• Nicholas Chute

WestJet's 787-9 Network Expansion in 2020

Updated: Jan 3

Threshold Images


WestJet's first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on short final for landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport. (Image/ Dennis Benett)

Calgary - Quickly becoming an international airline, WestJet's ambitious expansion plans have resulted in a rapidly growing network beyond its domestic and U.S routes. With the introduction of their flagship product, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, the airline now has the abilities to reach destinations the airline never could in the past.

WestJet does have Boeing 767-300ER which began their entrance into the international market, however, using an older aircraft and outdated in-flight product. The new Dreamliner has created a new era of in-flight comfort and efficiency for WestJet allowing them to make transatlantic flights more easy than ever before. With a widebody fleet steadily growing, WestJet still maintains a huge narrowbody fleet consisting solely of Boeing 737 type aircraft and Encore's Q-400s, also including the now controversial 737 MAX. The Calgary based airline has become one of Canada's most trusted and highest praised carriers, now in direct competition with Air Canada on a domestic scale.

787-9 Expansion

2020 is a huge year for WestJet, introducing new routes on their 787-9 Dreamliner to Europe out of already existing markets served by the aircraft and now some new ones. There will be a significant improvement in WestJet frequency out of Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto.

The airlines 787-9s will begin operating Toronto – Gatwick – Toronto daily in the new year. In June 2020, there will be a daily 787-9 Dreamliner Toronto – Calgary – Toronto added to the already existing schedule, enhancing the already steady frequency.

In terms of Vancouver, there will be a daily 787-9 service from Vancouver - Gatwick - Vancouver beginning at the end of April 2020.

The 787-9 will fly Calgary – Paris – Calgary six times a week during peak summer season. From mid-April 2020 there will be a daily 787-9 Calgary – Gatwick – Calgary service and from the beginning of June 2020, the 787-9 will fly three times a week between Calgary – Dublin – Calgary. Along with flights to Dublin, Gatwick and Paris, WestJet will also use the 787-9 on their Calgary - Rome - Calgary route up to three times weekly in peak season. This new service beginning in the summer of 2020.

It is noted the huge increase of service out of Calgary, establishing a presence connecting the European market to the city of Calgary. For the firs time in a long time, Calgary and the province of Alberta now has the ability to fly to the popular destinations in Europe with ease.

We recommend you check out this video from our friend Alex Praglowski Aviation on YouTube. He provided an excellent look into the transatlantic WestJet 787-9 product and has followed the airlines development from their first delivered Dreamliner to present day.

With only three total Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in its fleet, the airline has introduced its new flagship product very well in its first year of service in 2019. Three more are due to be delivered to the Calgary based airline in 2020. WestJet took delivery of their first 787-9 in February 2019 and has a total of 10 on order, with a further 10 options.

WestJet saw a record breaking year, carrying over 25 million passengers in 2018 and has 126 aircraft in its fleet. WestJet has 13 Boeing 737 MAX 8 grounded and a further 43 on order (we thought we'd mention the MAX, why not?). Demand can spur growth, which is great, but rapid growth can potentially blow out the airline’s costs and undercut its viability. As WestJet abandons the true low-cost carrier market segment, CEO Ed Sims reckons it needs to chart its future path with care. That's exactly what they're doing.

WestJets Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner departs runway 05 at Toronto Pearson International Airport over the entire Royal Air Force Red Arrows team. (Image/ Nick Chute)

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