WestJet's first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, named in honour of the airline's chairman and founder, Clive Beddoe, arrived in WestJet's hometown of Calgary on Jan. 18, marking a new global era for Canada's favourite airline.
"Today's delivery marks a new chapter for WestJet," said Ed Sims, WestJet president and CEO. "Boeing's 787 Dreamliner is one of the most technologically-advanced aircraft ever flown and is the perfect platform for our transition to a global network carrier. We look forward to bringing Canadians to the world and the world to Canada in comfort and style."
"We are excited to welcome our friends at WestJet to the Dreamliner family," said Ihssane Mounir, Senior Vice-President of Commercial Sales & Marketing for The Boeing Company. "The airline has achieved impressive growth with the Boeing 737 and will now use the 787's unmatched performance and passenger comforts to profitably launch a new 'global era'."
The Dreamliner comes home
The aircraft departed Everett, Wash., this morning after a naming ceremony in the presence of Mr. Beddoe, members of the WestJet executive team and select WestJetters.
"Because of the leadership, vision and commitment of our Founder and Chairman, Clive, we had the opportunity to fly our Dreamliner home today," continued Sims. "It's fitting the aircraft bears our founder's name as we welcome the future of WestJet."
WestJet will use its 320-seat Dreamliner to begin longer-range flying while giving guests a choice of Economy, Premium and Business cabins.
Lie-flat Business cabin seats
WestJet's Dreamliners feature WestJet's first lie-flat business cabin seats accompanied by blankets and pillows, turndown service and in-seat TVs, offering a premium service with a distinctly Canadian feel. WestJet Premium will offer seats in a 2x3x2 configuration, an elevated guest experience with a separate and private cabin, cozy blankets and pillows available on every seat along with a self-serve social area.
The aircraft also features the Boeing-designed turbulence-dampening technology, improved air quality to reduce jet lag and larger windows that give an increased sense of space.
The first Dreamliner will fly guests domestically on Toronto/Calgary routes starting Feb. 20 to assist with crew familiarisation before the first international service from Calgary to London (Gatwick) on April 28.
The second and third WestJet Dreamliners are currently on the production line at Boeing's factory and will be delivered in February and March this year to coincide with the start of Calgary-Paris and Calgary-Dublin services respectively.