Low-cost airline Flair connecting Ottawa to Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Toronto this summer

flair
A Flair airlines plane takes off in Vancouver. Photo by Brand03 via Wikimedia Commons.

An ultra-low-cost air carrier will fly into Ottawa this summer with cheap flights connecting Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax and Toronto to the capital.

The Ottawa International Airport Authority confirmed to OBJ Wednesday that Flair, the Edmonton-based low-cost airline, will begin serving YOW with three routes starting June 16. The flights, which will run until Oct. 24, will see Ottawa act as a midpoint between Halifax and the two Alberta cities. Flights connecting Halifax to Calgary and Edmonton will each run three times weekly, while Toronto service will operate daily.

Mark Laroche, CEO of the local airport authority, said the rise of airlines offering lower-cost, unbundled fares is changing the state of aviation.

“Every passenger has the choice to pay for the options they value, such as seat assignments, checked bags, as well as in-flight food and beverage. Flair Airlines is a welcome addition to YOW’s offering," he said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the Ottawa airport said Flair is the first low-cost carrier to serve YOW. In response to a question about Swoop, Westjet’s low-cost alternative, the spokesperson noted that should the airline seek to add YOW to its routes, the local travel hub would be happy to talk.

“YOW is an economic engine that drives prosperity for our community. If more air capacity and choice serve the market better, then we encourage the opportunity,” the spokesperson wrote.

The new low-cost service comes amid stagnant traffic numbers for the Ottawa airport in 2019. A total of 5,106,487 people passed through YOW’s gates in 2019, down slightly from the previous year.

Domestic and transborder passenger volumes were down last year as United Airlines temporarily suspended service along its popular Chicago route. Connections to Chicago’s O’Hare airport are set to resume next month.