WestJet Airlines Ltd. has signed a deal with Japan Airlines that will make it easier for passengers to connect between the two carriers.

Calgary-based WestJet said the code-share agreement launches on Thursday.

Travellers will be able to link from Japan Airlines flights landing in Vancouver, which will then connect to WestJet flights destined for Calgary, Edmonton, Kelowna, B.C., Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg.

Code-share agreements allow both airlines to sell seats on each other's planes using the same two-digit code.

Customers of either airline are able to travel over connecting flights on one ticket, get boarding passes for all flight legs at check-in and tag bags through to their final destination.

Interline and code-share agreements have helped WestJet to expand its market reach, since its fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft can't make the long flights to Europe or Asia.

"This agreement represents another key step in our strategy to welcome on board new guests from around the world," said WestJet's vice-president of network management, John MacLeod.

WestJet also has code-share agreements with Cathay Pacific, KLM and American Airlines.