LOW-COST CARRIER WestJet Airlines plans to begin operations in western Canada on 29 February. The Calgary-based airline intends to operate 96 flights a week initially, increasing to 152, between Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. The carrier owns three Boeing 737-200s and has a "substantial pool" of working capital.

Air Canada and Canadian Airlines International say that they plan to match fares with WestJet on competing routes. Bus company, Greyhound Lines of Canada, has also announced plans for a low-fare airline, serving the same cities, beginning on 15 May.

WestJet chairman and one of the main owners is Clive Beddoe, head of the Calgary-based property-management firm Hanover Group. David Neeleman, former president of Utah-based low-cost carrier Morris Air, is a shareholder.

Source: Flight International