Airline working to implement government’s mandatory vaccination requirement for federally regulated airline employees by the end of October
CALGARY, AB, Aug. 13, 2021 /CNW/ – The WestJet Group today welcomed the announcement by Transport Minister Omar Alghabra regarding mandatory vaccinations for federally regulated airline employees.
“We continue to be a strong partner in Canada’s vaccination rollout and are working diligently to implement the government’s policy on mandatory vaccines for airline employees,” said Mark Porter, WestJet Executive Vice-President, People and Culture. “Vaccinations are the most effective way to ensure the safety of our guests and employees, while curbing the spread of COVID-19.”
“We understand our people will have questions and will be discussing with our employee and labour groups in real-time,” continued Mr. Porter. “We are seeking additional detail from the federal government on the requirement and are committed to working together to ensure the successful implementation of the policy by late October.”
WestJet currently has an active workforce of approximately 6,000 WestJetters, while 4000 remain inactive or furloughed. Swoop currently has an active workforce of 340 employees, while more than 170 remain inactive or furloughed.
The WestJet Group will adhere to the requirement for domestic travellers to be fully-vaccinated or tested prior to departure. The airline group is advocating that rapid-antigen testing is an acceptable, accessible and affordable alternative for unvaccinated travellers.
In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. 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.
Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.
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