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ACV says it is “well-equipped to support the trade” as WS strike deadline nears

ACV says it is “well-equipped to support the trade” as WS strike deadline nears

Thursday, May 17, 2018

MONTREAL — Air Canada Vacations says it is prepared to support the travel trade community “in order to limit any potential disruptions for the travelling public and ease travellers’ concerns about the uncertainty resulting from the strike vote mandate at WestJet”.

Dana Gain, Senior Director of Sales, Groups and Partnerships at Air Canada Vacations, says, “We understand the potential challenges the travel agent community may be faced with and we’re committed to supporting our travel trade partners.

“With access to our extensive inventory and vast selection of leisure travel options in hundreds of destinations, we are prepared to accommodate travellers and help our partners book through Air Canada Vacations with confidence.”

As reported last week Air Canada has added capacity on key transcontinental routes by up-gauging aircraft on certain flights from Toronto to Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa, Halifax, from Vancouver to Calgary, Edmonton, and from Calgary to Montreal.

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Gain adds that Air Canada Vacations offers connectors from 64 Canadian cities, as well as hotels, resorts, cruises, tours, car rentals, excursions and more, for travel agents to assist passengers who may be disrupted by this situation. “We look forward to providing travellers with vacations throughout Mexico and the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, Canada and the USA.”

ACV’s CareFlex plan, when purchased at the time of booking, allows clients to change, transfer their package or cancel their booking with a refund before their departure date.

ACV advises agents looking for more information on availability for individual or group reservations to contact ACV’s res department at 1-877-752-7710 or login into any external systems.

WestJet’s negotiations with its pilots union continue this week in Halifax. Last week the pilots voted 91% in favour of giving their union a strike mandate.

Although the pilots will be in a legal position to start job action on May 19, the union says it has committed to not strike over the Victoria Day long weekend as bargaining continues.

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WestJet is working on contingency plans to minimize any impact to its passengers in the event of a pilots strike and says that WestJet will offer passengers a full refund if travel plans are disrupted.

Lyell Farquharson, Vice President Sales & Distribution, WestJet Airlines notes that if the ALPA’s Master Executive Council (MEC), the union representing WestJet’s pilots, decides to call for a strike, they are required to provide WestJet with a 72-hour notice of the strike.

“Strike mandates are a relatively common collective bargaining tactic. It does not mean that a strike will take place,” says Farquharson, adding that the strike authorization does not include WestJet Encore.

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