WestJet Celebrates 25th Anniversary; Reaches Tentative Agreement With Cabin Crew Union
WestJet is celebrating 25 years of low fares, vigorous competition and great service today. To mark the occasion, the carrier is recreating their first flight and giving all onboard guests a flight voucher to donate to their favorite charity.
On Monday (March 1, 2021), WestJet is celebrating their 25th anniversary, providing Canadians with low fares, vigorous competition and service excellence. To mark the milestone, the airline is recreating their first flight and giving all onboard guests a travel voucher to donate to their charity of choice. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations and has grown to over 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and over 100 destinations in 23 countries (pre-pandemic). The airline’s launch 25 years ago cut airfares in some communities by nearly half, democratizing air travel for more Canadians.
Speaking on today’s milestone anniversary, WestJet’s President and CEO, Ed Sims, said,
“A quarter century ago, WestJet provided Canadians with a choice in airlines; since that time, we have invested across the country to bring more options and competitive fares to millions of Canadians who couldn't afford the price of air travel prior. We are thankful to the thousands of WestJetters who have dedicated themselves to building our airline and to the more than 300 million guests who have chosen to fly with us. A lot has changed, but care remains at the heart of what we do.
“It has been a difficult year for all airlines, WestJet included. I am proud of our resilient team who repatriated 4,000 Canadians on 28 flights with Global Affairs Canada; introduced more than 20 additional layers of safety for those still flying; and most recently, have volunteered to assist governments in vaccinating Canadians. We have been there in the past for Canadians and will be here in the future, for when they are ready to fly.”
Celebrating their 25th anniversary today, WestJet is recreating their first flight between Calgary and Vancouver. The flight will be operated with ‘day-one’ WestJetters including the captain, first officer and cabin crew. The scheduled flight (WS129) has 140 guests onboard and as part of the airline’s 25-year commitment to communities, each guest will receive a flight voucher for donation to their favorite charity. The voucher is valid for one roundtrip flight for two to fly anywhere in the WestJet network and is to be used by non-profit and charity organizations.
Further speaking on the charity initiative, Mr. Sims added,
“WestJet is committed to Canadian communities and we are honoured to provide others with the opportunity to share in our caring spirit by giving the gift of flight to the charity of their choice that may need an extra hand right now in fundraising.”
In a separate announcement Sunday evening (February 28, 2021), WestJet announced that they have reached a tentative agreement with their cabin crew union, CUPE Local 4070. The parties will now await ratification from the union membership.
Commenting on the agreement, WestJet’s President and CEO, Ed Sims, said,
“I am pleased that we've tentatively come to terms on the first collective agreement with CUPE Local 4070. Our Cabin Crew Members are a valued and integral part of the WestJet team and it is our goal to continue supporting them as they continue the safe, caring service our guests expect of WestJet.”
Prior to the Global COVID-19 pandemic, WestJet and subsidiary regional airlines, WestJet Encore and WestJet Link, offered scheduled service to over 110 destinations across North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. WestJet and WestJet Link continue to connect most Canadian domestic airports with reduced capacity, ensuring essential cargo and passenger connectivity. During these unprecedented times, the carrier has maintained their rating by Cirium as one of the top ten airlines for on-time performance in North America.