Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
CALGARY — WestJet has announced its first three Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner international destinations from Calgary – London-Gatwick, Paris and Dublin – along with new branding, a new ‘Love Where You’re Going’ tagline and a new Platinum tier.
The new routes make WestJet the first Canadian airline to base Dreamliner aircraft out of YYC.
Nonstop service onboard the Dreamliners from Calgary to London-Gatwick, Paris and Dublin will launch on April 28, May 17 and June 1, 2019, respectively. Fares to all three cities go on sale 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 first of 10 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners ordered by WestJet will arrive in Calgary in early 2019, with two more arriving by April. The airline 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.
The Dreamliners will carry 320 guests in a three-class cabin configuration, including WestJet’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.
Sims adds that the brand refresh and new ad campaign comes at a pivotal time for the airline. “Love where you’re going embodies both the thrill of travel and the sheer ambition we at WestJet have for our airline. Our 13,000 WestJetters are unique assets, and what we deliver for our 24 million guests is something that cannot be replicated.”
The updated brand image and positioning will roll out in phases to many of WestJet’s assets including westjet.com, WestJet’s airport presence over time across Canada and gradually across the fleet.
Meanwhile the new Platinum tier for WestJet Rewards will launch later this year, says Sims.