WestJet Strengthens Presence in Newfoundland and Labrador

A WestJet aircraft on climb after takeoff.
Photo Credit: Lewis Chesworth/ AviationSource

WestJet Group CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech has wrapped up his first visit to Atlantic Canada in St. John’s.

Joined by key stakeholders and community members, discussions focused on the Group’s growing aviation presence across the region.

Presence in Newfoundland and Labrador

Von Hoensbroech emphasized WestJet Group’s renewed commitment to Newfoundland and Labrador.

This commitment translates into a series of network improvements across the province’s key airports this summer. Passengers can expect:

  • Increased Domestic Service: Seamless east-west connections, connecting Canadians from coast-to-coast.
  • Enhanced Leisure Options: Resumption of seasonal transatlantic flights to London (Gatwick) and additional north-south routes to popular winter sun destinations.

“We’ve heard loud and clear the importance of WestJet’s presence here,” said von Hoensbroech. “We’re committed to using our aircraft to improve Atlantic Canada’s accessibility.”

“This means thoughtful and targeted air connections that strengthen domestic, leisure, and global links to St. John’s and the broader province.”

A WestJet Boeing 737 being pushed back at Calgary Airport.
FlyingJay Photography, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Investment Highlights

Von Hoensbroech provided a detailed overview of WestJet Group’s ongoing investments in Newfoundland and Labrador. The outlined objectives showcased the airline’s long-term commitment to the region:

Transatlantic Flights Reconnect the Province

May 1, 2024, saw the highly anticipated restart of St. John’s to London Gatwick service. This offers non-stop access to a major European travel hub and fills a critical air access gap.

St. John’s Sees Significant Capacity Increase

Compared to 2023, WestJet Group’s investments deliver a 35% increase in seat capacity for St. John’s this summer.

Peak summer will see 36 weekly flights operated by WestJet Group out of St. John’s International Airport. This represents a 20% increase from 2023.

Returning Service and New Connections

Deer Lake will see the return of service this spring, with new non-stop seasonal flights to Calgary starting May 18, 2024, and Toronto service restarting May 16, 2024.

A WestJet Boeing 737 MAX 10 in flight.
Photo Credit: WestJet

Improved Network for Passengers

WestJet Group is further improving the province’s air connectivity by delivering the following network enhancements:

  • Convenient Leisure Destinations: Year-round access to Orlando, Florida, and extended seasonal service to Tampa, Florida, aligning with the airline’s leisure travel focus.
  • Strong Western Canada Links: Year-round service to Calgary, WestJet’s global hub, connects St. John’s passengers to a vast network of international destinations, including Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo, Japan.
  • Unmatched Destination Choice: This year, WestJet Group offers direct connectivity to 12 unique destinations from St. John’s. This includes four domestic destinations, two transborder destinations, five popular sun destinations, and a transatlantic connection to London.
  • Sunwing Expands Options: As part of the WestJet Group, Sunwing provides non-stop access to five key sun destinations in 2024: Montego Bay, Cancun, Cayo Coco, Matanzas, and Punta Cana. Flights depart from three Newfoundland and Labrador communities: St. John’s, Deer Lake, and Gander.
A WestJet Dash 8-400 passes overhead.
Liam Allport from Lake Country, Canada, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Government Officials Applaud Commitment

Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, praised WestJet’s role as an excellent partner.

He highlighted the re-established direct route to Europe (St. John’s-London Gatwick) and service expansion on both the east and west coasts.

Steve Crocker, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts, and Recreation, emphasized the critical role of air access in the province’s economy, particularly for tourism and hospitality.

He commended WestJet’s continued collaboration with the government and airport partners to expand service, ultimately boosting visitor numbers to Newfoundland and Labrador.

shankar s. from Dubai, united arab emirates, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

St. John’s Welcomes WestJet CEO

Dennis Hogan, Chief Executive Officer of the St. John’s International Airport Authority, welcomed CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech to the province.

He highlighted von Hoensbroech’s engagement with stakeholders and the overview of WestJet’s strategic vision as reaffirming their commitment to the St. John’s market. This coincides with the recent resumption of non-stop service to London-Gatwick.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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