WestJet Enhances Codeshare With Japan Airlines

Canadian low-cost carrier WestJet announced an enhancement to its codeshare agreement with Japan Airlines that will see WestJet’s marketing code ‘WS’ code placed on Japan Airlines flights between Vancouver International Airport and Narita International Airport. Passengers on both sides of the Pacific can now enjoy seamless connections across enhanced domestic networks in Canada and Japan.

Launching a new cooperative step

The enhancement to the codeshare agreement means that Tokyo is now available as a destination for sale for WestJet passengers, and bookings can be made through the airline’s call center and travel trade partners. Passengers can then connect from Tokyo onward to other parts of Japan via Japan Airlines’ vast domestic network, which has recently been ramped up for the winter.


Likewise, Japan Airlines passengers can enjoy several choices of Canadian connections from Vancouver through WestJet’s domestic network. The codeshare will offer optimized connecting times between WestJet and Japan Airlines flights through check-in and baggage check to the final destination at the first point of departure.

The new development will also expand on the long-standing codeshare agreement between WestJet and Japan Airlines, which was in place more than a decade ago in 2011. Ross Leggett, Deputy Senior Vice President of Route Marketing, International Relations and Alliances of Japan Airlines, said:

“Japan Airlines is excited to strengthen our codeshare partnership with WestJet by offering passengers more opportunities to travel between Japan and Canada. WestJet has been an outstanding partner committed to offering travelers seamless connectivity.”

Japan Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Banking on fuelled demand

Launching a new cooperative step in their codeshare agreement after so many years also comes as Japan lifted all travel restrictions and welcomed international air travel back in October. The approaching year-end festivities and holidays further fuel the demand for air travel to Japan, especially since Canada was a visa-free country, all of which WestJet saw as ideal factors for a codeshare expansion.

It also helped that Canada and Japan were not exceptionally well connected regarding the number of flight services from airlines, as Air Canada, All Nippon Airways, and Japan Airlines are the only three carriers offering flights between the two countries. When Japan fully reopened, Air Canada saw bookings jump by more than 51%, a definitive hint of greater demand.

Seeing as the market was relatively untapped by any Canadian low-cost carrier, WestJet decided to take advantage, as emphasized by John Weatherill, WestJet’s Chief Commercial Officer:

“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. Both countries have substantial inbound and outbound tourism markets, and this enhancement will bring more convenient options to travelers on both sides of the Pacific.”

WestJet Boeing 787-9

Possibility of joining an alliance

Expanding its codeshare agreement with Japan Airlines is the second time WestJet enhanced cooperation with an Asian carrier this year, the first time being with Korean Air back in October. When the collaboration with Korean Air was announced, speculations came that the Canadian budget carrier could eventually join the SkyTeam alliance, especially since it has a significant partnership with Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM.

However, the expanding codeshare agreement with Japan Airlines does turn the possibilities towards the oneworld alliance, especially as it has partnerships with Cathay Pacific and Qantas, albeit the possibility of WestJet joining oneworld would seem slimmer given the difficulty of entry to the alliance. Still, the oneworld alliance sprung some surprises this year when Oman Air joined, so maybe the chances for WestJet might not be so slim after all.

What do you think of the improved agreement between WestJet and Japan Airlines? Which airline alliance do you feel suits WestJet more? Let us know in the comments below.

  • WestJet 737 MAX 8


    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Calgary International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Vancouver International Airport

    Year Founded:

    Alexis von Hoensbroech


  • Japan-Airlines-Q1-Loss-Falls

    Japan Airlines

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Tokyo Haneda Airport, Tokyo Narita Airport

    Year Founded:


    Yuji Akasaka



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