WestJet’s new Dreamliner takes off for Gatwick on flight WS1

WestJet’s new Dreamliner takes off for Gatwick on flight WS1

CALGARY — WestJet has officially launched its new 787-9 Dreamliner featuring its new long-haul Business cabin seats between Calgary and London Gatwick with the departure of WS1.

The sold-out flight landed in Gatwick at 11 a.m. local time. The return flight, WS2 departs London at 1 p.m. local time on Monday.

“Today is a fantastic day for WestJet as we take this important step in our journey to become a full-service global network airline,” said Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “The London market has quickly become an important one for us with service from six cities across Canada. It is no accident that the first transatlantic flight on the Dreamliner is to our largest international market, from our largest hub and home in Calgary.”

On May 17 WestJet will launch its inaugural direct Dreamliner flight between Calgary to Paris with its final transatlantic flight between Calgary and Dublin on June 1.

WestJet’s Dreamliners carry 320 guests in a three-class cabin configuration including the airline’s Business cabin featuring 16 private pods with lie-flat seats, an upscale Premium cabin and an updated Economy cabin.

In other news WestJet has announced cancellations and schedule changes on some of its routes as the airline deals with the continued grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft.

Flights between Halifax and Paris have been suspended from June 3 through Aug. 2, and WestJet says guests will be rebooked either through Calgary, nonstop on its Boeing Dreamliner jets to Paris, or with one of its partner airlines through Toronto, Montreal or New York.

Flights between Edmonton and Ottawa, and Edmonton and Montreal, have also been suspended for most of June, and WestJet says guests will be rebooked through either Calgary or Toronto on WestJet-operated flights.

Service between Toronto and Kelowna, B.C., and Vancouver and Regina will also be suspended for much of June.

WestJet says it has adjusted flight times on some routes or substituted larger aircraft with fewer flights, but that it needed to suspend a small number of routes where no alternative aircraft were available.

“Although the Max comprised over 1,000 monthly departures in our June schedules, by adjusting our aircraft lease returns and the planned installations of our premium seats, we have been able to cover more than 700 of the flight routes where the Max was originally scheduled, with other aircraft,” said Chief Operating Officer Jeff Martin.

Martin said WestJet remains committed to the routes and will resume those flights when it can.

With files from The Canadian Press