The WestJet Group is making Calgary its home base and exclusive global connecting hub with all its 787 Dreamliners flying through YYC Calgary International Airport as part of a partnership with the Government of Alberta.
The Calgary based airline signed a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Alberta to grow the aerospace, aviation and logistics sector. It announced an investment in aircraft capacity valued at more than $7 billion with a strategy to double its capacity in Calgary before the end of the decade. It will add new international routes, create thousands of jobs and generate billions in economic output for the province.
"For more than a quarter century WestJet has been a leader in Canada's aviation sector and a critical part of our city's economic growth and diversification. I can't overstate the importance for companies in Calgary to be able to easily connect to other leading global business centres," said Calgary Mayor, Jyoti Gondek.
"Today is a prime example of effective collaboration between the City and the Province with a leading local company to make a major investment in our economic future and make Calgary a global aviation sector hub."
Business and leisure travelers will experience increased connectivity with new direct long-haul routes and plans to grow its network across Canadian communities. The announcement aligns with priorities in the economic strategy, Calgary in the New Economy, to be a top location for business that is globally and digitally connected.
“Calgary is designated our single connecting hub within the WestJet network, which means Calgary will be the only place where we will intentionally facilitate connections,” said Alexis von Hoensbroech, Chief Executive Officer, The WestJet Group. “This is critical because by driving passengers through the YYC Calgary International Airport we can offer direct routes that we wouldn’t be able to offer otherwise.”
To support the growing demand for skilled aviation talent in the aerospace ecosystem, the Government of Alberta announced $7.1 million in capital and $1.06 million in operational funding to add 40 seats to the aviation diploma program at Mount Royal University.
WestJet joins other leading aviation companies increasing their Calgary presence, including De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited. The airplane manufacturer recently announced a major manufacturing complex east of Calgary, forecasted to create 1,500 jobs.
The aviation industry soars as an emerging sector for Calgary as multinational firms and home-grown airlines continue to invest in the city.
For more information on the innovation and talent priorities in the economic strategy, visit Calgary in the New Economy. More on Calgary’s aerospace sector.