WestJet begins flight cancellations in anticipation of strike

As the WestJet Group prepares for labour action by WestJet Aircraft Maintenance Engineers and other tech ops employees, the airline has started cancelling and consolidating flights, in order to park aircraft in a safe and organized manner.

This action enables proactive communication with guests and crew to minimize the potential for being stranded and ensures the airline can avoid abandoning aircraft in remote locations.

The decision to cancel flights comes as the WestJet Group awaits a response on behalf of the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) to intervene under the Canada Labour Code. If accepted, this action would refer both WestJet and AMFA to arbitration for a first collective agreement and prevent labour action by either party.

“We are immensely disheartened that we are in a position where we must activate our contingency plan and begin parking aircraft, as a result of the strike notice served by AMFA. We deeply regret the disruption this will have on the travel plans of our guests, communities and businesses that rely on our critical air service,” said Diederik Pen, president of WestJet Airlines and group chief operating officer. “Following the memberships’ nearly unanimous decision to reject a generous tentative agreement that would have made our aircraft maintenance engineers the highest paid in the country, with a take-home pay increase of 30 to 40 per cent in the first year of the proposed agreement, it is clear that the bargaining process has broken down.”

40 cancellations announced

In the coming 48-hours the WestJet Group will work to park aircraft, in a measured, phased and safe approach, resulting in the following cancellations.

Total cancellation summary
Tuesday, June 18 – Wednesday, June 19:

  • ~40 cancellations

Guest impact*

  • ~6,500 guests impacted

*WestJet is making every effort to reaccommodate all impacted guests

“We will continue to manage our operations to the highest degree of safety and will never compromise in this area,” concluded Pen.

Guests travelling are advised to check the status of their flight prior to leaving for the airport. Visit WestJet’s Guest Updates page for more information regarding flight status, travel changes and more.

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