Category Archives: WestJet Airlines
Pacific Coastal Airlines Saab 340B
After an initial delay, Canadian LCC WestJet Airlines is poised to launch its first capacity purchase agreement (CPA)
in June, the first of what is expected to be several deals that will expand the carrier’s network into smaller communities.
The deal with Pacific Coastal Airlines (PCA), announced in December, envisioned an early 2018 start date. But PCA hit delays in getting regulatory approvals, forcing WestJet to push the launch to June 20.
Initial routes will connect WestJet’s Calgary hub with Cranbrook, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Lloydminster and Prince George. All routes will be flown with 34-passenger Saab 340Bs painted in WestJet livery.
“We’re about to launch in the [Canadian] West,” WestJet CFO Harry Taylor said in a recent investor conference. “We hope to have something in the East over time as well, and expect that this will continue to add and grow” both the carrier’s revenues and network.
Notaby, Cranbrook and Prince George are in British Columbia, outside of WestJet’s home province of Alberta. Diversifying its Calgary traffic has been one of the carrier’s goals, as Alberta is heavily dependent on oil exploration, and has seen traffic rise and fall in line with oil prices. PCA’s other three WestJet routes are in Alberta.
WestJet, which has 47 Bombardier Q400s flying in its WestJet Encore regional operation, is expected to add CPAs to add feed at its Vancouver and Toronto hubs as well as bolster Calgary. Expanding into smaller communities not suited for Q400s is seen as a key way to add flow that will help support the carrier’s international widebody expansion. It takes the first of 10 firm-order Boeing 787-9s early next year and is expected use the aircraft to launch new long-haul services to Europe, Asia or both. The carrier currently serves several European destinations.
Westjet pilots, taking a major step closer to a costly showdown with the airline’s management, overwhelmingly approved a strike if the two sides fail to agree on a new contract during the last-ditch conciliation process currently underway. Calgary-based WestJet pilots are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA)
Conciliation—similar to US mediation—includes 60 days of negotiations and a cooling-off period before a strike can take place. WestJet pilots have approved a strike if talks remain stalled, with 91% of those casting a ballot—95% of the 2,000 WestJet and WestJet Encore pilots voted—approving a job action. The earliest they could walk out is May 19—the end of the cooling-off period. But the union says it will not take any action before Canada’s Victoria Day holiday weekend ends. Victoria Day is May 21.
Meanwhile, negotiators on both sides plan to sit down in Halifax next week.
“The goal is—and always has been—to secure a fair collective agreement that brings stability to the airline, and not to strike,” WestJet’s ALPA Master Executive Council chairman Rob McFadyen said. “The strong results of our strike vote and the excellent turnout at our informational picketing event earlier this week should provide management the added incentive it needs to bring serious proposals to the bargaining table that address our concerns.”
About 150 union pilots gathered in Calgary May 8 to demonstrate during WestJet’s annual general meeting. CEO Ed Sims acknowledged the picketers, but stuck by his stance that he will not negotiate a deal anywhere but at the bargaining table.
“The best role I can play with my negotiating team is to remain at the table and make progress,” Sims said. “We acknowledge the outcome of this vote and recognize the mandate WestJet pilots have given ALPA.”
The two sides suggest that talks during conciliation have been productive, but they remain divided on the key issue of staffing WestJet’s Swoop ULCC. Without a deal in place with current employee groups, the airline is hiring many pilots from outside of Canada—including many Canadian nationals, it said. The union wants assurances that those jobs are theirs, or—at the very least—Swoop flying will not supplant WestJet flying. WestJet executives say they remain on track to start Swoop next month, and are preparing for the worst-cast scenario if pilots walk out.
“We have been working for a considerable amount of time on potential contingency plans,” Sims said. He declined to offer specifics.
The threat of a strike has hit bookings, Sims said, forcing the carrier to revise second-quarter RASM guidance downward, and pause any longer-term guidance projections.
CALGARY, May 8, 2018 /CNW/ – WestJet today unveiled its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner livery, logo and cabin interior including the airline’s first-ever business class cabin. The reveal is part of WestJet’s lead-up to the arrival of its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in early 2019.
Details, including images, video and an immersive 360-degree experience of each cabin, are available on the WestJet Dreamliner Hub. A Facebook Live of the reveal event can also be seen here.
“The introduction of Boeing’s 787-9 Dreamliner, a state-of-the-art aircraft, is the dawn of a new era for WestJet and the next step in our transformation to a global network airline,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “The updated livery is modern and dynamic while the interior is world-class, distinctly Canadian and uniquely WestJet. Both reflect WestJet’s transition from a regional airline in 1996 to a new era of connecting Canada with the world and bringing the world to Canada.” WestJet has firm orders of 10 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft and options for another 10, all of which will feature the new livery, logo and interior.
The WestJet Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner features a three-class cabin including business class seating, premium economy and economy seating. The design was created by PriestmanGoode, a design consultancy firm located in London, England, specializing in transportation and travel branding.
Drawing from Canadian themes, the cabin interior welcomes guests with a rich colour palette: a soothing alpine lake blue in Economy class; aurora‑inspired shades and tones in Premium Economy; and in Business Class, luxuriously rich earth tones inspired by the splendour of Canadian summers.
Business Class will feature touchscreen service and on-demand dining that allows the traveller to define exactly how they like to fly. When it’s time to relax and fully unwind, lay-flat mattresses, bedding and turn-down service will offer WestJet guests the opportunity to enjoy a tranquil flight.
Premium Economy will offer comfort enhancements and service with an elevated guest experience. WestJet will also offer a premium menu, a self-serve social area, and more space to move and relax.
In Economy, guests will discover oversized, self-dimming windows, and leading-edge in-flight entertainment and connectivity with in-seat device charging.
AIRCRAFT LIVERY AND LOGO
The updated logo and livery was overseen by Ove Brand Design. Boeing and Teague, a Seattle-based design firm, implemented the design on the aircraft. The font has been updated to Bliss, give the WestJet wordmark a more uniform and current style, while retaining the Maple Leaf symbol in a more contemporary and bold look. The logo also now uses a single colour to soften the regional emphasis on “west.”
In addition to the updated stylized Maple Leaf on the aircraft tail, another nod to WestJet’s heritage is in the form of the Canadian flag appearing at the front of the aircraft. The new livery will also marry both of Canada’s official languages with, “The Spirit of Canada” appearing on one side of the aircraft and the French translation, “L’esprit du Canada” on the other, both extending across the middle of the aircraft fuselage.
The livery will gradually appear across WestJet’s entire fleet as new aircraft are delivered in 2018 and as aircraft are repainted in their normal cycle. The Boeing 737 MAX-8 will be the first aircraft in the new livery appearing in June.
This summer, WestJet’s growing fleet will operate an average of 777 daily flights to 90 destinations. The airline recently announced its first foray to the European mainland with daily direct flights between Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ) and Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) in Paris starting May 31.