WestJet Plans Winter Sun Resumptions, Adds Domestic Link

The Canadian carrier intends to increase capacity of sun and leisure flights by 45% compared with the previous winter season.

Credit: Joe Pries

WestJet is restoring 17 sun routes to its network during the upcoming northern winter season after suspensions of more than two years.

The Calgary-based carrier also plans to launch a new route within the province of British Columbia and restart flying between Edmonton (YEG) and Nanaimo (YCD), a city on the east coast of Vancouver Island.

The resumptions include flights between Vancouver (YVR) and Orlando (MCO); Calgary (YYC) and Belize City (BZE); and Saskatoon (YXE) and Routes World 2022 host Las Vegas (LAS).

“We recognize the past three winters have been disruptive to our guests travel plans and we look forward to reconnecting Canadians to some of the warmer destinations they have missed the most,” said John Weatherill, WestJet executive VP and CCO.

WestJet said the restart of the 17 routes would help to push capacity of sun and leisure flights up by 45% during winter 2022/23, compared with a year earlier. There will also be a 60% increase in transborder flights compared with winter 2021/22.

Alongside the resumptions, a new route between Penticton (YYF) and Vancouver in British Colombia will launch on Feb. 17, 2023. Flights are scheduled to operate six times per week.

It is hoped that the new service will stimulate business and leisure travel between the cities with flights on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays and makes WestJet the only airline serving both Calgary and Vancouver direct from Penticton. 

Through the airline's capacity purchase agreement with Pacific Coastal Airline, all flights will be operated by WestJet Link, using a fleet of WestJet-branded 34-seat Saab 340 aircraft. The expansion of service is the 11th destination within the WestJet Link network.

"The expansion of WestJet service is another example of the growth that Penticton is experiencing," said mayor John Vassilaki. "As more and more people recognize the advantages of living and working here, the addition of more direct flights to Vancouver will benefit everyone – from tourists to businesspeople.”

In addition, WestJet has confirmed the resumption of Edmonton-Nanaimo service from Oct. 30. Flights will be 3X-weekly operated by WestJet Encore.