WestJet connecting Toronto to Chicago and Europe this summer

Airline to restore international non-stop routes from Toronto to Barcelona, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London Gatwick

Summer schedule to feature 92 daily departures to 20 domestic destinations, 10 transborder and 20 international destinations from Toronto

CALGARY, AB, March 14, 2022 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced its 2022 summer schedule, featuring new non-stop service between Toronto and Chicago and more convenient options from Toronto to Europe with service to Barcelona, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London Gatwick. The airline’s summer schedule release marks a significant milestone in the airline’s recovery, through the restoration of its network to near pre-pandemic levels.

New daily transborder service between Toronto and Chicago

As confidence in business and leisure travel continues to rise, WestJet’s newest route is to the Windy City, which will operate daily from Toronto with service beginning May 19, 2022, on WestJet Encore.    

“We are thrilled to provide daily non-stop service between Toronto and Chicago, two dynamic global cities,” said John Weatherill, WestJet’s Chief Commercial Officer. “Our newest transborder route provides guests with increased options to discover these two vibrant cities or seamlessly connect to their chosen destination via our expansive network.”

RouteFrequencyStart date
Toronto – Chicago1x dailyMay 19, 2022
Chicago – Toronto1x dailyMay 19, 2022

Enhancing Toronto’s European connectivity

This summer, WestJet is restoring transatlantic connectivity across the country and adding more convenient and affordable non-stop options from Toronto to five European destinations: Barcelona, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London Gatwick.

“Our guests have long awaited a return to international travel,” continued Weatherill. “These routes create a significant visitor pipeline from Europe and demonstrate WestJet’s commitment to leading the travel and tourism industry’s recovery.”

RoutePeak FrequencyStart date
Toronto – Barcelona3x weeklyMay 13, 2022
Toronto – Dublin1x dailyMay 15, 2022
Toronto – Glasgow4x weeklyMay 20, 2022
Toronto – Edinburgh3x weeklyJune 2, 2022
Toronto – London GatwickDailyMay 1, 2022
Increasing to 9x weeklyJune 11, 2022

To discover all the direct flights across WestJet’s network, visit WestJet.com.

About the WestJet Group of Companies 
In 26 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit www.westjet.com.

Recent recognition includes: 
– 2020/2019 Number-One Ranked Canadian Airline Loyalty Program in Member Engagement (Bond Brand Loyalty)
– 2019/2018/2017 Best Airline in Canada (TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards for Airlines) 
– 2019 Winner Among Mid-Sized Airlines in North America (TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards for Airlines) 
– 2019/2018 Number-One-Ranked Airline Credit Card in Canada (Rewards Canada) 

B.C. Court rejects WestJet’s appeal of class action certification about baggage fees

From The Toronto Star 🔗 link to source story

By The Canadian Press | Mon., January 24, 2022

VANCOUVER – The B.C. Court of Appeal has dismissed WestJet’s efforts to overturn the certification of a class-action lawsuit on baggage fees.

The Calgary-based airline is alleged to have between September 2014 and March 2019 published two prices for checked bags, one that was free and then charged passengers another that was higher.

WestJet ultimately amended wording in its domestic tariff to remove that one checked bag will be free.

The class action based in contract law, unjust enrichment, and a double-ticketing offence under the federal Competition Act was certified in January 2021.

WestJet Airlines Ltd. and WestJet Encore Ltd. challenged certification relating to the claim under the Competition Act, not certification of the class in general.

In a ruling released Friday, Justice Robert Bauman wrote that the plaintiffs’ efforts are not “bound to fail” because the meaning behind the alleged offence has not been “substantially developed.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2022.

The WestJet Group opposes re-introduction of blanket air travel advisory

Pathway for safe and fully-vaccinated international air travel must be preserved

CALGARY, AB, Dec. 15, 2021 /CNW/ – The WestJet Group today is expressing its strong opposition to the travel advisory issued by the Government of Canada. The targeted advice outlined today is not based on science and data and significantly undermines aviation’s proven safety record in response to COVID-19. These measures are a setback in Canada’s progress and its successful transition from relying on blanket advisories and policies.  

“Air travel is the most tested and protected consumer activity in Canada, every person travelling internationally is tested on average twice throughout their travel journey,” said Harry Taylor, WestJet President and CEO. “As the only fully-vaccinated air travel sector in the world, WestJet is calling on the government to publicly share the travel related COVID-19 data that has been used to re-impose the advisory and advice targeted towards fully-vaccinated Canadians and the travel and tourism industry.”

International travel standards and policies should be harmonized, yet Canada’s travel measures remain firmly out of step with border policies enacted across the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. The advisory announced today, contradicts WHO’s guidance that states blanket travel bans will not prevent the international spread of COVID-19 and adversely affect lives and livelihoods. The Government of Canada should continue to focus on vaccinations and testing, as the pathway for safe and fully-vaccinated international air travel must be preserved.

“Since the onset of the pandemic, we have safely flown more than seven million guests and air travel has been commended for its commitment to safety. Fully-vaccinated Canadians should not be singled-out for choosing to take part in a safe activity,” continued Taylor. “Travel bans, restrictions and blanket advisories are devastating to the continued economic recovery of our country and place tens of thousands of recently recalled Canadian travel and tourism jobs at risk. We are very concerned today’s announcement will create unnecessary disruption and chaos in advance of the holiday travel season.”

Since the onset of the pandemic, The WestJet Group has responded to COVID-19 to ensure the safety of all. The airline has implemented its own measures in response to the pandemic including a zero-tolerance mask policy, enhancing health and safety measures, suspending sun flights and implementing the airline’s mandatory vaccination policy for employees and air travellers.

About WestJet 

In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com

Westjet says another few months until flights at Thunder Bay airport return to pre-pandemic levels

From CBC News – link to source story

Jeff Walters · CBC News · Posted: Sep 10, 2021

WestJet Encore services Thunder Bay with its Dash-8 Q400 turboprop aircraft on flights to Toronto and Winnipeg. (Francois Biber/CBC)

Increasing demand for flights to and from Thunder Bay, Ont., have allowed airlines servicing in the city to add more flights to the city, but it will be months before air travel is back to its pre-pandemic levels.

Westjet held an online round-table, including some of its executives, officials from the Thunder Bay Airport and Tourism Thunder Bay. The event was to discuss how the airline can attract more business and increase tourism.

“We’re aiming to return as much capacity over the next six months,” as was found pre-pandemic, said Chris Hedlin, the vice-president of network planning at Westjet.

Hedlin said demand at the airline, on a national level is projected to grow from July to January as much as the airline grew in the past 11 years.

Demand at the Thunder Bay Airport for Westjet flights dropped by about 80 percent through the pandemic, which is a little less than the overall demand drop of 90 percent.

Data in the Westjet presentation noted that pre-pandemic, over 800,000 passengers flew annually through Thunder Bay’s Airport. That figure dwindled to about 200,000 during the height of the pandemic.

Currently, the airline is running its capacity to Thunder Bay at 60 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, Hedlin said, which is about average for the entire flight system.

“That’s going to continue to impact the pace at which we bring back services, as they still have to make sense. They still have to be driven by demand,” said Hedlin. 

Westjet is the only carrier to serve both Toronto and Winnipeg from Thunder Bay.

The airline said, in a response to a question from a former airport board member, that it would continue to look at adding a direct flight between Thunder Bay and Calgary, to take advantage of connections through its Calgary hub.

Earlier this week, Porter Airlines restarted its flights between Thunder Bay and Toronto’s Billy Bishop City Centre Airport.

Flair Airlines also announced it would now book flights to Thunder Bay from Toronto for the summer of 2022, with up to five flights per week.

WestJet flights between Dawson Creek and Calgary take off

Air service returns to Dawson Creek as WestJet Link connects city to WestJet’s global hub

CALGARY, AB, Sept. 8, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, WestJet launched its newest route with the departure of WestJet Link flight 3027 connecting Calgary and Dawson Creek, B.C. The inaugural marks a new link for the regions’ business, travel and tourism markets as WestJet becomes the only carrier to provide nonstop service between the Peace River Region and its largest hub in Calgary, where the airline is the largest carrier, offering the most seats and flights.

“Our guests in both Calgary and the Peace River Region have been patiently awaiting this important milestone and we are thrilled to bring air service to the community,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “As we continue to build back our network, Dawson Creek will benefit from lower fares and connectivity across our network as we strive to reconnect Canadians for business and leisure.”

Upon flight 3027’s arrival in Dawson Creek, the inaugural service was celebrated by Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead alongside Chris Hedlin, WestJet’s Vice-President of Network Planning and key regional business leaders.

“The City of Dawson Creek is so pleased to welcome WestJet into our city and the entire South Peace region of Northeast BC. This new direct service to Calgary is so important to the economic development of our city,” said Dale Bumstead, Mayor, Dawson Creek. “The Energy, Forestry and Mining sectors are all very important to our region and this new service will be a welcome addition for industry while also providing our residents with nonstop air service to WestJet’s global hub in Calgary for their leisure and business travel.”

The new service and new route for WestJet operates four times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.  WestJet Link flights are operated through a capacity purchase agreement with Pacific Coastal Airlines using its fleet of WestJet-branded 34-seat Saab 340 aircraft.

With the addition of Calgary-Dawson Creek service, WestJet Link now operates five routes between Calgary and Cranbrook, Lethbridge, Lloydminster and Medicine Hat and three between Vancouver and Cranbrook, Nanaimo and Comox.

Details of WestJet’s service between Calgary and Dawson Creek:

RouteFrequencyStart DateDepartureArrival
Calgary – Dawson Creek4x weeklySeptember 8, 20213:30 p.m4:37 p.m
Dawson Creek – Calgary4x weeklySeptember 8, 20215:15 p.m8:13 p.m

Additional quotes

“With many development projects happening across western Canada, the addition of WestJet’s Calgary to Dawson Creek, B.C. route is an important connection that supports economic development, benefiting both provinces,” said Chris Miles, Vice President, Operations & Infrastructure for The Calgary Airport Authority. “This route also provides guests in Northern B.C. direct access to Alberta and destinations across the country with YYC’s extensive connecting flight network.”

“We are very excited to be a part of the new air service to Dawson Creek,” says Pacific Coastal Airlines President, Quentin Smith. “We are pleased to see WestJet Link grow and look forward to our continued partnership and linking communities to the WestJet network.”

About WestJet 
In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All promise. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com

WestJet Encore Cabin Crew Members, represented by CUPE Local 4070, ratify five-year collective agreement

CALGARY, AB, Aug. 14, 2021 /CNW/ – WestJet Encore today announced that Encore Cabin Crew Members, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), have successfully ratified their first five-year agreement.

This ratified agreement is in place from August 1, 2021, through to and including July 31, 2026.

“I am glad to be sharing, once again, that we have achieved a collective agreement with CUPE,” Said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “This agreement, with our WestJet Encore Cabin Crew Members, shows that we continue to bargain productively and respectfully with our union partners. The result shows a dedication toward the interests of our Encore Cabin Crew, guests and WestJet Encore as we all look towards a safe and healthy return to the travel industry.”

The time invested in the negotiations by both parties, leading up to ratification, was necessary to work through the many complex terms and conditions.

About WestJet 

In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com

CUPE 4070 Members Ratify First Contract With WestJet Encore

August 14, 2021 06:10 PM Eastern Daylight Time

CALGARY, Alberta–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CUPE cabin crew members working at WestJet Encore, WestJet’s regional carrier, have signed off on their first collective bargaining agreement. Members voted today to ratify the tentative collective agreement reached in July. The five-year agreement includes wage improvements, and momentum towards industry-standard scheduling and pay rules.

“This is the first ever collective agreement for our membership at WestJet Encore. Ratification of this deal is proof positive that certifying with CUPE has been instrumental in our members’ pursuit of fair working conditions,” said CUPE 4070 President Chris Rauenbusch. “Reaching this deal was not easy in light of the circumstances caused by the global pandemic. I’d like to thank both our union and our bargaining committee for working so hard to find a path forward despite the challenges of the past 18 months.”

CUPE represents over 650 cabin crew at WestJet Encore. The parties have been engaged in collective bargaining towards a first union contract since November 2019.

CUPE also represents cabin crew at WestJet mainline and its subsidiary Swoop. Rauenbusch is hopeful that the ratification of agreements with two of three bargaining units at the WestJet Group of Companies will lead to a fair and productive tentative agreement for Swoop Members in the near term. Swoop negotiations continue and have been underway since December 2019.

The WestJet Group responds to mandatory vaccination requirement for airline workers

Airline working to implement government’s mandatory vaccination requirement for federally regulated airline employees by the end of October

CALGARY, AB, Aug. 13, 2021 /CNW/ – The WestJet Group today welcomed the announcement by Transport Minister Omar Alghabra regarding mandatory vaccinations for federally regulated airline employees.

“We continue to be a strong partner in Canada’s vaccination rollout and are working diligently to implement the government’s policy on mandatory vaccines for airline employees,” said Mark Porter, WestJet Executive Vice-President, People and Culture. “Vaccinations are the most effective way to ensure the safety of our guests and employees, while curbing the spread of COVID-19.”

 “We understand our people will have questions and will be discussing with our employee and labour groups in real-time,” continued Mr. Porter. “We are seeking additional detail from the federal government on the requirement and are committed to working together to ensure the successful implementation of the policy by late October.”

WestJet currently has an active workforce of approximately 6,000 WestJetters, while 4000 remain inactive or furloughed. Swoop currently has an active workforce of 340 employees, while more than 170 remain inactive or furloughed.

The WestJet Group will adhere to the requirement for domestic travellers to be fully-vaccinated or tested prior to departure. The airline group is advocating that rapid-antigen testing is an acceptable, accessible and affordable alternative for unvaccinated travellers.

About WestJet 
In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com

WestJet to launch non-stop Calgary – Seattle service

New destination marks 12 non-stop options to U.S. from Calgary hub by November 2021  

CALGARY, AB, Aug. 4, 2021 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced new non-stop service between Calgary, AB and Seattle, WA. As the airline with the most flights from Calgary, the new non-stop service to Seattle will operate four-times weekly beginning November 4, 2021, on WestJet Encore’s Q400 aircraft and will increase to two-times daily on May 19, 2022.

“We are delighted to add Calgary-Seattle service to our network, providing our first non-stop service between these two incredible cities,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “Whether planning to visit the Emerald City to catch a favourite sports team, or to explore the Canadian Rockies, this route provides guests in Western Canada and across the Pacific Northwest with new convenient and affordable options to connect for business or leisure.  As we continue to strengthen our presence from our home hub in Calgary, we will continue to make investments that support the restoration of our transborder network.”

With Canada’s border restrictions easing on August 9, 2021, WestJet is continuing to build upon its network position as Western Canada’s largest air carrier with the introduction of new service between the two iconic cities.  

Guests will also benefit from the addition of Seattle to WestJet’s network with new convenient connections via Seattle’s Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to U.S. destinations. More details on connectivity options will be released at a later date.

Details of WestJet’s new service between Calgary and Seattle:

RouteFrequencyStart date
Calgary – Seattle4x weeklyNovember 4, 2021
6x weeklyDecember 20, 2021
1x dailyMarch 28, 2022
2x dailyMay 19, 2022
Seattle – Calgary4x weeklyNovember 4, 2021
6x weeklyDecember 20, 2021
1x dailyMarch 28, 2022
2x dailyMay 19, 2022

Additional quotes

“WestJet’s commitment to expanding trade links and leading the rebuild of the visitor economy in Alberta has never been stronger,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President, External Affairs and Chief Legal Officer. “We have been listening to our partners and are thrilled to making the Pacific Northwest more connected to Canada via our global hub.  We look forward to expanded employment, trade and tourism links this investment will bring to life.”

“Despite the challenges of the past year, we are a gateway for business and leisure travel to our region with the addition of another brand-new carrier to SEA Airport,” said Lance Lyttle, SEA Airport Managing Director. “The region’s resiliency during one of the most challenging times in our industry continues to attract additional choices for visitors, business and residents of the region. Whether you’re traveling for business or taking a long-awaited trip to the beautiful Canadian Rockies, WestJet is a valuable addition to passenger choices.”

“Congratulations to WestJet on their new direct route from YYC to Seattle,” said Bob Sartor, President and CEO of The Calgary Airport Authority. “We look forward to introducing guests to this beautiful coastal city to enjoy great culture, cuisine and, of course, coffee as well as welcoming American guests from the Pacific Northwest region to YYC.”

“WestJet’s latest direct flight to Seattle is another sign of economic recovery for our tourism industry,” said Doug Schweitzer, Alberta Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation. “Bringing international travellers to Alberta is a key part of revitalizing our hospitality sector and getting people back to work.”

“WestJet’s first nonstop Seattle-Calgary passenger route will support the continued growth of business and leisure travel between our two great cities,” said Brandon A. Lee, Consul General of Canada, Seattle U.S. “The route will make it easier for Seattle business leaders to take advantage of the innovative and vibrant business ecosystem in Calgary; home to 118 corporate head offices, the world’s fourth lowest effective tax rate, while having easy access to the majestic Canadian Rocky Mountain national parks and ski resorts. This new route into WestJet’s Calgary hub enables visitors’ further destinations throughout Canada, making it easier to visit Calgary, Alberta and Canada at-large.”

“With this new route connecting Calgary and Seattle, WestJet is further supporting the recovery of Calgary and Alberta’s tourism economy,” says Cindy Ady, Tourism Calgary CEO. “New airline routes are critical to the recovery of our tourism industry. Convenient air access will result in more visitors to our city, thereby bolstering the economic impact of tourism, which directly contributes over $2.5 billion to Calgary’s economy each year.”

About WestJet 

In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com

Limited visual cues and runway conditions contributed to runway excursion of passenger aircraft in Terrace, BC

Richmond, British Columbia, 22 July 2021 — In its investigation report (A20P0013) released today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) found that limited visual cues due to falling snow and a snow-covered runway contributed to the 2020 runway excursion involving a WestJet Encore De Havilland of Canada Ltd. DHC-8-402 in Terrace, British Columbia.

The occurrence aircraft on Runway 33 at Terrace Airport. Image taken approximately 9 hours after the occurrence (Source: Terrace Airport)

On 31 January 2020, a De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. DHC-8-402 aircraft was conducting WestJet Encore flight WEN3107 from Vancouver, BC to Terrace, BC with four crew members and 43 passengers on board. During the landing roll, the aircraft drifted left from the snow-cleared area of the runway and the left main landing gear exited the runway surface, travelling for approximately 400 feet before returning to the runway. During the runway excursion, the aircraft’s nose landing gear collapsed. The aircraft came to a stop in the centre of the runway. The passengers were transported to the airport terminal by bus approximately 30 minutes after landing. No injuries were reported. The damage to the aircraft included the collapsed nose landing gear and damaged right propeller blades.

The investigation found that, given the falling snow and the snow-covered runway, there were limited visual cues available to the flight crew, which decreased their ability to accurately judge the aircraft’s lateral position once it was beyond the runway threshold. Snow clearing operations cleared the centre 100 feet of the runway, which resulted in windrows that were approximately 18 inches high along the edges of the cleared area. This reduced the pilot’s lateral maneuvering room during the landing.

It was also determined that the aircraft initially touched down 10 feet left of the centreline due to control inputs and variable wind conditions and, while the aircraft was still in a light weight-on-wheels condition, a gust contributed to a further deviation to the left until the left main landing gear came into contact with the windrow. As a result, the aircraft was pulled to the left and travelled through the uncleared portion of the runway. During the runway excursion, snow and ice became packed in the nose landing gear bay and caused structural deformation. Consequently, the nose landing gear was no longer being held in place and collapsed rearward into the fuselage, causing substantial damage to the aircraft.

Finally, the investigation also determined that, if aircraft operators do not provide pilots with all the possible tools and relevant information to assess runway suitability for landing, pilots may not evaluate all potential threats and may make decisions based on incomplete or conflicting information.

Following the occurrence, WestJet Encore issued a revision to the Quick Reference Handbook on 14 February 2020 that included changes to contaminated runway operations. The Terrace-Kitimat Airport Society issued a memo informing staff of changes to its Winter Maintenance Plan, which aligned the procedures with Issue 04 of Transport Canada’s Advisory Circular 302-013: Airport Winter Maintenance and Planning.

See the investigation page for more information.