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July 17 2024 / 02:10 PM
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The strike could start as of Friday, June 28 at 5:30 p.m. MT.

WestJet has started cancelling flights ahead of a possible strike by its aircraft maintenance engineers and other technical operations employees.

The strike could start as of Friday, June 28 at 5:30 p.m. MT.

For today and tomorrow – Thursday, June 27 and Friday, June 28 – WestJet is looking at approximately 25 cancellations, impacting some 3,300 passengers.

In a statement issued last night at 11 p.m., WestJet said it is making every effort to re-accommodate all impacted guests.

In the coming 48 hours the WestJet Group will work to park aircraft, in what it calls a measured, phased and safe approach, as part of its strike contingency plan.

WestJet said this action ensures the airline can safely park its aircraft in a controlled manner, while enabling proactive communication and preventing the stranding of WestJet’s guests and crew.

WestJet said it has presented the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) “with a Canadian industry-leading agreement that is better suited than the previously rejected tentative agreement.

The statement continued: “Just hours into day one of a mutually agreed to four-day bargaining period, the union served a strike notice. This timing could disrupt the travel plans of more than 250,000 guests scheduled to travel over the July long weekend and appears to be an attempt to force an unreasonable contract.

Diederik Pen, President of WestJet Airlines and Group Chief Operating Officer, said: “As we quickly approach the July long weekend, it is especially devastating that the strike notice we have received from AMFA forces us to begin cancelling flights and parking aircraft, for the second time in just over a week.

Pen continued: “As we are forced to make this painful decision, every one of us at WestJet feels the immense weight of the impact this will have on each of our guests and the communities we serve, counting on us to fulfill their travel plans this weekend.

We remain at the bargaining table, committed to reaching an agreement; however, we have no choice but to hold strong on a reasonable outcome that protects our future and ability to provide Canadians with critical and affordable air travel. As we initiate flight cancellations across our network, we will continue to manage our operations to the highest degree of safety,” he said.

Passengers are advised to check the status of their flight prior to leaving for the airport and visit WestJet’s Guest Updates page for more information regarding flight status, travel changes and more.


Source: Travelweek

Jun 27, 2024

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