WestJet Network Updates

Old Nov 26, 2023, 5:25 pm
  #661  
 
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Originally Posted by YXUFlyboy
And that $100 difference is all it takes to easily fill the plane....
The key thing here is to be in the top few results when someone searches for a given route on an OTA or flight search engine, people have little incentive to scroll down very far. Typically the default sort order is number of stops or price, followed by travel time. I’m sure most of the people booking to Europe in the Western US are not familiar with WestJet, but will select primarily on price when using an OTA.
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Old Nov 26, 2023, 11:19 pm
  #662  
 
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Not sure if its an error but WS1510/1511 YYC-LAX-YYC is showing its operating on a 789 5x weekly from April 28.

Again no change in frequency, so just adding a ton of extra seats on the route.
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Old Nov 27, 2023, 8:40 am
  #663  
 
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Originally Posted by hollywoodcory17
Not sure if it’s an error but WS1510/1511 YYC-LAX-YYC is showing it’s operating on a 789 5x weekly from April 28.

Again no change in frequency, so just adding a ton of extra seats on the route.
It may just be for shoulder season, before peak summer months to keep the seat capacity constant. It is a 737 and 787 flight a day in May, but goes to 3x 737 flights in July. Without removing the daily YYZ 787 flight that occurs around the same time, they have no spare 787 available in July, as 6 are in use for Europe and NRT flights and not available during the WS1500/1511 flight times.

You can see the 787 LAX flights available in May but not in July on westjet.com
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Old Nov 27, 2023, 11:58 am
  #664  
 
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Originally Posted by aerobod
It may just be for shoulder season, before peak summer months to keep the seat capacity constant. It is a 737 and 787 flight a day in May, but goes to 3x 737 flights in July. Without removing the daily YYZ 787 flight that occurs around the same time, they have no spare 787 available in July, as 6 are in use for Europe and NRT flights and not available during the WS1500/1511 flight times.

You can see the 787 LAX flights available in May but not in July on westjet.com
The recent schedule changes only apply to the end of June, so most of the routes go back to where they were in S23 in July (Example YYC-DTW is daily April 28-June 28 then goes back to 5x weekly in July). In May/June there are days there are 3 daily flights:

WS1510 YYC 09:20 - 11:23 LAX 789
WS1514 YYC 14:55 - 17:07 LAX 737
WS1512 YYC 19:25 - 21:40 LAX 737

By mid-June all three of those fly daily.
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Old Nov 27, 2023, 12:05 pm
  #665  
 
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Originally Posted by hollywoodcory17
The recent schedule changes only apply to the end of June, so most of the routes go back to where they were in S23 in July (Example YYC-DTW is daily April 28-June 28 then goes back to 5x weekly in July). In May/June there are days there are 3 daily flights:

WS1510 YYC 09:20 - 11:23 LAX 789
WS1514 YYC 14:55 - 17:07 LAX 737
WS1512 YYC 19:25 - 21:40 LAX 737

By mid-June all three of those fly daily.
If they keep the LAX 787 flight into the summer, the YYZ 787 flight would need to end, as they wouldn't be able to operate the full published Europe / NRT schedule with the other 6 787s otherwise (the YYZ or LAX flight using the 7th 'spare' 787 that needs to stay fairly close to YYC to cover failure of any of the other 6).
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Old Nov 27, 2023, 3:59 pm
  #666  
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Originally Posted by V1213
Originally Posted by hollywoodcory17
WS filed another S24 schedule update this weekend, appearing to fully modify the schedule until June 30th with many routes getting a boost in frequency. (Filed in OAG last night / should hit the reservation system sometime today)

YXE-MSP - Increased to 1x daily
Sask. government reveals more details on cost of WestJet direct flights deal
It shouldn't come as a surprise that the Saskatchewan government is subsidizing these routes. What is interesting is that the YXE-MSP route doesn't appear to be using the full subsidy - I assume this is what's behind the increase to daily, and WestJet's willingness to try YQR-MSP as well...
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Old Nov 28, 2023, 6:42 pm
  #667  
 
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On the subject of the 787s, here is the initially planned 789 schedule for W24/25. (Very much subject to change of course)

YYC-LHR 1x daily
YYC-CUN 1x daily
YYZ-CUN 1x daily
YYC-PVR 6x weekly
YYC-CDG 4x weekly
YYC-NRT 3x weekly

Presently YYC-OGG/HNL & YVR-CUN/PVR which are flown on the 787 this winter show 737 schedules. YYC-FCO runs 3x weekly until November 16, then resumes in March with YYC-BCN scheduled until November 9 and resuming in April.

Originally Posted by aerobod
If they keep the LAX 787 flight into the summer, the YYZ 787 flight would need to end, as they wouldn't be able to operate the full published Europe / NRT schedule with the other 6 787s otherwise (the YYZ or LAX flight using the 7th 'spare' 787 that needs to stay fairly close to YYC to cover failure of any of the other 6).
I'm guessing the LAX turn may end up replacing the YYZ turn as the "spare".
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Old Nov 30, 2023, 12:50 am
  #668  
 
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Originally Posted by aerobod
This seems to be a demonstration of the WS one-stop to Europe in action, WS on a Google flight search is currently the quickest and cheapest way to get from PDX to DUB, FCO and BCN next July:
Too bad the Europe to PDX direction is a multi stop itinerary that's close to 20 hours:


If you are going to cherry pick flights, at least pick days when WS actually has a flight scheduled...
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Old Nov 30, 2023, 8:27 am
  #669  
 
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Originally Posted by keithguy
Too bad the Europe to PDX direction is a multi stop itinerary that's close to 20 hours:


If you are going to cherry pick flights, at least pick days when WS actually has a flight scheduled...
Are you not able to do that yourself? The demonstration was how WS was hitting the top of the listings in both price and connectivity, I was too lazy to check the return dates, but here you go:


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Old Nov 30, 2023, 11:42 pm
  #670  
 
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Originally Posted by aerobod
Are you not able to do that yourself? The demonstration was how WS was hitting the top of the listings in both price and connectivity, I was too lazy to check the return dates, but here you go:
The point was that there was a need to (poorly) cherry pick flights to spin a narrative.

In reality, fares and schedules vary based on multiple factors. WS *may* be the cheapest or they may not. And WS options may or may not show up in top results on an OTA - the examples don't represent anything broad.
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Old Dec 1, 2023, 12:00 am
  #671  
 
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Originally Posted by hollywoodcory17
Not sure if its an error but WS1510/1511 YYC-LAX-YYC is showing its operating on a 789 5x weekly from April 28.

Again no change in frequency, so just adding a ton of extra seats on the route.
Looks like this was in fact an error cause it has since been reversed. Now shows a 73H instead.
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Old Dec 1, 2023, 12:23 am
  #672  
 
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Originally Posted by keithguy
The point was that there was a need to (poorly) cherry pick flights to spin a narrative.

In reality, fares and schedules vary based on multiple factors. WS *may* be the cheapest or they may not. And WS options may or may not show up in top results on an OTA - the examples don't represent anything broad.
Not a narrative at all, I randomly picked 1 July, not a cherry picked date. If you try other dates during the summer you will see the same pattern. It is a strategy they have deployed (and explained in press material) that is exhibited in this route, you can find it in other US and Western Canada routes, to Europe, too.

WS may not always be the cheapest or shortest one-stop, but on average on the routes they target they will be near the top. “First search page on Google Flights” (or OTAs in general when sorted by price) has been a pricing strategy for many years at WS, I was involved in corporate strategy meetings which included pricing approach, when I worked there. They have an ability to do this on the targeted routes due to the aircraft seat density, natural hub giving some of the shortest one-stop routes (therefore minimizing fuel burn) and overall lower cost base relative to legacy airlines, but minimal competition from LCC and ULCC competition on those routes. You can go back through the WS Investor Day material that is still publicly available to get more detail on this.

This isn’t the case on all routes where there are other drivers and different competitive factors, but PDX to Europe via YYC fits this strategy.
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Old Dec 1, 2023, 1:57 am
  #673  
 
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Soooo... when does this Calgary as global hub strategy see YYC get their poop in a group with regards to the new terminal as a practical transit point either independently or at WestJet's insistence?
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Old Dec 2, 2023, 12:00 pm
  #674  
 
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Originally Posted by aerobod
Not a narrative at all, I randomly picked 1 July, not a cherry picked date. If you try other dates during the summer you will see the same pattern.
No, there is no pattern. WS does not show up in top results for most searches.

Whether this is WS' strategy is not in dispute. In practice, the strategy doesn't translate into a pattern.

Even worse, from a flyer perspective, there are multiple reasons for PDX-Europe flyers to choose other airlines over WS:

- Limited choices of dates and flights due to having only a handful of destinations, most of which are not available daily
- Additional immigration/customs and security checks due to transits in YYC
- Main/Economy/Standard fares on other airlines have no change fees, free seat selection, and free 1st checked bag; on WS, all of these incur fees
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Old Dec 2, 2023, 12:37 pm
  #675  
 
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Originally Posted by keithguy
No, there is no pattern. WS does not show up in top results for most searches.

Whether this is WS' strategy is not in dispute. In practice, the strategy doesn't translate into a pattern.

Even worse, from a flyer perspective, there are multiple reasons for PDX-Europe flyers to choose other airlines over WS:

- Limited choices of dates and flights due to having only a handful of destinations, most of which are not available daily
- Additional immigration/customs and security checks due to transits in YYC
- Main/Economy/Standard fares on other airlines have no change fees, free seat selection, and free 1st checked bag; on WS, all of these incur fees
Checking most dates it flies PDX-FCO in July and halfway into August WS appears in the 1st to 3rd spot on Google Flights - so always on the first results page. WS seems to be filling the aircraft well, so it doesn't matter how many destinations they offer, they are now pretty well capacity limited. The 787 WS flights I have been to and from Europe on have been 95 to 100% full.

PDX doesn't have many direct European connections, just KEF, LHR, FRA and AMS. YYC is just as convenient for one-stop connections to other European destinations as any other city, as it is a fly-over for PDX flights to Europe, so any increased time for immigration/customs is offset by lower flight time than connections in other North American hubs.

Leisure budget travellers don't care about much other than price, if you fly on the WS European flights you will see the high proportion of people with just carry-on, together with the number of people who only select their seats at check-in. WS is providing the lowest cost option in many cases, both from their operating cost (due to the 320 seat 787 config compared with much less dense legacy airline configs) and ticket price.
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