Jump to content

WestJet and Swoop News


Guest
 Share

Recommended Posts

Link to complete article.   

WestJet admits it was wrong to refuse customer refunds for rebooked flights | CBC News

 

WestJet says it made an error when the airline rebooked thousands of customers on alternate flights and offered no refunds — only credit — to those who wanted to cancel their trip.

"We gave incorrect information or inconsistent information," Richard Bartrem, WestJet's vice-president of communications, said in an interview. 

WestJet blamed the error on the fact that the airline was ramping up its service now that COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were easing.

"This was us bringing people back to work, training people back up," Bartrem said. "It is a rapidly moving environment, and we didn't have all those pieces [of information] updated the way they should otherwise have been."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Taking the high road but: (The WestJet Group statement on government support announcement | WestJet official site)

WestJet drops out of talks with government on pandemic aidEmail

Airline said it remains open to resuming talks in the future

 
ashley-burke-promo-image.jpg
Ashley Burke · CBC News · Posted: Jul 20, 2021 5:50 PM ET | Last Updated: 35 minutes ago
 
covid-cda-20210121.jpg
WestJet said in a statement Tuesday it is "not actively pursuing financial support from the federal government" but is open to resuming talks in the future. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)
62
comments

Calgary-based WestJet said today that after months of negotiations, it has officially ended talks with the federal government on a financial aid package to help the airline during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statement from the airline, released this afternoon, comes a day after Canada announced it plans to reopen the border to fully vaccinated U.S. citizens next month and to vaccinated travellers from around the world in September.

 

"Given encouraging vaccination rates across the country, both parties have mutually agreed to shift focus from these negotiations, and away from taxpayer-funded support, to leading the safe restart of the travel and tourism sector," WestJet said in the statement.

The federal government said it and the airline agreed "mutually ... to suspend constructive discussions" and it's open to restarting talks in the future if necessary.

Major airlines have been lobbying the government for months for financial help. The carriers argued an aid package was desperately needed as a lifeline for an industry hit hard by the pandemic. Air travel dropped to historic lows as airlines endured border closures, travel restrictions and quarantine orders.

Several carriers already have reached multimillion or multibillion dollar deals with the government in exchange for refunding passengers for flights cancelled during the pandemic.

 
covid-cda-20210121.jpg
WestJet's overall passenger volumes dropped nearly 90 per cent in 2020 compared to the year before. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press )

Air Canada reached a $5.9 billion deal with the federal government consisting of low-interest loans; the government took a $500 million equity stake in the company. Air Transat also secured a $700 million support package. The parent company of Porter Airlines received a federal loan of up to $270 million.

Conservative transport critic Stephanie Kusie took aim at Transport Minister Omar Alghabra following WestJet's announcement. Alghabra posted a video on social media earlier today showing he met with recalled WestJet staff this morning.

"You tried to fool us today with all of your positive @WestJet posts," tweeted Kusie. "The truth comes out. This announcement proves the industry always knew they were on their own and are ready to move on without you."

The office of Deputy Prime Minister and Minster of Finance Chrystia Freeland said that it has provided "substantial support" to the airline sector.

"That support to date includes more than $2 billion in wage subsidies for airlines and $1 billion announced in the Fall Economic Statement for airports and smaller airlines," wrote Freeland's press secretary Kat Cuplinskas. 

WestJet's CEO said company never wanted a "bailout"

Before entering talks with the government, WestJet's president and CEO Ed Sims said it wasn't about the money and his company was not seeking a "bailout." Instead, the airline said it wanted the government to lay out a recovery plan for the industry, he said.

WestJet's books are closed to the public since it's privately owned by Toronto-based Onex Corp.

"We are not seeking policy that strictly supports our bottom line and, frankly, that is not what the nation needs," Sims wrote to MPs and senators in December 2020.


CBC News has reported that in March, WestJet's demand for a plan to restart domestic air travel caused some tension at the talks. The talks that started in the new year with Deputy Finance Minister Michael Sabia are confidential and those involved have signed non-disclosure agreements.

In today's statement, WestJet said it remains open to resuming talks with the government about financial support in the future.

WestJet recently apologized and said it made an error by refusing some customers' refunds for rebooked flights during the pandemic. The admission came after a CBC News investigation into complaints from customers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WestJet, Delta to submit revised JV application

WestJet's CEO says his LCC remains fully committed to the idea of a joint venture and believes Delta Air Lines is too.

By Karen Walker

Posted23 July 2021 12:00

Share this article

Canadian LCC WestJet will refile its application to the US Transportation Department (DOT) to be allowed to enter a joint venture (JV) with Delta Air Lines, WestJet CEO Ed Sims says.

DOT tentatively approved the JV application in October 2020, but applied a number of conditions, including taking WestJet’s ULCC subsidiary, Swoop, out of the JV and divesting 16 takeoff and landing slots at New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA). The airlines withdrew their application in November 2020, describing the conditions, especially the slots divestiture requirement, as “unreasonable and unacceptable.”

As guest speaker on an International Aviation Club of Washington webinar July 22, Sims said WestJet remained fully committed to the JV and believed Delta was similarly committed, so they will revise and refile their application.

“You have to take a stand” when DOT rules as it did on a slot-constrained airport like LaGuardia, Sims said, adding that he and Delta CEO Ed Bastian “think very similarly ... and are not fans of big government.”

Sims, who has announced he will step down at the end of 2021 after four years as EVP, commercial, then CEO at WestJet, did not give a time line. But he did say WestJet was looking forward to ultimately expanding the Delta relationship into the transatlantic market via Delta’s SkyTeam alliance partners Air France and KLM.

WestJet plans to launch service to KLM hub Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) and also resume service to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) in August. The AMS service from WestJet’s home hub at Calgary International Airport (YYC) will operate twice weekly beginning Aug. 5, increasing to 3X-weekly on Sept. 9. 

WestJet operates six Boeing 787-800s on its long-haul routes. Four more are to be delivered soon and WestJet has options on 10 more. Its short- and medium-haul fleet consists of 737-700/800s and 737 MAXs.

 

More WestJet news

 

Sims said WestJet’s costs were cut 72% in response to the pandemic and a drastic drop in demand for air travel. Unlike the US and many European countries, the Canadian government was reluctant to provide sector-specific aid to industries, a policy that has changed recently but extends only to payrolls support and potential access to loans as opposed to grants. Sims said he did not believe that debt was the solution to climb out of the demand shortfall. “The wage support is greatly appreciated, but I’m not a believer in a complex debt structure or feel that’s the best use of the public purse,” Sims said.

Canada’s strict and lengthy lockdown and travel restrictions, cutting off international access and some inter-province travel, forced some carriers to suspend operations. WestJet maintained minimum services throughout but had to cut costs by while still losing money “on every single seat” at the lowest point, Sims said.

“I’d love to think that the majority of [those cost cuts] is permanent,” Sims said, explaining that WestJet has a 35%-40% cost advantage over its closest competitor, allowing it to discount fares by similar amounts. “So we will keep the core of that.”

But Sims noted that Canada’s privately owned air traffic control system provider, NavCanada, and some Canadian airports have looked to recoup their losses through significant fee hikes. NavCanada is increasing its fees by 29.5% and Winnipeg Airport (YWG) has introduced a 52% fee hike, Sims said. After the government elections in fall 2021, WestJet will be asking for regulatory reform with regards to ATC and airport charges.

The past eight weeks, as restrictions have started to lift, “have been spectacular” in terms of bookings and demand, Sims said, and will further improve when Canada reopens its border to fully vaccinated Americans and Canadian citizens in August, with a similar policy for all visitors in September.

Photo credit: Delta Air Lines

More from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The WestJet Fleet In 2021

Calgary-based WestJet is Canada’s second-largest airline, behind flag carrier Air Canada. It operates a diverse fleet that features turboprops, narrowbody jets, and widebody jets. Let’s take a closer look at its exact makeup, to see what it is that makes WestJet tick.

WestJet Boeing 787 WestJet’s flagship widebody aircraft are its Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr

Widebodies

According to data from ch-aviation.com, WestJet’s fleet presently comprises an impressive total of 167 aircraft. Of these, just six fall under the category of twin-aisle jetliners, with all of these being the same model. Specifically, they are examples of Boeing’s mid-size 787-9, which WestJet deploys on certain long-haul routes to the likes of London and Paris.

WestJet’s existing 787s have an average age of 1.9 years old, and the airline has another four on order. According to SeatGuru, these modern widebodies feature a three-class, 320-seat configuration (276 economy, 28 premium economy, 16 business). According to data from ATDB.aero, WestJet received the first of its 787s in January 2019.

 

Narrowbodies

When it comes to turbofan-powered aircraft WestJet, its narrowbodies are far more numerous. The airline operates a plethora of aircraft from Boeing’s popular 737 family, which is spread across four different variants. All in all, it has 114 737s at its disposal.

WestJet Aircraft from the Boeing 737 family dominate WestJet’s fleet. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

Of these aircraft, 13 are examples of the short-fuselage 737-600 variant. WestJet’s 737-600s have an average age of 15.3 years old, and it received its first in August 2005. They have a two-class, 113-seat configuration, consisting of 12 business and 101 economy seats.

 

WestJet also operates larger variants from the 737NG family. The most numerous of these is the mid-size 737-700. WestJet has 48 of these 130-seaters at its disposal, with an average age of 15.7 years. Meanwhile, there are 39 examples of the younger (9.3 years on average) and larger (174 seats) examples of the 737-800 in WestJet’s fleet.

WestJet Boeing 737 MAX 8 The presence of the 737 MAX has given WestJet’s fleet a youthful edge. Photo: Tomás Del Coro via Flickr

WestJet’s fourth and final present 737 family variant is that of the next-generation MAX 8 version. These modern twinjets have the same 174-seat (12 business and 162 economy) configuration as the older 737-800s, but a much lower average age of just 3.1 years old across the 14 examples. 10 more are on order, as well as 13 smaller MAX 7s.

 

Turboprops

It is common for major airlines in North America to have a feeder carrier to operate its regional services. WestJet is no different, and conforms to this widespread industry trend in the US and Canada by flying 47 Dash 8-Q400s under the WestJet Encore brand.

WestJet Dash 8 WestJet’s Dash 8 turboprops operate regional feeder services for the airline. Photo: BriYYZ via Flickr

These regional turboprops follow the trend of their mainline counterparts by featuring a small business class cabin at the front of the aircraft. This consists of 10 seats with a slightly more generous seat pitch of 31 inches. Behind them is a 68-seat economy section, in which the seat pitch is 30 inches. WestJet’s Dash 8s have an average age of 5.9 years.

What do you make of WestJet’s present fleet? Which of the Canadian carrier’s aircraft have you flown on? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good Afternoon All:

Over coffee yesterday from a friend still in the WestJet/Encore system I was told there was a recent email from management concerning the high amount of book off's in the system due to fatigue. My understanding (limited I might add) is they are in the midst of ramping up again but the pairings are onerous as well as fatiguing long duty days, as they are short of aircrew. 

Can anyone else elaborate on this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, A330PilotCanada said:

Good Afternoon All:

Over coffee yesterday from a friend still in the WestJet/Encore system I was told there was a recent email from management concerning the high amount of book off's in the system due to fatigue. My understanding (limited I might add) is they are in the midst of ramping up again but the pairings are onerous as well as fatiguing long duty days, as they are short of aircrew. 

Can anyone else elaborate on this?

Schedules leaving some WestJet pilots fatigued, internal report says | CTV News

Schedules leaving some WestJet pilots fatigued, internal report says

CTV Vancouver
Mi-Jung Lee

Mi-Jung LeeAnchor, CTV News Vancouver

You may want to listen to the video report.  

There are concerns among WestJet pilots that their schedules are leaving them exhausted on the job, according to an internal report obtained by CTV News.

The report, which sums up the results of focus groups commissioned by the airline late last year, highlights frustration among many pilots, some of whom blame the issue on WestJet executives pushing to cut costs and increase efficiency.

“You’re not flying at the level you should be – and that’s the problem. There are no options,” one unnamed participant says in the document.

“Fatigue is not a free fix. They know how to fix it, but it’s all about cost. And they don’t want to spend the money,” says another.

According to the report, nine different pilot groups involving a total of 94 participants were consulted in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. It found the same key issues about fatigue and related health and safety concerns among all groups.

“Participants were passionate and overwhelmingly negative with regards to increasingly difficult schedules and related fatigue issues,” it reads.

“Many pilots believe that the increased focus on delivering value to the shareholder has been made at a significant cost to morale, culture, and trust.”

One former pilot, Rob Scratch Mitchell, said fatigue was one of the reasons he decided to quit WestJet.

He also admitted to having fallen asleep in the air.

“There have been a few times I’ve woken up and I’ve seen the other pilot nodding off as well. That’s probably something people aren’t comfortable to hear,” he said.

“We’re stretching our crews to the edge of safety.”

Asked about the report, WestJet told CTV News it’s trying to address employees’ concerns about fatigue, and has made headway since the focus group was conducted.

“A significant amount of work had already been done prior to these focus groups, and several changes have been implemented since, with more to come,” a spokesperson said in an email.

“It is also important to note that all of our pilots are scheduled not only within regulatory requirements laid out by Transport Canada, but in accordance with our pilot agreements and, most importantly, through changes implemented in accordance with our fatigue risk management system.”

There are also concerns among pilots that Canada’s regulations have fallen behind international standards, however.

The U.S. overhauled its rules after a 2009 crash in Buffalo that killed 49 people, and which was blamed on pilot error and fatigue. Many Canadian pilots are urging federal regulators to do the same now, and not wait for a similar tragedy. 

“Countries such as Morocco, Bangladesh, India all have flight and duty time regulations that are a lot more strict,” said Capt. Dan Adamus of the Airline Pilots' Association.

Currently, Transport Canada allows pilots to work a 14-hour shift, longer than is allowed in many countries. The agency announced it wanted to udate the rules last year, including a new limit of between nine and 13 hours in the cockpit, but postponed their implementation. 

With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Mi-Jung Lee  

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Note the date on the following story re a fatigue problem at WestJet. So is this old news being given a 2nd life or>>>> ?????

Concern over sleepy pilots

Nicholas Johansen - Mar 8, 2016 / 10:21 am | Story: 160246
screen_shot_2016-03-08_at_9.56.29_am_p3110007.jpg
Photo: The Canadian Press

Most travellers hold a well-rested pilot high on their list of wants when it comes to choosing an airline.

But, pilots at WestJet suggest that's not always the reality.

An internal report shows a high level of frustration among many of the company’s pilots over the heavy scheduling they face.

A former WestJet pilot, Rob Scratch Mitchell, told CTV fatigue was one of the reasons he quit.

He even said he has fallen asleep in the air.

“There have been a few times I’ve woken up and I’ve seen the other pilot nodding off as well. That’s probably something people aren’t comfortable to hear,” Mitchell said. “We’re stretching our crews to the edge of safety.”

Some in the report blame the issue on WestJet looking to cut costs and increase efficiency.

“Fatigue is not a free fix,” said one unnamed participant in the report. “They know how to fix it, but it’s all about cost. And they don’t want to spend the money.”

A total of 94 participants, from nine pilot groups in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, were involved in the report. All the groups had concerns about fatigue.

“Participants were passionate and overwhelmingly negative with regards to increasingly difficult schedules and related fatigue issues,” the report reads. “Many pilots believe that the increased focus on delivering value to the shareholder has been made at a significant cost to morale, culture, and trust.”

A WestJet spokesperson told CTV the airline is trying to address the issues.

“A significant amount of work had already been done prior to these focus groups, and several changes have been implemented since, with more to come,” the spokesperson said in an email. “It is also important to note that all of our pilots are scheduled not only within regulatory requirements laid out by Transport Canada, but in accordance with our pilot agreements and, most importantly, through changes implemented in accordance with our fatigue risk management system.”

Transport Canada currently allows pilots to work 14-hour shifts. Last year, the agency announced it was looking to update its rules, and reduce the limit to between nine and 13 hours, but it postponed the change.

“Countries such as Morocco, Bangladesh, India all have flight and duty time regulations that are a lot more strict,” said Capt. Dan Adamus of the Airline Pilots' Association.

  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is second hand information, but…

 

I understand this guy was a bit of a problem child who wanted the summers off so he could do his air show flying, which then led to him booking off on pairings and eventually termination. Sour 🍇 I suspect. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Demanding that your employer reduce your amount of work is only going to undermine your ability to earn income. Allowing the Government to dictate rules to address scheduling rules is a invitation for confusion and conflict.

WE, as professionals need to take responsibility for our own well being and negotiate wages and working conditions that reflect our commitment to providing the highest levels of safety, with efficiency. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...