WestJet Passengers To Benefit From Huge Calgary Capacity Boost

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Today, WestJet released its summer 2020 schedule. There are a few exciting routes included with the over 90 new flights scheduled out of Calgary. The airline will mostly offer an increase in frequency on a number of its existing regional routes but will also commence service to new destinations like Boston and Rome.

Westjet Boeing 787
The bulk of WestJet’s fleet are Boeing 737 aircraft. Photo: Boeing

“WestJet is focused on investing in Alberta to build and strengthen our Calgary hub. As WestJet continues on its strategic path of becoming a global network airline, we are pleased to offer our guests the ability to conveniently connect for business or pleasure across Canada, Europe and beyond this summer.” –Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer.

Regional services

Today’s announcement includes new service between Calgary and the remote provincial border-city of Dawson Creek, B.C.. Pacific Coastal Airlines operating as WestJet Link will operate five routes from Calgary to the following cities:

  • Cranbrook,
  • Lethbridge,
  • Lloydminster
  • and Medicine Hat

There will also be one service between Cranbrook and Vancouver this summer.

Flights between Calgary and Prince George, B.C. are getting an ‘upgrade’ as they will shift to year-round service on WestJet Encore’s Q400 aircraft effective April 26. Until then, the service is also a WestJet Link flight.

WestJet Link is actually operated by Pacific Coastal Airlines. Photo: acefitt via Wikipedia

All WestJet Link flights use the 34-passenger Saab 340 turboprop.

Below is a summary of WestJet’s other Domestic routes:

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  • CalgaryWinnipeg, an increase of seven weekly flights
  • CalgaryVictoria, an increase of seven weekly flights
  • CalgaryNanaimo, an increase of seven weekly flights
  • Calgary-Grand Prairie, an increase of seven weekly flights
  • CalgaryAbbotsford, an increase of five weekly flights
  • CalgaryFort McMurray, an increase of five weekly flights
  • CalgaryComox, an increase of four weekly flights
  • CalgaryBrandon, from seven times weekly to 11 times weekly
  • CalgaryYellowknife, from twelve times weekly to 14 times weekly

Transcontinental and international

New this summer is a daily seasonal service between Calgary and Boston as well as a four-times-weekly service between Calgary and Charlottetown. The Boston service begins May 14th while the Charlottetown flights commence on June 25th. The airline is also doubling its Calgary-Portland offering, from a daily service to twice daily.

Most exciting (in our opinion) is WestJet’s brand new Boeing 787-9 service from Calgary to Rome. This flight will happen three-times-weekly starting May 2nd. The airline will also increase it’s Calgary-Paris service to six flights per week, up from four.

Finally, there will be an increase in CalgaryCabo San Lucas service, from twice-weekly to three-times weekly.

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westjet-787-dreamliner
WestJet opeates the 787 to destinations like Paris and Rome. Photo: WestJet

Conclusion

WestJet as a parent company has had its expansion plans slightly hindered due to the 737 MAX crisis. In 2013 the airline ordered 65 Boeing 737 MAX jets. However, WestJet currently possesses only 13 of the MAX 8 planes as Boeing has suspended delivery. One side effect is that it’s low-cost-subsidiary Swoop has had to postpone the start of its San Diego service out of Edmonton and Abbotsford.

Despite the setback, the Calgary Herald reports that WestJet has successfully maintained 95% of its scheduled departures since March 2019. However, the shortage of aircraft has restricted the airline’s flexibility in cases of weather delays or unexpected maintenance.

Will any Canadians (or Americans, or anyone else) be flying with WestJet this summer? Let us know what your travel plans are and if you’re excited to fly the airline.

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