WestJet to resume flights to Phoenix-Mesa; CEO “disappointed” over pilot unionization vote

WestJet to resume flights to Phoenix-Mesa; CEO “disappointed” over pilot unionization vote

CALGARY — WestJet will once again operate flights to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport from Alberta this fall following a successful inaugural season.

Twice-weekly nonstop flights from Calgary will resume on Nov. 9 with a weekly flight from Edmonton beginning Nov. 11. Calgary-Mesa flies Thursdays and Sundays, while Edmonton-Mesa flies on Saturdays.

Seats are already available for purchase.

“The Phoenix East Valley has proven to be a popular market for Canadian air travellers. The new Gateway Airport service complements our existing schedule at Phoenix Sky Harbor and provides air travellers with exceptional connectivity between the entire Valley and many Canadian markets,” said Brian Znotins, WestJet Vice-President Network Planning, Alliances and Corporate Development. “We are pleased to be returning to Gateway Airport in November and look forward to another successful winter season.”

In other WestJet news, more than 1,400 of its pilots voted for representation by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) on May 12. With 97% of eligible pilots participating in the election, 62% voted in favour of joining the world’s largest pilot union.

WestJet union vote

“WestJet pilots told us that it’s time for a certified union and the Organizing Committee worked hard to build unity within their group,” said ALPA president Captain Tim Canoll. “With ALPA representation, pilot unity plays an integral role in supporting the process of negotiating a legally binding collective agreement.”

The Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) will now approve the election results. Once the Board issues the certification order, ALPA will become the exclusive bargaining agent for the WestJet pilots. The Board normally issues a certification order within one to two weeks.

On the outcome of the unionization vote, WestJet’s President and CEO Gregg Saretsky said: “We are disappointed with the outcome of the vote but we are dedicated to moving forward as a team. We will now focus on engaging in constructive dialogue with ALPA and concentrate on the continued success of the organization for guests, employees and shareholders.”

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