By Suzanne A. Marshall from the December 2012 Edition
To say I am thrilled about the new seasonal service offered by WestJet via Calgary, Alberta direct to Manzanillo, Colima is definitely an understatement. And I know I am not the only one who sees it this way. There are many Canadians living in and visiting the Manzanillo area every winter, not to mention those with permanent residences there. I had a lovely chat with people from Ottawa and other parts of Alberta who were equally pleased.
The service is a partnership between WestJet and the Mexican Tourism Board. The flights function like a ‘hub’ out of Calgary from various connections across Canada, which serves to fill the seats on this weekly flight and provide the much sought after direct access to Manzanillo.
Most of us have been unable to reach our ‘paradise’ without cumbersome connections via the U.S.A. and often (as in our case) requiring lay-overs for flights the following day. For those travelling with family pets, new regulations were creating even further complications.
Thanks to information picked up from the Manzanillo Sun a few months back, my husband and I decided not to drive the distance in our own car. The ability to fly direct was just too tempting. It’s pretty hard to compare driving for a week versus flying about 5 hours. What a relief! The service will cover the winter season from the beginning of November to the end of April; perfect for us that’s for sure. I am also under the impression that if there is enough demand that there could be more than one flight per week in the future.
So we booked our flights for the November departure and arrived in Calgary from Edmonton with lots of time to connect in the WestJet lounge and contemplate the winter in our sunny destination. What we hadn’t expected or thought about, was that we were actually on the ‘inaugural’ flight for this new service. As we waited, we began to notice an unusual bustle of activity, breakfast treats were being served for the lucky passengers and we were all delighted to listen to brief speeches from WestJet management and dignitaries with the Mexican Tourism Board. Attending the launch were:
Chris Avery, VP and General Manager WestJet Vacations Jennifer Stanford, Public Relations, WestJet
Fernando Moran, Minister of Tourism, State of Colima Fernando Villar, Consul of Mexico in Calgary Rodrigo Esponda C., Director, Mexico Tourism Board, Toronto
Following a smooth flight the crew announced our descent and arrival in Manzanillo. If anyone hadn’t noticed that this was a brand new service, they figured it out pretty quickly. As the aircraft taxied along the tarmac to the terminal a fire truck on the runway opened up a spray of water over the plane, which I like to interpret as a ‘baptism’ of this inaugural event. Once on the ground, passengers walking to the terminal were welcomed with a sign in English and an excellent mariachi band complete with Spanish senoritas dancing in full and beautiful Spanish dresses.
Now I’m going to be quite selfish here when I say let’s give WestJet and Colima Tourism our full support by booking these seasonal flights, telling friends and family and referring anyone to this marvelous and beautiful location for their next Mexican vacation. I truly believe that this service is going to give tourism to Manzanillo and destinations in our area a big boost and this will be nothing but good for all of us!!