WestJet subsidiary and self-proclaimed ultra-low-cost air carrier Swoop made its inaugural flight into Saskatoon Tuesday.
The Swoop aircraft arrived from Edmonton before flying on to Winnipeg, signaling a resurgence in air travel out of Saskatoon, according to Stephen Maybury, president and CEO of Skyxe Saskatoon Airport.
"It is indicating confidence in the Saskatoon market," Maybury said.
Initially, Swoop will only offer service to Winnipeg, Edmonton and Toronto from Saskatoon and Regina.
The budget airline already flies its fleet of Boeing 737-800 Next Generation aircraft out of several Canadian cities and offers service to the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean.
The additions of Saskatoon to its schedule Tuesday and Regina beginning Thursday are the airline's first forays into Saskatchewan.
"The numbers looked pretty good for us to come in and serve this market," said Swoop president Bob Cummings.
Cummings said Saskatchewan could be in line for direct international flights, depending on how the airline does in the province.
"We're analyzing opportunities down south."
He said Swoop, which was founded in 2018, is about 30 to 60 per cent cheaper than other airlines for its base, no-frills fare, which doesn't include snacks or carry on luggage.
"The segment that we serve is a price sensitive segment," Cummings said.
He said that with Swoop, customers purchase their seat and then each upgrade — including picking seat location, carry-on luggage and even water — will cost extra.
"You really pay for what you want," Cummings said.
As of Tuesday, direct flights from Saskatoon to Toronto in July were on sale for as low as $187, and Regina to Toronto was as low as $307.