Westjet sees surge in air traffic as Belize sees surge in arrivals
Canadian based airline, WestJet, which offers weekly flights to Belize on high season(Oct 31-Apr30), has recorded surging flyer traffic with 2.174 billion revenue passenger miles in May, a 7.5 percent increase over the same period last year.
According to WestJet CEO Ed Sims, more than 2.1 million travelers flew with the airline in the month of May alone. The airline also showed a 5.4 percent increase in available seat miles while its load factor rose by 1.6 percentage points to 82.2 percent last month.
Smith despite the many challenges airlines face, he was pleased and happy that so many travelers chose to fly with WestJet. “My sincere thanks go out to each individual WestJetter for their continued dedication to delivering our award-winning brand of friendly caring service,” Sims said.
WestJet has been on a push to expand its services in recent years, especially in markets in the Caribbean and Mexico, including Belize. Last October, WestJet launched new regular weekly flight to Belize from Calgary. The flights from Calgary to Belize added to WestJet’s service in Belize, which already offered weekly flights from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport to Belize in October 2016. The Calgary to Belize flights operate three times a week with service on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB), at the time, said it was a great development for Belize, which continues to see rapid growth in its tourism sector. Canada represents Belize’s second largest tourism market, behind the United States. According to statistics from the BTB, Canadians account for approximately 7 percent of total visitors to Belize annually.
Belize’s tourism arrivals have surged in the past couple years, as a number of other airlines have also expanded their services to offer new regular flights to the lush tropical paradise. The country is also expecting another strong year for tourism in 2018. Belize has received a lot of attention in international publications as a must-visit destination and coupled with a strong campaign from BTB to present Belize as a prime vacation option, the country has seen unprecedented arrivals in the first quarter of 2018.
Official BTB stats indicate that in March alone, Belize welcomed a record 55,000 overnight visitors, representing a 24.8 percent increase over the same time period last year. There was also a 4.6 percent increase in cruise ship arrivals, during the first quarter compared to last year. Over 400,000 cruise passengers arrived in Belize during that time.