Jetlines (CJL, Vancouver Int'l) has announced it plans to base aircraft at Montréal St. Hubert and use the airport as its gateway to the Montréal region once the airport opens to large-scale commercial operations in 2020.

"Montréal travellers deserve a low-cost domestic option and those looking for low-cost air travel options destined south should not have to drive across the border to Plattsburgh Int'l. The Saint Hubert airport has our full support and we look forward to working together to design and build what will become Jetlines base in Montréal," CEO Javier Suarez said.

"Given the renewed interest by scheduled carriers to operate at St. Hubert, we will accelerate our efforts to secure a designated airport status which will enable us to provide security screening services from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) at an affordable rate. At the same time, our intention is to obtain customs and immigration services from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in order to offer transborder flights," Jane Foyle, General Manager of DASH-L, the non-profit organization that manages the airport added.

The airport is currently undergoing expansion partially funded by the Canadian federal government to develop it into a low-cost facility for the Montréal area. The reconstruction involves the extension of the runway and the construction of a new passenger terminal.

According to the ch-aviation capacity module, St. Hubert currently sees only small turboprop domestic services operated by Pascan Aviation (P6, Montréal St. Hubert), as well as international operations to Providence marketed by PublicCharters (P1, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton) and operated by Starlink Aviation (TLK, Montréal Trudeau).

The region is mostly served by Montréal Trudeau, with some small-scale and cargo traffic also routed through Montréal Mirabel.

Jetlines expects to secure its licence during the first half of 2019, around the time that its first aircraft, two A320-200s are expected to arrive on lease from AerCap. Once operational, the start-up ULCC plans to lease and/or acquire further aircraft at an average incremental rate of approximately four per year.