WestJet Group Boss Maps Out A Plan For The Future
It was a full house at Toronto Region Board of Trade yesterday as key industry stakeholders and members of the business community gathered to listen to WestJet Group CEO, Alexis von Hoensbroech provide a review of the carrier’s recent accomplishments; insights into its strategic outlook; and its plans to drive the Group’s growth strategy as Canada’s leading low-cost airline.
Clearly in a positive mood, von Hoensbroech told his audience that the WestJet Group has surpassed its pre-pandemic capacity levels and returned to profitability, setting the airline up for success as it continues its strategy and grows its offering for Canadians following three challenging years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Said von Hoensbroech: “With our country’s long flight distances across its vast geographic landscape, Canadians from coast-to-coast deserve access to air travel that is affordable and reliable.”
He pointed out that: “For 27 years, we have been committed to affordable air travel and today, we are seeing this furthered through the benefits of our growth plan in action as we enhance domestic connectivity from Western to Eastern Canada and provide Canadians from British Columbia to Newfoundland with increased affordable leisure and vacation options.”
The WestJet Group’s CEO pointed to a number of significant advancements and achievements that have propelled the airline and its growth plan forward.
In an industry marked by fierce new levels of competition, WestJet is poised to lead with its ambitious growth plan and commitment to providing low-cost travel options for Canadians from coast to coast.
Cementing its position as the country’s leading leisure airline, this winter alone, the WestJet Group, inclusive of WestJet and Sunwing Airlines, will provide more seats than any other Canadian airline across 230 nonstop routes from 26 Canadian communities to 55 popular sun destinations in the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America.
The WestJet Group’s strategy of providing affordable, year-round leisure travel for Canadians took a major step forward with the formation of its new vacations division, Sunwing Vacations Group, which encompasses both Sunwing Vacations and WestJet Vacations and forms the largest Canadian tour operator.
Following a turbulent return to stability after the COVID-19 crisis, von Hoensbroech talk about the fact that WestJet has made significant strides in its reliability through its Operational Excellence program.
With its focus on improving guest experience and delivering a reliable product, the airline significantly improved upon its on-time performance during the peak summer travel months this year. As it reinforces its commitments and investment to its people and technology, over the last 18-months, the WestJet Group has hired more than 5,000 employees to improve upon all areas of its guest experience. The airline continues its advocacy for transparency and shared accountability across the entirety of the aviation ecosystem, with the goal of achieving meaningful and sustained improvements.
Said von Hoensbroech: “We understand the frustration of travel disruptions and echo our guests’ concerns about the current air passenger rights.”
However, he continued: “Airlines are currently the only accountable service providers in the air travel ecosystem. While we remain committed to compensating our guests when appropriate, we seek meaningful improvements under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR) to create a shared accountability framework throughout Canada’s aviation ecosystem. Without this, meaningful improvements should not be expected across Canadian air travel.”
Underpinning the WestJet Group’s future is the airline’s strategic focus on its expanding fleet of 737 aircraft and the addition of Sunwing Vacations Group to its leisure portfolio.
With the integration of Swoop, the WestJet Group’s ultra-low-cost carrier, concluding on Oct. 28, and the further integration of Sunwing Airlines, the Group’s expanding scale will significantly enhance its ability to provide affordability, reliability and choice to its guests.
Backed by its Boeing 737 aircraft and the largest narrow-body orderbook in Canada, WestJet will soon begin to implement plans to densify its aircraft cabins to distribute costs across even more seats, while continuing to serve guests who prefer a more premium offering.
By leveraging the ultra-low fare products pioneered by Swoop and vacation packages offered by Sunwing Vacations, the WestJet Group will harness a newfound ability to provide affordable fares alongside increased leisure vacation packages across Canada through its growing fleet.
For those who want to track WestJet’s progress against its growth strategy, go to https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/who-we-are/our-strategy.