WestJet shares operational program enhancements ahead of holiday season

A WestJet aircraft on climb after takeoff.
Photo Credit: Lewis Chesworth/ AviationSource

As the festive season approaches, Canadians eagerly anticipate holiday celebrations, and for many, this involves travel.

Recognizing the challenges faced during the previous year’s holiday season, WestJet is proactively gearing up to ensure a seamless and improved travel experience for its guests.

Diederik Pen, Chief Operating Officer of WestJet Group, highlights the airline’s strategic focus on digital enhancements, IT infrastructure management, and operational resilience, all aimed at efficient delivery during the busiest travel season of the year.

Learning from the Past


Acknowledging the vulnerabilities exposed during unforeseen weather events in the previous year, WestJet is committed to addressing weak spots in Canada’s aviation ecosystem.

The focus is on rebuilding trust and providing an efficient and enjoyable travel experience for valued guests.

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Building on the success of the summer season, WestJet has invested in operational excellence, preparing to meet the demands of over 1.5 million guests during the upcoming holiday season.

The strategic redesign of the guest experience sets the stage for reliable operational performance amidst peak winter demand.

Close up of a WestJet Boeing 737-700 on approach.
Lord of the Wings© from Toronto, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Operational Preparations: WestJet Approach


Collaborative Flying Capacity

In anticipation of increased winter travel, WestJet has collaborated with Sunwing Airlines to enhance flying capacity.

Leveraging aircraft from the ultra-low-cost carrier Swoop ensures effective flight disruption recovery across WestJet’s extensive network.

Hub Strengthening

Strategic moves include transitioning to a new ground handling partnership at Calgary International Airport, WestJet’s largest hub.

Collaborative efforts with service partners aim to bolster on-time performance and baggage handling across the Canadian network.

A WestJet Boeing waits for an Air Canada flight to land.
edk7, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Self-Serve Options and Enhanced Communication

WestJet understands that flight disruptions can occur. Therefore, the airline has invested in empowering guests through self-serve options, improved communication, and proactive contingency planning.

Guests can now receive timely updates through SMS text notifications, keeping them informed about any flight changes as information becomes available.

The majority of passengers now have the ability to self-serve during disruptions. This includes changing travel plans, canceling trips, and requesting refunds, providing a hassle-free experience.

Streamlined Crew Management

To support the evolving schedule and network, WestJet has implemented new crew management software. This ensures streamlined execution of crew scheduling, aiding in better service provision during disruptions.

A WestJet Encore Q400 aircraft entering the runway.
Martin Kulcsar, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Empowered Crew

Equipping WestJetters with improved communication tools ensures they have the most up-to-date information to support guests effectively.

“While we can’t control the weather, it is our responsibility and commitment to deliver a safe, seamless and reliable experience to our guests and ensure that when faced with obstacles, our operation is resilient and equipped to quickly respond and recover,” said Pen.

“I want to thank the 12,000 WestJetters across our network, who have worked diligently to ready our operation for the holiday season and remain unwavering in their commitment to deliver the friendly and reliable travel experience that Canadians know and love 365 days a year.”

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With a busy holiday season approaching, WestJet shared details of its operational program enhancements to ensure efficient flight delivery
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