November 11, 2005 16:03 ET

WestJet Reacts to New Open Skies Treaty

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 11, 2005) - WestJet (TSX:WJA) CEO Clive Beddoe commented today on the Federal Government's announcement that it has completed a new Open Skies Agreement with the United States.

"I think this is a good step forward for our industry and for consumers, though of course there is still much work to be done by both governments in order to ensure the Agreement is a success." said Beddoe. "I do, however, want to congratulate Transport Minister Lapierre for reaching this Agreement with the United States."

For the new Open Skies deal to reach its full potential for consumers and industry alike, the US and Canadian governments must ensure that a level playing field is established for all carriers, for example by providing fair and adequate access to American airports and airport facilities. During the negotiations, both countries have agreed they are willing to tackle access problems.

"Ensuring fair access is crucial to the ultimate success or failure of Open Skies. I certainly look forward to working with the Minister and the necessary government departments to do just that", said Beddoe.

Negotiated in Washington over the past week, the Agreement will take effect in September 2006 and will be subject to review three years after implementation. WestJet supports the September start date and subsequent review.

"This will provide an opportunity for all carriers to examine their route networks, and to develop and market new destinations for Canadian travelers," said Sean Durfy, Executive Vice President for Sales and Marketing at WestJet."It will also provide the opportunity to examine new strategic alliances with other carriers."

WestJet is Canada's leading low-cost airline offering scheduled service throughout its 35-city North American network. Named Canada's most respected corporation for customer service in 2005, WestJet pioneered low-cost high-value flying in Canada. With increased legroom and leather seats on its modern fleet of Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft, and live seatback television provided by Bell ExpressVu on its 737-700 fleet, WestJet strives to be the number one choice for travelers.

Contact Information

  • WestJet
    Media Relations
    Gillian Bentley
    (403) 444-2615
    Website: www.westjet.com