WestJet is expanding its service in Western Canada.
The Calgary-based airline will add 11 non-stop routes this summer.
“As we look to the coming months with cautious optimism, we know our restart agenda will be pivotal to Canada’s economic recovery,” says WestJet president and CEO, Ed Sims. “Stimulating air travel benefits all Canadians and supports those hardest hit; with one in every 10 Canadian jobs tied to travel and tourism, the ripple effect benefits our whole country.”
The flights will be offered up to three times a week in 15 communities across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.
The new routes include service between Toronto and Comox, B.C., Ottawa and Victoria, and eight new routes connecting the prairie provinces to B.C. tourism destinations like Regina, Sask., to Kelowna, B.C.
“We are at an inflection point, one that is buoyed by the rollout of vaccines, months of learning how to take appropriate precautions and a view to Canada’s beautiful summer months that allows us to spend more time outdoors,” says Sims. “If Canadians were to shift two-thirds of their planned international leisure travel spend towards domestic tourism, it would help sustain 150,000 jobs and accelerate recovery by one year, all while seeing what Canada has to offer.”
WestJet made the announcement just two days after signalling it will resume previously suspended service to Atlantic Canada and Quebec City in late June. The carrier discontinued flights to these regions last November, due to slumping seat sales amid COVID-19.
“We committed to return to the communities we left, as a result of the pandemic,” says Sims. “These communities have been a crucial factor in our success over our 25 years and it is critical for us to ensure they have access to affordable air service and domestic connectivity to drive their economic recovery.”
Flights in and out of Charlottetown, Fredericton, Moncton, N.B., Sydney, N.S., and Quebec City will resume beginning June 24 through June 30.
Service between St. John’s, Nfld., and Toronto, which was indefinitely suspended in October, will also resume on June 24.
“Our focus remains on the safe restart of air travel,” says Sims. “We ask that federal and provincial governments work with us to provide clarity and certainty to Canadians, including travel policies that support economic recovery and restore jobs.”