Big news from the Canadian travel industry. Starting on 30 April, 2023, WestJet will be crossing the Pacific (TPAC = transpacific) for the first time, connecting Calgary residents and YYC transit passengers on a nonstop flight with the Japanese capital Tokyo.
Using its Boeing 787-9 aircraft, WestJet will be connecting Alberta’s largest city to Tokyo Narita Airport with three seasonal weekly flights, pending Canadian government approval.
Whereas this restart of TPAC service from Calgary is a great boon to Canada’s third largest airport by passenger traffic, I suppose they had to go to Tokyo Narita because Tokyo Haneda is that much more popular for airlines, and visitors to the city. Both airports are slot-controlled — slots being authorizations to take-off and land at specific airports, days, and times — but Haneda is that much more restrictive.
Here are the details for the likely departure and arrival times:
WS80 18:55 Calgary YYC 20:00+1 day Tokyo NRT
WS81 22:00 Tokyo 16:00 Calgary
WestJet will be taking over the reins from Air Canada, which formerly flew the Calgary – Tokyo Narita route between 27 March 2010 and 26 October, 2019; Air Canada had plans to continue the daily route in 2020, but cancelled the flight due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also, if you’re a member of some of the SkyTeam airline alliance frequent flier programs, as well as a few others such as Japan Airlines and Philippine Airlines, keep a look out on this new route to be code shared — that is, when a flight is marketed and sold by another airline — with other carriers.
Although WestJet isn’t officially a member of airline alliances, they do seem to enjoy the company of SkyTeam carriers.
With this announcement, do you think Air Canada will rejoin them?