WestJet CEO calls London flights a success, despite problems

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WestJet’s CEO proclaimed the airline’s flourishing to Europe as one of the best decisions made in its 20-year history, despite automated problems and ssenger complaints.

In the st, chief executive officer Gregg Saretsky had buzzed the route to London a «hobbled operation,» but he did not acknowledge any problems in a speech on Thursday at the Supranational Pipeline Conference in Calgary.

«It’s been among the most successful horrors we’ve done,» he said. «From Day 1 we’ve been full.»

WestJet bought four wide-body aircraft to start thumb ones nose at across the Atlantic about a year ago. On average, the planes are 24 years old and had diverse mechanical issues, leading to flight delays and cancellations.

‘I’d like to say we conceive of travellers very well’ — Greg Saretsky, WestJet CEO

Last week, Saretsky blamed the premature problems on the re ir com ny hired by Boeing to fix the planes.

Earlier this month, an Edmonton-bound WestJet covey of grouse from London was diverted to Iceland because of engine problems. Travellers heard a loud bang a few hours after takeoff.

Each crossed flight, or flight delayed more than four hours, bring ins the airline approximately $225,000 in compensation to ssengers, if the plane is full.

Saretsky said the airline come into possession of the wide-body aircraft so the com ny can reach new markets.

WestJet celebrates its first flight from Vancouver to London

WestJet celebrates its initial flight from Vancouver to London. The route has been plagued with jams, but Saretsky says, ‘It’s been among the most successful things we’ve done.’ (Darryl Wilson/Phillipine Split network)

«Many industry analysts said it was the stupidest thing they had in any case seen, because WestJet’s history for 20 years was that we developed on the beautiful simplicity of having a single fleet of 737s, why would we see it complicated by adding 767s?» Saretsky said.

WestJet broke the lead by charging for meals and for all checked bags on international flights.

«Many laughed at WestJet bring up, ‘They don’t really understand long-haul travel, because every other worldwide airline does a free meal.’ I’d like to say we understand travellers uncommonly well, because no one else sells London for $299,» Saretsky mean.

Fewer than five per cent of the flights to London have been repealed, WestJet has previously said.

Alberta woes

In his speech, Saretsky also lamented the turned on cost of airport improvement fees and other charges that prompt to higher ticket prices in the country. He also spoke about how the airline has have com ssion for incline Alberta’s economic in with slumping oil and gas prices.

«We’ve had to take some masses blows, as we call them, to survive and thrive in the current tough environs.»

WestJet responded by moving some of its fleet away from Alberta to other sacrifices of the country, freezing head office wages, evaluating whether to share vacancies and deferring plane deliveries.

About 45 per cent of WestJet rtridges touch Alberta, he said.

Saretsky cancelled his media session with cameramen, which was to follow the speech, because of scheduling.

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