World News – CA – WestJet’s first airport lounge set to take off in Calgary


Bartrem said its luxurious, high-tech detail was different from what many perceive an airline with roots as a discount carrier

WestJet has chosen Calgary to launch its first airport lounge, a move that the carrier says « puts pressure on rival Air Canada in the ground comfort draw

WestJet city officials said it was only natural that their initial and flagship lounge be located at Calgary International Airport, in a 9,300 square foot space decorated with artwork depicting the natural splendor of Alberta

WestJet spokesman Richard Bartrem said the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge at the airport is now in a brawl

« Our competitive friend on the road has been running lounges for decades now. They prey on business travelers and high-end travelers, and it’s relatively new to WestJet and they’re noticing us too, » a- he declared

« So we are very attached to this segment of the market, and the fact that the heat has increased did not surprise us »

Recently, Air Canada showed promotional videos of its Maple Leaf lounge at the airport, with the motto « Welcome to Calgary »

In it, the airline promises local or regional flavors with products such as Calgary Village ice cream and BCOkanagan wines

Preceding the Nov 2 launch of WestJet’s Elevation Lounge in Hall B of the Domestic Terminal, aimed at loyal and high profile travelers and also featuring local products such as Calgary’s Dandy Brewing Co beer and the Annex Ale project

Bartrem said its luxurious, high-tech detail is different from what many perceive an airline with roots as a discount carrier

« What people are saying is not what they expected from WestJet What we are hearing is that the details and the technology are awesome, the illustrations are awesome, » he said declared

But the move comes against a backdrop of a historically low ebb for the airline and travel industries, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to anchor many planes while decimating international flights

WestJet says 140 of its 181 planes are parked, while 4,000 employees have been permanently laid off

For now, the 220-person lounge will only accept 100, while its bookable meeting rooms also accommodate smaller groups than space allows

He will follow all pandemic protocols currently in place at the airport, including wearing protective masks, except while eating or drinking

Hosting the lounge in the city’s flight hub, Calgary Airports Authority CFO Robert Palmer noted that the other recent development at the facility was the launch of a trial rapid COVID-19 test to dramatically reduce period of self-isolation for international travelers

« After last week’s announcement (trial run), we are currently seeing a higher number of bookings than cancellations, and while bookings look encouraging, it is only early », airline spokeswoman Morgan Bell said

The living room will offer several comfort spaces, including an open kitchen area and a bedroom for families with children

« We listened to our guests on how we should build such a lounge, » said WestJet Commercial Director Arved von zur Muehlen

« It is a place where we can relax and rejuvenate, but also where children can be children »

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WestJet Airport Lounge, Calgary International Airport

World News – CA – WestJet’s first airport lounge set to take off in Calgary



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