Canada’s WestJet unveiled Tokyo as its first Asia-Pacific market as part of a summer 2023 schedule that will also see it expand its Western Europe markets and boost frequencies on several existing routes.
The new schedule includes a total of eight transoceanic routes. A 3X-weekly service from WestJet’s Calgary (YYC) base to Tokyo Narita (NRT), which requires some government approvals before launch, is the most notable addition. The route will be launched from April 30, 2023, with a Boeing 787 aircraft.
WestJet also will add new 787 service from YYC to Barcelona (BCN) and Edinburgh (EDI) for the 2023 summer season—both routes will be operated 3X weekly.
During its summer 2023 schedule, the carrier also will serve both London Heathrow (LHR) and London Gatwick (LGW) 7X-weekly, Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) 7X-weekly, Rome Fiumicino (FCO) 5X-weekly and Dublin (DUB) 5X-weekly.
All flights will originate at WestJet's Calgary hub.
"Starting with the expansion of our intercontinental routes, future announcements will focus on domestic and North American additions that will bring even more affordable travel options to our [passengers] in the new year," CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech said in a statement. "With Calgary as home base to our 787 aircraft, access between western Canadian communities and these intercontinental destinations will play a vital role in creating an economically prosperous aviation pipeline that better connects Canadians to the world and the world to western Canada."
Consolidating its seven 787s in Calgary is part of a larger strategy WestJet is rolling out that emphasizes serving western Canada and pulls back capacity in the eastern part of the country. The carrier has been eyeing cost control and plans to cement itself as an LCC that offers both domestic and international travel options.