Kitchener-Waterloo

Flight delay: Canada Jetlines won't fly from Waterloo region until 2020

Canada Jetlines says it will fly out of the Region of Waterloo International Airport by 2020, not next summer as initially planned.

Delay not because of "scaling back", airline says

The low cost airline Canada Jetlines plans to fly out of the Hamilton starting next June. Plans to fly out of Waterloo region have been put on hold for now, company officials say. (Canada Jetlines)

Just over a month after announcing it was getting ready to fly out of the Region of Waterloo International Airport next summer, Canada Jetlines has changed its mind.

In an interview on Sept. 11, Canada Jetlines CEO Stan Gadek said the ultra-low fare airline planned to start flights in August 2018 and they were in "active discussions" with the region's airport.

Jennifer Paterson, director of communications for Canada Jetlines, told CBC News Monday the goal now is to fly out of the region starting in 2020.

"The delay was not any scaling back in our strategic plan – we're still running as planned," she said.

The airline will be launching four new planes next year – not six – which Paterson said is a move to "smooth out the growth curve" for the new airline.

Paterson confirmed Monday, "discussions are still ongoing with YKF."

"We still plan to use Waterloo and Hamilton together. It's just making sure the timing is right for all routes and planes and the network overall," she said.

The airline still plans to start flying out of Hamilton on June 1, 2018.

Region 'most under-served market'

Chris Wood, general manager of the Region of Waterloo International Airport, knew Canada Jetlines was making changes to its rollout, but was not aware of the change to the start of service locally until he was contacted by CBC News.

He said it makes sense for the airline to start out at one airport and then grow.

"When you kind of scale down from six airplanes to four, I think it probably makes a little bit more sense to concentrate them at one station as opposed to two," Wood said. 

He said they're hopeful for any new service. The airport has launched a new request for proposals system that will allow airlines to have 24 months of exclusivity to certain destinations, which they hope will attract more service.

"We remain hopefully that there's going to be low-cost carrier options in Canada in the near future and we believe that this is the most under-served market in the country, and that there's tremendous opportunities here," Wood said.

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