I can see WS adding YYC-ICN as KE has a hub there and I'm sure many Calgarians and prairies pax want to avoid transiting at YVR or SEA.
WS also says its interested in a JV with KE, so that makes chances of this eventually happening even higher (as KE already serves its other 2 hubs YVR & YYZ).
But I don't see WS jumping into Asia for a few years, and will focus mostly on Europe. I've heard a few WS employees who insist Asia is happening next summer, but that's been filed under "believe it when I see it."
The next 3 frames coming next year will likely be YYZ based. I suspect we should find out within the next few weeks what WS plans are for S20.
Thanks Dominion301 and whywhyzee. I forgot the domestic runs. AMS/CDG make a lot of sense. Thanks again.
The only thing with AMS is good luck at getting slots. As for CDG, AF already serve YYZ, YUL and YVR, while WS serves YYC...and YHZ next summer assuming the MAX actually is cleared to fly by then. So in terms of adds, that leaves either duplicating AF stations or adding YEG or YOW, the latter on a MAX. In other words, not sure if YYZ-CDG makes sense at this point. YYZ-GLA and YYC-GLA make more sense to compliment YHZ-GLA.
I think HollywoodCory is onto something.
WS has 3 B787s arriving early in 2020.
Typically they preview the summer schedule in late October.
An Asian route, even done 3-4 x weekly, is going to eat up multiple airframes. Not only that, yields to the Pacific Rim have been decreasing steadily the last few years with increased competition. European flying however will allow 2 flights per day per aircraft, and keeps things simple from a flight planning point of view. No big sits or wasted ground time at either end. In a perfect world, with 6 B787s, WS could have 6 daily European flights. However airplanes break and need maintenance, so their schedule won't quite be so aggressive. I'd guess it'll be something like 5x European flights per day, with one aircraft an unofficial spare, that will have scheduled flight between YYZ and YYC that would allow it to cover for something that was broken. With brand new B787s that are proving quite reliable, they could even be more aggressive, perhaps scheduling 6 daily flights on busy days like Fridays, Sundays, or various known uptick-in-demand days.
Here's my math:
5x daily European flights * 7 days per week = 35 flights, which will break down as follows....
YYC - LGW 5x weekly
YVR - LGW 4x weekly
YYZ - LGW 7x weekly
YYC - CDG 4x weekly
YYC - DUB 3x weekly
YYZ - CDG 7x weekly
**YYZ - BCN 3x weekly
**YYZ - DUB 4x weekly
**YYC - BCN 2x weekly
**YEG - LGW 3x weekly
**YWG - LGW 1x weekly
Note everything preceeded by an an asterix is a WAG from my end, and my math ends up higher than the 35 projected TATL B787 flights.
A few comments:
YYZ - LGW - daily. This route has been a winner from inaugural B767 service. Time to grow the seating capacity and offer a better product.
YVR - LGW - ~4x weekly - grow the market and make LGW all B787, with the exception of YHZ.
YYZ BCN, 3x weekly? This will be the first indication of how YYZ BCN is doing for WS, whether they keep it a B767 or grow it to a 787 for next year. If they do bump it up to a 787, they could easily rotate it on a W pattern something like YYZ - BCN - YYC, to add service from Western Canada.
Is WS going to resume YEG LGW or YWG LGW, both of which they dropped due to B767 reliability issues? They have a reliable, top notch product now with the 787.
YYZ - CDG - daily. Guaranteed to be a winner. There is a massive amount of Canada - France traffic and WestJet needs to get their piece of the pie.
YYZ - DUB. Air Canada Rouge and Aer Lingus have really expanded this route, both in terms of frequency and aircraft size (the latter going from a B752 to an A330). The market is there, WestJet needs to have more of a presence than YHZ - DUB with onwards service to Central Canada. WestJet needs to be there. I question whether the 787 is the right aircraft due to its high # of premium seats, so this could be a 767 route. However as they see fit to fly YYC DUB in a 787, maybe they'll do the same from YYZ.
Really - WestJet needed extra B787s like yesterday. They have cost themselves significant opportunities in the last half decade with their slow moving strategy towards adding widebodies. With Air Transat being acquired by Air Canada, now is the time to insert themselves into the Canada - Europe equation. Additionally, when the Air Transat purchase takes place, YYZ's Terminal 3, a WestJet hub that has stagnated, will have 20-30 less departures / day at key times. They need to move quickly to fill that gap.
Finally, no discussion of WestJet B787 ops is complete without mention of WS B767 flying. The biggest takeaway I see from their winter 2019-2020 schedule is that the 767s are being taken off European flying and are migrating towards vacation destinations (CUN, PUJ, MBJ), and some YYC YYZ flying. Excellent decision. The 767 had its place and was WestJet's first widebody, but for all the good it has done in showing the feasibility of a widebody operation, it gives them occasional PR nightmares with maintenance issues, aircraft getting stranded in Europe, and minimal recovery capability.
Thus I forsee a limited role on TATL flying for the 767 in S20. As mentioned earlier, my guess is that LGW will be all B787 (YHZ exception).. BCN may get the 767 from YYZ, if they don't upgauge it to a 787, and if the yields are there WS may rotate it through BCN to YYC perhaps once or twice a week.. They may opt to launch YUL CDG with it. But mostly I see it backfilling the 787's domestic flying, YYC YYZ, perhaps the odd YYZ YVR, to open up the 787s for only European flying. This would make sense, as from my experience as a WestJet passenger, the 767 service feels a lot like the 737 service, whereas the 787 on board product is completely different.