Category Archives: WestJet

WestJet extends sun-flight suspensions until June 4

WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 C-FNWD (msn 60517) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 945667.

WestJet has announced it will extend its temporary suspension of international sun flights to destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean until June 4, 2021.

Photo: Adrian Edwards.

“We are extending our suspension with the clear expectation that as more Canadians are vaccinated, government policy will transition,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “We continue to advocate for the replacement of mandatory hotel quarantines with a testing regime that is equitable and consistent with global standards at all points of entry into our country. Alongside an accelerated and successful vaccine rollout, this policy transition will support the safe restart of travel and help stimulate the Canadian economy, where one in ten jobs are tourism related.”

Guests with affected itineraries will be proactively notified of the cancellations. Since November 1, 2020, WestJet has been providing refunds for all travelers, regardless of fare class booked where WestJet initiated the cancellation.

“We remain focused on a long-term solution that will serve the best interests of Canadians,” continued Sims. “A safe travel-restart framework is the most effective way to support those interests and restore jobs.”

Top Copyright Photo: WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 C-FNWD (msn 60517) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 945667.

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WestJet adds 11 domestic routes in western Canada

WestJet today announced 11 new domestic routes across Western Canada. The routes will offer new nonstop service for 15 communities across Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

The new routes include service between Toronto (YYZ) and Comox (YQQ); between Ottawa (YOW) and Victoria (YYJ) and eight new routes connecting the prairie provinces to British Columbia tourism destinations, such as Regina (YQR) to Kelowna (YLW). Full schedule details and start dates are outlined below.

New routes:

Route Frequency Effective from
Toronto – Fort McMurray 2x weekly (Wed, Sun) June 6, 2021
Kelowna – Saskatoon 2x weekly (Thu, Sun) June 24, 2021
Kelowna – Regina 2x weekly (Thu, Sun) June 24, 2021
Saskatoon – Victoria 2x weekly (Thu, Sun) June 24, 2021
Winnipeg – Victoria 3x weekly (Thu, Sat, Sun) June 24, 2021
Edmonton – Kamloops 2x weekly (Thu, Sun) June 24, 2021
Edmonton – Penticton 2x weekly (Thu, Sun) June 24, 2021
Edmonton – Nanaimo 2x weekly (Fri, Sun) June 25, 2021
Prince George – Abbotsford 2x weekly (Fri, Sun) June 25, 2021
Ottawa – Victoria 1x weekly (Sat) June 26, 2021
Toronto – Comox 1x weekly (Sat) June 26, 2021

WestJet and the Government of British Columbia partner to assist with vaccine clinics in Greater Vancouver

WestJet has partnered with the Government of British Columbia to return approximately 200 furloughed WestJetters to work to assist at mass vaccination clinics in Greater Vancouver. The first confirmed clinic begins March 29, 2021 at the University of British Columbia with Vancouver Coastal Health while planning is underway to open additional clinics in the coming weeks including the Guildford Recreation Centre in Surrey with Fraser Health.

While the care team will not be involved in the medical side of the operation, the team will be conducting arrivals greeting, check-in, data entry, and patient observation after receiving the shot. The clinics will run approximately 12-hours per day, through October 31, 2021 and are expected to vaccinate more than 200,000 eligible residents. Details on vaccine eligibility and location can be found at Gov.bc.ca/COVID.

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

WestJet has announced that WestJet 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 retroactively from March 1, 2021, through to and including December 31, 2025.

“We are pleased that we were able to achieve our first collective agreement with CUPE,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “The resulting agreement is a reflection of the interest-based bargaining required to achieve this positive outcome and it is a strong example of how we can work together, respectfully with dedication and professionalism, to benefit our employees and our guests during these challenging times.

Photo: Adrian Edwards.

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

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WestJet reaches tentative agreement with CUPE, begins Toronto – London Gatwick 787 cargo flights

WestJet has announced that a tentative agreement had been reached with CUPE Local 4070, representation for the WestJet Inflight (Cabin Crew) group. Both parties now await the ratification vote to be put forward to membership.

“I am pleased that we’ve tentatively come to terms on the first collective agreement with CUPE Local 4070,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “Our Cabin Crew Members are a valued and integral part of the WestJet team and it is our goal to continue supporting them as they continue the safe, caring service our guests expect of WestJet.”

WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

In other news, WestJet has begun operating our first cargo-only flights between Toronto (YYZ) and London-Gatwick (LGW) twice weekly on our 787 Dreamliners. WestJet’s Cargo team continues to work around the clock as part of our commitment to keeping vital supply chains open across borders.

WestJet aircraft photo gallery:

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WestJet to temporarily suspend service to four domestic stations

WestJet announced today it will temporarily suspend operations to St. John’s, N.L., London, Ontario, and Lloydminster and Medicine Hat, Alberta, as of March 19, until June 24, 2021.

With today’s announcement, flights between St. John’s and Halifax will be suspended as of March 21, while service between London, Ontario, and Toronto will cease on March 22. WestJet Link service from Calgary to Lloydminster will end on March 19, and Calgary to Medicine Hat discontinued as of March 21.

In June 2020, WestJet announced organizational changes through its airport transformation program. As a result of the suspensions, WestJet will be working with newly established third-party service providers in St. John’s and London, Ont., and directly with Pacific Coastal Airlines for affected WestJet Link operations in Lloydminster and Medicine Hat.

WestJet continues to operate at more than a 90 percent reduction year over year. Guests impacted will be contacted directly regarding their options for travel to and from the regions. Service is set to resume to all communities as of June 24, 2021.

Temporary Route Suspensions:

Route Current Frequency Service suspended from
Lloydminster – Calgary 2x weekly March 19, 2021
St. John’s – Halifax 3x weekly March 21, 2021
Medicine Hat – Calgary 1x weekly March 21, 2021
London, Ont. – Toronto 4x weekly March 22, 2021

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WestJet responds to Transat takeover by Air Canada

WestJet issued this statement:

Government ignores advice of its own Competition Bureau in Air Canada takeover of Transat.

The government of Canada on Thursday evening approved the purchase of Transat by Air Canada, without significant remedies.

“This decision shows blatant disregard for all Canadians who believe in healthy competition,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “When Canadians look to explore the world and reunite with family and friends once again, they will face fewer choices and higher fares.”

The government’s own Competition Bureau stated in regards to the proposed purchase, “Eliminating the rivalry between these airlines would result in increased prices, less choice, decreases in service and a significant reduction in travel by Canadians on a variety of routes where their existing networks overlap.”

“It is hard to imagine a deal as anti-competitive in any industry where the number one player buys number three without meaningful remedies,” continued Mr. Sims. “This is a serious setback to Canada’s economy. The Competition Bureau themselves described such cosmetic remedies as inadequate. Canadians should be profoundly disappointed.”

WestJet cuts flying to Mexico and Caribbean at request of Canadian government

The WestJet Group today announced it would temporarily cease international flying to 14 sun destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean in response to a request from the Government of Canada.

“The government asked, and we agreed,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “While we know that air travel is responsible for less than two per cent of cases since the start of the crisis, and even less today, we recognize the Government of Canada’s ask is a precautionary measure. We also note that the overwhelming majority of quarantine exemptions, well over 90 per cent in fact, are connected to land borders and not air travel. We have responded to their request and will suspend service to destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean.”

Effective Sunday, January 31 at 12:01 a.m. ET, WestJet will suspend southbound operations to the following destinations until April 30. Over the subsequent two weeks, WestJet will work to bring our guests already in destination back to Canada.

Vancouver – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Vancouver – Cancun, Mexico
Vancouver – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Calgary – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Calgary – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Calgary – Cancun, Mexico,
Calgary – Liberia, Costa Rica
Edmonton – Cancun, Mexico
Edmonton – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Toronto – Cancun, Mexico
Toronto – Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Toronto – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Toronto – Kingston, Jamaica
Toronto – Montego Bay, Jamaica
Toronto – Liberia, Costa Rica
Toronto – Varadero, Cuba
Toronto – Saint Lucia
Toronto – Saint Marten
Toronto – Nassau, Bahamas
Toronto – Bermuda
Edmonton – Mazatlan, Mexico (Swoop)
Edmonton – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (Swoop)
Toronto – Montego Bay, Jamaica (Swoop)
Toronto – Cancun, Mexico (Swoop)

Through its Safety Above All program, the WestJet Group has implemented extensive safety measures since the start of the pandemic and as a result, there have been no documented cases of person-to-person transmission onboard the airline’s flights.

“The pandemic has had devastating impacts on our hard-working people, and they have made tremendous sacrifices throughout,” continued Sims. “The government recognizes how uniquely hard hit our industry has been and has acknowledged our efforts to curb the spread of the virus. We note their words of support for our airline as a strong partner in the fight against COVID-19.”

For guests with travel booked during the impacted period, WestJet will proactively notify them of their options.

WestJet returns its Boeing 737 MAX to service

WestJet today returned the first of its 737 MAX aircraft to passenger service with the departure of WS115 from Calgary to Vancouver. With the second 737 MAX flight, WS122, from Vancouver to Calgary departing at noon PT.

On board the first flight were 71 guests including Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO, Chris Burley, WestJet Board Chair and Chris Rauenbusch, President, CUPE Local 4070 and a member of WestJet’s Inflight team. The aircraft was piloted by Captain David Colquhoun, WestJet Master Executive Council Chair, Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and Captain Scott Wilson, Vice President WestJet Operations.

“The return of WestJet’s MAX aircraft to the fleet marks an operational milestone after 22 months of intense review,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “WestJet’s preparation, training processes, due diligence and safety above all philosophy drives our confidence in welcoming guests on board our MAX aircraft.”

Captain David Colquhoun, WestJet Master Executive Council Chair, Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) said, “For nearly two years, ALPA has been working tirelessly with Transport Canada, international regulators, and airline management on reviewing the MAX and the revised pilot training requirements needed to safely return this aircraft to service. No one knows better than airline pilots what is needed to be adequately prepared and trained to manage the handling qualities of this renewed aircraft. Today, as we usher the safe return of the MAX in Canada, ALPA will continue to provide its expertise and voice of safety in future discussions.”

“I was proud to operate the MAX aircraft today on its first commercial flight since the Canadian skies reopened,” said Captain Scott Wilson, WestJet Vice President Operations. “I am confident with the changes made to the aircraft and our training procedures, our MAX is one of the safest aircraft in the skies.”

Chris Rauenbusch, President CUPE Local 4070 said, “CUPE Local 4070, the union representing WestJet cabin crew members, has full confidence in the return of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to the workplace of our membership. Union representatives participated in a full technical briefing at Boeing facilities in Seattle, WA and following further data from Transport Canada, Boeing and WestJet, the union is confident that this aircraft type is safe for our cabin crew and our guests.”

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