Category Archives: WestJet

WestJet to contract out most airport operations

WestJet has made this announcement:

WestJet has announced organizational changes that will see the company consolidate call centre activity in Alberta, contract out airport operations in all domestic airports outside of Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto, and strategically restructure its office and management staff. The moves are aimed at streamlining WestJet for a competitive future following the COVID-19 crisis.

“Throughout the course of the biggest crisis in the history of aviation, WestJet has made many difficult, but essential, decisions to future-proof our business,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “Today’s announcement regarding these strategic but unavoidable changes will allow us to provide security to our remaining 10,000 WestJetters, and to carry on the work of transforming our business. WestJet will once again serve the needs of Canadian travellers with low fares and award-winning service levels tomorrow and years from now.”

Overall, 3,333 employees across the country will be affected. As WestJet works to select new airport service partners, the airline will seek out preferential employment opportunities for as many of the airport roles as possible.

The COVID-19 crisis hit WestJet and the global aviation industry with devastating force. Since the beginning of March, guest traffic has dropped in response to virus fears and travel advisories that halted almost all but essential travel. To mitigate the impact on its workforce, WestJet implemented immediate cost-cutting measures including releasing a majority of outside contractors, instituting a hiring freeze, stopping all non-essential travel and training, suspending any internal role movements and salary adjustments, cutting executive, vice-president and director salaries and pausing more than 75 per cent of its capital projects.

WestJet has continued to operate service to all 38 year-round domestic airports during the pandemic to ensure essential lifelines for travel and cargo remained open but overall, the airline’s scheduled operations have been reduced by more than 90 per cent year over year.

WestJet releases its July schedule

WestJet today released its updated July schedule, developed to allow Canadians the pleasure of summer travel while economically supporting communities across the country in safely reopening travel and domestic tourism. In addition, the airline has added flights to select U.S. markets.

To ensure guests can book with confidence, the airline maintains its stringent Safety Above All hygiene program and continues to provide flexibility in booking, change and cancellation policies.

“Today’s schedule reflects our commitment to orderly and safe travel while providing steps to allow Canadians to get out, explore, and take part in critical economic activities like staying in hotels, eating out, visiting tourist attractions or simply just travelling to see friends and family,” said Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “Governments and Canadians from coast-to-coast are working together to lessen the impact of this pandemic and we are grateful that these efforts have put us in a position to add more options for travel this July.”

From July 5 through August 4, 2020, WestJet will offer operations to 45 destinations including 39 in Canada, five in the U.S. and one in Mexico an increase of approximately 102 per cent more flights from June, but down 76 per cent from July 2019.

Continued von zur Muehlen, “As we emerge from the pandemic, health vigilance must be balanced with the gradual reopening of our economy. WestJet has done our part and spent millions of dollars to ensure the safety and well-being of our guests and our people. We’re ready to get Canadians flying.”

On March 22, WestJet suspended its international and transborder operations. The airline’s schedule now contains flights to key transborder and international destinations including Los Angeles (LAX), Atlanta (ATL) and Las Vegas (LAS).

“Jurisdictions around the world are opening, allowing citizens to begin flying once again which is kickstarting their economies for recovery. We’ve heard from the communities we serve and look forward to having Canadians safely participate and stimulate domestic tourism this summer,” stated von zur Muehlen.

At this time, the airline is planning on operating the following domestic routes and frequencies from July 5 – August 4.

ALBERTA AND NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

Calgary-Abbotsford 2x daily
Calgary-Comox 6x weekly
Calgary-Cranbrook 3x weekly
Calgary-Fort St. John 2x daily
Calgary-Kamloops 6x weekly
Calgary-Kelowna 3x daily
Calgary-Nanaimo 6x weekly
Calgary-Penticton 4x weekly
Calgary-Vancouver 7x daily
Calgary-Victoria 2x daily
Calgary-Edmonton 6x daily
Calgary-Fort McMurray 3x daily
Calgary-Grande Prairie 3x daily
Calgary-Lethbridge 3x weekly
Calgary-Lloydminster 2x weekly
Calgary-Medicine Hat 2x weekly
Calgary-Yellowknife 3x weekly
Calgary-Brandon 3x weekly
Calgary-Regina 2x daily
Calgary-Saskatoon 2x daily
Calgary-Winnipeg 3x daily
Calgary-Hamilton 4x weekly
Calgary-Kitchener/Waterloo 2x weekly
Calgary-Toronto 6x daily
Edmonton-Vancouver 3x daily
Edmonton-Kelowna 6x weekly
Edmonton-Victoria 6x weekly
Edmonton-Calgary 6x daily
Edmonton-Fort McMurray 4x weekly
Edmonton-Grande Prairie 5x weekly
Edmonton-Regina 5x weekly
Edmonton-Saskatoon 6x weekly
Edmonton-Winnipeg 6x weekly
Edmonton-Toronto 3x daily
Fort McMurray-Calgary 3x daily
Fort McMurray-Edmonton 4x weekly
Grande Prairie-Calgary 3x daily
Grande Prairie-Edmonton 5x weekly
Lethbridge-Calgary 3x weekly
Lloydminster-Calgary 2x weekly
Medicine Hat-Calgary 2x weekly
Yellowknife-Calgary 3x weekly

BRITISH COLUMBIA AND YUKON

Abbotsford-Calgary 2x daily
Comox-Calgary 6x weekly
Cranbrook-Calgary 3x weekly
Fort St John-Calgary 2x daily
Kamloops-Calgary 6x weekly
Kelowna-Vancouver 1x daily
Kelowna-Calgary 3x daily
Kelowna-Edmonton 6x weekly
Nanaimo-Calgary 6x weekly
Penticton-Calgary 4x weekly
Prince George-Vancouver 2x daily
Terrace-Vancouver 6x weekly
Vancouver-Kelowna 1x daily
Vancouver-Prince George 2x daily
Vancouver-Terrace 6x weekly
Vancouver-Victoria 2x daily
Vancouver-Calgary 7x daily
Vancouver-Edmonton 3x daily
Vancouver-Winnipeg 5x weekly
Vancouver-Toronto 4x daily
Victoria-Vancouver 2x daily
Victoria-Calgary 2x daily
Victoria-Edmonton 6x weekly

ONTARIO

Hamilton-Calgary 4x weekly
Kitchener/Waterloo-Calgary 2x weekly
London, ON-Toronto 4x weekly
Ottawa-Calgary 6x weekly
Ottawa-Toronto 4x daily
Ottawa-Halifax 2x weekly
Thunder Bay-Winnipeg 2x weekly
Thunder Bay-Toronto 4x weekly
Toronto-Vancouver 4x daily
Toronto-Calgary 6x daily
Toronto-Edmonton 3x daily
Toronto-Regina 3x weekly
Toronto-Saskatoon 3x weekly
Toronto-Winnipeg 3x daily
Toronto-London, ON 4x weekly
Toronto-Ottawa 4x daily
Toronto-Thunder Bay 4x weekly
Toronto-Montreal 4x daily
Toronto-Quebec City 3x weekly
Toronto-Charlottetown 2x weekly
Toronto-Deer Lake 4x weekly
Toronto-Fredericton 3x weekly
Toronto-Halifax 3x daily
Toronto-Moncton 3x weekly
Toronto-St. John’s (NL) 5x weekly

SASKATCHEWAN AND MANITOBA

Brandon-Calgary 3x weekly
Regina-Calgary 2x daily
Regina-Edmonton 5x weekly
Regina-Toronto 3x weekly
Saskatoon-Calgary 2x daily
Saskatoon-Edmonton 6x weekly
Saskatoon-Winnipeg 2x weekly
Saskatoon-Toronto 3x weekly
Winnipeg-Vancouver 5x weekly
Winnipeg-Calgary 3x daily
Winnipeg-Edmonton 6x weekly
Winnipeg-Saskatoon 2x weekly
Winnipeg-Thunder Bay 2x weekly
Winnipeg-Toronto 3x daily

QUEBEC

Montreal-Calgary 6x weekly
Montreal-Toronto 4x daily
Quebec City-Toronto 3x weekly

ATLANTIC CANADA

Charlottetown-Toronto 2x weekly
Deer Lake-Toronto 4x weekly
Fredericton-Toronto 3x weekly
Halifax-Calgary 6x weekly
Halifax-Ottawa 2x weekly
Halifax-Toronto 3x daily
Halifax- St. John’s (NL) 6x weekly
Halifax-Sydney 2x weekly
Moncton-Toronto 3x weekly
St. John’s (NL)-Toronto 5x weekly
St. John’s (NL)-Halifax 6x weekly
Sydney-Halifax 2x weekly

At this time, the airline is planning on operating the following transborder and international routes from July 5 – August 4.

Market Planned frequency
Vancouver – Los Angeles 4x weekly
Vancouver – Las Vegas 2x weekly
Calgary – Los Angeles 4x weekly
Calgary – Las Vegas 4x weekly
Calgary – Atlanta 1x daily
Toronto – Las Vegas 2x weekly
Toronto – LaGuardia 6x weekly
Toronto – Orlando 1x weekly (starts Jul 11)
Toronto – Cancun 1x weekly (starts Jul 11)

Due to the continued reduction in overall demand, border closures and domestic quarantine requirements that remain in place across the country, the revised schedule also includes temporary domestic route suspensions for July 5-August 4, 2020.

Market Previous frequency
Vancouver – Nanaimo 2x daily
Vancouver – Comox 1x daily
Vancouver – Regina 4x weekly
Vancouver – Saskatoon 1x daily
Vancouver – Fort St. John 1x daily
Vancouver – Cranbrook 1x daily

WestJet announces its travel hygiene program

WestJet today announced its travel hygiene program under the Safety above all umbrella, detailing what WestJet guests can expect when traveling to ensure their health and safety.

“Safety, including hygiene and health, is above all at WestJet, which is why the already-existing mantra was selected to communicate our hygiene efforts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Billy Nolen, WestJet Vice-President, Safety, Security and Quality.

“Safety is at the forefront of every decision and initiative at WestJet and our efforts on health and hygiene are no exception. As the world continues to adapt to this new environment, we will continue to adjust our health measures to ensure the safest travel experience possible as more Canadians begin to fly once again.”

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, WestJet has introduced a number of safety and hygiene best-practice initiatives based on information from domestic and global experts such as the Public Health Agency of Canada, the World Health Organization and International Air Transport Association (IATA). These measures include introducing both seat distancing and aircraft fogging, which is a cleaning procedure that provides a complete disinfection of the aircraft interior using a hydrogen peroxide-based solution cleaner. WestJet has also implemented temperature taking before boarding across its 38 Canadian destinations.

It is a misconception that COVID-19 is spread on aircraft. With WestJet’s layered approach to health, the aircraft is as safe an environment as possible. In addition to the measures detailed here, all WestJet aircraft (737, 767, 787 and Q400) are equipped with an industry-leading air circulation system containing a HEPA filter, similar to what is used in hospital environments, achieving a viral removal efficiency of greater than 99.99909 per cent. World Health Organization also recently stated the spread of COVID-19 by someone who is not showing symptoms appears to be rare.

Concluded Nolen. “As Canadians continue to flatten the curve, WestJet is committed to doing our part, while helping guests feel safe getting back in the skies.”

WestJet saves 1,000 pilot jobs through ALPA agreements

WestJet has made this announcement:

WestJet has announced it has reached an agreement with the Airline Pilot Association (ALPA), to save more than 1,000 pilot jobs at WestJet, WestJet Encore and Swoop amidst the COVID-19 crisis. The airline had previously confirmed that 1,700 pilots across WestJet, WestJet Encore and Swoop had received layoff notifications, effective either May 1 or June 1, 2020.

“I’m pleased that ALPA and WestJet, through robust negotiations and collaboration have come together to minimize the impact of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic on our pilot groups,” said Jeff Martin, WestJet Executive Vice-President, and Chief Operating Officer. “We thank ALPA for the joint effort in working with us to assist our airline in remaining flexible and competitive. Our pilots will be a critical element of our recovery and retaining these important roles leaves us better positioned to recover strongly and return WestJet to a global airline.”

Said ALPA MEC Chair, representing WestJet and Swoop, Captain Dave Colquhoun, “The agreement we have reached is due to the dedication of the WestJet executive and the WestJet pilots, in a time where everyone is making sacrifices to protect our airline.  ALPA’s elected leadership appreciates the time and effort that was involved in working together to minimize the impact to our members and we look forward to the time when all of our pilots, and many of the other WestJetters who are casualties of this crisis, are back to work at WestJet.”

Said ALPA MEC Chair, representing WestJet Encore, Captain Ryan Leier, “On behalf of WestJet Encore pilots, I am pleased we were able to successfully reach an agreement. We recognize that these are uncharted skies as we deal with the effects of COVID-19 and this agreement will help our pilots and the airline get through this together.”

The agreement allows the WestJet Group of Companies to retain pilots across the three groups, through the amendment of terms to the current agreements.

WestJet continues to work collaboratively with its employee and labour groups as well as all levels of government to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 crisis to the airline and its employees.

WestJet is utilizing the Government of Canada’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to assist in navigating this pandemic while work is not available due to the downturn in demand for air travel. Where it is of benefit to the employee, WestJet will use CEWS to keep the inactive employee on the payroll to ensure they remain connected to the company.

ALPA will communicate specific details to WestJet, WestJet Encore and Swoop Pilots and WestJet will not be providing further information.

In other news, this past weekend we operated two cargo charters carrying essential medical supplies from Dublin to Atlanta (via Toronto) on our 787 Dreamliners.

As the COVID-19 crisis has worsened and global supply lines have been affected due to the closing of borders and less international flying, our Cargo team has been working hard to ensure timely shipping of essential products.

WestJet aircraft photo gallery:

WestJet suspends all international and trans-border flights

WestJet Airlines made this announcement:

On March 16, Prime Minister Trudeau made an explicit declaration to all Canadians abroad that it is time to come home. Based on this statement and the recommendations to Canadians to control the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, we have made impactful decisions related to our operations.

On Sunday, March 22 at 11:59 p.m. MDT, we will suspend scheduled commercial operations for all international and transborder flights for a 30 day period. To be clear, this means our final commercially scheduled flights from international and transborder destinations will launch on Sunday night by 11:59 p.m. local time; after that, we will be operating rescue and repatriation flights with our partners.

On Wednesday, March 18 at 11:59 p.m. MDT, WestJet will suspend all outbound international ticket sales for travel until Sunday, March 22 at 11:59 p.m. MDT, so we are no longer sending Canadians out of the country and can instead focus on bringing them home.

To assist Canadians in returning home on short notice, we are in the process of lowering prices on our remaining seats into Canada in all cabins.

In addition, we will also reduce our domestic schedule by approximately 50 per cent. At this point, all network changes are in place for the next 30 days.

WestJetters are known for our level of care and this situation is no different.  While this is a difficult time, we now have the responsibility as a Canadian airline to bring our citizens home.

-Statement from Ed Sims, WestJet President and Chief Executive Officer

WestJet aircraft photo gallery:

WestJet wants women to soar

WestJet made this announcement:

Today, in support of National Women in Aviation Week and International Women’s Day, WestJet released its WestJet Women in Aviation: Committed to Change video, emphasizing the need to increase the numbers of women who have careers in aviation.

Throughout Women in Aviation Week from March 2-8, 2020 and International Women’s Day on March 8, 2020, WestJet will feature and recognize women in leadership, aviation and technical operations positions within its organization. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

WestJet has the third-highest percentage* of female pilots in North America for a global airline, at seven per cent, while the industry average is five per cent. With commercial aviation growing rapidly and opportunities opening across a range of careers, the airline acknowledges it is critical to increase the number of women in the flight deck, below the wing in technical positions and at the boardroom table.

In 2020, WestJet will focus on actively reducing the gender gap on its global leadership team and is launching a new Women in Leadership Program designed to facilitate the growth and development of managers. WestJet has also partnered with Elevate Aviation to support Elevate’s mission to create a shift in the aviation industry and promote gender balance by connecting women with a network of support.

“We need more visibility of women succeeding in various roles within the industry,” said Ashlee Tanner, WestJet, Manager, Fleet Engineering. “The aviation industry is diverse in opportunities and we need to do a better job of reflecting that.”

Throughout Women in Aviation Week from March 2-8, 2020 and International Women’s Day on March 8, 2020, WestJet will feature and recognize women in leadership, aviation and technical operations positions within its organization.

Monday, March 2 – WestJet Women in Aviation:  Committed to Change video
Tuesday, March 3 – Ashlee Tanner, WestJet, Manager, Fleet Engineering
Wednesday, March 4 – Patricia Gauthier, WestJet Regional Manager, International Airports
Thursday, March 5 – Colleen Tynan, WestJet, Director of Contact Centre
Friday, March 6 – Rose Streete, WestJet, Cabin Crew Member
Saturday, March 7 – Virginia Svilans, WestJet, 737 First Officer
Sunday, March 8 – All female WestJet flight 1516 (YYC-PHX), WestJet Encore flight 3163 (YYC-YLW), Ed Sims, WestJet, President and CEO, International Women’s Day Feature

These feature pieces will be available across WestJet’s channels and online at Westjet.com/womeninaviation.

More information on careers at WestJet is available here.

WestJet announces new routes from its Calgary hub

WestJet announced its summer schedule featuring more than 90 new flights from Calgary including new nonstop WestJet Link service to Dawson Creek, B.C.

WestJet's summer schedule features more than 90 new flights and 300 Dreamliner departures from Calgary. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

With today’s announcement of the new service between Calgary and Dawson Creek, B.C., WestJet Link will operate five routes including between Calgary and Cranbrook, Lethbridge, Lloydminster and Medicine Hat and one between Cranbrook and Vancouver this summer. WestJet Link operations between Calgary and Prince George, B.C., will shift to year-round service on WestJet Encore’s 78-seat Q400 aircraft effective April 26.

In addition, beginning May 14, 2020 WestJet will begin new service between Calgary and Boston. WestJet is offering guests convenient flight times between its extensive hub out of Calgary and the capital of Massachusetts.

WestJet also recently announced new four-times weekly service between Calgary and Charlottetown starting June 25, 2020.

The schedule also highlights frequency increases from Calgary to popular destinations including Portland, Ore., Victoria, Nanaimo, Comox, Grand Prairie, Fort McMurray, Brandon, Winnipeg, Abbotsford and Yellowknife.

Highlights of WestJet’s 2020 summer schedule include:
Domestic:

  • CalgaryDawson Creek, B.C., new daily WestJet Link service begins April 26, 2020
  • CalgaryWinnipeg, an increase of seven weekly flights
  • CalgaryVictoria, an increase of seven weekly flights
  • CalgaryNanaimo, an increase of seven weekly flights
  • Calgary-Grand Prairie, an increase of seven weekly flights
  • CalgaryAbbotsford, an increase of five weekly flights
  • CalgaryFort McMurray, an increase of five weekly flights
  • CalgaryComox, an increase of four weekly flights
  • CalgaryBrandon, from seven times weekly to 11 times weekly
  • CalgaryYellowknife, from twelve times weekly to 14 times weekly
  • CalgaryCharlottetown, new four-times weekly seasonal service begins June 25, 2020

Transborder:

  • CalgaryPortland, from once daily to twice daily for a total of 14 weekly flights
  • CalgaryBoston, new daily seasonal service begins May 14, 2020

International:

  • CalgaryParis, from four-times weekly to six-times weekly
  • CalgaryRome, new three-times weekly service begins May 2, 2020
  • CalgaryCabo San Lucas, from twice-weekly to three-times weekly

The airline has added more than 300 Dreamliner (above) departures out of Calgary in 2020, an increase of more than 52 percent over 2019, to key transatlantic Dreamliner routes. The flights are uniquely and conveniently timed in the interest of Albertans and western Canadians with late-day departures and daytime arrivals to suit guests travelling to Europe.

Dawson Creek is WestJet’s 72nd destination out of Calgary, WestJet’s home and largest hub. By June 2020, the airline will operate more than 1000 flights per week in peak season out of Calgary International Airport. More Calgarians choose WestJet for their air travel than any other airline.

WestJet aircraft photo gallery:

WestJet’s statement on Boeing 737 MAX

WestJet made this announcement:

Following Boeing’s announcement regarding the 737-MAX aircraft, WestJet today announced it will be updating its schedule to remove the aircraft through to June 24, 2020. Any affected guests will be proactively contacted once work is complete.

WestJet has completed more than 98 per cent of its planned departures even while its 13 MAX aircraft remain on the ground.

WestJet aircraft photo gallery:

WestJet to launch Charlottetown, P.E.I. – Calgary service

WestJet today is bridging new domestic connections between the east and the west with the introduction of new nonstop seasonal service between Charlottetown, P.E.I., and Calgary beginning June 25, 2020.

WestJet’s seasonal service between Charlottetown Airport (YYG) and Calgary International Airport (YYC) will operate four-times weekly on WestJet’s 737 aircraft. Flights are timed for convenient connectivity from WestJet’s largest hub in Calgary to destinations across Western Canada including Vancouver, Edmonton, Kelowna and Victoria. The seasonal flight concludes September 7, 2020.

WestJet has served Prince Edward Island and the city of Charlottetown since 2005 and flights have more than doubled since introducing service. This summer, the airline will offer more than 67,000 seats to YYG, an increase of more than 20,000 from last year and in peak season will operate up to 20 flights per week from Charlottetown to Toronto and Calgary.

By June 2020 from Calgary, WestJet’s hub and home, the airline will operate more than 1000 flights per week in peak season to 57 destinations out of Calgary International Airport. More Calgarians choose WestJet for their air travel than any other airline.

Details of WestJet’s service between Charlottetown and Calgary:

Route Frequency Departing Arriving Effective
Calgary-
Charlottetown
Four-times
weekly
10:45 p.m. 6:23 a.m. (+1) June 25 –
Sept. 7, 2020
Charlottetown-
Calgary
Four-times
weekly
7:15 a.m. 9:33 a.m. June 26 –

Sept. 7, 2020

WestJet aircraft photo gallery:

WestJet strengthens Atlantic gateway with new Halifax-Manchester service

WestJet is forging another connection across the Atlantic into the United Kingdom with the announcement of new nonstop service between Halifax, N.S., and Manchester U.K. beginning June 5, 2020. This summer, WestJet will operate more than 300 seasonal departures from Halifax to London (Gatwick) and Glasgow, Scotland.

 

WestJet’s seasonal service between Halifax Stanfield (YHZ) and Manchester Airport (MAN) will operate four-times weekly on the airline’s Boeing 737-700. Flights are timed for convenient connectivity across WestJet’s network into and out of Halifax.

WestJet has served Halifax since 2003 and has seen 300 per cent growth in flights to and from Halifax Stanfield and now serves 16 cities with an average of 60 daily inbound and outbound flights per day from Halifax.

Details of WestJet’s service between Halifax and Manchester, U.K.:

Route Frequency Departing Arriving Effective
Halifax-
Manchester
Four-times
weekly
10:45 p.m. 8:10 a.m. (+1) June 5, 2020-
October 24,
2020
Manchester-
Halifax
Four-times
weekly
9:45 a.m. 11:52 a.m. June 6, 2020-
October 24,
2020