A reasonable deal for our valued pilots

Alexis von Hoensbroech
By Alexis von Hoensbroech | | 3 min read

An update from Alexis von Hoensbroech, WestJet Group, Chief Executive Officer on labour contract negotiations with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA)

On April 18, 2023, ALPA, the union representing WestJet and Swoop pilots announced the results of their strike authorization vote. This is a common step in the playbook of pilot unions and can be observed all over the world. Nevertheless, we took this announcement incredibly seriously, as we have done throughout the entire process. 

Our pilots are instrumental in our organization and passionate about their future with our airline, we see them and we hear them, loud and clear. Since negotiations began back in September, we have come to the bargaining table with an unwavering commitment and willingness to make generous improvements to achieve a Canadian industry-leading contract. 

As we close in on the timing in which ALPA indicated willingness to issue a 72-hour notification, we are serious about getting a deal. Despite our ongoing recovery from the significant financial strain from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have brought forward a contract that is both reasonable and addresses the top asks of our valued pilots namely job security and scope, working conditions and meaningful wage improvements.

With the threat of labour disruption looming, it is creating immense stress and uncertainty for our guests and our people. We are focused on a reasonable and timely resolution. We want this on behalf of our guests who are relying on us to come to an agreement, so they can be confident in the travel plans they have put their hard-earned money towards. And, we want this on behalf of the 15,000 employees of the WestJet Group, who also hang in the balance.  

We are committed to getting a deal and to avoiding impacts on our guests in the coming days. However, we are equally ready to hold our ground on what is reasonable and to take actions to bring this to a resolution to give the Canadian travelling public, and our people, the certainty they deserve.