WestJet enhances intra-B.C. connectivity with new service between Penticton and Vancouver

CALGARY, AB, Aug. 8, 2022 /CNW/ – WestJet today is welcoming the airline’s newest regional route with the announcement of service between Penticton, B.C., and Vancouver beginning in February of 2023. The route will strengthen critical intra-provincial connectivity for British Columbians and local businesses and is scheduled to operate six-times weekly on WestJet Link.

“The addition of new intra-provincial routes is critical as we invest in our presence in the West and look to strengthen our offerings to ensure British Columbians have more access to convenient and affordable air travel,” said Jared Mikoch-Gerke, WestJet Director of Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs. “This new route marks the initial steps in our renewed committment to B.C., and will open up connections and opportunities for local businesses and residents as they recover from the difficult past few years.”

“This new service will not only connect British Columbians and all Canadians who will use this route, but will also create good local jobs and help grow our economy,” said The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport. “Our government operates the Penticton Airport to provide safe and reliable service for the Okanagan communities and today’s announcement will do just that.”

The new service will stimulate business and leisure travel between the cities with flights on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays and makes WestJet the only airline serving both Calgary and Vancouver direct from Penticton.  Through the airline’s capacity purchase agreement with Pacific Coastal Airline, all flights will be operated by WestJet Link, using a fleet of WestJet-branded 34-seat Saab 340 aircraft. 

“The expansion of WestJet service is another example of the growth that Penticton is experiencing,” said Mayor John Vassilaki. “As more and more people recognize the advantages of living and working here, the addition of more direct flights to Vancouver will benefit everyone – from tourists to businesspeople. I’m pleased WestJet sees the potential for growth and look forward to the partnership between the airline and the airport being a strong factor in our economic development.”

The expansion of service is the 11th destination within the WestJet Link network and will connect more guests in smaller communities to WestJet’s global network.

RouteStart DateFrequencyOperated byDepartureArrival
Vancouver – Penticton*Beginning February 17, 20236x Weekly (excluding Saturday)WestJet Link12:45 p.m.1:35 p.m.
Penticton – Vancouver*Beginning February 17, 20236x Weekly (excluding Saturday)WestJet Link2:05 p.m.2:55 p.m.

*new route

Additional Quotes

“We are excited to see WestJet Link’s service continue to grow throughout the province and provide service to the southern Okanagan Valley. As the proud operators of WestJet Link, the expansion of this service is essential in providing additional connections for local businesses and British Columbians.”

–      Quentin Smith, Pacific Coastal Airlines President.

“This is great news for the entire Southern Okanagan region.  Not only does this open up easier access to people traveling from the lower mainland to enjoy the bounty of the Southern Okanagan, but it also adds greater flexibility for those who travel to Vancouver for business and pleasure.”

–      Jonathan McGraw, President of the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce.

“We are thrilled that WestJet is providing new opportunities for British Columbians to explore our beautiful province with the addition of this new exciting route,” said Walt Judas, CEO of TIABC. “The addition of YVR to YYF is a further enhancement to both leisure and business travel across our province and brings an exciting avenue for tourists from WestJet’s global network to connect to the beautiful Okanagan region from Vancouver.”

–      Walt Judas, CEO, TIABC

“We are very pleased for Penticton and area residents with this new service announcement from WestJet and partner, Pacific Coastal Airlines. Their new service announcement regarding Penticton to Vancouver, six-times weekly starting February 2023 continues to strengthen the relationship between WestJet and Penticton Airport along with the residents of the South Okanagan/Similkameen and its business community. We welcome the expanded service and look forward to the convenience this service brings.”

–     MLA Dan Ashton, Penticton 

“Connecting more people with more regions of BC through convenient and affordable air travel options is critical. This new service between Vancouver International Airport and Penticton will connect more British Columbians and visitors with the tremendous offerings of BC’s Southern Interior region. We applaud WestJet for strengthening their commitment to British Columbia—expanding air travel options in the province, in partnership with WestJet Link service operator Pacific Coastal Airlines” 

–    Mike McNaney, Vice President and Chief External Relations Officer, Vancouver International Airport

About WestJet  

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

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

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

WestJet brings back the heat this Winter

Airline to return 17 sun and leisure routes suspended during pandemic to destinations across the Caribbean, Mexico and U.S.

CALGARY, AB, Aug. 8, 2022 /CNW/ – WestJet today celebrated the return of 17 sun routes to its network this winter. The returning routes which were suspended for more than two years, bring enhanced connectivity and vacation options for Canadians and communities across the airline’s network.

“The restart of these routes is another positive step in the restoration our network as we solidify WestJet as the reliable, friendly and affordable airline we are known to be,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer. “We recognize the past three winters have been disruptive to our guests travel plans and we look forward to reconnecting Canadians to some of the warmer destinations they have missed the most.”

The airline today also announced new six-times weekly regional service between Penticton, B.C., and Vancouver beginning on February 17, 2023 on WestJet Link along with the restart of domestic connectivity between Edmonton and Nanaimo, B.C.

Highlights from WestJet’s winter schedule release:

Sun and Leisure, Transborder and Transatlantic:

  • Restart of 17 sun and leisure routes suspended since 2019
  • 45 per cent increase to sun and leisure flights from winter 2021
  • 60 per cent increase in transborder flights from winter 2021
  • 25 per cent increase in transatlantic flights from winter 2021

WestJet’s investments in sun, transborder and leisure flying are growing across the country with:

  • A 50% increase in flights from Central/Eastern Canada from winter 2021
  • A 55% increase in flights from Western Canada from winter 2021

Network-wide:

  • 65 per cent increase in flights to/from Winnipeg (YWG) from winter 2021
  • 50 per cent increase in flights to/from Edmonton (YEG) from winter 2021
  • 35 per cent increase in flights to/from Vancouver (YVR) from winter 2021
  • 30 per cent increase in flights to/from Calgary (YYC) from winter 2021
  • 10 per cent increase in flights to/from Toronto (YYZ) from winter 2021

Domestic:

  • New domestic connection between Vancouver and Penticton, B.C., on WestJet Link
  • Restart of Edmonton-Nanaimo route suspended since 2019
  • 25 per cent overall increase in flights network-wide domestically from winter 2021

Transborder Restarts:

RouteRestart DatePeak FrequencyOperated By
Kelowna – PhoenixNovember 16, 20221x WeeklyWestJet
Saskatoon – Las VegasNovember 10, 20222x WeeklyWestJet
Saskatoon – Orlando*December 16, 20221x WeeklyWestJet
Regina – Las VegasNovember 10, 20222x WeeklyWestJet
Regina – OrlandoDecember 16, 20221x WeeklyWestJet
Vancouver – OrlandoNovember 12, 20221x WeeklyWestJet
Winnipeg – PhoenixOctober 31, 20222x WeeklyWestJet
St. John’s – Tampa BayMarch 19, 20231x WeeklyWestJet
*Operated on very limited basis in 2021

Carribean, Mexico, Central American Restarts:

RouteRestart DatePeak FrequencyOperated By
Calgary – Belize CityNovember 18, 20221x WeeklyWestJet
Calgary – NassauNovember 26, 20221x weeklyWestJet
Calgary – VaraderoNovember 5, 20221x WeeklyWestJet
Comox – Puerto VallartaNovember 5, 20221x WeeklyWestJet
Ottawa – Montego BayNovember 12, 20222x WeeklyWestJet
Regina – Cancun*November 13, 20222x WeeklyWestJet
Toronto – Cayo CocoNovember 5, 20221x WeeklyWestJet
Toronto – SamanaDecember 17, 20221x WeeklyWestJet
Winnipeg – Montego BayDecember 17, 20221x WeeklyWestJet
*Operated on very limited basis in 2021

Domestic Routes:

RouteStart DateFrequencyOperated by
Vancouver – Penticton*February 17, 20236x WeeklyWestJet Link
Edmonton – NanaimoOctober 30, 20223x WeeklyWestJet Encore
*new route

About WestJet  

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

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

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

Pacific Coast Airlines announces Summer 2022 Schedule

Thanks to MW

30 October 2021

Check Out our Summer 2022 Flight Schedule

Take advantage of additional flight options. Book your summer trip today.

Origin and DestinationSunMonTueWedThuFriSatWeekly FlightsHighlights
Vancouver – Victoria4x4x4x4x4x4x1x21 Improved minimum connection times between YYJ and other destinations
Vancouver – Powell River4x4x4x4x4x4x2x26
Vancouver – Bella Coola1x1x1x1x1x1x1x7New daily service
Vancouver – Trail2x2x2x2x2x2x1x13
Vancouver – Williams Lake2x1x2x1x2x1x1x10
Vancouver – Comox2x2x2x2x2x2x0x20All non-stop flights (no more stops in YBL )
Vancouver – Campbell River3x3x3x3x3x3x2x12All non-stop flights (no more stops in YQQ)
Vancouver – Port Hardy1x2x1x2x1x2x1x10Evening flight Sunday to Friday will operate on Saab
Vancouver – Bella Bella1x1x1x1x1x1x1x7New daily service – all flights will operate on Saab
Vancouver – Tofino1x1x1x1x1x1x1x7Flights will operate on Saab, Sunday to Friday. New Saturday service.
Victoria – Kelowna2x2x1x2x2x2x0x11
Victoria – Prince George1x1x1x1x1x1x0x6
Vancouver – Cranbrook1x1x1x1x1x1x0x6
Vancouver – Masset1x1x1x1x1x1x1x7New daily service – all flights will operate on Saab
Vancouver – Penticton1x1x1x1x1x1x1x7New daily service
Vancouver – Kamloops1x1x1x1x1x1x0x6

Book With Greater Peace of Mind.

We’re offering unlimited ticket changes for customers who purchase flights by January 31, 2022. Travel worry-free. Learn more.

For ultimate peace of mind and the ability to cancel and receive a refund to the original form of payment, we recommend booking a refundable Encore Fare.

WestJet adds flights to combat major backlog at Interior airports due to wildfires

From City News 1130 – link to source story – Thank PM

BY CLAIRE FENTON | Posted Aug 4, 2021

FILE PHOTO (Courtesy Kelowna International Airport)

SUMMARY

  • WestJet has added additional flights to deal with a major backlog caused by wildfire smoke in recent days
  • Dozens of flights were cancelled in several airports because of unsafe conditions caused by the nearby wildfires
  • Passengers who can’t get on a flight will also have the option of taking a bus from Kamloops, Penticton or Kelowna

KELOWNA (NEWS 1130) — WestJet has added flights to allow air travel out of the wildfire-ravaged Interior to resume. But with the backlog in cancelled flights, it is expected to take a while before everyone can get back home.

Cancellations were made Monday and Tuesday, with most affected flights operated either by Air Canada or WestJet.

Philip Elchitz with Kelowna International Airport explained Tuesday that BC Wildfire Service placed a “no-fly zone” in the vicinity of the fire. That zone is also right above the instrument approach into Kelowna International.

However, in an update Wednesday, Elchitz says winds are favourable, but he warns conditions could change.

“The smoke is still pretty thick. We’re seeing about five miles of visibility right now at the airport. That’s certainly better than the half-mile visibility we had over the last couple of days. But we’d like to see that improve over the next few days as well.”

He says he understands that passengers are frustrated, and weather permitting, flights should be back to normal soon.

“People have been very resourceful. But there has been a fair amount of frustration and anxiety.”

Passengers who can’t get on a flight Wednesday will also have the option of taking a bus from Kamloops, Penticton or Kelowna.

More flights to and from the Okanagan cancelled because of B.C. wildfires

From City News 1130 – Link to source story

More flights to and from the Okanagan cancelled because of B.C. wildfires

BY PAUL JAMES, CLAIRE FENTON AND HANA MAE NASSAR | Posted Aug 3, 2021

FILE PHOTO (Courtesy Kelowna International Airport)

SUMMARY

  • Flights into, out of Kelowna International Airport cancelled Tuesday as White Rock Lake wildfire rages on
  • Only flight into Penticton Tuesday morning also cancelled
  • Kelowna airport says situation is being monitored ‘hour by hour’

KELOWNA (NEWS 1130) – Most passengers looking to fly into or out of Kelowna and Penticton have had to wait a bit longer as wildfires force both Okanagan airports to cancel flights.

Smoke from the White Rock Lake wildfire has been creating unsafe flying conditions for pilots, and first impacted travel at Kelowna International Airport Sunday night through to Monday afternoon.

“That has restricted the instrument approaches into the airport, and that has resulted in multiple cancellations over the last 24 hours,” YLW Senior Operations Manager Phillip Elchitz said Monday.

Cancellations were once again made Tuesday morning, with the majority of affected flights operated either by Air Canada or WestJet.

“We’re expecting it to be hour by hour,” Elchitz said of whether flights would resume Tuesday, adding “that’ll completely depend on the behaviour of the wildfire and our ability to work with the B.C. fire service.”

He explains the BC Wildfire Service places a “no-fly zone” in the vicinity of the fire. That zone is also right above the instrument approach into Kelowna International.

“Because of that no-fly zone, we can’t have any aircraft flying the instrument procedures into the airport, and as a result of that, the pilots aren’t able to shoot the approach into the facility,” he said.

According to Elchitz, the visibility at the airport was about 3/4 of a mile Monday afternoon.

Over the past several days, wildfire smoke forced the Penticton airport to cancel many of its flights, forcing many to find other options. As of 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, the only flight arriving that same morning — the 10:15 a.m. from Calgary — had been cancelled. Another flight, for later in the day, was still listed as “On Time.”

Meanwhile, the only flight into Kamloops Tuesday morning was also cancelled.

But starting at 3:00 p.m., flights for roughly 8,000 passengers trying to make their way out of Kelowna will resume.

Phillip Elchitz with the Kelowna Airport says the BC Wildfire Service has been able to condense its ‘no-fly zone’ around a nearby fire, allowing flights to resume in and out of Kelowna.

Elchitz does warn that plans could change if the nearby fire forces a re-expansion of the no-fly zone.

“If there is an expansion of the White Rock Lake fire to the east, it’ll close our approaches again so we’re really just monitoring the wildfire situation, and we’re hopeful that the fire will hold at its current location.”

WestJet reconnecting routes across British Columbia

Airline to restart eight routes and inaugurate new flights between nine communitiesby early July

CALGARY, AB, June 25, 2021 /CNW/ – WestJet is further restoring British Columbia’s domestic and interprovincial connectivity with the restart of eight routes to and from destinations across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. The airline is also set to inaugurate 10 new routes by July 5, 2021. Full schedule details and resumption dates are outlined below.

“We continue to work towards the restoration of our pre-COVID domestic network to ensure that when our guests are ready to travel, we are there for them,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “WestJet remains committed to building back stronger for the betterment of all Canadians and as we look ahead to reconnecting friends, family and loved ones, the safe restart of travel is essential to Canada’s economic recovery.”

WestJet’s investments are critical to ensuring British Columbia’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and by the end of June, the airline is set to inaugurate new flights between Abbotsford and Prince George and restore WestJet Link service between Vancouver and Cranbrook.

“As a leader in aviation, WestJet has been working with industry, tourism and business across the province to ensure their voices are being heard as we safely restart travel. We thank Premier Horgan and his government for prioritizing travel as a critical component of the government’s restart plan. While progress has been made in British Columbia, we continue to advocate for safe travel framework from the Government of Canada,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President.

This July, WestJet will offer non-stop service from Vancouver to 18 cities, from Victoria to eight cities, from Kelowna to seven cities, from Comox to four cities and from Nanaimo to three cities. From the communities of Kamloops, Penticton and Prince George, the airline will connect to two communities non-stop.

Love Where You’re Going Again – WestJet’s Latest Video

For more than 17 months, Canadians from coast-to-coast have been separated from the people and places they love. WestJet’s latest brand moment is a reminder to Canadians that it’s time to love where they’re going, again.

British Columbia route restarts between now and June 30, 2021

RoutePeak FrequencyRoute restart date
Victoria – Winnipeg *3x weeklyJune 24, 2021 
Kelowna – Regina *2x weeklyJune 24, 2021 
Nanaimo – Vancouver  2x dailyJune 25, 2021 
Nanaimo – Edmonton *2x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Comox – Vancouver  2x dailyJune 25, 2021 
Kelowna – Saskatoon *2x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Kelowna – Victoria  4x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Vancouver – Cranbrook  1x dailyJune 25, 2021 
Abbotsford – Prince George *2x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Prince George – Calgary  4x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Victoria – Ottawa * 1x weeklyJune 26, 2021 
Comox – Edmonton 5x weeklyJune 26, 2021 
Comox – Toronto *1x weeklyJune 26, 2021 
Victoria – Saskatoon *2x weeklyJune 27, 2021 
Victoria – Toronto2x weeklyJune 30, 2021
Penticton – Edmonton * 2x weeklyJuly 4, 2021
Kamloops – Edmonton *2x weeklyJuly 5, 2021
Vancouver – Fort St. John 4x weeklyJuly 13, 2021
*New Route

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.

WestJet reconnecting Alberta routes

Airline to restart 10 routes across province and inaugurate new service from Edmonton to Penticton, Kamloops and Nanaimo

Non-stop service between Calgary-Charlottetown to launch on July 29

CALGARY, AB, June 25, 2021 /CNW/ -WestJet is further restoring Alberta’s domestic and interprovincial connectivity with the restart of 10 routes to and from destinations across British Columbia, the Yukon, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia from Calgary, Edmonton and Medicine Hat. The airline will also start operation of three new routes to and from Edmonton and begin non-stop service between Calgary and Charlottetown. Full schedule details and resumption dates are outlined below.

“We continue to work towards the restoration of our pre-COVID domestic network to ensure that when our guests are ready to travel, we are there for them,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “WestJet remains committed to building back stronger for the betterment of all Canadians, and as we look ahead to reconnecting friends, family and loved ones, the safe restart of travel is essential to Canada’s economic recovery.”

Connecting Alberta to Prince Edward Island non-stop

After being delayed due to the pandemic, WestJet will bridge new domestic connections between the east and the west with the introduction of new twice-weekly, non-stop service between Charlottetown, P.E.I., and Calgary, beginning July 29. The service connecting the two provinces was previously scheduled to start in June 2020.

WestJet’s investments are critical to ensuring Alberta’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and this July, WestJet will offer non-stop service from Calgary to 42 cities and from Edmonton to 16 cities. 

“This week’s meeting with more than 70 Northern Alberta industry partners demonstrates the value of listening to our partners as we enter the recovery phase of the pandemic. We thank Premier Kenney and his government for leading the safe restart of travel for Albertans. While progress has been made in Alberta, we continue to advocate for a safe travel framework from the Government of Canada,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President.

Love Where You’re Going Again – WestJet’s Latest Video

For more than 17 months, Canadians from coast-to-coast have been separated from the people and places they love. WestJet’s latest brand moment is a reminder to Canadians that it’s time to love where they’re going, again.

Alberta route restarts between now and July 6, 2021

RoutePeak FrequencyRoute restart date
Edmonton – Nanaimo*2x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Regina 6x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Comox 5x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Calgary – Prince George4x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Calgary – London, Ont.4x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Winnipeg 6x weeklyJune 30, 2021
Calgary – Windsor2x weeklyJune 26, 2021
Calgary – Whitehorse2x weeklyJune 27, 2021
Calgary – Medicine Hat5x weeklyJune 27, 2021
Edmonton – Halifax 2x weeklyJuly 1, 2021
Edmonton – Penticton*2x weeklyJuly 3, 2021
Edmonton – Kamloops*2x weeklyJuly 4, 2021
Edmonton – Saskatoon 6x weeklyJuly 6, 2021
Calgary – Charlottetown *2x weeklyJuly 29, 2021
*New route

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.