Major Canadian airline will have connectivity to South Africa, via the UK, in a few months

11th June 2024

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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With effect from this upcoming southern summer/northern winter season, major Canadian airline WestJet (so-called because it is based in Western Canada) will be selling tickets to passengers for flights to both Cape Town and Johannesburg, among other destinations in Africa and Asia. This is the result of an expanded codeshare agreement that the carrier has signed with UK airline Virgin Atlantic.

“Through the expansion of our existing partnership with Virgin Atlantic, we are unlocking amazing opportunities for our guests to access an extensive list of new destinations and to experience Virgin Atlantic’s innovative products and services beyond London,” highlighted WestJet Executive VP and COO John Weatherill. “With daily flights from our global hub in Calgary to London, Canadians have never had better international access from across Western Canada to the United Kingdom and beyond.”

WestJet customers (“guests”, as the airline calls them) will be able to fly to South Africa on Virgin Atlantic aircraft, via the UK carrier’s global hub at London Heathrow Airport. Other destinations highlighted by the Canadian airline, in its press release, were Lagos in Nigeria; Dubai in the United Arab Emirates; Bengaluru, Mumbai and New Delhi in India; and the Maldives (pending regulatory approval). On all these, and other, routes, Heathrow will be the only connection they have to make.

“WestJet’s expanded codeshare agreement with Virgin Atlantic will be the airline’s first ever agreement enabling connectivity beyond Europe through London Heathrow, a significant milestone in growing WestJet’s global network to even more destinations through partnerships,” affirmed the airline. “Further, this will be the first time that WestJet guests will have access to India, Africa, and the Middle East via a WestJet marketed codeshare as part of its greater network.”   

Further, in the northern summer of next year, Virgin Atlantic will start operating a route between Heathrow and Toronto-Pearson International Airport (in the Canadian province of Ontario). WestJet will provide domestic route connections to this service, once it starts.  

Though the new agreement between the two carriers was signed at the recent AGM of the International Air Transport Association, in Dubai, it was only announced on Monday. The two airlines entered their original codeshare agreement in 2019.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



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