Well, the future is here for WestJet as the Calgary-based airline unveiled its refreshed brand – including a national advertising campaign – its first three international Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner routes and a new Platinum WestJet Rewards tier at an event in downtown Calgary yesterday (Oct. 10). Canadian community and business leaders joined WestJet’s president and CEO, Ed Sims for the announcement.
The refreshed brand image outlines WestJet’s global ambitions and heralds new products aimed at international and Premium travellers. Called Love Where You’re Going, the new WestJet commercial can be viewed by going to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m18rmm7S7So&feature=youtu.be.
Said Sims, “Today’s announcement marks a pivotal time for WestJet. Love where you’re going embodies both the thrill of travel and the sheer ambition we at WestJet have for our airline. Our 13,000 WestJetters are unique assets, and what we deliver for our 24 million guests is something that cannot be replicated.”
Passengers will begin to see the updated brand image and positioning reflected in many of WestJet’s assets including westjet.com, WestJet’s airport presence over time across Canada and gradually across the fleet.
Along with the announcement of the brand refresh, Sims also revealed that WestJet will launch its first three 787 Dreamliner non-stop routes from Calgary to Paris, Dublin and London to become the first Canadian airline to base its Dreamliner aircraft out of YYC Calgary International Airport. Both announcements will have substantial beneficial economic impacts on the Alberta region. The news release can be found here.
And finally, as part of the new WestJet, Sims also announced that WestJet Rewards will introduce a new Platinum tier, making it easier for WestJet Rewards members to get even more value from the frequent flyer program as the airline heads global. The tier is targeted for launch later this year. Details on the new WestJet Rewards Platinum tier and other changes to the program can be found here.
To get a feel for the new WestJet, go to www.westjet.com.
Calgary was certainly celebrating the announcement as WestJet revealed that its first three Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner international destinations would be operating from that city. The move makes WestJet the first Canadian airline to base its Dreamliner aircraft out of Calgary International Airport.
WestJet will inaugurate non-stop service on board its Dreamliners from Calgary to London (Gatwick), Paris and Dublin on April 28, May 17 and June 1, 2019, respectively. Fares to all three cities are now available on www.westjet.com .
Sims noted that, “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.”
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. This is in addition to WestJet’s 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.
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.
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’s Dreamliners will carry 320 guests in a three-class cabin configuration including the airline’s newly revealed Business cabin featuring 16 private pods with lie-flat seats, 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.
WestJet has optimized connections to and from the airline’s network across Canada and Western U.S. 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. More Calgarians choose WestJet for their air travel than any other airline.
Alberta premier, Rachel Notley observed, “Alberta is the best place to invest and do business — that’s why WestJet has made our province home. We are proud they are continuing to expand here — helping local businesses reach new markets, bringing new visitors to our world-class tourist destinations, and creating hundreds of new jobs so Albertans can earn a good living for themselves and their families.”
Calgary mayor, Naheed Nenshi noted that, “This is big news for Calgary. The addition of WestJet’s Dreamliner service to Paris, London and Dublin strengthens the international connections to this city and it shows WestJet’s commitment to this community. I’m thrilled WestJet has chosen to make this substantial investment in their hometown.”