The start of a new era for WestJet was marked in Calgary yesterday (May 8) with the introduction of its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, signalling the airline's transformation into a global carrier.
In the WestJet hangar, President & CEO Ed Sims addressed the room of more than 1,000 WestJetters and media eager for a sneak peek of the new aircraft.
“It's not everyday that an airline gets to usher in a completely new business model," Sims said. "We are a part of the WestJet family on the day that we reveal what that new business model will look like. We collectively stand on the threshold of an extraordinary feature and we are about to step through that door.”
Attendees were entertained with an immersive presentation and a virtual experience of the new aircraft. The Spirit of Canada Boeing 787 Dreamliner brings the evolution of the WestJet spirit and its unique combination of efficient airlines, fantastic people and unmatched customer service to the rest of the world.
With the Spirit of Canada, the aircraft also brings new livery, logo and interior elements to enhance the guest experience. “The updated livery is modern and dynamic while the interior is world-class, distinctly Canadian and uniquely WestJet,” Sims said.
Richard Bartrem, VP of marketing communications adds, “The launch of the 787 represents the evolution of WestJet into a new chapter, transitioning from our roots as a low cost airline into a full network global airline. This is a real exciting time, kicking off the new chapter with a whole new rebrand for WestJet coming later this year.”
Clive Beddoe, (Co-founder and Chair of Board of Directors, WestJet) and Ed Sims, President and CEO, WestJet
The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner features:
- Three cabin classes with enhanced guest experiences in each class.
- Business class travellers will have unprecedented levels of service, including touchscreen service, relaxation and privacy in lay-flat mattresses, bedding and turn down service and on-demand dining.
- Premium Economy offers extra leg and elbow room and premium menu options. Access to a self serve social area provides snacks and beverages at their leisure to enjoy.
- Economy guests will have oversized self-dimming windows, in-flight entertainment, in-seat device charging and connectivity.
“We are truly bringing the the Spirit of Canada to the world. We are an international airline with headquarters and roots in Western Canada, yet we will never forget where we started in 1996,” Bartrem affirms.
Sims concludes,“Welcome to WestJet's new world. Our future together is a bright and exciting one."
The AGM was led by Clive Beddoe, co-founder and chair of the Board of Directors followed by strategic updates from Ed Sims, president and CEO of WestJet. Sims highlighted the pillars of WestJet's success in its focus on profitability, value creation and low fares.
The laser-focused approach on a prudent and sensible growth structure strategy is what creates the foundation for profitable expansion including the following key components:
- Maintain cost structure to retain competitive edge.
- Launch of a ultra low-cost airline with Swoop to retain a low fare structure, whose fares will be about 30 per cent less that WestJet's.
- Elevate premium travellers' experiences to exceed expectations and provide options for business class travellers.
- Expanding presence in the key Canadian hubs of Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto with regional airlines and capacity agreements connecting smaller centres to the hub cities.
- Global partnerships to bring guests further into new destinations.
- Introduce the new state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft with firm orders of 10 and options for another 10.