This is a momentous time for WestJet and this week represents a major step forward in the evolution of our company, our brand and our product offering. We made several exciting announcements on Wednesday, and want to ensure everyone is informed, so read on for a quick summary of all the news we shared.
A boost for Calgary and Alberta’s economies
Early Wednesday morning we announced that we are basing our initial 787 Dreamliner operations at our hub at Calgary International Airport. Calgary is our busiest airport and by June 2019 we will offer a total of approximately 1,100 flights per week to 65 non-stop destinations. We have optimized connections to and from our network across Canada and the Western United States through our Calgary hub.
The three new flights from the UK and Western Europe are expected to eventually bring up to 185,000 visitors to Calgary on a yearly basis, helping to increase local tourism and business. According to an economic study on the impact of basing our 787s in Calgary, the international scheduled service will support 650 full-time jobs and $100 million in total economic output. This is in addition to our yearly economic output of more than $5 billion, that supports more than 32,000 direct and indirect jobs in Alberta. Overall, WestJet’s national economic impact on Canada annually generates $17.4 billion and supports more than 153,000 jobs.
Alberta’s connectivity to the rest of the world is vital for our economy. WestJet is investing in Alberta to bring further economic growth, boost tourism to the province, and to further position our city as an international aviation hub. We are excited to bring Albertans to the world and the world to Alberta.
Our first 787 Dreamliner destinations
Since we first revealed our 787 Dreamliners earlier this year, the most frequent comment we’ve received is “tell us where the 787s will fly”. The wait is over and we’re happy to share that our first three 787 Dreamliner routes will be from Calgary to Dublin, Paris and London (Gatwick).
Though these destinations are not new to our network, the non-stop routes from Calgary to Dublin and Paris are. We know Western Canada is underserved in reaching these destinations directly, and we expect strong demand as we launch flights to these three cities on board our brand new 787 Dreamliners.
Our 787 Dreamliners will carry 320 guests throughout three cabins: Economy, Premium and Business. Our newly revealed Business cabin features 16 spacious, private pods with lie-flat seats. We’ve also included an upscale Premium cabin and an updated Economy cabin. The Dreamliner route from Calgary to London (Gatwick) will replace the Boeing 767 service that currently operates the route from Calgary.
Flights between Calgary and London (Gatwick), Paris and Dublin on our 787s are available for purchase now on westjet.com.
A new brand platform
This week we also launched our refreshed brand image, outlining our global ambitions. This launch heralds new products aimed at international and Premium travellers. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth so much more.
Our guests will now see the updated brand image and positioning reflected in many of our digital and physical assets including westjet.com and our social media channels, and soon at WestJet’s airports across Canada and over time across our fleet.
A new Platinum rewards tier
Finally, as part of the new WestJet, we also announced that WestJet Rewards will introduce a new Platinum tier, making it easier for WestJet Rewards members to get even more value from our frequent flyer program as we expand globally. The tier is targeted for launch later this year.
Welcome to the new WestJet. We love where we’re going, and when you fly with us, you’ll love where you’re going too.