Over a year after WestJet first announced its new routes aboard their new 787 Dreamliner aircraft, key travel partners gathered again at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel in Calgary on Wednesday (Oct. 30) for an exciting new route from Calgary to Rome, Italy.
Launching May 2nd, 2020 as a weekly service, WestJet will begin flying to a place full of history, culture, food and decadent coffee. Service will increase to three times a week starting May 20, 2020.
Ed Sims, CEO and President of WestJet highlighted the opportunities:
“Rome ticks all the boxes we look for in a new destination. It is a very aspirational destination. We believe it is an untapped market for Italians to fly to Alberta and through to Calgary. It has fantastic cargo potential. We expect to be carrying a lot of premium food products and produce. Everywhere we looked at it, it has been historically underserved,” Sims said.
There has been 50 per cent more Dreamliner service from Calgary international Airport with early season starts, and additional flights to Gatwick, Paris and Dublin. Adding Rome as the fourth European destination from Calgary aboard the Dreamliner, the aircraft continues to benefit Calgary, Alberta and Western Canada.
Daily flights on the Dreamliner continue between Calgary and Toronto.
“The Dreamliners are pipelines in the sky. The massive investments of jobs in Calgary and Alberta drive economic growth, boost tourism and connect family and friends. We are bringing Canadians to the world and bringing the world to Canada,” said Sims.
President and CEO of Calgary International Airport, Robert Sartor added:
“WestJet is our airport’s largest carrier and strategic hub partner and we will do anything we can to support their growth. WestJet’s commitment to YYC and to Alberta. They continue to transform your airport, our city and the incremental cargo that will be flying in the cargo in the belly of that aircraft. And now, Calgarians have the opportunity to avoid a long day of travel, flying direct and comfortably to one of the most beautiful cities in the world,” said Sartor.
The Mayor of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi, expressed excitement with another new chapter in Calgary’s comeback, celebrating the success of a true “made in Calgary” story with WestJet.
Royce Chwin, CEO and President of Travel Alberta, was equally excited about the economic opportunities with the announcement and commitment to supporting the Alberta comeback.
“WestJet is a valued partner in the tourism sector where WestJet is working on bringing you out, we are working with them to bringing visitors to Canada. This is a crucial time for us to capitalize on this potential to take the province to new heights with a meaningful, sustainable, growth-oriented strategy. The support in tourism positions the province to be a place where people want to visit, stay, invest and raise a family,” said Chwin.
Cindy Ady, CEO of Tourism Calgary, echoed the ambitious plans for Alberta and the Calgary economy.
“We are lucky to have three major advantages – a partner like WestJet here as a hub in the city of Calgary with this kind of product. We are about to build the second-largest convention facility within Canada coming in 2024. The second, our location advantage of being nestled in the Rocky Mountains, a very iconic place for people to go from all over the world. And the citizens of Calgary. We are great hosts. All those opportunities and partnerships, mean that Travel Alberta and Tourism Calgary provides us with opportunities which are epic in a destination we have not been,” said Ady.
Albertans now have another option to fly to Europe without having to connect through Eastern gateways, opening up the opportunities and benefiting Western Canada travellers.
Tickets went on sale this morning as of 8 a.m. MST.
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