WestJet increases Ottawa flights to Toronto, Edmonton

WestJet

The country’s second-largest airline is boosting the number of flights between Ottawa and two other Canadian cities as the carrier expands service across its network.

WestJet is adding an additional eight weekly flights between Ottawa and Toronto, bringing the total to 85 starting the week of Oct. 29.

Additionally, WestJet’s seasonal summer service of six weekly flights between Ottawa and Edmonton will now operate year-round. It previously offered the direct flights only between May and October.

“This additional service means business travellers will be able to take advantage of increased frequencies and more convenient schedules,” said Brian Znotins, WestJet’s vice-president of network planning, alliances and corporate development, in a statement.

As part of this week’s announcement, WestJet said it was adding more than 125 flights into and out of Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.

WestJet’s additional flights to Ottawa come on the heels of the city’s airport setting a new passenger record in 2016 with 4.74 million travellers, a year-over-year increase of 1.9 per cent.

All the growth is due to increases in the number of domestic passengers, which climbed 5.5 per cent to reach 3.68 million in 2016. That’s nearly 78 per cent of the Ottawa International Airport’s total traffic.

Travellers headed to, or coming from, the United States fell 8.5 per cent in 2016 to 673,434, the lowest level in at least nine years. International traffic to countries other than the U.S. declined 9.6 per cent to 390,425 passengers, the lowest level since 2008.