Canadian ULCC Swoop is expanding its domestic network, adding nonstop flights to Newfoundland and increasing service in Atlantic Canada.
The planned growth comes after the airline agreed to take six new Boeing 737 MAX 8s, with deliveries due to start this summer to help meet peak season travel demand. The WestJet subsidiary currently operates a fleet of 10 737-800s.
“We saw demand for travel return in a very meaningful way over the holidays, signalling that Canadians are ready to reunite with family and friends,” said Bert van der Stege, head of commercial and finance at Swoop.
“The acquisition of six new aircraft in response to anticipated demand will ensure Swoop reconnects more Canadians this summer while accelerating Canada’s economic recovery.”
Calgary-based Swoop said the network expansion will increase the number of domestic routes served to 37 during the summer 2022 season, as well as growing capacity in Atlantic Canada by 273% compared with pre-pandemic levels.
New destinations include Deer Lake (YDF) and St. John’s (YYT) in Newfoundland, and Saint John (YSJ) in New Brunswick. The airline is also expanding routes and frequencies at previously announced new stations in Ottawa (YOW), Saskatoon (YXE) and Regina (YQR).
Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows that Swoop intends to offer almost 280,000 domestic departure seats within Canada during the first quarter of 2022—a year-on-year increase of 225% and up by nearly 5% on the first three months of 2020.
The airline’s international capacity for the current quarter will be about 195,000 seats—up from just 15,000 this time last year when COVID-19 travel restrictions curtailed almost all international flights.
Swoop’s domestic expansion comes amid the rapid expansion of ULCCs in Canada. Edmonton-based Flair Airlines has been aggressively growing its fleet and network, while new entrants Lynx Air and Jetlines are set to launch later this year.