CALGARY, CANADA — The WestJet Group is bracing for potential labor strikes by the pilots of WestJet and Swoop, and in preparation, the airline has begun to pare down its network. 

This pre-emptive move is intended to prevent the issue of aircraft being left stranded in remote areas without support and allows the airline to proactively communicate with passengers and crew to mitigate the risk of them being left in limbo. The decision to cancel flights comes as the WestJet Group remains at loggerheads with the union over what it describes as unreasonable wage demands that could seriously impair the financial sustainability of the group's future operations.

Alexis von Hoensbroech, Chief Executive Officer of the WestJet Group, expressed disappointment over the situation. "It's extremely disheartening that we're in a position where we have to implement our contingency plan and subsequently scale down our network as a result of the strike notice served by ALPA and their refusal to accept a fair offer. We deeply regret the inconvenience this will cause to our passengers' travel plans and the communities and businesses that depend on our crucial air service," he said. "We're currently at a critical impasse with the union, leaving us with no choice but to start the difficult process of preparing for the possibility of a work stoppage."

With no tentative agreement in sight, the WestJet Group is methodically, gradually, and safely grounding the majority of its 737 and 787 fleet. Operations of WestJet Encore, WestJet Link, and a limited number of 737 flights will continue during this period.

Von Hoensbroech reiterated the company's commitment to negotiations, stating, "We remain at the bargaining table, fully committed to reaching an agreement as quickly as possible, but we're also prepared to endure labor action for as long as it takes to reach a fair resolution." He expressed regret over the inconvenience caused to passengers, adding, "Any impact on our passengers is too high a price to pay in these negotiations and we sincerely apologize that our valued guests have been caught in the crossfire of a conflict that could have been avoided."