Securing the future: how a growing, stronger, sustainable WestJet benefits Canadians WestJet

By WestJet | June 16, 2022 | 6 min read

The WestJet Group’s strategic path forward for our guests, employees and the communities we serve

The WestJet Group yesterday brought together leaders, representing all parts of the operations and business, to hear directly from Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alexis von Hoensbroech, as he shared plans for growth into the COVID recovery, and the airline’s commitment to embracing its cost-conscious roots in service of affordable air travel for Canadians.

“The immediate priority is to ensure we are ready for the high volume of pent-up travel demand this summer,” said Alexis von Hoensbroech, CEO of the WestJet Group. “Equally important is charting a path that continues to grow WestJet as the friendly, reliable and affordable airline our guests know and love.”

Since arriving on February 15, 2022, von Hoensbroech spent his first 100 days getting to know the airline’s people, guests and network. Joining at a critical inflection point as the WestJet Group emerges from the pandemic, the executive team around von Hoensbroech and WestJet’s board of directors undertook a strategic review to determine the best course for sustained future success for the airline and its people.

“WestJet is strong foundationally, having weathered the pandemic as perhaps the world’s only airline of scale that did not accept sector-specific government funding or issue any new equity or debt. We’re now at an exciting and pivotal moment for the industry and our airline,” continued von Hoensbroech. “As we emerge from the pandemic, the world around us is changing with rising inflation and instability from the war in Ukraine. We are also facing industry-specific challenges, including spiking oil prices and staffing shortages at airports.”

The WestJet Group’s strategic growth plans

Through the strategic review, the airline looked to historical strengths to secure future success, honing in on a focused network and strategy; an unrelenting cost commitment; and a consistent, superior guest experience.

To build upon the reasons why guests choose WestJet and drive future growth, WestJet will renew its focus on:

  • Growth as a low-cost carrier that is friendly, reliable and modern
  • Shifting resources to significantly grow its presence and network in the West, fostering its undisputed status as the home-team carrier of Western Canada offering more direct, non-stop flights to communities
  • Investing further in leisure and sun flying as a priority across Canada, including through the acquisition of Sunwing, following regulatory approval
  • Investing in technology and radical digitalization to improve guest experience and simplify internal processes to ensure meaningful and engaging jobs for its people
  • Redoubling efforts to maintain its successful and highly productive low-cost structure and culture, to ensure relentless competitiveness and affordability for guests

To match its commercial strategies, the airline will centre its existing widebody 787 Dreamliner fleet around Western Canada and, for the time being, pause further investment into incremental Dreamliners to focus instead on additional narrowbody growth. In addition to the more than 30 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that the airline will receive over the coming years, including 15 in 2022 alone, WestJet is working towards a substantial additional narrow body order.

The airline will maintain its current premium offerings, with a focus on strengthening its premium leisure segment and corporate premium in the West. The focus of WestJet’s regional fleet of De Haviland Q400 aircraft will be shifted and rightsized to focus on Western Canada, removing complexity from operations, and prioritizing the airline’s commitment to enhance Western Canada’s connectivity.

Network changes are complex and will be phased in over an extended period of time. The airline is committed to engaging with communities and stakeholders in these plans. Guests can anticipate seeing changes gradually implemented by summer 2023.

“We will deploy our aircraft where they can be of greatest service to Canadians,” explained von Hoensbroech. “While we will be investing the majority of our fleet in the West, as a national airline we will maintain a significant presence in the Eastern provinces, primarily through direct connections to our Western cities, while significantly enhancing our network to leisure and sun destinations, including through our acquisition of Sunwing.”

WestJet will also continue to significantly scale other areas of the business that remain critical, namely WestJet Cargo, Loyalty, WestJet Vacations and Swoop, it’s ultra-low-cost carrier. The acquisition of Sunwing will facilitate the scaling of WestJet Vacations and Swoop.

“Swoop is an important part of our strategy with a tremendous cost structure, and we still have plenty of room to grow and bring lower fares to our guests,” added von Hoensbroech. “WestJet and Swoop will run more complementary networks and collectively meet the demand of leisure travellers.”

Strengthening the airline’s leadership team, the WestJet Group announced the addition of Bob Cummings as President of Swoop on April 13, along with Kirsten de Bruijn, Executive Vice-President, Cargo on April 5 and Karl Schuster, Executive Vice-President and Chief Loyalty Officer late last year.

“WestJet’s low-cost roots have been the foundation of the historical success of our company. As we realize our ambitious growth plans, we will bring more air service to Canadian communities and connect more people to what matters most, through friendly and affordable air travel,” concluded von Hoensbroech.

Strengthening the airline’s senior leadership team

To support the fulfillment of its strategic direction, the airline has further strengthened its senior leadership team with a number of new appointments:

Angela Avery, Group EVP and Chief People, Corporate & Sustainability Officer

Angela Avery joined WestJet in February 2020 as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. In her newly expanded role, she brings together complementary teams including People and Culture, Communications, Legal, Government, Regulatory, Community Investment, and Environment, Social and Governance (ESG). Avery will be leading an inclusive, engaged and purpose-led team focused on supporting all aspects of WestJet’s business and meeting the needs of the communities that the WestJet Group serves.

With more than 25 years of legal and commercial leadership experience across multiple industries, Avery has led transactions totalling more than $25 billion and has an extensive regulatory and compliance background. Avery joined WestJet from Athabasca Oil Corporation where she was responsible for legal, business development, human resources as well as marketing and transportation. Her international experience includes an appointment to litigate war reparations at the United Nations. She is called to the bar in New York and Alberta and received a Queen’s Counsel designation in 2022.

Christian Novosel, Chief Digital Officer

Christian Novosel will join the executive leadership team in August. Responsible for Digital Technology Delivery, Data Analytics and Business Intelligence and the Group Project Management Office, he will be integral to the ongoing development and delivery of WestJet’s enterprise-wide digital transformation for both its guests and people.

Novosel joins WestJet with almost 20 years of aviation experience most recently serving as Head of Corporate Development and Chief Data Officer for Austrian Airlines. In this role, he established the airline’s centralized digital team and led several strategic and innovating processes to implement digital solutions across the organization.

Natalie Farand, Chief Experience Officer

Natalie Farand will take on the newly created role of Chief Experience Officer (CXO). Led by Farand, the CXO team will define WestJet’s value proposition and enable WestJet to successfully engage stakeholders to activate a guest-centric vision and strategy.

In her eight years with WestJet, and most recently as WestJet’s Vice-President Guest Experience, Farand has led many digital functions from eCommerce, User Experience, Digital Marketing and Analytics. Farand introduced the User Experience discipline within WestJet, putting focus on the voice of the guest, and was responsible for the Digital Channel and Product strategic roadmaps and operations at WestJet, including the website, mobile app, chatbot, inflight entertainment system and eCommerce platforms.

Jeff Hagen, Vice-President Strategy and Fleet

Jeff Hagen, already part of the WestJet leadership team, will take on a new role as Vice-President, Strategy and Fleet. Responsible for leading WestJet’s strategic transformation to a low-cost carrier, the strategy team will also encompass the office of the CEO, enterprise strategy and fleet.

Hagen has been with WestJet for more than eight years and has held a variety of roles in that time including corporate development and planning, and head of investor relations. During this time, he played key roles in important company milestones including the airline’s purchase by Onex and the current Sunwing acquisition, awaiting regulatory approvals.

CAE expands Toronto training center with new Boeing full-flight simulators

Montreal, Canada, May 3, 2022

CAE announced today at the 2022 World Aviation Training Summit (WATS), the expansion of the CAE Toronto Training Center for the deployments of a CAE 7000XR Boeing 787 and a CAE 7000XR Boeing 737 MAX full-flight simulators (FFS) to support its Canadian customers.

CAE is expanding its training center as Canadian airlines are expressing optimism that air travel will normalize in 2022, and as airlines around the world are preparing for business and international travel to return to pre-COVID levels in the following years.

“We are excited to expand our training footprint in Toronto with the immediate addition of new Boeing 787 and 737 MAX simulators to be deployed in the second half of 2022,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE’s Group President, Civil Aviation. “These latest additions complement our offerings and support the efforts of our Canadian-based airlines as they ramp up service and look for future growth.”

At the facility, pilots for the airlines will train on the industry’s most advanced full-flight simulators and benefit from digitally immersive solutions that elevate safety, efficiency, and readiness for Canadian travelers from coast to coast.

The CAE 7000XR Series FFS is the latest evolution of CAE’s industry benchmark FFS. Designed in collaboration with CAE’s customers, the CAE 7000XR Series sets a new standard in Level D FFS. Leveraging the latest advancements in technology and training capabilities, the CAE 7000XR Series is designed to optimize life-cycle costs for our customers and to address new and future training requirements. Enhanced features include the CAE Tropos 6000XR for extreme visual realism, a next-generation instructor office, upset prevention recovery training, and it is also built for lower ownership costs and increased reliability.

About CAE

CAE is a high technology company, at the leading edge of digital immersion, providing solutions to make the world a safer place. Backed by a record of 75 years of industry firsts, we continue to reimagine the customer experience and revolutionize training and operational support solutions in civil aviation, defense and security, and healthcare. We are the partner of choice to customers worldwide who operate in complex, high-stakes and largely regulated environments, where successful outcomes are critical. As testament to our customers’ ongoing needs for our solutions, over 60 percent of CAE’s revenue is recurring in nature. We have the broadest global presence in our industry, with more than 13,000 employees, 180 sites, and training locations in over 35 countries. www.cae.com

Air Canada, Airlink and Project C.U.R.E. Unite to Send Hospital Beds, Humanitarian and Medical Supplies to Support Ukrainian Refugees in Poland

  • GlobalMedic sends medical supplies, trauma dressings and wound care supplies destined for Lviv, Ukraine

MONTREAL, March 9, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – An Air Canada-operated humanitarian special cargo flight on behalf of Airlink and other aid organizations departed Toronto Pearson International Airport with a final destination of Warsaw, Poland on Wednesday, March 9. Through a partnership between Air Canada, disaster logistics non-profit Airlink, relief organization Project C.U.R.E., and freight forwarder Flexport, medical supplies and hospital beds, humanitarian and medical supplies were loaded onboard the Air Canada Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Medical and trauma supplies destined for a Ukrainian hospital provided by Canadian disaster relief and life-saving humanitarian aid organization GlobalMedic were also boarded.

Through a partnership between Air Canada, disaster logistics non-profit Airlink, relief organization Project C.U.R.E., freight forwarder Flexport, and Canadian disaster relief and life-saving humanitarian aid organization GlobalMedic, medical supplies and hospital beds, humanitarian and medical supplies were loaded onboard the Air Canada Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

After the flight arrives in Poland, Project C.U.R.E. will manage the distribution of supplies to hospitals treating Ukrainian civilians injured during the war, expanding the capacity of hospitals in border regions to provide care. More than two million people throughout Ukraine have now fled their homes after the invasion seeking safety in neighbouring countries. Primary care has been identified by aid agencies as one of the most pressing needs.

“Our hearts are with the Ukrainian people in need – all of us have seen the crisis they are facing. We know from our aid partners the critical requirement for much needed medical and humanitarian supplies and our global partner Airlink reached out to us to help transport these vital items quickly. Importantly, both Airlink and GlobalMedic have the infrastructure and teams on the ground to ensure that the shipments will get to their destinations right after our flight arrives. We are proud of our employees who have stepped up to help organize the complex logistics, handle and operate this special flight so quickly,” said Jason Berry, Vice President, Cargo at Air Canada.

“This shipment will make a material impact on the lives of Ukrainians fleeing the conflict and support the communities hosting them,” said Steve Smith, Airlink President and CEO. “Getting the shipment to Poland on behalf of our NGO partner Project C.U.R.E. meant overcoming a challenging logistical environment, but I’m thrilled we could do it with assistance from our long-time friends and supporters Air Canada. This is the first of many cargo movements Airlink will carry out in support of Ukrainian refugees.”

“Project C.U.R.E. has an extensive history of working with our partners in Ukraine, and we remain committed to serving the people of Ukraine until the ravages of this war have been erased,” said Dr. Douglas Jackson, President and CEO of Project C.U.R.E. “This first shipment of emergency medical supplies and equipment is just one of many to come. People all over the world are responding to this need, and they are cheering on our work from all corners of the globe. We are incredibly grateful to our partners at Airlink and Air Canada for making this a reality – together we are saving lives and delivering health and hope to the people of Ukraine.”

“We are grateful to our friends at Airlink and Air Canada for giving us air cargo space to ship essential medicines and trauma supplies. The aid will land in Warsaw where our partners will grab them and truck them to a hospital in Lviv. Essential medicines are needed by patients fleeing the fighting who could not bring their prescription medicines with them and are facing shortages in local pharmacies. Trauma supplies especially dressings are needed to treat victims of this war,” said Rahul Singh, Executive Director at GlobalMedic.

Earlier this week, medical supplies were picked up from the Project C.U.R.E. warehouse in Illinois, transported to Chicago O’Hare airport and tendered to Air Canada by Flexport. Air Canada Cargo subsequently transported the supplies to its Cargo facility at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Non-profit disaster logistics expert Airlink exists to help remove the cost of air transportation as a barrier to NGOs responding to disasters and other humanitarian crises. It was able to use its long-term partnership with Air Canada, and support from donors, to secure the cargo-only flight making the delivery of this shipment possible. Airlink also has transported 42 relief workers for 11 non-profit organizations providing medical care, food, mental health counseling, clean water, and other essentials to Ukrainian refugees.

Air Canada has worked together with Airlink and GlobalMedic to transport responders and aid on a number of missions, most recently in response to British Columbia’s devastating wildfires and floods.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline, the country’s flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking from the independent U.K. research firm Skytrax, which in 2021 also named Air Canada as having the Best Airline Staff in North America, Best Airline Staff in Canada, Best Business Class Lounge in North America, as well as an Excellence award for its handling of COVID-19. Also in 2021, Air Canada was named Global Traveler’s Best Airline in North America for the third straight year. In January 2021, Air Canada received APEX’s Diamond Status Certification for the Air Canada CleanCare+ biosafety program for managing COVID-19, the only airline in Canada to attain the highest APEX ranking. Air Canada has also committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050

About Airlink
Airlink is a global humanitarian organization delivering critical aid to communities in crisis by providing airlift and logistical solutions to nonprofit partners, changing the way the humanitarian community responds to disasters around the world. Airlink exists to help remove the cost of air transportation as a barrier to NGOs responding to disasters and other humanitarian crises. Its network includes more than 130 aid organizations and 50 commercial .and charter airlines. Since its inception in 2010, Airlink has flown more than 8,000 relief workers and transported nearly 5,000,000 pounds of humanitarian cargo. In 2021 the humanitarian aid Airlink delivered assisted 7.8 million people. For more information, please visit www.airlinkflight.org.

About Project Cure
Project C.U.R.E. was founded in 1987 to address the staggering shortage of medical resources around the world. Since our humble beginnings in a garage in Colorado, Project C.U.R.E. has become the world’s largest distributor of donated medical supplies, equipment, and services to doctors and nurses serving the sick and dying in more than 135 countries. Each week Project C.U.R.E. delivers approximately three to five semitruck-sized ocean containers packed with the medical equipment and supplies desperately needed to save lives in hospitals and clinics in resource-limited countries. Project C.U.R.E. is supported by over 30,000 volunteers annually and operates distribution warehouses in seven U.S. cities. For more information, visit: www.projectcure.org.

New Year Prospects: Air Canada’s Fleet In 2022

From Simple Flying – link to source story

by Chris Loh | January 1, 2022

Continuing its slow recovery from the worst of the global health crisis, major Canadian airline Air Canada the growth of its fleet in 2021. Notably, this consisted of the addition of a number of Airbus A220-300s as well as several Boeing 737 MAX 8s. Let’s take a glance at where Air Canada’s fleet stands at the start of 2022.

B737_Max_8_Water-1538
It appears that Air Canada took delivery of seven Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft during the 2nd half of 2021. Photo: Air Canada

Air Canada’s fleet composition at a glance

According to data from Planespotters.net, Air Canada has the following aircraft in its fleet. The quantities are noted alongside the type, with the change from last year’s report (published June 2021) in parentheses.

Aircraft from Airbus*:
  • A220-300: 27 (+5)
  • A320-200: 17 (-1)
  • A321-200: 15 (no change)
  • A330-300: 16 (no change)

*We should note that the airline ordered the A220 when it was still known as the Bombardier CSeries.

Aircraft from Boeing:
  • 737 MAX 8: 31 (+7)
  • 767-300BCF*: 3 (+3)
  • 777-200LR: 6 (no change)
  • 777-300ER: 18 (-1)
  • 787-8: 8 (no change)
  • 787-9: 29 (no change)

*One Air Canada 767-300 has completed its conversion from passenger to freighter. The remaining two are in the process of being converted.

B777-300ER-4
It appears that one Boeing 777-300ER left the fleet. Photo: Air Canada

Growing the short and medium-haul fleet

As you can see from the changes since our last Air Canada fleet report, the carrier has gained five Airbus A220-300s and seven Boeing 737 MAX 8s.

As noted previously, there was a little bit of a back-and-forth when the carrier announced it would be canceling some of its orders in November of 2020, which would have seen orders for 12 A220s and 10 737 MAX 8s axed. However, one condition of the Canadian government’s rescue package was that it would proceed with its planned orders for both aircraft types. As a result, the airline has nine 737 MAX 8s and 18 A220-300s still on the way.

A220-300-2
The airline continues to grow its A220 and 737 numbers. Photo: Air Canada

Going big on cargo operations

One surprising standout number from our list was the “addition” of three Boeing 767-300s from last year. This change is, again, a bit of a back and forth. During the worst of the crisis, Air Canada had decided to retire its 767s.

However, cargo demand has been soaring amid increased eCommerce activity, decreased transportation capacity, and global supply chain snarls. These factors led the airline to convert its passenger 767s into full freighters, complete with a large door to handle containers on the main deck. Work was, and continues to be, done at IAI facilities in Tel Aviv.

It’s not just 767s and the bellies of passenger aircraft being used for cargo operations. At the time of this article’s publication, the carrier has four of its 16 A330-300s and seven of its 18 Boeing 777-300ERs operating as “preighters” (passenger freighters). These are passenger aircraft which have had their seats removed in order to accommodate freight. Making use of the fleet’s younger jets for reasons unknown, the airline was able to provide additional cargo capacity to Canada’s west coast, which had its main road and rail supply lines cut off from the rest of the country in November, due to extreme and extensive flooding.

Air Canada Adding Extra Cargo Capacity Into Vancouver to Help Maintain British Columbia’s Economic Supply Chain

  • In response to flooding that disrupted transportation supply chain network in the province
  • 586 tonnes of additional capacity added into and out of YVR, an increase of 45% over originally planned levels
  • Air Canada Express Dash 8-400 aircraft being converted into special freighter configuration to transport cargo

MONTREAL, Nov. 22, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada announced today that it has significantly increased cargo capacity into and out of Vancouver between November 21 and 30 from its hubs in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary as it works to ensure that the vital economic supply chain links in British Columbia are maintained following the impacts of last week’s flooding. In total, Air Canada is adding 586 tonnes of cargo capacity, representing 3,223 cubic metres to support B.C.’s economic supply chain and the needs of its communities. The additional capacity is equivalent in weight to approximately 860 adult moose.

“The economic supply chain is vital, and to help support the urgent transport of goods into and out of British Columbia, we have increased capacity to our YVR hub by using the flexibility of Air Canada’s fleet to reschedule 28 passenger flights from narrow-body aircraft to be operated with wide-body Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Boeing 777, and Airbus A330-300 aircraft. These changes will allow an additional 282 tonnes of goods to be moved across the country on our scheduled passenger flights,” said Jason Berry, Vice President, Cargo, at Air Canada.

“Additionally, Air Canada Cargo will operate an additional 13 all-cargo flights between our Toronto, Montreal and Calgary cargo hubs and YVR using widebody aircraft, providing approximately 304 tonnes of additional capacity. These aircraft will help move mail and perishables such as seafood, as well as automotive parts and other industrial goods,” concluded Mr. Berry.

Air Canada is also working with its regional partner Jazz Aviation to provide additional regional cargo capacity by temporarily converting an Air Canada Express De Havilland Dash 8-400 from its normal passenger configuration into a special freighter configuration. This Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighter operated by Jazz can carry a total of 18,000 lbs. (8,165 kg) of cargo and will be deployed to transport critical goods, as well as consumer and industrial goods and will be in service as early as this week.

Last week, as the impact of the devastating floods became apparent, Air Canada quickly added capacity to the Air Canada Cargo network by substituting larger widebody aircraft on 14 passenger flights into Vancouver.

Additional capacity added for passengers

In addition to the extra cargo capacity, Air Canada had also increased the number of seats available for customers in Kelowna and Kamloops since November 17, adding approximately 1,500 seats into both communities by utilizing larger aircraft on routes. This enabled people affected by the highway closures to fly into and out from these airports, and through the cargo capacity of these passenger aircraft, also allowed for the important transport of emergency medical supplies into these regions.

Air Canada continues to monitor the situation in British Columbia very closely and will adjust its passenger and cargo schedule accordingly.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline, and in 2019 was among the top 20 largest airlines in the world. It is Canada’s flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax. In 2020, Air Canada was named Global Traveler’s Best Airline in North America for the second straight year. In January 2021, Air Canada received APEX’s Diamond Status Certification for the Air Canada CleanCare+ biosafety program for managing COVID-19, the only airline in Canada to attain the highest APEX ranking. Air Canada has also committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. 

WestJet’s global network expanding to include London Heathrow from Calgary

New route to accelerate Alberta’s economic recovery and drive investment attraction with connection to global hub

CALGARY, AB, Nov. 17, 2021 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced it will add non-stop service to London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) beginning early Spring 2022. As WestJet continues to increase global connectivity from Western Canada, the addition of non-stop service between Calgary and London-Heathrow signals confidence in the recovery of business and leisure travel between both destinations.

WestJet’s newest route will operate this spring on the airline’s 787 Dreamliner (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

“As the airline with the most flights from Alberta, this is an important recovery milestone as we forge new connections between Canada and one of the world’s most sought after global hubs,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “We continue to strengthen our network, offering more options for business and leisure travellers and these investments will expedite our industry’s recovery while ensuring Western Canada builds back from the pandemic more connected than ever before.”

As confidence in business and leisure travel continues to rise, WestJet’s newest route will operate this spring on the airline’s 787 Dreamliner. WestJet’s 787 service features the airline’s Business Cabin including lie-flat pods, dining on demand and elevated Premium and Economy Cabin options.

“We are committed to the expansion of our global hub in Calgary and supporting the recovery of many sectors who rely on travel and tourism,” continued Weatherill. “As the airline with the most non-stop European destinations from YYC, we are looking forward to guests benefitting from more options and increased connectivity for travel between Canada and the UK.”

With the addition of Heathrow to WestJet’s network this spring, WestJet will connect Calgary to 77 non-stop destinations throughout the year.  WestJet will also continue to offer non-stop flights between Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax to London, Gatwick.

Additional network details for travel between Calgary and London-Heathrow including frequency, timing and introductory pricing will be available, and for sale, in the coming weeks.

Additional Quotes
“WestJet is a fantastic airline with a strong history of providing top-notch service and excellent value for money, making it a great fit for Heathrow. As travel begins to reopen, we look forward to working with WestJet to improve the UK’s connectivity with Canada and give passengers even more choice when flying across the Atlantic.” 
–   John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow CEO

“WestJet’s new non-stop route from YYC to London Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, is welcomed by those looking to access the world’s premier financial and business centre and those eager for a direct connection to explore London’s culture and landmarks. We look forward to welcoming guests from across the pond to experience the traditional Indigenous lands and warm hospitality our region is known for.”
–    Bob Sartor, President & CEO of The Calgary Airport Authority.

“Congratulations to WestJet for continuing to invest in new ways to connect Calgarians and our economy to the world. London Heathrow is a critical access point for business and leisure travellers and will be of great benefit to investors and tourists who want world class access to our region.”
–    Jyoti Gondek, Mayor of Calgary

“Air access is key to our province’s economic recovery and growth of the tourism industry We look forward to welcoming back UK travellers and showcasing Alberta as a top destination.”
–    David Goldstein, CEO Travel Alberta

“Having direct flight access to Heathrow, enhancing connectivity to London, a global capital market and business hub will further enhance Alberta’s competitiveness for investment and trade. This is also the latest signal to global investors of confidence in Alberta’s economy and economic recovery.  We look forward to putting these flights to good use bringing investors and business to our province who will bring with them capital and jobs for Albertans.”
–    Rick Christiaanse, CEO, Invest Alberta Rick Christiaanse Invest Alberta

“WestJet’s non-stop service to the globally recognized London Heathrow Airport is great news for ensuring continued investment and talent attraction to our city as we work together to make Calgary the destination of choice for the world’s best entrepreneurs.”
–    Brad Parry, Interim President & CEO, Calgary Economic Development.

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

Air Canada restarts Dublin–Toronto flights

From the Irish Times – link to source story

Airline flying three times a-week between destinations, with return flights to each on alternate days

Barry O’Halloran | 4 August 2021

The airline will use a Boeing 787-9 on the route with 298 seats, including 247 in economy. File photograph

 Air Canada has restarted Dublin-Toronto flights in a boost to the Republic’s transatlantic network.

The airline said on Wednesday that it has begun flying three times a-week between the capital’s airport and Toronto, with return flights to each on alternate days.

Air Canada will fly Dublin-Toronto on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and Toronto-Dublin on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Stephen Gerrard, Air Canada general manager sales, UK and Ireland, said the service would provide Irish customers with direct access to Toronto plus connections to 40 destinations in Canada, the US and Mexico.

The airline will use a Boeing 787-9 on the route with 298 seats, including 247 in economy.

Canada will this month begin easing restrictions for non-nationals who have been fully-jabbed with vaccines recognised by its health authorities, which include those used in the Republic.

Some curbs will remain in place until early September, when the Canadian government has pledged a further easing of restrictions, depending on progress in restraining Covid-19.

WestJet gives guests more options via Amsterdam

Airline strengthens codeshare with KLM, adds AMS connections to 18 European cities   

CALGARY, AB, July 26, 2021 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced the evolution of its long-standing codeshare relationship with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines through the placement of its “WS” codeshare on KLM-operated flights. Through the expanded codeshare agreement, guests will now have convenient access via Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (AMS) to 18 cities across Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Guests will now have convenient access via AMS to 18 cities across Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)
Guests will now have convenient access via AMS to 18 cities across Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

The enhanced partnership builds on the airline’s new non-stop 787 Dreamliner service between Amsterdam and Calgary and provides greater access between Canada and European points for travellers on both sides of the Atlantic.

“Through this expanded codeshare relationship with KLM our guests will benefit from new opportunities to travel between Europe and Canada,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “Our Dreamliner service to Amsterdam combined with convenient connections on a world-class partner like KLM is an exciting step as we work to support the safe restart of international travel.” 

WestJet’s inaugural service between Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) and Calgary International Airport (YYC) is set to depart on August 5, 2021. The airline’s new service will operate two-times weekly beginning August 5, 2021 and will increase to three-times weekly as of September 9.  All AMS flights will be on WestJet’s 787 Dreamliner, featuring WestJet’s Business Cabin including lie-flat pods, dining on demand and WestJet’s award-winning caring service.

“This is an exciting development for inbound travel and tourism to Alberta from key European markets via Amsterdam,” said David Goldstein, CEO, Travel Alberta. “Rebuilding these targeted international air links is critical to the province’s economic recovery. We look forward to working with WestJet to re-establish Alberta’s competitiveness as a business and leisure destination emerging from the pandemic.”

Details of WestJet’s service between Calgary and Amsterdam:

RouteFrequencyStart Date
Calgary –
Amsterdam
2x weeklyAug. 5 – Sept. 5, 2021
3x weeklySept. 9 – October 31,
2021
Amsterdam –
Calgary
2x weeklyAug. 6 – Sept. 6, 2021
3x weeklySept. 10 – November 1,
2021

Details of WestJet’s codeshare with KLM via AMS:

Airport
Code
CityCountry
VIEViennaAustria
BRUBrusselsBelgium
TLSToulouse*France*
LYSLyon*
MPLMontpellier/Mauguio*
FRAFrankfurtGermany
MUCMunich
BERBerlin
HAJHanover
MXPMilanItaly
VCEVenice
LISLisbonPortugal
MADMadridSpain
GLAGlasgowUK
EDIEdinburgh
MANManchester
LCYLondon
LHRLondon

*Pending regulatory approval

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

Rise Higher: Air Canada Launches New Brand Spot and Proudly Flies The Flag Transporting Team Canada to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games

MONTREAL, July 21, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada today unveiled its comprehensive program in support of Team Canada’s journey to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which includes today’s launch of “Rise Higher”, a new brand spot. The airline began flying Team Canada athletes, coaches and support staff from Toronto and Vancouver to Japan on July 1 onboard a 787 Dreamliner in a special livery. Air Canada is further celebrating the country’s athletes through innovative activations, exclusive access and engagement opportunities for fans.

“As a proud supporter of Team Canada going to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we are transporting more than 740 Olympians and Paralympians, coaches and support staff. The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams represent the very best of Canada when they fly our country’s flag at the world’s foremost sports competition, and in support and celebration of our country’s athletes, we created a special ‘Fly the Flag’ livery to honour them,” said Andrew Shibata, Vice President – Brand at Air Canada.

“Our country’s athletes inspire so many of us with their drive, focus and determination to be the best at what they do. Their resilience to keep working towards their goals despite the challenges that came up with the pandemic is motivating. We are proud to pay tribute to them with the launch of a new brand spot titled ‘Rise Higher’ that will be featured during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. We are also excited to engage Canadian fans to cheer on and connect with Team Canada in unique and innovative ways with never-before-seen initiatives that have been developed to enable fans to experience the 2020 Games as if they were there,” concluded Mr. Shibata.

“We are so proud to have Air Canada fly our team to and from Tokyo 2020 this summer. After a difficult year, we know our athletes will be ready to compete thanks to the world-class comfort and professionalism that Air Canada brings to every flight,” said Jacquie Ryan, Chief Brand & Commercial Officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee.

“Thank you to Air Canada for all of its support leading into Tokyo 2020,” said Catherine Gosselin-Després, Executive Director, Sport of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. “Boarding the flight to the host city is a significant part of the overall experience and the unofficial start of the Games for most, and we are confident our athletes, coaches, and support staff will feel comfortable en route to Tokyo thanks to Air Canada.”

In addition to its unwavering support in transporting Team Canada safely to and from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Air Canada is proud to:

  • Premier its new “Rise Higher” brand spot during the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony broadcast, which is being released concurrently online via Air Canada’s social media channels;
  • In collaboration with CBC/Radio-Canada, encourage Canadians to share how they #FlytheFlag/#HautLeDrapeau as they cheer on Team Canada in Tokyo. Canadians could win two round-trip tickets to anywhere Air Canada flies in North America or a spot to participate in one of six exclusive virtual experiences where they will have a unique opportunity to talk to athletes live from Tokyo;
  • Give Canadian fans the chance to interact with some athletes and be among the first to welcome them back home while they are onboard their Air Canada flight through one of five Twitter Q&A sessions hosted by Team Canada. Details on how to participate will be posted via Team Canada’s social channels;
  • Support athletes travelling from major airports across Canada with Air Canada’s own employee-driven initiative that involves the collaboration and dedicated efforts of Air Canada employees to ensure a seamless customer experience;
  • Give athletes distinctive, individual care kits, including Canadian-made travel essentials to make their flight more comfortable, a complimentary Wi-Fi streaming pass courtesy of our partner Intelsat, and Aeroplan points;
  • Provide all athletes with complimentary 35K status which includes free checked bags, through the Aeroplan Elite Podium Program;
  • Celebrate Team Canada’s journey with a special seat sale from Canada to all destinations Air Canada flies to. Seats are available for booking now, with further details at aircanada.com.

Air Canada has been a sponsor of the Canadian Olympic Team since 1988 and a sponsor of the Canadian Paralympic Team since 2007.

Travelling internationally? Find the latest government entry requirements via IATA’s Timatic website. Customers are responsible for ensuring they meet all government entry requirements, including holding the correct travel documents, visas, any required health certificates, and all other eligibility requirements for any flights they purchase. Government requirements may change with little notice.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline, and in 2019 was among the top 20 largest airlines in the world. It is Canada’s flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax. In 2020, Air Canada was named Global Traveler’s Best Airline in North America for the second straight year. In January 2021, Air Canada received APEX’s Diamond Status Certification for the Air Canada CleanCare+ biosafety program for managing COVID-19, the only airline in Canada to attain the highest APEX ranking. Air Canada has also committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. 

Air Canada Cargo marks milestone with 10,000th cargo-only flight since onset of the pandemic

5 July 2021

When worldwide travel was dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020, it had severe consequences on the movement of goods around the world by air as passenger flights, which carried up to 59% of air cargo globally, disappeared almost overnight.

The Air Canada and Air Canada Cargo teams understood that transporting critical medical and other vital supplies was imperative to combating the COVID-19 crisis, in Canada and globally. As passenger flights were suspended, Air Canada Cargo immediately began operating cargo-only flights in the belly of unscheduled passenger aircraft to meet the urgent demand for cargo transport. Simultaneously, work was being done to reconfigure the passenger cabins of some aircraft and implement a cargo-only flight schedule to keep the economy and the supply chain moving.

July 5, 2021, marks the 10,000th cargo-only flight for Air Canada Cargo, AC7251 from Toronto to Buenos Aires. Those 10,000 flights, including regularly scheduled operations and special on-demand flight, have carried everything from PPE for our healthcare heroes, critical vaccines, food, mail and even pets back home to their loved ones in Australia.

“It is remarkable that Air Canada is marking its 10,000th cargo-only flights since March 2020, a major accomplishment under the difficult circumstances. The pandemic changed our business at unprecedented speed, and the collaboration and creativity across branches and teams has been a defining moment for the Cargo group, and all of Air Canada,” said Jason Berry, Vice President, Cargo at Air Canada. “The cargo-only flights, which include both scheduled and on-demand flights, have helped provide stability in the global supply chain at a time when distributing essential and vital supplies was critical.”

Air Canada Cargo has been able to achieve this milestone thanks to the hard work of hundreds of dedicated employees across all branches of the company, its supply chain partners and the support of its customers, who came together to find solutions.

“10,000 cargo-only flights is just the beginning and our future is bright. Montreal cargo really worked hard this past year and we are all very proud of that,” said Mamun Ansari, Cargo Service Manager in Montreal.

“Our 10,000th cargo-only flight means we have been resilient during these challenging times. We have been able to adapt, be part of the necessary supply chain moving things such as vaccines,” said Tanith Pinto, Cargo Service Manager in Toronto.

“It is a moment to be proud of and specifically at Air Canada Cargo to see how we have evolved during the course of the pandemic,” said Thomas Getzie, Cargo Service Manager in Vancouver.

“It is just great for the Frankfurt team to know that we have been an important part of the success story. I believe the entire cargo team can really be very proud,” said Leandro De Souza, Area Sales Manager – Cargo – Germany.

“Launching these cargo-only flights during a global pandemic remains, for all of us who were involved, a career highlight. I know I speak for all my colleagues on the Asia-Pacific team when I are proud to represent Air Canada,” said Brayden Zhou, Cargo Manager.

Air Canada set up its network of cargo-only flights using Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Boeing 777 and Airbus A330-300 aircraft on international routes.

Air Canada was also the first airline in the world to go to market with reconfigured widebody passenger aircraft, having removed the seats in the cabin to allow for light freight. Air Canada has converted a total of 11 aircraft, a mix of Boeing 777s and A330-300s.

The evolution at Air Canada Cargo will continue this fall with the arrival of the first of several dedicated freighter aircraft, giving its global customers reliable and predictable capacity.

“As passenger flights pick up, we look forward to continuing to serve our cargo customers and facilitating the movement of goods by air through belly capacity and continued cargo-only flying as we prepare for the arrival of our first Boeing 767-300ER freighters in the fall,” Jason Berry concluded.