One Manitoba transportation expert believes NewLeaf Travel is only going through a minor hiccup.
NewLeaf announced Monday that it has postponed its launch pending a Canadian Transportation Agency review of licensing regulations.
University of Manitoba Professor, Dr. Barry Prentice tells 680 CJOB, the rules were not made for the cheap flights and NewLeaf is caught up in a mess it did not create.
“The costs are possible for them to start up, and they’ll be very competitive. But I don’t think there’s anything sinister going on. I think it’s just a matter of everybody having equal rules,” Prentice said.
The CTA is reviewing whether indirect air service providers, such as NewLeaf, should be required to hold its own agency licence. NewLeaf CEO Jim Young has said NewLeaf doesn’t need a licence because its partner, Flair, has one.
“The way the regulations are written, they were not required to have this licence it would appear, so they started up on that premise,” Prentice said. “It’s a matter of changing the rules to accommodate a new form of business.
Prentice believes it could even be a blessing in disguise to delay their launch until the spring, because that is when travelers begin booking summer vacations.
“These guys are somewhat revolutionaries in many respects,” Pentice said, “The current system was not prepared for this and now it has to deal with it.”