Category Archives: WestJet Group

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 requires mandatory employee vaccination and mandatory traveller vaccination

WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-7CT WL C-GQWJ (msn 35505) LAX (Ton Jochems). Image: 955621.

WestJet made this announcement:

The WestJet Group has shared the evolution of its Safety Above All program to reflect mandatory employee vaccination and mandatory traveller vaccination, in line with the Government of Canada mandate.

Effective October 30, 2021, The WestJet Group will implement the federal government’s mandatory vaccination policy for air travelers and will operate as a fully vaccinated airline, managing minimal accommodations pursuant to human rights law.

Mandatory vaccination policy for travelers

For travel on or after October 30, 2021, the implementation of the federal government’s mandatory vaccination policy for travelers marks a major change to the Canadian travel journey.

For Phase I, for travel between October 30 and November 29, 2021, in order to travel with The WestJet Group, guests must prepare to provide proof of vaccination or proof of a valid PCR test to demonstrate the requirements for travel.

For Phase II, for travel on or after November 30, 2021, only proof of vaccination for guests 12 years or older, with narrow exceptions, will be acceptable for travel on the WestJet Group.

The WestJet Group mandatory employee vaccination policy

As announced, effective October 30, 2021, WestJet and Swoop will transition to fully vaccinated airlines with the implementation of the company’s mandatory employee vaccination policy.

All WestJet Group employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and full vaccination status is a requirement of employment for all future employees hired by the WestJet Group, with accommodations managed pursuant to human rights law.

Employees who failed to achieve full vaccination status by October 30, 2021, face unpaid leave and termination of employment.

International travel vaccination passport

The WestJet Group welcomes a standardized and digital proof of vaccination that will enable Canadians to securely and quickly demonstrate their vaccination status in order to travel abroad and is awaiting additional details on timelines, nationwide availability and global acceptance.

Top Copyright Photo: WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-7CT WL C-GQWJ (msn 35505) LAX (Ton Jochems). Image: 955621.

WestJet aircraft slide show:

WestJet, Swoop and ALPA receive arbitrator’s award on first collective agreement for pilots

WestJet has stated it has received the award of the arbitrator, Mr. William Kaplan, in the interest arbitration between WestJet, Swoop and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).

The arbitrator’s award, which is binding on all parties, follows mediated negotiations and formal arbitration hearings that have taken place since May 2018. The award sets the terms for the first collective agreement including all outstanding terms and conditions of employment for pilots at WestJet and Swoop.

“Today’s award provides WestJet the ability to grow, operate a sustainable business and to compete effectively in the current operating environment,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “The conclusion of this first agreement allows us to now turn our attention to the arrival of WestJet’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner and our transition to a global network carrier. I look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with our pilots as we deliver on our global future.”

ALPA represents approximately 1,600 WestJet and Swoop pilots not including WestJet Encore. WestJet Encore pilots are represented by ALPA in a separate bargaining unit, which is currently engaged in collective bargaining with the company.

WestJet will meet with ALPA leadership in early January 2019 to review the terms of the award and work towards finalizing the collective agreement. Due to the scope and complexity of the work required, the airline will not provide further comment at this time. WestJet remains committed to working directly with the pilots’ representation. The details of the collective agreement will be communicated when finalized.

In other news, WestJet on December 21 set a new record for guests flown in a single day for the fourth time this year. The group, including WestJet, WestJet Encore, Swoop and WestJet Link flew 82,618 guests, surpassing the previous record of 80,219 guests set on August 7, 2018.

WestJet Group to carry a record breaking number of passengers today

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The WestJet Group of Companies today set a company record for guests flown in a single day, flying an estimated 80,219 guests across its expanding network. This surpasses the previous record of 79,961 set on December 22, 2017.

“The WestJet Group continues to grow our guest numbers as our strategic plan is executed,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “We continue to expand our connectivity while providing more choice for Canadian travellers. Thank you to our 13,000 WestJetters for their part in our success and thank you to our guests for choosing WestJet, WestJet Encore, WestJet Link and Swoop for their summer travel plans.”

Photo: WestJet.