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Faculty members comment on low-cost flying

Friday, June 22, 2018

Low-cost flying - expert advisory

With the addition of WestJet Swoop, Canada’s low-cost air travel market is getting bigger.

The University of Waterloo has experts available to speak to the likely impact this will have on travel and the viability of the ultra-low-cost carrier business model in Canada.

Robert Kerton – Former president of the American Council on Consumer Interests

Kerton is a Distinguished Professor of Economics, Emeritus and Adjunct Professor at the University of Waterloo. He has long served as a consumer advocate internationally and in Canada with the Consumer Interest Alliance Inc.

“We can see the compelling evidence about the desire for lower prices in the way Canadians use border airports in the U.S.  The important outcome of lower-priced competition will be the expansion of the air travel market.  At lower prices, more Canadians will be able to fly.  Canada’s market for air travel is currently based mainly on business fares where individuals are less sensitive to our high prices.  At least one of the new entrants, Swoop, or Norwegian, or Canada Jetlines will solve the quality and reliability challenges and provide genuine competition.”
Geoff Malleck - Founding director of the Research Entrepreneurs Advancing Prosperity (

Malleck is a continuing lecturer at the University of Waterloo and is former director of the International Trade Specialization, the Global Engagement Specialization and the Management Studies Program. His areas of expertise include entrepreneurship, marketing and consumer behaviour.

“There are several advances that make the probability of success for ultra-low-cost carriers much higher; where numerous others have failed.  Smaller hubs will be cheaper for discount airlines to operate out of and the ultralow segment is now receptive to add-ons (baggage, drinks, washrooms, etc.). This could result in a sizeable piece of the population now being able to fly given the lower fares.

“These elements, shifting customer attitudes and the positive impact technology has had on aviation could be positive for low-cost travel in Canada.”