Inaugural flight between Calgary and London marks new chapter in WestJet’s global strategy
CALGARY, April 29, 2019 /CNW/ – WestJet officially launched its new Dreamliner featuring its new long-haul Business cabin seats between Calgary and London, Gatwick with the departure of WS1. The sold-out flight, expected to land in Gatwick at 11:00 a.m. local time, was a first for WestJet’s new 787-9 Dreamliner. 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.”
“The three years since WestJet’s inaugural flight from Gatwick have been a real success story, with thousands of business and leisure passengers enjoying the vital low-cost connections between the UK and Canada that these services have provided,” said Guy Stephenson, Gatwick Airport Chief Commercial Officer. “WestJet’s presence at Gatwick continues to grow, and it’s very exciting for us to be supporting the airline as it moves into this important new era. The launch of the 787 Dreamliner will offer around 24,000 more Gatwick–Calgary seats per year on the same number of aircraft, and its highly fuel-efficient engines will also help us in our ongoing mission to become the UK’s most sustainable airport.”
Hal Eagletail of the Tsuut’ina National, members of Treaty 7 of Southern Alberta, Keith Henry, President and CEO of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, along with David Goldstein, President and CEO of Destination Canada were on board the inaugural flight to celebrate and promote one of the fastest growing sectors of the Canadian tourism industry, Indigenous tourism.
“Being a part of this inaugural Dreamliner flight with WestJet provides a fantastic opportunity for us to raise awareness across the UK and rest of Europe of the powerful Indigenous experiences waiting to be explored across Canada,” said Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC. “Our research shows that a third of international visitors to Canada are requesting ways to experience Indigenous culture. WestJet is literally opening up new airways for us into these important markets.”
Tail 901, WestJet’s first Dreamliner, named Clive Beddoe, also carried the founder and chairman himself.
“Today is an emotional experience that I am delighted to share with my family, 320 WestJet guests and our fantastic flight crew,” said Clive Beddoe. “We are pleased to see significant demand for our business and premium cabins as we provide travellers with conveniently-timed flights along with our signature brand of Canadian care.”
“This shows a high degree of confidence for the future prospects of leisure and business travel between Canada and the UK,” said Mrs. Janice Charette, the High Commissioner for Canada. “We are also excited that WestJet has taken this opportunity to use today’s event to showcase Canada’s Indigenous peoples and to their contribution to tourism in Canada.”
“As this first Boeing 787 Dreamliner takes flight for London–Gatwick, WestJet embarks on a new era of international service for the airline,” said Bob Sartor, President and CEO, Calgary Airport Authority. “We’re proud that WestJet’s story took off at YYC, and we’re here to support the airline going forward as more destinations are added.”
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 newly revealed Business cabin featuring 16 private pods with lie-flat seats, an upscale Premium cabin and an updated Economy cabin.
WestJet is Calgary’s largest airline, and by June 2019, will offer flights to 68 non-stop destinations with over 1,000 flights per week from YYC. More Calgarians choose WestJet for their air travel than any other airline.
Details of WestJet’s new non-stop service:
Calgary – London
11 a.m. +1
April 28, 2019
London (Gatwick) –
April 29, 2018
Together with WestJet’s regional airline, WestJet Encore, we offer scheduled service to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe and to more than 175 destinations in over 20 countries through our airline partnerships. WestJet Vacations offers affordable, flexible vacations to more than 60 destinations and the choice of more than 800 hotels, resorts, condos and villas. Members of the WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of flights and vacations packages to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods, and have access to Member Exclusive fares offering deals to WestJet destinations throughout our network and those of our partner airlines.
WestJet is proud to be recognized for three consecutive years as Best Airline in Canada (2017-19) and awarded among travellers’ favourite Mid-Sized Airlines in North America (2019). From 2017-2018, WestJet was also awarded among travellers’ favorite Mid-Sized and Low-Cost Airlines in North America. The airline was also recognized among the Economy Class winners in North America, 2018. All awards are based on authentic reviews from the travelling public on TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site. We are one of very few airlines globally that does not commercially overbook.
WestJet is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol WJA. For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com.
Recent recognition includes:
2019/2018/2017 Best Airline in Canada (TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards for Airlines)
2019 Winner Among Mid-Sized Airlines in North America (TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards for Airlines)
2018/2017 Winner Among Mid-Sized and Low Cost Airlines – North America (TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards for Airlines)
2018 Winner – Economy, North America (TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards for Airlines)
2018 Number-One-Ranked Airline Credit Card in Canada (Rewards Canada)
2018 North America’s Best Low-Cost Airline (Skytrax)
2018/2017/2016 Canada’s Most Trusted Airline (Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria)
Connect with WestJet on Facebook at facebook.com/westjet
Follow WestJet on Twitter at twitter.com/westjet
Follow WestJet on Instagram instagram.com/westjet/
Subscribe to WestJet on YouTube at youtube.com/westjet
Read the WestJet blog at blog.westjet.com
SOURCE WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership
For further information: Media contacts: To contact WestJet media relations, please email email@example.com.