Since our first flight in 1996, we've sought to enrich the lives of everyone in our world by providing safe, friendly and affordable air travel. Right from the start, we put our guests and our people first; in doing so, we've become one of Canada's most admired and respected corporate cultures. We’ve also had a lot of fun along the way. Today, flying to more than 100 destinations, we stay true to our principles and continue to strive for the highest standards of service and success.
We took flight on Feb 29, 1996.
A great leap forward for Canadian air travel – on leap year day, no less.
Why “WestJet”? Co-founder Mark Hill's Mom came up with the name. We're glad she did, as it sounds a lot better than “ABC Air”.
No frills. Fresh uniforms. Friendly, customer-first attitude. Our first impression with Canadians is a good one, making our second year in business a very good one.
What's better than flying our two millionth guest? Flying guest number three million. We passed both milestones as 1.6 million guests flew WestJet this year.
WestJet goes public. Our initial public offering was held July 13, 1999. Shares went on sale at $10, and by year end were valued at $18.
The new millennium, and the dawning of a new age, as the little airline that could – but wouldn't fly east of Winnipeg – adds Ottawa and Moncton as destinations, with Hamilton as our eastern hub.
More history: 2000 saw every full-time WestJetter take home record profit share.
The year that tested the entire industry. After September 11, it was critical that we got back to the business of looking after our guests as soon as possible. We were the first Canadian airline back in the sky, and we worked diligently to ensure the transition to a more secure airspace didn't hamper the comfort or safety of our guests.
WestJet moves into the business travel market, introducing service to Toronto and London, Ontario. Our shares split three for two for the second time, while revenues increase 42 percent.
You can't run an airline on peanuts. Spicy snack mix? You bet. WestJetters took to the streets, telling our story and handing out spicy snack mix. Just another fun example of doing things a bit differently, in our most profitable year to date.
Let's fly south. WestJet introduces service to several U.S. destinations: New York City, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, San Francisco, Phoenix, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa.
More ways to serve: WestJet adopts common-use check-in kiosks to further enhance our self-service options for our guests. Our buy-on-board program introduces inflight food purchase menus. And after lengthy testing, WestJet now offers live seatback TV on flights. (Lengthy testing = the first three seasons of The Sopranos).
We retired our 200-series 737s, with flights to our original five destinations, gifts for local children's hospitals, and a “fly bye” of the YYC hangar. No gold watches. The retirement left us with one of North America's most modern airline fleets.
Celebrating ten years in style. WestJet goes international. Choosing our first international destination was easy: Bahamas, here we come.
WestJet Vacations launches, offering affordable, reliable and easy booking of vacation packages. WestJet is soon Canada's carrier of choice to Hawaii.
11.2 million guests flew WestJet this year. That's like flying the entire population of Beijing. We don't fly to Beijing yet, but when we do, we'll be able to fly the entire city.
We continue breaking new ground, becoming the first North American airline to offer convenient paperless boarding passes. We also literally broke ground on our new headquarters at YYC airport. And for the third year in a row, WestJet is named in the top ten of Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures.
“Who is WestJet?” Our April Fool's Day story about sleeper cabins was quite a hit, even landing us on Jeopardy! This year’s winter weather was no joke, however: as storms stranded thousands of passengers, WestJetters worked around the clock to ensure all our guests were well looked after.
The $100 million building is LEED-certified, providing a healthy, friendly and dynamic workplace for WestJetters – and is also home to one of Calgary's busiest Starbucks locations. (We do like our coffee.)
Attitude is everything. WestJet flight attendants are named the industry's best, in a 2010 survey of air travelers. Friendly attitude and outstanding customer service were named as the top two factors.
Our reputation for excellence gains recognition with a nifty hat trick: WestJet is listed among Canada's Top 100 Employers, is named one of Aon Hewitt's Best Employers in Canada, and is named a JD Power Customer Service Champion.
Still young, but already we've hit a century: WestJet takes delivery of our 100th Boeing 737 Next Generation Aircraft.
A great idea not only has legs, it's got wings and props. WestJet Encore takes off, bringing affordable air travel to more people in more communities. Our aircraft of choice: the Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprop.
We might just need a bigger garage: WestJet signs a letter of intent to purchase 65 new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, with deliveries commencing in 2017.
In December we unveiled the Magic Plane, custom painted with a Walt Disney World Resort theme. Featuring Mickey Mouse in his role as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the Magic Plane may well be the happiest aircraft in the sky.
WestJet crosses the pond. We celebrate our first transatlantic flight and love of all things Irish by introducing seasonal non-stop service to Dublin, Ireland.
Another great year and boy, were we busy. There was definitely a buzz in the air when the first of four wide-body Boeing 767 aircraft joined our fleet. Also, our Disney Frozen-themed plane arrived and we couldn’t wait to let it go.
As the year came to a close, WestJetters across our network performed almost 32,000 mini miracles for WestJet Christmas. And we welcomed 20 million guests. Like we said: busy.
WestJet turns 20. That’s something to celebrate. 20 years of re-defining Canada’s airline industry through low fares, great customer service, and of course, classic WestJet jokes.
Hello, London. Our first wide-body transatlantic flight to London (Gatwick) is a remarkable milestone in our history. Our low-fare, high-care service jumped across the pond, and in doing so, made London a little bit more Canadian.
MAX arrived, making us the first Canadian airline to receive the new, fuel-efficient Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. This state-of-the-art engineering marvel is 14 per cent more fuel efficient than our current 737 Next-Generation aircraft. It’s also the quietest bird in our fleet.
Guests like us. They really, really like us. Our caring brand continued to shine, as we were once again named Canada’s most trusted airline. (Gustavson Brand Trust Index)
We are living the dream. The new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, that is. We unveiled our Dreamliner look with its new livery (paint job), and updated company logo. It’s a new era for us, and the next step in our transformation to a global network airline.
Say bonjour to the City of Light. We’re beyond thrilled to be flying to Paris, France. Yet another milestone in bringing our guests to one of the world’s most visited cities.
Our guests can now hop across the pond aboard our new Dreamliner service which launched at the end of April between Calgary and London, Gatwick. Ta-ta!
We’re all about connection and bringing people together, so we teamed up with our Indigenous partners, entrepreneurs, and youth of Canada, committing $100,000 to help sponsor the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC).
We love our WestJetters. So much so, that Forbes named us one of Canada’s Best Employers for the fifth time.
COVID-19 hit aviation hard. Although leisure travel was suspended with hundreds of aircraft grounded, WestJetters continued to show up. For three months we operated 28 repatriation flights to 14 different worldwide destinations and safely returned more than 4,000 Canadians home. We leaned on WestJet Cargo to keep critical domestic supply chain lines open throughout the pandemic—transporting everything from perishables and pharmaceuticals, to household goods.
After two years of planning and construction, we celebrated the grand opening of the Elevation Lounge at our home base—The Calgary International Airport.
Our Safety Above All promise gets recognition after we’re named one of the safest airlines in the world for the second year in a row by airlineratings.com.
Happy 25th Birthday to us! Born in 1996, we started with just three planes heading to five destinations. Now we fly nearly 180 aircraft to over 100 destinations across 23 countries—with over 300 million guests served.
December marked our 10th annual Christmas Miracle video, featuring real stories of connecting people to their loved ones after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our WestJet Cares for Kids program turns 15, celebrating over 100,000 flights donated to our seven charitable partners.
After four years of designing and wear-testing we are proud to announce WestJet’s new award-winning look. Our new uniform collection was created for everybody and every body—celebrating WestJetters’ individual styles, identities and authentic selves.
We’ve always loved our Calgary home. That’s why we’ve pledged to make YYC our global connecting hub for our entire 787 Dreamliner fleet.
WestJet announces non-stop service from Calgary to Tokyo beginning spring 2023. To our very first destination in Asia, we say “Kon’nichiwa, Japan!”