WestJet CEO, Alexis von Hoensbroech, today addressed key stakeholders and community members at the Toronto Region Board of Trade. In his address, von Hoensbroech shed light on the airlines’ recent accomplishments and shared insights into its strategic outlook and plans to drive the Group’s growth strategy as Canada’s leading low-cost airline.
After a challenging three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 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.
“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,” said Alexis von Hoensbroech, Chief Executive Officer of the WestJet Group. “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.”
In his remarks, von Hoensbroech noted significant advancements and achievements that have propelled the airline and its growth plan forward:
Serving Canadians coast to coast
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. Furthering the WestJet Group’s strategy of providing affordable, year-round leisure travel for Canadians is its newly formed vacations division, Sunwing Vacations Group, which encompasses both Sunwing Vacations and WestJet Vacations and forms the largest Canadian tour operator.
Operational excellence & shared accountability
Following a turbulent return to stability after the COVID-19 crisis, 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.
“We understand the frustration of travel disruptions and echo our guests' concerns about the current air passenger rights,” von Hoensbroech 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.”
The WestJet Group’s bright future for Canadians
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 October 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.
Additional and ongoing updates on WestJet’s progress against its growth strategy are available at https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/who-we-are/our-strategy.