WestJet today celebrated its newest route, with the announcement of service between Winnipeg and Los Angeles, beginning October 31, 2022. The route, which will operate three-times weekly on a year-round basis, will strengthen integral ties and convenience in transportation between Winnipeg's expanding television and film industry and the esteemed, world-renowned hub of entertainment itself, Los Angeles.
"It was an honour to attend today's celebration that is the result of the collaborative partnership between Winnipeg Airports Authority, Economic Development Winnipeg, the Government of Manitoba and WestJet," said John Weatherill, WestJet, Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer. "WestJet is thrilled to be a part of this investment creating a new, direct link for business, tourism and entertainment between these two unique cites, building on our commitment to Winnipeg."
WestJet's newest investment was announced today at a special event held at Winnipeg's Metropolitan Entertainment Centre, with notable guests of the film and television sector along with critical partners in attendance including, the Honourable Heather Stefanson, Premier of Manitoba; Nick Hays, President and CEO, Winnipeg Airports Authority; Dayna Spiring, President and CEO, Winnipeg Economic Development; and Rod Bruinooge, Interim CEO, Manitoba Film and Music. Last year, the Film and Television industry brought over $364.5 Million worth of production volume to Manitoba, and this new route will enable further growth and investment in the province.W
"Manitoba's film and television industry plays a key role in our provincial economy, and I want to commend WestJet for this strategic investment that will have significant benefits not only for the entertainment industry, but for Manitoba's tourism, trade and business sectors," said Honourable Heather Stefanson, Premier of Manitoba. "As Manitoba's economy takes off into a new era of growth, I look forward to continuing to work with WestJet and all economic development partners to identify opportunities of growth and promote Manitoba as a destination of choice."
As the only airline providing direct connectivity between Winnipeg and Los Angeles, WestJet's service between the two cities will stimulate business and leisure travel and is a testament to WestJet's commitment to support investment and economic growth in the communities it serves.
This winter, WestJet will solidify its position as the leading airline in Winnipeg providing more non-stop routes than any other carrier. Further, the WestJet Group will increase capacity to and from Winnipeg by 80 per cent in comparison to 2021, serving 22 nonstop, direct routes and producing the largest year-over-year growth of any major airport in the group's network.
Delta codeshare partnership
Guests travelling beyond Los Angeles will have access to a broad network and benefits through WestJet's strong relationship with Delta Air Lines. This includes codeshare flights to 20 major U.S. cities, the ability to earn and redeem WestJet Rewards on both airlines, top tier frequent flyer benefits through the entire journey, and access to Delta's LAX SkyClub lounge for eligible guests.
"This new route significantly enhances our community's connectivity by offering direct service to one of the most iconic cities in the world," said Winnipeg Airports Authority President and CEO Nick Hays. "Traffic between Manitoba and Southern California continues to grow, driven in large part by the province's thriving film industry. Now, Winnipeg is just one flight away from the bright lights of Los Angeles, making it so much easier for movie executives, actors, and others working in the sector to travel to the two cities. We're extremely proud to work with WestJet to bring this valuable route to Winnipeg to help meet the needs of our community."
"At Economic Development Winnipeg, we work hard to put Winnipeg on the global stage. The L.A. market offers Winnipeg so many opportunities for investment, tourism and talent attraction. We can sell our city more effectively when we make it easy for people and decision makers to get here and experience Winnipeg in person," said Dayna Spiring, President & CEO at Economic Development Winnipeg.
"Manitoba Film & Music is thrilled at the announcement of Winnipeg to LA direct flights through WestJet," said Rod Bruinooge, Interim CEO and Film Commissioner, Manitoba Film & Music. "This is a game changer for Manitoba's film industry. A lack of direct flights has played a factor in productions choosing other destinations in which to film and, with a total production volume last fiscal year of $364.5 million, we expect this new route to bring further inward investment to the province. But this announcement is not only of great benefit to the film industry, but to other Manitoba businesses and sectors as well, and this is good for all of us who live here. I look forward to being on that inaugural flight—window or aisle, I'll be thrilled to be there!"
"One of the most remarkable things about Manitoba's film industry is its notable reflection of Canada's diversity," said Zaib Shaikh – Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles, United States. "Not only are over 41% of Manitoba productions companies owned by women, Winnipeg is a focal point for many Indigenous film production companies as well. That is something to celebrate, highlight and nurture. This new direct route will have a major impact on Manitobans and Canadians being able to share our stories, cultures and creative talents, from behind the scenes to in front of the camera and on many screens!"