Little by little re-expanding its international network, WestJet said today that from August 5th, the airline’s customers would be able to enjoy a new transatlantic Dreamliner service between Calgary and Amsterdam. Partnering with Dutch flag carrier KLM will provide easily accessible connections to other major European destinations.
Flights will commence on August 5th
Starting on August 5th, WestJet will operate its 787-9 Dreamliner from its hub in Calgary, Alberta, in Western Canada, to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) in the Netherlands. John Weatherill, WestJet’s Chief Commercial Officer, shared the following in a statement,
“We are committed to putting international investments in place, as leaders of the travel and tourism industry, to support a safe restart to international travel and further Canada’s economic recovery. With flights set to begin later this summer, we look forward to helping connect Canadians to their loved ones in Europe.”
For the first month of operations, the service will depart twice per week. From September 9th to October 31st, it will increase to thrice-weekly departures. While WestJet is not part of any airline alliance, it does partner with KLM, among others.
As such, connections will be available to onward destinations in Europe such as Athens, Lisbon, Milan, Munich, Vienna, and Venice, just to name a few. Schedules will be adapted to support late-day departures and daytime arrivals, the airline said.
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Calgary to London back from July 5th
WestJet will also recommence Dreamliner services to London Gatwick (LGW) from Calgary International Airport (YYC) beginning on July 5th. The airline is currently flying from LGW from Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ). Service from Calgary will operate two times per week. Flights from Toronto to the UK capital will take off three times weekly.
While WestJet may express confidence in the relaunch in international travel, it has become clear over the past year that any scheduling of capacity and routes is tentative at best.
Canada’s second-largest airline is currently only operating seven international destinations after a near-complete halt of international operations earlier this year. However, it is set to increase to 14 from July 5th as the airline adds more transborder routes to the US.
Too optimistic a timeline?
While the pandemic seems to be under control in many places of the world as vaccination drives continue to roll out, cases are once more on the rise in countries that previously seemed to have passed the worst stages of the crisis. The highly contagious Delta variant has become more prevalent in the UK, and numbers are rising despite far-reaching inoculation efforts.
In Chile, for instance, the Gamma variant, most likely originating in Brazil, is causing the near-collapse of the healthcare system. Planning for reopening is all well and good, but COVID might yet have some tricks up its sleeve, as much as we would like to once more jet freely across the Atlantic in a 787-9 by late summer. Let’s keep fingers crossed that WestJet’s transatlantic route plans will come to fruition.