WestJet’s Interesting New Calgary To Rome Flight

Filed Under: WestJet

WestJet has just revealed a new seasonal route between Calgary and Rome, which is also the first ever route between Calgary and Italy.

WestJet’s Calgary To Rome Flight

As of May 2, 2020, WestJet will launch a new seasonal flight between Calgary and Rome. The route will be flown by WestJet’s new Boeing 787-9, and will operate up to 3x weekly in peak season.

The flight will operate with the following schedule:

Calgary to Rome departing 6:00PM arriving 12:00PM (+1 day)
Rome to Calgary departing 2:00PM arriving 4:33PM

The service will operate 1x weekly as of May 2, 2020, and then 3x weekly as of May 28, 2020. The flights are timed to offer convenient connections throughout WestJet’s network from Calgary.

WestJet has also announced that as of the summer of 2020 they’ll be increasing 787-9 frequencies on their routes from Calgary to London, Paris, and Dublin.

WestJet’s 787

WestJet’s “Safe” Dreamliner Strategy

WestJet has come a long way in changing their overall strategy, and part of that has been ordering Boeing 787-9s. Historically the airline hasn’t offered a proper business class product, but their 787s are changing that (read a review of WestJet’s 787 business class here).

WestJet’s 787 business class

The airline took delivery of their first 787 in February 2019. WestJet has a total of 10 of these planes on order, with a further 10 options.

When WestJet first placed the order there was talk of them possibly using the planes to launch flights to Asia and South America. That hasn’t been their strategy up until now, though.

Rather they’ve used the 787s primarily to fly to London, Paris, and Dublin, which are routes they previously served with 767s. The Rome route is interesting in the sense that it’s a new destination for the airline, though it’s still “safe” in the sense that summer seasonal flying to Europe isn’t that hard to make profitable.

WestJet is flying 787s to Hawaii this winter, though as they pick up more 787s, I’m curious how they’ll use these planes in winter, since their focus seems to be on highly seasonal Europe.

WestJet’s 787 premium economy

Bottom Line

WestJet will be launching flights from Calgary to Rome in the summer of 2020, which is a new destination for the airline. It’s nice to see them use the 787 to launch a new route, though in the grand scheme of things it’s not exactly a creative one.

It will be interesting to see if WestJet eventually launches flights to Asia or South America with their 787s, or if they just use them for Europe flying in the summer, and then a combination of some Europe flying and some warm weather leisure flying in winter.

What do you make of WestJet’s 787 strategy?

  1. I was looking for a decently priced one-way return from Italy next summer (outbound is an award ticket), and like to take advantage of Delta partners when I can (as a lowly GM). I see the FCO-YYC flight is available on the date I need and there’s a connecting flight to LAX later that day that seems to work (although it’s not letting me book the whole way through at this point).

    Definitely going to monitor this flight; thanks for the heads up!

  2. @Sharon

    My guess is Westjet is headquartered in Calgary, not Toronto & there’s no other competitor for this route.

  3. WS already flies to C.America, Caribbean and Mexico from YYC. My guess they would probably upgauge these routes during wintertime or add more routes to the region. So happy we get more choices from YYC!!

  4. YYC is not supposed to be very convenient to transfer from international to domestic. However, FCO-YYC may be an option for those in Vancouver and Seattle.

  5. WS needs help in their commercial and network departments to understand that Rome isn’t a profit generating destination. I struggle to understand how they think they’re going to make this route viable given the historically bad yields by all airlines operating there combined with their LCC approach. Sure there’s demand and flights will be full. But they’ll be full of discount passengers who are notoriously and don’t provide help on the ancillary front either. They’re better off attempting Barcelona, Munich or even Tokyo for a summer seasonal service. At least there is bi-directional traffic demand with a known business class component. Unless this is an Onex mandate, WS is going to need some serious help in trying to make their 787 program profitable and viable because things like Rome are going to doom it!

  6. Are there any points redemption opportunities for flying this route in business class? I’ve previously booked Eco flights on WestJet using Skypesos but never saw an option for business class.

  7. Obviously – they are WestJet, operating flights to Europe (to the West).
    If they wanted to launch flights to Asia (East), their name would have been changed to East-WestJet.
    How about flights to South-America ? Then their name would be East-South-Westjet.

  8. Kevin….huh? Europe is East to Calgary or Canada and Asia is West. Not sure where you were going with your post :).

    Ben not sure if I would call Rome, interesting. Now if they flew to Dubai or Delhi it would be. Those would be ultra long hauls in Westjet’s world.

  9. @Marco:

    I think @Kevin is maybe referring to Europe as being the western world. As in the The West. And Asia is The East, the Orient, The Eastern World.

  10. @Jeff it’s YYC-OGG only. @Juan, we’ll see. FCO is not easy to get to from Western US and Canada and their business cabin is small. Prices are cheaper if you originate in the US and connect via YYC rather than go direct. @Sharon – YYZ is Air Canada fortress, and lots of competition in YYZ on this route. @Jules – WestJet’s CEO on record saying if you want to fly business you pay, no award seats. WestJet is cautious, this move is a safe play.

  11. ROME makes perfect sense: WestJet is Delta partner and Delta is about to take over Alitalia. There are “synergies” for everyone involved.

    With regard to fares – ROME is not cheap in the summer!

    Barcelona? There is a fare on KLM today: USA-Barcelona USD $220 roundtrip with all taxes (albeit it is Economy Light and Northern Hemisphere winter).

  12. Until WS gets connected to an airline partner in real life they will continue to be of no value to me. OW would be my choice.

  13. Boring!!! Out of Calgary?! Bad decision!! Westjet, Calgary isn’t the central of the universe!! Wake up!!!

  14. Not sure what WestJet is upto. How is their CDG experiment going so far – does anyone know? Looks like they are off their rocker.

  15. @Kannan CDG must be doing well – they are starting it back up earlier than originally planned.

    @Peter You must be from Toronto.

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