WestJet Pilots
A WestJet aircraft during a morning walk-around at Edmonton International Airport. Photo: Capt. Rayanne Hoffmann (WestJet)

At A Glance

Pilots joined ALPA: 2017

Number of pilots/flightcrew members: 1,917

Pilot bases: Vancouver, B.C.; Calgary and Edmonton, Alb.; Toronto, Ont.; and Winnipeg, Man.

Hubs/key markets: Vancouver, B.C.; Calgary, Alb.; and Toronto, Ont.

Headquarters: Calgary, Alb.

Operations: WestJet offers scheduled service to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Through partnerships with airlines representing every major region of the world, WestJet flies to more than 150 destinations in more than 20 countries.

Fleet: B-737-700s/-800s, B-737 MAX 8s, and B-787-9 Dreamliners

When negotiations began in September 2022, the WestJet Airlines pilots’ Negotiating Committee was tasked with securing a contract that delivered better job security, enhanced compensation, and more flexible schedules to allow for a better work-life balance.

With little progress made at the bargaining table, on May 15, 2023, the pilots issued a 72-hour strike notice to management. Fortunately, a strike was avoided as the parties were able to reach a last-minute agreement in principle. The pilot group ratified the collective agreement in June.

With ratification, the pilots sent a strong message that they’re committed to being a major contributor to WestJet’s future success. And they’re optimistic that their new four-year agreement will go a long way toward solving many of the airline’s immediate pilot attraction and retention issues.

Having successfully implemented their contract, the pilots shifted their focus toward helping ensure the airline’s stability as it integrates Sunwing Airlines into the WestJet Group by working with management and Sunwing pilot representatives. The pilot groups have already exchanged initial transition process agreement (TPA) proposals.

Heading into 2024, meetings are planned to continue work toward reaching an agreed-upon TPA document and then the challenging task of integrating the pilots’ seniority lists.

One of WestJet’s aircraft at Kelowna International Airport hours before closing due to the McDougall Creek fire rapidly approaching from the west. Photo: F/O Sean Wilson (WestJet)