After previously announcing that 1,700 pilots across WestJet, WestJet Encore, and Swoop would be out of work effective May 1st or June 1st, WestJet has confirmed that it will now save more than 1,000 of those jobs.
WestJet reached an agreement with the Airline Pilot Association (ALPA), to save more than 1,000 pilot jobs at WestJet, WestJet Encore and Swoop amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
“I’m pleased that ALPA and WestJet, through robust negotiations and collaboration have come together to minimize the impact of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic on our pilot groups,” said Jeff Martin, WestJet executive vice-president, and chief operating officer. “We thank ALPA for the joint effort in working with us to assist our airline in remaining flexible and competitive. Our pilots will be a critical element of our recovery and retaining these important roles leaves us better positioned to recover strongly and return WestJet to a global airline.”
“The agreement we have reached is due to the dedication of the WestJet executive and the WestJet pilots, in a time where everyone is making sacrifices to protect our airline," said ALPA MEC Chair, representing WestJet and Swoop, Captain Dave Colquhoun, ALPA's elected leadership appreciates the time and effort that was involved in working together to minimize the impact to our members and we look forward to the time when all of our pilots, and many of the other WestJetters who are casualties of this crisis, are back to work at WestJet.”
“On behalf of WestJet Encore pilots, I am pleased we were able to successfully reach an agreement," said ALPA MEC Chair, representing WestJet Encore, Captain Ryan Leier. "We recognize that these are uncharted skies as we deal with the effects of COVID-19 and this agreement will help our pilots and the airline get through this together.”
The agreement allows the WestJet Group of Companies to retain pilots across the three groups, through the amendment of terms to the current agreements.
WestJet continues to work collaboratively with its employee and labour groups as well as all levels of government to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 crisis to the airline and its employees.
WestJet is utilizing the Government of Canada’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to assist in navigating this pandemic while work is not available due to the downturn in demand for air travel. Where it is of benefit to the employee, WestJet will use CEWS to keep the inactive employee on the payroll to ensure they remain connected to the company.
ALPA will communicate specific details to WestJet, WestJet Encore and Swoop Pilots and WestJet will not be providing further information.
DOMESTIC FLIGHT SCHEDULE UPDATES FROM MAY 5 THROUGH JUNE 4
WestJet is making additional changes to its domestic flight schedule, from May 5 through June 4, 2020. These changes are required to address significantly reduced guest demand during the COVID-19 crisis. Read more on yesterday’s announcement here.
Next scheduled repatriation flights:
- May 2, 2020 from San José, Costa Rica (SJO) to Toronto
- May 6, 2020 from Belize to Toronto
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