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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

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

Hi Kip, you're entitled to believe what you read and hear.  I believe there's a very different (true) story out there and this guy is playing the victim card based on race and religion. I'm not s

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5 hours ago, Kip Powick said:

 

MARSHALL.....

CONEHEAD is merely quoting a passage from the article. You posted the entire article so when he quoted that section, you as the author of the entire  post, were personally quoted as... "MARSHALL SAID". 

CONEHEAD....Just a hint.........The only way around confusion is to highlight a section you want in your post ,then (copy/paste),  put it in your post and change the color or italicize etc....THEN start your comment😄

Like this, conehead! 😎

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https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200924005830/en/Lack-of-Detail-From-Liberals-Sends-WestJet-Workers-Into-Panic  

Lack of Detail From Liberals Sends WestJet Workers Into Panic

Flight attendants on CEWS see income cut in half

September 24, 2020 02:26 PM Eastern Daylight Time

CALGARY, Alberta--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Federal government announced yesterday it would extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). At the same time, WestJet told employees their benefit would be cut as much as 53%, while the company waits for details of the criteria for payment from Ottawa. Their union is crying foul and calling on Ottawa to fix the problem.

“The lack of direction from the government is causing risk for businesses and stress for individuals”

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“The lack of direction from the government is causing risk for businesses and stress for individuals," said Chris Rauenbusch, President of CUPE 4070. Rauenbusch represents about 4,000 cabin crew members at WestJet companies. “WestJet can't float our wages until Ottawa fills in the blanks, so our members are seeing their cheques cut in half.”

On Wednesday, WestJet sent a memo to employees about the problem. Until Ottawa clarifies amounts payable to WestJet, the most any employee will receive will drop from $847/week to $400. About 2,500 furloughed CUPE members across WestJet access CEWS, as well as other non-union employees.

“Understandably, our members are alarmed at the prospect of such a big cut in pay. Especially at a time of such high unemployment,” said Rauenbusch. “Many employees have called me in tears at the prospect they might not make rent.”

Rauenbusch wants to see Ottawa “step up and support their words with action. It is so frustrating to see the government touting CEWS while bureaucratic bumbling and ever-changing rules leave us wondering what to expect next.”

CUPE has previously called upon the Liberal government for an airline strategy. Rauenbusch says Canada is the only country in the G7 without a sector specific aid package aimed at airlines.

“Canada is a large country with only two big airlines. Ottawa needs to realize that if they don’t act, we may not have commercial air travel by the end of the pandemic.”

CT?id=bwnews&sty=20200924005830r1&sid=we

Contacts

Lou Arab
Communications Representative
780.271.2722

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CANADIAN UNION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES

 

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Contacts

Lou Arab
Communications Representative
780.271.2722

 
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The CEWS benefit is enabled by legislation, not fairy dust handed out by the pretty boy in YOW.

It is undetermined if this government is even going to survive the confidence vote on the Throne Speech. The NDP are still banging their list of demands on the table.

If I was an employer I would not pay out a benefit that was still unsupported by legislation that has neither been written nor been passed by Parliament.

This is what you get from the current government. Entirely likely they will cave to NDP demands (because clinging to power is addictive). 

The CEWS money will come. Eventually. 

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It's common knowledge that the NDP has no money to fight an election. Their protestations will somewhat appease their base, but they have no teeth behind them. 

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FWIW - it appears that the Federal Government is harmonizing the maximum benefit level for all COVID related income support programs at $500 per week.

I would be surprised if CEWS is an outlier to that limit going forward.

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“Wednesday’s Throne Speech also promised to extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to next summer. Details have not been released, but on Friday, the federal Finance Department announced it would be extended at its current level for at least another four weeks — from Sept. 27 to Oct. 24, 2020.

Employers who qualify for the wage subsidy will be able to claim up to $847 a week per employee to rehire furloughed workers, the statement said. Future changes to the program will be made “in light of ongoing progress in fighting COVID-19.”

A government plan released in July would have reduced the program’s benefits from 85 per cent of an individual’s salary to 45 per cent by December.”

 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-liberals-avert-fall-election-strike-deal-with-ndp-on-paid-sick-leave/

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I feel for the Westjet folks in this situation.  But I’m pretty sure they are not alone.

The blame should be placed at the feet of the individual who prorogued parliament and in doing so halted all work so he could avoid a scandle.

I have family transitioning from CERB.  They don’t qualify for EI. Trudeau has promised CRB.  But it hasn’t even become law yet.  Looking at the governments website they see possible language that may make them ineligible.

Panic is setting there too.

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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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WestJet Has Only Banned 11 Flyers Due To Mask Refusal

From Simple Flying – link to story

by Joanna Bailey | September 29, 2020

WestJet was the first Canadian airline to introduce no exemption mask rules, using a yellow card system to warn fliers about noncompliance. Chief Operating Officer of WestJet, Jeff Martin, revealed last week that, so far, only 90 incidents have occurred, with just 11 passengers being added to the no-fly list.

WestJet WestJet’s passengers have been highly compliant, with only 11 placed on the no-fly list. Photo: WestJet

WestJet’s unusual mask policy

Although airports, airlines and regulators had been touting mask-wearing as an essential part of travel during the pandemic, there remained various ways to wriggle out of it. For airlines, there were very little teeth in the corporate policy to help them enforce mask-wearing in flight.

For WestJet, the answer was simple. The airline introduced a no-tolerance policy. You either wear a mask, or you simply don’t fly. Chief Operating Officer of WestJet, Jeff Martin, spoke at the World Aviation Festival last week about the airline’s thinking behind the decision. He said,

“Under the banner of being first, we made a decision at the executive team, effective September 1, we went with mandatory, no-tolerance. We had to go out to all the employees and say, this is going to put you in a very awkward position, but we want to protect you. We want to protect the guests.”

WestJet WestJet introduced a zero-tolerance policy on September 1st. Photo: WestJet

While WestJet was first in Canada to spring for a ‘no excuses’ mask policy, other airlines have been similarly hardline in their stance. Alaska removed all exemptions in August, Southwest in July, and the US big three just before that. While enforcing masks was nothing new, the way WestJet implemented the requirement was amusingly left-field. Martin explained,

“We went with a yellow card, red card scenario. So, if somebody is not complying, we hand them a yellow card. They read the directions – it says, ‘look you’re non-compliant, please put your mask on’. If you don’t, we hand you the red card, which basically says it’s your last chance. If you don’t then, you will now be placed on a no-fly list.”

It seems WestJet took its inspiration from Alaska, who introduced a similar system in early August. While some airlines have struggled to get passengers to comply, it seems WestJet’s passengers have been relatively well-behaved.

Only 11 on the no-fly list

Since airlines have got tough on mask-wearing, there have been numerous horror stories of crews having to battle passengers to get them to comply. Flights have been delayed, passengers removed, and complaints made.

In just a few weeks from the start of its no-exemption mask rule, Delta had added around 240 people to its no-fly list. Indeed, across the United States, some 700 passengers have already been banned from flying for breaching mask-wearing policies. At WestJet, things are somewhat different. Martin said,

“Since September 1, we’ve had 90 events, and we’ve had to place 11 people on our no-fly list.”

That’s a pretty good compliance rate by anyone standards, although the WestJet COO said it’s not always been easy.Advertisement:

“It’s tough being the mask policeman. We didn’t want that role, but we will do anything to protect guests and employees.”

The WestJet COO believes that the answer to unlocking travel is quick pre-flight testing. Until then, he says it will maintain its mask policy in a bid to keep everyone safe.

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Is this still the case, I thought that had changed with ?

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“Wednesday’s Throne Speech also promised to extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to next summer. Details have not been released, but on Friday, the federal Finance Department announced it would be extended at its current level for at least another four weeks — from Sept. 27 to Oct. 24, 2020.

Employers who qualify for the wage subsidy will be able to claim up to $847 a week per employee to rehire furloughed workers, the statement said. Future changes to the program will be made “in light of ongoing progress in fighting COVID-19.”

A government plan released in July would have reduced the program’s benefits from 85 per cent of an individual’s salary to 45 per cent by December.”

 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-liberals-avert-fall-election-strike-deal-with-ndp-on-paid-sick-leave/

WestJet employees worried as wage subsidy cut in half

BY JACKIE PEREZ, DEREK CRADDOCK

Posted Sep 29, 2020 10:28 am MDT

 

Last Updated Sep 29, 2020 at 10:29 am MDT

 

CALGARY (CityNews) – WestJet employees have been left to contemplate the future of their industry, their career, and paying their bills as the federal wage subsidy was cut in half.

It’s left many workers forced to take mandatory leave in limbo as one flight attendant speaks out on the struggles she’s faced since being furloughed due to COVID-19.

“Our entire industry has been decimated. I was heartbroken, I love flying.”

Sylvia Alves is one of about 3,100 WestJet employees put on furlough back in April. She said the wage subsidy gave her a sense of hope to make it through the pandemic.

“We were fortunate enough to get wage subsidy and we’ve been trying to make ends meet since.”

RELATED: WestJet tells workers their pay will be cut by half due to wage subsidy changes

Alves said that hope is fading as the airline is telling staff on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), they will see their weekly pay drop from $847 to $400.

“Cutting someone’s wage subsidy by about 53 per cent is a tough pill to swallow,” said Chris Rauenbusch, President of CUPE 4070.
The union, which represents WestJet flight attendants, said they’re calling on the federal government to take action before the next paycheque arrives.

In a statement to CityNews, WestJet said it doesn’t implement any changes to the administration of the CEWS program until such time as any changes are passed into legislation.

“This is a crisis we’ve never seen in our lifetime and people need help,” said Rauenbusch.

Alves has since taken up gardening as a way to pass time and cut food costs. She also managed to get a part-time job at a bar to help pay for bills and her rent where she lives with two other roommates.

She worries it won’t be enough, especially when she doesn’t know when or if she’s heading back to work.

“If wage subsidy ends and I can’t find more work, I will be on that boat of struggling to figure out how to pay my bills. I want to fly again…, I want to be back in the skies.”

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WestJet Won’t Hide The Boeing 737 MAX From Customers

From Simple Flying – link to story

by Joanna Bailey | September 29, 2020

Canadian low-cost WestJet is eagerly awaiting the return to service of the Boeing 737 MAX. Speaking at the World Aviation Festival last week, Chief Operating Officer of WestJet, Jeff Martin, noted how important it was to remain transparent with its guests, and said WestJet was prepared to deal with customers who were uncomfortable flying the type.

WestJet is prepared to deal with ‘sensitivities’ over the 737 MAX. 

WestJet prepared to deal with sensitivities around the MAX

Following Transport Canada’s conclusion of the Boeing 737 MAX flight tests, Canadian airlines are looking forward to getting the type back in their fleets. One such airline is WestJet, which has said it is ‘excited’ to welcome back the aircraft.

Speaking at last week’s World Aviation Festival, Chief Operating Officer of WestJet, Jeff Martin, commented,

“We’re anxious to get the aircraft back. It scores really well with our guests.”

While those who did manage to get a flight on the 737 MAX likely would have felt it was a great aircraft, perceptions have changed a lot since then. Two fatal accidents and a grounding that has gone on for far longer than anyone could have imagined have shaken travelers’ confidence and assured that the designation ‘MAX’ has stuck in the passengers’ minds.

The WestJet COO is acutely aware of this and is prepared to make concessions for those unwilling to fly it in the early days. Martin said,

“We anticipate sensitivities. We will be completely transparent anybody who’s going to board a MAX aircraft they will know that, and we will be prepared to deal with folks if for some reason they don’t feel comfortable.”

Martin did not specify precisely how WestJet planned to handle objections to flying the type. However, other airlines have similarly said they wish to be transparent with customers about the type. Back in March, Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary told Simple Flying it would not force passengers to fly on the MAX.

The importance of transparency

For WestJet, Martin believes full transparency is the key to customer relations. He noted that, through the current crisis, keeping the lines of communication open with customers has been essential. It’s a theme he plans to continue as the MAX returns to service too. He said,

“There’s a common theme that we’ve learned through this crisis … you just have to be transparent. You have to be transparent with the travelling public on what the risks are and what your mitigations are, and people will make their decisions. It’s the only way you can survive in this industry is just 100% transparency.”

2,000 man-hours required

Even though WestJet is already laying the groundwork for the MAX to return to service, Martin warned that it would not happen any time soon. Although he expects the ban to be lifted in the fourth quarter of the year, he also said that the amount of work required to bring the type back into operation should not be underestimated. He noted,Advertisement:

“We estimate there’s probably close to 2,000 man-hours of work that needs to be done. It’s normal maintenance, as well as sending our pilots off to training so they can go through a specified MAX simulator.

“Those are the same steps that would be taken on the aircraft that are parked right now, whether it’s a MAX or an Airbus or an NG. Any plane that’s parked has to have its maintenance protocols brought up to speed.”

WestJet 737 MAX 8 The airline has 13 airframes ready-built and parked in the US. Photo: Getty Images

Right now, 13 MAX are parked in the USA, all of which will eventually head back to Canada to enter service. To those, WestJet is planning to add another 43 of the type, spread across the MAX 7, 8 and 10. While Martin says WestJet is committed to taking these deliveries, he also notes that the current crisis will have a bearing on how quickly they arrive.

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For many workers, reduced hours or pay cuts beat pandemic layoffs. Just ask a WestJet pilot

WestJet pilots agreed to take a 50% hit to their compensation to help preserve jobs

Mon Oct 05, 2020 - CBC News
Kyle Bakx

After the airline industry was grounded in the spring when governments around the world introduced COVID-19 lockdown measures, WestJet pilots were facing significant and immediate job losses.

In total, about 1,200 positions were on the chopping block, but those in the cockpit made the choice to take a hit on their paycheques instead, agreeing to a 50 per cent pay cut and reducing the number of job losses to 450.

The WestJet agreement is just one example of the tradeoff that many workers and companies face as the pandemic causes severe financial stress for many parts of the economy. Introducing pay cuts or reducing hours for workers and executives is one way to keep companies afloat until business picks up.

"Our pilot group has done what we can to help our company survive," said Capt. Dave Colquhoun, the union chair representing pilots at WestJet and the company's discount carrier Swoop.

"We balanced saving jobs versus how much of a pay cut our membership was willing to take," said Colquhoun, a WestJet pilot himself. 

Additional pilot positions at WestJet Encore, which are represented by a different union, were also lost. 

Economists say that for some workers, taking home a smaller paycheque is better than no paycheque at all, considering the current job market. 

"We've seen it in a lot of different sectors," said Charles St-Arnaud, chief economist with Alberta Central, the central banking facility for credit unions in the province.

"A lot of workers are making the decision that we're probably better to take a pay cut than being unemployed and not being able to find work again, or not finding work for some time."

Employers want to retain skilled workers

For employers, negotiating either reduced wages or hours can be one way of retaining employees, especially those with unique skills, training or certification.

"If you lay them off, how easy is it to re-hire?" said St-Arnaud. "You don't want to lose your workers, as you would like to be ready to pounce and start making money again" if business improves.

That's one reason behind many cuts to pay and hours in industries like the oil and gas sector, since many workers who leave that industry often don't return.

CBC News has learned that the federal government is looking at subsidies for airlines to help rebuild some of the regional routes suspended when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the travel industry. 1:47

However, economists say the prevalence of pay cuts is difficult to quantify because there are so many other factors impacting the workforce during COVID-19.

For instance, average wages in the country were actually higher this summer compared to 2019 because many lower-wage jobs have been lost during the pandemic.

At WestJet, the pay cut was the result of reducing the minimum amount of hours guaranteed to pilots and the suspension of a program where the airline matched the amount of company shares pilots purchased, up to 20 per cent of their pay. An interim deal had been in place after WestJet was purchased by Onex in 2019, while the two sides negotiated a replacement program.

Airlines continue to lobby for aid package

"It's a significant cut and may be the most significant cut in compensation across the industry in Canada," according to Capt. Tim Perry, president of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) Canada, which represents pilots at 15 airlines in the country. 

"It's absolutely drastic," said Perry, who is also a WestJet pilot. "It's hard to overstate the significance of something like that."

He said about half of all the pilots he represents are either furloughed or facing imminent layoffs, and that those who have lost their jobs can have difficulty finding other work.

"We have members who are losing their homes, who are lucky to find a job driving a truck in many cases, or worse off than that," Perry said. "It's taken an enormous toll on people's ability to cope and get by."

The airline sector has lobbied the federal government for a financial aid package specific to the industry. 

The federal government has rolled out several programs offering liquidity and loan guarantees, such as the large employer emergency financing facility (LEEFF) and the business credit availability program (BCAP), which are offered to a variety of sectors.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not directly addressed a bailout of the beleaguered industry, but has said he plans to keep working with airlines hit hard by the pandemic. 

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WestJet introduces its Dreamliner to Vancouver


NEWS PROVIDED BY

WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership 

Oct 05, 2020, 09:00 ET


Airline now flying five-times weekly to Toronto on its signature aircraft

CALGARY, AB, Oct. 5, 2020 /CNW/ - Today, WestJet and the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) announced WestJet's newest aircraft, the 787 Dreamliner, is now operating five-times weekly between Vancouver and Toronto. Vancouver joins Calgary and Toronto as another domestic destination served by the airline's award-winning aircraft.

Airline now flying five-times weekly to Toronto on its signature aircraft

CALGARY, AB, Oct. 5, 2020 /CNW/ – Today, WestJet and the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) announced WestJet’s newest aircraft, the 787 Dreamliner, is now operating five-times weekly between Vancouver and Toronto. Vancouver joins Calgary and Toronto as another domestic destination served by the airline’s award-winning aircraft.

Welcome to the WestJet Dreamliner

“The Dreamliner offers our guests the highest safety and health standards as well as an extremely comfortable inflight experience,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Vice-President Network Planning and Revenue. “We are proud our signature aircraft is now flying non-stop service between two of Canada’s major cities and two of our hub airports.”

WESTJET__an_Alberta_Partnership_WestJet_ \

“We are thrilled to welcome WestJet’s newest aircraft, the state-of-the-art 787 Dreamliner, to YVR for the first time,” said Robyn McVicker, Vice-President, Operations & Maintenance, Vancouver Airport Authority. “We greatly value our long-time partner WestJet and the introduction of this signature aircraft at YVR is an example of their ongoing investment in British Columbia.”

WESTJET__an_Alberta_Partnership_WestJet_

WestJet is also operating Boeing 737 aircraft on three other non-stop daily flights between Vancouver and Toronto for a total of four daily flights, with the exception of Saturdays. On November 5, the WestJet Dreamliner increases operations between Vancouver and Toronto to daily service. Flights are scheduled to provide convenient departure and landing times for business and leisure travellers. For more information visit westjet.com.

WestJet 787 Dreamliner schedule between Vancouver and Toronto:

Flight # Departure City Depart Arrive Date Days of week
706 Vancouver – Toronto 9 a.m. 4:10 p.m. October 5 Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday
711 Toronto – Vancouver 5:15 p.m. 6:55 p.m. October 5 Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday

WestJet has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All hygiene program. In addition, the YVR TAKEcare program places industry-leading health, safety and cleaning practices and protocols at the forefront of airport processes.

The WestJet Dreamliner features 320 seats in three cabins: Business, Premium and Economy, all of which contain a high-level of comfort. The Dreamliner’s Business cabin features maximum privacy in a separate cabin with individual lie-flat pods. The upscale Premium cabin is the ideal combination of comfort, value and guest service including a separate cabin. WestJet’s improved Economy cabin features on-demand inflight entertainment with a select number of extra legroom seats available for purcha

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Westjet suspending all services to Atlantic Canada and Quebec City:

 

https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/westjet-pulls-back-from-atlantic-canada-878245020.html

 

Airline makes more tough decisions, eliminating service to Fredericton, Moncton, Sydney, Charlottetown and Quebec City; makes additional job cuts

CALGARY, AB, Oct. 14, 2020 /CNW/ - Today, WestJet announced it will be indefinitely suspending operations to Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney and Charlottetown, while significantly reducing service to Halifax and St. John's. The suspension eliminates more than 100 flights weekly or almost 80 percent of seat capacity from the Atlantic region starting November 2 and also suspends operations to Quebec City, with the removal of Toronto service.  Details can be found at bottom of release. 

"It has become increasingly unviable to serve these markets," said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. "Since the pandemic's beginning, we have worked to keep essential air service to all of our domestic airports, however, demand for travel is being severely limited by restrictive policies and third-party fee increases that have left us out of runway without sector-specific support."

For a video message from WestJet President and CEO, Ed Sims, click here.

With today's announcement, all flights to and from Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney, Charlottetownand Quebec City will be discontinued as of November 2. A return to service date is unknown at this time. Guests impacted will be contacted directly regarding their options for travel to and from the region.

Since 2003, WestJet has successfully brought competition and lower fares to the Atlantic region through new service and routes, while driving tourism and business investments. As of 2019, the airline had added more than 700,000 annual seats to the region since 2015, while creating the opportunity for travel to, from and within the region on 28 routes. The airline has also worked to grow Halifax as the Atlantic gateway to Europe through the introduction of successful nonstop transatlantic service to London-Gatwick, Paris, Glasgow and Dublin since 2016, providing key economic and tourism links between the regions. Up until this announcement, WestJet was the only Canadian airline that maintained 100 per cent of its pre-COVID domestic network. 

"We understand this news will be devastating to the communities, our airport partners and the WestJetters who rely on our service," continued Sims. "While we remain committed to the Atlantic region, it's impossible to say when there will be a return to service without support for a coordinated domestic approach. Our intent is to return as soon as it becomes economically viable to do so."

In addition to the Atlantic Canada service changes, WestJet today also announced the airline will be laying off an additional 100 corporate and operational support employees as prospects for any near-term recovery continue to fade and demand remains weak across its operations. These permanent layoffs do not include airport staff from affected Atlantic airports due to WestJet's previous airport transformation announcement.

 

Edited by dagger
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"It has become increasingly unviable to serve these markets," said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. "Since the pandemic's beginning, we have worked to keep essential air service to all of our domestic airports, however, demand for travel is being severely limited by restrictive policies and third-party fee increases that have left us out of runway without sector-specific support."

It might.

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https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/westjet-makes-difficult-decision-to-suspend-service-to-four-cities-in-atlantic-canada-816012728.html

In June, WestJet announced permanent layoffs to its workforce through its airport transformation and contact centre consolidation. Regrettably, active WestJetters from the airline's stations in Fredericton, Moncton, Sydney and Charlottetown will be impacted by further layoffs as of November 2, 2020.

"We understand this is devastating news to the communities, our airport partners and the WestJetters who rely on our airline, but these suspensions were unavoidable without the prioritization of rapid-testing or support for the introduction of a safe Canadian bubble," continued Sims. "We remain committed to the Atlantic region and it is our intent to resume operations as soon as it becomes economically viable to do so."

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Dagger,

Are you of the opinion that Canadian Carriers have "right sized" or adjusted to market demand?

While many aircraft are parked in the desert, the airlines are still paying leases, or mortgage for most of these airplanes. These are not assets obligations that one can get rid of easily.

 

I'm not suggesting CCAA is imminent, but outside of bankruptcy protection, how would a carrier "right size" itself? I see many airlines deferring new airframe deliveries but what about the existing fleet? How does an airline get rid of aircraft that are almost new or midlife in a market saturated with parked planes?

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