For the past two years, WestJet has been flying from London Gatwick to a number of Canadian cities.
It is fair to say it did not get off to the best of starts, with significant reliability issues with its fleet of Boeing 767 aircraft.
However, from next year, WestJet will radically improve its competitive position in London. At least on one route.
WestJet confirmed today, Wednesday 10 October 2018, that from Monday 29 April 2019 its daily flight from London Gatwick to Calgary will be operated with its new fleet of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
By any measure, this will be a substantial upgrade. The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will feature WestJet’s first international business class cabin. The cabin features fully flat seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, all with direct aisle access. WestJet also promises on-demand dining and a turndown service in business class. This will make WestJet extremely competitive against Air Canada and BA.
The aircraft also has a premium economy cabin with 2-3-2 seating and a self-service bar area and an economy cabin with 3-3-3 seating and in-flight entertainment. Full details of WestJet’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner are available on a dedicated microsite.
British Airways has suspended its daily service from London Heathrow to Calgary for the winter season.
The last outbound and inbound flight operates on Saturday 27 October 2018. The service resumes on Sunday 31 March 2019. The affected flight numbers are BA102 and BA103.
No specific reason has been given for the cancellation. However, it is a reasonable assumption that unsatisfactory commercial performance is behind the decision.
BA started flying from London Heathrow to Calgary in December 2006, initially with a Boeing 767 aircraft. The route then changed to a Boeing 787 in July 2014.
Air Canada will continue to fly direct from London Heathrow to Calgary year-round.
Rebooking Options as at Wednesday 6 June 2018
Passengers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a full refund.
Alternatively, passengers can also rebook to a date when BA is flying to Calgary.
Passengers can also rebook to an alternative BA destination in the US and Canada. However, any additional costs will be at your expense.
BA is in discussions with local airlines about rebooking arrangements. It is likely that further options will be announced in the next few days. Unless you would prefer a refund or to fly to another destination, we would recommend waiting until these have been confirmed before taking any action.
Passengers who need to change their booking should contact either BA or their travel agent.
Rebooking Options As At Tuesday 12 June 2018
BA has now secured a rebooking arrangement with United Airlines.
Passengers can rebook to Calgary by connecting to United Airlines from either Chicago O’Hare, Denver, Houston or San Francisco.
Clearly, unless you enjoy taking circuitous routings, Chicago O’Hare is the only logical option!
In all cases, passengers must connect from a British Airways flight from London Heathrow. As United Airlines does not offer premium economy, passengers booked in World Traveller Plus will be booked into economy on United Airlines.
Rebooking Options As At Tuesday 19 June 2018
BA has also secured a rebooking arrangement with Alaska Airlines.
Passengers can rebook to Calgary by connecting to Alaska Airlines from Seattle.
Again, passengers must connect from a British Airways flight from London Heathrow. As Alaska Airlines does not offer premium economy, passengers booked in World Traveller Plus will be booked into economy on Alaska Airlines.
Rebooking Options As At Wednesday 27 June 2018
BA has now secured a rebooking arrangement with WestJet.
Passengers can rebook to Calgary by connecting to WestJet from Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego or Vancouver.
Clearly, Vancouver is the most logical option, not least because you don’t have to deal with US Customs & Immigration.
Again, in all cases passengers must connect from a British Airways flight from London Heathrow. WestJet does not offer business class. It does offer premium economy. However, all BA passengers will be booked into economy.
In theory, in addition to the options above, passengers should be also be able to be accommodated on American Airlines. However, its flights to Calgary from the US are relatively limited.
Canadian airline WestJet has today confirmed it is to launch summer seasonal direct flights from London Gatwick to no less than six Canadian cities: Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, St John’s, Edmonton and Winnipeg.
Flights will operate from the week beginning Monday 4 May 2015 to the end of October 2015.
Flights to Vancouver will operate six times weekly, Edmonton will operate twice weekly, Calgary five times weekly and Winnipeg once weekly. Flights to Toronto and St. John’s will both operate once daily.
In total, this represents 28 return trips from London Gatwick total each week.
This represents a significant expansion in capacity between London and Canada, and significant competition to British Airways and Air Canada from London Heathrow and Air Canada Rouge and Air Transat from London Gatwick. This, combined with the expansion of Norwegian at London Gatwick means that the airport is carving out a niche for low cost transatlantic travel.
In the case of Winnipeg, WestJet’s service will also be the only direct route between the city and London.
All London flights, with the exception of flights to St John’s, will be operated by one of WestJet’s four Boeing 767-300ERW extended range aircraft.
Each Boeing 767 seats 262 passengers. The main economy cabin has 238 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration. Passengers in the main cabin will be offered complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic drinks and the option to purchase hot meals. The cabin does not also feature seat back in flight entertainment. Instead, the aircraft will be equipped with WestJet Connect, the airline’s inflight entertainment and wireless connectivity system which can stream entertainment to your smartphone/tablet. Passengers are also offered one complimentary checked bag. However, seat selection fees will apply.
The aircraft will include a “Plus” premium cabin with 24 seats in a 2-2-2 configuration and complimentary hot meals.
Flights are on sale now and to mark the launch, WestJet is offering special introductory fares which it claims are the lowest on the market for bookings made by Wednesday 16 September for travel between 6 May 2015 to 28 June 2015.