Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Westjet to launch nonstop Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 service to Dublin, London and Paris from Calgary home base.

The Canadian Airline, WestJet today announced that it's connecting Alberta to the world as it launches its first three Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner international destinations from Calgary. WestJet becomes the first Canadian airline to base its Dreamliner aircraft out of YYC Calgary International Airport.

WestJet is launching non-stop service on board its Dreamliners from Calgary to London (Gatwick), Paris and Dublin on April 28, May 17 and June 1, 2019, respectively. Fares to all three cities will be available on after 10 a.m. Calgary time today.

"Alberta's connectivity to the rest of the world is vital for our economy," said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. "WestJet is investing in Alberta to bring further economic growth, boost tourism to the province, and to further position our city as an international aviation hub. We are excited to bring Albertans to the world and the world to Alberta."

The international scheduled service between Calgary and London (Gatwick), Paris and Dublin will support 650 full-time jobs and $100 million in total economic output. This is in addition to WestJet's yearly economic output of more than $5 billion, that supports more than 32,000 direct and indirect jobs in Alberta.  Overall WestJet's national economic impact on Canada annually generates $17.4 billion and supports more than 153,000 jobs.*

The three new flights from the UK and Western Europe are expected to eventually bring up to 185,000 visitors to Calgary on a yearly basis, helping also increase local tourism.

The first of 10 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners ordered by WestJet will arrive in Calgary early in 2019, with two more arriving by April. The aircraft will operate on domestic flights for crew training and regulatory compliance before the first scheduled international flight in April. WestJet also has options for an additional 10 aircraft to arrive between 2020 and 2024. Hub locations and routes for the remaining seven aircraft have not yet been announced.

WestJet's Dreamliners will carry 320 guests in a three-class cabin configuration including the airline's newly revealed Business cabin featuring 16 private pods with lie-flat seats, an upscale Premium cabin and an updated Economy cabin. The Dreamliner route from Calgary to London (Gatwick) will replace the Boeing 767 service that currently operates the route from Calgary. 

The WestJet Dreamliners will also feature a new revised livery, to further enhance the global image of WestJet as a pure Canadian airline, with 'The Spirit of Canada' proudly emblazoned upon the fuselage.  It is also interesting to note that WestJet has decided to buck the trend of cramming in seats to economy with a ten abreast configuration on the 787 aircraft that many other airlines are doing, WestJet seems to have kept it to a more spacious and passenger friendly 9 abreast.

WestJet has optimized connections to and from the airline's network across Canada and Western U.S. through the airline's YYC hub.

WestJet is Calgary's largest airline, and by June 2019, will offer flights to 65 non-stop destinations with an average of 1,100 flights per week from YYC. More Calgarians choose WestJet for their air travel than any other airline.

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources, Government of Canada said: "Today's announcement by WestJet is great news for Canada's tourism and transportation sectors. This increased investment will create jobs, grow our economy, improve services for travellers, and bring new destinations closer for all Canadians."

The Honourable Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta also welcomed the news, "Alberta is the best place to invest and do business -- that's why WestJet has made our province home. We are proud they are continuing to expand here – helping local businesses reach new markets, bringing new visitors to our world-class tourist destinations, and creating hundreds of new jobs so Albertans can earn a good living for themselves and their families."

Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary was excited by the announcement, "This is big news for Calgary. The addition of WestJet's Dreamliner service to Paris, London and Dublin strengthens the international connections to this city and it shows WestJet's commitment to this community. I'm thrilled WestJet has chosen to make this substantial investment in their hometown."

(Images WestJet)