Remember that with CPAir's Attache division that it was in the early '80's, during a downturn. Also, recall that the market was far more crowded then... there was regular CPAir as well as Air Canada on the major routes, Wardair was plying the skies with good service on many routes, Pacific Western was even transcontinental, Nordair, Quebecair, EPA... it was pretty crowded. Right now AC/CP have a large single market share, and alternatives are currently just developing: Royal, Canada3000, AirTransat, WestJet, CanJet, and regional carriers like Regionair, Capital City Air, Perimeter Airlines, Pacific Coastal, Bearskin Air, and others are just looking at where they fit in within this market, but there is an alternative market that is up for grabs right now, and none of the above carriers are really going upscale.
Anyways, as to RootsAir itself, I don't know. I'm concerned by their marketing seeming somewhat gimmicky. I think it's fair to say, however, that perhaps Virgin was kind of that way at the start, and now it's an established airline brand with a bit of a different image. Nonetheless I am also worried in that we haven't heard anything firm about who they will have interline agreements with. I think it could be interline feed that could make or break their operation. On the plus side, however, they have the advantage that they will only need to get a small share of the market to achieve success with their business plan, and I think there will be quite a few passengers who will try them, whether they stay with them or not is another question. I do think I should note, however, that I think AC would actually like RootsAir to survive, not to take too much market share, but to keep AC honest (I do think they feel the need for that within their own company, even) as well as to alleviate the pressure that any little thing seems to put on them by the media.