Sunday,  June 4, 2023  11:27 pm

WestJet vows to disrupt market with expansion plans

WestJet vows to disrupt market with expansion plans
WestJet’s Jane Clementino, director, agency sales, and Emily Spadafora, BDM, British Columbia & Yukon.
Janice Strong

For more than 30 years award-winning writer and editor Janice Strong’s work has appeared in regional and national travel publications with both trade and consumer audiences.

“We are going to be a disruptor, we are going to be a challenger and it’s going to feel really different,” Jane Clementino, director, agency sales for WestJet promised Vancouver travel agents last night, as they gathered at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre.

Yesterday evening marked WestJet's third travel trade expo across Canada for 2019; in total, the company will host 31 shows. 

“Tonight is about the new WestJet,” Clementino told PAX. “For three years we’ve been talking about the transition. We’re moving away from that low cost carrier mentality to the three cabins and a different kind of fleet. Our partner relationships with Delta, Air France and KLM will be something that you see now, and in the future, so that changes everything.”

Last year was a good year for WestJet noted Clementino, citing increased sales figures; carrying almost 25 million passengers. The company also recorded its first-ever non-profitable quarter.

“We had a lot more expenses because of our expansion and we ended the year not necessarily making the numbers we were looking for," Clementino remarked.

Enhance, expand and evolve

The company’s mantra for its transformation is Enhance, Expand and Evolve.

Enhance defines WestJet’s changing roster of product, which not only means new aircraft, but new pricing models featuring three economy options, Premium and Premium Flex, and Business and Business Flex. The airline has also added a platinum tier to its loyalty program along with enhancing the airport experience introducing priority check-in, bag drop, security screening and board alongside new airport lounges.

Expand describes the new partnerships WestJet is forging with Delta, Air France and KLM and the range of destinations those partnerships afford.

With the Air France codeshare arrangements, travellers from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba can now access Rome, Venice and Athens with one stop via the Calgary-Paris connection.

Evolve is the fact WestJet will now carry all sectors of travellers.

“Everyone knows us as a leisure carrier and nobody knows us as a Road Warrior carrier and we will carry those Road Warriors, we will have every service that they want. So that’s a big difference,” said Clementino.

AM Resorts news

Carlo Trinidad, BDM for AM Resorts, the evening’s platinum sponsor, took to the stage to outline the latest developments for the company in 2019. 

New properties coming on board include Now Emerald Cancun opening June 1, 2019; Sunscape Akumal Beach Resort & Spa also opening June 1, 2019; Now Natura opening Dec. 2019; and Secrets St. Martin, on the French side of the island, opening March 1, 2020.

Current promotions include:

  • Kids Stay, Play & Eat Free at Sunscape Curacao and Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica on bookings made by May 31, for travel April 22-December 22, 2019
  • Summer’s Getting Hot, Hot, Hot with up to 50 per cent savings on bookings made by June 18 for travel by August 17, 2019
  • A free room for every five on group bookings at Reflect Resorts & Spas on bookings made and travelled by Decemer 22, 2019
  • Super Early Booking Bonus for bookings made by May 29 for travel through April 11, 2020 including Christmas Holiday Travel