Here’s To 20 Years, WestJet… And To The Next 20!

with Adrienne Lem Burkett

Gregg Saretsky and Transport Minister Marc Garneau get some flight attendant assistance to cut the cake.

WestJetters celebrate 20 years!

WestJet celebrated its 20th birthday Monday with parties at select gateways – but the festivity that shone the brightest was the one at its HQ in YYC.

Hundreds of guests were in attendance including dedicated WestJetters and their travel partners – and an honourable visit from the Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau.

WestJet has seen incredible growth over the past 2 decades – starting with just 3 aircraft and now tallying almost 150; 200 employees to 12,000 WestJet owners; serving 220 million guests and offering over 150 destinations in more than 20 countries.

Their newest, highly anticipated destination coming this spring being LGW. And, to serve that market, four 767, wide body aircraft will be added to the airline’s fleet in the next few months – ready to serve their LGW route from 6 Canadian gateways, including cities that don’t currently offer non-stop services to England such as YWG and YEG.

“We’re expecting to bring a lot of new tourists from the U.K. to Canada at a time when we could really use these tourists, staying in our hotels and eating at our restaurants,” said Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President & CEO. “And that will become a platform that has a lot of future growth opportunity,” he added, noting that the 767s can fly up to 11 hr. reaching destinations as far afield as Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

“It’s certainly nice to hear a success story like WestJet's,” said Minister Garneau. “It’s a very well run company that has a unique corporate culture. And they should be bragging today because they’re celebrating 20 years of growth that continues to expand. In many ways, it’s a fine example of what hard work and a unique approach can do for Canadian business.”

With brief presentations delivered by Saretsky and Minister Garneau, guests were also treated to a video message from Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, which was followed by the ceremonial cutting of cake.  

And of course, Saretsky took time to thank members of the travel trade. “The travel trade has been with us since day one, they’ve supported us incredibly,” he said. “They’re a large part of our success over our first 20 years and we look forward to partnering with them throughout the next 20.”

In celebration of its 20th anniversary, WestJet has launched special sale fares and package pricing for flights departing after 01APR through 28JUN. Flights must be booked by 07MAR.

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