Tag Archives: 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.”

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April 1 Alert: Swoop brings lie-flat seats to its single class cabin

WestJet has had a proud tradition of April 1 spoofs. Now it extends to Swoop:

Swoop has set a new bar in ultra-low-cost unbundling with the introduction of its Recline-for-a-Dime™ product. The feature, expected to be configured across the fleet by the end of April 2019, allows travellers to insert a dime into the armrest of their seat in exchange for two-inches of 30-minute timed recline. Credit card tap is also enabled for even more convenience.

The cost to lie completely flat is $0.90, though travellers can fully customize the amount of time and the degree of recline they prefer, in $0.10 increments. When the time is up, the seat gently returns to its upright position. Swoop’s Flatter-than-Flat feature is offered for an additional $0.10, allowing travellers who have purchased the lie-flat option to further stretch their spine.

“Lie-flat luxury seating seems to be all the rage these days,” said Steven Greenway, President of Swoop. “Our travellers now have the option for a premium experience without breaking the bank. It’s a pivotal moment in the world of ultra-low-cost travel and only the beginning for product innovation at Swoop.”

Staying true to the ultra-low-cost model, Swoop cut the cost of reclining from the fare so travellers are only paying for what they use. Swoop is the only airline in the world to have the patent-pending air-worthy automated seat-recline technology.

“An innovation that truly has your back….”

For years, ULCC’s have been targeted for having cramped, unfriendly seats. Wanting to dispel this stereotype, Swoop conceived Recline-for-a-Dime while inadvertently discovering a few added benefits. Studies have shown that reclining at least six inches every 20 minutes on flights over 1.5 hours increases circulation and prevents thrombosis and swelling. Studies have also concluded a relationship between reclining and a reduction in jet lag. All the more reason to recline for a dime.

“It’s about dime! Recline.”

The standard degree of recline on most airlines that offer a premium economy option is eight inches. Market research has shown potential dissatisfaction from those seated behind a seat that is reclined more than this. In these cases, the non-reclining traveller can purchase Swoop’s 5-degrees-of-freedom option, which prevents the seat in front from reclining past the eight-inch satisfaction threshold.

The feedback from the cabin crew has been overwhelmingly positive. With the automated seat technology in place, gone are the days of monitoring that all seats have been returned to their upright position for take-off and landing.

Swoop expects to further develop the offering by introducing dynamic lumbar support, massage, motion-sync to streaming music and discounted recline-credits for the frequent traveller.

One from WestJet:

WestJet and Make-A-Wish® team up to share happiness

WestJet made this announcement:

In celebration of International Day of Happiness, WestJet and WestJet Cares for Kids charity partner, Make-A-Wish® Canada, share a new video that is bound to bring a smile.

A very special group of Make-A-Wish® alumni came together alongside WestJet and one of its longtime charity partners, to surprise WestJetter and volunteer wish granter, Karl, to say thanks for the happiness he’s brought to Make-A-Wish recipients. Since 2016, Karl has volunteered with Make-A-Wish and has helped grant five wishes, spreading joy and making life-long connections along the way.

“In honour of International Day of Happiness we’re thrilled to be able to celebrate the joy that Karl and the countless WestJetters and volunteers like Karl bring to the lives of Make-A-Wish recipients,” said Richard Bartrem, WestJet’s Vice-President Marketing Communications. “Through the caring culture of all WestJetters, we’re delighted to be able to share in the hope, strength and joy wishes bring to recipients and their families and we hope that this special reunion encourages Canadians to share happiness with each other today.”

“Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight their illness,” says Jennifer Klotz-Ritter, President and CEO, Make-A-Wish Canada. “Thanks to the incredible support of dedicated volunteers like Karl and generous partners like WestJet, together we are able to create life-changing experiences for children at a time when they’re needed most. When a wish is granted, a child replaces fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope – a powerful combination that may lead to better health outcomes. Such transformative moments are shared by wish families, Make-A-Wish staff, volunteers, and everyone involved.”

Since 2007, WestJet and Make-A-Wish Canada have worked together to help thousands of travel wishes take flight. WestJet and WestJetters create a unique guest experience to ensure that the ultimate wish experience is had by all Make-A-Wish children and their families travelling via WestJet.

WestJet suspends 2019 financial guidance in light of Boeing 737 MAX grounding

WestJet has announced that following Transport Canada’s safety notice closing Canadian airspace to Boeing 737 MAX aircraft until further notice, the Federal Aviation Administration’s temporary grounding order and Boeing’s decision to suspend all MAX deliveries to airline customers, it is suspending all 2019 financial guidance provided on December 4, 2018 and February 5, 2019. The financial guidance provided with respect to earnings per share (EPS), return on invested capital (ROIC) and cumulative free-cash flow over the period of 2020-2022 remains in place until further information is known.

Through proactive planning and preparation for a variety of scenarios, including grounding, WestJet enacted its contingency plan immediately and grounded all thirteen of its MAX aircraft within 55 minutes of Transport Canada’s order with only three MAX aircraft outside of its Canadian jurisdiction. WestJet continues to implement and execute its contingency plan to minimize guest disruption and any financial impact. For the remainder of the first quarter WestJet expects it will be able to protect approximately 86 per cent of guests booked on MAX flights and cover approximately 75 percent of the flights that were intended to operate on the MAX with other aircraft.

WestJet to comply with the grounding of the Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 fleet

WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 C-GZSG (msn 60516) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 944945.

WestJet today announced that we are complying with Transport Canada’s decision to temporarily ground the Boeing 737 MAX fleet. The announcement was made by Transport Minister Marc Garneau this morning in Ottawa.

We respect the decision made by Transport Canada and are in the process of grounding the 13 MAX aircraft in our fleet. This decision has an impact on the travel plans of our WestJet guests and we ask for understanding as we work to rebook all guests affected as quickly as possible.

We have 162 aircraft or more than 92 per cent of our overall fleet that remain in service. Guests can book with confidence knowing that we continue to fly throughout the network with the safety of guests and employees at the forefront.

We are contacting impacted guests to arrange for alternate travel plans.

Top Copyright Photo: WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 C-GZSG (msn 60516) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 944945.

WestJet aircraft slide show:

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Canada closes its airspace to Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, Air Canada and WestJet MAX 8s grounded

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, issued the following statement today:

“My thoughts continue to go out to all those affected by the tragic aircraft accident involving an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“Following advice from Transport Canada Civil Aviation experts, as a precautionary measure, I am issuing a safety notice to address this issue. This safety notice restricts commercial passenger flights from any air operator, both domestic and foreign, of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft – from arriving, departing, or overflying Canadian airspace.

“This safety notice is effective immediately, and will remain in place until further notice.

“The advice the experts have provided is based on the information they have been receiving; the requirements for new procedures and training for Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 flight crews they have already put in place; and the latest information available from the incidents.

“It is too soon to speculate about the cause of the accident in Addis Ababa, and to make direct links to the Lion Air accident in Indonesia in October 2018; however, my department has been closely monitoring the investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority.

“Following the Lion Air accident, Transport Canada adopted the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airworthiness Directive. It also required that Canadian airlines who operate the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft, put new procedures in place and implement additional crew training.

“We were one of the first countries to do so and not all countries have implemented this change. And these Canadian requirements for new procedures and training to protect against the risk identified went above and beyond the measures directed by the United States Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing – and above and beyond what other nations have done.

“Canada has an enviable aviation safety record because of the professionalism and safety-first focus of Canada’s aviation industry – those who design and manufacture aircraft, those who maintain them, our airports, our air traffic controllers and of course those who operate and fly the aircraft. It also due to the world-class knowledge, expertise and relentless focus on safety by Transport Canada officials who are responsible for developing regulations and ensuring compliance with those regulations.

“My departmental officials continue to monitor the situation and I will not hesitate to take swift action, should we discover any additional safety issues.”

WestJet celebrates International Women’s Day with all female flight and ground crews

WestJet made this announcement on March 8:

To mark International Women’s Day, WestJet today is proud to operate flights 2250 and 2251 with all-female flight and ground crews in recognition of its female workforce and women in aviation. Flight 2250 departed Calgary at 8:24 a.m. and is scheduled to arrive in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico at 2:19 p.m. local.

 

Women represent seven percent of WestJet’s pilot workforce against the international average of approximately four percent.