Sunday, February 26, 2012

Emirates/Alaska codeshare. Another option for YYC-Dubai and beyond

Emirates, the (in)famous airline from Dubai will be starting service between Seattle and Dubai in March and while that news does not directly impact Calgary, their recent announcement of becoming a codeshare partner with Alaska Airlines does. Why does it? Well Emirates will be codesharing on Alaska Airlines flights between Calgary and Seattle for the connecting flight to Dubai. This means more competition for the all the Oil & Gas Travel to the Middle East. While British Airways and KLM attempt to take some of this business away from the stranglehold Air Canada/Lufthansa have for this traffic, this new option is extremely viable and with the right amount of marketing could change some YYCer's habit for flying to the Middle East. Emirates is aware of this and is making sure to price the flights competitively and here is a comparison of total all in pricing between YYC and DXB for a March 13th departure with a return on March 20th

Air Canada
Lowest price is $1611.37 in Tango (not Tango Plus) with connections in Toronto and Frankfurt; on the way back stops are in Frankfurt and Montreal. One stop flights via Frankfurt price out at $1810.85
Business Class: $8852.85 with stops in Frankfurt each way

Lowest price is $1620.87 with a stop in Amsterdam on the way out and Amsterdam/Vancouver on the way back.
Business Class: $8975.87 with stops in Amsterdam each way

British Airways
Lowest price is $1500.29 with a stop in London both ways.
Business Class: $8740.86 with a stop in London on the way out but a painful London and Dallas routing on the way back

and finally Emirates
Lowest price is $1257.30 with the stop in Seattle both ways.
Business Class: $9209.99 with the stop in Seattle both ways.

As you can see, EK is offering great pricing in Economy class however not as great business class pricing although some flyers would argue their business class trumps the other three airlines business classes and is worth the extra money whereas some other wouldn't. Also one thing to note is that I checked pricing for the first month of service where EK is trying to stimulate demand and will go up if the route proves popular. I will definitely check the pricing now and again to see if this holds true. One other thing that may make people avoid EK is that you have to clear U.S. customs to connect via Seattle and some may not want this extra hassle.

Emirates is also offering a Skywards Miles Accelerator bonus for the month of March between SEA and DXB, so for Economy you would earn a total of 21,000 Skywards miles between YYC and DXB or 73,500 Miles for Business Class.

They also offer a first class cabin (Private Suites) for the SEA-DXB route. Unfortunately there is no First or Business Class cabin on the Alaska Airlines portion between YYC-SEA. For more information on Emirates flights or to book visit them at

Friday, February 24, 2012

WestJet to start Calgary-Chicago service

As was mentioned by our reader BigTime in the comments of American Airlines dropping YYC-ORD service, WestJet will be picking up the route this May when they officially service between Calgary and Chicago.

The daily service will operate as follows (thanks to Airline Route Updates):
Calgary – Chicago O’Hare
WS1646 YYC1600 – 2015ORD 73W D
WS1523 ORD1830 – 2115YYC 73W D

Naturally, I would assume that American Airlines will codeshare on the route for seem-less connections out of their Chicago hub.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

KLM Official Press Release for YYC Daily Service

Although most of us have known about this since early December or so, KLM sent out an official release announcing the YYC daily service:

MontrĂ©al, February 22, 2012 – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has announced it will expand its presence on the Calgary-Amsterdam route by offering a daily flight as of June 6, increasing its seat offer by 24 % over the previous summer.

Flights will be operated with an Airbus A 330-200 aircraft offering a total capacity of 243 seats: 213 in Economy Class and 30 in World Business Class.

After a 13-year absence from Alberta, the airline reopened the route on May 3, 2009 amidst the economic crisis. ‘We are pleased with our gradual increase in seat capacity strategy which now allows us to schedule a daily flight this summer. This confirms the destination’s potential and enables us to provide even more travel options between Western Canada and Amsterdam and then on to our worldwide network’, commented Fabien Pelous, Vice President and General Manager AIR FRANCE KLM Canada.

We are thrilled that KLM will be increasing frequency of their non-stop service to Amsterdam out of YYC,” said Stephan Poirier, Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer for The Calgary Airport Authority. “Amsterdam is an important hub for business and leisure travelers and offers passengers extensive connections to the globe. KLM’s daily service expands our already extensive network of destinations, making YYC the gateway of choice for passengers.”
"KLM’s decision to increase flights to daily service this summer is great news for Alberta's tourism industry and for potential visitors from important markets across Europe," said Jack Hayden, Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation. "Added flights reflect the growing popularity of Alberta as a destination of choice for European vacationers. This demonstrates that the partnership between KLM, Travel Alberta, WestJet, Calgary International Airport and industry partners is producing positive results, and helping to expand tourism in Alberta," he said.

KLM’s 2012 summer program between Calgary and Amsterdam(Local times)
Departure YYC
Arrival AMS
Departure AMS
Arrival YYC
March 25
April 29
KL 678
08:15 + 1
A 330-200
Daily ex. Mon. & Wed.
KL 677
April 30
June 5
KL 678
08:15 + 1
A 330-200
Daily ex. Wednesday
KL 677
June 6
October 28
KL 678
08:15 + 1
A 330-200
KL 677
KLM in Canada
KLM is part of the AIR FRANCE KLM Group and the SkyTeam Alliance. This summer the airline offers daily flights to Amsterdam from Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto - double daily -, for a total of 35 flights per week. A KLM coach also connects passengers from Ottawa to Montreal-Trudeau. KLM’s codeshare with WestJet ensures connectivity to 10 additional Canadian cities: Kelowna, Prince George, Comox, Abbotsford, Victoria, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Regina and Halifax. -30 -

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Delta / WestJet launch codeshare routes

Once again it has been awhile since I posted on IFlyCalgary, in fact most of my work was on hiatus due to a family emergency in mid January and then when everything was better a nice vacation to Maui from Jan 23 to Feb 1. I will try to catch up on what is probably old news for all of our readers but feel I should post it anyways. The first news is the Delta/WestJet codeshare launch which I believe has expanded even further than the list below. The good news about this codeshare agreement is that it seems to be the first where you can earn WestJet Dollars on an airline other than WestJet (as long as it is booked through WestJet and carries a WS flight #)

These are the following routes that Delta started codesharing on WestJet when this launched on January 23:
Calgary – Kelonwa
Calgary – Las Vegas
Calgary – Regina
Calgary – Saskatoon
Calgary – Vancouver
Calgary – Victoria
Calgary – Winnipeg

Source: Airline Route Updates