Lynx Air, Canada’s New Ultra Low Cost Carrier

Lynx Air, Canada’s New Ultra Low Cost Carrier

29

In late 2021 we learned the details of a new Canadian ultra low cost carrier, and the airline has now put tickets on sale for travel as of this spring.

Lynx Air, a new Calgary-based ULCC

Lynx Air will be a new Calgary-based ultra low cost carrier (ULCC), and plans to launch flights as of April 2022. The airline is taking delivery of three Boeing 737 MAXs leading up to launching operations, and has firm orders and lease agreements in place to acquire a total of 46 aircraft over the next seven years, to meet anticipated demand.

The airline promises low fares and great customer service. Lynx Air 737 MAXs will have 189 seats, with 28-30″ of pitch, so it’ll definitely be tight.

Merren McArthur has been named CEO of Lynx Air. She has served as CEO of Tigerair Australia, CEO of Virgin Australia Regional Airlines, and founding CEO of Virgin Australia Cargo. Here’s how McArthur describes plans for the airline:

“We are excited to bring competition and choice to the Canadian aviation market at a time when Canadians are yearning for the opportunity to fly again, whether it be to see friends and family or to take a long-awaited holiday. We have created an ultra-affordable fare structure which is focused on simplicity, transparency and choice. Our à la carte pricing will empower passengers to pick and pay for the services they want, so they can save money on the trip and spend where it counts – at their destination.”

Lynx Air will fly 737 MAXs

Lynx Air isn’t a totally new company

The concept of Lynx Air isn’t coming out of nowhere. Enerjet is the Calgary-based company behind Lynx Air. The charter airline was founded in 2006, and commenced operations in 2008. The airline primarily transported oil sand workers to job sites in Alberta, and also had contracts with tour and holiday operators.

However, for a while the airline didn’t have any planes, and just had 737 MAXs on order, for this new concept. Interestingly this isn’t the first time that Enerjet has thrown around this idea — around five years ago, Enerjet also planned to launch a new low cost carrier, which used the temporary placeholder name FlyToo. The airline had trouble launching due to issues with getting adequately capitalized, specifically due to Canada’s laws against foreign airline ownership.

Lynx Air is the latest attempt by Enerjet to get this airline concept off the ground, and based on flights now being on sale, it looks like it might actually be happening this time around.

Enerjet is behind Lynx Air

Lynx Air routes & fares

Lynx Air will launch operations as of April 1, 2022, with service to the following five airports:

  • Calgary (YYC) to all four other destinations
  • Kelowna (YLW) to Calgary and Vancouver
  • Toronto (YYZ) to Calgary and Vancouver
  • Vancouver (YVR) to all four other destinations
  • Winnipeg (YWG) to Calgary and Vancouver

All-in one-way fares start at just 39 CAD, and in the longer range markets (like Toronto to Vancouver) fares start at 79 CAD. Those are some incredibly low prices, and that’ll no doubt bring additional choice for Canadian consumers.

The lowest fares only include one personal item, which has to be stored underneath your seat. Virtually everything else costs extra. Looking at a one-way fare from Vancouver to Calgary, here’s how much ancillaries cost:

  • A seat assignments costs 10.50-42 CAD
  • A carry-on bag costs 31.49 CAD
  • A first checked bag costs 41.99 CAD, and a second checked bag costs 62.99 CAD
  • Priority boarding costs 10.50 CAD

So as you can see, the cost of a fare will increase significantly if you’re not traveling light and want to select a seat.

Canadian aviation is becoming more competitive

Historically Canadian aviation wasn’t particularly competitive, at least on domestic and transborder routes, with Air Canada and WestJet being the big players. However, there’s no denying that Canadian consumers will benefit from a lot more competition, especially among ultra low cost carriers. In addition to the low cost carriers of Air Canada and WestJet (Rouge and Swoop), you have airlines like Flair, OWG, Porter, Sunwing, and more.

I can’t help but wonder just how much competition the Canadian market can sustain. Canada has a population of just 38 million people, and while it’s a country with a lot of travel (both Canadians trying to leave the country in winter to enjoy warm weather, and foreigners coming to Canada in summer and winter to enjoy the natural beauty), there are still limits to how much total demand there is.

For example, Flair and Lynx Air each plan to acquire roughly 50 Boeing 737s, and offer an ultra low cost carrier business model. Is there really room for that much competition, especially year-round? Time will tell, I suppose…

Flair also has a lot of 737 MAXs on order

Bottom line

Lynx Air will soon become Canada’s newest ultra low cost carrier, as the airline plans to launch flights as of April 2022 with Boeing 737 MAXs. While the branding is new, the concept behind this airline has been in the works for a very long time. It’s nice to see this finally become a reality, with tickets on sale.

What do you make of Lynx Air?

Conversations (29)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Jim McGregor Guest

    I am a land developer. Will Lynx air service Brandon, Man. in future?

  2. Always Flying Somewhere Guest

    Of course, what helps drive up airfares in Canada are high taxes. So, that $39 fare is more like $90... and that's BEFORE adding the ancillaries.

  3. David Guest

    With Tim Morgan, the founder of Westjet in there, and I believe 3 to 4 of the other original founders ( whom were all forced out years ago because Westjet CEO " Clive " and others were getting greedy and moving away from the low cost agenda that was their success ) They will bring on a big run to the competition... People thought Westjet would never make it. Look out for this one!!!

  4. Dangerous Dave Guest

    JetsGo and many others have tried to be #3. It never works in the end.

  5. Jim Guest

    A la cart means when you add up all the ancillary fees, it will be cheaper, less of a hassle and more comfortable to fly a major carrier.

  6. Phil Guest

    Interesting how the article omits Swoop which has tried to bankrupt Flair for a number of years now. (and probably coming close) It is of course a subsidiary of Westjet. It is also interesting that these three newish start ups are in Western Canada where there are less passengers to service. I guess we'll see how it plays out.
    Phil

  7. zeer0 New Member

    Anything that helps Air Canada go out of business is warmly welcomed. Canadian aviation needs to be shaken up big time.

  8. Bob Guest

    Good luck to them.
    Anything that takes market share and/or profits away from the national disgrace that is Air Canada is good.

    1. Louis Guest

      If you know anything about airlines Air Canada is anything but a disgrace, in fact it is considered amongst the best as is Westjet.
      Each have won many global awards.

    2. Ksa63 Guest

      Air Canada must pay for any accolades it receives. It is terrible.

  9. Chris Guest

    Seat pitch 28-30 inches?
    I have no interest

  10. Jim Guest

    They will be bought out by Air Canada pretty quickly. Can't have an airline taking business away. If anyone doubts it, remember Canada 3000 ? Or CanJet ? JetsGo ? All low fare airlines that Air Canada killed so they could keep fares higher.

    1. azamaraal Guest

      Add in CP Air, Wardair, PWA - all major long term competition murdered by illegal government sponsored anti-trust predatory pricing by a government airline with massive losses.

  11. stewartboldt Guest

    We need a favorite airline to bussel our butts around. I think I heard, they've got a main player that worked for, West jet, ?!What a great airline!! Air Canada, is a failure. Can't see a rebound for them, for 20years. If not vanished. Terrible service anyways. Fire the works.

  12. Saheer Guest

    Population of Singapore is so tiny but Singapore Airlines amongst the best in the world

    1. Evelina Guest

      How is that relevant?

  13. Dave Guest

    Canada may only have 38M people, but (1) those people are mostly clustered in like 20-30 cities and (2) those 20-30 cities are mostly scattered really far apart from each other. And then much of the rest of the population not in those 20-30 cities (in other words, all 3 territories + the far northern parts of most of the provinces) is really dependent on air travel for *absolutely everything* since very few paved roads...

    Canada may only have 38M people, but (1) those people are mostly clustered in like 20-30 cities and (2) those 20-30 cities are mostly scattered really far apart from each other. And then much of the rest of the population not in those 20-30 cities (in other words, all 3 territories + the far northern parts of most of the provinces) is really dependent on air travel for *absolutely everything* since very few paved roads even exist north of the 55N parallel. So Canada seems like a country that really could support a lot of air travel, more so than a more geographically compact country with similar population.

    That said though, I don't know that Canada can support a lot of air travel *competition* especially if it's made up of many low cost carriers.

  14. Mike Guest

    Karen said: “I got an amazing deal on [INSERT CANADIAN AIRLINE HERE] but they went out of business and I’m never doing that again.”

    Choose from:
    Canada 3000, Canjet, Nationair, Royal, Roots, Greyhound, Intair, Jetsgo, Odyssey, Air Club, Skyservice, Worldways, Quebecair, Zoom,……

    1. cathie Guest

      Don't forget Wardair - the best Canadian airline, ever. Wish it would come back.

    2. Azamaraal Guest

      Lest we forget Legendary Wardair and slightly less legendary Canadian Airlines (CP Air). Both attacked by predatory pricing of AC and the government dominated air transport board that gave the profitable routes to AC and the losers to the others.

    3. Ksa63 Guest

      I remember those two fondly. I had great flights to Asia on Canadian.

      For me, Air Canada is a last resort. Avoid at all costs.

  15. Never In Doubt Guest

    They promise “great customer service”!

    That should differentiate them from the other startups that promise “terrible customer service”!

    1. Henry Hayes Guest

      It would certainly differentiate them from other airlines, which have almost universally terrible customer service.

    2. Bob Guest

      Or from the well established airline with a maple leaf on its tail where terrible customer service just comes naturally.

  16. Sean Simpson Guest

    Thanks for the post. I'll be interested to see how many of these survive! I am surprised to see you reference Porter as a low-cost airline in a few recent posts. My understanding of them is actually more that they are a business-focused airline, given their hub is Toronto Billy Bishop airport, don't charge for drinks, etc.

    1. DenB Diamond

      +1. Porter is an independent airline (not a subsidiary, not in an alliance...) but it's definitely not a LCC, let alone ULCC. It isn't leisure-dominated and its pricing model clearly isn't from the LCC playbook.

    2. Azamaraal Guest

      Porter is definitely only a small regional airline possibly with aspirations.

      Only flies from Toronto.

    3. Zachary B Guest

      Porter flies from other airports, Toronto Billy Bishops is it's main hub but it also has smaller hubs in Halifax, Ottawa, and Montreal.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Mike Guest

Karen said: “I got an amazing deal on [INSERT CANADIAN AIRLINE HERE] but they went out of business and I’m never doing that again.” Choose from: Canada 3000, Canjet, Nationair, Royal, Roots, Greyhound, Intair, Jetsgo, Odyssey, Air Club, Skyservice, Worldways, Quebecair, Zoom,……

5
Bob Guest

Good luck to them. Anything that takes market share and/or profits away from the national disgrace that is Air Canada is good.

1
Jim McGregor Guest

I am a land developer. Will Lynx air service Brandon, Man. in future?

0
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,523,713 Miles Traveled

25,807,500 Words Written

28,675 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT