WestJet flies back to Whitehorse

WestJet will return to Whitehorse for a second season. The Calgary-based airline is offering daily flights to and from Vancouver from May 13 until Oct. 26.

WestJet will return to Whitehorse for a second season.

The Calgary-based airline is offering daily flights to and from Vancouver from May 13 until Oct. 26.

WestJet can’t say how many passengers flew on the route last year because that would be “opening the books to the competitors,” said spokesperson Robert Palmer. But the company decided it was worth returning.

Air North isn’t surprised by WestJet’s decision, said company president Joseph Sparling.

“Yukoners will know that they will have three choices this summer. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure they pick us first,” he said.

A record number of passengers flew Air North during 2012, said Sparling.

Air North will continue to work on reaching an interline baggage deal with WestJet, Sparling said. That would allow Air North passengers who connect with a WestJet flight to only check their bags once.

Air North already has a similar agreement with Air Canada. Air North is still working to ensure its in-house reservation system can communicate with WestJet’s, said Sparling.

Ideally, the company would like to have code-share agreements with Air Canada and WestJet. That would allow passengers to purchase all tickets for a multi-leg trip through one carrier.

WestJet wouldn’t say if it’s working on these agreements. But eventually the airline would like to offer flights year-round from Whitehorse. The airline always begins operations on a seasonal basis, said Palmer.

“Obviously, it’s our hope that all of them become year-round. But that really is in the hands of the people who use the service,” said Palmer.

The airline would consider offering flights to and from other cities than Vancouver if there’s a demonstrated need for it, he said.