WestJet lays off 3 333 workers, while the pandemic continues to reduce the demand for air travel


WestJet has laid off 3 333 workers and plans to consolidate and outsource much of its operations so that the pandemic will continue to reduce the majority of the demand for air travel.The company, based in Calgary had 14 000 employees before the closure of borders in case of a pandemic and travel restrictions do not melt two-thirds of its fleet, has announced that WestJet Wednesday.

At present, only 4,500 employees on the payroll and WestJet is looking at ways to bring 5 500 employees temporarily laid off.

The layoffs Wednesday, are permanent.

“WestJet has remained self-sufficient throughout this prolonged crisis, reducing our costs by more than 60% “, said CEO Ed Sims in a YouTube video on the decision.

“And yet, despite these efforts, the damages that we have suffered in a demand environment weakened are compounded by multiple factors … the reality in which we find ourselves requires making difficult and often painful to ensure our viability in the future. ”

The company will consolidate its call centre in Alberta and sub-contracted its operations in all of its domestic airports, except for four, leaving only Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto.

It is also the restructuring of the office staff and management.

Operations reduced by more than 90%

WestJet has said that its planned operations had been reduced by more than 90% year-on-year due to the pandemic.

The company said that it had taken measures such as the introduction of a hiring freeze, the reduction of the salaries of the officers, vice-presidents and directors and the suspension of more than 75% of its investment projects.

“For our WestJetters and your family, and your friends: this situation is nobody’s fault and nothing anyone could have done would have created a different result,” said Sims, adding that the decision was only a last resort.

He said that while the company is seeking new partners with airport services, it will seek opportunities of employment for the workers concerned.

Last week, less than 7 500 passengers arrived at canadian airports from the United States, down more than 98% compared to the previous year, according to the border services Agency of Canada.

The number of international passengers has decreased by 95% compared to the previous year, announced Wednesday the agency.

Travellers arriving to Canada from abroad should be isolated for two weeks, and a view of world travel remains in effect, warning Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of the country.

The prohibition of travel on non-essential between Canada and the United States has been extended until the 21 of July at least.


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