HAVANA, July 21th The new Canadian carrier OWG, recently announced that from 1 November 2020, it will fly directly to Cuba. The Nolinor subsidiary also signed a partnership agreement with Hola Sun Holidays. What does this mean for this new low-cost carrier? Let’s investigate further.
What destinations will it offer?
OWG will operate in the leisure market, connecting Canadians with destinations in the Caribbean. The long-time standing carrier Nolinor invested over CA$1 million to create the brand and mission of OWG.
In a statement, seen by Simple Flying, OWG announced that, at least, it will operate to four Cuban destinations. it said,
“Flights to Cuba with OWG will be offered from 1 November 2020 onwards. Among others, destinations include Cayo Coco, Holguin, Santa Clara, and Varadero. Online check-in, seat selection, and Select Class upgrade will be some of the services offered by OWG.”
The carrier also signed a strategic alliance with Canadian travel agency Hola Sun Holidays and its sister company Caribe Sol in Quebec. These companies are specialized, according to the website, in Cuba.
Does OWG have competition in the Canadian-Cuban market?
Cuba is one of the main touristic destinations for Canadians. In 2015, when both countries expanded its Air Transport Agreement, Canada said that Cuba was its third-largest international air travel market.
So, there are a lot of airlines that serve this market. It means OWG will have to offer a unique, low-cost product that appeals the Canadian travellers.
For example, Air Canada also offers flights to Cayo Coco, Havana, Holguin, Santa Clara, and Varadero, according to its website. Westjet also announces Cayo Coco, Holguin, Santa Clara, and Varadero as some of its destinations.
Sunwing even has more destinations on its website, adding places like Cayo Largo, Cayo Santa María, Cienfuegos, Manzanilla de Cuba, Santa Lucía, and Santiago de Cuba. Finally, Air Transat also offers seven destinations across the Caribbean country. Meanwhile, Cubana de Aviación flies to Montreal and Toronto.
It is going to be an uphill battle for OWG to enter the Cuban market. There’s another low-cost Canadian carrier, Swoop, that operates in the Caribbean. Nevertheless, instead of flying into crowded Cuba, Swoop lands in places like Cancun and Jamaica.
What else do we know about the new carrier?
OWG stands for Off We Go. According to the carrier, it received authorization from the Minister of Transport to provide international flight services on 6 July.
The low-cost carrier will start with a fleet of Boeing 737-400 aircraft with 158 seats. These planes have a range of 4,630 kilometers and can fly at a speed of 885 km/h. Meanwhile, the distance between Mirabel International Airport in Montreal and Holguin is over 2,760 kilometers.
The Nolinor aviation team has worked in creating OWG since 2018. As OWG President, Marco Prud’homme said, its goal is to win the hearts of Quebecers. He added,
“The flight portion of your trip should be an integral part of your vacation. Traditional airlines have chosen to cut the quality of their services year after year with no regard for the passenger experience.”