WINNIPEG – Not two months after its much-anticipated launch, discount airline NewLeaf has hit some speed bumps.
They plan to temporarily halt flights in Regina, Saskatoon, Kamloops and Victoria starting in November.
“That is actually one of the lowest periods of the year for leisure travel,” NewLeaf CEO Jim Young told Global News. “We don’t want to be flying expensive airplanes with only 30 or 40 people on them.”
The hope is to have planes back in the air by mid-December in time for the busy holiday season.
Global News spoke to University of Regina economics professor Jason Childs about the move.
“It’s going to hurt your perceived reliability. If you’re looking to book a flight three months out, are you going to book on an airline that may or may not still be flying in three months?”
Young disagrees, believing that the move is necessary and that customers will still book with the airline once it gets flying again.
“Economists don’t run airlines or travel companies or combinations of the two like we do. We’re taking a look at the actual raw figures and the actual revenues and expenses against that.”
Of the four cities affected, only Victoria offered direct flights to Winnipeg.