CALGARY, ALBERTACanadian budget startup Lynx Air said that it will begin operations in early 2022 with new Boeing 737 MAX jets, as leisure traffic rebounds after a COVID-19-induced slump.

Calgary-based Lynx, formerly charter Enerjet, is banking on growth as an ultra-low-cost carrier under Chief Executive Merren McArthur, a former head of budget airline Tigerair Australia.

Lynx said in a news release it has firm orders and leasing agreements in place for a total of 46 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft over the next seven years. The first three 737s will arrive in early 2022 when service starts.

It is the latest budget service being introduced in Canada, one of the world's toughest markets for airlines due to high taxes, fees, and the costly requirement of a negative COVID molecular test for fully vaccinated arriving travelers.

"We're not really trying to steal the market from any other carrier," McArthur told reporters in a virtual call. "We're really trying to grow the market so we can inspire more people to travel."

Earlier on Tuesday, Air Canada Chief Financial Officer Amos Kazzaz said he sees strong demand from leisure travelers for sun markets going into the winter holidays.

“We see sort of buildup into what we hope to be a strong summer into transatlantic markets,” Kazzaz told the Scotiabank transportation and industrials conference, citing travel to India as a "bright spot."