Category: WestJet Airlines

Passengers with bags slowed WestJet 737 evacuation: TSB

THE CANADIAN PRESS – TORONTO – The Transportation Safety Board says the evacuation of a WestJet plane after a collision with another aircraft at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport was hampered when some passengers tried to take carry-on luggage with them.

The board says the WestJet flight carrying 169 passengers and six crew members from Cancun, Mexico, was waiting for a gate when it was hit by a Sunwing jet being towed to another location at the airport on Jan. 5.

When a large ball of fire erupted near the area where the aircraft made contact, the WestJet crew immediately began an evacuation and the ground crew pulled the Sunwing aircraft back towards the gate.

The TSB says when the Sunwing plane was pulled away, the fire on the wing of the WestJet aircraft self-extinguished, while the fire on the tail of the Sunwing aircraft continued but decreased in intensity.

It says that three seconds after the fire erupted, and before any commands from the crew, some WestJet passengers had opened an emergency exit and escaped onto the wing and other passengers followed.

The TSB said in a report released Wednesday that it’s recommending the Department of Transport require that passenger safety briefings include clear direction to leave all carry-on baggage behind during an evacuation.

During the evacuation, flight attendants issued instructions, with and without the assistance of a handheld megaphone, telling the passengers to leave all their carry-on baggage behind, the TSB said.

“Despite these instructions, numerous passengers brought carry-on baggage with them, which slowed down the evacuation process,” the report said.

The TSB says a flight attendant suffered a minor hand injury, but no one else was injured in the evacuation of the WestJet plane.

The technician on the Sunwing aircraft had minor injuries after leaving through a cockpit window and going down an emergency rope.

The TSB said the evacuation took approximately two minutes and 23 seconds from the time the captain made the evacuation call.


WestJet statement regarding the application for certification of its cabin crew members

WestJet_logo_rgbCALGARY, July 10, 2018 /CNW/ – WestJet today issued the following statement from President and CEO Ed Sims regarding the application for certification of its cabin crew members. WestJet received formal notice from Canada’s Industrial Relations Board today at 11:49 a.m. ET.

“We respect the rights of our employees to choose their representation. Although we prefer to work directly with our employee groups as we have since 1996, we are dedicated to moving forward and will concentrate on the continued success of the organization for guests, employees and shareholders.”

CUPE files application with CIRB to represent WestJet flight attendants

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 By: The Canadian Press
CALGARY – The Canadian Union of Public Employees says it has filed an application at the Canada Industrial Relations Board to represent flight attendants at WestJet.

The union says a majority of WestJet flight attendants have signed cards supporting unionization with CUPE, including WestJet’s mainline carrier and low-cost carrier Swoop.

The move by CUPE to unionize the flight attendants follows the unionization of the airline’s pilots who are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association.

A threat of a strike by the pilots was averted earlier this year when the airline and union agreed to a settlement process and, if necessary, to use final and binding arbitration.

CUPE says it represents 12,000 flight attendants at 10 different airlines including Air Canada, Air Transat and Sunwing.

WestJet reports June load factor of 83.6 per cent

WestJet_logo_rgbCALGARY, July 9, 2018 /CNW/ – Today WestJet announced June 2018 traffic results with a load factor of 83.6 per cent, an increase of 0.7 percentage points year over year. Revenue passenger miles (RPMs), or traffic, increased 8.5 per cent year over year, while capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASMs), grew 7.5 per cent over the same period. WestJet welcomed an additional 120,000 guests in June, a year-over-year increase of 6.0 per cent.

“We continued to increase traffic and connectivity in the second quarter,” Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “In June, we successfully launched our ultra-low-cost carrier Swoop, enhanced regional service with the launch of WestJet Link and celebrated WestJet Encore’s fifth birthday. We are proud to be Canada’s most reliable airline, as WestJet placed 2nd for major North American airlines and WestJet Encore placed 2nd for all North American regional airlines for on-time performance in the month, as reported by Flight Stats. My sincere thanks go out to each individual WestJetter for their on-going commitment to delivering our award-winning service.”

June 2018 traffic results… Continue reading “WestJet reports June load factor of 83.6 per cent”

WestJet ending flights out of Sudbury in October

Too many half-empty planes, company says in a statement

Jul 3, 2018 7:00 PM by: Staff

Less than two years after it returned, WestJet announced Monday that it will end flights out of the Greater Sudbury Airport as of October.

WestJet spokesperson Lauren Stewart confirmed the decision in an email, saying it’s because of “weak demand.”

“WestJet bases our service on supply and demand and we review our schedule on a regular basis to ensure we are meeting both guests’ and the company’s needs,” Stewart said in the email. “

“Unfortunately demand did not pick up sufficiently over the 16 months that we have conducted operations from the community. This lack of demand consistently left our aircraft operating with more than half of the seats empty.

“We appreciate and understand this is disappointing news for the community.”

Before resuming in February 2017, WestJet had been absent from the airport since 2001.

Continue reading “WestJet ending flights out of Sudbury in October”

WestJet to commemorate Western Canada’s inaugural air mail flight

miss_katherine_stinson_and_her_curtiss_aeroplane_3c06324uCurtiss Stinson Special - Katherine StinsonCALGARY, July 6, 2018 /CNW/ – On Monday, WestJet in collaboration with the Canadian Aerophilatelic Society and The Calgary Airport Authority will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Western Canada’s inaugural air mail flight. The flight was made by aviatrice Katherine Stinson on July 9, 1918, from Calgary to Edmonton, containing a mailbag with a reported 259 letters. In honour of Stinson, flight 3143 will be flown by WestJet Encore Captain’s Athenia Jansen and Janna Breker Kettner. Media are invited to attend the commemorative event at YYC Calgary International Airport.

WHEN: Monday, July 9, 2018
TIME: 10:00-10:20 a.m.
WHERE: WestJet Domestic Check-In (Gate 1), Calgary International Airport
Athenia Jansen, Captain, WestJet Encore
Janna Breker-Kettner, Captain, WestJet Encore
Mark Ruel, Director, Air Service Development for The Calgary Airport Authority
Gord Mallet, Canadian Aerophilatelic Society Representative

WestJet announces executive leadership changes

WestJet_logo_rgb20-year industry veteran to drive airline strategy

CALGARY, July 5, 2018 /CNW/ – The WestJet Group of Companies today announced changes to its executive leadership team. Bob Cummings, Executive Vice-President, Strategy and Guest Services will retire effective July 31, 2018. Cam Kenyon, Executive Vice-President, Operations is leaving WestJet to return to the United States effective August 31, 2018. Charles Duncan, Executive Vice-President, and President, WestJet Encore has been appointed Executive Vice-President and Chief Strategy Officer, effective August 1, 2018.

“Bob Cummings has served as an EVP for more than 12 years and in that time the airline successfully grew revenues from $1 billion to more than $4 billion,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “His guidance and experience have been invaluable to us all. I thank Bob for his many contributions and wish him well in his next chapter.”

“Cam Kenyon is returning to Denver to be with his family and we are grateful that he extended his contract twice to lead us through WestJet’s transition to a global, full-service carrier and our labour negotiations,” continued Ed Sims. “I thank Cam for the wealth of experience he has brought to the role.”

“WestJet has reached a critical juncture as we look to significantly expand our global network,” commented Ed Sims. “In his role as Chief Strategy Officer, Charles Duncan will be responsible for providing the leadership necessary to ensure that WestJet’s strategic goals are met.”

Charles Duncan previously worked for more than 20 years at United and Continental Airlines in a variety of commercial and operational roles before joining WestJet in June 2017 as Executive Vice-President and President, WestJet Encore. Since that time he has led the Encore team to continued expansion with the delivery of an additional eight Bombardier Q400 aircraft. Through his leadership, WestJet Encore is now among the best in on-time performance for regional airlines.

“Strategy development and significant ability to execute will be the keys to our success,” said Charles Duncan. “I am honoured to lead this team.”

Along with the executive changes, John Aaron, Vice-President, Flight Operations for WestJet Encore will assume the role of Vice-President and General Manager, WestJet Encore, reporting to the Executive Vice-President and Chief Operations Officer.

Global searches are underway for both the Chief Commercial Officer and Chief Operations Officer.

WestJet reviewing baggage policy after customer’s discrimination complaint


WestJet_logo_rgbWestJet says it is reviewing its baggage policy after a customer complained that it discriminated against travellers from certain countries.

The airline currently has a policy that prevents travellers to Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago from checking in more than two bags, unless the extra luggage is “a golf bag containing golf clubs.”

Jared Walker tweeted about the policy after his 62-year-old mother was prevented from bringing an oversized bag on a trip to Jamaica to attend a funeral.

Walker, 30, said the policy is “absurd” and shows preferential treatment to tourists, as opposed to travellers returning to their country of origin.

WestJet told The Canadian Press in a statement that the baggage policy was in place for Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago “due to the amount of excess checked baggage brought by guests travelling to these particular destinations.”

The company said it’s reviewing the aspect of the baggage policy related to golf bags, recognizing “the optics are poor.”

It further said that travellers who want to bring more than two bags to Jamaica or Trinidad and Tobago can do so through WestJet Cargo, its air shipping service.

The airline said it apologized to Walker and reached out to him in an attempt to resolve the issue. “It was never our intention to be discriminatory in this specific baggage policy,” said Lauren Stewart, a spokeswoman for WestJet.

Walker said he received an apology and other messages from the company Wednesday afternoon but it was too late to help his mother, who was already in Jamaica.

Continue reading “WestJet reviewing baggage policy after customer’s discrimination complaint”

WestJet Link takes flight

WestJet_logo_rgbCALGARY, June 20, 2018 /CNW/ – Today WestJet inaugurated its new regional airline service, WestJet Link, from Cranbrook and Prince George to Calgary. Service starts from Lethbridge and Lloydminster to Calgary on June 21 and Medicine Hat to Calgary on June 22. Overall, WestJet Link connects five new cities to WestJet’s growing hub at the YYC Calgary International Airport.

“This is a great day for the communities who now benefit from WestJet’s non-stop service and convenient connectivity to the WestJet network,” said Tim Croyle, WestJet Interim Executive Vice-President, Commercial. “WestJet continues to offer Canadians more travel options and WestJet Link brings more choice, lower fares and WestJet’s renowned guest service to these five communities.”

These new routes add to WestJet’s existing leadership position in Calgary, offering more flights and seats to more destinations than any other airline with an average of 147 daily departures to 49 destinations.

“We’d like to congratulate our partner on their addition of WestJet Link, which will increase connectivity opportunities for their guests out of YYC Calgary International Airport,” said Bob Sartor, President and CEO of The Calgary Airport Authority. “These additional routes throughout Western Canada, will provide greater air access to those in our smaller regional communities through WestJet’s largest hub.”

All WestJet Link flights are operated by Pacific Coastal using its fleet of 34-seat Saab 340B aircraft. Each aircraft includes six seats available in WestJet Plus, offering guests advanced boarding, no-charge for two checked bags and seating at the front of the aircraft.

“Pacific Coastal Airlines is proud to become part of the WestJet family through the launch of WestJet Link,” said Quentin Smith, President, Pacific Coastal Airlines. “This is a great partnership between two Western Canadian airlines that share similar corporate values and a customer-focused approach to doing business. Together, we will work to provide better connectivity and offer more transportation options for the people and the communities we serve.”

WestJet Link routes and launch dates:

Route Frequency Effective
Calgary-Cranbrook Three times daily
Two times daily Saturday
June 20, 2018
Calgary-Prince George Once daily June 20, 2018
Calgary-Lethbridge Three times daily
Two times daily Saturday
June 21, 2018
Calgary-Lloydminster Six times weekly (no Saturday service) June 21, 2018
Calgary-Medicine Hat Three times daily
Two times daily Saturday
June 22, 2018