WestJet Reveals Additional 787-9 Routes

Filed Under: Other Airlines

Update: See here for my full review of WestJet’s 787-9 business class.

In May 2017, WestJet placed an order for up to 20 Boeing 787-9s (10 firm orders and 10 options), which was a huge move for the Canadian carrier.

Historically WestJet primarily had 737s, along with a few 767s that they used for a few international routes. However, the airline is really trying to reinvent themselves, as their 787s have three cabins of service, and they’re also installing a true business class on their 737s.

The airline got their first 787 early this year, and at this point the airline has three 787s in their fleet. The airline has just announced even more 787-9 routes for this winter, so let’s take a look at the details.

What routes feature WestJet’s 787-9?

Currently WestJet has a total of three 787-9s in their fleet, and since they’re largely a leisure airline, some of their routes are seasonal.

WestJet’s current 787 routes

Currently WestJet uses their 787s to operate the following long haul routes:

  • Daily between Calgary and London Gatwick (as of April 28, 2019)
  • 3-4x weekly between Calgary and Paris Charles de Gaulle (as of May 17, 2019)
  • 2-3x weekly between Calgary and Dublin (as of June 1, 2019)

On top of that, the airline operates the 787-9 between Calgary and Toronto at the moment, given that they have an extra frame.

Note that while their London flight is year-round, the Paris and Dublin flights are seasonal, so only operate in the summer season.

WestJet’s future 787 routes

I was curious to see what WestJet’s winter planes were for the 787, given that two of their three European routes out of Calgary are seasonal. Transatlantic demand in winter is light, making it seem unlikely that they’d launch more transatlantic flights at that point.

So, what are WestJet’s plans?

  • WestJet will operate daily 787-9 Toronto to London Gatwick flights as of October 23, 2019
  • WestJet will operate 2x weekly 787-9 Calgary to Kahului flights as of October 31, 2019 (from March 12 through April 22, 2020, they’ll operate 5x weekly flights)

I find these choices interesting for a couple of reasons:

  • Up until now, WestJet’s 787-9 focus has been entirely on Calgary, but in winter they’ll launch transatlantic 787-9 flights out of Toronto
  • Using a premium configured aircraft for a Hawaii route might seem counterintuitive, but transatlantic demand in winter is so soft that this is probably a smart move on their part; this will be one of the most comfortable ways to fly to Hawaii

What are WestJet’s 787-9s like?

WestJet’s 787 interiors are mighty impressive. They’re very similar to Air Canada’s 787s, minus the finishes. The planes feature 304 seats, including 16 business class seats, 28 premium economy seats, and 260 economy seats.

Business class consists of B/E Aerospace Super Diamond reverse herringbone seats, which are exactly the same ones that Air Canada has. Business class features touchscreen service, on-demand dining, and turndown service.

Premium economy is in a 2-3-2 configuration, and features a premium menu, a self-serve social area, and more space to relax.

Economy is in a 3-3-3 configuration, and features entertainment and power ports at every seat.

Bottom line

This winter, WestJet will be flying their 787s to London, from both Calgary and Toronto. On top of that, they’ll operate some flights to Hawaii.

As WestJet takes delivery of more 787s, I’ll be curious to see which other routes get the 787. When WestJet first ordered the planes, they mentioned the possibility of flights to Asia, Australia, and South America.

So far it seems like that’s not in the cards for them, and at this point I wouldn’t be surprised to see them take a less risky approach, and just try to compete with Air Canada in some transatlantic business markets, along with some seasonal leisure flying.

What do you make of WestJet’s 787 routes?

Comments
  1. Hi Ben,

    Long time reader. Just wanted to say I am sorry to hear about your Mom and wish your family all the best of success moving forward. Like most readers, I feel like I “know” you through the blog, and reading about your Mom’s saga saddened me.

    Cheers to you, Ford and your family my friend.

  2. @Speedbird she was unfortunately diagnosed with cancer. The nice outcome of that was that it was detected early and his mom is a determined fighter. We all have wished her the best and speediest recovery fully and happily. It dawns upon you that at that moment, health and safety are a couple of the most treasured aspects of life.

  3. @Speedbird she was unfortunately diagnosed with cancer. The nice part of it was that it was detected early and his mom is a determined fighter. We all have wished her the best and a speedy full recovery. It is at that moment when you realize that healthy and safety are a couple of the most important aspects of life.

  4. @Ben

    I’d like to join Stanley’s lovely message and let you know that I too wish you and your mother a rapid full recovery. Whilst I check your blog several times a day (probably my most visited website in times of trip reports) I am happy to see/read you are not doing as many trips and catering to the needs of your family. As an aviation enthusiast, flight attendant and junior doctor I can tell you that this is the right decision.

  5. Calgary is the 4th busiest airport in Canada. Why isn’t there more US east coast service? I see an Air Canada Jazz from Newark and that’s it. Nothing to JFK, IAD or ATL. Seems like it would be a good feeder services now that YYC is getting more flight options.

  6. @Jim perhaps WestJet May introduce some east coast service with their 737s as they increase their transatlantic offerings out of Calgary? Interesting question.

  7. For too long Canadians have been forced to endure Air Canadas garbage service.
    All the best to Westjet’s new longhaul routes.

  8. @Jim WestJet has service to both JFK and ATL. IAD is a United hub; you might see that service begin on Air Canada with the A220s in 2020.

  9. I would like to see Westjet offer YVR-LGW on the 787, it’s a busy route where they use the 767 which is out of date and both AC and BA have the premium market sown up with their high fares and poor service.

  10. Just come back from LHR to YVR on points in Air Canada Business class.
    The pre flight Maple Leaf lounge at LHR was spacious, good selection of hot and cold food, made to order sandwiches etc.
    In flight service, meals, seats and entertainment were all excellent. In particular, the flight attendants were very attentive and friendly.
    Not surprising that mainline AC is regarded as the best airline in North America.
    Also flew Premium Rouge from YYJ to YYZ to FLL. Was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food and service on Rouge.
    Westjet Business class will give Air Canada a run for their money and that’s good for passengers.

  11. @Canadian Platinum.

    Who exactly regards AC as the best airline in North America?

    Apart from AC of course (and its loyalists)

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