AC183
Topic Author
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WestJet More Routes...

Thu Jan 18, 2001 2:44 am

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.

http://biz.yahoo.com/ccn/010117/n.html
 
Lubicon
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RE: WestJet More Routes...

Thu Jan 18, 2001 3:22 am

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
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RE: WestJet More Routes...

Thu Jan 18, 2001 3:29 am

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
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RE: WestJet More Routes...

Thu Jan 18, 2001 3:37 am

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
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RE: WestJet More Routes...

Thu Jan 18, 2001 3:44 am

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
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RE: WestJet More Routes...

Thu Jan 18, 2001 3:50 am

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?
 
fly_yhm
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RE: WestJet More Routes...

Thu Jan 18, 2001 6:12 am

I didnt see this already up so i posted something about it also so to read what i have to say go check it out If i see nobody has read it I will repost it on here.
Where will you spend eternity? He,s more real then you think!!!!!
 
YXDFan
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RE: Lubicon

Thu Jan 18, 2001 6:44 am

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.
 
Noise
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WestJet And Montreal

Thu Jan 18, 2001 7:19 am

I hope they start service to Montreal soon!
 
fly_yhm
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RE: WestJet And Montreal

Thu Jan 18, 2001 7:51 am

I also hope they start flying into Montreal from Hamilton Just because its more traffic for YHM.
Where will you spend eternity? He,s more real then you think!!!!!
 
AC183
Topic Author
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RE: WestJet And Montreal

Thu Jan 18, 2001 7:54 am

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.

On the topic of Montreal, I think they're probably waiting for some of the dust to settle in CanJet/Royal's battle. Also, I have to wonder whether they're either leveraging themselves in airport negotiations, or perhaps stalling for time in order to set up St. Hubert (YHU). http://tse.globeinvestor.com/servlet/WireFeedRedirect?slug=RAIRL&date=20010112&archive=gam&cf=GlobeInvestor/tse/config

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
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RE: WestJet And Montreal

Thu Jan 18, 2001 8:42 am

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
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RE: WestJet More Routes...

Thu Jan 18, 2001 10:17 am

Why Comox and not Prince Rupert or Kamloops or whatever place in BC or the Prairies?
 
a380
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Las Vegas?

Thu Jan 18, 2001 11:15 am

Often on the FIDS of the yvr.ca site I saw a WJ flight going to Las Vegas. (WJ 576 or something) Is it a charter flight or regular??
 
Samurai 777
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 2:56 pm

A380

Thu Jan 18, 2001 11:25 am

WJ operates charters to LAS from time to time. I think WJ operates charters to other places in the US, but I can't remember exactly where.
 
a380
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Samurai 777

Thu Jan 18, 2001 11:31 am

If WJ ever wants to start regular service to the US what are the main obstacles?
 
Samurai 777
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 2:56 pm

RE: WestJet More Routes...

Thu Jan 18, 2001 11:42 am

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.
 
Guest

RE: WestJet More Routes...

Thu Jan 18, 2001 3:24 pm

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.
 
superdawg
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RE: WestJet More Routes...

Fri Jan 19, 2001 1:59 am

Westjet has also done charters to Palm Springs from YYC.
 
AC183
Topic Author
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RE: WestJet And Montreal

Fri Jan 19, 2001 5:45 am

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
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RE: WestJet More Routes...

Fri Jan 19, 2001 5:48 am

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.
Any thoughts
Keep up the good work Westjet!!
YWG777 
 
fly_yhm
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RE: WestJet More Routes...

Fri Jan 19, 2001 6:20 am

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!!!!!
 
aad665
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RE: WestJet More Routes...

Fri Jan 19, 2001 9:26 am

Hi everybody,

I short question for you:

why nobody is interested to flight to Quebec city YQB?

Luc
 
fly_yhm
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RE: WestJet More Routes...

Fri Jan 19, 2001 9:28 am

I mentioed something about that possibly Westjet might look to that for a possible destination.
Where will you spend eternity? He,s more real then you think!!!!!
 
watewate
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RE: WestJet More Routes...

Fri Jan 19, 2001 9:49 am

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.
 
AC183
Topic Author
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RE: WestJet More Routes...

Fri Jan 19, 2001 9:51 am

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, and although YQB may eventually occur, at the current time I don't think they are fully prepared to offer service in French, and probably won't be really ready to do so for a while. I also wonder how YQB would react to WJ?

YQB, it would seem to me, would be more logically served by Royal, or possibly CanJet. CanJet seems to have been set up from day 1 for most employees to speak French, and Royal obviously has that factor as well as some charter and maintenance operations at YQB.
 
fly_yhm
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RE: WestJet More Routes...

Fri Jan 19, 2001 11:17 am

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 there are probably more french speaking people that english. Also im sure they could easily hire some Biligual people. But who knw we just have to wait and see. about flights to the US I would love to see that and i have been talking to people from New Yrok and Pittsburg that said they would probably use it so Im sure there are more out there I guess it just becomes a waiting game unless some secret leaks out.
Where will you spend eternity? He,s more real then you think!!!!!
 
AC183
Topic Author
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RE: WestJet More Routes...

Fri Jan 19, 2001 11:31 am

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-term they don't have francophone reservations set up, and their crews and agents aren't prepared to take on much francophone traffic yet. Montreal I don't think would be a problem because I believe they would likely carry mostly anglophone traffic, but Quebec City is a little different scenario, it's not the same English/French split that Montreal has, so my gut feeling is that YQB isn't something WJ should look at YET (although I hope to see them there eventually).
 
aad665
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Joined: Tue Dec 21, 1999 11:03 am

RE: WestJet More Routes...

Fri Jan 19, 2001 11:41 am

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 if they (Canjet and WestJet) begin to serve YQB, they may should wire french speaking poeple for the flight but also for ALL the network as AC does.

What do you think? Is all airline should have billigual people or only "National airline" = AC? all opinions is welcome.

i don't think quebecer will be upset to see new color at the airport....or maybe I'm too federalist! anyway, At the moment, only AC serves YQB. They should make a bunch of moner...because it's a real monopoly.

For your information, I try to reach Aeroplan call center since last thursday. I tried more 40 times and the line is everytime busy!!!!!!!!!!! I'm still trying tonight and it was busy. I'm using Aeroplan Domestic reservation and I'm waiting for more than 4 hours!!!!!!! It's not a great service.

Luc
 
Samurai 777
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 2:56 pm

RE: WestJet More Routes...

Fri Jan 19, 2001 11:52 am

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 Calgary (I'm not sure if military personnel do travel a lot as a part of their jobs), and many Albertans have vacation property or like to go to the Island on vacation. Well, guess I answered my own question! Big grin *sheepish grin*
 
a380
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RE: WestJet More Routes...

Fri Jan 19, 2001 11:59 am

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 vacation in a C3 jet!
 
superdawg
Posts: 335
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2000 1:45 am

RE: WestJet More Routes...

Fri Jan 19, 2001 1:19 pm

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, Westjet may not have a lot but that is probably increasing as their ads for hiring customer service reps state that bilingualism is preferred and those people will be given frist priority
 
Lubicon
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2000 5:13 am

RE: WestJet More Routes...

Sat Jan 20, 2001 12:58 am

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 ( I hope), it would cost at least some money so set up service in French and frankly I think they are unsure how a company with the name 'West' would do in Quebec. Business wise there is no reason for them not to move into Quebec, but in Canada, politics always enters the equation.

Comox has a population of around 20 000 I think and Campbell River is not too far away and has another 20 000. That's not a bad base to draw from. You might even get some Nanaimo passengers (60 000 or so) although I think that city will appear on Westjets schedule eventually.

How about AC Lite announcing they will HQ the company in Western Canada (Calgary I'll bet) and AC mainline starting service to London (Ont)? Looks like AC is setting their sights on Westjet now.

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