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’s winter 787-9 Dreamliner schedule, announced this morning, includes new upgraded service for the airline’s Toronto-London (Gatwick) route.
WestJet says adding one of its Dreamliners to this route gives Eastern Canada the opportunity to experience a new Business and Premium service between two large financial and tourism centres.
The daily Dreamliner service is set to start Oct. 23 as an upgrade to WestJet’s existing Toronto-London service operated on the 767.
As part of the schedule update, WestJet also announced the 787-9 Dreamliner will be used to operate flights between Calgary and Maui up to four times weekly starting Oct. 31, and between Calgary and London four-times weekly starting Oct. 27.
“Flying on the WestJet Dreamliner is a game changer in travel; guest feedback on the experience has been phenomenal,” says Brian Znotins, WestJet’s VP Network Planning and Alliances. “The Dreamliner was built for transoceanic routes with technology that reduces jetlag and leaves travellers feeling more refreshed upon arrival. With our custom cabins and award-winning service, guests are going to love the journey as much as the destination.”
WestJet’s Dreamliner offer 320 seats in three cabins: Business, Premium and Economy.
Meanwhile last Friday’s inaugural departure of flight 10 means WestJet is now the only airline to operate a nonstop route between Paris and Calgary.
The launch of the new Calgary-Paris service capped a whirlwind week of airline acquisition talks that included private equity firm Onex buying WestJet for $3.5 billion plus debt (May 13), and Air Canada and Transat in exclusive discussions that will likely see Canada’s largest airline buying Transat for a proposed $520 million (May 16).
WestJet’s newest route, along with its codeshare partnership with Air France, provides new access between Western Canada and Europe.
Canadian business and leisure travellers now can fly to and from 11 cities across Europe including Rome, Venice, Athens and Lisbon through WestJet’s Air France codeshare partnership from Paris.
On the Calgary-Paris leg, the flight departs at 7:35 p.m. arriving in Paris the next day at 12:20 p.m. On the return, a 2:20 p.m. departure puts passengers back in Calgary at 3:45 p.m. Flights operate four times weekly.
Flight 10 is the second of three 787 Dreamliner inaugurals that are central to WestJet’s global strategy and selection of Calgary as its initial Dreamliner hub.
“WestJet’s first nonstop flight from Calgary to Paris opens up a key market for inbound tourism to Western Canada and easy and unique travel opportunities throughout Europe for Western Canadians,” said Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “We are proud to be Calgary’s biggest airline and will continue to invest in our operations and infrastructure to benefit the economy, tourism and markets in Calgary and Western Canada.”
All flights between Calgary and Paris are operated on WestJet’s newest aircraft, the 320-seat, 787-9 Dreamliner featuring WestJet’s business, premium and economy cabins.
By June 2019, WestJet will offer flights to 67 nonstop destinations with an average of 975 flights per week from YYC.
“From downtown Calgary to Paris’ Champs-Elysees in about nine hours, we’re excited for this new direct flight to France,” said Rob Palmer, Chief Financial Officer and Vice-President, Finance, of The Calgary Airport Authority.