Canadian carrier WestJet has operated the one-millionth flight of its Boeing Next-Generation 737 fleet.
According to WestJet, the milestone flight was flight number WS612 from Calgary to Toronto on May 29, which was scheduled to depart Calgary International Airport (IATA code YYC) at 12:10 p.m. MDT and arrive at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) at 5:52 p.m. EDT.
WestJet began operations in 1996 with a fleet of three Boeing 737-200s, serving five destinations in Western Canada. It began replacing those aircraft with the more fuel-efficient 737-600, 737-700 and 737-800 in May 2001, the fleet becoming all-737NG in January 2006.
Since 2001, WestJet has flown approximately 110 million passengers on one million flights with its Boeing 737NG fleet, travelling a total distance of 2.4 billion kilometers (1.5 billion miles), or the equivalent distance of 15 trips to Mars and back.
“The one-millionth flight for our Next-Generation aircraft is yet another landmark event for WestJet,” said Bob Cummings, the carrier’s executive vice-president, sales, marketing and guest experience. “We have been successful because we care, and it is the caring culture of WestJetters that continues to enable us to grow. We thank Canadians for choosing to travel with us time and time again, and we look forward to welcoming even more guests in the future.”
Launched with 220 staff in 1996, the airline now employs more than 8,600 people in 32 cities across Canada. Inducted into Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures Hall of Fame, WestJet consistently ranks as one of the country’s top employers.
WestJet has recorded 28 consecutive quarters of profitability and is currently one of the most profitable airlines in North America. Thanks to the efforts of WestJetters, the airline has made a profit in all but two quarters over its 16-year history, sharing more than C$220 million in profits among its employees in that time.
Tour operator WestJet Vacations, launched in 2006 as a wholly owned subsidiary of WestJet, offers a range of flexible vacation packages in 47 destinations in 13 countries.
Meanwhile, WestJet’s international network continues to grow. WestJet also boasts six code-share and 17 interline agreements with carriers in almost every major geographical region of the world.
Earlier this year, 91 per cent of WestJetters voted to launch a new regional airline to connect smaller Canadian communities with WestJet’s existing 76-city, 14-country domestic and international networks.
Using up to 45 Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprops, the new airline will create up to 1,900 additional jobs for Canadians in the years to come.
“Drawing on our strong past performance and the hard work and dedication of our WestJetters, we believe the future has never been brighter for WestJet,” said Cummings. “Our new regional airline is an incredibly exciting opportunity to bring our great guest experience to even more Canadians and connect them with our growing network both in North America and around the world through our extensive list of airline partnerships.”