Canadian low-cost, high-service carrier WestJet has successfully bid for eight slot pairs at New York LaGuardia airport.
A slot pair is defined as one arriving flight and one departing flight. WestJet’s successful slot-auction bid for eight slot pairs at New York LaGuardia Airport means it will be able to operate eight round-trips a day to and from there.
The auction, held by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), provided select airlines in Canada and the United States the unique opportunity to bid on two slot packages for LaGuardia airport and one for Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport.
“We are very pleased with our successful bid,” says Gregg Saretsky, WestJet’s president and CEO. “Our growth plans, in which increased business travel in the East figures prominently, includes New York City, Canada’s largest international business market, and we look forward to providing our guests with frequent, year-round service to the core of the Big Apple.”
Adds Saretsky: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. LaGuardia airport is slot-controlled and therefore, access is otherwise strictly limited. Our ability to now serve New York demonstrates we are focused on delivering on our business-traveller strategy.”
WestJet says it will be working over the next several days to finalize the transaction according to FAA requirements, while also working to secure U.S. customs pre-clearance from Canada.
The airline will announce details of its New York LaGuardia schedule at a later date, including the Canadian city or cities from which it will serve the constricted New York airport.
WestJet operates scheduled service throughout a 71-city North American and Caribbean network. The carrier offers increased legroom, leather seats and live seatback television provided by Bell TV on its fleet of 96 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft.
With future confirmed deliveries for an additional 39 Boeing 737NGs through 2018, WestJet’s stated goal is to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world.