WestJet has launched its first three Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner international destinations from Calgary becoming the first Canadian airline to base the aircraft out of YYC Calgary International Airport.
The carrier will fly Dreamliners from Calgary to London Gatwick, Paris and Dublin on 28 April, 17 May and 1 June, 2019, respectively. The Dreamliner route from Calgary to Gatwick will replace the Boeing 767 service that currently operates.
The first of 10 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners ordered by WestJet will arrive in Calgary early in 2019, with two more arriving by April. The aircraft will operate on domestic flights for crew training and regulatory compliance before the first scheduled international flight in April.
WestJet also has options for an additional 10 aircraft to arrive between 2020 and 2024. Hub locations and routes for the remaining seven aircraft have not yet been announced.
WestJet president and chief executive officer, Ed Sims said Alberta’s connectivity to the rest of the world is vital for the 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,” he added.
The international scheduled service between Calgary and London (Gatwick), Paris and Dublin will support 650 full-time jobs and $100 million in total economic output.
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 also increase local tourism.
WestJet has optimised connections to and from the airline’s network across Canada and Western US through the airline’s YYC hub.
WestJet is Calgary’s largest airline, and by June 2019, will offer flights to 65 non-stop destinations with an average of 1,100 flights per week from YYC.