WestJet launched in 1996 with a fleet of three Boeing 737-200 aircraft, serving five destinations in Western Canada. It began replacing those aircraft with the more fuel-efficient Boeing Next-Generation 737-600, 737-700 and 737-800 series in May 2001, becoming a completely Next-Generation aircraft fleet in January 2006.
Since 2001, WestJet has flown approximately 110 million guests on one million flights with its Boeing Next-Generation aircraft, travelling a total distance of 2.4 billion kilometres or the equivalent distance of 15 trips to Mars and back.
“The one millionth flight for our Next-Generation aircraft is yet another landmark event for WestJet,” said Bob Cummings, Executive Vice-President, Sales, Marketing and Guest Experience.
“We have been successful because we care, and it is the caring culture of WestJetters that continues to enable us to grow. We thank Canadians for choosing to travel with us time and time again, and we look forward to welcoming even more guests in the future.”
Launched with just 220 WestJetters in 1996, the airline now employs more than 8,600 people in 32 cities across Canada. Inducted into Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures Hall of Fame, WestJet consistently ranks as one of the country’s top employers and is proud to be Canada’s preferred airline.
WestJet has recorded 28 consecutive quarters of profitability and is currently one of the most profitable airlines in North America. Thanks to the efforts of WestJetters, the airline has made a profit in all but two quarters over its 16-year history, sharing more than $220 million in profits among its employees in that time.
WestJet Vacations, launched in 2006 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of WestJet, has become one of Canada’s premier tour operators, offering a full range of flexible vacation packages in 47 destinations in 13 countries.
WestJet’s international network continues to grow. With six code-share and 17 interline agreements with carriers in almost every major geographical region of the world, the airline now offers travellers the opportunity to expand their horizons far beyond the borders of their own countries.
“Drawing on our strong past performance and the hard work and dedication of our WestJetters, we believe the future has never been brighter for WestJet,” said Bob Cummings.
“Our new regional airline is an incredibly exciting opportunity to bring our great guest experience to even more Canadians and connect them with our growing network both in North America and around the world through our extensive list of airline partnerships.”
Earlier this year, 91 per cent of WestJetters voted to launch a new regional airline to connect smaller Canadian communities with its 76-city, 14-country domestic and international networks. Using up to 45 Bombardier Q400 turboprops, the new airline will create up to 1,900 additional jobs for Canadians in the years to come.