Those planning to travel with WestJet or Swoop may have to start making alternate plans.
On May 15th, the WestJet Group was issued a 72-hour notice that their employees were going to go on strike if their demands for higher wages weren’t met.
The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) is the union that represents employees of both WestJet and their subsidiary, Swoop.
The WestJet Group has until 2 a.m. PST on May 19th to meet their pilots’ union’s demands, or the company’s aircrafts will all be grounded and all flights will be cancelled until an agreement is made.
On Thursday, May 18th, the WestJet Group announced they were beginning to cancel some flights and take down its network in order to bring their aircrafts back to Canada from remote locations across the globe.
“We are extremely disheartened to find ourselves in a place where we have to activate our contingency plan and subsequent takedown of our network as a result of the strike notice served by ALPA and their inability to accept a reasonable offer,” said Alexis von Hoensbroech, Chief Executive Officer, the WestJet Group.
“We deeply regret the disruption this will have on the travel plans of our guests and the communities and businesses that rely on our critical air service.”
“We remain at a critical impasse with the union and have been left with no choice but to begin taking the painful steps of preparing for the reality of a work stoppage.”
Until the deadline on May 19th, some flights will continue, but only on some routes.
As of this publication all WestJet and Swoop flights departing from Victoria are still scheduled as normal, with the exception of one Calgary flight at 5:50 a.m. on May 19th.
All arrivals to the Victoria International Airport are also still scheduled as per usual.
ALPA and the WestJet Group continue to sit at the bargaining table for the time being; however, both organizations remain stubborn and unmoving in what they are willing to do about the situation.
Ultimately, the airlines’ customers will be impacted the most during negotiations.
Those with upcoming flights are encouraged to keep an eye on the status of their flights.