Coop proposes to take over regional air routes in Quebec

A new cooperative announced on Monday it is entering the regional air transport business in Quebec, filling the hole left by Air Canada’s recent announcement it would cut several regional routes.

Treq said its mission is to offer an airline that “serves the regions of Quebec and allows their development.” It said the system had been deficient for “several decades,” confirmed by Air Canada’s announcement.

The cooperative wants residents of the regions to become shareholders in their own airline. Its fleet would be composed of Bombardier Q400s, which each hold 78 passengers.

Founding member Serge Larivière, president of the Mont-Tremblant airport, said Quebec is “last in its class” in terms of regional air travel in the Americas.

The airline hopes to get support from the regions and the Quebec government to offer affordable rates to the population. Its website listed potential prices for return trips of $199 to $276 depending on the season for Montreal to Quebec City and other short distances, $276 to $378 for medium distances like Montreal-Rouyn-Noranda and $318 to $425 for long distances like Montreal-Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Montreal-Sept-Îles.

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