Southwest Eyes Northern Push, Threatening Air Canada, WestJet

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SOUTHWEST AIRLINES
Low-cost U.S. airline giant Southwest Airlines Co., says Canada is on a list of “attractive” destinations it is considering for expansion – a development that would shake up Canada-U.S. air travel. | AP

Low-cost U.S. airline giant Southwest Airlines Co., says Canada is on a list of “attractive” destinations it is considering for expansion – a development that would shake up Canada-U.S. air travel.

The delivery of Boeing 737-800 models that offer more seats and longer range than Southwest’s 737-700 planes makes expansion to Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, Central America and the northern part of South America possible, the airline’s chief executive officer Gary Kelly told analysts on a conference call Thursday.

“Those are all within the performance capabilities of the 737,” Mr. Kelly said. “And they all look at least sufficiently attractive when it comes to the traffic potential in filling up the 737s.”

The move would mean increased competition for Air Canada, WestJet Airlines Ltd. and Porter Airlines Inc., which would likely lead to reduced fares for transborder travellers.

Read the whole story at The Globe and Mail