WestJet to offer approved pre-flight testing for Hawaii travel

Program exempts travellers from Hawaii quarantine and becomes Canada’s first safe air travel corridor

CALGARY, AB, Nov. 19, 2020 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced it has collaborated with the State of Hawaii to begin offering a pre-flight COVID-19 testing program for guests travelling to the islands. A negative test result, from WestJet laboratory partner DynaLIFE, is required within 72-hours of departure to Hawaii and will exempt the guest from the state’s required 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

WestJet today announced it has collaborated with the State of Hawaii to begin offering a pre-flight COVID-19 testing program for guests travelling to the islands. A negative test result, from WestJet laboratory partner DynaLIFE, is required within 72-hours of departure to Hawaii and will exempt the guest from the state’s required 14-day quarantine upon arrival. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

“Safety remains our number one priority and we thank Governor Ige and the State of Hawaii for providing this opportunity for Canadians to enjoy all that the islands have to offer while safely supporting the tourism industry,” said Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “WestJet’s teams are working hard to rebuild confidence in air travel through important partnerships like this one with Hawaii’s Trusted Travel Partner program and DynaLIFE. With pre-departure and arrivals testing now available through the collaborative efforts of the Governments of Canada, the Government of Alberta and the YYC Calgary International Airport, our guests have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy safe and enjoyable travel without the rigorous quarantine requirements.”

“Many Canadians love to visit Hawaiʻi during the winter months to escape the cold weather, so the timing for this works well. Hawaiʻi has the most rigorous pre-travel testing program in the United States, and we’re grateful to WestJet for making it available to their passengers,” said Hawaii’s Governor David Ige.

The airline will begin the testing program in partnership with DynaLIFE in Alberta for guests holding a WestJet-ticketed itinerary to Hawaii within 72-hours. Details can be found here: westjet.com/covidtesting. While the testing, which costs $150 CAD per person and is payable by the guest, is currently only available in Alberta, the testing is open to all Canadian residents. Guests travelling to Hawaii are responsible for ensuring they receive a test within 72-hours of their flight departing to Hawaii in order to avoid quarantine and will be required to display their negative test result prior to boarding. If test results are not available before boarding the final leg of the trip, the traveller must quarantine for 14 days or the length of the stay, whichever is shorter.

All visitors intending to visit Hawaii must register prior to travel: Hawaii entrance requirements are found at https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/.

Earlier this week, the airline announced its December schedule including twice-weekly, non-stop Dreamliner service between Calgary and Honolulu and Calgary and Maui.

RouteFrequencyDepartingArrivingEffective
Calgary – Maui2x weekly10:30 a.m.2:12 p.m.December 19, 2020
Maui – Calgary2x weekly10 a.m.6:53 p.m.December 20, 2020
Calgary – Honolulu1x weekly11 a.m.2:25 p.m.December 20, 2020
Honolulu – Calgary1x weekly11 a.m.7:56 p.m.December 21, 2020
Vancouver – Maui3x weekly10:30 a.m.3:02 p.m.December 18, 2020
Maui – Vancouver3x weekly10:30 a.m.6:08 p.m.December 19, 2020
Vancouver – Honolulu3x weekly1 p.m.5:34 p.m.December 18, 2020
Honolulu – Vancouver3x weekly10 a.m.5:45 p.m.December 19, 2020

On November 2, YYC Calgary International Airport began hosting the COVID-19 testing trial supported by the Governments of Canada and Alberta, trialing a reduced quarantine period upon arrival in Alberta with a negative test result, while protecting Canadians from COVID-19.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, WestJet has implemented more than 20 additional health and safety measures during the travel journey and continues to evolve its cleaning protocols to meet the needs of guests and WestJetters through its Safety Above All program.

ADDITIONAL QUOTES:

“Throughout the pandemic, Albertans have been safely and responsibly travelling south to the United States for work and to visit loved ones,” said Doug Schweitzer, Alberta’s Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation. “Two-thousand Albertans have already travelled and returned to the province under the Calgary International Airport testing pilot, and major industries like film and tourism are looking to Alberta as a leader in this area. It’s encouraging that the State of Hawaii – which has had among the strictest travel restrictions since March – has clearly expressed that DynaLIFE’s made-in-Alberta testing is safe for international travellers to visit their islands with a significantly reduced quarantine period.”

“I am pleased to welcome this announcement and the establishment of a safe travel corridor,” said James Rajotte, Alberta’s Senior Representative to the United States. “WestJet’s continued investments are critical to ensuring a robust tourism sector between Alberta and our U.S. neighbours, including the visitor economy of Hawaii and many parts of the United States. We are all committed to a health and science-based approach to travel.”

“Congratulations to WestJet and DynaLIFE for making available State of Hawaii-approved departure COVID-19 testing for guests,” said Bob Sartor, President & CEO, The Calgary Airport Authority. “The Calgary Airport Authority believes government-approved and science-based testing will allow for safe travel and economic recovery. We are proud to be working with the Governments of Alberta and Canada on the international border pilot, being the first airport in Canada to host the program for arriving international guests at YYC Calgary International Airport.” 

“COVID-19 testing for air travellers is a critical component of Alberta’s economic recovery,” said Jason Pincock, DynaLIFE CEO. “DynaLIFE is proud to be one of the first international laboratories recognized by the State of Hawaii as a trusted partner. Our highly recognized COVID19 test and our international accreditation for quality ensures WestJet guests can get where they need to go safely and with confidence. Our partnership with WestJet, the Calgary Airport Authority, and the State of Hawaii builds a scalable platform that will help Canadians, and our friends and neighbours in the United States return to normal air travel.”