WestJet last night launched its long-awaited service to Rome with the departure of WestJet flight 32 from YYC Calgary International Airport at 6:20 p.m. local time. This first ever scheduled connection between Calgary and Rome, operated on WestJet's 320-seat 787 Dreamliner, marked a major milestone in the recovery of Alberta's travel and tourism industry and was celebrated alongside The Honourable Rajan Sawhney, Alberta's Minister of Transportation and Bob Sartor, President and CEO, YYC Calgary Airport Authority. Photos and video b-roll from the event are available for download here.

"The launch of our highly anticipated Calgary-Rome service is an incredible milestone for both WestJet and our guests, as we've been looking forward to this moment, for more than two years," said Angela Avery, WestJet, Executive Vice-President, External Affairs. "With its rich history and culture, it is no surprise that our guests are eager to visit Rome. We are thrilled to provide Western Canadians with increased connectivity to this incredible city. We are also excited to bring guests from Rome to visit Canada and assist with the recovery of Canada's vital tourism industry."

WestJet's new service to and from Rome rounds out the airline's enhanced investments in Alberta's transatlantic connectivity and is providing Alberta with a 43 per cent increase in WestJet's service to Europe, compared to 2019. With five European destinations to explore, Western Canadians and northwestern based Americans can now seamlessly connect to Rome, Paris, Dublin and both London-Heathrow and Gatwick from WestJet's convenient Calgary hub.  This new connection will further expedite Canada's travel and tourism recovery as international visitors benefit from a convenient non-stop flight to experience the vibrancy of what Alberta and Canada has to offer.

"WestJet continues to be a true Alberta success story. This new step, expanding its international offerings with a direct flight to Rome will create new opportunities for Albertans to see the world," said Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta. "WestJet's continued growth is another sign of Alberta's recovery, as our tourism industry gets back on its feet after two tough years."

WestJet's service to Rome will operate during peak season up to three-times weekly.  The flight was originally set to launch in May of 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic.

WestJet Cargo increases offerings between Canada and Italy

Working in tandem with WestJet's commercial between Calgary and Rome, WestJet Cargo will offer approximately 120 tonnes of weekly cargo capacity directly between Calgary and Rome on the airline's 787 Dreamliner. WestJet Cargo's shipments will provide increased capacity for a diverse array of products including luxury fashion products, pharmaceuticals and e-commerce. Prior to the launch of the flight, in 2021 alone, WestJet Cargo facilitated the delivery of more than 60,000 tonnes of cargo to and from Italy to destinations across Canada and the United States.

Additional quotes

WestJet's new direct flight from Calgary to Rome sends another clear signal that there is growing confidence in Alberta's economic recovery. This new connection will show more international travellers that Alberta is a must-see destination, while providing new overseas travel options for Albertans.

-          Rajan Sawhney, Government of Alberta, Minister of Transportation

"This non-stop route to the Eternal City is yet another milestone achievement by WestJet to expand options for our guests. By creating opportunities to bring the world to Calgary, WestJet is a significant contributor in driving the recovery of the travel sector."

-      Bob Sartor, President & CEO, The Calgary Airport Authority.

"I am delighted to welcome the newly established WestJet flight between Rome and Calgary, which will enable the many ties between our two countries to grow.  This link is a tangible demonstration of our shared desire to build forward together in this important milestone year that marks the 75th Anniversary of Canada and Italy diplomatic relations."

- Elissa Golberg, Ambassador of Canada to Italy

"We are really delighted to welcome WestJet to Rome Fiumicino. The launch of the new direct flight from Calgary to Rome FCO is the result of a long-running cooperation and partnership with WestJet, signifying a relevant milestone towards the development of the connectivity between Italy and Canada. With more than one million passengers flying between Italy and Canada in 2019, the Canadian market confirms its attractiveness as one of the main long-haul markets. The new flight will grant to Canadian passengers' full access to Rome and through our hub to the overall Italian and Mediterranean market, while customers travelling from Rome to Calgary will finally have the opportunity to fly directly to the heart of central Canada as well as to scout new flying options to the American West Coast wonders."

-          Ivan Bassato, Chief Aviation Officer of Aeroporti di Roma

"WestJet's new direct flight from Calgary to Rome will help spark a new and exciting cultural exchange between Italians and Albertans. Italian visitors will experience with ease Canada's premier western destination, Alberta. Our province is host to incredible live events likes rodeos, festivals, music, theatre and hockey, and if selected the 2026 FIFA World Cup, and other cultural attractions that will keep Italian tourists coming back for more. I expect that in the years to come, many Albertans will experience the beautiful culture of Italy and the great works of the Italian Renaissance and welcome many visitors from around the world to enjoy the rich culture and heritage of our province."

-          Ron Orr, Government of Alberta, Minister of Culture