Canadian airline Westjet, which launches its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner service to Europe on Sunday, laid the groundwork for more connecting traffic Friday signing a code-share agreement with Air France.
The move allows Westjet passengers to connect in Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport to seven destinations in France, Italy and Greece using a single Westjet ticket.
“WestJet’s deepened codeshare relationship with Air France means guests of both airlines will now enjoy more opportunities to travel between the fantastic destinations in Canada and Europe,” said Brian Znotins, WestJet Vice-President, Network Planning and Alliances. “We are thrilled to extend our reach into Europe and provide a seamless travel experience for guests travelling east and west, including reciprocal frequent flyer rewards, one itinerary and bags checked through to destination.”
Code-share will be offered on Air France flights to Brest, Biarritz and Montpellier, France along with Italy’s Venice, Milan and Rome and Athens, Greece.
Westjet will offer four flights a week from its Calgary hub to Paris starting May 17 until November 1. The airline has already revealed it plans to start joint venture negotiations with Air France-KLM this year. The code-share deepens ties between the airlines first forged in 2013.
The move is in step with Westjet’s transition from a discount airline flying within Canada and to sun destinations, to a player on the world stage. It sees the Western Canadian market, in particular, as under-served to Europe.
Westjet starts daily Dreamliner service to London-Gatwick on Sunday.
It is trying to destabilize Air Canada’s position as the country’s dominant airline. Both airlines project limited domestic growth this year along with increasing competition, making the international market an attractive option. Air Canada sees growth in its strategy is to connect passengers through its Canadian hubs to international hubs where partners will move them to destinations around the world.