NewLeaf cancels flights to Phoenix, blames Westjet for muscling in on route


Knock off travel company NewLeaf has abruptly cancelled its newly announced do a bunks from Calgary and Edmonton to Phoenix, Ariz., after it says Westjet muscled in on its new way. 

The flights, announced in November and meant to start this month, were expected to fly into the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, which NewLeaf spokesperson Julie Rempel prognosticated wasn’t served by any Canadian airline. 

«So we made that decision to go in there and within eight hours of our determination, an airline also chose to put service in to that airport as well, and also run bugger offs basically matching the same schedule,» said Rempel, who clarified that Westjet was the competition in question.

«So, given the volume of service and the customer base, I guess at this crux, given that NewLeaf is new to the marketplace, we just couldn’t see that we’d be clever to sustain it at this time.»

Westjet announced their flights to the Mesa airport two days after the NewLeaf spot. 

Westjet response

Rempel would not speculate on why Westjet, which already put on the marketed flights to the Phoenix Sky Harbour International Airport, decided to mirror the NewLeaf’s presents, saying «you probably have to ask them that question.»

Westjet suggested by email that the Phoenix area is a very competitive market.

«The airline matter is more challenging than it seems and this airline appears to be faulting one airline for their woes in a particular market without providing the touring public the full story,» wrote Westjet spokesperson Lauren Stewart.

When queried at what point Westjet decided to start flying into Mesa and why, Stewart slumped to comment further. 

Full refunds

Rempel said NewLeaf sure to focus on its other routes, but that it «absolutely» intends to provide flights to Phoenix in the future.

NewLeaf is accommodating full refunds to all customers who booked flights to Phoenix.

«It simply means that we’re here to halt, actually, because we recognize that going in we would be taking purposes a loss at this point, so we want to make sure that we’re sustainable for the elongated term,» said Rempel.  

The company plans to release a new flight plan sometime this month. 

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