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Maverick

WestJet 787

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1 hour ago, ng78 said:

Swoop eventually?

I kind of doubt that. I think they'll be used for higher volume shorter routes to keep them closer to home. YVR-CUN, YYZ-PVR, YYZ-YVR maybe some lower yield European routes ex-YYZ as well.

I think ALPA might have an issue with them going to Swoop too...

Just my WAG, I don't have any inside info.

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13 hours ago, beaverboy said:

No WB to swoop as per the arbitrated award from Kaplan.  

Actually the award from Kaplan said "Swoop will not operate the Boeing 787 series aircraft".  The award also says that additional aircraft may be added to Swoop's Initial Fleet Size (30 aircraft) at a 1:1 ratio of narrow body aircraft for every narrow body aircraft added to Westjet above their own baseline fleet and 1:1 for ratio as well for any wide body aircraft added to the Westjet baseline fleet, and 1:2 for every wide body aircraft added to Westjet above the baseline fleet, two narrow bodies may be added to the Swoop fleet. 

As such I wouldn't be shocked to see the 767's at Swoop with that in mind.  

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Not sure if it's public.  If you know a WS pilot have then read section 

1-1.04 regarding scope 

 

Does not get much clearer than that.  The "proposed contract" put forth by the corp was included at the back of our CA for us to see what the company was trying to do. Information purposes only.  

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1 hour ago, beaverboy said:

Not sure if it's public.  If you know a WS pilot have then read section 

1-1.04 regarding scope 

 

Does not get much clearer than that.  The "proposed contract" put forth by the corp was included at the back of our CA for us to see what the company was trying to do. Information purposes only.  

thanks

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3 hours ago, beaverboy said:

You're incorrect.   That proposal was from the corp.  The Kaplan award specifically states no WB at swoop.    

Thanks, I wasn't aware of that

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On 2/10/2019 at 10:44 AM, dr1 said:

Grooming was just one of the things our illustrious union was supposed to take care of but our boys got thoroughly schooled at the negotiating table. That's another story entirely. 

 

“Thoroughly schooled”? Really? In what way? Why the heck would alpa spend any time whatsoever on negotiating around a voluntary duty?

If you think $180 mil of contract improvements over 4 years (according to the roadshow presentation) is being “thoroughly schooled” then I don’t know what to say. How much was the last wjpa agreement worth over 4 years?

They were able to secure trip and duty rigs (finally), 1:1 YOS credit for FOs who upgrade, a TB pension commitment and a whole whack of other improvements that couldn’t be achieved by the former “representation” in the 20+ years before. Sure there were some things that were lost or traded away, but overall I think our reps did a good job given who they were dealing with.

Yeah, the swoop lou which was awarded by the arbitrator. How’s that working out for the company? Last I checked they can’t even fill a bid there and most of the guys who rolled the dice to go there want to GTFO and come back.

What exactly were you expecting for a first contract?

 

Edited by anonymous

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Very well said.   The pilots were not "schooled" by the corp.   We gained in areas and didn't in others.   All in all once the corp implements the improvements in the new scheduling and duty rules (Kaplan award) the pilots should see more efficient schedules.   

 

I believe eve the last agreement by the last association managed about $18 million over the course of the deal.   A slight difference in the new deal we just received.

  

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NEW ERA DAWNS AT WESTJET

The arrival of a fleet of new Boeing 787 Dreamliners has set WestJet on a new flight path that marks a business and cultural change for the Calgary-based carrier. We take a look behind the scenes at the new aircraft and what they mean.

  • Calgary Herald
  • 13 Feb 2019
  • AMANDA STEPHENSON
img?regionKey=tv2EXUFC%2bXqxClZhYaSFwg%3d%3dPHOTOS: DARREN MAKOWICHUK WestJet teams have been working hard behind the scenes for months to get ready for the April 28 launch date of the new 787 Dreamliner. A critical aspect of food service. Cabin crew members are here with chef Michael Allemeler of SAIT’s School of Hospitality and Tourism, which helped provide training. the preparations has been the

On Thursday, WestJet Airlines will lift the curtain on a new plane and a new era.

The Calgary-based company has chosen Valentine’s Day to unveil its new 787 Dreamliner, which rolled out of the factory door at the Boeing manufacturing plant in Everett, Wash., last month. The 320-seat plane — the first of three arriving at WestJet’s Calgary headquarters this winter — is bigger, more technologically advanced, and more luxurious than anything the airline has flown before.

The aircraft’s arrival also represents a milestone that many within the company say is as significant a moment as the original launch of WestJet 23 years ago. When flights to London, Paris and Dublin begin this spring, WestJet’s new Dreamliner service (the company will take possession of a total of 10 787s by 2021, with an option to buy 10 more) will make the airline a truly international carrier able to go head-to-head with Air Canada in the global market.

But there’s much more to becoming an international carrier than just buying a few big planes. Behind the scenes at WestJet’s Calgary headquarters, teams have worked feverishly for months to get ready for the crucial April 28 launch date.

From food and beverage service to the launch of a new business cabin to the operation of the plane itself, this is a significant change for WestJet — and the company is determined to be ready.

REHEARSAL TIME

“Nobody goes to the playoff game without practising,” said Jeff Martin, WestJet’s chief operating officer. “We’re really practising.”

Martin made the comments in late January from inside WestJet’s new 125,000-square-foot, $50-million hangar — a facility built specifically to accommodate the new Dreamliners and the technicians and maintenance engineers who will work on them.

Construction is still underway on the facility, with a scheduled completion date of March 31 — and that’s OK, because until now, there hasn’t been a plane to put there. Since WestJet took delivery in January of the first Dreamliner, dubbed “Clive Beddoe” after the company’s founder, the jet has spent most of its time in Toronto undergoing Transport Canada testing.

While there, the plane was also subject to a strict practice regimen. At Toronto Pearson International Airport, WestJet employees spent several weeks rehearsing everything from boarding guests to fuelling to taxiing to and from the gate.

“We’re taking a very proactive approach with this aircraft, more so than we’ve ever done before,” Martin said. “It’s a brand-new aircraft. Nobody wants to scratch it, nobody wants to dent it.”

WestJet CEO Ed Sims said these “practice turns,” as they are known in industry parlance, are also an effort to hedge against some of the headaches that plagued the company in the summer of 2016, when it launched its transatlantic wide-body experiment for the first time. The used Boeing 767 jets the airline was using in its service to London-Gatwick were prone to mechanical difficulties, leading to flight delays, cancellations and compensation for passengers.

As a result of that experience, WestJet has scheduled just 14 flights a week for its Dreamliner service so that any unforeseen cancellations or interruptions can be more easily accommodated.

“We could fly the aircraft 21 times a week, so we’re effectively deliberately keeping one aircraft almost as an insurance policy,” Sims said. “We didn’t do that with the 767s.”

The rehearsals will continue next week, when WestJet will start using the Dreamliner to fly guests domestically on its Toronto-Calgary route to assist with crew familiarization. The aircraft’s first international flight from Calgary to London-Gatwick takes place April 28.

‘THE CULTURE IS TO SOME DEGREE ‘CHANGING’

The Dreamliner is a very different plane than the Boeing 737s that make up the majority of WestJet’s fleet. Its lightweight carbon fibre shell allows for a 20-per-cent reduction in fuel consumption, compared to traditional jets made of aluminum. Technological innovations also allow the Dreamliner to maintain lower cabin pressures at higher elevations, something that is said to reduce airsickness and jet lag.

WestJet’s Dreamliners have been configured with an economy cabin offering 320 seats, a premium economy cabin with 28 seats, and a business cabin with 16 lieflat pods. This marks a significant departure for WestJet, which for much of its history prided itself on its single-cabin, single-fare business model.

Richard Bartrem — WestJet’s vice-president of marketing and communications — said the transition to multiple fares is part of a broader strategy. Since Canada’s population is relatively small, the Calgary-based airline’s growth opportunities would be limited if it continued to rely solely on the domestic and leisure market.

“If we wanted to continue to grow as an airline, we would need to pivot towards that premium or business traveller,” Bartrem said. “This traveller travels more frequently, spends more when they do travel ... and so we recognized that would be a good opportunity for us.”

However, attracting business-class customers means veering away from WestJet’s once-cherished notion that all passengers should be treated the same.

“We are recognizing that if you spend a disproportionate amount of your money with one particular company, you would expect that company would treat you differently. And a gold or platinum customer sitting in a premium cabin is going to have a different expectation,” he said. “Instilling that thinking into the training we’re doing on the front lines has been interesting ... because the culture is, to some degree, changing.”

On WestJet’s new business class, passengers will enjoy touch-screen service and on-demand dining, as well as lie-flat mattresses, bedding and a turn-down service. In the premium cabin, in addition to extra leg room, passengers will also have access to a self-serve social area with snacks and beverages.

WestJet also has plans for dedicated airport lounges at its three major Canadian hubs — Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver. This is also a new development, as currently WestJet does not operate its own lounges. (It does have agreements with third-party service providers to provide free access to its rewards program members at select airport lounges).

TAKING SERVICE TO THE NEXT LEVEL

About 230 WestJet cabin crew members will be dedicated to the three 787s that will be based out of Calgary this year. As more Dreamliners are added, additional flight attendants will be trained until eventually, every cabin crew employee at WestJet will be qualified to work on the big planes.

As WestJet prepares to offer a high-end international service for the first time, extensive training is continuing behind the scenes for the cabin crew. In November, a group of WestJet flight attendants underwent five days of training with instructors from SAIT’s hospitality management program. They visited luxury hotels like the Fairmont Palliser and Azuridge Estate, practised plating food, and learned about wine origins and vintages.

“In the future we are not going to be able to get away with saying to a guest, ‘Would you like red or white wine?’” said Louis St. Cyr, WestJet’s vice-president of guest experience. “WestJetters are used to a certain level of service, and that’s always worked for us. But it’s not going to work on the international stage. We need to bring it up to the next level.”

A critical aspect of WestJet’s Dreamliner preparations has been the food service. The airline has opened kitchens in both London and Paris and spent several months listening to pitches from catering companies offering possible menus for business, premium and economy class.

If we wanted to continue to grow as an airline, we would need to pivot towards that premium or business traveller.

It’s a challenging proposition, St. Cyr said, because the food selected must not only taste good; it must also satisfy a variety of customer tastes and dietary needs while at the same time being easy and cost-effective to transport and store.

“You have to understand the math. You could theoretically spend 60 per cent of your budget on logistics and 40 per cent on the actual food, which would mean you’ve just killed the quality,” he said. “So, it’s a very tough thing.”

Still, St. Cyr said he is confident passengers will be pleased with the dine-on-board experience.

“It’s going to be elegant, it’s going to be great value, it’s going to be delicious. But there’s still going to be a touch of comfort to our food that’s aligned with our brand,” he said.

LIFTING SPIRITS

Sales for WestJet’s three new Dreamliner routes began in October, and Sims said results so far are stronger than projected — an indication the airline is correct in its assumption that there are untapped opportunities in the international market.

“It’s clear Western Canadians, even Western North Americans, feel they’ve been underserved with services from the West to Europe,” he said.

According to WestJet, the international scheduled service between Calgary and London-Gatwick, Paris and Dublin will support 650 full-time jobs and $100 million in total economic output.

The three new flights from the U.K. and Western Europe are expected to eventually bring up to 185,000 visitors to Calgary on a yearly basis.

Sims emphasizes WestJet is taking a cautious approach to international growth, and will be evaluating demand — as well as the choice of its next Dreamliner routes — very carefully.

“The biggest challenge for me is how I’m going to stop myself from going in every hour to look at the sales monitoring,” he said.

Still, he said the anticipation and excitement at WestJet’s Calgary campus is palpable. The airline had a rough year in 2018, posting its first quarterly loss in 13 years in July and watching its share price fall from $25.81 in February to $18 per share at year-end.

While a number of efforts — including the cancellation of unprofitable flights and an aggressive cost-cutting program — have already been initiated to turn the company’s financial performance around, Sims said the upcoming Dreamliner launch has given employees something positive to work toward.

“The 787 has had a huge effect on spirit. It’s sort of lifted people’s shoulders,” he said.

Sims added he hopes that when WestJet customers get their first glimpse of the Dreamliner — complete with shiny coat of paint, fresh new logo and redesigned cabin interior — they will respond the same way a small group of WestJet management and employees did when they saw the plane for the first time at the Boeing factory last month.

“You get that sharp intake of breath, followed up by, ‘Is this really WestJet?’ I expect that will be indicative of passenger reaction,” Sims said.

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16 hours ago, Super 80 said:

I understand FCO is next 767 destination after MAD.

I usually figure out the new destinations when I log into Facebook and see a half dozen WestJet middle managers all posting selfies and checking in to places in the future city :)  Last week, the good times were in Rome!

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8 hours ago, thor said:

Not only were they schooled , they were owned and the company still holds the cards. It was a concessenary contract.

LOL. I know weed is legal now, but you probably shouldn't smoke and post. How was this a "concessenary" contract in any way, shape or form? 180 million dollars says it ain't. You may not be happy that alpa is here, or maybe you didn't see any significant gains personally which is hard to argue since rigs benefit even the most senior guys, but calling the contract concessionary is a comment that is not based in reality whatsoever.

 

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Dreamliners expected to boost local economy

 

  • Calgary Herald
  • 15 Feb 2019
  • AMANDA STEPHENSON astephenson@postmedia.com Twitter.com/AmandaMsteph
img?regionKey=AhDbWG3PL7x9kXh%2bIJApiQ%3d%3dPHOTOS: GAVIN YOUNG WestJet says the Calgary market is underserved when it comes to wide-bodied, international flights. Above is the economy section of the company’s new Boeing 787.

The CEO of WestJet talked up his company’s commitment to its home base of Calgary on Thursday at a special event celebrating the imminent launch of the airline’s new Dreamliner service.

Speaking to reporters and invited guests, who were offered a first glimpse of the company’s first Boeing 787 aircraft before it begins scheduled service to Toronto next week and international service to London- Gatwick April 28, CEO Ed Sims said WestJet chose Calgary as its Dreamliner hub because it believes the market is currently under-served when it come s to wide-body, international flying. He said WestJet’s new Dreamliner service, which will also include flights to Paris and Dublin beginning this spring and summer, will offer Calgarians more convenient departure, arrival and connection times than any other airline.

“Calgary has typically had to fit into schedules designed around other airlines’ home bases,” Sims said. “Our evening flight times are designed to suit Calgarians, first and foremost. The rest of the world can fit around us.”

WestJet — which will take delivery of its second and third Dreamliners in February and March — will take possession of a total of 10 787s by 2021, with an option to buy 10 more. Hub locations and routes for the remaining seven aircraft have not yet been announced.

According to the airline, its international scheduled service between Calgary and London-Gatwick, Paris and Dublin will support 650 full-time jobs and $100 million in total economic output. The three new flights from the U.K. and Western Europe are expected to eventually bring as many as 185,000 visitors to Calgary on a yearly basis.

“These aircraft are for you, Calgary,” Sims said.

WestJet’s decision to make Calgary the home base for its Dreamliner service cannot be underestimated, said Rick Erickson, a Calgary-based independent aviation analyst.

“This is going to translate into tens of millions of dollars of economic activity that’s going to occur in our city that wouldn’t otherwise occur,” Erickson said. “We will have new passengers coming and going from all of these new international destinations this aircraft is capable of reaching.”

Erickson said WestJet’s decision to move into the wide-body international space is an “aggressive” one, and he acknowledged that some industry watchers have questioned if the airline is trying to grow too big, too fast. But he said the domestic market in Canada is simply too small for WestJet to continue with the status quo.

“I know some of the analysts were sort of naysayers about what was going on but, really, there comes a time and a place where if you want to grow the airline, you don’t have a choice,” Erickson said.

WestJet’s Dreamliners will carry 320 guests in a three-class cabin configuration, including — for the first time in the airline’s history — a business cabin featuring 16 private pods with lie-flat seats.

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