Canada Jetlines seeks exemption so its foreign investors have more sway

Exemption from Transport Canada rules justified because it will enable better connections for non-hub airports, Jetlines argues

Canada Jetlines aims to launch a no-frills carrier that would charge customers for extras and provide low priced fares

Prospective no-frills air carrier Canada Jetlines announced June 13 that it is seeking an exemption from federal rules that require foreign investors to have a maximum 25% voting interest in Canadian airlines.

Jetlines wants the limit raised in its case to a 49% voting interest so it can attract institutional investors that specialize in investing in and supporting ultra-low-cost air carriers around the world.

Jetlines made its initial request for an exemption on May 16 and has since been in contact with Transport Canada, the company said in a statement.

It is arguing that allowing the exemption is in the public interest because, among other reasons, it will enable better air connections between Canadian communities that are not the country’s main hubs. Examples of those airports include Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Winnipeg and Prince George.

Jetlines CEO Jim Scott told Business in Vancouver in April that initial flights from Vancouver could be to cities such as Reno, Nevada; Hamilton, Ontario; and Prince George, B.C.