WestJet, Canada’s number two airline, has confirmed an inbound interline deal with British Airways. The pact will mean passengers will soon be able to travel across both airlines on a single itinerary. Passengers and their baggage will be transferred from their BA flight onto WestJet’s services without having to purchase a separate ticket.
Although an official press release is still to be drawn up, spokesman for WestJet, Robert Palmer, confirmed that a deal was in place. He said that more details would be forthcoming as tickets go on sale after Christmas.
WestJet already has interline agreements with American Airlines in the US and Europe’s Air France-KLM. The Calgary-based carrier also has a codeshare deal with Cathay Pacific. It is not unusual for interline pacts to turn into codeshare agreements which allow both carriers in the partnership to sell tickets for one another’s services. The advantage of codeshare pacts is that airlines can offer their customers a wider range of destinations without having to pay for the upkeep of their partner’s fleet.
Chris Murray, an analyst with the firm PI Financial Corp, said that at present there had been no discussion about upgrading the relationship. He added that the deal with BA was ideal for WestJet given the travel patterns between Canada and the UK. He went on to say that the deal was likely to increase that value of shares in WestJet.
WestJet hopes that the partnership with BA will not only offer more opportunities to boost revenues, but also provide a way in to the business market.