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When it comes to Canadian airlines, Air Canada is almost always first to come to mind. But WestJet is about to jump in as a major player in the international market, as it begins to take delivery of its new long-haul fleet.

The airline has 10 787-9 Dreamliners on the way, with the option to add 10 more down the line. And WestJet’s first 787 is coming along nicely, beginning the final assembly process at Boeing’s Everett, Washington facility.

This first 787 should enter WestJet’s fleet early next year, with the aircraft’s inaugural passenger flight scheduled for April 28, 2019, replacing the carrier’s 767 and launching daily service from Calgary (YYC) to London-Gatwick (LGW). The Dreamliner will also fly from YYC to Paris (CDG), beginning May 17, and to Dublin (DUB) as of June 1, 2019. See this post for more details on WestJet’s initial Dreamliner destinations.

WestJet’s Dreamliner introduction will elevate the transatlantic experience, with brand-new 1-2-1 seats in business class, while hopefully driving down fares from Canada. Still, even if WestJet does exercise all of its 787 options, the airline’s Dreamliner fleet will fall short of Air Canada’s — the country’s flag carrier currently operates a total of 35 Boeing 787s, plus another 25 Boeing 777s, 8 Airbus A330s and a half-dozen 767-300s.

Featured image courtesy of WestJet via Twitter.

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