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Innovation soars to new heights at WestJet's first Hackathon

#hackinthehangar brings creative minds to WestJet's Calgary campus

CALGARY, June 18, 2018 /CNW/ - WestJet is taking innovation to new heights by bringing together WestJetters, frequent WestJet fliers and some of the brightest minds in the technology industry at WestJet's first hackathon today at the hangar at the WestJet campus in Calgary.

#hackinthehangar attendees from Microsoft and HootSuite look out at the Calgary skyline from the WestJet hangar (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

By welcoming over 100 members of the tech industry from 17 companies to Calgary, WestJet's inaugural #hackinthehangar will challenge teams to co-create and build world-class digital solutions focused on WestJet's premium and global travellers. For more behind the scenes photos and videos from today's hackathon please visit WestJet's Twitter.

"The #hackinthehangar is focused on building digital solutions in a collaborative and fun environment, in a unique venue at a much greater velocity than ever before," said Alfredo C. Tan, WestJet's chief digital and innovation officer.  "This hackathon is an exciting step towards helping us think, move and act more like a tech company in some key parts of our business. This will help position WestJet as an industry leader in transforming the guest experience. Bringing this level of creative talent from some of the most innovative companies in the world to Calgary at this scale is incredibly unique. We're looking forward to seeing what some of the brightest minds in tech combined with our passionate employees and guests can create when given the opportunity to rise to the challenge and work together to win."

Attendees flying in to participate in the first-ever #hackinthehangar from across North America include teams from Adobe, Amazon, Deloitte Digital, Facebook, Google, Hootsuite, Huge Inc., IBM, LinkedIn, Media Experts/IPG, Microsoft, Panasonic Avionics, Sabre, Salesforce, ServiceNow, Snapchat and Twitter. Each team will also be complemented by two WestJetters and a premium guest traveller.

The hackathon concept – made popular in Silicon Valley – is a sprint-like event that computer programmers and software developers used to collaborate and create solutions in a short amount of time. Now inclusive of all areas of business, they also serve to create a fun and collaborative environment for people to come together to try out new ideas and build prototypes at a greater velocity than normal. Hackathons are about approaching things with a philosophy around continuous improvement with no finish line. This type of thinking is embedded deep in the culture of companies like Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Adobe and Google. 

As WestJet continues its drive towards becoming a truly global airline the introduction of its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which includes the airline's first-ever business class cabin, further highlights the increased importance and demand for personalized digital experiences that will redefine the air travel experience for guests.

This summer, WestJet's growing fleet will operate an average of 777 daily flights to 90 destinations. The airline recently made its first foray to the European mainland by launching daily direct flights between Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ) and Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) on May 31.

About WestJet
Together with WestJet's regional airline, WestJet Encore, we offer scheduled service to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe and to more than 175 destinations in over 20 countries through our airline partnerships. WestJet Vacations offers affordable, flexible vacations to more than 60 destinations and the choice of more than 800 hotels, resorts, condos and villas.  Members of the WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of flights and vacations packages to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods, and have access to Member Exclusive fares offering deals to WestJet destinations throughout our network and those of our partner airlines.

WestJet is proud to be recognized as Best Airline in Canada and Travellers' Choice winner – North America for 2017 and 2018 in the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines. The airline was also named the Travellers' Choice Winner – Economy, North America, 2018. All awards are based on authentic reviews from the travelling public on TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site. We are one of very few airlines globally that does not commercially overbook.

WestJet is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol WJA. For more information about everything WestJet, please visit  

Recent recognition includes:
2018/2017 Best Airline in Canada and Travellers' Choice Winner Mid-Sized and Low Cost Airlines – North America (TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines)
2018 Travellers' Choice Winner – Economy, North America (TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines)
2018/2017/2016 Canada's Most Trusted Airline (Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria)
2016 Canada's most reputable company for Corporate Social Responsibility (Reputation Institute)
2016/2015/2014/2013/2012 Ranked top three for Canadian Brands (Canadian Business Magazine)
2016/2015/2014/2013 WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard ranked #1 in Canada (MoneySense magazine)

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WestJet hackathon attendees from LinkedIn and Salesforce sharing ideas (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

WestJet’s Alfredo C. Tan at #hackinthehangar (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

Hackathon participants working on ideas in WestJet hangar (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

#hackinthehangar team working together at WestJet hackathon (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

SOURCE WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership

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