MIAMI — WestJet announced that it will be adding several new routes to its network for the summer of 2016. The new flights will be Toronto – Nashville, Vancouver – San Diego and Calgary – Thunder Bay, and the return of Toronto – Los Angeles flights, lastly operated in 2008 according to Airline Route.
WestJet will be competing with Air Canada on all its new routes, except on the Vancouver – San Diego and Calgary – Thunder Bay routes. Air Canada operates two daily CRJ200 flights operated by Air Georgian from its largest hub to the Music City.
The Calgary-based airline will see more competition on its route from Toronto to Los Angeles as Air Canada offers six daily flights and American Airlines flies once a day. This route is so popular during summer that Air Canada deploys its Boeing 787-9s to add extra capacity.
“We are excited about our schedule and connectivity out of Toronto“, said Bob Cummings, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Commercial. “By this summer we will operate more than 120 flights per day from Toronto, including new services to Nashville, Los Angeles and Boston in addition to our previously announced daily service to London, England. Building on our already strong connectivity into Toronto from across Canada is a key element of our strategy for profitable growth.”
More Added Frequencies
According to a press release, Canada’s second largest airline is enhancing its schedules for business travellers with added frequencies in select markets.
The air carrier will also be adding more frequencies from Montreal and Ottawa to Toronto-Pearson. Both routes will operate a peak of 12 daily flights starting on June 15, 2016. WestJet is also increasing frequencies between Toronto-Pearson and Fredericton and Ottawa to Halifax with one and two daily flights, respectively, and taking to three the number of daily flights serving the route from March 5.
The airline also announced increased service from its hubs in Toronto and Vancouver. More flights will be added from Vancouver to Los Angeles, Honolulu, and Maui, and from Toronto to Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, and Myrtle Beach. The seasonal flights from Orlando to Halifax and St. John’s will now be operated year-round.
“We look forward to offering guests more options in their travel schedules along with our recently enhanced Plus product, WestJet Connect and continued WestJet Rewards program improvements. WestJet is an attractive option for business travellers across Canada,” said Cummings.
During the summer of 2016, the airline says it will operate close to 4,590 flights per week to 101 destinations, including 38 domestic, 27 in the US, 33 in the Caribbean and Mexico, and three in Europe.
The struggling economy in Western Canada is paying the price and is having an impact on air travel. For its summer 2016 schedule, WestJet is discontinuing its service between Edmonton and Kamloops. The change will take into effect on March 5, less than a year since the launch.
WestJet will continue to operate its two daily flights between Calgary and Kamloops. The frequency between Edmonton and Abbotsford will drop from 21 to 14 weekly. A flight from Edmonton to Grande Prairie will be removed, but the existing twice-daily service to Edmonton, and three daily flights to Calgary will remain on the schedule.A flight between Calgary and Edmonton has also been withdrawn in a move to shift capacity to Eastern Canada.
Air Canada also announced cuts in service back in November 2015. At that time, the airline announced the cancellation of its service between Edmonton to London-Heathrow and Regina, and from Calgary to Terrace/Kittimat due to the economic slowdown in Alberta.