News Releases

WestJet and Southwest delay code-share implementation
Canada NewsWire
    WestJet will transition resources to begin interline revenue generation
    with Air France and KLM

CALGARY, May 25 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced that Southwest's progress on the implementation of the code-share program will be delayed. With the recessionary revenue environment, Southwest has decided to re-direct a portion of its resources dedicated to the code-share project towards other near-term revenue opportunities.

"WestJet understands the decision made by Southwest. Our continued US expansion is a key strategy for our airline, but code-sharing is only one element of this. Both airlines remain committed to minimizing delays and are focused on generating revenue as quickly as possible," stated Dr. Hugh Dunleavy, WestJet's Executive Vice-President Commercial Distribution. "We have already implemented our distribution agreement and are close to starting a cargo program with Southwest."

"In response to the current economic environment, Southwest is focusing its immediate attention on several critical objectives, including increasing our revenues," said Bob Jordan, Southwest Airline's Executive Vice-President, Strategy and Planning. "While I am very excited about working to deliver new incremental revenue opportunities for 2009, it will have an impact on our timing for code-share delivery. We remain absolutely committed to our partnership with WestJet, and to code-sharing in general, and will do all we can to minimize the impact on our previously stated code-share plans."

Dr. Hugh Dunleavy further commented, "We are looking forward to code-sharing with Southwest. We remain committed to our interline and code-sharing initiatives both in the US and globally."

"WestJet's implementation of the Sabre reservation system, which is key to code-sharing, is continuing on track and will be ready for launch in the fourth quarter of 2009," continued Dr. Hugh Dunleavy. "We are pleased with the significant progress being made on our rewards and credit card programs, and look forward to their launch once the reservation system is up and running."

Caution regarding forward-looking statements

Certain information set forth in this press release, including information regarding the duration of delay of the implementation of the Southwest codeshare agreement, the status of and implementation plans regarding the commercial relationship between WestJet and AF/KLM, the status of WestJet's discussions regarding further expansion opportunities and the timing of WestJet's launch of the Sabre reservation system, rewards program and co-branded credit card, contain forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond WestJet's control. These forward-looking statements are based on WestJet's current implementation and operational plans but may vary based on factors including but not limited to the ability of the parties to reach a mutually agreeable definitive agreement, customer demand, general economic conditions, obtaining necessary regulatory approvals, if any, and the availability of sufficient technology and human resources. These and additional risk factors are discussed in WestJet's most recent Annual Information Form (AIF) and in other documents WestJet files from time to time with securities regulatory authorities, which are available through the Internet on WestJet's SEDAR profile at Readers are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements as actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking statements. WestJet does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, except as is required by law.

About WestJet

WestJet is Canada's leading high-value low-cost airline offering scheduled service throughout its 55-city North American and Caribbean network. Named one of Canada's most admired corporate cultures in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, WestJet pioneered low-cost flying in Canada. WestJet offers increased legroom, leather seats and live seatback television provided by Bell TV on its modern fleet of 79 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. With future confirmed deliveries for an additional 42 aircraft, bringing its fleet to 121 by 2013, WestJet strives to be the number one choice for travellers.