A WestJet Group Statement – Canadian international airports list expansion
The WestJet Group has been advocating for the expansion of Canada’s international airports list to include Victoria, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Hamilton, Waterloo and St. John’s. As the largest carrier in many of these communities, today’s announcement is welcome and overdue news for these regions
Our sector’s recovery depends on the inclusion of all Canadian airports to ensure our airline investments can be restored and communities from coast-to-coast benefit from international travel and tourism.
As of November 30, 2021, the WestJet Group will be operating limited international flights from these airports through to January, 2022, with the majority of international flights slated to begin as of January 7, 2022. Network planning commences months in advance to accommodate scheduling and staffing and we are disappointed that we were forced to delay previously planned international service from these regions due to limited notice. We appreciate the continued patience and understanding of our guests and airport partners as we work in real-time to adjust our network plans to meet demand.
As Canada transitions to a fully-vaccinated air sector, other travel-related restrictions require urgent attention. Similar to international airport designations, many policies were implemented prior to the widespread availability of vaccines and are costly and inconvenient for families and business travellers. We continue to advocate for changes to Canada’s advance PCR/molecular testing policies which are inconsistent with land border requirements, in addition to a new practical policy for travelling children under-12 returning to Canada. These changes will ensure Canadians can safely travel this winter with appropriate measures in place, while contributing to Canada’s economic recovery.
For more information on our network, our international schedules are available online here (WestJet) and here (Swoop).