DALLAS – Canada’s WestJet (WS) has secured landing slots at Dubai International Airport (DXB) and looks set to launch flights to the Emirate from Calgary (YYC) in late March 2023.
WS has been allocated 186 slots for the 31-week summer travel season, according to DXB’s slot coordinator Airport Coordination Limited’s (ACL). The airline had initially requested more than double this number.
The ACL report lists WS as a “new operator.” Indeed this will be the first time the airline will have served the Middle East and the first time the two cities have been connected non-stop. Operated by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, the slots allocated would mean WS could fly the route thrice weekly.
Securing these slots highlights WS’s ambition to expand its global reach from YYC. Recently WS has shifted its focus from Toronto (YYZ) to its YYC hub. In October, it announced it would base all its 787s here, making the facility its global connecting hub. It plans to double its capacity here by 2030 and strengthen its position in the leisure market.
In September, WS received its final 787-9. The airline had initially ordered ten of the type but settled on a fleet of seven for its long-haul services. The last three airframes were cancelled as part of a strategic review of its operations earlier this year.
Additional ACL data shows WS may commence a summer 2023 service from YYC to Edinburgh (EDI).
Earlier this month, rival Air Canada (AC) signed a deal with DXB-based Emirates (EK) for a new codeshare agreement. This will allow customers of both carriers to enjoy seamless connections to 46 markets across three continents.
Featured Image: WestJet Boeing 787-9 (C-GUDH). Photo: Liam Funnell/Airways.