Westjet increases service on Ottawa-Winnipeg route, adding to growing activity at YOW


WestJet will fly daily from the Ottawa International Airport (YOW) to Winnipeg starting June 3, 2024, the company announced yesterday.

“We are pleased with WestJet’s expansion of capacity between YOW and Western Canada as it opens up exciting opportunities for travellers to and from Canada’s capital region,” said Joel Tkach, vice-president of business development and marketing with the Ottawa International Airport Authority.

Service between Ottawa and Winnipeg currently operates three times weekly. The service will increase to six times weekly on April 29, before increasing to daily service on June 3. 

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Westjet also announced yesterday new year-round daily service from Winnipeg to Montreal. 

“We know how critical Ottawa and Montreal are for Winnipeg’s business community and we are thrilled to continue supporting Winnipeg’s economic growth through strategic air service,” said Mike Scott, WestJet group executive vice-president and chief financial officer. 

The news is the latest in a string of announcements involving the Ottawa airport that suggests YOW is gradually returning to pre-pandemic activity levels.

Last month, Air France announced it is expanding its direct service from Ottawa to Paris to seven days a week beginning in June and upgrading the route to a larger aircraft due to “escalating demand” for the flights.

The airline will launch daily non-stop service between YOW and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport on June 10, airport spokesperson Krista Kealey told OBJ in an email. Air France currently operates direct flights between Ottawa and Paris five days a week.

Earlier this year, United Airlines announced it would increase the number of flights between YOW and Washington, D.C.’s Dulles International Airport from two trips to three each day starting this spring. 

Kealey told OBJ in early February that United, the only U.S.-based carrier that currently operates direct flights to Ottawa, is “doing well with service to Washington-Dulles, Newark, and Chicago-O’Hare.”

She said traffic at Ottawa’s airport was at 80 per cent of pre-COVID levels as of February and was on track to reach 2019’s total of 5.1 million passengers by the end of the year. 

Meanwhile, Toronto-based Porter Airlines also continues to add to its Ottawa service, announcing most recently it plans to launch daily flights between YOW and St. John’s, N.L., in June.

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