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Canadian airline WestJet wins Heathrow slots

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Yesterday we covered JetBlue’s allocation of Heathrow slots for the Summer season.

JetBlue is not the only new airline to arrive at Heathrow this Summer. The new covid slot rules allowed airlines to surrender their Heathrow slots with a guarantee that they would get them back next year. This has encouraged other airlines to apply, presumably because they feel they would be at the front of the queue for any slots which are permanently released.

The most interesting move is WestJet. It has secured slots at Heathrow for one daily Vancouver service and one daily Calgary service, although the timing will depend on the Canadian border opening.

WestJet is a similar airline to JetBlue, offering a premum lie-flat business class seat – image below – with a low-cost carrier approach.

Heathrow will also be welcoming Bamboo Airlines. The Vietnamese low cost carrier has secured slots for three weekly flights to Hanoi and three to Ho Chi Minh City.

Rwandair has also received slots to move its current Kigali service from Gatwick.

There is no guarantee that all of these services launch. The exact timing will depend on restrictions, both in the UK and at the destination. With no guarantee of slots being available for the Winter season from late October, there is presumably a cut-off beyond which it simply isn’t worth setting up a Heathrow operation.

Comments (27)

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  • Lev441 says:

    Shame the Heathrow slot isn’t for Toronto for WestJet. I’ve enjoyed my flights with them over the past couple of years – they’ve always been on time, brand new 787s and More often then not, I’ve had a row to myself in economy to enjoy a makeshift business class seat!

    • Anna says:

      The days of makeshift business class! I once had 3 seats to myself on an overnight from SFO which must be the most grateful I’ve ever been for unexpected extra leg room.

    • ChrisC says:

      Slots are rarely destination specific (unless they are specific remedy slots) so this is a choice by West Jet to not fly to Toronto.

  • tony says:

    I suspect Bamboo are picking up the slots vacated by VN, in which case that’s as good as nailed on (subject to border reopening). Wideroe seem to have dug in, with flights next winter already bookable. Westjet do have an advantage on West coast departures because there’s a bigger potential window for arrivals compared to the East coast.

  • Dr C says:

    Wow never knew about the sell credit thanks

  • JohnT says:

    Any crystal ball views for Canada reopening?

    • Andrew says:

      Only 11% of their population has had their first jag.

      Compared to over half in the UK and around a third in the USA.

      Might be a wee while yet.

    • Chris Heyes says:

      JohnT Yes i looked into a crystal ball it told me Canada will be reopening ?

      • Nick says:

        Labour Deputy PM gets two jags… but our current PM has bought two A321neos… at much greater expense and (apparently) unscrutinised by anyone!

        • kitten says:

          why do I think so much of Covid rules and purchasing looks corrupt? never been so obvious before even though you always knew there must be some….

          What’s he using them for @Nick?

          • Callum says:

            Though the Conservatives are the party of the wealthy and big business, and the wealthy and big business are in the best position to capitalise on a pandemic.

            I don’t doubt for a second there’s some corruption (didn’t Cameron lobby on behalf of a friend?), but it seems very overblown to me (a person who despises the Conservative party and its followers so much, they’re a large motivation for emigrating!).

        • ChrisC says:

          He did indeed have 2 jags at one time. One was his personal car that he had owned for some time.

          The other was his ministerial car.

        • Richie says:

          Looks like Titan Airways are owning and operating

  • Tom says:

    Just for interest, the Rwandair Kigali flights were operating out of LHR last year after the pandemic hit LGW.

  • Jonny says:

    Amex Platinum £75 (+£75) credit benefit – does the Dell purchase need to be through Dell Business or will Dell Consumer do?

    (Not sure if the two channels show differently on Amex statement – or if Amex discriminate between them for this benefit). Thanks

  • Mark says:

    We did a domestic flight with Bamboo Airways last year. Unplanned until a few days before as we reacted to a number of short notice cancellations in February 2020 that saw our return to the UK via Hong Kong somewhat disrupted.

    It was a brand new A321neo and for the very short trip from Nha Trang to Da Nang a perfectly good (and cheap) means of getting somewhere with more flights out. Hardly anyone on it so can’t really say much more, though I would be interested to try them on a long haul especially as their business class cabin looks decent.

  • BlueThroughCrimp says:

    Liked the J seats on the Westjet 787 on an intra-Canada flight last year.
    Not a huge J cabin compared with BA, but decent service, and the breakfast was fine.

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