Canada’s WestJet has revealed the design of its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with a new livery, logo and cabin interior, which reposition the brand to compete with North America’s flagship carriers, and directly targeting Air Canada.
A version of this story appeared first on Forbes.com.
From the company’s newly stylized logo and livery to the cabin interior featuring a new business class, everything about the new Dreamliner declares that WestJet is ready to take on the full-service competition at home and abroad. But pilots picketing the company on Tuesday called attention to a different battle that the airline must win if its plans to continue growing the brand will succeed.
Inside the WestJet Dreamliner
With its Dreamliner, WestJet has broken out of the low-cost long-haul model and planted itself squarely in competition with the likes of Air Canada and American Airlines.
The design of the updated logo and livery was overseen by Ove Brand Design and implemented by Boeing and Seattle-based design firm, Teague. The wordmark has an updated font, Bliss, and the Maple Leaf symbol on the aircraft tail were redesigned for a “more contemporary and bold look,” the airline said. The logo was also updated to a single color, which removes the regional emphasis on “west.”
The new livery also emblazons a new tag-line, “The Spirit of Canada” appearing on one side of the fuselage with the French translation, “L’esprit du Canada” on the other. This new livery will be painted on other aircraft across WestJet’s fleet, appearing first on the new Boeing 737 MAX-8 the airline will take delivery of this June.
The new Dreamliner business class cabin features Rockwell Collins Super Diamond seats, customized by PriestmanGoode, London, who are responsible for the design of the new aircraft’s interiors. Business class flyers will be able to order their meals on-demand from the in-flight entertainment touch-screens and will get turn down service to convert the seat into a lay-flat bed, covered with luxury bedding. Though low-cost hybrid JetBlue offers lie-flat sleep in its Mint cabins, WestJet’s new business class is designed to put the airline in a different league.
The business class cabin on WestJet’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft is designed to compete with global competitors in the long-haul market.
WestJet also introduced a premium economy cabin designed to match the best standards of international carriers. It features Rockwell Collins MiQ seats, the same seat model American Airlines picked for its premium economy cabin, and the seats Air Canada chose for the premium cabin on its new 737 MAX fleet. Beyond the basics expected in premium economy cabins today — legroom, storage, power outlets and next-generation in-flight entertainment — WestJet also added a self-service bar that offers refreshments and somewhere for passengers to socialize.
The economy cabin also got an upgrade on the Dreamliner. Passengers will sit in Recaro CL3710 seats designed for comfort on long-haul flights, including adjustable headrests. They will also have next-generation in-flight entertainment and tray-top access to power outlets.
All of these design choices fit the competitive model of a full-service long-haul carrier and will suit the airline’s intended route expansion into Asia Pacific markets as well as further into Europe. WestJet President and CEO, Ed Sims, described this as “the dawn of a new era for WestJet and the next step in our transformation to a global network airline.”