Westjet launches Honduras winter flight

A Westjet 737-700 departs Vancouver International Airport May 2, 2019 (photo: Brett Ballah).

Westjet is launching a first for a Canadian scheduled airline, non-stop service between Toronto and Honduras.

“With the addition of the snorkelling paradise of Roatán to our network, WestJet guests now have convenient access to 14 Caribbean destinations non-stop from Toronto this winter,” said Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer.

The flight will operate once a week starting December 15.

“We are very excited to welcome WestJet to our airline family,” said Syntia Solomon, President Bay Islands Tourism Bureau. “Canadian travellers are discovering Roatán and are some of our most dedicated repeat guests. There is also a large expat community of Canadians that live on the island either full or part-time.”

This is only the third new route in Westjet’s 2019-2020 winter schedule. The other two also serve sun destinations, from Victoria, British Columbia to San Jose del Cabo, and from Calgary to Punta Cana. In the midst of a takeover by Onex Corporation, Westjet has elected to play it safe this winter.

Westjet’s new service will compete with Canadian leisure carriers Sunwing, which has planned its winter service without its fleet of four Boeing 737 Max planes, and Transat, which flies an Airbus A321 once a week on the route. Unlike the leisure carriers, Westjet’s flights are timed to offer onward connections through its Toronto hub. Air Canada’s best routing from Toronto to Roatan is a 17-hour oddessey, with stops in Newark and Houston.

“We congratulate WestJet on this new service to the beautiful island of Roatán,” said Scott Collier, Vice President of Customer and Terminal Services, Greater Toronto Airports Authority in a statement. “Toronto Pearson is proud to be a part of WestJet’s continued growth and we are sure our passengers will be excited to discover this part of the world, thanks to WestJet.”

There is no commercial air agreement between Canada and Honduras, so the Canadian Transportation Agency, which regulates airlines, has given Westjet temporary permission to operate the route until June 30.