Are ‘ultra low’ airfares coming to Canadian skies?

Global News

When it launched in 1996, WestJet Airlines billed itself as the low-cost alternative to Air Canada.

It still tells us that 18 years later, but as the Calgary-based carrier has grown up, so too have its prices.

Average airfare climbed 4.5 per cent this spring, company execs revealed on Tuesday, while experts say the carrier’s pricing is now generally comparable to its chief rival’s.

And WestJet’s ambitions are only getting bigger.

In June, WestJet made its first transatlantic flight while earlier this month the carrier announced plans to buy more planes that will fly to additional international destinations beginning next year.

The moves layer on new routes to WestJet’s growing footprint, experts say. And it’s adding up.

“Complexity adds costs,” explains David Tyerman, an investment expert at Toronto financial services company Canaccord Genuity.

But WestJet’s plans seem to be creating new opportunities for others.

WATCH: WestJet plane makes ‘unplanned landing’ at Toronto airport

“It opens the…

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