Tag Archives: 737-7CT

WestJet’s pilots vote against union representation

WestJet (Calgary) has issued this statement:

WestJet logo

WestJet today issued the following statement from President and CEO Gregg Saretsky regarding the outcome of the unionization vote among its Boeing 737 pilots.

“We are pleased that the majority of our pilots who voted have voted against union representation. Our model of cooperation and employee representation through the WestJet Pilots’ Association has allowed for the continued success of our pilots and our airline. Despite the positive outcome, there is continued work that needs to take place to better understand some of the issues for our pilot group and we can now turn our efforts to that goal.”

Meanwhile WJPA issued this statement:

Today the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) released the official results of the vote to unionize WestJet pilots. The results demonstrate decisive support for the WJPA: over 684 eligible pilots, representing 55 per cent of WestJet pilots who voted, showed their support for the WJPA by voting no to the WestJet Professional Pilots Association acting as their bargaining agent in matters of collective bargaining with their employer.

“WestJet pilots were offered a clear choice—continued representation by the WJPA or unionization,” said Captain Paul Ysselmuiden and Captain Michael Wesolowski , co-chairs of the WJPA. “These results demonstrate decisive support for the WJPA to continue to lead more than 1,500 pilots into the future.”

The WJPA strongly believes that WestJet and WestJet Encore pilots are stronger when they are part of one team. Moving forward, the WJPA will continue to effectively advocate on behalf of all WestJet and WestJet Encore pilots.

Copyright Photo: Robbie Shaw/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7CT C-GQWJ (msn 35505) with the Tartan tail is pictured on the taxiway at Glasgow, Scotland.

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WestJet increases nonstop service from Edmonton

WestJet (Calgary) today announced new nonstop service between Edmonton and Nanaimo, British Columbia, as well as more flights between Edmonton and Grande Prairie, Kelowna, Regina and Saskatoon.

WestJet 7.2015 new Edmonton flights

This winter, WestJet will fly nonstop from Edmonton to 26 destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean including Orlando, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Maui, Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.

WestJet’s popular nonstop seasonal service between Edmonton and Maui begins on December 11, 2015, on board the airline’s Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft.

In other news, WestJet will also offer daily winter seasonal Boeing 767-300 ER service from Toronto (Pearson) to Montego Bay, Jamaica from December 5, 2015 through April 30, 2016 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7CT C-GQWJ (msn 35505) with the special Tartan Tail taxies at the Calgary hub.

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WestJet celebrates the launch of the new Glasgow route with “Tartan Tail”

WestJet 737-700 WL C-GQWJ (15-Tartan Tail)(Tail)(WestJet)(LR)

WestJet (Calgary) will introduce seasonal Halifax – Glasgow trans-Atlantic service on May 29. To celebrate this historic launch, WestJet has decorated its Boeing 737-7CT C-GQWJ (msn 35505) with an unique “Tartan Tail”.

The company issued this short statement and top photo on the unique livery:

Introducing ‪#‎TartanTail‬! Keep your eyes on the skies, and at airports across our network, for this WestJet aircraft sporting a tartan tail in honor of our new service to Glasgow International Airport.

Bottom Copyright Photo: Chris Sands/AirlinersGallery.com. Fresh out of the paint shop is C-GQWJ at the Calgary hub.

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WestJet to fly to Las Vegas from Abbotsford

WestJet (Calgary) has announced new nonstop, twice-weekly service between Abbotsford, British Columbia and Las Vegas, set to launch on October 29, 2015.

According to the airline, “The Abbotsford International Airport recently eliminated several fees, including the airport improvement fee, creating a cost-friendly environment for WestJet to grow service from the Fraser Valley.”

“Abbotsford and WestJet have been partners since 1997, and we see the recently announced fee drops at the airport as an opportunity to further build service in the area,” said Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and CEO. “We need more airport authorities across Canada to think like Abbotsford.”

“We are committed to continually improving options for guests flying out of Abbotsford, just as they have committed to supporting our airline for the last 17 years. We are betting on the success of this route as part of our winter 2015-2016 schedule, and we are proud to offer an ultra-low fare in celebration of the announcement.”

Details of new Thursday/Sunday non-stop service between Abbotsford and Las Vegas:

WestJet Abbotsford-LAS Schedule

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-7CT WL C-FEWJ (msn 32769) departs from Hamilton.

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Southwest Airlines reports a record first quarter profit

Southwest Airlines Company (Dallas) today reported its first quarter 2015 results:

Southwest 2014 logo-1

Record first quarter net income, excluding special items1, of $451 million, or $.66 per diluted share, compared with first quarter 2014 net income, excluding special items, of $126 million, or $.18 per diluted share. This represented a 266.7 percent increase from first quarter 2014 and exceeded the First Call consensus estimate of $.65 per diluted share.

Record first quarter net income of $453 million, or $.66 per diluted share, which included $2 million (net) of favorable special items, compared with first quarter 2014 net income of $152 million, or $.22 per diluted share, which included $26 million (net) of favorable special items.

Record first quarter operating income of $780 million. Excluding special items, record first quarter operating income of $770 million, resulting in an operating margin2 of 17.4 percent.

Strong free cash flow1 of $859 million used to return $381 million to Shareholders through dividends and share repurchases, and to repay $51 million in debt and capital lease obligations.

Return on invested capital, before taxes and excluding special items (ROIC)1, for the 12 months ended March 31, 2015, of 25.6 percent, compared with 14.2 percent for the 12 months ended March 31, 2014.

Gary C. Kelly, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are thrilled to report an exceptionally strong first quarter 2015 earnings performance. Our net income, excluding special items, of $451 million, or $.66 per diluted share, far surpasses any first quarter profit in our history and represents our eighth consecutive quarter of record profits. Our first quarter 2015 operating income, excluding special items, increased over 200 percent year-over-year to $770 million, resulting in a first quarter record 17.4 percent operating margin. Our ROIC for the 12 months ended March 31, 2015, was an outstanding 25.6 percent. These superb results earned our 47,000 hard-working and dedicated Employees a first quarter record $126 million profitsharing accrual, up 334.5 percent from first quarter 2014.

“Total operating revenues were a first quarter record $4.4 billion, driven by a 6.2 percent year-over-year increase in passenger revenues and double-digit year-over-year percentage growth in freight revenues. Customer demand was strong throughout first quarter 2015, resulting in a record first quarter load factor of 80.1 percent. As expected, first quarter 2015 passenger revenues grew in line with our available seat mile (ASM) growth of 6.0 percent, year-over-year. Considering the 4.1 percent increase in stage length and the 2.7 percent increase in seats per trip3 (gauge) from our fleet modernization, year-over-year, we are very pleased with our first quarter 2015 unit revenue performance. Strong revenue and booking trends have continued thus far in April. Second quarter 2015 year-over-year comparisons are more challenging, largely due to last year’s exceptional and above-trend performance. With the continuation of year-over-year increases in stage length and gauge, we currently expect our April 2015 passenger unit revenues to decline, year-over-year, approximately two percent.

“We are delighted also with our unit cost trends, which continue to benefit from increased stage length, increased gauge, lower maintenance costs, and substantially lower fuel prices. Our first quarter 2015 unit costs, excluding special items, declined 12.4 percent year-over-year. First quarter 2015 economic fuel costs were $2.00 per gallon, compared with $3.08 per gallon in first quarter 2014, resulting in over $450 million in economic fuel cost savings. Based on our existing fuel derivative contracts and market prices as of April 16, 2015, we estimate second quarter 2015 economic fuel costs per gallon will be comparable to first quarter 2015’s $2.00 per gallon.

“Setting fuel aside, the solid first quarter 2015 cost performance reflects our intense focus to control costs and maintain our competitive low-cost position. Excluding fuel and oil expense and special items, our first quarter 2015 unit costs were comparable to first quarter last year. Unit costs were down 3.6 percent, year-over-year, when also excluding first quarter 2015 profitsharing expense. Based on current cost trends, and excluding fuel and oil expense, special items, and profitsharing, we expect second quarter 2015 unit costs to decline in the one-to-two percent range, and full year 2015 unit costs to decline approximately two percent, both compared with the same year-ago periods.

“Our network optimization is producing strong financial results, and we are pleased with the performance of our markets under development. We continue to project roughly 700 aircraft by year-end, and an approximate seven percent year-over-year increase in ASMs versus 2014. The full year effect of 2015’s expansion is also estimated to increase 2016 ASMs approximately five percent, year-over-year, and we currently expect any further 2016 ASM year-over-year growth to be modest, with a focus on producing strong returns on our investments. Our incremental fleet growth in 2016 is currently expected to approximate two percent, compared with 2015.

“The Customer response to our new Dallas Love Field service, which represents the majority of 2015 year-over-year ASM growth, is very strong, and first quarter 2015 Dallas traffic has increased 145.5 percent from year-ago levels. In first quarter 2015, we acquired the rights to two additional gates, bringing our total gate occupancy to 18 at Dallas Love Field. By August 2015, we are scheduled to operate 180 weekday departures to 50 nonstop destinations, representing a more than 50 percent increase in flight activity since the lifting of the Wright Amendment restrictions4 in October 2014. We are very pleased to provide more competition, more travel options, and low fares for the Dallas market.

“Our international expansion also continued during first quarter 2015. On March 7, 2015, Costa Rica became our sixth international country served with daily nonstop service between Baltimore/Washington and San Jose, Costa Rica. We also launched international flying from Houston Hobby with seasonal Saturday service to Aruba5. We remain on track to add an additional six international destinations from Hobby later this year with the planned October completion of the international terminal. We look forward to beginning service to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in June 2015, and pending government approvals, Belize City, Belize, in October 2015.

“We are managing our invested capital aggressively and continue to provide healthy returns to our Shareholders. During first quarter 2015, we returned $381 million through the payment of $81 million in dividends and the repurchase of $300 million in common stock. And, we expect to complete the repurchase of the remaining $80 million under our existing $1 billion share repurchase authorization next month. Our balance sheet, liquidity, and cash flows remain strong, and we ended first quarter 2015 with $3.4 billion in cash and short-term investments, with a fully available unsecured revolving credit line of $1 billion.”

During first quarter 2015, the Company returned $381 million to its Shareholders through the payment of $81 million in dividends and the repurchase of $300 million in common stock, or 5.1 million shares, pursuant to an accelerated share repurchase (ASR) program executed during the quarter. This ASR program was completed in early April, and the Company then received an additional 1.8 million shares, bringing the total shares repurchased under the first quarter 2015 ASR program to 6.9 million. During first quarter 2015, the Company also received the remaining 1.1 million shares pursuant to the fourth quarter 2014 $200 million ASR program, bringing the total shares repurchased under that ASR program to 4.9 million. The Company intends to complete the repurchase of the remaining $80 million under its existing $1.0 billion share repurchase authorization in May 2015.

Boeing 737 Delivery Schedule:

Southwest 4.2015 737 Delivery Schedule

SWAPA logo

In other related news, the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) announced it has joined the Partnership for Open and Fair Skies, a coalition of U.S. airlines and airline industry labor unions. These groups seek to level the playing field against heavily subsidized state-owned carriers from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“These government-owned Gulf carriers are not playing by the rules their governments agreed to when they signed Open Skies agreements with the U.S.,” said SWAPA President Capt. Paul Jackson. “Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, and Emirates Airline are being fueled by tens of billions of dollars in state subsidies and that not only puts U.S. airlines at a competitive disadvantage, but also jeopardizes jobs throughout the U.S. airline industry.”

In joining the Partnership for Open and Fair Skies, SWAPA has united with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and seven other labor organizations in asking the U.S. government to open consultations with Qatar and the UAE, as provided for within the Open Skies agreements. This step is needed to address the unfair state subsidies that are enabling Qatar, Etihad, and Emirates to rapidly expand their fleets and routes into the U.S. market. SWAPA also backed the Partnership’s call for the U.S. government to seek a freeze on any new passenger service by the Gulf carriers into the U.S. as the consultations go forward.

A 55-page white paper presented by the Partnership to the U.S. government earlier this year and released to the public in March documented $42 billion in state subsidies and other unfair benefits provided to Qatar, Etihad, and Emirates by their respective governments since 2004 alone. That massive state support is a clear violation of Open Skies policy.

“The evidence is too overwhelming and the airline industry is too important to our country for the U.S. government not to take action,” continued Jackson. “Southwest pilots are proud to stand with the other members of the Partnership in calling for a level playing field.”

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Southwest continues to buy previously operated Boeing 737-700s on the open market. Formerly operated by WestJet as C-FWAD, the pictured Boeing 737-7CT is now operating as N566WN (msn 32753) for Southwest in full colors. N566WN arrives at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

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WestJet reports a record net profit of $317.2 million in 2014, up 18%

WestJet (Calgary) today announced its fourth quarter and year-end results for 2014, with record adjusted full-year net earnings1 of $317.2 million, or $2.46 per diluted share (all figures in Canadian dollars). This compares with the net earnings of $268.7 million, or $2.03 per diluted share reported in the full-year 2013, up 18 percent and 21 percent, respectively. For the fourth quarter, the airline reported record diluted earnings per share of $0.70, up 35 per cent from $0.52 reported last year. These fourth quarter 2014 results include pre-tax incentive payments of $9.8 million associated with WestJet’s new pilot agreement reached in December 2014 and a pre-tax non-cash loss of $2.5 million related to the previously disclosed sale of 10 of our oldest Boeing 737 aircraft.

This represents WestJet’s 39th consecutive quarter of profitability and based on the trailing twelve months, the airline achieved a return on invested capital of 14.3 per cent, compared with the 13.8 per cent reported in the previous quarter, representing the 10th consecutive quarter in which WestJet exceeded its 12 per cent target.

Notes:

(1) Full-year 2014 adjusted net earnings exclude an after-tax non-cash loss of $33.2 million recorded in the third quarter of 2014 associated with the previously disclosed sale of 10 of WestJet’s oldest Boeing 737 aircraft. Refer to reconciliations in the accompanying tables for further
information regarding calculations.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. WestJet is gradually removing its older Boeing 737-700s. Boeing 737-7CT C-FWSV (msn 32760) arrives at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

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WestJet selects Global Eagle Entertainment for its inflight entertainment content

WestJet (Calgary) like other airlines, is overhauling its inflight entertainment system. The carrier has selected Global Eagle Entertainment to provide the inflight content. GEE issued this statement:

Global Eagle Entertainment Inc., a worldwide leading provider of content, connectivity and digital media solutions to airlines, today announced that it has been selected by WestJet to manage its inflight content services.

WestJet is currently overhauling its existing inflight entertainment (IFE) system and replacing it with a wireless IFE solution. Global Eagle Entertainment (GEE) will provide a broad array of content that can be accessed by passengers using their personal electronic devices or tablets rented from the airline. Through this long-term agreement, GEE will provide a selection of current movies and television, including a wide catalog of engaging and entertaining programs, beginning in the first quarter of 2015.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7CT C-FWCC (msn 32752) prepares to touch down in Las Vegas.

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WestJet reaches a tentative agreement with the WestJet Pilot Association

WestJet (Calgary) has announced it has reached a tentative agreement with its more than 1,200 pilots, represented by the WestJet Pilot Association (WJPA). The agreement’s highlights will be available in early December and voting will begin later in the month.

The WJPA and WestJet leadership teams began negotiations in September 2014 to develop a tentative agreement to replace the previous agreement, which has been in place since May 2009.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7CT C-GWBN (msn 34155) arrives in Los Angeles.

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WestJet today launches seasonal Winnipeg-Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood flights

WestJet (Calgary) today launched new weekly, seasonal, nonstop service between Winnipeg and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Florida. Flights out of the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson Airport operate every Saturday until April 25, 2015.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7CT C-FEWJ (msn 32769) arrives in Los Angeles.

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WestJet is coming to Glasgow, Scotland on May 29, 2015

WestJet (Calgary) today announced Glasgow, United Kingdom, as its newest European destination. Daily nonstop flights from Halifax begin on May 29, 2015, with direct (same-aircraft) service from Toronto (Pearson), operated on one of the airline’s Boeing Next-Generation 737-700 series aircraft.

The new route between Halifax and Glasgow will operate seasonally from May 29, 2015 to October 23, 2015.

The Scotland-bound flight, WS 30, was numbered in honor of St. Andrew’s Day, which falls on November 30. WestJet’s second trans-Atlantic route is a five-hour 15-minute journey – only a wee bit longer than the airline’s popular flight from Halifax to Calgary.

WestJet will also resume its service between St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Dublin, Ireland, on May 1, 2015, six weeks earlier than in 2014.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-7CT WL C-FWSK (msn 36420) arrives in Las Vegas.

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