New low-cost link soon available between Montreal and Paris

Little by little, low-cost European carriers are making their way to our side of the Atlantic. The Latvian airline Primera Air, which already serves Toronto, will offer a Montreal-Paris route from the end of October.

On the carrier’s website, a one-way ticket is posted for as little as $=169, but beware: nothing is included at this price!

A meal on board will cost you between $20 and $40, and if you decide to bring a suitcase, you will have to pay $120 at the airport. In addition, an additional $15 will be required if the customer wishes to pay for it with a credit card.

The arrival of Primera Air is part of a new trend: more and more low-cost carriers offer transatlantic connections, according to Didier Bréchemier, specialist in air transport at the firm Roland-Berger in Paris.

Unlike Icelandic airlines, which are based on a ‘ hub model ‘, today, with carriers like Norwegian or Level, a subsidiary of British Airways, ‘it’s more akin to direct flights, with departures from Paris, for example, to Canada or the United States.

A risky model?

Last week, hundreds of travelers who chose the Level carrier to travel to Paris were stuck for several days at the Montreal airport because of operational difficulties.

Some observers fear that such mishaps will reoccur with Primera Air, since its transatlantic fleet has only eight aircraft.

“I do not want the plane to have mechanical problems because they will run out of equipment to get them back to Canada,” says Nathalie Guay, director of the Réseau Ensemble travel agency co-operative.

“It’s very risky,” she adds, “but it’s a response to a very specific clientele, a niche market. ”

According to Mehran Ebrahimi, professor of management and technology at UQAM, discount carriers are reluctant to come to Canada because established companies leave little room for them.

“The Air Canada and Air France rates for Montreal-Paris are very low today,” he says. He explains that for about $ 150 more, the customer can choose an established carrier, which offers a better quality of service and infrastructure.

However, things are changing. Ebrahimi notes that carriers like Ryanair and Easy Jet, which have always focused on Europe, are starting to buy slightly larger planes, allowing them to travel to Israel, Jordan and the Middle East. .

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