WestJet announces schedule for new service between London Heathrow and Calgary

New route to commence in March 2022, increasing global connectivity between Western Canada and Europe

CALGARY, AB, Dec. 1, 2021 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced route details for its new non-stop service to London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR), from the airline’s largest, global hub, Calgary International Airport. The new route provides access to London’s largest airport with close and rapid access to important destinations in London. Flights between the two global hubs are set to operate four-times weekly, beginning March 26, 2022 and are available to book on WestJet.com, today.

Details of WestJet’s service between Calgary and Heathrow:

RouteFrequencyStart Date
Calgary – HeathrowTuesday, Wednesday, Friday, SaturdayMarch 26 – October 28, 2022
Heathrow – CalgaryWednesday, Thursday, Saturday, SundayMarch 27 – October 29, 2022

From previous release

“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 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

WestJet Eyes New Service to Spokane with Regional Subsidiary

From Airline Geeks – link to source story

A WestJet Link Saab 340
A WestJet Link Saab 340. (Photo: WestJet)

By Winston Shek | November 28, 2021

If all goes as planned with the application, Spokane will receive a daily flight to Calgary and a daily flight to Vancouver, allowing for the airport’s first scheduled international air service in more than a decade. From 1997 to 2004, the airport received its only international service from Calgary on Canadian regional carrier Central Mountain Air operating under the Air Canada code via Beech 1900D turboprop 18-seater aircraft. Earlier in the 1990s, United Airlines and now-defunct AirBC serviced Calgary from Spokane.

This move marks Spokane’s third newest airline slated to launch service at the airport. One of the U.S.’s latest airline startups, aha!, plans to start service later this year to Reno, Nev. on its Embraer E145 aircraft. Meanwhile, Sun Country plans to launch summer-seasonal services to its hub in Minneapolis on its Boeing 737s.

During the pandemic, Spokane benefitted from three new routes, including two new services to Las Vegas and Phoenix on Allegiant and a new American Airlines flight to Chicago. However, Spokane will lose some Frontier Airlines service as the carrier resumes its flying in August 2022.

WestJet Expansion

It is unclear when WestJet will commence these flights, though this will mark WestJet Link’s only service to the U.S., not to be confused with WestJet’s other regional subsidiary, WestJet Encore.

WestJet will launch its flights with Pacific Coastal Airlines’ Saab 340s, holding a total of 34 passengers in a 1-2 seating configuration. Currently, WestJet Link operates three Saab 340s, though a total of six Saab 340s can fly on the route.

WestJet Link was launched in 2017 to boost regional connectivity to WestJet’s hubs in Vancouver and Calgary. The regional airline started service in March 2018, expanding to several smaller regional destinations in Alberta and British Columbia like Medicine Hat. WestJet’s other regional subsidiary, WestJet Encore, operates the larger Bombardier Dash 8-400 to larger cities and some transborder hops to destinations like Boston or Nashville.

Currently, WestJet services 22 airports in the mainland U.S., including five destinations each in California and Florida. This winter, the Calgary-based carrier plans to add three routes to the mainland U.S., including a flight to its newest destination, Miami. In the Pacific Northwest, WestJet services Seattle and Portland, Ore., making Spokane a possible third destination in the region.

In addition to its moves in the U.S., WestJet plans to embark on a transatlantic expansion. Last week, the carrier inked a codeshare deal with Air Transat to expand the breadth of its European network. From Toronto, WestJet will launch new services to Dublin, Ireland and Edinburgh, Scotland with its Boeing 737 MAX, while from Calgary, Westjet will add new services to London and Rome, the latter of which was previously scheduled to launch in May 2020.

WestJet and TELUS partner on Trusted Boarding trial

Innovative guest boarding solution showcases the future possibility for touchless and secure boarding options for Canadian travellers

CALGARY, AB, Nov. 25, 2021 /CNW/ – Yesterday, WestJet, together with TELUS, trialled Trusted Boarding, a touchless process that uses safe and secure facial verification technology to verify travellers’ identity prior to boarding a flight. The trial was the first-of-its-kind in Canada and took place at the YYC Calgary International Airport.

WestJet and Telus partner on Trusted Boarding trial. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)
WestJet and Telus partner on Trusted Boarding trial. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)
Trial guests boarded WestJet flight 8901 through facial verification with their digital identity wallet on Embross’ Canadian made biometric hardware and boarding application at Gate 88. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)
Trial guests boarded WestJet flight 8901 through facial verification with their digital identity wallet on Embross’ Canadian made biometric hardware and boarding application at Gate 88. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)
Innovative guest boarding solution showcases the future possibility for touchless and secure boarding options for Canadian travellers. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)
Innovative guest boarding solution showcases the future possibility for touchless and secure boarding options for Canadian travellers. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)
Trusted Boarding, a touchless process that uses safe and secure facial verification technology to verify travellers’ identity prior to boarding a flight. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)
Trusted Boarding, a touchless process that uses safe and secure facial verification technology to verify travellers’ identity prior to boarding a flight. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)
WestJet and Telus partner on Trusted Boarding trial. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

“The travel experience is evolving to include many touchless processes and WestJet is innovating to ensure our guests’ travel journey improves to become more seamless and efficient, while prioritizing safety above all,” said Stuart McDonald, Executive Vice-President and Chief Information Officer. “The Trusted Boarding trial is a union between technology and WestJet that would in the future help our agents and our guests with contactless document validation.” 

WestJet’s Trusted Boarding trial demonstrated that the responsible use of biometric boarding technology provides sufficient document validation and prevents non-authorized individuals from boarding an aircraft. Trial guests boarded WestJet flight 8901 through facial verification with their digital identity wallet on Embross’ Canadian made biometric hardware and boarding application at Gate 88. The trial marked the first step towards the implementation of the technology as WestJet works with the Government of Canada to seek full approval for its use as a safe and secure alternative for future WestJet boarding at Canadian airports. 

“As air travel gradually reopens, the passenger experience continues to evolve. Our groundbreaking, built in Canada solution allows travellers to enjoy a secure, touchless identity verification experience, while ensuring they are able to maintain control of their personal data,” said Ibrahim Gedeon, Chief Technology Officer, TELUS. “This level of control establishes and increases consumer trust by addressing privacy, security, and ethical data risks from the start, while providing transparency to customers.”

Trusted Boarding supports a more digital Canada using Canadian innovation. It employs a self-sovereign identity ecosystem (the creation of unique, private and secure connections between two trusted parties) through a TELUS-provisioned digital identity wallet in a smartphone application for IOS and Android. It provides contactless document validation, where a facial verification scan is matched with a traveller’s documentation that has been uploaded to the app prior to boarding. Importantly, the app ensures users retain control of their personal information at all times, meaning they can securely share their verified personal credentials and revoke access when the data is no longer needed.

The identity platform was developed by one37 and document integrity validation is provided by Oaro, ensuring the solution follows all data protection and privacy regulations covered under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

Additional Quotes:

“OARO is so proud to be part of this industry leading trial. The addition of biometrics to the travel journey provides a much improved airport experience moving us closer to a more safe and secure contactless travel experience.”

–       Mike Maxwell, Aviation Lead for OARO

“As a global leader in passenger self service solutions, the Trusted Boarding initiative heavily aligns with our vision of empowering travellers and providing them with a seamless and convenient travel experience. Continuing Embross’ decade-long technology partnership with Westjet, this collaboration with Telus and partners, marks a great example of Canadian-developed technologies benefiting Canadian travellers. We’re excited to see the success of the initiative and work with regulatory authorities to bring that benefit to travellers across Canada.”

–       Myles Tzelepis, VP Product & Marketing, Embross

“Taking the hassle out of travel is long-overdue. Using the one37 platform, travellers can now securely and privately share their data with WestJet, cutting the wait time, and skipping the lines, while enjoying a contactless experience. This pilot with WestJet, a visionary airline, and TELUS, a leader in digital transformation, is ushering a new era of travel by enforcing trusted data exchanges between all stakeholders.”

–       Fadwa Mohanna, CEO, one37

About TELUS
TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is a dynamic, world-leading communications technology company with $16 billion in annual revenue and 16 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video, and security. We leverage our global-leading technology and compassion to enable remarkable human outcomes. Our longstanding commitment to putting our customers first fuels every aspect of our business, making us a distinct leader in customer service excellence and loyalty. In 2020, TELUS was recognized as having the fastest wireless network in the world, reinforcing our commitment to provide Canadians with access to superior technology that connects us to the people, resources and information that make our lives better. TELUS Health is Canada’s leader in digital health technology, improving access to health and wellness services and revolutionizing the flow of health information across the continuum of care. TELUS Agriculture provides innovative digital solutions throughout the agriculture value chain, supporting better food outcomes from improved agri-business data insights and processes. TELUS International (TSX and NYSE: TIXT) is a leading digital customer experience innovator that delivers next-generation AI and content management solutions for global brands across the technology and games, ecommerce and FinTech, communications and media, healthcare, travel and hospitality sectors. TELUS and TELUS International operate in 25+ countries around the world. Together, let’s make the future friendly.

Driven by our passionate social purpose to connect all citizens for good, our deeply meaningful and enduring philosophy to give where we live has inspired TELUS, our team members and retirees to contribute more than $820 million and 1.6 million days of service since 2000. This unprecedented generosity and unparalleled volunteerism have made TELUS the most giving company in the world.

For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.

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

Calgary business leaders back airline startup Canada Jetlines

From Calgary Herald – link to source story

A pair of Calgary backers are looking to bring discount, destination travel routes to Calgary through a new Ontario-based airline company

Dylan Short | November 21, 2021

An artist's rendering of Boeing 737 MAX 7 in flight with Canada Jetlines livery.
An artist’s rendering of Boeing 737 MAX 7 in flight with Canada Jetlines livery. PHOTO BY HANDOUT/ CANADA JETLINES

Two Calgary backers are looking to bring discount, destination travel routes to Calgary through a new Ontario-based airline company.

Canada Jetlines is set to become Canada’s newest budget travel company when it launches its first sunshine routes in 2022. The airline is billing itself as a cheap alternative to fly south with its first flight scheduled to leave from Toronto in 2022.

On the management team are two Calgary backers. David Kruschell has started and worked with a number of entrepreneurial startups in Calgary’s travel industry. He said Canada Jetlines is set to offer competition to the major players in the field, WestJet and Air Canada, and offer competitive fares on underserved routes.

“I have a huge respect for the WestJet model and everything that has been done over the years to make it into what it is today,” said Kruschell. “Having said that, you know, I feel like Jetlines is a real focus niche player that is going to provide real travel opportunities for Canadians.”

Kruschell said that after the company becomes established in Ontario, he expects to see flights out of Calgary’s YYC airport by late 2022 or early 2023. He said the company is looking at what routes and destinations are currently underserved and where passengers will want to go, but he expects Jetlines to offer flights to Mexico, the Caribbean and possibly some southern U.S. states.

“We’re gonna really look hard at what some of those best destinations are and where we’re best equipped,” said Kruschell.

Canada Jetlines’ website calls the company the “little guy” that was originally developed as a charter airline to get to sunny destinations in the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean on a smaller budget. The company announced in July that it was looking to list on the market under a $5-million private placement. Once it receives approval from the Canadian Travel Agency, it will begin operations as a tour operator.

Jetlines is planning to build a fleet of Airbus A320s as its standard plane.

Also on the board is Ravinder Minhas, founder of Calgary’s Minhas Micro Brewery. He said he will be pushing to ensure Calgary is included in any Jetline expansions out of Ontario.

Minhas is new to the airline business after establishing himself in the oil and gas and brewing sectors in Alberta. He said coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, with public health restrictions easing around the world and borders beginning to reopen, is the perfect time to enter into a travel-related business.

“If it was easy and everybody had a crystal ball, everybody would do it. But having said that . . . I think we recognize there’s an appetite for travel,” said Minhas. “We recognize that opportunities for aircraft are good, good deals, and coming out of the pandemic gives a new player like us an opportunity.”

Ravinder Minhas, co-founder and CEO Minhas Breweries & Distillery, is shown in Calgary on Thursday, January 18, 2018.
Ravinder Minhas, co-founder and CEO Minhas Breweries & Distillery, is shown in Calgary on Thursday, January 18, 2018. PHOTO BY JIM WELLS/POSTMEDIA

Minhas and Kruschell both said added competition in the market is a good thing for customers, giving them more options. Minhas said that when he began his brewing company, he was told that the market was saturated and that he sees parallels between the big players in beer and the big Canadian airlines.

“Typically, their crumbs are my dinner and I don’t think that’d be any different from the aviation space,” said Minhas. “I think it’s fair to say that there’s room for more in the Canadian aviation space for sure.”

Also entering the discount airline market is Lynx Air. The Calgary-based airline announced on Tuesday they intend to have “ultra-affordable” flights beginning in 2022. Lynx Air, however, is planning to start with domestic flights before expanding into the United States and eventually into international markets.

Lynx Air said it plans to follow models in the U.S. and in Europe, and will offer a la carte booking that allows customers flexibility to book different services, such as no baggage or premium seating, for differing costs.

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. 

Wow: Half Of WestJet’s Europe Routes See The Boeing 737 MAX

From Simple Flying – link to source story – Thanks to CW

by James Pearson | November 19, 2021

Canada’s WestJet has 14 bookable routes to Europe next summer, exactly half by the B737 MAX 8 and the other half by the B787-9. However, that will change when a 15th route – Calgary to London Heathrow – takes off in the spring using the B787.

WestJet MAX 8
The UK and Ireland have three-quarters of WestJet’s Europe flights next summer, helped by new routes by the B737 MAX. Photo: Acefitt via Wikimedia.

WestJet to Europe next summer

The carrier’s 14 bookable routes include five from Toronto, four from Calgary, four from Halifax, and one from Vancouver, based on schedules from Cirium. Calgary to Heathrow will mean that Alberta’s main airport – WestJet’s ‘spiritual’ home and busiest airport – will have the most European links from the airline.

Following two washout summers because of entry restrictions, WestJet’s Europe offering will be significantly stronger next summer than S19. It expects 3,558 round-trip flights (before Heathrow is included), up by nearly half (46%).

Part of this is from new routes. After Calgary to Amsterdam took off three months ago, Toronto to Dublin, Edinburgh, and Glasgow are all coming along with Calgary to Rome Fiumicino. And most incumbent routes have more flights than previously.

WestJet's Europe network in summer 2022
When writing, the MAX 8 (shown in blue) and the B787-9 (yellow) have seven routes each to Europe next summer. The widebody will take the lead when Calgary-Heathrow begins. Image: GCMap.

WestJet is coming to Heathrow

The airline’s intention to serve Heathrow was made public when it applied for and received slots. According to Airport Coordination Limited (ACL) ‘s summer 2022 Initial Coordination Report, it has received 248 slot-pairs for next summer.

If split over each summer week and two directions, that’s good for a four-weekly service, although we don’t yet know when it’ll begin. It has intended to serve Heathrow for a while – it received slots for S21 but understandably didn’t use them – and it appears that Heathrow-Calgary will supplement its existing Calgary-Gatwick.

When writing, Heathrow doesn’t appear in the schedules and isn’t bookable, but expect that to change in the coming days or weeks. However, WestJet has confirmed Heathrow, with its CEO, John Weatherill, commenting that:

“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.”

WestJet Heathrow ACL screenshot
In its application, WestJet put ‘ZZF’, meaning it didn’t want to disclose the Canadian city. Image: ACL.

Calgary to London

Calgary to London is a large point-to-point (P2P) market, with approximately 253,000 round-trip passengers in 2019, booking data indicates. It’s the third-largest Canada-UK city-pair after Toronto-London and Vancouver-London.

WestJet B787
Unless Air Canada ups capacity or British Airways reenters, WestJet will be the largest airline between Calgary and London in S22. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr.

Two airlines have exited the market

After Air Transat ceased Calgary-Gatwick in September 2019 and British Airways ended it from Heathrow in March 2020, Calgary-London is now in the hands of Air Canada and WestJet. WestJet has capitalized on the exit of the two carriers, which in 2019 had 126,000 seats between them and a one-quarter share of the market, Cirium indicates.

Next summer, Air Canada will have a daily Heathrow service using 298-seat B787-9s, while WestJet will have a daily offer to Gatwick using 320-seat B787-9s, along with coming Heathrow. However, might BA be returning? Slot filings suggest that it might be, but it may simply use them for other routes.

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 Transat announces its summer 2022 flight program

MONTREAL, Nov. 11, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Transat, named World’s Best Leisure Airline, is proud to announce its flight program for the summer of 2022. At the height of the season, it will operate more than 250 flights each week to 44 destinations. It will gradually increase its service to Europe, strengthen its position in the United States by offering flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco for the first time, offer a selection of its most popular South destinations, and enhance its domestic flight program.

“We are actively rebuilding our network with a modern and versatile fleet that will enable us to meet the increased demand expected in 2022,” said Annick Guérard, President and Chief Executive Officer, Transat. “We will be returning to almost all of the destinations served before the pandemic, in addition to offering Canadian travellers major new destinations.”

An expanded Europe flight program

From Montreal, the airline will offer 7 direct flights weekly to London-Gatwick and 14 to Paris. It also plans to restart operations to the French provinces, with service to Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice and Toulouse. A total of 19 European destinations will be accessible via direct service from Montreal, including a new route to Amsterdam.

Air Transat will also strengthen its position as the leading international carrier departing from Jean Lesage Airport in Quebec City by offering exclusive non-stop flights to two European capitals: Paris and, for the first time, London.

From Toronto, in addition to 14 weekly flights to London, travellers will also be able to fly to 13 other key European destinations in Croatia, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the U.K.

Number of weekly direct peak-season flights to Europe

DestinationFrom
Montreal
From
Quebec City
From
Toronto
AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands34
ATHENS, Greece33
BASEL-MULHOUSE, Switzerland1
BARCELONA, Spain32
BORDEAUX, France4
BRUSSELS, Belgium3
DUBLIN, Ireland5
GLASGOW, United Kingdom4
LAMEZIA, Italy1
LISBON, Portugal55
LONDON, United Kingdom7114
LYON, France4
MADRID, Spain3
MALAGA, Spain2
MANCHESTER, United Kingdom4
MARSEILLE, France5
NANTES, France3
NICE, France2
PARIS, France1434
PORTO, Portugal23
ROME, Italy45
TOULOUSE, France4
VENICE, Italy21
ZAGREB, Croatia2

United States: focus on California and Florida

From Montreal, Air Transat will introduce a new direct service to California with two flights a week to San Francisco and three to Los Angeles. It will also intensify its service to Florida by operating flights between Montreal and Miami throughout the year, in addition to flying to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando from both Montreal and Toronto.

Finally, travellers from Quebec City will now be able to enjoy direct flights to Fort Lauderdale year-round.

Number of weekly direct peak-season flights to the U.S.

DestinationFrom
Montreal
From
Quebec City
From
Toronto
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida414
LOS ANGELES, California3
MIAMI, Florida3
ORLANDO, Florida23
SAN FRANCISCO, California2

The South all year

Because Canadians are fond of South getaways even during the summer, Air Transat will offer a selection of its most popular destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean out of Montreal, Quebec City and Toronto.

Number of weekly direct peak-season flights to sun destinations

DestinationFrom
Montreal
From
Quebec City
From
Toronto
CANCÚN, Mexico415
CAYO COCO, Cuba22
HOLGUIN, Cuba11
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica1
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti2
PUERTO PLATA, Dominican Republic21
PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic515
SAMANA, Dominican Republic1
SANTA CLARA, Cuba22
VARADERO, Cuba22

More domestic flights and connections

By closely observing the market and emerging travel trends, Air Transat is convinced that the popularity of travel within Canada will still be strong in the summer of 2022, which is why it will continue to enhance its domestic flight program.

These flights will also provide many Canadians with access to international destinations via connections in Toronto and Montreal.

Number of weekly peak-season domestic flights

City-pairNumber of
flights
MONTREAL–CALGARY8
MONTREAL–QUEBEC CITY5
MONTRÉAL–TORONTO15
MONTRÉAL–VANCOUVER10
TORONTO–CALGARY8
TORONTO–VANCOUVER10
Air Transat may have to modify its flight schedule subject to the changing COVID-19 situation and resulting travel restrictions.

About Air Transat
Founded in Montreal 35 years ago, Air Transat is a leading leisure travel brand. Voted World’s Best Leisure Airline by passengers at the Skytrax World Airline Awards, it flies to international and Canadian destinations, striving to serve its customers with enthusiasm and friendliness at every stage of their trip or stay, and emphasizing safety throughout. It is renewing its fleet with the greenest aircraft in their category as part of a commitment to a healthier environment, knowing that this is essential to its operations and the magnificent destinations it offers. Air Transat is a business unit of Transat A.T. Inc., a world-renowned holiday travel provider that achieved Travelife certification in 2018 in recognition of its sustainability commitments.

Recent distinctions and awards

  • World’s Best Leisure Airline at the Skytrax World Airline Awards
  • Named to Forbes World’s Best Employers List
  • Best Tour Operator and Favourite Overall Supplier at the Agents’ Choice Awards presented by Baxter Travel Media
  • Ranked as Canada’s 21st best corporate citizen by Corporate Knights

New Transborder flight celebrated as key to new economic, tourism and culture opportunities between Alberta and the Pacific Northwest

CALGARY, AB, Nov. 4, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, WestJet, together with key government and industry partners, launched its newest route connecting guests for the first time between Calgary and Seattle. The departure of flight WS3612 marked a major recovery milestone for WestJet as the airline’s first transborder inaugural since pre-pandemic. 

WestJet YYC-SEA inaugural ribbon cutting with, Richard Bartrem, John Fleming, Cindy Ady, Tim Patterson, Roger Reid, Carmelle Hunka and WestJet Crew of flight WS3612. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

“We are thrilled to foster direct connectivity between Calgary and Seattle for the first time on a route that our guests and both cities have long awaited,” said Chris Hedlin, WestJet, Vice-President, Network and Alliances. “This route will bolster economic ties between the regions and will stimulate Alberta’s visitor economy as we continue to strengthen our transborder network from our global hub in Calgary.”

The departure of WS3612 carrying 69 guests marked WestJet’s first new international route departure under the Government of Canada’s new traveller and employee vaccination policies.  

“Confidence in travel is growing as demonstrated by the demand for today’s flight and policies must evolve to support the fully-vaccinated travel ecosystem, “continued Hedlin. “Today is an important milestone in our commitment to restoring Canada’s visitor economy and we are optimistic that we will continue to see progress on the easement of border policies that are impacting our guest’s ability to travel between Canada and the U.S. as seamlessly by air, as they are by land.”

WestJet’s newest transborder flight will operate four times weekly to begin and will increase to two-times daily by spring 2022.

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

Prior to today’s inaugural departure, WS3612’s significance was celebrated by Chris Hedlin, WestJet’s Vice-President, Network and Alliances alongside Roger Reid, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Livingstone Macleod and Alberta Chair of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region, John Flemming, Deputy Senior Commercial Officer for the US Embassy, Tim Patterson, Vice Chair, Indigenous Tourism Alberta, Honorable Cindy Ady, CEO of Tourism Calgary, and former Minister of Tourism, Parks, and Recreation for the Government of Alberta, and Carmelle Hunka, Vice President, People, Risk & General Counsel, YYC Airport Authority.

“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 is a valuable addition to passenger choices here at SEA, giving business and leisure travelers the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Canadian Rockies, the Calgary Stampede, or maybe see a competitor of the new Seattle Kraken of the NHL,” said Lance Lyttle, SEA Airport Managing Director. “As travel options continue to re-start from the last year, we’re excited to see an airline like WestJet show the confidence they have in the Puget Sound region as a positive choice for them to serve visitors, business and residents of both regions.”

“With this new non-stop flight connecting Calgary and Seattle, WestJet continues to support the recovery of Calgary and Alberta’s visitor economy,” says Cindy Ady, Tourism Calgary CEO. “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. We are very eager to once again welcome visitors from the US to Calgary”

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

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) 

Flair Airlines grows Winnipeg service with flights to Regina and Saskatoon

Service beginning in Spring 2022 key to Flair’s strategy to delight Saskatchewan and Manitoba passengers with low fares

Edmonton, Alberta, Oct. 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Flair Airlines, Canada’s only independent ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), continues to grow its 2022 schedule with the addition of twice weekly nonstop service between Winnipeg and Regina as well as Winnipeg and Saskatoon. The new routes are part of Flair’s unprecedented growth as the airline expands its fleet to 16 aircraft and creates new affordable connections across North America.

“Low fare travel has arrived for the Prairies and we are excited to connect more families and travelers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan,” said Stephen Jones, President and CEO, Flair Airlines. “Connecting Regina and Saskatoon to Winnipeg with sustainably low fares is an important step in Flair’s growth and we know our customers will love the service.”

“We eagerly anticipate the arrival of these new Flair service offerings between Winnipeg and Regina/Saskatoon at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “Our partnership with Flair is growing and their efforts to provide Manitobans with more convenient, low-cost domestic travel options are playing a critical role in quickly restoring the affordable, wide-ranging air services our community relies upon to sustain itself and grow.”

“Skyxe is thrilled with the continued expansion of our relationship with Flair Airlines. Winnipeg is a key domestic market for Saskatoon which will benefit from increased air service opportunities for our guests. The addition of Flair’s low cost air service option will provide residents of Saskatchewan the ability to visit friends and family in Winnipeg conveniently and more frequently,” said Stephen Maybury, President & CEO, Skyxe Saskatoon Airport.

“We are thrilled to see Flair Airlines introduce this new route between Regina and Winnipeg. Travelers in southern Saskatchewan want connections between these two cities. This is a fantastic addition from Flair to build on the other amazing Canadian cities they are already serving out of YQR,” said James Bogusz, President and CEO, Regina Airport Authority.

Flair is adding new 737 MAX aircraft to its fleet in 2022 as it strives to become Canada’s greenest and most sustainable airline. The new aircraft deliver fuel savings and reduce the airline’s CO2 emissions by 14%. Flair recently announced a 33 percent increase in its fleet and additional routes within Canada and to the US.

Fares on the new routes will start at $49 CAD one-way for both the Winnipeg-Regina and Winnipeg-Saskatoon routes, including taxes and fees. All routes and schedule details can be viewed at https://www.flyflair.com.

About Flair Airlines

Flair Airlines is Canada’s only independent Ultra Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC) and is on a mission to liberate the lives of Canadians by providing affordable air travel that connects them to the people and experiences they love. With an expanding fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, Flair is growing to serve 28 cities across Canada and the U.S. For more information, please visit http://www.flyflair.com.

New Routes

  • Winnipeg – Regina (YWG-YQR) – 2x weekly starting April 14, 2022
  • Winnipeg – Saskatoon (YWG-YXE) – 2x weekly starting April 16, 2022

Recently Announced & Current Winnipeg, Saskatoon & Regina Routes

  • Regina – Edmonton (YQR-YEG) – 2x weekly starting April 14, 2022
  • Regina – Toronto (YQR-YYZ) – 2x weekly ongoing
  • Regina – Vancouver (YQR-YVR) – 2x weekly resumes March 28, 2022
  • Saskatoon – Edmonton (YXE-YEG) – 2x weekly starting April 16, 2022
  • Saskatoon – Toronto (YXE-YYZ) – 2x weekly ongoing
  • Winnipeg – Abbotsford (YWG-YXX) – 2x weekly resumes December 16, 2021
  • Winnipeg – Calgary (YWG-YYC) – 2x weekly ongoing
  • Winnipeg – Edmonton (YWG-YEG) – 3x weekly starting April 15, 2022
  • Winnipeg – Waterloo (YWG-YKF) – 2-3x weekly ongoing
  • Winnipeg – Ottawa (YWG-YOW) – 2x weekly ongoing
  • Winnipeg – Toronto (YWG-YYZ) – 2-6x weekly ongoing
  • Winnipeg – Vancouver (YWG-YVR) – 2-4x weekly ongoing