WestJet Encore pilots gain $1 million grant for negotiations

A WestJet Encore Dash 8 turboprop aircraft approaches to land.
Photo Credit: BriYYZ from Toronto, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The WestJet Encore pilot group has received a significant boost in their ongoing contract negotiations. The employee group has now gained a $1 million grant from the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).

Action by WestJet Encore Pilots

It forms part of the commitment of the pilots’ union to securing a fair and sustainable agreement for its members at WestJet Encore.

The funding will be instrumental in supporting the pilots’ self-help efforts, which could potentially begin on April 17, 2024.

Moves will go ahead if negotiations facilitated by a federal conciliator fail to produce a ratified contract for the pilot group.

“Our top priority has always been to negotiate a contract that addresses the core challenges facing our airline and makes WestJet Encore a more attractive place for pilots to work,” stated Captain Carin Kenny, Chair of the WestJet Encore Master Executive Council.

“Unfortunately, progress at the bargaining table has been slow, even with the involvement of a federal mediator since January”.

Facing protracted negotiations, the WestJet Encore pilots are moving to explore alternative employment opportunities.  

Frustrated with slow progress in contract negotiations, many WestJet Encore pilots are actively seeking employment opportunities elsewhere that offer better career advancement, improved work-life balance, and competitive compensation packages.

Photo Credit: Martin Kulcsar via Wikimedia Commons.
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Proposed Picket Action

“While we remain hopeful for a resolution before resorting to a strike authorization vote or filing a 72-hour strike notice, the generous contribution from ALPA’s MCF ensures that our pilot group is fully prepared for any scenario,” Captain Kenny added.

The WestJet Encore pilots are gearing up for their first-ever informational picket. The group hopes to transform WestJet Encore into a leading force within Canada’s aviation industry.

About WestJet Encore

WestJet Encore is a regional airline headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Furthermore, it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WestJet Airlines and operates feeder flights for its parent company, connecting smaller communities to WestJet’s major hubs.

WestJet Encore was founded in 2013 to meet the growing demand for regional air travel in Canada.

However, the airline operates a fleet of turboprop aircraft, specifically the De Havilland Canada Dash 8, to capitalize on this sector.

Because they offer lower operating costs compared to larger jet aircraft, these aircraft are well-suited for shorter routes.

Here are some key facts about WestJet Encore:

  • Founded: June 24, 2013
  • Headquarters: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Parent company: WestJet Airlines
  • Fleet: De Havilland Canada Dash 8 (47 aircraft)
  • Destinations: 37 destinations across Canada and the United States

WestJet Encore plays a vital role in connecting regional communities to major cities and economic centers within Canada.

It also provides essential air services to smaller communities that might not otherwise have access to scheduled air travel.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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