WestJet makes first scheduled transatlantic flight - Northern Michigan's News Leader

WestJet makes first scheduled transatlantic flight

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SOURCE WestJet

Airline launches same-plane service from Toronto to Dublin tonight

CALGARY, June 15, 2014 /CNW/ - WestJet marks a key milestone in its 18-year history tonight with the launch of its first scheduled transatlantic service between Toronto and Dublin, Ireland, with a brief stop in St. John's, Newfoundland. The flight arrives in Dublin tomorrow at 7 a.m. local time.

"It's very exciting to think that we are about to take our guests across the Atlantic Ocean for the very first time tonight," said Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and CEO. "This represents a very significant strategic step in the growth of WestJet. As we've expanded our reach, grown our fleet and added new products to broaden our appeal to different travel segments, it's always been a dream of many WestJetters to one day be able to fly our guests to Europe. Today, the dream comes true."

Announced in November 2013, WestJet offered introductory fares between Toronto and Dublin starting from $199 including taxes, fees and surcharges on all flights in both directions from June 15 to October 5, 2014 - fares which sold out within the first 24 hours. Today, the service is heavily booked and well ahead of projections, recently prompting a three-week extension to October 25, 2014.

"The response on both sides of the Atlantic has been nothing short of phenomenal," said Gregg Saretsky. "With one in five Newfoundlanders able to trace their ancestry to Ireland, there is a great deal of travel between the two coasts and we are very pleased to have made it more affordable for so many families and friends to be together this summer. This service is about bringing our low fares and remarkable, people-driven guest experience to new routes and new markets including, for the first time, Europe."

Gregg Saretsky also paid tribute to the hard work and dedication responsible for this milestone. "This is also a very proud moment for all of us," he said. "Over the past 18 years our WestJetters have worked tirelessly to care for our guests, for one another and for our company, and that's what makes this day so special. Our people have powered this airline across North America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. Today, they'll bring us all the way to Europe."

Alison Metcalfe, Executive Vice President, United States and Canada Tourism Ireland, said, "Tourism Ireland warmly welcomes the launch of WestJet's service from Toronto, via St John's, Newfoundland, to Dublin. The island of Ireland has a wealth of experiences for Canadians to enjoy on a relaxing vacation - from cities bustling with vibrant culture and rich history to spectacularly scenic coastlines and mountain regions. Canada is one of our top 10 markets and is a market that is set to develop further in the years ahead. We are working with WestJet to maximize the promotion of this welcome new service."

"We are delighted with the overwhelming success of this new service to Dublin that clearly demonstrates the significant demand that exists for travel between our province and Ireland," said Keith Collins, President and CEO, St. John's International Airport Authority. "This improved accessibility between the two regions will strengthen both personal and business relations, and will expose new opportunities for trade on both sides of the Atlantic."

Details of WestJet's new daily Dublin service from St. John's are:

Flight Departure Arrival Type
WS 16 St. John's at 11:15 p.m. Dublin at 7:00 a.m. (+1) Non-stop
WS 17 Dublin at 8:20 a.m. St. John's at 9:55 a.m. Non-stop

Details of WestJet's new daily Dublin service from Toronto are:

Flight Departure Arrival Type
WS 16 Toronto at 5:15 p.m. Dublin at 7:00 a.m. (+1) One stop
WS 17 Dublin at 8:20 a.m. Toronto at 1:21 p.m. One stop

About WestJet
We are proud to be Canada's most-preferred airline, powered by an award-winning culture of care and recognized as one of the country's top employers.  We offer scheduled service to more than 85 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. Through our regional airline, WestJet Encore, and with partnerships with airlines representing every major region of the world, we offer our guests more than 120 destinations in more than 20 countries.  Leveraging WestJet's extensive network, flight schedule and remarkable guest experience, WestJet Vacations delivers affordable, flexible travel experiences with a variety of accommodation options for every guest. Members of our WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more.  Our members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of WestJet flights and vacations packages on any day, at any time, to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods ?  even on seat sales.  For more information about everything WestJet, please visit www.westjet.com.

Recent recognition includes:

2014 Interbrand Canada's Best Canadian Brands (Rank #20)
2014 Canada's Most Preferred Airline (Ipsos)
2014 Value Airline of the Year (Air Transport World magazine)
2014/2013/2012 Canada's Most Attractive Employer (Randstad)
2013 Highest equity score: airline, vacation package supplier brands (Harris/Decima EquiTrend Study)
2013 Gold Stevie Award Best Transportation Company (American Business Awards)
2013 Chairman's Circle Award: WestJet Vacations (CPSC)
2013 WestJet RBC MasterCard ranked #1 in Canada (Money Sense magazine)

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