friday it wants to hear from players in the financial industry on the topic of lender risk sharing, a move that could see mortgage lenders absorb a portion of the losses if insured mortgages that default. Source
  • Child porn accuser drops lawsuit against ex-Subway pitchman Jared Fogle

    Economic CTV News
    INDIANAPOLIS -- The family of one of Jared Fogle's victims in the child pornography case that led to the former Subway pitchman's imprisonment is dropping their lawsuit against him. A motion filed Thursday in federal court in Indianapolis requested that the lawsuit be dismissed with prejudice, meaning it cannot be brought back to court. Source
  • Tesla may enter ride-hailing business next year

    Economic CTV News
    DETROIT -- Electric car maker Tesla Motors has plans to get into the ride-hailing and sharing businesses. The company hinted at the venture earlier this week when it announced that all of its cars would come equipped with hardware needed to drive themselves. Source
  • N.Y. brings in tough regulations on Airbnb

    Economic CBC News
    Airbnb, the online lodging service that investors now believe is worth $30 billion, faces a reckoning. In eight years of torrid growth, the company has often clashed with local public officials seeking to minimize the impact of short-term rentals on neighbourhoods and urban housing markets. Source