By Benjamin Pham
WestJet Announces Schedule Expansion for August
As the summer travel season moves forward, Canada’s WestJet is expanding its August schedule and continuing its flight operations for July. The Calgary, Canada-based carrier plans to add more than 200 flights to 48 destinations across Canada and beyond. Even though there seems to be no end in sight for the global pandemic, the airline is also dedicating efforts to safeguard its passengers.
In order to accommodate the increase frequencies and offer flight services to 48 destinations featuring 38 in Canada, five in the U.S., two in Europe and one in both the Caribbean and Mexico, the carrier has continued to dedicate its efforts to implement its “Safety Above All” sanitary initiative program to safeguard its passengers and employees.
Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet’s Chief Commercial Officer, is eager both to have passengers continue to return to the skies across the airline’s route map and to adjust the schedule to appropriately accommodate the rise in tourism and leisure.
“With the many safeguards and procedures in place, we are certain Canadians can safely resume travel to destinations across our network,” von zur Muehlen said. “We continue to adapt our schedule to meet the needs of our guests and through our continued investment economies can begin to recover with the support of domestic tourism driven by air travel.”
In WestJet’s international network, the airline will restore the Boeing 787 Dreamliner service from Calgary to London’s Gatwick Airport and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport from August 20. The airline will also commit its efforts to continue serving key markets in the U.S. such as Atlanta, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando and New York’s La Guardia Airport.
The airline will also resume services to Cancun, Mexico and Montego Bay, Jamaica. Despite the continuing U.S.-Canadian border closure, which has been extended to the end of August, WestJet’s domestic operations will continue to grow and expand to remain accessible to Canadian citizens from coast to coast.
“Despite these headwinds, we are committed to ensuring air travel remains affordable and accessible to Canadians from coast-to-coast during this difficult time,” von zur Muehlen added. “While an increase in flying is a positive sign, we are prudently monitoring our guests loads to ensure we are managing our airline and the health of our guests and crew responsibly.”
With the airline’s continued commitment to better serve its passengers, the August schedule will be a 10 percent increase from July, but it will be a 75% decrease from a year ago. This is due to route suspensions and frequency reductions that stem from continuing international border-crossing restrictions and provincial travel limitations. Despite the obstacles, WestJet will continue to increase flight services from its key domestic hubs in order to recover from the slump in travel demand.