LONDON – Tech company Plug and Play announced its partnership with WestJet, Canada’s second largest airline in both their Silicon Valley and Alberta, Canada locations.
The partnership will focus on leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning across the airline’s business through Plug and Play’s Travel and Hospitality program.
“In our expansive travel and hospitality industry, access to start-ups is integral for success and working with Plug and Play will enable us to leverage many innovative solutions in market at faster speeds,” said Christian Novosel, WestJet Chief Digital Officer.
“As we focus on the radical digitization of our airline, this new partnership will accelerate driving efficiencies and cost savings, though artificial intelligence and machine learning driven automation efforts, as well as improving guest experience across all touchpoints, as we expand our business and global network.”
Travel and hospitality program
Plug and Play runs accelerator programs in over 20 industries worldwide. WestJet will join alongside over 30 partners in the Travel and Hospitality program and in Alberta’s Sector Agnostic AI/ML program that launched in early 2022.
Throughout the programs, WestJet will work one-on-one with entrepreneurs and provide mentorship, business development, and potential funding to the startups.
“Plug and Play is excited to partner with WestJet in both our Silicon Valley and Alberta, Canada programs. By leveraging our global reach, we aim to engage the best startups from around the world, and in our own Albertan backyard, to provide innovative solutions that can be leveraged by Westjet,” says Kevin Dahl, Director of Plug and Play Alberta.
Plug and Play has operated in Silicon Valley since 2006. Six years ago, Plug and Play launched its Travel and Hospitality program. It has since accelerated over 280 startups and expanded to five new locations, including Singapore, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, Vienna, and Geneva.
By joining this program, WestJet will begin collaborating with the hottest startups in travel and networking with the largest names in the industry.
Plug and Play launched its Alberta location in January 2022 with three initial program focus areas: Sustainability, Health, and Sector Agnostic with an emphasis in AI and Machine Learning.
Plug and Play is committed to building a world-class innovation platform in Alberta to attract top technology companies and talent, support investment in the Alberta region, and support Albertan entrepreneurs to scale and grow to propel digital transformation across the province.
About Plug and Play
Plug and Play is the leading innovation platform, connecting start-ups, corporations, venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we’re present in 50+ locations across 5 continents.
It also organizes start-up acceleration programs and has built an in-house VC to drive innovation across multiple industries, having invested in hundreds of successful companies including Dropbox, Guardant Health, Honey, Lending Club, N26, PayPal, and Rappi.
WestJet Airlines Ltd. is a Canadian airline headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, near Calgary International Airport. It is the second-largest Canadian airline, behind Air Canada, operating an average of 777 flights and carrying more than 66,130 passengers per day.
WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 110 destinations in 24 countries.