Virgin Atlantic and WestJet announce codeshare expansion enhancing global connectivity

Virgin Atlantic and WestJet have announced a significant expansion of their codeshare agreement.

This winter, WestJet guests will have access to numerous global destinations through Virgin Atlantic’s network from London Heathrow (LHR). Starting in Summer 2025, WestJet will also offer domestic connectivity to Virgin Atlantic’s new route between Toronto-Pearson and London Heathrow.

Key Highlights:

* Expanded access: Beginning this winter, WestJet guests can book itineraries that include Virgin Atlantic-operated flights from LHR to a range of international destinations.

* New Route: By summer 2025, WestJet will connect domestic flights to Virgin Atlantic’s newly announced route between Toronto-Pearson and London Heathrow.

* Enhanced partnership: This marks the first time WestJet’s network will extend beyond Europe via a codeshare through London Heathrow, offering unprecedented access to India, Africa, and the Middle East.

‘Through the expansion of our existing partnership with Virgin Atlantic, we are unlocking amazing opportunities for our guests to access an extensive list of new destinations and to experience Virgin Atlantic’s innovative products and services beyond London,’ said John Weatherill, Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer of WestJet. ‘With daily flights from our global hub in Calgary to London, Canadians have never had better international access from across Western Canada to the United Kingdom and beyond.’

In 2025, WestJet Rewards and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club will establish a reciprocal frequent flyer partnership, allowing customers to earn and redeem points across both networks.

The agreement was officially signed last week at the IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Dubai by WestJet’s John Weatherill and Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Commercial Officer, Juha Jarvinen. The partnership between WestJet and Virgin Atlantic has been in place since 2019.

WestJet launches two new Canadian routes from Edinburgh Airport

WestJet has announced the launch of two additional routes from Edinburgh.

The Canadian airline will now connect the Scottish capital with Toronto and Halifax, alongside its existing Calgary route, opening up convenient access to various Canadian destinations through convenients connections. This marks the first direct flight from Edinburgh to Halifax. With these additional Canadian flights, Edinburgh Airport is set to host more North American flights than ever before.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: ‘WestJet’s decision to make Edinburgh Airport its home in Scotland is incredibly exciting, especially as they grow their presence in Scotland’s capital, and we look forward to working with them to make these routes a success.

‘The three cities offer vastly different things and it’s that rich history, the mix of cultures and stunning scenery that makes Canada one of the most exciting destinations anywhere in the world.’

WestJet’s new Calgary to Edinburgh (YYC-EDI) route will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, with flight times from 1815 to 0910, spanning from May 12 to October 25. The return leg, EDI to YYC (Calgary), is scheduled for Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, departing from 1110 to 1229, and running from May 13 to October 26.

For the Halifax to Edinburgh (YHZ-EDI) route, flights run on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, departing from 2240 to 0804, covering the period from June 20 to September 3. The return, EDI to YHZ (Halifax), is available on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, with flight times from 0930 to 1138, operating between June 21 and September 4.

The Toronto to Edinburgh (YYZ-EDI) route runs daily, with flights departing from 2215 to 1005, operating from May 14 to October 12. The reverse route, EDI to YYZ (Toronto), also operates daily, with flight times from 1125 to 1359, spanning from May 15 to October 13.

Daniel Fajardo, Vice-President, Network and Schedule Planning, WestJet said: ‘WestJet is proud to grow upon our valued partnership with Edinburgh International Airport. This summer, WestJet will offer non-stop service to Edinburgh from Calgary, Toronto and Halifax and we are confident this enhanced connectivity between Edinburgh and three major Canadian hubs will further strengthen the two-way business and tourism pipeline between Canada and Scotland.’

Gatwick announces summer schedule with 50 flights a week to six destinations across Canada

Gatwick Airport has announced its summer schedule with 50 flights per week to six destinations across Canada this summer, as new and returning routes to Montreal, Quebec City, Vancouver and Halifax join existing services to Toronto and Calgary.

According to the release, Air Transat will operate three weekly flights to Montreal (increasing to daily flights from June), alongside a once-a-week service to Quebec City – the first time the UK has benefitted from a direct scheduled service to the city. The airline has also increased its flights to Toronto to a daily service (two flights a day from late June), complementing the daily WestJet operation, itself increasing to nine flights per week from mid-June between Gatwick and Canada’s most populous city.

WestJet will also be operating six flights a week weekly to west-coast Vancouver (one flight a day from mid-June), and four flights a week to Halifax (increasing to daily flights from mid-July), the provincial capital of Nova Scotia. This is in addition to the three times weekly service that it offers to Calgary (increasing to five per week from mid-June), known as a gateway to the Canadian Rockies.

Stephanie Wear, VP of Aviation Development, Gatwick Airport said: ‘With so many people in the UK having close connections with Canada, we are delighted to be able to offer Gatwick passengers such easy and widespread access to fantastic destinations across the country.

‘From the spectacular landscapes of the Rockies and Nova Scotia, to vibrant cities with an array of wonderful sights, it’s really exciting to have so many more opportunities to visit Canada from Gatwick. It’s also great news for those wishing to see family and friends, or conduct business across the Atlantic.’

Marsha Walden, President & CEO, Destination Canada, said: ‘Destination Canada is delighted to see the launch of so many routes to Canada from London Gatwick, including the first-ever direct connection to Quebec City with Air Transat.

‘Re-establishing air routes into Canada is critical to rebuilding our industry and driving revenue back into tourism businesses across our vast country. These flights mean Canada’s iconic experiences are even more accessible to British holidaymakers looking to take in our wide open spaces, nature, wildlife, adventure and return feeling fully rejuvenated. What is particularly encouraging is that demand for the summer months is looking strong and our industry is ready to welcome guests back with open hearts.’

WestJet announces new direct flights from London Heathrow to Calgary

WestJet has said that it will add a non-stop service to Calgary from London’s Heathrow Airport beginning early Spring 2022.

The addition of the new non-stop service between Calgary and London-Heathrow is expected to facilitate recovery of business and leisure travel between the two destinations. The new route will operate this spring on the airline’s 787 Dreamliner. WestJet’s 787 service features the airline’s Business Cabin including lie-flat pods, dining on demand and elevated Premium and Economy Cabin options.

‘As the airline with the most flights from Alberta, this is an important recovery milestone as we forge new connections between Canada and one of the world’s most sought after global hubs,’ said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. ‘We continue to strengthen our network, offering more options for business and leisure travellers and these investments will expedite our industry’s recovery while ensuring Western Canada builds back from the pandemic more connected than ever before.’

‘We are committed to the expansion of our global hub in Calgary and supporting the recovery of many sectors who rely on travel and tourism,’ said Weatherill. ‘As the airline with the most non-stop European destinations from YYC, we are looking forward to guests benefitting from more options and increased connectivity for travel between Canada and the UK.’

‘WestJet is a fantastic airline with a strong history of providing top-notch service and excellent value for money, making it a great fit for Heathrow. As travel begins to reopen, we look forward to working with WestJet to improve the UK’s connectivity with Canada and give passengers even more choice when flying across the Atlantic,’ added John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow CEO.

With the addition of Heathrow to WestJet’s network this spring, WestJet will connect Calgary to 77 non-stop destinations throughout the year. WestJet will also continue to offer non-stop flights between Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax, and London, Gatwick.

Details for travel between Calgary and London-Heathrow including frequency, timing and introductory pricing will be available and for sale in the coming weeks, WestJet said.

WestJet to start operating from Edinburgh Airport next year

Canadian airline WestJet is planning to start operations from Edinburgh Airport next year, offering a three times weekly service to Toronto.

The new service is set to begin on June 2, 2022 and will depart Edinburgh for Toronto on Wednesday, Fridays and Sundays on a Boeing 737 Max.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport said: ‘We know there is huge interest in North America and Canada in particular, so welcoming a fantastic airline like WestJet to Edinburgh Airport is hugely exciting and we are glad to welcome them to Scotland’s capital.

‘People are beginning to plan those family reunions and longed for holidays so we hope new additions where possible will held to satisfy that demand, and the route will also present a great opportunity to strengthen business links.

‘We look forward to welcoming WestJet to Edinburgh and showing off our fantastic capital city and everything else that Scotland has to offer.’

John Weatherill, WestJet’s Chief Commercial Officer said: ‘We’re looking forward to welcoming Edinburgh to our international network and strengthening travel and tourism ties between our two countries.

‘Whether travellers are looking to discover Edinburgh’s enchanting castles and cobbled streets or exploring the vibrance of Toronto and beyond, we’re committed to continuing to introduce new destinations and routes to our network.’

WestJet’s plan to establish a base in Edinburgh will expand the connections that the Scottish capital city has with North America, with more transatlantic carriers expected to resume services next year.

WestJet introduces new Calgary service from Dublin

Dublin Airport has said that Canadian airline WestJet has introduced a new three-times weekly direct service to Calgary in Alberta, Canada.

The new Dublin-Calgary route will operate from Dublin three times per week on Sunday, Monday and Thursday. Flights will depart at 13.45 and arrive in Calgary at 15.05. The return flights will depart Calgary on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday at 20.45 and arrive in Dublin at 11.38 the following day. Operated using a Boeing Dreamliner aircraft, the new route is the only scheduled service between the two cities.

‘We have forged a strong bond and friendship with WestJet and we are delighted to welcome its new direct service between Calgary and Dublin Airport,’ said Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison.

‘Dublin Airport is now connected to six Canadian cities which means that this year is set to be our busiest year ever for travel between Dublin and Canada. I have no doubt this new service will be popular in both directions for business and leisure passengers. We wish WestJet every success with its new route and we will continue to work closely with them to promote the new service,’ he added.

WestJet’s Chief Commercial Officer Arved von zur Muehlen said ‘With the launch of our third transatlantic Dreamliner flight, WestJet adds to our exceptional growth into and out of Calgary, where we remain the airline with the most destinations and departures. With more than 4.5 million Canadians claiming Irish heritage, we are pleased to be providing our guests with easy access to all the cultural, economic and social ties between Western Canada and Ireland.’

WestJet’s new Calgary service will also offer onward connections to 24 destinations including Vancouver and Las Vegas. Dublin was WestJet’s first ever transatlantic destination, as the airline launched its Dublin-St. John’s Newfoundland service in the summer of 2014. The airline switched its services between Dublin and St. John’s to a six times weekly service to Halifax in April this year, Dublin Airport said in a release.

Norwegian commences new route from Dublin to Hamilton, Canada

Norwegian has recently announced the launch of a first-ever route between Dublin and Hamilton, Canada.

The new route is Norwegian’s first-ever transatlantic service to Canada and the only direct flight between Ireland and Hamilton in Ontario. This summer, Hamilton will join Norwegian’s existing services to New York and Providence.

On March 31, Norwegian commenced a new service from Dublin to Toronto’s Hamilton John C. Munro International Airport offering customers a new link to Canada. Norwegian will operate flights to Hamilton on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Tickets can be booked at www.norwegian.com/ie.

Matthew Wood, SVP Commercial at Norwegian said: ‘We’re delighted to build on our popular services to the USA and offer Irish consumers another destination with our first-ever route from Dublin to Canada.

‘Customers now have an affordable option to explore a brand-new destination this summer whether visiting Hamilton, Toronto or witnessing the beauty of nature at Niagara Falls with the flexibility of a daily schedule.’

Sharon Murphy, Acting Manager at Tourism Hamilton said: ‘We can’t wait to introduce new travellers to Hamilton’s many tourist attractions and events. While the city is an affordable and ideally located alternative entry and departure point for international travellers in the busy south western Ontario travel hub – our fascinating, comeback city is also well worth a few days of exploration. Genuine and always welcoming, we’ve got breathtaking natural beauty including endless trails and waterfalls as well as a bustling and historic downtown core.’

In addition to the new Canadian route, Norwegian operates several transatlantic flights from Dublin, Shannon and Cork to the USA. The flights connect travellers to popular destinations on the US east coast by serving New York’s Stewart International Airport and Providence, Rhode Island nearby Boston.

WestJet to expand services to Canada from Dublin

Canadian airline WestJet is planning to increase services between Atlantic Canada and Dublin Airport in summer 2019.

The airline will launch a new daily summer service from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Dublin from next April, but is discontinuing its existing summer service from St John’s, Newfoundland to Dublin.

The Halifax-Dublin service will operate from April 29, 2019 until October 25, 2019. Last month WestJet announced that it would operate a new three times weekly Calgary-Dublin service next summer.

Applauding the move, Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison, said ‘Canada has been a really strong market for Dublin Airport in recent years, with excellent business and leisure traffic, and this expansion will help it grow even further. Additional capacity will generate more tourism visitors for Ireland and further enhance the already strong business and trade links between Ireland and Canada.’

The expansion will increase WestJet’s capacity from Atlantic Canada to Ireland by 27 percent, as the new Halifax service will be operated by a new Boeing 737-MAX aircraft. The Halifax flights will be timed to optimise connections with WestJet’s services to central Canada and the Atlantic provinces.

Halifax will be one of six Canadian destinations served directly from Dublin Airport next summer; joining Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Hamilton, Ontario. Dublin Airport will also have direct services to 18 destinations in the United States next year as part of its largest ever transatlantic offering.

Dublin Airport has served nearly 27 million passengers in the first 10 months of the year, which is a 6% increase compared to the same period in 2017. More than 1.6 million additional passengers have travelled through the airport between January and October.

Primera Air to commence direct services to US, Canada, Spain from Birmingham Airport

Icelandic leisure airline Primera Air has announced plans to launch direct low-cost services from Birmingham Airport to New York, Toronto, Malaga, Barcelona, Palma and Crete, effective from May.

The airline will commence its services on May 14 to Malaga and Palma, with New York launching on the May 18 and Toronto on June 23. Crete will start on July 30 and Barcelona on October 1. Flights will operate to New York four times weekly and to Toronto three times per week. Malaga, Palma and Barcelona will operate daily and Crete each Monday. New York and Toronto fares start from £149.00 (one way, all taxes included). Malaga, Palma and Barcelona start from £35 and Crete from £54. Tickets are available on sale via www.primeraair.co.uk, the airport said in a release.

Anastasija Visnakova, Chief Commercial Officer, for Primera Air, said, ‘We are proud and excited to place Birmingham on our route map for 2018. With two transatlantic and four short-haul destinations we are opening our operations here and looking forward to further development of this Primera Air base.

‘This is an important first step for us and significant development for Birmingham Airport and region. With the technology that our brand new fleet offers expensive transatlantic travel becomes a thing of history’.

Chairman of Birmingham Airport, Tim Clarke, said, ‘Primera has seen the enormous opportunities available in the Midlands thanks to its strong trading and cultural links with the US and Canada, and the leisure travellers’ desire to escape to warmer Mediterranean climes.

‘Primera is able to offer low fares due to its brand new fuel efficient Airbus A321 Neos which means that these services are accessible to all pockets – whether travelling on holiday, visiting loved ones or flying for business.’

The airline, which launched its new base in Birmingham recently, will operate brand new Airbus A321 Neos, configured with 16 premium economy seats and 182 economy seats. The new-generation aircraft allows airlines like Primera to fly on routes usually served by wide-body jets. Passengers can also use Wi-Fi on board and the aircraft has full charging facilities for their devices.

WestJet announces new daily direct service to London from Halifax

Canadian airline WestJet has announced plans to launch a daily direct flight service between Halifax Stanfield International Airport and Gatwick Airport in London.

The new route is part of WestJet’s 2018 summer schedule, and also includes a new route from Halifax to Paris. Starting April 29, WestJet will begin daily service between Halifax and London (Gatwick), while the service to Paris will begin on May 31, 2018. One-way introductory fares from Halifax to London or Paris are available for 199 Canadian dollars all inclusive.

‘As the carrier with the most transatlantic flights from Halifax, we are thrilled to announce our first foray onto the European mainland,’ said Ed Sims, WestJet Executive Vice-President, and Commercial. ‘Venturing to London and now Paris is an indication of our ambitious growth plans as we move towards becoming a global network carrier.’

‘We look forward to working with WestJet to launch this exciting new long-haul route, which will further enhance Gatwick’s position as the world’s busiest departure airport for low-cost, long-haul services,’ said Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer, Gatwick Airport. ‘Halifax has lots to offer visitors from the U.K., with its rich maritime history, year-round festivals and buoyant nightlife making it a must-visit global city. With Halifax also being one of Canada’s main economic hubs, these new flights will provide an important link between the two countries’ business communities at a time when worldwide connections are vital for the U.K.’

‘We’re delighted with WestJet’s new routes to and from Halifax, as France and the U.K. are among the largest tourism markets and most important trading partners in Europe. Strengthening ties with strategic markets in Europe is good for inbound tourism, trade, investment and immigration,’ says Joyce Carter, President and CEO of Halifax International Airport Authority. ‘This announcement demonstrates confidence in our community, our region and our future as Halifax Stanfield connects travellers to and from Europe and beyond.’

The new flights will be operated on the airline’s new and guest-friendly aircraft, the Boeing 737-8 MAX, the airline said.