Category Archives: WestJet

WestJet is now flying to Barcelona

WestJet on May 24 opened greater access to both Europe and Canada with its inaugural flight between Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) and Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ). The airline’s new route is its first to Spain and gives European business and leisure travellers access to the greater WestJet network through the airline’s Toronto hub.

The three-times weekly service is operated on WestJet’s Boeing 767-300 that includes the airline’s updated Premium and Economy cabin service. This summer, with the addition of Barcelona, WestJet will operate to five European cities including London, Gatwick, Paris, Dublin and Glasgow.

Route Frequency Departing Arriving Effective
Toronto-Barcelona Three-times weekly 10:05 p.m. 11:50 a.m. +1 May 24, 2019
Barcelona-Toronto Three-times weekly 1:20 p.m. 4:15 p.m. May 25, 2019

Photo: WestJet.

Advertisements

WestJet to fly the Dreamliner to Maui

WestJet's third Dreamliner

WestJet today revealed its winter Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner schedule, announcing the state-of-the-art aircraft will now fly between Calgary and Maui and will operate an additional day to London (Gatwick) this winter.

As part of the schedule release, WestJet also announced the 787-9 Dreamliner will be operate daily service between Toronto and London (Gatwick) starting October 23, 2019.

WestJet flies between Calgary and Maui up to six times weekly, or up to four times weekly on the Dreamliner, with service launching October 31, 2019. In addition, WestJet’s Dreamliner will operate between Calgary and London (Gatwick) four times weekly starting October 27, 2019. WestJet currently flies daily between Calgary and Gatwick. WestJet already serves more destinations with more flights from Calgary than any other airline, and these additions augment WestJet’s continued investment growth in the Calgary and Alberta economies.

The WestJet Dreamliner features 320 seats in three cabins: business, premium and economy, all of which contain a high-level of comfort and WestJet’s award-winning guest service. The Dreamliner’s Business cabin features all-aisle-access, lie-flat seats with on-demand dining and entertainment. The upscale Premium cabin is the ideal combination of comfort, value and guest service including a separate cabin, elevated meal service and signature welcome perks featuring champagne and amenity case. WestJet’s improved Economy cabin features on-demand inflight entertainment, blankets and pillows and complimentary food and beverages with a select number of extra legroom seats available for purchase.

 Route Frequency Departing Arriving Effective
Calgary – Kahului Up to six-
times
weekly
11 a.m 2:27 p.m October 31,
2019
Kahului – Calgary Up to six-
times
weekly
10:30 p.m 7:14 a.m.+1 October 31,
2019
Calgary – London
(Gatwick)
Four-times
weekly
7:45 p.m 11:20 a.m.+1 October 27,
2019
London (Gatwick) –
Calgary
Four-times
weekly
1:20 p.m 3:25 p.m October 28,
2019
Toronto – London
(Gatwick)
Daily 8:50 p.m 9:10 a.m.+1 October 23,
2019
London (Gatwick) –
Toronto
Daily 11:10 a.m 1:57 p.m October 24,
2019

Top Copyright Photo: WestJet Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner C-GUDO (msn 64976) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 945843.

WestJet aircraft slide show:

Video: The complete WestJet 787 Dreamliner review

A new video from Sam Chui.

In this video, I take a trip to Calgary, Canada, at the invitation of the Canadian airline WestJet’s guest experience team, to enjoy a flight from Calgary to London aboard their brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aeroplane. This video will feature not only WestJet Business Class, but also look into Premium and Economy cabin. Moreover, I share some behind the scenes product development story on the WestJet 787.

I fly in to Calgary on one of WestJet’s Boeing 737’s and before I go on my voyage on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with Westjet, I take the opportunity to visit the stunningly beautiful Banff national park in Alberta. Banff national park is located within the Canadian Rocky mountains and is a UNESCO world heritage site and also Canada’s first, and flagship, national park, established in 1885. It is west of Calgary and covers an area of more than 6000 square kilometres. I see the beautiful, bright turquoise blue lakes of the park, fed by rushing streams and rivers which are in turn fed by glacial melt water. Banff national park is a real jewel in the crown of Canada and I highly recommend a visit!

After my visit to the park, I get back to the aviation side of things and start my journey from Calgary to London at the international terminal of Calgary airport, making use of the Aspire lounge for international departures.

I take my flight in business class, which consists of sixteen individual private pods with lie-flat seats which can convert in to a bed. There are also 28 premium economy seats on the WestJet Boeing 787 Dreamliner and a further 276 economy seats spread across two cabins within the aircraft.

I am given a warm welcome in to the WestJet Boeing 787 Dreamliner with a personalised introduction to the facilities afforded by my business class pod by a member of the flight attendant team. I am shown the large, touchscreen 4K entertainment screen, which offers a variety of in-flight games, television programs, films and music and am given complimentary, noise cancelling headphones. I am also shown the adjustable arm-rests of the seat and the storage bins where I can tuck away my belongings. My welcome is capped off with the WestJet signature drink – a lovely refreshing mix of green tea and cranberry juice – and also the provision of a complimentary Matt & Nat amenity kit.

My flight from Calgary to London on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with WestJet is over eight hours long and takes me to a maximum altitude of 36,000 feet, but before I can get in to the air, the cold, snowy weather in Canada means that the wings of the aircraft have to be de-iced but to WestJet’s credit, their staff work very well in the adverse weather conditions to keep everything running on time.

Up in the air, I enjoy some exceptional, restaurant quality WestJet cuisine. The service in premium economy and business class is as in a restaurant, with each dish being taken to the customer individually, rather than being given from a trolley, and on special non-slip trays to reduce accidents. WestJet have paid great attention to detail by integrating reminders of Canada’s fabulous nature in to their food service – the food trays of economy are bright, turquoise blue just like the lakes of the Banff national park and the salt and pepper pots in business class are made in the shape of the Rocky mountains.

In premium economy, customers enjoy a rice and curry dish, refreshing and authentic draft Canadian beer and a salad complete with goat’s cheese. The vegetarian option is extraordinary – a vegetarian shepherd’s pie, the signature dish of Canadian chef Bill Alexander. In business class, I am able to choose from lots of smaller dishes rather than having just one, big main meal. I enjoy Italian antipasto, smoked salmon mille-feuille, alberta beef short ribs and sour cherry pie. There are also Ravioli dishes – each one unlike the other with irregular pasta cuts, representing the nature of Canada. I think that high praise is due to WestJet for the phenomenal quality of their airline food, which I think has really put them on the map as a major international airline and shows their considerable development from their start as a low cost, budget airline.

The meal is rounded off nicely with the serving of some special, Canadian Ice wine – one frozen grape yields only one drop of the very sweet wine – before I get some quality sleep and land at London Gatwick.

All in all, I highly enjoyed my trip with WestJet on their Boeing 787 Dreamliner aeroplane and my hat is off to them for their food. What did you think of the beauty of the Banff national park and the flight itself? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section down below and, as always, thanks for watching!

WestJet operates its inaugural flight from Calgary to Paris

WestJet made this announcement:

With the departure of flight 10, WestJet on May 17 became the only airline to operate a nonstop route between Paris and Calgary.

The airline’s newest route, along with its codeshare partnership with Air France, provides historic new access between Western Canada and Europe. Canadian business and leisure travellers now can fly to and from 11 cities in greater Europe including Rome, Venice, Athens and Lisbon through WestJet’s Air France codeshare partnership from Paris. This flight is the second of three 787 Dreamliner inaugurals that are central to WestJet’s global strategy and selection of Calgary as its initial Dreamliner hub.

All flights between Calgary and Paris are operated on WestJet’s newest aircraft, the 320-seat, 787-9 Dreamliner.

Details of WestJet’s new non-stop Dreamliner service:

Route Frequency Departing Arriving Effective
Calgary – Paris Four times weekly 7:35 p.m. 12:20 p.m. + 1 May 17, 2019
Paris – Calgary Four times weekly 2:20 p.m. 3:45 p.m. May 18, 2019

 

By June 2019, WestJet will offer flights to 67 non-stop destinations with an average of 975 flights per week from YYC. More Calgarians choose WestJet for their air travel than any other airline.

WestJet is be sold to the Onex Corporation becoming a privately-held airline

WestJet Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner C-GUDO (msn 64976) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 946160.

WestJet has made this big announcement:

WestJet Airlines Ltd. announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement that provides for its acquisition in an all-cash transaction. Under the terms of the agreement, Onex Corporation and its affiliated funds will acquire all outstanding shares of WestJet for $31.00 per share, after which WestJet will operate as a privately-held company. The purchase price represents a 67% premium to Friday’s closing share price and a 63% premium to WestJet’s 20-day volume-weighted average trading price. The transaction value is approximately $5 billion including assumed debt.

“Since our first flight in 1996, WestJet has been singularly focused on providing better options for the Canadian travelling public and this transaction retains that commitment,” said Clive Beddoe, WestJet’s Founder and Chairman. “I am particularly pleased that WestJet will remain headquartered in Calgary and will continue to build on the success that our 14,000 WestJetters have created. Onex’ aerospace experience, history of positive employee relations and long-term orientation makes it an ideal partner for WestJetters, and I am excited about our future.”

“WestJet is one of Canada’s strongest brands and we have tremendous respect for the business that Clive Beddoe and all WestJetters have built over the years. WestJet is renowned internationally for its unparalleled guest experience and employee culture. We’re thrilled to be partnering with WestJetters and continuing this remarkable Canadian success story,” said Tawfiq Popatia, a Managing Director at Onex.

Ed Sims, WestJet’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are delighted to continue the journey of building an airline based on a growing network, providing competitive airfares and more choice to, from and within Canada, for communities large and small. Integral to this relationship is a commitment to our employees, and our unique ownership-driven culture.”

The investment will be led by Onex Partners, Onex’ private equity platform focused on larger investment opportunities.

Recommendation of the WestJet Board of Directors

Following an approach by Onex in March 2019, the WestJet board of directors formed a special committee of independent directors to provide the Board with its advice and recommendations with respect to the proposal from Onex and the transaction, and to supervise the negotiation of the terms and conditions of the transaction. After an extensive review of the proposed transaction, the special committee provided its unanimous recommendation of the transaction to the WestJet board of directors. The WestJet board of directors, having received and considered the recommendation of the special committee, determined that the transaction is in the best interests of WestJet and unanimously recommends that WestJet shareholders vote in favour of the transaction at the special meeting of shareholders to be held to approve the transaction.

Each of CIBC Capital Markets and BofA Merrill Lynch has provided the WestJet board of directors with an opinion to the effect that, as of May 12, 2019, the consideration to be received by holders of WestJet shares in the transaction was fair, from a financial point of view, to such holders, in each case subject to the respective limitations, qualifications, assumptions and other matters set forth in such opinions.

Each of the directors and executive officers of WestJet has entered into a voting support agreement pursuant to which each has committed to vote in favour of the transaction.

Additional Transaction Details

Equity financing will be led by Onex Partners.

The transaction is to be completed by way of an arrangement under the Business Corporations Act (Alberta). Completion of the transaction is subject to a number of conditions, including court and shareholder approval and receipt of certain regulatory approvals, including approval under the Canada Transportation Act. The approval under the Canada Transportation Act involves a determination by the Minister of Transport which entails an assessment of the public interest as it relates to national transportation. Assuming the timely receipt of regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to close in the latter part of 2019 or early 2020.

WestJet expects to mail an information circular in late June 2019 for a special meeting of its shareholders expected to be held in July 2019 to approve the transaction.

The arrangement agreement for the transaction includes customary provisions relating to non-solicitation, subject to customary “fiduciary out” provisions that entitle WestJet to consider and accept a superior proposal if the purchaser does not match the superior proposal. WestJet has agreed to pay a fee to the purchaser upon the termination of the agreement in certain circumstances. The purchaser has agreed to pay a fee to WestJet if, after all other conditions to the closing of the transaction have been satisfied or waived, the purchaser is not in a position to fund the closing of the transaction.

WestJet is permitted to continue paying its regular quarterly cash dividend consistent with its dividend policy and past practice until closing.

Further details regarding the terms of the transaction are set out in the arrangement agreement, which will be publicly filed by WestJet under its profile at www.sedar.com. Additional information regarding the terms of the arrangement agreement and the background of the transaction will be provided in the information circular for the special meeting of shareholders.

Advisors

CIBC Capital Markets is acting as financial advisor to WestJet. BofA Merrill Lynch has provided financial advisory services to the WestJet board of directors. Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP is serving as legal advisor to WestJet and Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP is serving as independent legal advisor to the special committee of WestJet’s board.

Goodmans LLP is acting as Canadian legal advisor to Onex and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP is serving as U.S. legal advisor to Onex. DLA Piper (Canada) LLP is serving as Onex’ aviation regulatory counsel. Barclays is acting as lead financial advisor and lending bank to Onex with additional advisory and financing provided by Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): WestJet Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner C-GUDO (msn 64976) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 946160.

WestJet aircraft slide show:

WestJet to become official airline partner of the Calgary Stampeders

WestJet and the Calgary Stampeders have set into a motion a proposed three-year partnership between the two Calgary-based companies.

WestJet and the Calgary Stampeders celebrate new partnership in Calgary (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

As part of the proposed agreement, WestJet will become the official airline partner for the Stampeders and will charter the defending 2018 Grey Cup Champions to all away games through the 2021 season across Canada.

“The Calgary Stampeders have a deep history within our local community and as Calgary’s hometown airline we’re extremely proud to kick-off our partnership with this championship organization,” said Richard Bartrem, WestJet Vice-President Marketing Communications. “As new teammates, we look forward to supporting the Stampeders in their title defense and sharing in each other’s successes in the air and on the playing field across Canada for the next three seasons.”

“The Calgary Stampeder Football Club is very excited about this partnership between two proud Calgary institutions and we’re very much looking forward to teaming up with WestJet for the next three years,” said Stampeders Senior Director of Business Operations Mike Franco. “It’s an ideal union and we’re extremely pleased that a major international brand with strong local roots is meeting our team travel needs.”

The three-year deal is expected to include a WestJet branded on-field logo at McMahon Stadium and advertising, along with in-game promotional opportunities and co-branded content features of the team throughout the season.

The Calgary Stampeders are set to open the 2019 season on Saturday, June 15 at McMahon Stadium against Ottawa in a Grey Cup rematch. Fans hoping to catch pre-season action are encouraged to attend the team’s only pre-season contest on Friday, May 31 against Saskatchewan in Calgary.

WestJet is Calgary’s largest airline, and by June 2019, will offer flights to 68 non-stop destinations with over 1,000 flights per week from YYC. More Calgarians choose WestJet for their air travel than any other airline.

Logo jet coming?

WestJet reports a 33.4% increase in first quarter net earnings

WestJet Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner C-GUDO (msn 64976) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 946441.

WestJet today announced its first quarter results for 2019, with net earnings of $45.6 million, or $0.40 per fully diluted share compared with net earnings of $34.2 million, or $0.30 per fully diluted share reported in the first quarter of 2018.

“We remain confident in our strategic direction and continue to see positive trends as a result of our prudent growth and the strategic initiatives we are undertaking.” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “I want to thank all of our guests for their continued loyalty and all WestJetters for their on-going commitment to providing an award-winning service through a busy first quarter.”

Operating highlights (stated in Canadian dollars)

Q1 2019 Q1 2018 Change
Net earnings (millions) $45.6 $34.2 33.4%
Diluted earnings per share $0.40 $0.30 33.3%
Total revenue (millions) $1,257.7 $1,191.7 5.5%
Operating margin 4.8% 5.1% (0.3 pts)
ASMs (available seat miles) (billions) 8.456 8.029 5.3%
RPMs (revenue passenger miles) (billions) 7.168 6.810 5.3%
Load factor 84.8% 84.8% 0.0 pts
Segment guests 6,282,781 6,088,954 3.2%
Yield (revenue per revenue passenger mile)
(cents)
17.55 17.50 0.3%
RASM (revenue per available seat mile)
(cents)
14.87 14.84 0.2%
CASM (cost per available seat mile) (cents) 14.16 14.08 0.6%
Fuel costs per litre (cents) 77 73 5.5%
CASM, excluding fuel and employee profit
share (cents)*
10.59 10.50 0.9%
*Refer to reconciliations in the accompanying tables for further information regarding calculations.

Top Copyright Photo: WestJet Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner C-GUDO (msn 64976) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 946441.

WestJet aircraft slide show: