Another Low-Cost transatlantic option is coming to the skies, ready to fly passengers between Europe and the Americas.
WestJet has taken receipt of the first of four Boeing 767-300 aircraft which the Canadian low-cost carrier will use for non-stop service to European destinations, starting with London Gatwick.
“The arrival of our first wide-body aircraft opens the next chapter in the evolution and growth of Canada’s low-fare leader,” said Bob Cummings, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Commercial.
“WestJet has been liberating Canadians from the high cost of air travel since 1996, bringing low fares and friendly, caring, people-driven service to communities from coast to coast. The launch of WestJet Encore in 2013 gave Canadians in smaller centres much-needed relief from high fares and the opportunity to connect to WestJet’s ever-expanding domestic, trans-border and international networks.
“Shortly, with the arrival of our first wide-body aircraft as an important milestone, we will offer Canadians from cities across our network the chance to fly non-stop to Europe and other regions at prices not seen in recent memory. As we have throughout our history, we will continue to lower airfares and make travel more affordable.”
The new 767-300 aircraft will be the first to fly the airline’s new maple-leaf inspired logo on a fresh livery, which WestJet says it will slowly incorporate into the rest of its fleet.
Inside, 262 passengers will find a two-class cabin configuration.
24 classic forward-facing business class leather seats, in a two-by-two configuration, are located in the Premium cabin, offering hot meals and “all of the other amenities associated with Plus,” which includes extra legroom.
There are 238 leather covered seats, in a 2-3-2 configuration, with full recline, in the economy cabin.
Keeping with its Low-Cost business model, while delivering something extra, WestJet has also chosen to offer BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) wireless entertainment and Wi-Fi connectivity onboard this aircraft.
The new WestJet Connect service on the 767 will give passengers options to help pass the time on longer flights, without over-burdening the new aircraft with weight or equipment and maintenance burdens. WestJet Connect will be available on all four of its 767 starting in the spring of 2016, the airline states.
While WestJet says it will announce the full range of destinations from Canada in September, “following discussions over the summer with airports across the country,” it has already said that London Gatwick is first on the itinerary. With an extended range up to 11 hour flights, the destination choices now available to WestJet are broad.
We started with 737s, expanded into regional markets with WestJet Encore, and will now expand around the world with #WestJet767 service.— WestJet (@WestJet) August 27, 2015
The airline will take delivery of its four 767 aircraft over the next eight months.
The first aircraft, now delivered, will begin serving flights between Toronto and Calgary “for the next several months.” Two more 767 wide bodies due to be delivered in the fall will serve flights from Alberta to Hawaii and between Toronto and Montego Bay, Jamaica, starting in December of this year. WestJet has said its new service to Gatwick will commence in May 2016.