logo=WestJet Logo.svg
slogan=It's nicer up here.
headquarters=Calgary, Alberta
key_people=Sean Durfy (CEO,President)

*Calgary International Airport
*Edmonton International Airport
*Toronto Pearson International Airport
*Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport
*Vancouver International Airport

frequent_flyer= Air Miles (not run by WestJet)
lounge= [https://www.westjetlounges.com/en/index.asp Executive Lounges] operated by Servisair
fleet_size= 76 (+42 orders)
destinations= 51
website= http://www.westjet.com|

Boeing 737-700

WestJet Airlines Ltd. (TSX|WJA) is a Canadian low-cost carrier [Simon, Bernard. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0DEFDB1138F933A05752C0A9629C8B63&sec=&spon= Discounter From Out West Is Gnawing at Air Canada ] , "The New York Times", January 30, 2004. Accessed June 9, 2008.] based in Calgary, Alberta, that flies to most major cities in Canada and serves destinations in the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean. WestJet is the second-largest Canadian carrier behind Air Canada (third-largest including Air Canada Jazz). WestJet is a rarity in the airline industry due to the fact that it is non-unionized. Profit-sharing is credited for this fact. WestJet plans to be one of the world's top 5 most profitable international airlines, by 2016.Fact|date=June 2008 In 2006, WestJet was rated the second-best low-cost airline in North America.Fact|date=June 2008WestJet is a public company with 4500 employees and 1.2 billion USD market capitalization.cite web |url=http://zenobank.com/index.php?symbol=CA;WJA&page=quotesearch |title=Company Profile for WestJet Airlines Ltd (CA;WJA) |accessdate=2008-10-10]


Founded on February 29 1996 by Clive Beddoe, Mark Hill, Tim Morgan and Donald Bell, WestJet aimed to follow the same path as Southwest Airlines and Morris Air, as a low-cost carrier. Originally meant to be a Western Canada operation, WestJet soon became one of the fastest growing airlines in the world.

On February 29 1996, the first WestJet flight (a Boeing 737) departed. At that time, the airline served Calgary (the airline's home city and headquarters), Edmonton, Kelowna, Vancouver, and Winnipeg with a fleet of three Boeing 737-200 aircraft and two-hundred twenty employees. By the end of that same year, they had included Regina, Saskatoon, and Victoria. In 1997, service to Abbotsford was added. In addition, 1997 marked the one millionth passenger carried.

In 1999, a milestone was reached when WestJet was able to offer its first public sharing at 2.5 million shares. Also in 1999, the cities of Thunder Bay, Grande Prairie, and Prince George were added to WestJet's route map. In 2000, the airline expanded to Canada's eastern region, reaching Hamilton, Moncton, and Ottawa, and choosing Hamilton as the centre of the airline's eastern Canadian operations. That year, Beddoe, Hill, Morgan and Bell were given the "Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year" award in Canada for their contribution to the Canadian airline industry. In 2001, expansion continued to include Fort McMurray and Comox. WestJet also added Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thompson and Brandon, although service to these four cities was subsequently withdrawn. In 2002, the airline added two new eastern Canadian destinations: the cities of London and Toronto. In April 2003, WestJet added Windsor, Montreal, Halifax, St. John's, and Gander.

In April 2004, WestJet moved the focus of its eastern operation from Hamilton to Toronto. All of the flights between Ottawa and Hamilton and Montreal and Hamilton were moved to Toronto, a move that brought WestJet more fully into the lucrative Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal triangle.

In 2004, a number of U.S. destinations were added or announced. These included San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and New York City.

Palm Springs was added in early 2005 to the company's list of destinations, as was San Diego (no longer served), while New York-LaGuardia was dropped. In April 2005, they announced new seasonal service to Charlottetown but ceased service to Gander. In June 2005, the airline announced it was ceasing service to Windsor, effective October 30, 2005, shifting capacity to nearby London. In fall 2005, Ft. Myers and Las Vegas were added to the growing list of destinations.

After rumours and speculation surrounding the implementation of extended-range twin-engine operations (ETOPS), WestJet announced new service to the Hawaiian Islands from Vancouver on September 20 2005. In December 2005, the airline began flying from Vancouver to Honolulu and Maui.

In 2006, WestJet announced they were dropping their service to San Francisco and San Diego. WestJet's first scheduled service outside Canada and the United States began in 2006 with service to Nassau, Bahamas. This was considered a huge milestone within the company's long-term destination strategy and was a vital goal for future international market presence.

In 2007, WestJet announced that they would begin flights from Deer Lake Regional Airport in Newfoundland, Saint John in New Brunswick, and Kitchener-Waterloo in Ontario. Also in June 2007, WestJet added seven new international seasonal flights to Saint Lucia, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico as well as a third Hawaiian destination; Kona. Also in 2007, WestJet commissioned the construction of a new head office building, next to their existing hangar facility at the Calgary International Airport. The new office building is slated to open in late 2008 or early 2009.

In May 2008, WestJet launched service to Quebec City with daily non-stop flights from Toronto and one-stop service from Edmonton. On June 2, 2008, WestJet commenced seasonal service between Calgary and New York City via Newark Liberty International Airport.

In July 2008 WestJet announced codeshare plans with Southwest Airlines [ [http://cnrp.ccnmatthews.com/client/westjet/releaseen.jsp?actionFor=876480&year=2008&releaseSeq=2 WestJet ] ] .

Legal history

In late 2002 the Airline was accused by rival Air Canada of espionage for their role in accessing confidential information in order to gain a business advantage. [http://www.hanford.gov/oci/maindocs/ci_r_docs/Air_Canada_accuses_WestJet_of_espionage.pdf] [ [http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20051209.wxraircan09/BNStory/Business/ Globe and Mail article] - Espionage accusation] [ [http://today.reuters.com/business/newsArticle.aspx?type=ousiv&storyID=2006-05-29T165939Z_01_WNA6649_RTRIDST_0_BUSINESSPRO-AIRLINES-CANADA-DC.XML Reuters] - WestJet settled with Air Canada] On May 29, 2006, WestJet issued a press release [ [http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060529.waircanada0529/BNStory/Business/home/ WestJet press release] - Regarding spying on Air Canada] admitting its involvement in the Air Canada espionage scandal, and agreeing to pay over 5 million dollars in legal and investigation fees to Air Canada, and to donate over $10 million to various children's charities in the name of Air Canada and WestJet.

Current status

WestJet Airlines entered into a two-year agreement with Air Transat in August 2003 whereby WestJet 737 aircraft would be filled by Transat's two main tour operators, World of Vacations and Air Transat Holidays. The planes are operated by WestJet crews. Some of the destinations where WestJet planes can be found are Puerto Vallarta, Panama City, Cancún, Varadero, Cuba and St. Martin.

In 2005, WestJet implemented Personal TV (PTV) from LiveTV on board its 737-700 and -800 fleet. Channels include Global TV, CTV, CBS, Citytv, Treehouse TV, ABC, NBC, CBC, TSN and a WestJet Channel, which shows a regional map with the aircraft's location, GPS derived altitude, and groundspeed.fact|date=September 2008 WestJet plans to add Live TV onto their 737-600 aircraft beginning in the 2007/2008 Winter season.

WestJet was to be the Boeing launch customer for the 737-600 winglets, but announced in their Q2 2006 results that they were not going to move ahead with those plans. WestJet CEO Clive Beddoe cited the cost and time associated with their installation was not warranted as they are primarily used for short-haul routes. As a result of the abandonment of the program to install winglets on these aircraft, WestJet incurred a one-time charge of approximately $609,000.

In August 2006, in a Globe and Mail interview, Sean Durfy (then executive Vice-President of Marketing but since appointed to President of the company in September 2006) stated that WestJet was in talks with, and considering joining Oneworld, a code and route sharing alliance that includes many large worldwide airlines. If a deal with Oneworld were reached, it would allow WestJet to maintain its scheduling flexibility. [cite news |first=Brent |last=Jang |title=WestJet Looks to Fly Higher with Oneworld |url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060831.wxrwestjet31/BNStory/Business/home |work=The Globe and Mail |date=August 31, 2006 |accessdate=2006-10-31 ] It would increase passenger traffic for WestJet, while filling in a Canadian void for the Oneworld alliance left by the takeover of Canadian Airlines, as well as expanding options for flights from Canada to South America.

On October 26, 2006, WestJet announced that it had its best quarterly profit ever, reaching C$52.8 million. WestJet gained market share and kept its costs under control, helping profits to surge.


WestJet serves 51 destinations throughout North America, including 28 Canadian cites with focus on Calgary International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Edmonton International Airport, Vancouver International Airport and Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport. WestJet serves 12 American cities, including major airports such as Los Angeles International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. The airline provides the most Canadian flights to Las Vegas and Orlando, offering non-stop routes from nine Canadian cities to Las Vegas and seven to Orlando. WestJet also serves seven destinations in the Caribbean and four in Mexico.

New routes


The WestJet fleet consists of the following aircraft as of May 2008:

The airline flies a fleet that consists exclusively of Boeing 737s, taking a cue from the successful single operating type model pioneered by Southwest Airlines. The first deliveries of 737-600 and 737-800 aircraft began in 2005, and by September 2006 the final 737-600 aircraft was delivered. WestJet's future aircraft orders only consist of 737-700 and 737-800 models. WestJet plans to have a fleet of 111 aircraft by the end of 2013.

Boeing confirmed on August 2, 2007 that WestJet had placed an order for 20 Boeing 737NG. [ [http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2007/q3/070802c_nr.html Boeing: Boeing Confirms WestJet Order for 20 Next-Generation 737 Airplanes ] ] The order is primarily for B737-700 but with conversion rights to B737-800s.

Retired fleet

* Boeing 737-200 (1996-2006)

It was announced early in 2005 that the 737-200 fleet would be retired within the year, to be replaced by newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft. On July 12, 2005, WestJet announced that it had completed the sale of its remaining Boeing 737-200 to Miami-based Apollo Aviation Group (Apollo).

On January 9, 2006, the last Boeing 737-200 (Tail 748 C-FCWJ) was flown during a fly-by ceremony at the WestJet hangar in Calgary. (See External Links). The aircraft was flown by Don Bell. The last commercial revenue flight by a -200 was a charter flight, Las Vegas to Calgary, arriving at 0130 January 9, 2006, flown by tail 741 (C-GWWJ). Currently, WestJet claims an average aircraft age of 3.2 years (as of 1 December 2007). [ [http://c3dsp.westjet.com/guest/about/fleetTemplate.jsp WestJet] - Fleet information]

In 2007, Westjet donated a 737-200 to the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). Currently it is located in the brand new BCIT Aerospace Campus beside the Vancouver International Airport.

In-Flight Experience

In addition to the leather seating and in-flight entertainment system, WestJet is known for their quirky flight and cabin crew. Rather than using monotonous pre-flight safety demonstrations, cabin crew use rhymes, limericks, and passenger participation to demonstrate aircraft safety features and devices. One often-used line is "Flight crew have asked passengers to kindly refrain from using cell phones or other wireless devices as they interfere with navigation systems, which may result in the aircraft ending up in Winnipeg" (a city often referred to in Canada as being a dry and uneventful destination).fact|date=September 2008

Crew on flights with multiple legs will often have the captain make one landing and the first officer make the other while having the passengers vote who did a better job.fact|date=September 2008

The flight crew also request that any comments or suggestions any passengers have be written on $20 bills and passed to the front of the plane.fact|date=September 2008


The WestJet planes are mostly white, except for the lettering on the cabins, the tail, and the metallic wings and tailfins.

The tail is divided into rough and slanted thirds, coloured (from back to front) navy blue, white, and teal. This pattern is used on the outside of the blended winglets at the end of the wings, while on the inside, the winglets are painted white with the words WestJet.com in black lettering.

WestJet Lounges

Beginning in 2006, WestJet began opening lounges in select Canadian airports. They are operated by Servisair. [ [https://www.westjetlounges.com/en/index.asp Executive Lounges Servisair ] ]
*Calgary International Airport (Concourse D)
*Vancouver International Airport (Domestic Terminal)
*Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport

Incidents and accidents

* In November 2003, a WestJet Boeing 737-700 aircraft carrying 57 passengers including crew, had to return to Calgary, seven minutes after taking off when one of its turbofan engines failed. The plane landed without incident.
* In June, 2006, a WestJet Boeing 737-700 aircraft carrying 103 passengers including crew, had to return to Vancouver, thirty five minutes after taking off due to the failure of one of the flight control systems. The plane landed without incident.
* In August, 2007, a WestJet Boeing 737-700 aircraft carrying 136 passengers, including crew, had a close call at Los Angeles International Airport. A WestJet plane arriving from Calgary nearly collided with a Northwest Airlines airplane that was taking off from a parallel runway. The plane took off without incident.
* On September 6, 2007 a WestJet Boeing 737-700 aircraft en route to Halifax from Calgary encountered sudden turbulence just north of Sudbury Ontario, causing a sharp drop which injured 9 passengers. The plane carried on to Halifax and landed without incident. [http://news.sympatico.msn.ctv.ca/TopStories/ContentPosting.aspx?feedname=CTV-TOPSTORIES_V2&newsitemid=CTVNews%2f20070906%2fplane_turbulence_070907&showbyline=True]
* On February 17, 2008 a WestJet Boeing 737-700 aircraft over-ran runway 07 at Ottawa (CYOW). No deaths or injuries have been reported and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating the cause. [ [http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2008/02/18/221638/no-injuries-after-westjet-737-overruns-at-ottawa.html No injuries after Westjet 737 overruns at Ottawa ] ]
* On April 18, 2008, a WestJet Boeing 737-700 aircraft en route from Hamilton to Calgary carrying 106 people including crew had to make an emergency landing at Winnipeg International Airport because of a potential hydraulic issue. No one was injured and the plane landed without incident.
* On August 29, 2008 a WestJet aircraft developed engine problems after taking off from Calgary International Airport heading to Winnipeg and was forced to make an emergency landing after one of the engines shut off. The plane turned back and landed without incident.



External links

* [http://www.westjet.com WestJet official website]
* [http://www.up-magazine.com up! inflight magazine]

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