Air Canada monitors regional developments at WestJet

Washington DC
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WestJet's development of a new regional subsidiary is being watched carefully by rival Air Canada.

Speaking to analysts during a 9 February earnings discussion, Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu said it is no question WestJet's recent announcement in moving forward to create a new subsidiary "is something that is of interest to us", and the carrier is following WestJet's moves very carefully.

Rovinescu said Air Canada would make adjustments as needed to respond to the potential new competition from WestJet, but said it was too early to gauge the financial impact of its competitor's plans.

Ten months ago Air Canada revealed its own desire to launch a new low cost carrier, and Rovinescu told analysts the proposal is proving contentious among labour groups.

Air Canada is studying various options as it works to create a new low cost carrier, with Rovinescu commenting the carrier is open to all kinds of business models to "affect this transformation".