In a historic partnership with the Government of Alberta, WestJet Group has announced that Calgary International Airport (YYC) will be their exclusive hub for global connectivity, with all Boeing 787 Dreamliner intercontinental flying concentrated at YYC.
On Wednesday (October 5, 2022), WestJet Group announced that in a historic partnership with the Government of Alberta, the carrier will designate Calgary International Airport (YYC) as their exclusive global connectivity hub. Moving forward, WestJet will concentrate all Boeing 787 Dreamliner intercontinental flying at YYC. The new partnership will focus on advancing aviation across Alberta in support of a stronger economy and a long-standing, sustainable future for the province’s aviation sector. WestJet will also invest in aircraft capacity, with an asset value in excess of $7.0 billion in Calgary alone, through fleet commitments to be based in the province.
\In Wednesday’s announcment, WestJet Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Alexis von Hoensbroech, said,
“Alberta has been WestJet's home for 26 years and today's historic agreement builds upon an existing foundation of low taxes and investment-friendly policies. As Western Canada’s home team carrier, Alberta is an area where we want to continue to invest to secure WestJet's thriving future. Through the pandemic and onward, the Government of Alberta prioritized the importance and advancement of aviation and the visitor economy across the province and recognized that aviation is central to the economic diversification of Alberta.
“Today is a proud day for our organization as we continue to strengthen our home province with four distinct advantages: affordability, sustainability, infrastructure and people. This agreement is a testament to WestJet's commitment to our global hub airport in Calgary, as investments like this can only occur under the right commercial and operational environments. YYC Calgary International Airport is providing us that confidence and with these investments, Calgary can become North America's most connected mid-sized city.”
Also commenting on the landmark partnership, the Premier of Alberta, the Honourable Jason Kenney, said,
“This is a blockbuster day for Alberta and a game-changer for our economy. Diversification and economic development are happening right here in Alberta. By choosing Calgary as its single global hub, locating its entire Dreamliner fleet here, and increasing its annual seat capacity by 80 per cent, WestJet will massively improve global connectivity, tourism and options for passengers.”
The agreement between WestJet Group and the Government of Alberta will provide Travel Alberta with additional funding in support of travel and tourism efforts. The partners will also work to address high aviation fuel prices and advance Alberta’s status as a global aviation hub by adding flights for connecting passengers. Additionally, access to pilot training will be improved with an investment in the expansion of the Mount Royal University pilot training program. WestJet and the Government of Alberta will also collaborate to ensure pilots are trained in Alberta with the appropriate technology and partnerships, including a potential degree program. The partnership is further committed to the development of SAF capacity at scale in Alberta, and the development of aerospace and aviation infrastructure through strategic public and private partnerships.
In 26 years of service, WestJet has cut airfares for Canadians in half and increased the flying population around Canada by over 50 percent. The airline launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, and has now grown to more than 180 aircraft and 14,000 employees, offering service to 100 destinations in 23 countries (pre-pandemic). Even during the pandemic, WestJet maintained their rating by Cirium as one of the top ten airlines for on-time performance in North America.