AC183 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 1532 posts, RR: 2 Posted (12 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 875 times:
WestJet is growing again... with a lot more flights... and again it has picked some rather interesting new destinations - Brandon, and Comox. Starting March 3 Comox will be permanent service to Calgary, and from Brandon it appears they're going to do another trial-type 3/week service to Calgary (as they have done in the past to test out destinations before adding them permanently).
Also starting in March, they will add quite a number of other flights: another YMM (Fort McMurray) departure, another YEG-YVR flight, another YYC-YXX (Abbotsford) flight, another YYC-YWG flight, an overnight YYC-YHM nonstop (5/week), another YEG-YYC flight, another YEG-YLW (Kelowna) flight, additional YLW-YYC and YLW-YVR flights, another YEG-YQU(Grande Prairie) flight (4/week). There will also be weekly YWG-YEG, YYC-YYJ, and YHM-YQR (Regina) nonstop flights.
This is their first phase expansion- there's more to come when their second phase expansion for this year comes in the 2nd/3rd quarters with the addition of 737-700 aircraft. Looks like a busy year for them.
Lubicon From Canada, joined Oct 2000, 197 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (12 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 759 times:
Surprised to see Comox pop up, that is most unexpected to see. Most of what I see is bulking up service on established routes. I'm a little surprised to see YRQ-YHM even if it Saturday only. I'm also surprised there isn't daily YEG-YWG service yet they are increasing YYC-YWG to 5X daily. I guess they are feeding YEG-YWG through YYC. Looks to me like a premptive strike at AC, especially in the West while AC struggles through the merger mess. They now have the frequency on YEG-YVR to kick some serious AC ass as AC mainly offers F28 and BaE 146 aircraft on that route. Also seems like they haven't got their Montreal strategy figured out yet. If YYC-YHM pans out, watch for YEG-YHM to follow.
Superdawg From Canada, joined Jan 2000, 347 posts, RR: 1 Reply 2, posted (12 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 752 times:
Comox? Bet lot's of us didn't see that one coming. My thoughts were more on Kamloops or Ft St John or Prince Rupert. Brandon was seen as a possibility on previous threads. The YQR-YHM route if it works out could be good as people in Sask. have no real choices to fly to the east other then Air Canada, as even charters seem to stay away from our lonely flatland province.
Good on them. May they continue to prosper as they ahve the last 5 years (well almost 5)
Samurai 777 From Canada, joined Jan 2000, 2451 posts, RR: 5 Reply 3, posted (12 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 748 times:
AC183, long time no see! Looks like WJ's route structure really is beginning to resemble PWA's in the 1970s and early 1980s more now than ever.
Comox!? I never expected this! For a small place of about 20,000 on Vancouver Island, this has got to be a real boon for residents and travellers alike. Flights out of the Island are known to be ridiculously expensive. So maybe that's the main reason for this. Down the road, how about Campbell River? Or Nanaimo?
The people at WestJet seem to be still unsure about Brandon, but at least they're having a second try at a Limited Edition trial period.
Looks like the people at Edmonton Airports are smiling right now!
Lubicon From Canada, joined Oct 2000, 197 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (12 years 4 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 743 times:
Thinking a little more, Vancouver Island to anywhere is not a bad bet when you consider AC is the only competition (unless you count a 2 hour and fairly expensive ferry ride). My money would have been on Nanaimo though. If Comox makes it, I can't see Kamloops far behind. Prince Rupert and FSJ? maybe, and we may as well add Cranbrook-YVR. This opens up a whole new world of speculation. How about Yellowknife? A friend just booked YEG-Yellowknife on you know who and best fare was about $750 return - ouch.
Lubicon From Canada, joined Oct 2000, 197 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (12 years 4 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 740 times:
Looking at Westjet's schedule on their website (flights after Mar 25), it now appears as though Ft. McMurray has 3x daily nonstop to YEG and no nonstop to YYC. Have they changed things already, I thought one of the Ft. Mac flights was YYC nonstop?
YXDfan From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 193 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (12 years 4 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 719 times:
As of January 8th, Fort McMurray was has 2 WJ flights a day. The morning run goes YYC-YEG-YMM-YYC. The evening run goes YYC-YMM-YEG-YYC. It makes more sense for them to start stopping in Edmonton so they can pick up more of the lucrative YEG-YYC market. McMurrayites travelling to Calgary are used to stopping in Edmonton and don't really mind it much. CP tried a nonstop to YYC a few years ago, but it only lasted for a few months. The only airline going nonstop to Calgary from McMurray is a twice-daily Saab 340 service from Corporate Express Airlines.
AC183 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 1532 posts, RR: 2 Reply 10, posted (12 years 4 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 708 times:
Comox is definitely a surprise. I would have thought Prince Rupert would come first.
WestJet is, in my view, hedging on the Brandon route. They may be considering demand at YBR, or perhaps they're considering where to use the aircraft (ie- other possibilities for using it, so they're waiting before giving YBR permanent service) or maybe they could possibly be waiting to see how YYC-YHM goes, as they could increase capacity by extending YYC-YBR on towards YHM (note- PWA used to fly YYC-YBR-YYZ with 737's quite successfully). Any way around it, I think Brandon will get permanent WJ service sometime, but maybe not for a while.
It is very interesting to see that they're adding YYC-YHM already. We were all waiting for it, but because WJ doesn't like payload restrictions and it's 732's are largely older (non -adv) 737 versions I was kind of surprised to see YYC-YHM nonstops before the 737-700's arrive. The redeye flight is certainly no surprise, and I would echo the comment on not being particularly surprised if they were to start a similar YEG flight.
YWG-YYC is certainly a strong route for them, although I have to say that I think and hope that in all probability that next time around it will more likely be YWG-YEG. Or perhaps in the future YEG-YWG-east(YHM/YOW/Montreal). I also think YEG-YXX (Abbotsford) might have a chance (or perhaps with a stop in YLW?). Whatever way you look at it, YEG seems to be having a pretty strong WestJet presence, and I'm sure they're happy to have the additional space there with AC having gone over to the new south terminal at YEG.
YQR-YHM isn't terribly surprising, because although I'm a little disappointed they didn't set up their YQR-YWG route for better connections, reality is that YWG is rather short of gate space at most times (and WJ doesn't have the fleet size to work around this). Also on the topic of Saskatchewan, Royal is going to add some more scheduled service in there this summer, but I don't know what routings will be yet, so it'll be interesting to see how that pans out with WJ's expansions.
A lot these new flights seem to be weekly, filling up fleet utilizations with some pretty nice routings.
Also, it's interesting to see that all of these flights are out of YYC. That's probably a good thing, as YYC has been somewhat overshadowed in WJ's eastern expansion, but this round of new routes seems to be set on fortifying YYC for WJ. Interesting. I wonder what's going to happen next in the east? Montreal is obviously on deck, but what about maybe Sault Ste. Marie, or Windsor?
Also, as for the west, I think Prince Rupert is probably up there, Kamloops maybe, and Lethbridge has to be up there. Funny isn't it that, that WJ has so many good expansion options, even though we had all started to think their western network was becoming mature?
Fly_yhm From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 1661 posts, RR: 11 Reply 11, posted (12 years 4 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 707 times:
Wow what a message there AC183 I doubt they will try windsor for a while because we all saw what happened with canjet and windsor but then again Air Ontario already flies Windsor to Toronto so maybe windsor YHM would work I wouldnt be suprised to see them add yhm- Qubec City or Sault Ste Marie.
Where will you spend eternity? He,s more real then you think!!!!!
Samurai 777 From Canada, joined Jan 2000, 2451 posts, RR: 5 Reply 16, posted (12 years 4 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 691 times:
I'm no expert on transborder flight requirements, nor do I claim to be one. A discount carrier may face bigger bureaucratic hurdles than full service carriers in getting licences from Transport Canada to fly transborder flights. Also, government approval is needed from the US to fly into US destinations. However, transborder flights may not be impossible. Correct me if I'm wrong, but European discount carriers like Ryanair routinely fly into other EU countries from their own on scheduled flights.
Future_Pilot From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 17, posted (12 years 4 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 681 times:
According to the local news here in Kamloops westjet will begin service here as soon as the ILS is instaled. I emailed the dudes at nav canada, but got the usuall "it's difficult to say when", "there are many geographical studies that need to be done", this kind of talk pisses me off.
AC183 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 1532 posts, RR: 2 Reply 19, posted (12 years 4 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 650 times:
There's no reason why WJ can't fly to the US, it's a matter of it not making business sense to do it right now. Basically flying to the US adds a lot of expenses, I'm no expert on the exact sorts of things that cost more, but it would include everything from customs clearance fees, increased navigation fees, more regulatory framework to overcome (ie- working with FAA as well as TC, which adds to cost structure of the airline), possibly there may be complications in things like crewing, fuel tax, etc. All this adds to the costs associated with flying a route, approximately $60/pax is the number I've heard. For a short haul, low-fare airline this is especially important, because it adds the greatest % to the cost of their tickets for similar routes. So in the time until they've fully expanded domestically, WJ is better off sticking with their domestic flights, and once expansion opportunities are used up domestically they can fly to the US. That said, I wouldn't be surprised to see WJ add some US flights in the near future, but that event would probably be as much for competitive reasons as anything.
Fly_yhm, further to Windsor; it didn't work out for CanJet, but I still believe there's room for more service at Windsor. While I appreciate that Windsor residents have easy access to just crossing the border to Detroit, nonetheless the reverse is true, and there is a huge market potential to tap out of Detroit, as well as a pretty decent sized Windsor population. So whether it was marketing, or timing, or lack of a larger route network, or whatever reason that Windsor didn't work out of CanJet, I still would like to think Windsor would be a potential WestJet city. I do agree, however, that it may not be likely for a little while. Sault Ste. Marie seems reasonable, or any other number of potential destinations, although I doubt Quebec City will get WJ anytime in the near future.
YWG777 From Canada, joined Oct 1999, 1264 posts, RR: 1 Reply 20, posted (12 years 4 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 649 times:
YWG has more gate space. They will be adding another jetway this summer to position 34. WJ has more then 70 weekly flights out of YWG. I hope YBR does well. Maybe WJ could do YTH. Soon I could see YWG becoming a hub for them. There is alot of connections being made here now.
Keep up the good work Westjet!!
Fly_yhm From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 1661 posts, RR: 11 Reply 21, posted (12 years 4 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 646 times:
AC183: You made some great points about Windsor Well now that westjet has decided to go a head and start yhm-yyc before they got there first -700 what route could they put ther first -700 on or will they just add another flight yyc-yhm or put the -700 on that route and use the -200 for another route?
Where will you spend eternity? He,s more real then you think!!!!!
Watewate From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 2283 posts, RR: 2 Reply 24, posted (12 years 4 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 631 times:
As for WestJet flying to US, just keep in mind that JetBlue's Neeleman was a consultant helping WestJet take off. Neeleman moved onto JetBlue after seeing Westjet get off the ground. And JetBlue and WestJet are on same reservation system. It'd be nice to see those two airlines team up some time down the road.
25 AC183: I'm interested in a flight to Quebec City, but I don't think WestJet would be the airline to do it. WJ is a western regional carrier going national, a
26 Fly_yhm: THey might not be to worried about the french past considering that they want to do Montreal I know Montreal does have english speaking People but the
27 AC183: The trouble isn't in hiring new bilingual people, it's that the airline is mostly set up in predominantly anglophone areas right now, so in the short-
28 Aad665: Hi everybody and AC183 and Fly_yhm, I think people from quebec city a more ( a lot!!!) sensitive than people from montreal. they maybe afraid because
29 Samurai 777: OK, now I know why Comox is getting permanent service by WJ - according to an article in today's Edmonton Journal, Comox has a military base like Calg
30 A380: Recently, I was travelling with a few military men on a C3 plane. Guess the Canadian military is quite cash strapped so it needs to put soldiers on va
31 Superdawg: Calgary's military base is no more, they have all moved to Edmonton, the land is giving way to houses and condos. As for French Speaking personel, Wes
32 Lubicon: Personally I think Westjet's lack of presence (so far) in Quebec City and Montreal is due in large part to the French issue. Without offending anybody