WestJet announces organizational changes to secure its future
Today, WestJet announced organizational changes that will see the company consolidate call center activity in Alberta, contract out?airport operations in?all domestic?airports?outside of Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto,?and?strategically restructure its office and management staff.?The moves are aimed at?streamlining?WestJet?for?a competitive future?following?the COVID-19 crisis.
“Throughout the course of the biggest crisis in the history of aviation,?WestJet has made many difficult,?but?essential, decisions?to future-proof our business,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO.?“Today’s announcement regarding these?strategic?but unavoidable changes?will allow?us to?provide security to?our remaining 10,000?WestJetters, and to carry on the work of transforming our business.?WestJet will once again serve the needs of Canadian?travellers?with low fares and award-winning service levels tomorrow and years from now.”?
Overall, 3,333 employees?across the country?will be?affected. As WestJet works to select new airport service partners, the airline will seek out preferential employment opportunities for as many of the airport roles as possible.
The COVID-19 crisis hit WestJet and the global aviation industry with devastating force. Since the beginning of March, guest traffic has dropped in response to virus fears and travel advisories that halted almost all but essential travel. To mitigate the impact on its workforce, WestJet implemented immediate cost-cutting measures including releasing a majority of outside contractors, instituting a hiring freeze, stopping all non-essential travel and training, suspending any internal role movements and salary adjustments, cutting executive, vice-president and director salaries and pausing more than 75 percent of its capital projects.?
WestJet?has continued?to operate service to all 38?year-round?domestic airports?during the pandemic?to ensure essential lifelines for travel and cargo remained open but overall,?the airline’s?scheduled operations?have been reduced?by?more than 90 per cent year over year.