WestJet Begins Cancelling Flights


WestJet is preparing for a strike by its pilots as they seek better pay and scheduling. The pilots represented by a union aim to close the gap between counterparts across the border in the United States.

As a result, WestJet has reportedly begun parking up their aircraft in preparation for a strike that would take place over the coming weekend.

Such a strike will have a powerful effect, not just on WestJet but their travelling passengers, too, as the union and pilots that are included in this fight for better conditions.

A strike of such scale will likely look to halt most of WestJets operations and, is subsequently, why they’ve begun parking up aircraft in preparation for a network that has the potential to be massively impacted.

Cirium flight data shows that 118 flights have been cancelled already for trips across May 18th. This number is only looking to grow as the weekend rapidly approaches.

WestJet says they’ve sent contracts that hold better terms. However, unions representing said pilots say that the improvement isn’t enough.

Industry workers have faced heightened pressure since emerging from the pandemic following staff shortages. It has primarily run the workforce into the ground, with fatigue setting in as companies scramble to hire new faces. However, it becomes more difficult to find new faces in such safety-sensitive roles that require years of training and enormous costs.

WestJet says they’re still negotiating with the pilot union and aim to have a resolution as soon as possible to limit passenger impact. However, they know this is easier said than done and while they’ll do all they can to stop the strike, it may be too far out of reach.

Daniel Fowkes
19 May 2023
· Airlines 

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