ALPA Negotiations Updates

WestJet
By WestJet | | 5 min read

Status of negotiations – as of Thursday, May 18 at 12:00 p.m. MT

As the WestJet Group prepares for labour action by WestJet and Swoop pilots, the airline has started taking down its network. This action ensures the airline has complete control of its operations and can proactively communicate with guests and crew to minimize people being stranded. The decision to cancel flights comes as the WestJet Group remains confronted with union’s unreasonable wage expectations that if realized would permanently damage its ability to offer low fares and competitive service to Canadians. 

The WestJet Group remains at the bargaining table, firmly committed to achieving a reasonable agreement as soon as possible, to protect the future travel plans of valued guests. Read the full release

Status of operations – as of Thursday, May 18 at 12:00 p.m. MT

Network-wide cancellations

Thursday, May 18

  • 98 cancellations 

Wednesday, May 17

  • 6 cancellations 

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

Q&A

Which flights are impacted at this time?

At this time, the majority of the 737 and all 787 aircraft in WestJet’s fleet are impacted by the network takedown. WestJet Encore and Link service will continue through the disruption. WestJet invites all guests to proactively check the status of their flight prior to arriving at the airport. Impacted guests will receive an email notification if their flight is delayed or cancelled and will be provided with alternative options to manage their trip. 

What is preventing The WestJet Group from reaching an agreement?

The WestJet Group is firmly committed to achieving an agreement as soon as possible to avoid disrupting the travel of our guests. We cannot, however, sacrifice the future of the company and put 15,000 jobs at risk by agreeing to a contract that isn’t financially viable for our long-term future. 

How will WestJet accommodate guests who are in a different country unable to return home?

WestJet will adhere to our regulatory obligations and will seek to reaccommodate our guests on an alternate carrier to their final destination. However, should we be unable to do, we will provide a full refund to our guests upon request.

Status of negotiations – as of Tuesday, May 16 at 4:00 p.m. MT

WestJet has issued the following statement regarding the strike notification put forth by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) representing WestJet and Swoop pilots.

In response to this notification, a work stoppage could occur as early as Friday, May 19 at 3 a.m. MST. 

Status of operations – as of Tuesday, May 16 at 4:00 p.m. MT

At this time, there is no impact to WestJet’s operations. In the event of a work a stoppage, should flight delays and/or cancellations occur, WestJet has provided additional flexibility for guests travelling between May 15 – 21, 2023. 

Details of delays and cancellations and associated changes will be sent directly to impacted guests via the email provided at the time of booking and guests are advised to visit https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/guest-updates for more information.  

Q&A

When is the earliest a work stoppage could occur?

The earliest a work stoppage could occur is Friday, May 19 at 3:00 a.m. MT. 

What advice do you have for guests if their flights get cancelled? 

Issuing notice does not mean a work stoppage will occur. However, in the coming days, the WestJet Group will take all necessary actions to manage the impacts as much as possible, including:

  • Beginning preparations to operate a temporarily reduced schedule – unfortunately, this will be a significant reduction from WestJet and Swoop’s current networks. 

  • Proactively managing changes and cancellations, to enable us to communicate with guests in advance of changes.

  • Providing flexible change and cancel options for those who wish to make alternate arrangements.

Guests are encouraged to visit WestJet’s Guest Updates page for more information regarding flight status, travel changes and more. For Swoop travellers, please visit the Swoop Traveller Info Hub

Why would The WestJet Group initiate a lockout?

The decision to initiate a lockout was not made lightly and we recognize the impact this could have on our guests travel plans and on our people. Unfortunately, this decision was the only available option to ensure we can manage flight disruptions in a manner that allows us to proactively communicate changes to our schedule and provide advance notice of travel impacts to our guests. 

We continue to make progress at the bargaining table and remain confident that with a commitment from both parties, we can reach an agreement before labour action is taken and avoid disrupting the travel of our valued guests. 

Is WestJet providing refunds to guests who are impacted by this disruption?

Should flight delays or cancellations occur, impacted guests will be refunded or reaccommodated, as applicable. 

For travel between May 15 - 21, 2023, WestJet has provided additional flexibility for guests’ peace of mind. For more information, guests are invited to visit the WestJet Guest Updates page.

Does the potential labour stoppage impact WestJet Encore flights?

The current labour negotiations between The WestJet Group and ALPA, pertains to WestJet and Swoop pilots exclusively. WestJet Encore flights will continue to operate in the event labour action occurs.