Wednesday, 24 June 2020

WestJet to axe 3,333 jobs across Canada

Today, the Canadian carrier WestJet has announced major organizational changes that will see the company axe around 3,333 jobs across Canada.
The airline has confirmed it will consolidate call centre activity in Alberta and outsource airport operations in all domestic airports outside of Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto.  The firm is also axing a number of staff in its administration and management division as it tried hard to streamline the company for the future. 
The airline's President and CEO Ed Sims sent a video message to staff and passengers about the job losses as well how the airline is trying to make travel easier and stress-free.

Here is the video link:

"Throughout the course of the biggest crisis in the history of aviation, WestJet has made many difficult, but essential, decisions to future-proof our business," said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. "Today's announcement regarding these strategic but unavoidable changes will allow us to provide security to our remaining 10,000 WestJetters, and to carry on the work of transforming our business. WestJet will once again serve the needs of Canadian travellers with low fares and award-winning service levels tomorrow and years from now."

WestJet has promised it would work on selecting new airport service partners and try to get as many former WestJet employees contracts with the new firms.  
The COVID-19 crisis hit WestJet and the global aviation industry with devastating force. Since the beginning of March, guest traffic has dropped in response to virus fears and travel advisories that halted almost all but essential travel. To mitigate the impact on its workforce, WestJet implemented immediate cost-cutting measures including releasing a majority of outside contractors, instituting a hiring freeze, stopping all non-essential travel and training, suspending any internal role movements and salary adjustments, cutting executive, vice-president and director salaries and pausing more than 75 per cent of its capital projects. 
WestJet has continued to operate service to all 38 year-round domestic airports during the pandemic to ensure essential lifelines for travel and cargo remained open but overall, the airline's scheduled operations have been reduced by more than 90 per cent year over year.

Canadian analysts had warned of pending job losses in the Canadian commercial aviation industry would top 20,000 before the end of the summer period as airlines struggle to cope with a general lack of demand after travel restrictions are lifted following the global pandemic. It is, therefore, perhaps inevitable there will be more job losses to come in Canda and maybe more from WestJet as the airline further consolidates its operations. perhaps we've not seen the last to come from 

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