Release #: 23.08
March 10, 2023
WestJet Pilots Respond to Acquisition of Sunwing
CALGARY, AB—Currently in negotiations for their second collective agreement, WestJet Airlines pilots have reiterated their call for greater job security, improved working conditions, and industry-standard wages for all WestJet group pilots after the federal government formally approved the airline's acquisition of Sunwing Airlines.
“We have been anticipating this announcement for some time, but unfortunately it came without any consultation with WestJet management” said Capt. Bernard Lewall, chair of the WestJet Master Executive Council of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l (ALPA). “We currently have meetings scheduled with the company next week where we will seek additional information and clarification regarding any potential future merger of operations and its impact on our current contract negotiations and the pilot group as a whole.”
Executives at both airlines previously stated that there will be no job losses in the planned takeover. ALPA will focus on ensuring that the pilots’ priorities are linked to the airline’s future success.
“While this acquisition may make business sense for the WestJet group of companies, from ALPA’s perspective, to achieve a successful outcome, this transaction with Sunwing must translate into opportunity for all pilots," said Capt. Tim Perry, ALPA Canada president. “Our members know that for acquisitions or mergers to be successful, the professional pilots need to be on board.”
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents more than 67,000 pilots at 39 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit ALPA.org or follow us on Twitter @ALPAPilots.
CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or Media@alpa.org