Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic is to begin codesharing with Canadian airline WestJet on flights to and within Canada. The new agreement, which will come into effect today, Tuesday, November 19th, 2019, will see Virgin Atlantic’s codeshare number placed on WestJet flights to 32 destinations in Canada.
The fights include year-round travel between Calgary and Toronto to Virgin Atlantic’s main airport at London Gatwick (LGW) and in the summer flights from Gatwick to Halifax, Nova Scotia and Vancouver, British Colombia.
Within Canada, the codeshare agreement includes 28 domestic flights to places like Deer Lake, Edmonton, Montreal, and Quebec.
WestJet started life as a low-cost airline
WestJet is the Canadian partner of Atlanta based Delta Air Lines who just happen to own a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic. Just this past summer Delta gained Canadian approval for a cross border joint venture with WestJet. Having started life as a low-cost carrier (LLC) to offer passengers an alternative to Air Canada, WestJet grew rapidly and started turning its attention to flying internationally.
WestJet will open a flagship lounge in Calgary next year
In 2018 WestJet decided that it wanted to become a full-service airline to coincide with the arrival of its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.WestJet now offers premium economy and business class cabins on its long-haul flights and will open a flagship lounge at its base in Calgary next year.
“This new partnership will open up a plethora of Canadian destinations to our customers and offer more choice for those looking to fly directly to Canada.
“Customers will have the security and ease of booking through a codeshare and we are sure our customers will enjoy flying with WestJet.”
WestJet want’s people to come and explore Canada
This new agreement is good for Virgin Atlantic and its customers as currently; Virgin Atlantic does not offer any non-stop flights to Canada. It will also allow Virgin Atlantic flyers to receive loyalty points when they book a WestJet flight on Virgin Atlantic’s website.
For WestJet’s perspective on the new codeshare agreement Business Traveller quotes Westjet’s head of network planning and alliances Brian Znotins as saying:
“WestJet welcomes Virgin Atlantic guests onboard our flights to and from London, Gatwick and throughout our Canadian network.”
“Canada is a desirable tourism destination with thriving business centers and vast scenic wilderness. We believe the Virgin Atlantic codeshare, offering seamless connections, one itinerary, and Westjet’s caring onboard experience will inspire global travelers to choose Canada.”
Below is a list of destinations covered in the new codeshare agreement between WestJet and Virgin Atlantic.
Transatlantic Codeshare Destinations (summer only*)
Calgary, Toronto, Halifax*and Vancouver*
Domestic Codeshare Destinations
Nanaimo, Deer Lake, Edmonton, Fredericton, Halifax, Kamloops, Kelowna, Fort McMurray, Ottawa, Quebec, Montreal, Comox, Regina, Thunder Bay, Grande Prairie, Sydney, Montreal, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Fort St John, Prince George, Terrace, London, Abbotsford, Calgary, Penticton, Charlottetown, Victoria, St Johns, Toronto, Vancouver and Yellowknife.
If you are a loyal Virgin Atlantic customer and have not decided where you wanted to go on holiday next summer, this new codeshare agreement opens up some amazing destinations in Canada.