CALGARY — WestJet made a big push into Abbotsford over the weekend, with the launch of new nonstop service between the city and Winnipeg as well as increased frequency on the route between Abbotsford and Edmonton from 13 to 20 weekly flights.
The enhanced routes precede the elimination of the airport improvement fee (AIF) by the City of Abbotsford and the Abbotsford International Airport on June 1, 2017. WestJet’s Brian Znotins, Vice-President Network Planning, Alliances and Corporate Development, applauded the decision, saying that he hopes others will follow suit.
“Low fees allow us to keep costs of travel competitive and provide the opportunity to further build service in the area as demonstrated today with the launch of a new route and additional service. We are proud of our relationship with Abbotsford International Airport and look forward to a great summer of friends, family and business travel between two long-standing WestJet destinations,” he said.
As of May 1, 2017 WestJet will operate 60 weekly departures from Abbotsford. With the launch of the Abbotsford-Winnipeg flight, WestJet becomes the largest carrier operating out of Winnipeg this summer with 51 per cent of total available seats.
In other news, WestJet has become the first Canadian airline to receive the International Air Transport Association (IATA) New Distribution Capability (NDC) level 2 certification, confirmation WestJet’s ability to send and receive NDC messages. NDC is a program designed to enhance the capability of communications between airlines and travel agents.
“The benefits of IATA’s NDC are robust and clear for both the travel trade industry and the consumer,” said Lyell Farquharson, WestJet Vice-President Sales and Distribution. “As WestJet continues to unbundle our products and add ancillary options, these new capabilities allow us to integrate and collaborate more effectively with travel industry partners around the world to benefit our guests.”