1:50 ruling puts WestJet on equal footing with U.S. and international airlines
CALGARY, May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - WestJet today confirmed it has received an exemption from Transport Canada to the requirement for one flight attendant for every 40 passengers on board. The exemption, which is effective immediately, allows for one flight attendant for every 50 seats on board the aircraft.
"We are pleased that Transport Canada has granted this exemption," said Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and CEO. "One flight attendant for every 50 seats is the accepted international practice and has been in place for decades around the world. "This exemption will place us on a level regulatory playing field with U.S. and international carriers who fly in and out of Canada every day under these rules. Safety is a core value at WestJet and we commend the government for recognizing that there is a consistent level of safety operating under this ratio."
"WestJet has committed that it will not lay off any flight attendants under this new exemption," commented Antonio Faiola, WestJet Flight Attendant and Chair of PACT, WestJet's employee association. "Our history speaks for itself: WestJet has always worked with its employees when our business changes and this is another example of its commitment to its people."
"We anticipate cost savings once this exemption has been operationalized across our network," continued Gregg Saretsky. "These savings will allow us to grow our network and continue to provide low fares for the Canadian traveller. We will now work with our operations teams to determine when we can implement these changes which will in turn determine when these savings will be realized."
Caution regarding forward-looking information
Certain statements set forth in this news release, including, without limitation, information respecting the competitive and operational impacts and anticipated cost savings of the 1:50 ruling, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond WestJet's control. Readers are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements as actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking statements due to a number of factors including, without limitation, changes in consumer demand, energy prices, aircraft deliveries, general economic conditions, competitive environment, regulatory developments, environment factors, ability to effectively implement and maintain critical systems and other factors and risks described in WestJet's public reports and filings which are available under WestJet's profile at www.sedar.com. Any forward-looking statements contained in this news release represent WestJet's expectations as of the date of this news release and are subject to change after such date. WestJet does not undertake to update, correct or revise any forward-looking statements as a result of any new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law.
WestJet is Canada's most preferred airline, offering scheduled service to 85 destinations in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Powered by an award-winning culture of care, WestJet pioneered low-cost flying in Canada. Recognized nationally as a top employer, WestJet now has more than 9,000 WestJetters across Canada. Operating a fleet of more than 100 Boeing Next-Generation 737 and Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft, WestJet strives to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world.