News Releases

WestJet Releases Weather Recovery Statistics

Airline spent millions to ensure guests were home for Christmas

CALGARY, Dec. 26 /CNW/ - WestJet Airlines today released information
regarding the efforts made by its employees to get as many guests as possible
home for Christmas during this historic and unprecedented holiday travel
season. In total, WestJet has spent approximately $2 million in the past six
days to care for guests stranded across the country.
The most severe and widespread winter weather across Canada in nearly 40
years wreaked havoc with travel coast to coast, causing numerous airport
closures and record numbers of flights delays and cancellations.
Ken McKenzie, WestJet's Executive Vice-President, Operations, commented,
"This week was WestJet's finest hour, despite the delays and cancellations. We
provided for our guests in their time of need and truly demonstrated WestJet's
caring attitude. This was an unprecedented situation and we responded in an
unprecedented way."
"Airline tariffs do not require airlines to provide meal vouchers or
hotel accommodations if the flight cancellation is the result of inclement
weather," Mr. McKenzie explained. "At WestJet, we believe it's important to do
the right thing. During this situation of severe weather, uncertainty and the
time of year, the right thing was for us to provide guest relief in the form
of meal vouchers, hotel accommodations and transfers. It is our belief that we
are the only airline in Canada to provide this level of service to its
"Operating safely was and continues to be our first priority," continued
Mr. McKenzie. "It comes down to lots of smart, resourceful and selfless people
stepping forward to keep our planes flying. As an example, our airport and
procurement teams were able to secure an adequate supply of de-icing fluid
which allowed us to continue operations in and out of Vancouver."
At one point in time, in the wake of the severe weather, WestJet was
faced with as many as 4,500 guests who would not have made it home in time for
Christmas if the airline did not demonstrate its can-do attitude.
"We regret we were unable to get this number down to zero," lamented Ken
McKenzie. Despite our best efforts, 130 guests remained to be flown, which is
the equivalent of one flight, as of December 25th."
Here is a breakdown of what WestJet spent between December 20 and today,
in an effort to get our guests home.

- More than 6,000 hotel rooms were provided free of charge to stranded
guests at a cost of more than $500,000
- More than 25,000 meal vouchers were provided to guests in airports at
a cost of approximately $220,000.
- $250,000 on ground transportation including taxis and chartered buses
- Aircraft were chartered from third party airlines at a cost of
approximately $325,000 to assist in clearing the backlog of stranded

Above and beyond the dollars and cents, there are hundreds of stories of
WestJetters who went the extra mile during this period, including one employee
who ran 10 kilometres to work in minus 20 degree weather after his car broke
down, and countless office staff who manned check-in counters, baggage belts
and other locations.
"I am enormously proud of WestJetters for their many acts of selflessness
to help our guests," said WestJet President and Chief Executive Officer Sean
Durfy. "When you see Executive Vice-Presidents flying aircraft on Christmas
Day and so many others taking time away from their own family celebrations,
you know you have a team of people who are completely focused on caring for
our guests."

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 and leather seats on its modern fleet of 76 Boeing Next-Generation 737
aircraft, and live seatback television provided by Bell TV. With future
confirmed deliveries for an additional 45 aircraft, bringing its fleet to 121
by 2013, WestJet strives to be the number one choice for travellers.