WestJet Group and the Government of Alberta sets foundation for future of aviation growth across province with new partnership

WestJet Group and the Government of Alberta have announced a first-of-its-kind partnership, focused on significantly advancing aviation across the province in support of a stronger economy and a long-lasting, sustainable future for Alberta’s aviation sector. As the airline furthers its growth strategy, WestJet will invest aircraft capacity, with an asset value in excess of seven billion dollars, in Calgary alone, through significant fleet commitments to be based within the province.

WestJet will designate YYC Calgary International Airport as its single global connecting hub and will concentrate all intercontinental 787 Dreamliner flying in Calgary, unlocking opportunity for new routes within North America, to Europe, with the potential to reach Asia. Alongside the 787s, WestJet will grow its mid-range fleet and strengthen its North American offerings, with its commitment to double capacity in Calgary before the end of the decade.

In addition to Calgary, WestJet plans to grow its network across other Canadian communities, strengthening its footprint in the east and in leisure travel across the entire country, consistent with its strategic plan released in June 2022 and its recent purchase announcement of 42 Boeing 737-10 MAX aircraft.

The agreement between the airline and the Government of Alberta will see the government invest in developing Alberta’s aviation sector. It further lays out strategic, collaborative priorities to ensure provincial policies are aligned and in support of the development of the entire aviation industry in Alberta. The Government of Alberta and the WestJet Group will seek opportunities to address the overall cost-competitiveness challenges for the sector.

Partnership highlights:

Affordability

  • Provide Travel Alberta with additional funding in support of travel and tourism efforts
  • Work to address the challenges associated with high aviation fuel prices for air passengers and industry
  • Advance Alberta’s status as a global aviation hub by enabling more to and from flights and more connecting passengers

People

  • Improve access to pilot training with investment and expansion of the Mount Royal University pilot training program
  • Collaboration to ensure pilots are trained in Alberta with the appropriate technology and partnerships
  • Potential development of advanced commercial aviation training programs for aviation-related specialties, including a potential degree program
  • Funding of an annual hiring training grant to ensure support for training and other associated costs

Sustainability

  • Commitment to the development of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) capacity at scale in Alberta as central to economic diversification and reducing carbon emissions from aviation
  • Commitment to assist WestJet in improving its own technology and software in support of a low-carbon future

Infrastructure

  • Government of Alberta and the WestJet Group to seek opportunities to enable growth through strategic public and private investments that support aerospace and aviation sector needs

Top Copyright Photo: WestJet Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner C-GMKS (msn 64979) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 955664.

WestJet Airlines aircraft slide show: