New ultra-low-cost carrier Canada Jetlines will begin international flights early next year, with popular vacation destinations Las Vegas and Orlando set to benefit.
Earlier this month, the airline won a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) foreign air carrier permit, permitting it to land at American airports.
Canada Jetlines previously hinted that its first international destinations would be in Florida, a sign of its vacation footing. Its filings with the USDOT said it was developing relationships with Melbourne Orlando International Airport (MLB)—a secondary airport in the theme park hub—and with Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), an entry point for Tampa.
— Ronin Exploring (@Ronin_Exploring) February 26, 2022
The airline has now confirmed its first U.S. destinations will be Las Vegas and Melbourne, linking them with Toronto (YYZ) and Calgary (YYC), respectively.
Canada Jetlines still has to earn approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) but has penciled on January 19, 2023, for the inaugural flights on each route.
As noted by the airline, both flights will be operated with an Airbus A320-200, of which Canada Jetlines already has one. The short to mid-range aircraft is the workhorse of easyJet, one of the European low-cost carriers that Canada Jetlines is emulating.
Flights between Toronto and Sin City will run daily between Thursday and Sunday and take four hours and 53 minutes. Economy tickets will start at CAD 190 ($141), topping out at CAD 410 ($305), and are on sale now.
“We are incredibly excited to launch Canada Jetlines’ international services with a route to the entertainment capital of the world,” said Canada Jetlines CEO, Eddy Doyle. “As we continue to expand our international network with our first route into the U.S., we look forward to beginning services in such a coveted tourist and convention destination such as Las Vegas.”
Canada Jetlines will join the crowded airspace between Ontario and Las Vegas, already served by Canadian carriers Air Canada Rouge, Swoop, and WestJet.
According to the carrier, flights between Calgary and Melbourne should operate biweekly, on Thursdays and Sundays, with increased frequency to follow. These flights will complement Air Canada’s existing Calgary-Orlando route.
“Our Canada Jetlines family is thrilled to launch service to another exciting U.S. destination this winter – continuing expansion of our international network of convenient leisure and business travel,” Doyle said. “Canada is one of the top countries for international tourists to Central Florida and we are pleased to connect Canadians to their favorite sun-destinations as they begin to plan winter vacations.”
Melbourne International Airport is located 50 miles from Orlando and gives travelers access to Disney World, Universal Studies, the Space Coast, and Cocoa Beach. The airline will share the Calgary-Orlando route with WestJet, which lands at Orlando’s main airport (MCO) but costs more.
The new international routes mark rapid expansion for Canada Jetlines, which flew its inaugural revenue flight just in late September this year, from its hub in Toronto to Calgary. The airline confirmed that it would also launch a direct service between Toronto and Vancouver International Airport on December 9, 2022. The airline projects it will operate 15 aircraft by 2025, adding five each year until then.
According to the carrier, the USDOT filing should provide Canadians “with value vacation choices and convenient travel options to fly to leisure destinations within Canada, the Caribbean, and the U.S. points.”
The airline also “intends to provide exciting vacation packages via strong partnerships with airports, CVBs, tourism entities, hotels, hospitality brands, and attractions.”
By launching a transborder service on January 19, Canada Jetlines will pip fellow Canadian upstart airline Lynx Air. Lynx Air will start a four-times-weekly service between Toronto Pearson and Orlando’s main airport (MCO) on January 23.