The WestJet group announced Thursday morning that it had started canceling flights in anticipation of the strike by WestJet and Swoop pilots.
This decision means that the air carrier is parking the majority of the 737s and 787s in its fleet, according to an approach, he assures, measured, progressive and safe. WestJet Encore, WestJet Link and limited 737 flights will continue to operate.
The company adds that this measure allows it to avoid abandoning an aircraft in a remote location without support and allows communication with customers and crew to minimize the risk of being grounded.
Meanwhile, talks between WestJet and the pilots’ union continue as the countdown draws near to Friday morning’s strike deadline.
Some 1,800 pilots from the carrier and its subsidiary Swoop are set to walk off the job at 3 a.m. Eastern Time after the Air Line Pilots Association issued a strike notice last Monday.
The Federal Minister of Labor and the Chief Government Ombudsman as well as the CEO. of WestJet and the pilots’ union leaders all met in a Toronto hotel in the hope of reaching an agreement.
WestJet chief executive Alexis von Hoensbroech says the union’s demands are extreme, while the travel plans of thousands of Canadians are in limbo ahead of the May long weekend.
A union leader, Bernard Lewall, indicated that the main points in dispute relate to remuneration, job security and schedules. According to Lewall, WestJet pilots earn about half of what some of their American counterparts earn.
With more than 4,000 flights scheduled over the next seven days, WestJet represents 28% of Canada’s domestic market, while Air Canada carries 47%, according to flight data firm Cirium.
By announcing the cancellation of flights, the company invites customers to check the status of flights before heading to the airport.