London

Swoop to connect London to Edmonton, Abbotsford, and Halifax

Westjet's discount airline, Swoop, will begin flying to and from London later this year. Daily service to Edmonton will begin April 28th, with flights to Abbotsford, B.C. and Halifax beginning May 24th.
Swoop, the ultra-low cost carrier launched by WestJet, began flying in June of 2018. (WestJet)

Westjet's discount airline, Swoop, will begin flying to and from the London International Airport later this spring.

Daily flights will be available to Edmonton, Abbotsford, B.C. and Halifax, the airline announced Tuesday. Service to Edmonton will begin April 28, with flights to Abbotsford and Halifax beginning May 24.

Swoop will operate 189-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft for the routes. Fares will start as low as $99 for one-way flights.

Mike Seabrook, CEO of London International Airport, called Swoop's announcement "wonderful news for London."

"I've kept an eye on them and there's some very good value in their fares and service" said Seabrook. "We're confident that, with their aggressive pricing, they're going to stimulate the marketplace."

Seabrook expects the new service will lure passengers from across the region. 

"We're going to be grabbing, all over, southern Ontario travellers."

Swoop is described as an ultra-low cost carrier. It began flying in June 2018 with its main hub in Hamilton.

It had some bumpy patches during its start up. It had to cancel flights to the U.S. after it initially failed to secure regulatory approval in the U.S.. It was also the subject of an investigation by the competition bureau of "predatory pricing".  

Swoop's pilots, along with their colleagues at Westjet, recently reached a contract deal with the company.

London airport to also reduce passenger fees

"We have positioned ourselves as a low-cost airport" said Lauren Stafford, Manager of Business Development and Marketing for the airport said in a statement.

Stafford said the airport will be reducing its AIF (Airport improvement fee) from $15.00 to $7.00.

"This decrease will benefit our passengers and airlines, and hopefully act as a catalyst for the addition of other new air services."

Swoop joins Air Canada Express, WestJet and WestJet Encore in offering scheduled passenger service to and from London International Airport. Sunwing and Air Transat operate charter flights to sun destinations during winter months.

The airport said air traffic increased by 3 per cent in 2018 and finished at 536,000 passengers. But, with the addition of Swoop, total passengers for 2019 are expected to almost double.

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