WestJet is seeking regulatory approval from Transport Canada to begin service to China, according to CBC.
Although there was no indication which cities the airline would fly into, or a potential launch date for the service, the company’s CEO Gregg Saretsky commented at the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade last week that operating flights to Asia with lie-flat seats would mean WestJet could add a luxury option to its offerings.
The plan, he said, was in line with the federal government’s plan to double the number of inbound arrivals from China by 2022.
WestJet announced last month that it had placed an order for 10 Boeing Dreamliners, which would allow it to service a new route to China. The first Dreamliner 787s are anticipated for delivery between the first quarter of 2019 and December 2021, with a further option on the table for an additional 10 Dreamliners; these would be delivered between 2020 and 2024.
The Canadian airports currently served by non-stop flights to China are Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Calgary.