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Another executive import.

WestJet announces Kirsten de Brujin as Executive Vice-President, Cargo

CALGARY, AB, April 5, 2022 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced the appointment of Kirsten de Brujin, as Executive Vice-President, Cargo. De Brujin will join WestJet’s executive leadership team later this month, following a successful immigration process. 

Kirsten de Brujin, WestJet, Executive Vice-President, Cargo (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership) Kirsten de Brujin, WestJet, Executive Vice-President, Cargo (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

De Brujin brings with her a large portfolio of air cargo experience and more than 15 years in the airline industry. She joins WestJet Cargo most recently from Qatar Airways, where she served as Senior Vice President Cargo Sales and Network Planning. During her time at Qatar Airways, de Brujin managed the airline’s global cargo sales organization including product development and marketing and was responsible for the freighter network planning department. Prior to her tenure at Qatar Airways, de Brujin served as Vice President, Cargo Pricing and Interline at Emirates Sky Cargo.  

“Kirsten has demonstrated consistent and proven success in driving strategic growth for an impressive portfolio of Cargo businesses around the globe,” said Alexis von Hoensbroech, WestJet CEO. “As WestJet Cargo enters a pivotal moment of providing much-needed competitive choice and prices to customers across our network and beyond, there is no better leader for the task.”

As WestJet’s Executive Vice-President, Cargo, de Bruijn will play an instrumental role in building the airline’s dedicated cargo capabilities and service offerings, while growing a high-performing cargo organization capable of succeeding within a rapidly evolving market.

“I am thrilled to be joining WestJet Cargo as the business sets sights on a competitive and aggressive expansion,” said de Brujin. “With such a strong foundation supported by a growing fleet, team and complementary network, I am confident that WestJet Cargo has a bright future ahead as we strive to bring customers more choice and the caring customer service akin to the WestJet brand”.

“My sincerest thank you to Charles Duncan, EVP Cargo and President, Swoop, for his dedication and contributions to building an incredible foundation for WestJet Cargo, enabling the cargo function to expand and evolve in an extremely competitive market,” continue von Hoensbroech.

As WestJet Cargo expands, so too, will its team, network and flight plans. To learn more about how WestJet Cargo can fulfill shipping needs, or to discover incredible employment opportunities, visit WestJet Cargo.

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When you look at their top Executives, Canadians are in the minority. I wonder how this affects the requirements to be Canadian Controlled?  (See Flair). 

Quote

According to the agency, to be licensed, an airline must be incorporated in Canada, at least 51 per cent of voting interests must be owned and controlled by Canadians, and it must be controlled in fact by Canadians.

 

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Bob Cummings to return to the WestJet Group as President of Swoop


NEWS PROVIDED BY

WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership 

Apr 13, 2022, 15:00 ET

 

CALGARY, AB, April 13, 2022 /CNW/ - The WestJet Group today announced the return of Bob Cummings to the airline's Executive Leadership Team as President of Swoop, WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier. Cummings will begin his role on Monday, April 18, 2022.  

"I am delighted to welcome Bob back to the WestJet Group to lead Swoop through this pivotal time for affordable air travel in Canada," said Alexis von Hoensbroech, Chief Executive Officer, the WestJet Group. "Bob's passion and knowledge of the ULCC market, his strength in leading high-performing teams and his impressive track record with the WestJet Group, will ensure that Swoop continues to lead the way in providing Canadians with access to ultra-low fare travel."

"Swoop was created to make travel affordable and accessible for the most price-conscious travellers, and as we continue to expand and offer more schedule options, people can book with confidence when choosing our Canadian, ultra-low-cost airline," said Bob Cummings, President of Swoop. "I am elated to return to The WestJet Group's leadership team and am looking forward to working alongside Swoopsters to bring more choice, lower fares and certainty to the market."

Most recently, Cummings spent two years at the helm of Central Mountain Air as Chief Executive Officer. In this role, he led through pandemic turbulence and positioned the regional airline for success in recovery, while building the airline's culture. Prior to Central Mountain Air, Bob spent 13 years with the WestJet Group, spanning several notable Executive Vice-President positions, including President of Swoop in 2018, where he was responsible for the start-up and launch of Canada's first successful ultra-low-cost airline.

During his tenure with WestJet, Bob led the growth of WestJet Vacations, WestJet Rewards, and was integral in the launch of WestJet Encore, WestJet's regional airline. As WestJet's Chief Commercial Officer, Bob grew the airline's revenue from just over one billion to more than $4.5 billion. Prior to joining WestJet, Bob spent more than 13 years in leadership positions in the utility and telecom markets.

With his extensive North American commercial aviation experience, Bob will continue to build on Swoop's strong foundation in recovery.

"I would like to thank Charles Duncan for his leadership of Swoop over the past two years," continued von Hoensbroech. "Charles has played a key role in Swoop's expansion and recovery and will now transition into a new role supporting various strategic projects and initiatives as Executive Vice-President, Integration and Strategic Projects."

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On 4/12/2022 at 9:48 AM, J.O. said:

Canadian controlled is more about financial control and voting shares than on where the management team comes from.

Any decision they may make in this regard may have an effect on other carriers in Canada but I hope WestJet would not be so caught up.

In the words of the CTA 

Quote

Three requirements must be met for an air carrier to be considered Canadian: (1) the incorporation or formation requirement, (2) the voting interest requirement, and (3) the control in fact requirement.

Requirement No. 3: Control In Fact Requirement

Overview

To be Canadian, the company needs to be "controlled in fact" by Canadians.

Control in fact (also known as de facto control) differs from control in law (also known as de jure or legal control). Control in law is generally shown by owning enough shares to carry the right to a majority of votes. Control in fact goes beyond control in law as it includes the ability to exert control by any direct or indirect influence.

Although the term is not defined in the Act, the Agency considers control in fact to be:

  • the power, whether exercised or not, to control the strategic decision-making activities of an enterprise and to manage and run its day-to-day operations.

Those who may have the power to influence a company's decisions can include minority owners, designated representatives, financial institutions, employees and others. They may use their influence either positively or negatively. For example, they may demonstrate a positive influence by requiring positive approval when a decision needs to be made. Conversely, negative influence could be the ability to veto a decision. Either way, the influence needs to be dominant or determining to be considered "control in fact."

Determining who has "control in fact" is a question of fact. The Agency evaluates this on a case-by-case basis, as each case is unique. The principles that the Agency follows when determining "control in fact" are listed at Annex B. The factors that the Agency considers are shown at Annex C. All managerial, financial and operational air carrier relationships (or proposed relationships) must be considered before making a determination.

Ownership structures with little or no involvement from non-Canadians do not normally require extensive analysis. Nevertheless, licence applicants and existing licence holders should take note of the "control in fact" issues concerning joint ventures and ownership by proxy.

Annex B: General Principles for Determining "Control in Fact"

All the facts are weighed together

Normally, no single factor dictates whether control in fact is held by Canadians. The Agency considers and weighs all facts together to make a determination. There is no single objective test that can be relied upon to determine where control in fact lies. Judgment is required to evaluate the facts of each case.

Control does not need to be exercised

Control does not need to be exercised for a person to have control in fact. When the individual has the ability to control, whether they use it or not, they are considered to have control in fact.

Control can reside with different individuals

Control in law and control in fact can reside in the hands of different individuals or groups of individuals. Control in fact may exist even without ownership of any voting securities.

Joint Control

Where an air carrier is controlled jointly by Canadians and non-Canadians, it is not considered to be Canadian.

 

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WestJet flight attendant has class-action law suit certified - North Shore News (nsnews.com)

Former WestJet flight attendant has class-action law suit against airline certified

Mandalena Lewis, who used to be based out of YVR, has been battling the airline for six years, over claims of sexual assault and failing to provide a safe workplace for flight attendants
21mandalenalewis Former WestJet flight attendant Mandalena Lewis has had her class-action lawsuit against the airline certifiedRichmond News file photo

A former WestJet flight attendant’s class-action lawsuit against the airline has been certified by the B.C. Court of Appeal.

In a decision published on Tuesday, the court overturned a previous ruling by the B.C. Supreme Court, which had dismissed Mandalena Lewis’ application.

Lewis, who used to be based out of Vancouver International Airport, has been battling the airline through the courts for about six years, originally alleging that WestJet breached its contract by failing to provide a safe work environment for female flight attendants.

She also launched a separate lawsuit against the company, claiming it didn't take proper action after she reported being sexually assaulted by a pilot while on a stopover in Hawaii, adding that the airline chose to protect the pilot instead of her.

 

Lewis’ first attempt at the class-action suit failed just over a year ago, when B.C. Supreme Court Justice Karen Horsman wrote that “I conclude that there are other reasonably available means for class members to achieve substantive and procedural justice that are more practical and efficient than a class proceeding.”

The judge added that the likes of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal or collective bargaining would have been a more appropriate place for the case to be heard.

Judge overturns Supreme Court ruling

However, B.C. Court of Appeal judge Peter Voith found that the lower court had made mistakes when evaluating the class-action lawsuit, pointing out that a human rights tribunal would have limitations.

"In a human rights complaint, only those class members who had actually suffered discrimination, in the form of harassment or otherwise, could potentially seek monetary compensation," wrote Voith in his decision, adding that the class action wasn't alleging harassment but breach of contract.

Back in 2019, the Richmond News reported how WestJet lost its appeal for the original case to be thrown out.

That suit alleged that the airline had a work culture that tolerated harassment of female employees.

Back then Lewis said that the case was a “really big deal, and it’s not just a big deal for women within WestJet but across the work field in Canada.”

She added back then that the lawsuit intends to represent all of WestJet's past and current female flight attendants whose employment contract included an anti-harassment promise.

None of the allegations contained in the lawsuit have been proven in court.

The Supreme Court of Canada is also open to WestJet, should it choose to appeal the latest decision.

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  • 2 weeks later...

BC court tosses 'WestJet travel credits are gift cards with no expiry' argument

High court says travel credits aren't covered by laws banning expiry dates on gift cards

takeoff-decollage.jpg

Fri Apr 29, 2022 - CBC News
by Bethany Lindsay

B.C.'s highest court has reversed a decision to certify a class-action lawsuit over WestJet's one-year expiry policy for "travel bank credits," saying they're not equivalent to gift cards and don't fall under the same consumer protection laws.

In a unanimous decision this week, a panel of three judges of the B.C. Court of Appeal dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Vancouver woman on behalf of WestJet passengers who've received expiring travel credits because of things like cancelled flights and lost luggage.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge had certified the suit as a class action in 2020, finding there was a reasonable argument to be made that these credits fall under legislation prohibiting expiry dates on gift cards or prepaid credit cards.

But Appeal Court Justice Patrice Abrioux wrote in his reasons Wednesday that the lower court judge had erred in her approach, and it was clear WestJet's credits aren't covered by the same laws.

Abrioux said his reading of provincial consumer protection legislation suggests that, by definition, gift cards and prepaid credit cards must have "a prepaid fixed amount which the purchaser or gift card holder may use up to the amount that has been prepaid, or 'topped up.'"

In the case of plaintiff Tiana Sharifi, who lost $421.80 when her credits for a cancelled trip expired, the justice said she had not directly prepaid for a fixed amount of travel credits.

"Or to state the matter this way: Ms. Sharifi purchased a prepaid flight. She did not purchase a prepaid purchase card, gift card, gift certificate or otherwise, for WTB [WestJet travel bank] credits," Abrioux wrote.

"Indeed, it is clear that Ms. Sharifi's entitlement to receive WTB credits was entirely contingent on future events and she may never, in fact, receive the credits in question."

'Prerogative of the legislatures' to change laws

The decision goes on to say that the "entirely contingent nature" of WestJet's credits means that they are "an entirely different form of financial product or device" than those covered in B.C.'s Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act and similar legislation in other provinces.

"If contingent credits are to be subject to the provisions of consumer protection legislation either in this or the other provinces in question, then that is the prerogative of the legislatures, not the courts," Abrioux said.

According to Sharifi's original notice of civil claim, she had booked round-trip flights for two people from Vancouver to Paris in January 2018.

She cancelled the trip in May 2018 and was issued a $993.23 credit. WestJet imposed a one-year expiry date on the credit, which was issued to her travel bank account.

Though she used $571.46 of her credit on another flight to Calgary, the rest expired.

Sharifi's credits were what WestJet calls "hard" credits, which are issued for flight changes or cancellations and can be extended for another year for a fee of about $20. "Soft" credits are issued for reasons like lost luggage, customer complaints or airline promotions and cannot be extended.

Sharifi had argued that tens of thousands of people have unjustly had their WestJet credits expire or been forced to pay fees to extend them.

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Westjet Dreamliner set for maiden flight to Rome

Airline's first non-stop trip to Italy likely beginning of more routes, analyst says

  • Calgary Herald
  • 7 May 2022
  • JOSH ALDRICH jaldrich@postmedia.com Twitter: @Joshaldrich03
img?regionKey=JeKEVhvohMrQ2DELDcgqhQ%3d%3dGAVIN YOUNG FILES A Westjet Boeing 787 Dreamliner is scheduled to take a nearly full flight to Rome on Saturday for the airline's first non-stop trip to Italy. The route was originally supposed to start before the pandemic.

Westjet is ready to complete its first trip to Rome, a journey three years in the making.

The Calgary-based airline was set to launch the destination in the spring of 2020 as the first nonstop flight to Italy out of YYC but those plans were grounded by the pandemic.

On Saturday evening, a Westjet Dreamliner will welcome a nearfull flight with cannolis and gift bags as it taxis onto the runway at 6:20 p.m.

“We are unbelievably excited and delighted to be having our inaugural tomorrow (Saturday),” said Angela Avery, executive vice-president of external affairs and chief legal officer. “People are excited to go to Italy, it's been so long through pandemic that Italy is a place that is a dream destination for so many Canadians.”

The route is not just about taking Albertans abroad, as there will be an influx of Italian tourists landing in Calgary at 4:19 p.m. on Sunday, with almost all of the flight's 320 seats booked for the return trip. The seasonal route will build up to three flights a week over the summer.

Rick Erickson, a Calgary-based airline analyst, said this one route will have a $25-million impact on Alberta's economy.

He said it will be a launching point for the airline deeper into Europe than it has gone before and is part of a larger expansion strategy.

This spring, Westjet also announced a return to the United Kingdom with flights to London Gatwick and, for the first time, London Heathrow. Elsewhere in Europe, the airline also restarted flights to Dublin and Paris. The result of all of this European commitment will be a forecast 1,000 jobs and $150 million for the local economy.

This is just the beginning with more routes likely to open up in the future — though Avery was unable to comment further. This was also signalled through the hiring of new CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech, who was an executive with Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines.

Erickson said he is convinced Westjet has even bigger plans on the horizon.

“I think Europe is only the first part of this,” he said. “There's still some more destinations to go to in Europe, they're still building their overall network, they're building their expertise as well. But after Europe, I think they have to be looking at Asia.”

It's not just its European routes that are doing well: domestic services are rebounding coming out of the pandemic. In March, the airline was at 60 per cent of its PRE-COVID passenger levels, increasing to 72 per cent in April, with Avery expecting to hit 85 per cent in May.

She said there has been a noticeable improvement in bookings with each health order or restriction that has been lifted.

The other important factor to the Calgary-rome route is the increased capacity to move cargo to and from Europe using Westjet's growing fleet of Boeing 787s. Though mainly a passenger route, Westjet will be taking advantage of the Dreamliner's size to ship goods.

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Another HQ appointment.

Chris Avery to join WestJet as Vice-President, Commercial Strategy

westjet-e1587425867506.png?w=1024

CALGARY, AB, May 11, 2022 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced the appointment of Chris Avery, as Vice-President, Commercial Strategy. Avery, a former WestJetter, will join WestJet’s senior leadership team effective immediately.

WESTJET__an_Alberta_Partnership_Chris_Av

“Chris’ knowledge and experience will be critical as we continue to drive growth and accelerate recovery,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Commercial. “We are thrilled to welcome Chris back to the WestJet team as travel demand ramps up and we focus on our long-term commercial strategy.”

Avery returns to WestJet following five years with Canadian North where he served as President and CEO from 2018 to 2022 and as Vice-President, Customer and Commercial from 2017 to 2018. During his time at the helm of Canadian North, Avery led the merger and integration activities between Canadian North and First Air and successfully navigated the pandemic crisis to position the airline for recovery. Prior to joining Canadian North, Avery spent 11 years with WestJet in senior leadership roles serving as Vice-President, Network Planning and Alliances, Vice-President and General Manager WestJet Vacations and Vice-President, Revenue and Planning. With more than two-decades of aviation experience across North America, Avery has also held positions with Alaska Airlines, Air Transat and Canadian Airlines International.

“I am excited to return to WestJet at such a pivotal time as the business evolves to meet the travel and vacation needs of Canadians in recovery,” said Avery. “This is dynamic and innovative team and I’m looking forward to working alongside WestJetters to ensure the airline’s future success.”

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  • 2 weeks later...
ARTICLE

Pre-pay bags and save

WestJet
By WestJet|April 27, 2022|1 min read

Effective June 1, 2022, WestJet is making changes to its checked baggage policies by offering guests more options to pre-pay baggage before travel to save.

Changes to baggage fees will only apply to bookings made from April 27, 2022, onward, for travel on or after June 1, 2022. There are no changes to WestJet’s current baggage fee pricing when selecting pre-pay baggage options at the time of booking or in advance of check-in requirements.

Guests are encouraged to pre-pay for their first and second bags to save, as baggage fees will increase by $10 within 24 hours of departure or when checking-in at the airport. Guests will be able to select pre-pay options in the booking flow or can utilize Manage Trips to pre-pay baggage fees before the 24-hour check-in window. 

There is no change to past or future reservations which already include first and second bag (Premium, Business, Rewards top tier etc. or WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard first bag. 

More infomation is available here: https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/baggage

Ways to save on baggage through WestJet’s RBC World Elite Mastercard, WestJet Rewards and WestJet’s fare bundles

Guests have always been able to save and avoid baggage fees when choosing to book with the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard that offers a first checked bag free for the primary cardholder and up to eight guests on the same reservation.

WestJet Rewards also gives top-tier members free baggage options with Silver and Gold members benefitting from two free-checked bags and Platinum members having three. The more guests spend with us, the faster they can move up through WestJet Rewards tiers to receive even more benefits.

In addition, through WestJet’s flexible fare offerings, guests can benefit from a first checked-bag when booking EconoFlex fares or their first and second bags included when choosing a Premium or Business fare. 

Pre-pay bags and save | WestJet official site

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Ottawa to conduct public interest assessment of WestJet-Sunwing deal

By Staff  The Canadian Press
Posted May 20, 2022 5:24 pm
The federal government will conduct a public interest assessment of WestJet Airlines Ltd.’s deal to buy Sunwing Airlines and Sunwing Vacations.70c8fc80

In a statement, Ottawa says the review will be done with input from the Commissioner of Competition, who will assess impacts on competition.

The assessment will include consultations with industry and other stakeholders, other government departments, other levels of government, as well as the public.

Transport Canada has been given until Dec. 5 to complete the review and provide it to the transport minister, who would then provide a recommendation to cabinet concerning the deal, which requires regulatory approval.

WestJet announced in March its plan to buy Sunwing, a move that would bolster its holiday tour business. Financial terms of the agreement, which would see Sunwing’s shareholders become equity holders in the WestJet Group, were not disclosed.

Under the deal, WestJet has said it plans to create a new tour operator unit based in Toronto that would include Sunwing Vacations and WestJet Vacations as separate brands. The airline has said it would also expand to include Sunwing Airlines, adding capacity as it turns seasonally operated aircraft into year-round jets.

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Hello WD...😅...Yes sir, you guys at WD will maintain the WD brand and carry on as usual and we will have two separate airlines under the Canadian Airlines International banner.......and won't we have fun.....????

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Transgender advocates call out WestJet for forcing passengers to identify as male or female

Some travellers want to use 'X' as a gender when booking, as allowed on Canadian passports

screen-grab-from-twitter-submitted-by-ll

Thu Jun 09, 2022 - CBC News

Quote

'Lloyd says one employee referred to them by the wrong gender multiple times and pushed back in an argumentative manner even after Lloyd supplied appropriate documents that listed their gender marker as X.'

"It is a legal gender marker in our laws, it's a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms"

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Airband said:

'Lloyd says one employee referred to them by the wrong gender multiple times 

What is this world becoming ?

First world problems must really suck :Scratch-Head:

Hoping they never encounter Real problems  in life!

 

Edited by Jaydee
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An update on WestJet’s progress on ensuring a gender inclusive booking and check-in experience

westjet-e1587425867506.png?w=1024

By WestJet | June 8, 2022

At WestJet, it is our commitment to ensure our guests have an equitable travel experience and we owe a further explanation and apology regarding our progress on adding non-binary options to our booking and check-in systems.

In 2019, we welcomed the Government of Canada’s announcement regarding the implementation of gender X in the sex field of Canadian passports and made a commitment to make the necessary changes to our technology and systems to support the travel journey of our non-binary guests.

Originally, we anticipated the necessary technological changes required through our systems would take roughly one year to implement; however, due to several setbacks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are disappointed that we have not been able to deliver upon our commitment in the timeframe we expected, and that the implementation has been delayed.

While we have encountered several unexpected roadblocks with our third-party providers to implement gender X into our booking and check-in systems, we are committed to rectifying these issues to stay true to our goals of creating an inclusive environment for everyone in WestJet’s world.

We are currently working to address several items including:

  • Implementing changes to our domestic reservation systems to include gender X by the end of 2022.
  • Investing in third-party software to move away from legacy practices and remove the need for a gender assignment to calculate weight distribution on our aircraft.
  • Advocating to third-party providers to enable gender X as part of our check-in process for international bookings.
  • Engaging with our WestJetters and community members on how we can better support non-binary inclusion across our airline.    

As we work to ensure the option of gender X across our systems, we apologize for the frustration and disappointment this has caused and know there remains significant work to be done in this space.  

We appreciate our guests’ patience as we make these necessary changes and are committed to sharing updates and progress in real time, as we prioritize the work that needs to be done to offer a non-binary option into our booking and check-in systems.  

 
 
Airlines, Canadian Aviation News, WestJet AirlinesWestJet Airlines

 

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WestJet passengers now cleared to fly before reaching airport

3 hours ago
7 min read
WestJet passengers now cleared to fly before reaching airport
WestJet passengers now cleared to fly before reaching airport
3115d58fcafef9432dae605a19761367?s=100&d
Written by Harry Johnson
 
 

London-based technology company Zamna is announcing a pilot of its patented digital intelligence system with the Canadian airline WestJet, across select international flight routes between the UK and Canada. 

The pilot program, which will start in July, will initially focus on enhancing the travel documentation verification experience of WestJet guests flying on routes between YYC Calgary International Airport and London Heathrow, and between Toronto Pearson International Airport and London Gatwick. 

The pilot program will:

 
  • Use Zamna’s highly secure, GDPR and PIPEDA-compliant technology to verify thousands of passengers’ data before they arrive at the airport, allowing WestJet to instantly confirm that the identity and vaccine data provided by each passenger is compliant with all travel regulatory requirements
  • Provide peace of mind and assurance for WestJet guests — before they arrive at the airport — that their travel documentation has been verified and accepted against a live checklist  
  • Improve pre-flight check-in processes by increasing digital efficiencies and promoting a more seamless experience for guests 
  • Remove the need for WestJet guests to provide additional documentation when they arrive at the airport
  • Implement enhancements across WestJet’s primary digital and website solutions, powered by Zamna’s invisible technology

Irra Ariella Khi, CEO of Zamna, explains: “Every day, airlines must process and verify their passengers’ passports, visas, and health data — and check it against constantly shifting regulatory travel requirements, which differ from destination to destination. WestJet — with their admirable commitment to providing the best possible guest experience — are very much leading the way in North America by leveraging the technology that already exists to solve such problems.

eTN Ambassador VIP Status click here

“At Zamna, we believe the very cornerstone of all international travel is the passport – a document recognized across the globe and the standard outlined by the International Civil Aviation Organization. This is why we anchor all traveler data – whether it be identity and visa information, or vaccination status – to the passport. Our technology instantly checks this data against live border and travel requirements, meaning airlines can be ready for no matter what and passengers can arrive at the airport armed with the confidence that they will be able to board their flight with only one document in their hand: a passport.”

With a forward-thinking approach to guest experience, WestJet is leading the way in ensuring their passengers on selected routes are approved and ready to fly before they even reach the airport. 

Natalie Farand, Vice-President, Guest Experience, WestJet adds: “At WestJet, we’re committed to delivering exceptional customer service for the millions of guests we fly every year. We are continuously innovating to deliver a seamless experience for our guests and Zamna’s technology is an avenue we are exploring in this dynamic and evolving travel environment. With Zamna technology powering verification requirements for check-in on select flights between Canada and London UK, our guests will enjoy complete assurance that their travel documents are fully compliant in order to fly.”

Leveraging the more than 50 million passport verifications already completed in partnership with other global leading airlines, Zamna’s technology works invisibly in the background to prove that a passenger’s passport data is correct and trustworthy. From there, vaccination or visa information previously associated with the passport is unlocked for future use. Zamna’s dynamic digital intelligence toolkit comes with a suite of capabilities that enables global airlines to respond swiftly to a change in regulatory requirements mandated by governments in any destination.

“We’re proud that Zamna has been selected by WestJet – amongst the largest airlines in North America – to pilot the use of our digital intelligence solution to significantly enhance the verification experience of their guests across select routes,” concludes Khi. 

 

The collaboration between Zamna and WestJet Airlines marks the first example in North America of an invisible digital solution to seamlessly verify traveler data against live travel requirements before arrival at the airport being used across live, commercial international flight routes.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Kargokings said:

 

I was filling out a “Controlled Goods” clearance form on a government website the other day, and it made me self-identify as either male or female. Who do I complain to? 😆

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1 hour ago, conehead said:

I was filling out a “Controlled Goods” clearance form on a government website the other day, and it made me self-identify as either male or female. Who do I complain to? 😆

Justin of course......  and you will surely get a "straight" answer.  😀

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Westjet decides not to compete in East with Air Canada

 

  • Calgary Herald
  • 18 Jun 2022
  • AMANDA STEPHENSON

Industry watchers expect Westjet to remove routes from the Toronto-montreal-ottawa triangle as part of the airline's new strategy to focus future growth on Western Canada.

But far from being a downsizing, experts say Westjet's latest move is actually a “growth story” that will see the Calgary-based airline bulk up its fleet and add service to more communities across the West.

On Thursday, the Westjet Group — which is owned by Onex Corp. — announced a plan to shift its resources following a strategic review of the company's operations.

Chief executive Alexis von Hoensbroech, a former Austrian Airlines CEO who assumed the helm at Westjet in February, said the airline is at a turning point as it grapples with pent-up travel demand following the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, spiking oil prices and staffing shortages at airports.

Von Hoensbroech said to ensure its future success, Westjet has decided to focus its future investments on Western Canada, where it has a large portion of the market share and enjoys a reputation as the “home-team carrier.”

The announcement comes after Westjet has spent more than a decade adding routes to central and Atlantic Canada in an effort to go head-to-head with Montreal-based Air Canada.

In an interview, Calgary-based independent aviation analyst Rick Erickson said trying to compete with Air Canada by emulating it may have proved too challenging.

“I think what they've bumped up against is, Air Canada is a juggernaut. There's no ifs, ands or buts about it,” Erickson said.

Air Canada has a “vise-like grip” on Eastern Canada, Erickson said, adding he expects to see Westjet “truncate” the number of routes it offers out of Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, while bulking up its offerings out of cities such as Calgary, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

“They've taken a very pragmatic approach, and they've said, `Look, let's go back to our roots, let's go back to what our strengths are,' ” he said. “I think they're going to attempt to build a fortress in the West.”

Westjet is not going to be pulling out of Eastern Canada, simply adopting a philosophy of “win where you can win,” said Robert Kokonis, president and managing partner of Toronto-based aviation consultancy Airtrav Inc.

He pointed out that Westjet's announcement doesn't mean a shrinking of Canada's second-largest airline. In fact, he said it could pave the way for future growth, noting that Westjet also said Thursday it is planning a “significant” additional order of narrow-body aircraft beyond the 30 new Boeing Max airplanes the company is already slated to take delivery off over the next few years.

“I also think this is very good news for Alberta, as it really helps to reinforce Alberta's growth as a real aviation, business and economic centre,” Kokonis said.

Westjet's acquisition of Sunwing Airlines, which is still pending, is expected to help the company enhance its leisure and vacation offerings.

Karl Moore, associate professor with the Desautels Faculty of Management at Mcgill University in Montreal, said Westjet's strategy shift is the result of a new CEO who is looking at the company's operations “with fresh eyes” and questioning why Westjet is trying to compete on routes that are essentially locked up by Air Canada

 

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Securing the future: how a growing, stronger, sustainable WestJet benefits Canadians

WestJet
By WestJet|June 16, 2022|6 min read

The WestJet Group’s strategic path forward for our guests, employees and the communities we serve 

The WestJet Group yesterday brought together leaders, representing all parts of the operations and business, to hear directly from Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alexis von Hoensbroech, as he shared plans for growth into the COVID recovery, and the airline’s commitment to embracing its cost-conscious roots in service of affordable air travel for Canadians. 

“The immediate priority is to ensure we are ready for the high volume of pent-up travel demand this summer,” said Alexis von Hoensbroech, CEO of the WestJet Group. “Equally important is charting a path that continues to grow WestJet as the friendly, reliable and affordable airline our guests know and love.” 

Since arriving on February 15, 2022, von Hoensbroech spent his first 100 days getting to know the airline’s people, guests and network. Joining at a critical inflection point as the WestJet Group emerges from the pandemic, the executive team around von Hoensbroech and WestJet’s board of directors undertook a strategic review to determine the best course for sustained future success for the airline and its people.  

“WestJet is strong foundationally, having weathered the pandemic as perhaps the world’s only airline of scale that did not accept sector-specific government funding or issue any new equity or debt. We’re now at an exciting and pivotal moment for the industry and our airline,” continued von Hoensbroech. “As we emerge from the pandemic, the world around us is changing with rising inflation and instability from the war in Ukraine. We are also facing industry-specific challenges, including spiking oil prices and staffing shortages at airports.”

The WestJet Group’s strategic growth plans

Through the strategic review, the airline looked to historical strengths to secure future success, honing in on a focused network and strategy; an unrelenting cost commitment; and a consistent, superior guest experience.

To build upon the reasons why guests choose WestJet and drive future growth, WestJet will renew its focus on:

  • Growth as a low-cost carrier that is friendly, reliable and modern
  • Shifting resources to significantly grow its presence and network in the West, fostering its undisputed status as the home-team carrier of Western Canada offering more direct, non-stop flights to communities
  • Investing further in leisure and sun flying as a priority across Canada, including through the acquisition of Sunwing, following regulatory approval
  • Investing in technology and radical digitalization to improve guest experience and simplify internal processes to ensure meaningful and engaging jobs for its people
  • Redoubling efforts to maintain its successful and highly productive low-cost structure and culture, to ensure relentless competitiveness and affordability for guests

To match its commercial strategies, the airline will centre its existing widebody 787 Dreamliner fleet around Western Canada and, for the time being, pause further investment into incremental Dreamliners to focus instead on additional narrowbody growth. In addition to the more than 30 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that the airline will receive over the coming years, including 15 in 2022 alone, WestJet is working towards a substantial additional narrow body order. 

The airline will maintain its current premium offerings, with a focus on strengthening its premium leisure segment and corporate premium in the West. The focus of WestJet’s regional fleet of De Haviland Q400 aircraft will be shifted and rightsized to focus on Western Canada, removing complexity from operations, and prioritizing the airline’s commitment to enhance Western Canada’s connectivity. 

Network changes are complex and will be phased in over an extended period of time. The airline is committed to engaging with communities and stakeholders in these plans. Guests can anticipate seeing changes gradually implemented by summer 2023.

“We will deploy our aircraft where they can be of greatest service to Canadians,” explained von Hoensbroech. “While we will be investing the majority of our fleet in the West, as a national airline we will maintain a significant presence in the Eastern provinces, primarily through direct connections to our Western cities, while significantly enhancing our network to leisure and sun destinations, including through our acquisition of Sunwing.”

WestJet will also continue to significantly scale other areas of the business that remain critical, namely WestJet Cargo, Loyalty, WestJet Vacations and Swoop, it’s ultra-low-cost carrier. The acquisition of Sunwing will facilitate the scaling of WestJet Vacations and Swoop.

“Swoop is an important part of our strategy with a tremendous cost structure, and we still have plenty of room to grow and bring lower fares to our guests,” added von Hoensbroech. “WestJet and Swoop will run more complementary networks and collectively meet the demand of leisure travellers.” 

Strengthening the airline’s leadership team, the WestJet Group announced the addition of Bob Cummings as President of Swoop on April 13, along with Kirsten de Bruijn, Executive Vice-President, Cargo on April 5 and Karl Schuster, Executive Vice-President and Chief Loyalty Officer late last year.

“WestJet’s low-cost roots have been the foundation of the historical success of our company. As we realize our ambitious growth plans, we will bring more air service to Canadian communities and connect more people to what matters most, through friendly and affordable air travel,” concluded von Hoensbroech. 

Strengthening the airline’s senior leadership team

To support the fulfillment of its strategic direction, the airline has further strengthened its senior leadership team with a number of new appointments:

Angela Avery, Group EVP and Chief People, Corporate & Sustainability Officer

Angela Avery joined WestJet in February 2020 as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. In her newly expanded role, she brings together complementary teams including People and Culture, Communications, Legal, Government, Regulatory, Community Investment, and Environment, Social and Governance (ESG). Avery will be leading an inclusive, engaged and purpose-led team focused on supporting all aspects of WestJet’s business and meeting the needs of the communities that the WestJet Group serves. 

With more than 25 years of legal and commercial leadership experience across multiple industries, Avery has led transactions totalling more than $25 billion and has an extensive regulatory and compliance background. Avery joined WestJet from Athabasca Oil Corporation where she was responsible for legal, business development, human resources as well as marketing and transportation. Her international experience includes an appointment to litigate war reparations at the United Nations. She is called to the bar in New York and Alberta and received a Queen’s Counsel designation in 2022. 

Christian Novosel, Chief Digital Officer

Christian Novosel will join the executive leadership team in August. Responsible for Digital Technology Delivery, Data Analytics and Business Intelligence and the Group Project Management Office, he will be integral to the ongoing development and delivery of WestJet’s enterprise-wide digital transformation for both its guests and people.

Novosel joins WestJet with almost 20 years of aviation experience most recently serving as Head of Corporate Development and Chief Data Officer for Austrian Airlines. In this role, he established the airline’s centralized digital team and led several strategic and innovating processes to implement digital solutions across the organization.

Natalie Farand, Chief Experience Officer

Natalie Farand will take on the newly created role of Chief Experience Officer (CXO). Led by Farand, the CXO team will define WestJet’s value proposition and enable WestJet to successfully engage stakeholders to activate a guest-centric vision and strategy.

In her eight years with WestJet, and most recently as WestJet’s Vice-President Guest Experience, Farand has led many digital functions from eCommerce, User Experience, Digital Marketing and Analytics. Farand introduced the User Experience discipline within WestJet, putting focus on the voice of the guest, and was responsible for the Digital Channel and Product strategic roadmaps and operations at WestJet, including the website, mobile app, chatbot, inflight entertainment system and eCommerce platforms.

Jeff Hagen, Vice-President Strategy and Fleet

Jeff Hagen, already part of the WestJet leadership team, will take on a new role as Vice-President, Strategy and Fleet. Responsible for leading WestJet’s strategic transformation to a low-cost carrier, the strategy team will also encompass the office of the CEO, enterprise strategy and fleet.

Hagen has been with WestJet for more than eight years and has held a variety of roles in that time including corporate development and planning, and head of investor relations. During this time, he played key roles in important company milestones including the airline’s purchase by Onex and the current Sunwing acquisition, awaiting regulatory approvals.

 
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