Travel

Westjet Cutting Routes and Staff

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 19th, 2020 2:26 pm
[OP]
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Westjet Cutting Routes and Staff

Another airline realizing more of the COVID impact.

"WestJet Airlines Ltd. is suspending operations to four cities in Atlantic Canada and reducing service to others in the region as the pandemic continues to take a toll on the airline industry.

WestJet said Wednesday it will indefinitely halt routes to Fredericton, Moncton, N.B, Sydney, N.S., and Charlottetown, while paring down service to Halifax and St. John’s, N.L.

The airline is also suspending operations between Toronto and Quebec City.

The cuts eliminate more than 100 flights weekly starting Nov. 2, and remove nearly 80 per cent of WestJet’s seat capacity from the Atlantic region, WestJet said."

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/wes ... e76fb94aee
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
38 replies
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Dec 28, 2007
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No surprise here. Makes. I sense to fly a nearly empty plane to these locations. Sucks for the airline staff and the people who need to go there though
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Jul 30, 2015
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Not good for anyone... Sad that our federal government has been totally useless in helping the sector in any way. In fact, they dont care at all.
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
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Aug 29, 2011
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What would you have them do?

Even the Trump administration has been balking at a US airline bailout.
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Aug 3, 2017
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Latitude57 wrote: Not good for anyone... Sad that our federal government has been totally useless in helping the sector in any way. In fact, they dont care at all.
What do you mean? The Atlantic provinces have essentially closed their border to the rest of Canada. You can only fly in as an essential worker or with an exemption. Not to mention that in a good year traffic to/from Atlantic Canada falls off a cliff for the November-April period which is why PD/WS already only serve some of these stations seasonally without covid. The Atlantic bubble makes a lot of sense for those who live there, but it means that transportation companies aside from those bringing essential goods are not really welcome.

I'm all for federal assistance for airports, NAV Canada and airlines, but not to keep empty planes flying to these destinations.
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Oct 8, 2020
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I was just going to post this. On the same note Porter Airlines is also on thin ice and is also cutting routes due to Covid-19. I wouldn't be surprised if these airlines fold permanently when the Covid dust settles.
[OP]
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RubiconX wrote: I was just going to post this. On the same note Porter Airlines is also on thin ice and is also cutting routes due to Covid-19. I wouldn't be surprised if these airlines fold permanently when the Covid dust settles.
Porter announced it is delaying restart till December 15. https://www.thewhig.com/news/local-news ... 442b2dfedb

Will Porter survive? Who knows on that one.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
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Aug 3, 2017
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tripwire wrote: These airlines, especially AC, need to realize their industry is fading in this new world, and thus need to make much tougher decisions. Time to sell and lease-back more aircrafts, cut much more staff, (especially higher ups), and start looking at shedding the lucrative routes they're desperate to hang on to. Can't sit there and cry for handouts while thinking this is just a bump in the road. It's a losing investment for anymore tax payer dollars being wasted on an industry reluctant to scale down to the new requirements of the world. Other businesses with 100 stores will cut down to 50 realizing the demand is dwindled. AC is operating at about 10% of it's OPS, yet wants to maintain well over 50% of their staff and assets, all which adds to their high costs. Government already has been providing CEWS, and turning their backs on over 2 billions owed to customers. That's more than enough help. Time to cut to what the new demand is, and what will be for a very long time. Reality check.
The thread is about Westjet. I would argue that AC have done much of what you’ve suggested. They immediately retired the 763/E190 fleets, did mass layoffs, cut regional ops and renegotiated the TS acquisition.

They’re not happy with border restrictions and lack of govt assistance compared to other countries, but I’m not sure their bellyaching has been over done, they’re certainly not as publicly vociferous as restaurant and other business associations.

What I’ve said above pretty much applies to WS too, though they have been a little more public with their frustrations.
[OP]
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tripwire wrote: These airlines, especially AC, need to realize their industry is fading in this new world, and thus need to make much tougher decisions. Time to sell and lease-back more aircrafts, cut much more staff, (especially higher ups), and start looking at shedding the lucrative routes they're desperate to hang on to. Can't sit there and cry for handouts while thinking this is just a bump in the road. It's a losing investment for anymore tax payer dollars being wasted on an industry reluctant to scale down to the new requirements of the world. Other businesses with 100 stores will cut down to 50 realizing the demand is dwindled. AC is operating at about 10% of it's OPS, yet wants to maintain well over 50% of their staff and assets, all which adds to their high costs. Government already has been providing CEWS, and turning their backs on over 2 billions owed to customers. That's more than enough help. Time to cut to what the new demand is, and what will be for a very long time. Reality check.
I disagree. Hardship yes, fade away, no.

The airline industry is not even close to "fading in this new world". It is, at present, restricted by pandemic but it will very quickly recover. It is far too important in todays and tomorrows world to fade away. Smaller and low cost airlines living on singular clientele may fade but the bigger ones will be there and may even be stronger. Regional airlines may not be able to survive without being subsidiaries of larger airlines.

Yes, there is hardship now but that is an imposed, as opposed to less demand, issue. The airline industry will quickly rebound once travel restrictions are lifted. Business travel will get the airlines back up and running as soon as it can.

Having said that, the tourism industry may be affected for a much longer time as people may still be adverse to traveling because of unknowns.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
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tripwire wrote: These airlines, especially AC, need to realize their industry is fading in this new world, and thus need to make much tougher decisions. Time to sell and lease-back more aircrafts, cut much more staff, (especially higher ups), and start looking at shedding the lucrative routes they're desperate to hang on to. Can't sit there and cry for handouts while thinking this is just a bump in the road. It's a losing investment for anymore tax payer dollars being wasted on an industry reluctant to scale down to the new requirements of the world. Other businesses with 100 stores will cut down to 50 realizing the demand is dwindled. AC is operating at about 10% of it's OPS, yet wants to maintain well over 50% of their staff and assets, all which adds to their high costs. Government already has been providing CEWS, and turning their backs on over 2 billions owed to customers. That's more than enough help. Time to cut to what the new demand is, and what will be for a very long time. Reality check.
I dont agree with you, I think we should bail out the airline industry which I consider more important than the auto industry. Who cares if GM folds, we have Hyundai and Mazda. But if airlines fold how are we suppose to travel around the world?
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tripwire wrote: You will need to bail them out continuously, as you will see in the U.S. They will continue to require blank cheques with no end in sight. They need to downscale to the new norm, so they can survive like so many other businesses. Problem is they want to keep it close to status quo, and expect handouts to keep it that way. Again, OPS is at 10%, so explain why they are well above 50% staff levels, routes, and assets?
What ? Together, they laidoff tens of thousands workers, retired 100+ aircraft, cut many hundreds of flights a day yet they are loosing billions because of fix cost such as maintenance, infrastructure, training, etc. You really think they are keeping close to status quo?

They need a bailout, no doubt about it. And you know what? By not helping the industry, we will end up much worse in the long term. It takes time and ressources to build such an industry and you cant just let them fail because of a pandemic. Once this is over, you dont want the industry dead.
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
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Oct 14, 2005
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In a just world, these airlines would be able to sue the government successfully for heavily damaging their businesses.

Back when we knew a lot less about the danger of this virus, some of the draconian measures were somewhat plausible in the name of public safety, now there is just no excuse.

The Spanish flu this wasn't.
[OP]
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tripwire wrote: Businesses have discovered that you don't need to rely on travel, as the remote workplace and video-conferencing technology tools have shown them a new way. Corporations have learned to adapt, and I severely doubt they will just revert back to the previous norm when a cheaper and efficient means of conducting business has been opened up to them. You also have to consider that many corporations have incorporated budget constraints in their new business model going forward.

https://corporatetravelcommunity.com/pu ... he-future/



Any predictions on recovery are based on conjecture and previous available data. Problem is, that previous data only accounts for a fraction of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic is causing on this industry and others. This is previously unchartered territory, and much worse than anything ever encountered. It really is a reality check going forward.
I believe you are wrong in your assumption. While businesses have had to find a way to conduct it's operations, travel is still very essential to their business.

Sales functions alone require travel to customers and existing clients. Of course companies have had to revise their budgets...if they cannot sell or function as before, they need to make all sorts of changes. this is true for all businesses not just these requiring travel. Restaurants have had the most change to deal with and their budgets and operations have been impacted severely too.

Of course Q22020 was a disaster for the airlines, that is when the pandemic hit most countries and government flight restrictions were imposed and the tourist travel was the one that most impacted their bottom line.

All predictions and forecasts are always based on previously available data and conjecture of future movement. As long as travel restrictions will be in place forecasts will be low and limited by the airlines as well as business but, when they are lifted, i am certain businesses will be back to travel. Face to face is far better than any Zoom meeting. LOL
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
[OP]
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tripwire wrote: Staffing levels are well over 50%, (some dpts are at 70%), yet the OPS sits at around 10%. There are dozens of aircrafts sitting ouside the hangars here in YYZ, and parked elsewhere in Canada and USA bringing in absolutely zero income. As someone who is still in the industry, I see room for many more cuts in staffing, aircraft sales, and routes. All of these expenses can be cut substantially, but they are holding out. And once you start bailing out, it won't stop. What do other companies do when demand reaches 10%?
Not sure where you get your statistics from but, you clearly do not understand what is required to keep aircraft flying and in operations.
One aircraft flying 5 hours per day (or 2 hours or 10 hours) requires a lot of people just to operate and maintain and clean and administer. Pilots, crew, mechanics, technicians, baggage people, refuelers, gate personnel, ticket sellers, food services, cleaners, ground operations and more, ....all for one aircraft. Whether it is at 10% of former operations or 50% of former operations, it requires many people to operate.
What other companies do when they reach 10% depends on what the company does. A gas station still requires all it's personnel even if business is down to 10%, a grocery store still requires it's people even if business is down.
You are very uninformed when it comes to how businesses are run and why they are operating the way they do.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
[OP]
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tripwire wrote: Maybe you misunderstood. Company doesn't need as many station attendants, groomers, and sales agents to handle the daily arrivals. That comes from my eyes daily when I show up to work. Anyone who works in STOC Centre will know the same.
I understood, I think it is you that is misinformed. Air Canada has already cut it's ties with regional carriers....the station attendants, sales agents and staff at those locations.
The staff of those carriers are not Air Canada employees. As others have already told you, Air Canada has dramatically cut it's staff, services and aircraft fleet.
While STOC ( Air Canada Station Terminal Operations Control ) is operational, it does not imply that all those monitored terminals are Air Canada facilities. Even those working there need to stay there and be on payroll regardless how many flights there are.

As far the topic, Westjet is now having to do the same. they held out longer than Air Canada in some areas but they can no longer keep the staff on payroll.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.

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