WestJet yesterday celebrated the opening of its new 787 Dreamliner maintenance hangar at its hub at Calgary International Airport (YYC). As a result of the $50 million investment to build the 125,000-square-foot hangar, WestJet will be the first Canadian airline to base its Dreamliner aircraft out of YYC.
The airline’s first three Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft are scheduled to launch from Calgary on non-stop routes to London, Paris and Dublin on April 28, May 17 and June 1, respectively. The hangar and 787 aircraft investments are expected to generate thousands of direct and indirect jobs in Alberta.
“Today marks another significant step in WestJet’s journey as a global network carrier,” said Ed Sims, president and CEO, WestJet. “This state-of-the-art facility provides the perfect environment for our highly skilled aviation maintenance engineering teams to continue to ensure the safety and comfort of our 25 million annual guests.”
Around 1,500 WestJet employees were on hand yesterday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the new hangar, along with Member of Parliament Kent Hehr, City of Calgary Councillor Jyoti Gondek, Calgary Airport Authority CEO, Bob Sartor, and members of WestJet’s executive team. Members of the Tsuut’ina Nation also attended the event to lead a blessing of the hangar at the end of the ceremony.
WestJet’s hangar accommodates one 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft or up to four 737 aircraft. It increases the airline’s campus size to 500,000 square feet or 11 acres. WestJet explains the hangar allows for indoor maintenance on the airline’s Dreamliner aircraft and can accommodate up to 130 members of the WestJet technical operations teams with workspace and tools to maintain the reliability and safety of WestJet’s fleet.
“The state-of-the-art hangar was built for safety and efficiency for both WestJet guests and employees but also importantly, its construction generated more than 300,000 people hours to the local economy in Calgary,” said Fabrizio Carinelli, president of CANA Construction Ltd. The hangar was also designed by a local team of architects and engineers from Stantec.
“The opening of this hangar today is another example of how our biggest airline partner, WestJet, and the Calgary Airport Authority are working hand-in-hand for the good of the city,” said Bob Sartor, president and CEO, The Calgary Airport Authority.
WestJet remains the airline with the most destinations, seats and departures out of YYC. The airline also recently expanded the list of destinations it serves to 67 with the addition of non-stop Atlanta, Portland and Austin routes from Calgary. Together with its regional airline, WestJet Encore, WestJet provides scheduled service to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe and to more than 175 destinations in over 20 countries through its airline partnerships.