One of the most significant chapters in the WestJet story will take place next summer when it inaugurates widebodied long-haul flights to the UK capital, London from six Canadian cities. However, the low-fare carrier is not forgetting the London closer to home and will also enhance connectivity to London, Ontario with a regular new link to Toronto.
WestJet will introduce a twice daily domestic service between London Metropolitan Area Airport and Lester B Pearson International Airport in Toronto from the end of March 2016. The link, operated by its regional division WestJet Encore using Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 NextGen turboprop equipment, will complement its existing service to Calgary and seasonal sun charters to the US and Caribbean from London.
The new service will also open up 52 new WestJet destinations and 47 new codeshare destinations via Toronto Pearson to Eastern Canada, the United States, Caribbean, Mexico and Europe and will provide direct competition to the existing Air Canada Express operation on this route.
"London has been an important part of WestJet's network for more than a decade but before today's announcement, we could only offer Londoners service to and from the west as well as a few sun destinations," said Chris Avery, Vice-President, Network Planning, Alliances and Corporate Development, WestJet.
"Now, the rest of WestJet's ever-expanding network is available for London travellers - all with a simple and convenient connection in Toronto," he added.
The Canadian city of London is located in Southwestern Ontario along the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor and like its UK counterpart is situated on the Thames River, having been founded in 1793 by British army officer, John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada from 1791 until 1796.
It is a regional centre of health care and education, being home to the University of Western Ontario, Fanshawe College, and several hospitals and its economic activity is centred on education, medical research, insurance and information technology. Much of the life sciences and biotechnology-related research is conducted or supported by the University of Western Ontario, which adds about C$1.5 billion to the London economy annually.