Category Archives: WestJet Encore

WestJet Group welcomes the border changes

WestJet Group issued this statement:

The WestJet Group welcomes today’s announcement from the federal government outlining changes to Canada’s border measures and travel policies effective February 28, 2022. The WestJet Group will continue to advocate, based on science and data, for the removal of all measures impacting fully-vaccinated air travelers.

“The removal of travel barriers for fully-vaccinated travelers and families is a positive step forward for our industry; we have been advocating tirelessly for these changes on behalf of our guests and our communities,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President, External Affairs. “As a fully-vaccinated industry, we have worked with public health authorities and all governments to curb COVID-19 and today’s announcement validates that travel has never been a significant vector of transmission.”

WestJet continues to advocate for the return to surveillance arrivals testing only and for the federal government to outline a recovery roadmap for the travel and tourism industry, based on science and reflective of the current realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As measures transition and Canada’s pandemic situation continues to improve, we are optimistic that the remaining policies will be reassessed and removed for fully-vaccinated travellers in the weeks ahead as outlined today by the Ministers,” continued Avery.

The WestJet Group opposes re-introduction of blanket air travel advisory

The WestJet Group is expressing its strong opposition to the travel advisory issued by the Government of Canada. The targeted advice outlined is not based on science and data and significantly undermines aviation’s proven safety record in response to COVID-19. These measures are a setback in Canada’s progress and its successful transition from relying on blanket advisories and policies.

“Air travel is the most tested and protected consumer activity in Canada, every person travelling internationally is tested on average twice throughout their travel journey,” said Harry Taylor, WestJet President and CEO. “As the only fully-vaccinated air travel sector in the world, WestJet is calling on the government to publicly share the travel related COVID-19 data that has been used to re-impose the advisory and advice targeted towards fully-vaccinated Canadians and the travel and tourism industry.”

International travel standards and policies should be harmonized, yet Canada’s travel measures remain firmly out of step with border policies enacted across the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. The advisory announced today, contradicts WHO’s guidance that states blanket travel bans will not prevent the international spread of COVID-19 and adversely affect lives and livelihoods. The Government of Canada should continue to focus on vaccinations and testing, as the pathway for safe and fully-vaccinated international air travel must be preserved.

“Since the onset of the pandemic, we have safely flown more than seven million guests and air travel has been commended for its commitment to safety. Fully-vaccinated Canadians should not be singled-out for choosing to take part in a safe activity,” continued Taylor. “Travel bans, restrictions and blanket advisories are devastating to the continued economic recovery of our country and place tens of thousands of recently recalled Canadian travel and tourism jobs at risk. We are very concerned today’s announcement will create unnecessary disruption and chaos in advance of the holiday travel season.”

Since the onset of the pandemic, The WestJet Group has responded to COVID-19 to ensure the safety of all. The airline has implemented its own measures in response to the pandemic including a zero-tolerance mask policy, enhancing health and safety measures, suspending sun flights and implementing the airline’s mandatory vaccination policy for employees and air travelers.

WestJet Encore Cabin Crew Members, represented by CUPE Local 4070, ratify five-year collective agreement

WestJet Encore has announced that Encore Cabin Crew Members, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), have successfully ratified their first five-year agreement.

This ratified agreement is in place from August 1, 2021, through to and including July 31, 2026.

The time invested in the negotiations by both parties, leading up to ratification, was necessary to work through the many complex terms and conditions.

WestJet to launch nonstop Calgary – Seattle/Tacoma service

WestJet today announced new nonstop service between Calgary, AB and Seattle/Tacoma, WA. As the airline with the most flights from Calgary, the new nonstop service to Seattle will operate four-times weekly beginning November 4, 2021, on WestJet Encore’s Q400 aircraft and will increase to two-times daily on May 19, 2022.

With Canada’s border restrictions easing on August 9, 2021, WestJet is continuing to build upon its network position as Western Canada’s largest air carrier with the introduction of new service between the two iconic cities.

Details of WestJet’s new service between Calgary and Seattle/Tacoma:

Route Frequency Start date
Calgary – Seattle 4x weekly November 4, 2021
6x weekly December 20, 2021
1x daily March 28, 2022
2x daily May 19, 2022
Seattle – Calgary 4x weekly November 4, 2021
6x weekly December 20, 2021
1x daily March 28, 2022
2x daily May 19, 2022

 

WestJet to restore regional routes suspended due to COVID-19

WestJet today announced it will restore flights to the communities of Charlottetown, Fredericton, Moncton, Sydney and Quebec City after service was suspended as a result of COVID-19. The reinstatement of service will restore WestJet’s complete network of pre-COVID-19 domestic airports.

Service is set to resume to the five airports WestJet suspended service from in November, beginning June 24, 2021 through to June 30, 2021. In addition, service between St. John’s and Toronto, which was indefinitely suspended in October, will resume effective June 24, 2021. Following a temporary suspension, the restart of service between St. John’s and Halifax will be advanced from June 24, 2021 to May 6, 2021. Full schedule details and restart dates are outlined below.

Recognizing the investments that WestJet’s travel and tourism partners in the regions need to make to begin to recover from the pandemic, the airline will continue to encourage the Atlantic premiers to advance their efforts to ensure the region is open to Canadians this summer.

Planned Network Service Resumptions:

Route Frequency Planned restart date
St. John’s-Halifax 6x weekly May 6, 2021
Charlottetown-Toronto 11x weekly June 24, 2021
St. John’s-Toronto 1x daily June 24, 2021
Fredericton-Toronto 1x daily June 26, 2021
Quebec City-Toronto 1x daily June 28, 2021
Sydney-Halifax 1x daily June 28, 2021
Moncton-Toronto 1x daily June 30, 2021

 

WestJet ratifies five-year agreement with WestJet Encore pilots

WestJet Encore Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) C-GWEU (msn 4493) YYZ (Jay Selman). Image: 403935.

WestJet has announced that 92 percent of WestJet Encore pilots represented by the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) voted in favor of a five-year agreement. The vote represents 90 percent of the 505 WestJet Encore pilots.

The agreement starts January 1, 2019 and expires on January 1, 2024.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): WestJet Encore Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) C-GWEU (msn 4493) YYZ (Jay Selman). Image: 403935.

WestJet Encore aircraft slide show:

 

WestJet touches down in Portland, Oregon

WestJet has made this announcement:

Building on WestJet’s position as Calgary’s largest air carrier, the airline began its new nonstop flight between Portland International Airport (PDX) and Calgary nInternational Airport (YYC) today. The new flight is the first-ever WestJet-scheduled service to and from Portland.

WestJet’s nonstop flight to Calgary allows for convenient access to its western Canadian network where the airline will operate 145 daily flights from Calgary to 54 destinations including Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Saskatoon, Regina, Atlanta, Nashville, New York, London, Paris and Dublin.  WestJet operates more flights to more destinations from Calgary than any other airline.  WestJet’s codeshare partner, Delta, also offers travellers from Calgary the opportunity to connect to Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, Seattle/Tacoma and Salt Lake City International Airport out of Portland.

Route Frequency Departing Arriving Effective
Calgary – Portland Daily 10:30 a.m. 11:17 a.m. April 29, 2019
Portland – Calgary Daily 12:10 p.m. 2:57 p.m. April. 29, 2019

This summer, WestJet will operate over 740 daily flights in peak summer to 92 destinations including 42 in Canada, 23 in the United States, 28 in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America, and five in Europe.

WestJet’s Dreamliner takes its first transatlantic flight

WestJet officially launched its new Dreamliner featuring its new long-haul Business cabin seats between Calgary and London, Gatwick with the departure of WS1. The sold-out flight, expected to land in Gatwick at 11:00 a.m. local time, was a first for WestJet’s new 787-9 Dreamliner. The return flight, WS2 departs London at 1 p.m. local time on Monday.

“The three years since WestJet’s inaugural flight from Gatwick have been a real success story, with thousands of business and leisure passengers enjoying the vital low-cost connections between the UK and Canada that these services have provided,” said Guy Stephenson, Gatwick Airport Chief Commercial Officer. “WestJet’s presence at Gatwick continues to grow, and it’s very exciting for us to be supporting the airline as it moves into this important new era. The launch of the 787 Dreamliner will offer around 24,000 more GatwickCalgary seats per year on the same number of aircraft, and its highly fuel-efficient engines will also help us in our ongoing mission to become the UK’s most sustainable airport.”

Photo: The first WestJet 787 at LGW.

Tail 901, WestJet’s first Dreamliner, named Clive Beddoe, also carried the founder and chairman himself.

On May 17, WestJet will launch its inaugural direct Dreamliner flight between Calgary to Paris with its final transatlantic flight between Calgary and Dublin on June 1.

WestJet’s Dreamliners carry 320 guests in a three-class cabin configuration including the airline’s newly revealed Business cabin featuring 16 private pods with lie-flat seats, an upscale Premium cabin and an updated Economy cabin.

WestJet is Calgary’s largest airline, and by June 2019, will offer flights to 68 nonstop destinations with over 1,000 flights per week from YYC. More Calgarians choose WestJet for their air travel than any other airline.

Details of WestJet’s new nonstop service:

Route

Frequency

Departing

Arriving

Effective

Calgary – London
(Gatwick)

Daily

7:20 p.m

11 a.m. +1

April 28, 2019

London (Gatwick) –
Calgary

Daily

1:30 p.m

3:40 p.m

April 29, 2018

In other news, WestJet Encore will drop the Halifax – Boston route on June 2, 2019.

All photos by WestJet.

CUPE files to represent WestJet Encore flight attendants

CUPE has made this announcement:

CUPE has filed an application at the Canada Industrial Relations Board to represent flight attendants at WestJet Encore.

A majority of WestJet Encore flight attendants have signed cards supporting unionization with CUPE, after citing the need for better schedules and better opportunities for career advancement among their reasons for seeking to unionize. CUPE is thrilled to get to work improving the lives of Encore staff.

CUPE has industry-leading experience and expertise in improving the working conditions and the lives of our flight attendant members,” said CUPE National President Mark Hancock. “We look forward to adding Encore flight attendants to our airline family.”

Flight attendants have a tough job ensuring the safety of their passengers at 20,000 feet, along with challenging working conditions and often unpredictable schedules. But being part of a union makes a world of difference, as flight attendants at WestJet mainline can already attest. “Most definitely, my life is a lot better after joining CUPE,” said Kruti Sutaria, who is now the secretary-treasurer of CUPE Local 4070, representing WestJet mainline flight attendants.

In July 2018, CUPE was certified to represent roughly 3,000 flight attendants at WestJet’s mainline carrier. CUPE is Canada’s flight attendant union, representing 15,000 flight attendants at ten different airlines nationwide.

Meanwhile WestJet issued this statement:

WestJet has issued the following statement from President and CEO Ed Sims regarding the application for certification of its WestJet Encore flight attendants by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

“We respect the individual rights of our employees to choose their representation. The caring and passionate nature of all employee groups will ensure we collectively deliver on our strategy of becoming a global network airline while keeping safety at the forefront.”