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What Exactly Makes WestJet So Successful?  
User currently offlinesilverDart01 From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 1 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 10554 times:

Hi everyone! This is my first posting although I've spent years reading this forum and have always been interested in the happenings of the airline situation up north. In an extremely difficult industry, WestJet seems to constantly be posting profits quarter after quarter while getting great reviews on their service. I did not realize that they have grown to over 90 737's now., they are a big player up there. What makes them so good? Does anyone have any WJ stories that would prove this? Just curious, I need to try them out sometime.
Thanks all

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19230 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 10498 times:

If you're interested in reading about them, I'd recommend this: Flight Path: How WestJet is Flying High in Canada's Most Turbulent Industry. It's from 2004, but it's a good, useful book.

http://www.amazon.com/Flight-Path-We...UTF8&s=books&qid=1301166079&sr=8-1



"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlinecedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8114 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 10378 times:

I flew em from Toronto to Winterpeg with a short stop in Thunder Bay. Gate staff at Pearson were extremely helpful in finding me a window at the last minute, that was very memorable. Even though I'm obsessed with getting a window, I could see how difficult it was for them (one flight number, one boarding pass, but the sole free window seat was a different seat on each sector), so I actually said it was fine, don't worry; but the agent insisted on making it all work, and succeeded.
Cabin crew were really friendly and nice, first officer invited me up front during the ground stop in T Bay for a chat about 707s. You name it, I liked it.

On a wider scale, I would say their success comes down to their ability to strike the right balance between LCC and full service. They're basically LCC but with assigned seating (see above), can't recall their baggage policy but it's probably something similar, where they split the difference between Ryanair and BA, say. I heard they were joining OneWorld, and while they are considered an LCC, I think they would be perfectly compatible with a global alliance, which you can't say about many LCCs.

I'm a big fan and will definitely fly them again on future visits to Canada - although the long lines at immigration and hostile treatment by the staff there has certainly reduced my enthusiasm for visiting Canada overall (and there is another thread for that, in which I have thus far only lurked, but will soon fall upon like a cartoon anvil onto a hapless coyote).



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineyegbey01 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1726 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 10319 times:

1) WJ basically succeeded because it filled a void when CP was dying and eventually taken over by Air Canada. In my opinion, this played a huge role in their success.

2) WJ and for a strange reason, the general public have always attacked Air Canada as an arrogant airline, unfriendly staff and most of all, a company that depends on Ottawa handing over endless cash to them - which is nothing but a big lie

3) They managed to associate their brand name with "cheaper fares" - which is not true as Air Canada pretty match their fares

4) They went after markets that Air Canada was never and still is never interested in serving - outside their main hubs. Example: Air Canada operates no flights from YEG to the US. WestJet operates 5 dailies to (1 LAX, 2 LAS, 1 PSP, 1 PHX) (and some flights to MCO and Hawaii). There are many more examples

5) Don't know the extent of how this may have helped WestJet succeed, but WestJet for years was spying on Air Canada's traffic and loads - which helped them tremendously in deciding on schedules and frequency, etc.... They ended up settling outside the court with AC


User currently offlinerikkus67 From Canada, joined Jun 2000, 1646 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 10230 times:

Quoting yegbey01 (Reply 3):
5) Don't know the extent of how this may have helped WestJet succeed, but WestJet for years was spying on Air Canada's traffic and loads - which helped them tremendously in deciding on schedules and frequency, etc.... They ended up settling outside the court with AC

That was a smear on their fairly untarnished image, which has all but been forgotten. The culture has always been light, and they generally do well in their hiring of staff. I have a number of friends here in YYC who fly for them.

When it comes to customer service, I give them a HUGE thumbs up: I flew with a friend whose first flight was on Westjet (YYC to YYZ and return). She went into full panic attack when boarding. The crew in a few quick moves had us moved from the emergency row (she is a woman of plus size) to the front of the plane. Of course, this was to monitor her...just in case... but the way in which they showed compassion was exemplary, and continued to do so throughout the flight!



AC.WA.CP.DL.RW.CO.WG.WJ.WN.KI.FL.SK.ACL.UA.US.F9
User currently offlineJetCaptain From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 236 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 10014 times:

Another reason .....

The CEO and his hip-hop dance moves.

http://www.youtube.com/wjowner#p/a/D5B69AB15D7265CC/0/rvuR5ZU8wLQ

.


User currently offlinegoblin211 From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 1209 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 9559 times:

Quoting JetCaptain (Reply 5):
http://www.youtube.com/wjowner#p/a/D5B69AB15D7265CC/0/rvuR5ZU8wLQ

So owners care, yeah? Never flown them either but I'm betting they're just smart like that in addition to the five reasons someone gave.



From the airport with love
User currently offlinePilotRecruit From Canada, joined Jan 2007, 100 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 9432 times:

A while back I used to work for them on the ramp and since I've moved on into flying the way I was treated by WestJet is still leaps and bounds ahead of the treatment I've received while flying for three fairly large airlines. They treat their staff like they treat their guests and it's that winning attitude that helps them succeed. Obviously they have a great business model and so do many airlines, but the extra dollars and cents they get at the end of each year is because a good majority of the people who work there want the airline to succeed not just so that they can have a job but because they genuinely care (no I wasn't a part of their new ad campaign!).

My only goal in aviation is to one day get back there and fly for them and I'm not alone in that desire. I think that sums it up in a way as to why they are so successful.



"Whether you think you can or you can't, either way you're right." Henry Ford
User currently offlineczbbflier From Canada, joined Jul 2006, 973 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 8735 times:

I think WestJet's key to success is "all of the above".

First, with CP's demise there was a vacuum for a Western Canadian airline. Culturally, Air Canada has always seen to be a child of Quebec (and Air Canada's empty threat to the NHL about violence recently is a good confirmation of that attitude) and there is considerable antipathy toward Quebec in places like Alberta.

Whether it is still seen to be suckling on the teet of the federal government or not, Air Canada is seen to be a fat-cat corporate conglomerate, rather than a feisty grass-roots entrepreneurial outfit. The image of the bush plane and the can-do attitude of the bush pilot rings true out West. That WestJet has managed to attach itself to that image is beyond me but they've managed to do that.

As an LCC (and that is slowly going by the wayside), WestJet never had to worry about the overhead of being a full service airline with all the interline obligations. Now that they are getting bigger and starting to have formal agreements and alliances with other airlines, WestJet is starting to shed that independent image.

Remeniscent of Wardair's cashback program, WestJet only recently introduced a frequent flier program of sorts. No points. Just vouchers for future purchase.

New equipment, little or no labour strife, as well as friendly, folksy service, have also gone a long way.

It's only a matter of time before WestJet is flying serious international routes.


User currently offlinerailker From Canada, joined Aug 2006, 171 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8537 times:

Was just reading a post over on AvCanada talking about Enerjet going down, and someone brought up a point about an interview Clive did at one time, where he said that WestJet's rising was a matter of awesome timing among other things ...

'That to do what WestJet did in '96, now in today's market situation, would be virtually impossible as the combination of timing with a cost structure advantage and low price of fuel back .58/liter Jet A1 then created the optimal conditions for WJ success combined with their service first attitude.'

And just look around the company, as other people have mentioned here. They have an image and are keeping it strong, keeping themselves up in the air by sheer willpower. In Serenity, Cap'n Reynolds said, "[the secret to flying] is love. You take a boat in the air that you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as a turnin' of the worlds." Same with this company, everyone in the company takes part in making and maintaining that image, and in turn gaining the public's love and trust.

A couple of years ago, stories poured out onto the news agencies as a winter storm crippled airports. Can't remember the exact numbers, but while Air Canada (for the first week or so until they caught on) was taking on the 'You're on your own' attitude towards passengers, WestJet was pouring out money for food/taxi vouchers, hotel rooms, some stories of employees paying with their own personal funds to get passengers somewhere for the nights. WestJet and their employees put out something like $2million CDN. A good loss in the short term, but you look at that situation between the two ... who would you choose to fly in the future given that record?

[Edited 2011-03-27 00:01:26]

CALGARY, Dec. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - WestJet Airlines today released information regarding the efforts made by its employees to get as many guests as possible home for Christmas during this historic and unprecedented holiday travel season. In total, WestJet has spent approximately $2 million in the past six days to care for guests stranded across the country.

[...]

Here is a breakdown of what WestJet spent between December 20 and today, in an effort to get our guests home.

- More than 6,000 hotel rooms were provided free of charge to stranded guests at a cost of more than $500,000 - More than 25,000 meal vouchers were provided to guests in airports at a cost of approximately $220,000. - $250,000 on ground transportation including taxis and chartered buses - Aircraft were chartered from third party airlines at a cost of approximately $325,000 to assist in clearing the backlog of stranded guests.

Above and beyond the dollars and cents, there are hundreds of stories of WestJetters who went the extra mile during this period, including one employee who ran 10 kilometres to work in minus 20 degree weather after his car broke down, and countless office staff who manned check-in counters, baggage belts and other locations.

http://www.redorbit.com/news/busines...eases_weather_recovery_statistics/


[Edited 2011-03-27 00:03:27]

User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 913 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 7217 times:

I have had nothing but great service with Westjet. Once I flew Calgary with my 6mo son, and he was understandably fussy. I kept him quiet, but they cabin crew seen how hard I was trying, and they took my son and carried him around, played with him for the better part of 2 hours! They even fed him! That is far above and beyond necessary service!

Another flight I took to Newfoundland, the Newfoundlander crew made the non Newfoundland crew member do the safety announcement with a Newfoundland accent! It was quite funny.


Bottom line, they have a great attitude for dealing with customers, and a great price. Whenever I fly, if I can get Westjet, I go for it.



As for Air Canada, they are now a better airline than they were in the 90s - 2000s, but they earned their reputation for grumpy battle axe flight attendants, and just not caring. They knew that if you wanted to fly in Canada, you had very little choice but to put-up and shut-up, and fly with them. Now that they have competition, they have stepped up their game, reigned in their grumpy crews, and have competitive prices, because some money is better than no money.


User currently offlineYYZAMS From Canada, joined Feb 2011, 228 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6932 times:

They are joining One World? Really?

User currently offlinewhiteguy From Canada, joined Nov 2003, 793 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6613 times:
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Quoting railker (Reply 9):
Was just reading a post over on AvCanada talking about Enerjet going down, and someone brought up a point about an interview Clive did at one time, where he said that WestJet's rising was a matter of awesome timing among other things ...

'That to do what WestJet did in '96, now in today's market situation, would be virtually impossible as the combination of timing with a cost structure advantage and low price of fuel back .58/liter Jet A1 then created the optimal conditions for WJ success combined with their service first attitude.'

If you owned an airline and didn't anymore competition starting up, wouldn't you say the same thing to make them think twice.

Yes WS has done well but they had an amazing amount of luck on there side when they started up. Pretty easy to expand when a major airline in your back yard disappears. Right place, right time!

Also great to have full access to the competitions load information through the their employee travel web site. Made it pretty easy for them to plan a major expansion. Could you imagine the up roar if AC had done this to WS?

Now that they are getting bigger the bills will get bigger and so will the problems. I wonder how long before employees start questioning the out sourcing of flying? Kinda tough to say your "proudly Canadian" when you have US crew operating your Alberta to Hawaii routes!


User currently offlinecylw From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 435 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6602 times:

I don't think CPs demise had much to do with Westjets early success. They operated 4 years before CP merged into AC. They went into places and stimulated the market. Some of their passengers were people who would have otherwise driven or taken the bus. Their fares were that low. Combine that with outstanding customer service and a business plan that kept costs low, employees happy (profit sharing, excellent culture).

User currently offline71Zulu From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3081 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6355 times:

Grab a copy of the WestJjet 737-700 DVD. I've got it and it's a good one.

http://www.worldairroutes.com/Westjet.html



The good old days: Delta L-1011s at MSY
User currently offlineYXXMIKE From Canada, joined Apr 2008, 310 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6269 times:

You can't also forget the impact that C3 had on the Canadian market. Once they shut their doors this and the demise of CP really pushed WS ahead much quicker. I think if C3 hadn't purchased Royal and was a lot more flush with cash they could have survived 9/11 but they had pushed too hard and where very unlucky. I have yet to see WS actually take a big step in terms of international expansion yet and I find that annoying.

User currently offlineyegbey01 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1726 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6174 times:

Quoting YXXMIKE (Reply 15):
You can't also forget the impact that C3 had on the Canadian market. Once they shut their doors this and the demise of CP really pushed WS ahead much quicker. I think if C3 hadn't purchased Royal and was a lot more flush with cash they could have survived 9/11 but they had pushed too hard and where very unlucky. I have yet to see WS actually take a big step in terms of international expansion yet and I find that annoying.

I think that WJ knows that once they go International - and by that I mean going beyond the traditional leisure markets in the US, Mexico and the Caribbean, it is going to be a completely different ball game. Their competitors will change, their CASM will likely to go up and they will need to brand themselves.

So instead, they have decided that they can grow on the backs of AA and other airlines whom they have signed agreements with (CX, BA and AF/KL)....But sooner or later, their shareholders are going to ask: Where do we go from here as they pretty much cover all major domestic routes and their future growth will need to come from going outside the Canadian borders.


User currently offlinekgaiflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 4282 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6085 times:
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Quoting czbbflier (Reply 8):
New equipment, little or no labour strife, as well as friendly, folksy service, have also gone a long way.

My experience has all been YVR-YLW, YYJ-YLW, and YYC-YLW.

Many of my travel mates know C6, TS, WG, and WS backwards and forwards. WS has its roots in flying in and out of Alberta and British Columbia with 732s and working with TS to get holiday travelers from place to place. Older WS flyers seem to remember that and are very loyal.


User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5098 posts, RR: 55
Reply 18, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6066 times:

Like the original poster, I have been fascinated by WestJet as well. True, I have not had too many flights on them, but have really enjoyed every time I have flown them. As some of you are aware, I fly fairly often in J globally - and WestJet is one of the few "lower frills" carriers, I would take in YCL in a heart beat. My favorite part was on a flight where I was on the last row - as people were getting off, I saw random people get up and start helping the crew clean the plane. Given my rather curious nature, I asked what was going on? One of the guys who managed revenue management proudly said that after every flight, all WestJet staff (Including all management) stay back and help clean the plane to ensure quick turn times and that they are part of the effort. As an airline consultant, I was super impressed and knew that this is an airline that will succeed in the world.

I have studied them a lot - and use them in a lot of my consulting engagements. So, let me add a few comments:

Quoting yegbey01 (Reply 3):
2) WJ and for a strange reason, the general public have always attacked Air Canada as an arrogant airline, unfriendly staff and most of all, a company that depends on Ottawa handing over endless cash to them - which is nothing but a big lie

= Actually, AC does get a ton of support from Ottawa and Quebec. While I am strictly against EK's capacity dumping, the fact that the government went to bat for AC is another data point on the support AC receives. Also note at each airport, they get a treatment for being Canada's carrier. I don't think the government would let AC fail - it is too important for
Quoting YXXMIKE (Reply 15):
I have yet to see WS actually take a big step in terms of international expansion yet and I find that annoying.

= I think they eventually will. I have met some of their network planning team and they are very good. I also think they must given the nature of the market they are in.

Quoting whiteguy (Reply 12):

Yes WS has done well but they had an amazing amount of luck on there side when they started up. Pretty easy to expand when a major airline in your back yard disappears. Right place, right time!

= I think they had luck when they started - but it has been pure good strategy beyond that.

Quoting whiteguy (Reply 12):
Also great to have full access to the competitions load information through the their employee travel web site. Made it pretty easy for them to plan a major expansion. Could you imagine the up roar if AC had done this to WS?

= As someone else mentioned, that was in 2004 and was a little blimp that everyone has moved beyond. Moreover, given Star Alliance in place, I can argue AC has the same amount of data that gives them a tremendous advantage - especially, cross border.

Quoting whiteguy (Reply 12):

Now that they are getting bigger the bills will get bigger and so will the problems. I wonder how long before employees start questioning the out sourcing of flying? Kinda tough to say your "proudly Canadian" when you have US crew operating your Alberta to Hawaii routes

= Oh come on. They have 1 757 leased for 3 months or so to give additional capacity because they don't have enough. I don't think you should wave these kind of negative things to detract from reality.

I am glad they don't have an union. AC has shown what a union environment can do.

Saludos,
A.

[Edited 2011-03-27 10:10:06]


Live, and let live.
User currently offlineAC_B777 From Canada, joined Aug 2000, 809 posts, RR: 13
Reply 19, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 6051 times:

Quoting czbbflier (Reply 8):
As an LCC (and that is slowly going by the wayside)

That's been gone a while now. I have regularily checked ticket prices between AC & WS over the last few years, and 9 times out of 10, AC has been cheaper....sometimes by only a few dollars, but sometimes by a lot.
I took my wife and kids to Florida a few weeks ago and I shopped around looking for the best price and flight options. I checked AC, WS and travel agencies, and AC's prices always came out cheaper.
We were flying into RSW (staying in Naples) and the total cost was $1500 round trip seat sale on AC (and no. I did not use any AC employee discount). WS best price was $3200, and that was into FLL. They did'nt have anything available into RSW on or near our travel dates. The best travel agent price was $1800 on AC into FLL and $3600 on WS into FLL.
WS just started non-stop YYT-MCO back in Feb and I was looking at prices, and they were well over $3000 round trip.
My best friend works at WS and he has even told me that fares between the two airlines are not very different anymore. So I would hardly call WS a LCC airline.



In life, some days you are the bug..... some days you are the windshield!
User currently offlinewhiteguy From Canada, joined Nov 2003, 793 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5920 times:
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Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 18):
= As someone else mentioned, that was in 2004 and was a little blimp that everyone has moved beyond. Moreover, given Star Alliance in place, I can argue AC has the same amount of data that gives them a tremendous advantage - especially, cross border.

Are you kidding? AC does not have access to specific seat and pax loads that WS had looking at AC's employee travel site. They even created a program to constantly access the system.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 18):
= Oh come on. They have 1 757 leased for 3 months or so to give additional capacity because they don't have enough. I don't think you should wave these kind of negative things to detract from reality.

Where does it stop? You allow it to happen once and it may happen again. Maybe not but I'd be careful!

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 18):
Actually, AC does get a ton of support from Ottawa and Quebec.

Really? How so? I would someone to show proof of this! AC has been private since '88.


User currently offlineKamloops From Canada, joined Nov 2010, 79 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5568 times:

West Jet customer service and resolving customer conflict is top notch,

I remember when a guest of mine, was not able to land in Kamlooops due to weather, they put all the guests up in a hotel and provided meal vouchers.,

I know if the guest was travelling with Air Canada, it would have been a different story, and would have been responsible for all those extra costs.

The concern with West Jet is their scheduling provided a lot of overnight in Toronto, if travelling from the West Coast, to the East Coast

as well as the lack of a Business class product, that turns away some business travllers.


User currently offlineWJV04 From Canada, joined Jun 2001, 584 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4886 times:

Quoting whiteguy (Reply 12):
Also great to have full access to the competitions load information through the their employee travel web site. Made it pretty easy for them to plan a major expansion. Could you imagine the up roar if AC had done this to WS?

Now that they are getting bigger the bills will get bigger and so will the problems. I wonder how long before employees start questioning the out sourcing of flying? Kinda tough to say your "proudly Canadian" when you have US crew operating your Alberta to Hawaii routes!

1. This was years ago, before the -200s we gone, WestJet was no where near the size they are now, thus being not as damaging as you may now think. Compensation was paid to charity.

2. WestJet has placed additional "internal" crew members to ensure the WestJet style "Canadian" service is present on board, in addition to the NAA crew members. Maintaining the Alberta-Hawiaii market is critical to future success in holding the Canada-hawaii market in general. I personally believe that this is a experiment for WJA and utilizing medium size aircraft such as the 757, which IMO will lead to a potential 787 order.

[Edited 2011-04-03 17:18:10]

[Edited 2011-04-03 17:41:14]

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25332 posts, RR: 22
Reply 23, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4808 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 18):
As an airline consultant, I was super impressed and knew that this is an airline that will succeed in the world.

They also have to face some problems and challenges:

1. Second-rate frequent flyer program compared to AC's Aeroplan and it's millions of members and Star Alliance benefits.

2. No business class and no airport lounges, meaning no ability to compete with AC for the high-yield traffic.

3. Low market share (even behind Porter) in the largest business travel markets YYZ-YUL and YYZ-YOW. While WS is adding some flights this summer, the schedule doesn't come close to matching AC and Porter, And they especially face the problems mentioned in #2 in those markets. There must be a huge difference between AC and WS yields in those markets.

4. No aircraft smaller than the 737 which limits their ability to expand beyond their current Canadian network. That gives AC a monopoly in many smaller markets with Jazz CRJs, Dash 8s and their 3rd level operators (Air Georgian etc.) using Beech 1900s. And AC mainline E-175s (73 seats) and E-190s (93 seats) can also more effectively serve smaller markets than even WS 737-600s (119 seats).

5. As others have mentioned, AC has significantly improved their service over the past couple of years, especially since their current CEO arrived.


User currently offlineYVRLTN From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 2469 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4735 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 23):
4. No aircraft smaller than the 737 which limits their ability to expand beyond their current Canadian network. That gives AC a monopoly in many smaller markets with Jazz CRJs, Dash 8s and their 3rd level operators (Air Georgian etc.) using Beech 1900s. And AC mainline E-175s (73 seats) and E-190s (93 seats) can also more effectively serve smaller markets than even WS 737-600s (119 seats).

One of the keys to their success is the one aircraft type. If they compete on this end of the market with Jazz, and as other have mentioned have aspirations of going international with widebodies, suddenly they have 3-4 fleet types and will therefore start to have the same cost base as AC. I know codeshares cost money, but they have already done so with international airlines, I think they should do the same with regional players to cover some of these markets, like Pacific Coastal in YVR and Air Creebec in YUL for example. This will be way cheaper than adding fleet types, and you can be sure when you start getting different pilot pools labor issues will pop up overnight! There might be the love i nthe air right now when you get to fly a 737 or a 737, but when that equality has gone, I bet it wont take long for things to go sour.

Quoting Kamloops (Reply 21):
West Jet customer service and resolving customer conflict is top notch,

Personally, while for the most part it is good, some of my worst airline 'customer conflict resolution's have been from WS. Au contraire, I have only good things to say about AC and can wheel out far more warm fuzzy feeling anecdotes about AC customer service than WS's. I have no drum to bang, Im from England and this is my personal experience since 2003. Some of the Jazz CRA crews particularly have been superb. It just seems from posts here that WS can do no wrong and AC are just the Candian Soviet Aeroflot and therefore crap, when I have seen personally this is not the case.

Quoting AC_B777 (Reply 19):
That's been gone a while now. I have regularily checked ticket prices between AC & WS over the last few years, and 9 times out of 10, AC has been cheaper....sometimes by only a few dollars, but sometimes by a lot.

Have found the same. Often the fare is identical, but all the add ons come out slightly more with WS. If I am paying, I always go for the best schedule which have been the occasions when I have flown WS. If there is no rush, the plane geek comes out in me and I go for the aircraft - a 77L/77W or A333 on a YYZ/YVR run is a no brainer, just coz...  Or if AC are using an E190, they get my $$, what a great aircraft, no middle seats.

Quoting YXXMIKE (Reply 15):
You can't also forget the impact that C3 had on the Canadian market. Once they shut their doors this and the demise of CP really pushed WS ahead much quicker

   Look at all the WS Hawaii and leisure routes - they were operated by C3 before. And the host of other defunct Canadian carriers.

Quoting whiteguy (Reply 12):
Yes WS has done well but they had an amazing amount of luck on there side when they started up. Pretty easy to expand when a major airline in your back yard disappears. Right place, right time!

Certainly. C3 as mentioned by Mike as well as the AC/CP merger were huge factors. Cheap 732's no one else wanted. Cheap gas to run them. One thing I dont get as a Brit coming to this awesome country which seems so friendly is the east vs west thing. I really do see people flying WS just because they are not from YYZ or YUL   



Follow me on twitter for YVR movements @vernonYVR
25 WJV04 : In WestJets defence, Beginning in 2006, WestJet began opening lounges in YYC (x2), YVR (x2), YUL, YQB, YYZ, YWG. They are making a small baby steps u
26 Viscount724 : But you have to pay a fee to use those lounges. I was referring to free lounge access for business class and elite-level FFP members.
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