Swoop expands in British Columbia with new domestic routes

Canadian ULCC Swoop is expanding its summer schedule by introducing Victoria as new destination and adding more routes to Kelowna for the peak travel season.

The airline, which had previously postponed planned operations to Victoria (YYJ) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, will now see an increase of flights and routes in three cities within British Columbia.

The new service to Victoria will include flights from Toronto (YYZ) and Edmonton (YEG). In addition, flights to Kelowna (YLW) will now be available from Hamilton (YHM) and once again from Winnipeg (YWG).

Both Victoria and Kelowna participated in Swoop’s recent 'Request for Proposals' (RFP) on Route Exchange, which sought to find new airport partners in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

“Our Routes airports RFP was done to identify strategic airport partners interested in stimulating demand. We received an overwhelming response from airports keen on planning the recovery together,” Swoop head of commercial and finance Bert van der Stege said.

“We are seeing strong advanced sales from Canadians eager to plan and book that domestic getaway this summer. As a result, we will be expanding in Western Canada with four new routes to two key leisure destinations, Victoria and Kelowna, bringing our ultra-low fares to more Canadians.”

Service to YYJ from YYZ and YEG will be up to 6X-weekly and 7X-weekly, with a planned start date of May 20, 2021. The route to YLW from YHM will be up to 6X-weekly, while YLW-YWG will be up to 3X-weekly. Both are scheduled to start on June 20.

Additional British Columbia service this summer will see Swoop fly from Abbotsford (YXX) to YEG up to 21X-weekly, as well as YHM, YYZ and YWG up to 7X-weekly. The route between YLW and YYZ will also increase to up to 7X-weekly.

“When the time comes for a safe resumption of travel, it will be critical to ensure access to affordable travel exists within our borders and Swoop is strategically positioned to meet that need in British Columbia and across the country,” Swoop president Charles Duncan added.

Victoria is the capital of British Columbia on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. The city is the seventh most populous in Canada and is known for its Victorian architecture, as well as acting as a gateway for travelers to explore other destinations on the picturesque island.

“Swoop’s commitment to Greater Victoria is welcome news—both as we recover from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond” Destination Greater Victoria CEO Paul Nursey said. “Reliable transportation to and from the destination is vital to the success of our visitor economy.

“There are other benefits to a low-cost carrier like Swoop entering market as well. It means Greater Victoria becomes an option for visitors that might not have considered air travel without ultra-low-cost carrier options.

“Increased competition amongst transportation providers means consumers have more choice for how they experience Greater Victoria.”

Kelowna, meanwhile, is a city in the Okanagan Valley in the southern interior of British Columbia, surrounded by provincial parks, pine forest, vineyards and mountains.

Lisanne Ballantyne, president and CEO of Tourism Kelowna, said the addition of nonstop air service would be “essential” to the recovery of the tourism industry and an important contributor to our local and national economy.

“While we wait for interprovincial travel restrictions to lift, we hope Swoop customers from Hamilton, Winnipeg, Toronto, and surrounding areas will begin to plan their future trip to Kelowna and the Okanagan,” she added.

Photo credit: joepriesaviation.net

David Casey

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