JAL’s Vancouver-Narita Route To Carry WestJet’s Code

Credit: Joe Pries

WestJet has signed an agreement with Japan Airlines (JAL) to place its code on the Asian carrier’s flights from western Canada to Tokyo, the latest move by the Canadian airline to add its WS code to foreign carriers’ international flights.

WestJet’s code will be placed on JAL’s flights between Vancouver (YVR) and Tokyo Narita (NRT). JAL uses Boeing 767-300 aircraft on the route. All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Air Canada also fly the YVR-NRT route.

Calgary (YYC)-based WestJet, which prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was building a growing global network, recently revealed a retrenchment to Calgary, including basing all seven of its Boeing 787s at the airport, which will be the exclusive global connecting hub for routes operated with its aircraft.

Canada’s second largest airline is using codesharing to give its passengers greater international reach.

WestJet in October announced an agreement to place the WS code on Korean Air’s flights to Seoul Incheon (ICN) from both Toronto Pearson (YYZ) and YVR. WestJet had never previously placed its code on a transpacific route.

WestJet has also reached an accord with KLM to add the WS code to 20 of the Dutch carrier’s European routes from Amsterdam (AMS). KLM on Nov. 14 resumed service between Calgary and AMS.

WestJet CCO John Weatherill said in a statement that air traffic to Japan is growing in the aftermath of the Asian country easing COVID-19 travel restrictions from Oct. 11.

"As transpacific air travel increases between Canada and Japan, this is an ideal time to launch this new step in our cooperation with Japan Airlines," he said. "Both our countries have substantial inbound and outbound tourism markets and this enhancement will bring more convenient options to travelers on both sides of the Pacific.”

The airline added: “The codeshare will offer optimized connecting times between WestJet and Japan Airlines flights [as well as] through check in and baggage checked to final destination at the first point of departure” in Canada.

Aaron Karp

Aaron Karp is a Contributing Editor to the Aviation Week Network.