In advance of the long weekend, WestJet Group has started to proactively cancel flights in anticipation of a possible strike. This comes after WestJet pilots issued a 72-hour strike notice on Monday, May 14, which was promptly followed by WestJet Group issuing a lockout notice.
While the union that represents WestJet pilots is still in negotiations with WestJet Group, further disruptions could take place as early as Friday, May 19 if a deal isn’t reached by then.
WestJet Group Begins to Cancel Flights
In the early hours of Thursday, May 18, WestJet Group posted a notice to its website stating that it has begun cancelling flights in anticipation of a WestJet and Swoop pilot strike. The notice states that the intention behind these cancellations is to not have aircraft stranded away from bases and to minimize the potential for passengers to be left stranded.
The notice also states that the two parties remain far apart in negotiations, which could indicate that there are more disruptions to come. Without an agreement, WestJet and Swoop pilots could begin job action in the early hours of Friday, May 19, which would have the effect of grounding WestJet and Swoop’s operations.
It’s worth noting that WestJet Encore, WestJet Link, and Sunwing flights aren’t affected by the situation. Passengers with upcoming travel on WestJet or Swoop flights should monitor their bookings closely, and be prepared for disruptions in the near future.
For the past nine months, the ALPA, the union that represents WestJet pilots, has been in negotiations with WestJet Group over a new contract. To date, the two sides have been unable to reach an agreement, which has lead to the possibility of upcoming major disruptions to WestJet and Swoop’s flight operations.
In April, pilots voted in favour of a strike mandate, and on Monday, May 15, issued a 72-hour strike notice to the airline. WestJet Group’s response was to issue a lockout notice, and preparations have begun in the event of a major disruption while ongoing negotiations take place.
Should the two sides remain divided and unable to reach an agreement, WestJet and Swoop’s operations will be significantly affected, and there will be a widespread disruption to the airlines’ current networks.
WestJet and Swoop pilots assert that…
Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Prince of Travel…