WestJet Close To Restoring Pre-Pandemic Network
As the carrier prepares to reinstate more routes to its network, it is also adding new flights between Toronto and Chicago.
Canada’s WestJet plans to restore 94% of its pre-pandemic network during the summer 2022 season, including resuming many European and domestic routes that have been suspended for the past two years.
During peak summer, the Calgary-based airline intends to serve 43 domestic, 23 transborder, 16 Caribbean and eight transatlantic destinations, offering 600 daily departures network wide. Routes returning include Halifax Stanfield (YHZ)-Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Toronto Pearson (YYZ)-Barcelona (BCN).
“The aviation industry is a formidable economic engine and the investments we have made across Canada and internationally affirm our commitment to restoring connectivity across our expansive global network, while doing our part to expedite Canada's economic recovery,” CCO John Weatherill said.
A new route is also being launched connecting Toronto Pearson and Chicago O’Hare (ORD). Flights will begin on May 19, operating daily using Dash 8 turboprops.
Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows that WestJet will face strong competition on the sector as seven carriers already serve the market on a city pair basis.
By the time WetJet opens the route, YYZ-ORD will see up to 7X-daily flights from Air Canada; 6X-daily from United Airlines; 5X-daily from American Airlines; and 3X-weekly from Flair Airlines.
In addition, flyGTA Airlines and Porter Airlines offer daily and up to 3X-daily flights respectively between Toronto Billy Bishop (YTZ) and Chicago Midway (MDW).
During the week commencing May 30, two-way capacity between Toronto and Chicago will total about 27,300 weekly seats, compared with around 30,200 during the same week in 2019. WestJet will account for about 4% of the market.
As previously announced, WestJet’s transatlantic network this summer will include new route additions to Edinburgh (EDI), Glasgow (GLA) and London Heathrow (LHR). Service from Toronto Pearson to Glasgow will begin on May 20, 2022, operating four times per week, while flights to Edinburgh will be 3X-weekly, effective June 2.
As well as flying from Calgary (YYC) to London Gatwick (LGW), the airline also plans to start serving London Heathrow from its Alberta hub. Service between YYC and LHR will be 4X-weekly from March 26.
Next year WestJet's network should be bolstered by its acquisition of Sunwing. WestJet expects the takeover to close toward the end of this year.