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WestJet Expands Vacation, Connecting Options This Winter
WestJet is bolstering its sun destinations and partner connection offerings this winter with the release of its 2023-2024 winter schedule. Canada’s second largest airline is adding four new routes, restarting several others, and extending a number of seasonal summer routes through the winter months.
Increased Leisure Travel Options
With Canada’s cold winter climate, the country sees high demand for leisure travel to warmer destinations in the Caribbean and Central America during the winter months. Airlines like Air Transat and Sunwing Airlines – which is now owned by WestJet – have historically capitalized on this seasonal demand and leased additional aircraft during the winter to offer additional flights to sunny vacation destinations. Air Canada and WestJet also bolster their southbound flying in the winter months with seasonal routes and capacity increases.
WestJet’s 2023-2024 winter schedule follows this trend, with the airline introducing four new sun destination routes and restarting an additional three. The four new routes are as follows:
- Calgary International Airport to Tampa International Airport in Florida, USA
- Edmonton International Airport to Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica
- Toronto Pearson International Airport to Bonaire International Airport in the Caribbean Netherlands
- Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport to Bahías de Huatulco International Airport in Mexico
Each of these routes is being offered once weekly and will be operated by WestJet’s Boeing 737 aircraft family. The Toronto – Bonaire route is particularly notable, as it is WestJet’s first route to the airport. The carrier will be the only airline offering nonstop flights between Canada and Bonaire.
Earlier this year, WestJet announced that it had finalized the acquisition of competing leisure carrier Sunwing Airlines. Sunwing has also announced an expansion of travel offerings this winter, with a 15% increase in capacity and new vacation package offerings in Cuba. As WestJet has announced that it will be shutting down Sunwing, this will likely be one of the last winters where Canadians will travel south on Sunwing-branded flights.
Extensions and New Connections
The Calgary-based carrier has also announced that it will be extending two Atlantic Canada routes from Calgary through the winter season. Moncton International Airport, in the province of New Brunswick, and St. John’s International Airport, in Newfoundland and Labrador will see up to two flights each week to and from Calgary International Airport during the winter season.
WestJet is also extending several routes that will help facilitate connections onto flights operated by partner airlines, citing exceptional demand. Four of these routes will bring passengers to codeshare partner Delta Air Lines’ major hubs:
- Edmonton International Airport to Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport
- Saskatoon International Airport to Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport
- Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport
- Vancouver International Airport to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Finally, the airline will also continue flying between Calgary International Airport Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport through the winter season, allowing connections to European destinations with Air France.
“This year’s winter schedule is about providing Canadians with what they want: affordable sun destination getaways from across Canada; enhanced domestic connectivity from coast-to-coast; and the assurance that some of our most popular routes, previously operated exclusively in the summer, are available year-round,” John Weatherill, Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer of the WestJet Group said in a statement.
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