Flair To Serve Quebec From Summer 2023

Credit: joepriesaviation.net

Canadian ULCC Flair Airlines is adding a new domestic point to its network during the summer 2023 season with the launch of flights from Quebec City Jean Lesage International (YQB).

The carrier will begin two routes to the airport, starting with a three times weekly Halifax Stanfield ({{YHZ}) service on July 6. Edmonton (YEG) flights will begin the following day, operating twice a week.

“These new direct flights to Halifax and Edmonton meet a demand from the population and align with our goal to offer more options to local travellers and to be a direct gateway for tourists to the magnificent Québec City area,” YQB president and CEO Stéphane Poirier said.

Both of the new routes from YQB are currently unserved. Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows that only one of the two—between YQB and YHZ—has been served nonstop in the past decade, with Sunwing offering one flight per week from January to early March 2022.

On the 645-km (348-nm) Quebec-Halifax sector, O&D traffic amounted to 12,955 two-way passengers in 2019, according to Sabre Market Intelligence figures. All of the traffic was indirect, with 76% of travelers flying one-stop via Montreal (YUL).

Between Quebec and Edmonton, O&D traffic totalled some 15,370 two-way passengers in 2019. Again, all traffic on this 3,050-km (1,647-nm) route was indirect in the absence of nonstop flights. About 70% of passengers flew one-stop via Toronto Pearson (YYZ).

Québec is currently connected nonstop to 10 destinations within Canada, as well as 10 international points. The latest schedules provided by OAG show that about 6,565 weekly departure seats are available from the airport at the present time—more than double the 3,257 seats on offer during the same week in 2019.

Air Canada is the largest carrier by capacity operating from YQB, accounting for 46% of departure seats. Air Transat is the second largest with a 13% capacity share, followed by Canadian regional carrier PAL Airlines with 11.5%.

Flair’s expansion to Quebec comes as the low-cost market in Canada continues to expand. Lynx Air and Canada Jetlines have both launched in 2022, joining existing players Flair and Swoop.

OAG data reveals that there were about 130,000 low-cost departure seats from and within Canada during the week commencing Nov. 28, 2022. This compares with 55,000 seats at this time three years ago.

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.