WestJet announces new routes to Tokyo, Edinburgh and Barcelona

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Subsequent cease, Tokyo.

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WestJet will start flying to Japan subsequent spring, its first continuous Asian vacation spot from the Calgary Worldwide Airport, utilizing their fleet of 787 Dreamliners to get there.

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The Calgary-based airline made the announcement Monday at a information convention whereas additionally unveiling Calgary routes to Barcelona and Edinburgh. They may also be growing the frequency of flights between Calgary, Dublin, London, Paris and Rome. The technique is designed to make higher use of its 787 fleet.

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Alexis von Hoensbroech, WestJet’s CEO, stated the demand just isn’t essentially coming from Calgarians to fly to Japan — although there’s a well-established demand for that — it’s about assembly the tourism demand for individuals coming to Alberta.

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“It’s going to place Calgary on an intercontinental panorama the place Calgary has not been up to now,” he stated. “I believe the profit for Calgary is absolutely unbelievable.”

The route will likely be thrice every week to Tokyo’s Narita Worldwide Airport starting on April 30, and will likely be Alberta’s solely continuous flight to Asia.

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It might not be the final. Von Hoensbroech, who landed within the CEO chair in February, stated this can enable them to additional check the market and take a look at additional growth of their community.

WestJet is hoping to time the launch of the brand new route with Asia popping out of the pandemic. The purpose is to capitalize on a renewed curiosity of flying to Canada, which might be large for tourism within the province.

Edinburgh will give WestJet their first path to Scotland, however it is going to be their fourth continuous path to the UK from Calgary, and can go thrice every week starting on Could 17. In the meantime, WestJet’s routes to London-Heathrow and London-Gatwick will each be bumped as much as seven instances every week, and their path to Dublin will likely be boosted to 5 flights every week. The Heathrow flight, nevertheless, stays the one year-round flight.

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Von Hoensbroech stated he was anxious about so many routes to the U.Okay. whereas there are different European locations, however stated the demand was there.

That is the primary time there was a direct flight between Calgary and Edinburgh and it’ll serve largely as a connecting flight. Von Hoensbroech estimated about half of the passengers will likely be individuals desirous to fly to Edinburgh with the remainder catching a switch.

Jenny Gilruth, Scotland’s Minister for Transportation, stated in a press launch they’re investing on this path to make it simpler to attach with Canada and the west coast of the USA. Flying into Calgary is a strategic resolution for them because the hub for the airline.

“It has the potential to create financial, social and cultural advantages whereas additionally enhancing our worldwide connectivity,” she stated.

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WestJet is not any stranger to Barcelona, the truth is they’ve been flying there from Toronto and it has been a preferred route. However with the consolidation of the Dreamliner fleet in Calgary they’re transferring the route right here.

The Barcelona route will go thrice every week when it launches on Could 6, and von Hoensbroech stated he expects it to do properly right here.

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“It’s one of many strongest in-bound markets into Europe, however it’s additionally a powerful market of individuals from Spain desirous to fly over the Atlantic,” he stated.

Regardless of increasing the workload of the 787 fleet, the CEO stated there are not any plans to broaden it. They introduced on June 17 they have been pausing additional funding within the wide-body transcontinental aircraft, and confirmed in September that they had cancelled their contract to buy extra Dreamliners. Their unique buy order was for 10 with an choice to purchase as much as 10 extra.

That is a part of the brand new technique von Hoensbroech applied in June which noticed a consolidation of the 787 fleet in Calgary in addition to a give attention to Western Canada and a realignment of regional flights. They’ve since elevated a purchase order order for 22 Boeing 737 MAX airplanes to 65 with an choice to order as much as 22 extra.

“We aren’t going to broaden any additional on the Dreamliner, at the least in the meanwhile — it’s an opportunistic enterprise,” he stated. “The growth and the long run sit with the narrow-body development.”

jaldrich@postmedia.com

Twitter: @JoshAldrich03

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