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Zoom takes to the skies

A new chapter in the low-cost airline saga begins today with the inaugural New York-to-London flight on Canadian low-cost carrier Zoom. The airline's website says flights start at $199 each way, but I found one for $67, which was so low, it almost gave me a heart attack.

Just for kicks, I did a quick comparison. For a flight leaving New York on June 28 and returning from London Gatwick on July 7, the total cost was $437. The lowest equivalent flight I could find on Orbitz was $818.

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So at least for now, Zoom is a low-cost carrier that is actually priced below flights on the legacy airlines. Will Zoom start a Southwest effect on transatlantic routes? I think it will, and then a combination of the open-skies agreement and other low-cost carriers entering the market in the coming years will continue to bring prices down. Will it bring down fares enough that we can afford the exchange rate once we arrive? Well, that's another matter entirely.

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