CALGARY — WestJet’s first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, emblazoned with chairman and founder Clive Beddoe’s name, has touched down in Calgary.
The delivery of the brand new Dreamliner marks a new global era for WestJet, says WestJet President and CEO Ed Sims.
“Today’s delivery marks a new chapter for WestJet. Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is one of the most technologically advanced aircraft ever flown and is the perfect platform for our transition to a global network carrier,” said Sims yesterday. “We look forward to bringing Canadians to the world and the world to Canada in comfort and style.”
The aircraft departed Everett, WA on Thursday after a naming ceremony with Beddoe, members of the WestJet executive team and several WestJetters.
“Because of the leadership, vision and commitment of our Founder and Chairman, Clive, we had the opportunity to fly our Dreamliner home today,” he added. “It’s fitting the aircraft bears our founder’s name as we welcome the future of WestJet.”
Sims said WestJet will use its 320-seat Dreamliner to begin longer-range flying while giving guests a choice of Economy, Premium and Business cabins.
WestJet’s Dreamliners feature WestJet’s first lie-flat business cabin seats accompanied by high-end blankets and pillows, turndown service and in-seat TVs, “offering a premium service with a distinctly Canadian feel”, according to the airline.
WestJet Premium will offer seats in a 2x3x2 configuration, an elevated guest experience with a separate and private cabin and blankets and pillows available on every seat along with a self-serve social area.
The aircraft also has Boeing’s turbulence-dampening technology, improved air quality with an eye to reducing jetlag, and larger windows.
The first Dreamliner will fly passengers domestically on Toronto/Calgary routes starting Feb. 20 to assist with crew familiarisation before the first international service from Calgary to London (Gatwick) starts on April 28.
WestJet’s second and third Dreamliners are currently on the production line at Boeing’s factory and will be delivered in February and March 2019, and will service the Calgary-Paris and Calgary-Dublin routes.
“We are excited to welcome our friends at WestJet to the Dreamliner family,” said Ihssane Mounir, Senior Vice-President of Commercial Sales & Marketing for The Boeing Company. “The airline has achieved impressive growth with the Boeing 737 and will now use the 787’s unmatched performance and passenger comforts to profitably launch a new ‘global era’.”