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Canada's low-cost airlines expand services, announces Flair and Lynx

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Merren McArthur, CEO of Lynx Air, announces the startup of the new airline at a news conference announcing Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Announcements from two of Canada's largest low-cost carriers propose expansion in the budget leisure market.  

Flair Airlines chief executive officer Stephen Jones announced a deepening of focus to current routes with daily frequency increases to locations including Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

The Edmonton-based airline said it plans to expand its fleet to 30 aircraft, up from 20, by the end of next year, with planned service to 70 routes and is a step toward Flair's five-year plan to reach 50 aircraft.

Calgary-based Lynx Air also announced plans for expansion in 2023 as the airline will begin offering flights to the U.S. market starting early next year. 

The U.S. routes will include year-round flights from Toronto to Orlando, Fla., Calgary to Phoenix, Calgary to Los Angeles, and Calgary to Las Vegas, said Lynx chief executive officer Merren McArthur. 

“We know that Canadians love to chase the sun in the winter and we want to give them an ultra-affordable option with Lynx,” said McArthur.

More domestic destinations are anticipated to be added to Lynx's flight offerings said McArthur as the airline hopes to one day be Canada's No. 1 low-cost carrier.  

For now however, McArthur said that Lynx is “not really here to take market shares from our competitors, but really to grow the market and empower more Canadians to travel and fly."

Flair also proposed more flights to sun destinations Wednesday, as Jones announced they would be extending the number of flights to Mexican destinations, including Cancun, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta. 

Flair plans to be Canada’s third largest domestic airline by next summer, said spokesman Mike Arnot. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept, 28, 2022.

Caitlin Yardley, The Canadian Press