This morning brought a new Canadian airline to Dublin as Calgary’s WestJet saw their dream of trans-Atlantic service manifest into their first ever scheduled flight across the pond, a B737 from St. John’s, Newfoundland.
The brand new direct, same-plane flights will depart from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and touch-down in St. John’s to re-fuel and welcome more passengers before continuing on to Ireland throughout the summer. The highly awaited service has been in the works for years and when seats were finally introduced in the fall of last year between Toronto and Dublin at under $200CAD (introductory fare – one way, including taxes), they went fast. In fact, 80% of the inaugural summer season seats have already been sold and the route is so popular that a day into the service, WestJet has already announced it will extend the flights by three weeks, now last flying between the two cities on October 25th.
While giving Canadians another option to Europe, WestJet also sees this as a way to test a new market while they wait for an upgrade to their fleet and obtain aircraft that won’t need to stop in The Maritimes to re-fuel. With their current line-up of strictly Boeing B737 aircraft, they are only able to service France and the United Kingdom but plans are already in place to get into the wide body aircraft market to open up non-stop service routes from major hubs like Toronto.