WestJet, Canada’s second-largest carrier behind Air Canada is a major low fare airline based in Calgary that operates over 150 aircraft to over 100 destinations across the Americas and Europe.

The airline would be left with around 10,000 staff after they permanently eliminated the roles of 3,333 employees recently. Prior to COVID-19 the airline had employed around 14,000 employees and had let go of several of them since March.

Further cost reduction measures the airline made include consolidating contact centre activities to a single location in Calgary, they will also outsource airport operations at all domestic airports except for Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver & Edmonton. The business would also be restructured to create a more efficient business to combat the issues cause by the global pandemic.

WestJet’s Chief stated that they have managed to cut 60% of their costs, but with several issues the carrier has faced in the last four months it has exacerbated the problems for the airline.

CANADA’s System Capacity (data: w/c 26-Aug-2019)

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Source: Blue Swan Daily

As per the above data, WestJet has a big share of Canada’s system capacity of aorund 19%. However, Air Canada accounts for a bigger chunk at around 44.5%. The two are fundamentally operating as a duopoly in the Canadian market and have been at it for several years now.

WestJet’s Passenger Traffic

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Source: Blue Swan Daily

WestJet has been able to significantly grow their passenger traffic over the current decade, with a 10% Year-on-year growth in 2017. The airline had begun introducing Boeing 787 aircraft which would’ve helped them grow their network, but with demand not expected to recover for a few years, it’ll be interesting to see how WestJet comes out post COVID-19.

Source: Cirium