Canadian discount airline CanJet Airlines is seeking alternative sources for additional Boeing 737s after talks with US Airways to lease three more of the type collapsed. Meanwhile, CanJet is introducing lower fares in response to what it sees as continued predatory fare action by Air Canada. The cuts come just ahead of Canada's Competition Bureau ruling on CanJet's earlier complaints of anti-competitive pricing by the major.

CanJet, launched in September, is operating six leased Boeing 737-200s from US Airways in eastern Canada. The Halifax-based airline was in talks with US Airways over the lease of three more 737-200s, but these talks have reached an impasse. CanJet says that the US major would not agree terms for returning the aircraft off lease if they were no longer needed.

CanJet's chief operating officer Mark Winders says the airline is looking at alternative leasing deals with other companies, adding that talks with US Airways are "dead". The seventh aircraft was needed to launch non-stop Halifax-Toronto services, while plans for the eighth and ninth aircraft have not been finalised. As a result, the carrier is reducing frequencies between Toronto and Winnipeg to allow it to launch Toronto-Halifax services with its present fleet.

Meanwhile, CanJet has cut fares on routes in eastern Canada in response to discounting by Air Canada. Winders says the airline is seeking an extension to a ruling by Canada's Competition Bureau that temporarily prohibited Air Canada from offering similar discount fares on routes flown by CanJet. The ruling ended on 31 December.

Skyservice spin-off Roots Air, which launches next month, is also accusing Air Canada of using "questionable tactics" to undermine its inauguration of services between Toronto and Calgary.

Source: Flight International