WestJet will launch transatlantic service for the first time next June, subject to the airline receiving the requisite government approvals.
Dublin, Ireland’s capital, will become WestJet’s first transatlantic destination. WestJet plans to operate seasonal daily service from St. John’s in Newfoundland to Dublin from June 15 to October 5, 2014.
The route for WestJet’s new service will nearly duplicate that of the first non-stop transatlantic flight, performed by Alcock and Brown in a modified Vickers Vimy IV bomber in June 1919. They took off from Lester’s Field in St. John’s and their flight ended in a bog near Clifden in Connemara, Ireland.
This historic flight by Alcock and Brown was duplicated in July 2005 by the late American aviator and adventurer Steve Fossett in a replica Vickers Vimy, Fossett flew from St. John’s International Airport, because Lester’s Field is now an urban and residential part of the city.
In conjunction with its non-stop flights to Dublin from St. John’s, the capital of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, WestJet will also offer direct (same-aircraft) flights from Toronto Pearson International Airport via St. John’s to Dublin.
The airline will also offer connections to its new transatlantic service from across WestJet’s network. These will include new daily non-stop flights between Ottawa and St. John’s, connecting to Dublin; and daily connections between Dublin and Halifax, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and other cities across WestJet’s network.
WestJet will operate all its Dublin flights with Boeing 737-700 aircraft. According to the airline, its first transatlantic route will cut the current travel time from St. John’s to Dublin by nearly half. to just four hours 45 minutes.
The airline will offer introductory one-way fares from C$199 between St. John’s and Dublin and introductory one-way fares from C$298.66 between Toronto and Dublin. The fares quoted include government taxes, fees and charges.
“WestJet’s innovative foray into the European market represents a willingness to do what it takes to connect Canadians to the world while bringing the world to Canada,” says Chris Avery, WestJet vice-president, network planning, alliances and corporate development. “From Dublin, guests can access low-cost flights to more than 100 cities in Europe.”
The carrier is scheduling flight WS16 to depart Toronto Pearson International Airport (IATA code YYZ) at 5:15 p.m. daily from June 15 bound for St. John’s International Airport (YYT). After landing at YYT, flight WS16 will subsequently take off again from YYT at 11:15 p.m. daily and will arrive at Dublin Airport (DUB) at 7:00 a.m. the next morning, local time.
There is usually a time difference of three hours 30 minutes between the time zone in which St. John’s is located and the time zone in which Dublin is located; and a difference of five hours between the time zone for Dublin and the time zone for Toronto.
The return flight, WS17, is timed to leave DUB at 8:20 a.m. and to reach YYT at 9:55 a.m. local time. Subsequently it will take off again and reach YYZ at 1:21 p.m. local time.