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WestJet Airlines has struck a deal with their pilots which may allow them to start expanding their wide-body fleet sooner instead of later.
This Calgary-based airline, which had launched a service to London this May, has been hinting at being interested in competing with the likes of Air Canada for long-haul flights. They might even launch flights to Asia or South America in the near future.
But, the existing contract between the pilots and WestJet limits them to four wide-body 767’s which is already has. This makes it necessary for a new salary negotiation round before the international expansion plans can proceed.
The company has signed an agreement with the pilots on the weekend which could get rid of this hurdle said Saretsky during a conference call with some analysts. He said that pilots need to vote on this contract but, if ratified, WestJet is going to announce additional details on their wide-body fleet and their international ambitions.
As soon as the outcome of the vote is known, they will certainly be in a better position to discuss the future of wide-bodies at WestJet.
WestJet also recently publicly put a value on the impact of the carbon tax of Alberta which comes into effect from the 1st of Jan. The company said this levy which applies to jet fuel that is purchased for flights within Alberta is going to cost the company around $3 million next year.
Saretsky said that WestJet is already paying $60 million every year in federal and provincial fuel taxes. He said if the Trudeau government was going to go ahead with the tax, it could end up to an additional cost of $60-$70 million for the airline. This cost was going to reflect on the price of tickets.
This company based out of Calgary said they earned a net income of $116 million or 97 cents per share in the quarter ending Sep 30.