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Media Advisory: WestJet to make special announcement in Calgary


NEWS PROVIDED BY

WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership 

Oct 20, 2020, 16:39 ET

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CALGARY, AB, Oct. 20, 2020 /CNW/ - Next week media are invited to join WestJet in-person in Calgary or virtually via Teams Live for a major announcement on the airline's premium traveller strategy and commitment to its home hub in Calgary.

"Our airline has made considerable investments into our premium and loyalty strategy with the launch of our 787 Dreamliners and the refinement of our fleet," said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. "As we move forward we continue to focus on the needs and expectations of frequent flyers and premium travellers as we look to strengthen our position from our home hub in Calgary."

What: WestJet Announcement

When: Week of Oct. 26, 2020

Where: Calgary and Teams Live

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What if Right sizing means getting rid of a large percentage of the fleet? Should a government help pay the rent or loan payments for underutilized/stored aircraft? I don't how many Westjet aircr

I think it was one of several prerequisites, as was a revised Transat deal.  If the government is to support the industry, it must be based on some kind of sustainable basis going forward. Trying

I have family that is transitioning from CERB as well.  Although they do qualify for EI they took another route.  They got a JOB.  

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Sounds good except that the process will take 6 to 10 months.   Hopefully the airline will be continue to be able to process the refunds.

WestJet to start refunding flights cancelled amid COVID-19 pandemic

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By Heide Pearson Global News
Posted October 21, 2020 4:10 pm
 Updated October 21, 2020 4:32 pm
4:20WestJet executive calls for federal support after company slashed flights and jobs

(Oct. 14, 2020): Richard Bartrem, WestJet’s vice-president of marketing communications, joins Global News Hour at 6 to discuss the challenges Canada’s airline industry faces after the company slashed services in Atlantic Canada.

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WestJet will be offering refunds to WestJet and Swoop passengers whose flights were cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

WestJet is the first Canadian airline to provide cash refunds for all flights. It had previously offered refunds for specific flights only, with future flight credit available for the majority of cancelled flights.

In an emailed statement, the airline said starting Monday, Nov. 2, eligible passengers will be contacted “proactively,” a process that will start with those whose flights were cancelled by the airline at the start of the pandemic, starting with trips booked for March.

“The refund process is expected to take six to nine months to work through eligible requests,” WestJet said.

The airline said it also expects an “administrative backlog” as the process gets underway, and asked customers to be patient, and wait to be contacted rather than contacting the airline themselves.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Those looking for refunds for trips booked through WestJet Vacations are asked to continue following the process already in place.

“We are an airline that has built its reputation on putting people first,” WestJet president and CEO Ed Sims said in a news release.

“We have heard loud and clear from the travelling public that in this COVID-19 world, they are looking for reassurance on two fronts: the safest possible travel environment; and refunds.

“We have been delivering on a safe environment through our Safety Above All program since the onset of the pandemic and as of Monday, Nov. 2, we will proactively provide refunds to original form of payment to itineraries cancelled by WestJet and Swoop.”

2:14WestJet suspends most of its operations in Atlantic Canada amid the COVID-19 pandemic

WestJet suspends most of its operations in Atlantic Canada amid the COVID-19 pandemic

In a blog post on the WestJet website, Sims said the airline has been faced with a 95 per cent drop in demand, adding that for 72 days in a row, cancellations outnumbered bookings — a first in the company’s 25-year history.

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Now, bookings are once again higher than cancellations, WestJet said, but still not on par with what they were before the pandemic hit.

More than 140 of WestJet’s 181 planes are currently parked, Sims said, and more than 4,000 employees have been laid off.

The airline also suspended its service in Atlantic Canada earlier this month, citing the coronavirus pandemic as making the service “unviable.”

— With files from The Canadian Press

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7 hours ago, Malcolm said:

What: WestJet Announcement

When: Week of Oct. 26, 2020

Where: Calgary and Teams Live

 

3 minutes ago, AIP said:

So what's the big announcement ??

See ^^^

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I have to say I am unimpressed by WestJet's approach to public relations in recent months. I hope this isn't just another disappointment but if all they are doing is giving refunds for refundable fares, then this should never have been a "news" item. They should have already done that months ago. 

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1 hour ago, J.O. said:

I have to say I am unimpressed by WestJet's approach to public relations in recent months. I hope this isn't just another disappointment but if all they are doing is giving refunds for refundable fares, then this should never have been a "news" item. They should have already done that months ago. 

 

"This is the wording that needs clarification, does eligable mean that the change includes nonrefundable fares on flights cancelled by WestJet or ????

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Starting Monday, November 2, 2020, WestJet will systematically contact eligible guests, beginning with those with flights cancelled at the onset of the pandemic. The refund process is expected to take six to nine months to work through eligible requests. Further information is provided at the bottom of this release.

Effective Monday, November 2, 2020 guests eligible for a refund to original form of payment will be proactively contacted by WestJet, beginning with those flights cancelled by the airline at the start of the pandemic. WestJet expects there will be an administrative backlog and asks for guests to wait to be contacted as we work through requests as quickly as possible.

 

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2 hours ago, J.O. said:

I have to say I am unimpressed by WestJet's approach to public relations in recent months. I hope this isn't just another disappointment but if all they are doing is giving refunds for refundable fares, then this should never have been a "news" item. They should have already done that months ago. 

WestJet is refunding ALL fare classes - refundable AND nonrefundable tickets. 

AC was refunding refundable tickets only. 

 

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WestJet, Air Canada start Twitter tiff over who was first to offer ticket refunds

From CityNews1130 – link to story

BY MIKE EPPEL | Oct 22, 2020

plane-yvr-richmond.jpgFILE: A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

SUMMARY\

  • Who offered it first, Air Canada or WestJet? Airlines in online tiff over timing of their COVID-19 refunds
  • WestJet said it was first airline in Canada to offer cash rebates to customers whose flights were cancelled due to COVID
  • Air Canada claims it’s already issued more than a billion dollars in refunds

CALGARY – The country’s two major airlines are into a Twitter fight over which one was first to offer refunds to passengers for cancelled flights.

Soon after WestJet announced on Wednesday that it would start providing refunds to passengers whose flights had been cancelled by the airline as a result of COVID-19, Air Canada accused WestJet of making a misleading statement about being the first to do so.

Air Canada claims it’s already issued more than a billion dollars in refunds, writing, “

Of course, WestJet responded.

“Let’s clear the air,” WestJet’s tweet reply to Air Canada reads. “We’re offering refunds for guests if we cancelled their flight. Even the lowest cost tickets will be refunded to original form of payment if WestJet caused the cancellation.”

For consumers, however, it’s just another chapter in a frustrating year waiting for cash. Many of the offers to customers from airlines for cancelled flights have previously been credits for future travel.

Calgary-based WestJet says it’ll start contacting eligible passengers about refunds early next month. It will start with those whose flights were cancelled early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, and work from there.

It could take customers six to nine months to get any money back.

Airline analysts speculate the refund plan may also be a precondition of getting any financial assistance from the federal government.

The airline industry has taken a massive hit amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which grounded many flights due to lockdowns. Travel has been restricted in many countries around the world, including in Canada.

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1 hour ago, AIP said:

What a waste of bandwith.

Most people don't give rat's A$$ who did what first. Right or wrong, they view both of the airlines in Canada a crooks for not refunding from the get go.

This not a good look for either . . . . .

One should not confuse one's own pov to be that of others.  ?

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21 hours ago, CanadaEH said:

WestJet is refunding ALL fare classes - refundable AND nonrefundable tickets. 

AC was refunding refundable tickets only. 

 

As I postulated on another social medium, Westjet knows a federal bailout is coming, and made a good move because - let's be frank now - promising refunds in a 6-9 month timeframe is pretty risk free when you know you'll have access to new low-cost capital. I mean 6-9 months? It doesn't take that long. But they know that somewhere in that timeframe, they will have the backstop capital the airline needs. Air Canada, with the bigger intercontinental exposure, will probably end up refunding all vouchers in a similar timeframe, once the nature of the bailout is confirmed and passed by Parliament. 6-9 months. Imagine someone hearing WS was going to refund their money, then hearing it might take until Easter. It's a good PR move, but also a bit of a game.

I'm less certain about the impact of rapid testing on this decision, because even with it, the virus count is rising fast, and there is no certainty that the public will rush back to travel just as there is no certainty most people will go for indoor dining or gym classes until there is a combination of warmer weather and a widely available vaccine to dampen the odds of getting sick.

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12 minutes ago, dagger said:

A

I'm less certain about the impact of rapid testing on this decision, because even with it, the virus count is rising fast, and there is no certainty that the public will rush back to travel just as there is no certainty most people will go for indoor dining or gym classes until there is a combination of warmer weather and a widely available vaccine to dampen the odds of getting sick.

To which I will add: no desire to travel until I can land in or return from another country and not be subject to a quarantine. 

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1 hour ago, Malcolm said:

To which I will add: no desire to travel until I can land in or return from another country and not be subject to a quarantine. 

Well, the rapid testing concept can dispose of the quarantine pretty soon, but at the rate cases are climbing - Canada is once again off the EU list of acceptable origin countries for non-essential travel - it's going to be hard to find a place that will take Canadians.

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4 hours ago, dagger said:

Well, the rapid testing concept can dispose of the quarantine pretty soon

 

only on the return to Canada, as you said a number of countries will not accept Canadians and others continue to enforce 14 day quarantines.   

It appears that Quebec will also be off my "to visit list"   Both Montreal and Quebec city were on my list for 2021  but unless things improve......

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Quebec City will lose health-care services if people don’t respect COVID-19 rules: Guilbault

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By Kalina Laframboise Global News
Posted October 23, 2020 11:46 am

 

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WestJet-Delta partnership tentatively approved by U.S.

From BNN Bloomberg – link to story

The Associated Press | 23 October 2020

WestJet to refund passengers affected by cancelled flights due to COVID-19

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Department said Friday it has tentatively approved plans by Delta Air Lines and Canada’s WestJet to work together in scheduling and setting prices for flights between the U.S. and Canada.

The department plans to grant the airlines immunity from antitrust laws, which would normally prevent competitors from working together so closely. It said the joint venture will increase options for travel between the two countries.

As a condition of approval, the Trump administration proposes that the airlines surrender some of their takeoff and landing rights at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, enough to let other airlines run eight round trips a day. The government also proposes to exclude WestJet’s discount carrier Swoop from the deal.

It was not immediately clear whether the government’s conditions will be acceptable to the airlines. A WestJet spokeswoman said the airlines are reviewing the proposal and will respond to the Transportation Department. Atlanta-based Delta did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The joint venture would expand a partnership between the two airlines that goes back several years and includes selling seats on each other’s flights. The airlines have said the deal will include new nonstop flights to new destinations and better reciprocal benefits for members of their frequent-flyer programs.

Delta has other joint ventures with foreign airlines including Virgin Atlantic, Korean Air, Air France-KLM and Aeromexico.

The Transportation Department said it will review the Delta-WestJet venture in five years.

 

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Swoop Reaffirms Commitment to Edmonton

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The ultra-not-expensive airline kicks off its winter schedule with inaugural flight to Toronto Pearson International Airport and seasonal start of Phoenix-Mesa and Mexico flights

EDMONTON, AB, Oct. 25, 2020 /CNW/ – Swoop, the ultra-not-expensive airline, reaffirmed its commitment to Edmonton International Airport today with the launch of its winter schedule including the addition of non-stop service to Toronto Pearson International Airport.

“We are excited to be expanding our ultra-low cost carrier model from Edmonton by adding Toronto to our network” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial & Finance at Swoop. “We know that Canadians are cautious about travelling, and with the significant health and safety measures we have put in place, travellers can rest assured that their safety is our top priority.”  

The inaugural winter schedule operations this week will also include a return to popular sun destinations such as Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán and Phoenix-Mesa, while continuing to serve Abbotsford and Hamilton from Edmonton International Airport.

“We’ve clearly heard from sun seekers that they’re looking for options this winter. Thanks to Swoop, we’re able to help meet that demand. Safety and security is our top priority and we’re confident EIA is ready for these flights in close partnership with the airline. These flights will be safe and will make it possible for local travellers, including snowbirds, to still get their traditional winter break,” says Tom Ruth, President & CEO, Edmonton International Airport. 

“In a challenging year like we are having, we know that it is more important than ever to help Canadians connect with family and friends. We want to help travellers do that safely, responsibly and affordably,” van der Stege added.

Some of the health and safety measures Swoop has introduced includes stricter boarding processes allowing for shorter queue wait times, enhanced screening measures, increased sanitization, and enforcing face masks to be worn for the duration of the flight.  

Additionally, all transborder and international round-trip Swoop flight and Swoop Getaways bookings include no-charge COVID-19 travel insurance coverage. This complimentary coverage is added to eligible bookings automatically at time of purchase, made on or after Oct. 15 for travel until Apr. 24, 2021, and is valid for up to 21 days in destination. 

The start of its winter schedule marks the next step in Swoop’s recovery efforts while remaining true to its mission of offering accessible and affordable air travel to Canadians. As the country’s largest ultra-low cost carrier, the airline is uniquely positioned to help drive industry recovery with price-sensitive travellers.  

Swoop Takes Off From Toronto Pearson Airport

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The airline kicks off its winter schedule with inaugural flights from YYZ
bringing its ultra-low fares to Canada’s largest city

TORONTO, Oct. 25, 2020 /CNW/ – Today Swoop launched its operations at Toronto Pearson Airport, safely completing flights from Toronto to destinations in Montego Bay, Edmonton, Kelowna and Halifax. The inaugural operations continue this week with additional flights to destinations such as Abbotsford and Cancun.  

Swoop and GTAA representatives see off the ultra-low fare airline's inaugural flight from Toronto Pearson International Airport. Pictured left to right: Julien Carron, John Sharp and Craig Bradbrook of GTAA, alongside Charles Duncan, Colleen Ham and Bert van der Stege of Swoop. (CNW Group/Swoop) Swoop and GTAA representatives see off the ultra-low fare airline’s inaugural flight from Toronto Pearson International Airport. Pictured left to right: Julien Carron, John Sharp and Craig Bradbrook of GTAA, alongside Charles Duncan, Colleen Ham and Bert van der Stege of Swoop. (CNW Group/Swoop) Swoop President, Charles Duncan and GTAA Chief Operations Officer, Craig Bradbrook celebrating Swoop’s inaugural flights out of Toronto Pearson International Airport. (CNW Group/Swoop) Swoop President, Charles Duncan and GTAA Chief Operations Officer, Craig Bradbrook celebrating Swoop’s inaugural flights out of Toronto Pearson International Airport. (CNW Group/Swoop)

This begins the airline’s winter schedule which includes the return to Kelowna International Airport and the addition of non-stop service to popular sun destinations. With its accessible and affordable airfares, Swoop is connecting more Canadians in the GTA with a safe and responsible travel option.

“We are excited to be able to bring our ultra-low cost carrier model to Toronto and serve Canada’s largest city,” says Charles Duncan, President, Swoop. “We know that Canadians are cautious about travelling, and with the significant health and safety measures we have put in place, travellers can rest assured that their safety is our top priority.”

“We’re pleased to welcome Swoop to Toronto Pearson, offering yet another choice for our valued passengers,” says Deborah Flint, President and CEO of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority. “Toronto Pearson is committed to offering an enjoyable airport experience that is focused on health from curb to boarding and back again.”

The airline’s scheduled winter service from Toronto Pearson International Airport includes direct flights to Kelowna, Abbotsford, Halifax and Edmonton. Popular sun destinations are also available such as Las Vegas, Orlando, Tampa Bay, Montego Bay and Cancun supported by Swoop Getaways flight plus hotel packages, powered by Expedia. As part of its winter schedule and Swoop’s commitment to the region, the airline will continue to serve Hamilton with multiple flights per week to Edmonton and Abbotsford.

“In a challenging year like we are having, we want to help Canadians connect with family and friends or travel south safely this winter season, which is why we are proud to offer direct, non-stop flights, and Getaways all at an affordable price tag,” states Duncan.

Some of the health and safety measures Swoop has introduced includes stricter boarding processes allowing for shorter queue wait times, traveller screening measures, increased sanitization, and enforcing face masks to be worn for the duration of the flight.

Additionally, every transborder and international round-trip Swoop flight and Getaways booking now includes no-charge COVID-19 travel insurance coverage. This complimentary coverage is automatically included on eligible bookings at time of purchase for bookings made on and after October 15, 2020, for travel until April 24, 2021, and is valid for up to 21 days. One-way travel is excluded.

The start of its winter schedule marks the next step in Swoop’s recovery efforts while remaining true to its mission of offering accessible and affordable air travel to Canadians. As the country’s largest ultra-low cost carrier, the airline is uniquely positioned to help drive industry recovery with price-sensitive travellers.

Highlights about Swoop’s service from Toronto for travel between October 25, 2020 – April 24, 2021 are outlined below. Schedules are subject to change due to travel advisories, health and safety conditions and traveller demand. For peace of mind, travellers can purchase ModiFly, which allows them to make a one-time change to the date and time of their booking.

  • Toronto and Abbotsford will operate up to 6x weekly, with service every day except Saturday
  • Toronto and Edmonton will operate 6x weekly with service every day except Saturday
  • Toronto and Kelowna will operate up to 4x weekly with service on Monday, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays
  • Toronto and Halifax will operate daily
  • Toronto and Las Vegas will operate up to 4x weekly on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
  • Toronto and Orlando will operate up to 5x weekly on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
  • Toronto and Tampa Bay will operate up to 4x weekly on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays
  • Toronto and Cancun will operate up to 5x weekly, with service on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
  • Toronto and Montego Bay will operate up to 5x weekly, with service on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

For more information, please visit www.flyswoop.com

 

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100+ WestJet Pilots (Mainline & Swoop) participated in a union information picket @ Terminal 3 today regarding the unreasonable transfer of flying from WestJet to Swoop. “Despite the serious situation the Canadian airline industry is in, WestJet pilots cannot stand by while WestJet and Swoop management use the cover of the Covid-19 pandemic to outsource mainline jobs to low-cost Swoop.” - Airline Pilots Association International — at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

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53 minutes ago, Turbofan said:

100+ WestJet Pilots (Mainline & Swoop) participated in a union information picket @ Terminal 3 today regarding the unreasonable transfer of flying from WestJet to Swoop. “Despite the serious situation the Canadian airline industry is in, WestJet pilots cannot stand by while WestJet and Swoop management use the cover of the Covid-19 pandemic to outsource mainline jobs to low-cost Swoop.” - Airline Pilots Association International — at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

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Good luck with that one.

 

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