Buon viaggio! WestJet launches new direct flight from Calgary to Rome

Officials say the local economy will be supported through WestJet's new direct service from Calgary to Rome, which began on May 7, 2022.

It was nearly three years in the making, but hundreds of Calgarians are now enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of Rome, thanks to a new direct flight from WestJet.

The service was originally going to begin in May 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed that, causing a two-year delay to the inaugural flight.

The airline says it had two flights to Rome nearly sold out for its first weekend – a sign that Calgarians want to put the pandemic behind them and return to their jet-setting lifestyle.

Bob Sartor with the Calgary Airport Authority says the airline industry provides the city with plenty of benefits.

"They create jobs, they bring cargo and they make Calgary a more attractive city for business and an easier city to access for tourism," he told CTV News on Saturday. "We're one of, I think, only 14 airports that has service to Rome."

Each flight will support approximately 100 jobs in the industry, and the authority says the majority of those positions are filled locally.