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CALGARY – With the departure of flight 2604 from Toronto Pearson International Airport, WestJet officially becomes the only Canadian carrier directly connecting Canadians to the beautiful country of Belize. 

“Leaving Canada and hitting the beaches in Belize by mid-day is something that Canadian travellers are not used to and we have absolutely changed the game with our twice-weekly service from Toronto,” said Bob Cummings, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Commercial. “I extend a big thanks to our WestJet team, the Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation as well as the Belize Tourism Board for their support in the creation of this significant route. To our guests this morning, we say, “Gud maanin,” and welcome aboard. We look forward to offering both Canadians and Belizeans the chance to experience WestJet’s low fare, high care service over the winter months.”

“This is a very exciting moment for the tourism stakeholders in Belize. After a long planning period with WestJet, we are thrilled that the route has become a reality,” said Karen Bevans, Director of Tourism for the Belize Tourism Board. “This flight comes at the perfect time, as we are approaching the start of our upcoming high season, making travelling to Belize so much easier and more convenient for Canadians. We expect that with such ease in accessibility, tourism arrivals from Canada will increase, thereby contributing positively to the growth in the overnight tourism sector in Belize.”

“This is truly a historic milestone for our nation,” said Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr., Belize’s Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation. “Today’s inaugural flight holds a very significant and unparalleled opportunity for Belize, as it is the first to directly connect Canada and Belize. We certainly foresee an increase in travel to Belize from thousands of Canadians who have been deterred in the past due to inconvenient layovers and connections in the United States. After today, this is no longer the case. Our sincerest gratitude goes out to WestJet for their partnership and belief in a future with Belize.”

Belize is WestJet’s 21st destination in the Caribbean and third destination in Central America. During peak winter months the airline has a total of more than 90 flights per week from Toronto to the Caribbean and Central America.

Flights will be operated on WestJet’s Boeing 737 aircraft featuring the enhanced Plus product and WestJet Connect, WestJet’s inflight entertainment system connected directly to smartphone, tablet or computer. Almost 70 per cent of WestJet’s Boeing fleet is now equipped with WestJet Connect.

All flights allow WestJet Rewards members the opportunity to earn WestJet dollars to be used towards the payment of a WestJet-marketed flight or a WestJet Vacations package (excluding taxes, fees and charges).

WestJet recognized as Canada’s most trusted airline
WestJet is Canada’s most trusted airline according to the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria’s Brand Trust Index. The results are based on a survey of more than 6,000 Canadians across 276 brands.

“To be seen as the most trusted airline in Canada speaks to the heart of what a caring airline should be known for,” commented Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and CEO. “The more than 20 million guests who book and fly with us each year do so with the confidence that we’ll take care of them and I’m pleased that the efforts of our WestJetters are recognized.”

The Gustavson Brand Trust Index was established to raise awareness of the role trust plays in the minds of consumers when making purchase decisions and measures the relationships between social equity, trust, and advocacy for brands in Canada. The initiative highlights Gustavson’s goal of educating and championing responsible leadership, part of the vital impact that drives UVic’s sense of purpose as a leading teaching and research hub.

Also, WestJet is the most reputable Canadian company for corporate social responsibility (CSR), according to a new study by the Reputation Institute, the world’s leading research and advisory firm for reputation. The results are based on a survey on more than 300 companies.

The study “reflects public perceptions of corporate performance across three increasingly important dimensions of corporate reputation: citizenship, workplace and governance,” according to the Institute. “The results describe which companies are best regarded by consumers for having a positive societal influence, being environmentally friendly, operating with openness and transparency, behaving ethically, rewarding employees fairly and promoting employee well-being, among other factors.”

“Corporate social responsibility is part of our DNA and we take enormous pride in our community investment and commitment to sustainable growth, as well as our mission to enrich the lives of everyone in WestJet’s world,” said Gregg Saretsky. “To be recognized as Canada’s most reputable company in such an important area is the result of the passion, hard work and dedication of our nearly 12,000 WestJetters who have been the cornerstone of our success for 20 years.”

In addition, Canadian Business magazine has ranked WestJet third among the top 25 brands in the country, based on a national survey of Canadians. This is the fifth consecutive year the airline has finished in the top three.

In ranking WestJet third, Canadian Business magazine mentioned, “Years of cultivating that reputation meant that when WestJet stepped up efforts to assist with evacuations from Fort McMurray, Alberta during its devastating 2016 wildfire, it felt like a natural step for the company, not a cynical public relations maneuver.”

WestJet is proud to be the first Canadian airline to release a CSR report adhering to the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) guidelines. The structure created by the GRI promotes an atmosphere of transparent reporting and allows organizations to measure their progress against international standards.

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