LONDON – Canadian low-cost carrier, WestJet, has taken delivery of its first of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The airline plans to welcome nine additional planes, as part of its ongoing plans to extend its network from Canada to overseas.

WestJet welcomed the brand-new 787-9 bearing the registration number C-GUDH, at Boeing’s Everett Delivery Center.

The Dreamliner was then flown straight from Everett to Calgary as flight WS8968, which only lasted a quick one hour, five minutes. The plane has been named after the airline’s founder, Clive Beddoe.

Ed Sims, President, and CEO of WestJet, said that taking over the Dreamliner “marks a new chapter for WestJet, as it aims to profitably serve new international routes.”

“Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is one of the most technologically advanced aircraft ever flown and is the perfect platform for our transition to a global network carrier. We look forward to bringing Canadians to the world and the world to Canada in comfort and style,” he added.

WestJet still has an option for 10 more 787-9s, which, if exercised, would put the Canadian carrier in the position of operating 20 Dreamliners in the future.

“We are excited to welcome our friends at WestJet to the Dreamliner family. The airline has achieved impressive growth with the Boeing 737 and will now use the 787’s unmatched performance and passenger comforts to profitably launch a new ‘global era’,” said Ihssane Mounir, SVP of Commercial Sales for Boeing.

With the 787-9s being able to fly up to 7,635 nautical miles at a time, it will enable the carrier to offer non-stop services on certain routes.

WestJet is set to offer services from Calgary to Dublin, London-Gatwick, and Paris-Charles de Gaulle, starting April, May, and June this year—just ahead of the busy summer schedule.

The airline announced earlier last year that the Dreamliners would be added to its fleet.

Last year, the carrier also unveiled how the planes would look with its revised livery. “The updated livery is modern and dynamic while the interior is world-class, distinctly Canadian and uniquely WestJet,” said the airline at the time.

“Both reflect WestJet’s transition from a regional airline in 1996 to a new era of connecting Canada with the world and bringing the world to Canada.”

New Cabin Offerings

The aircraft comes equipped with enough seats to carry 320 passengers via a three-class configuration—276 seats in Economy, 28 in Premium Economy and 16 in Business.

WestJet is introducing its all-new Premium Economy class in the middle section of the plane with 24 available seats, which include extra legroom and recline.

Moreover, its new Business Class offers 16 full lie-flat pods with plenty of space of storage—all very neatly designed.

Up to date, the 787 family has accrued over 1,400 orders and has enabled carriers to reduce fuel use and emissions by 20-25%, which is something that the Calgary-based airline will enjoy.

These efficiencies have resulted in around 30 billion pounds of fuel being saved and 210 new non-stop routes being opened up.

In-all, this is an exciting step for WestJet, with the carrier taking more of a focus towards its transatlantic takings. It will be interesting to see where else the carrier decides to expand to, especially as more units continue to get sent towards Calgary.