WestJet concluded its fifth annual travel trade expo on May 2 in Calgary, AB, following a six city tour that began in Ontario.
More than 400 travel agents and 100 travel suppliers participated in the final stop of its national tour held at The Westin Calgary Airport.
Tourism Calgary was on hand with a traditional white hat welcome to the two newest WestJetters on the team, Arved von zur Mühlen, chief commercial officer, and Charles Crowder, vice president, sales and distribution.
Enhance, Expand, Evolve
“At WestJet, we have the philosophy of owning the hometown so we are going hard to make sure all travel agents, particularly in Calgary, think of us as the primary carrier,” Jane Clementino, director of agency sales declares. “As we become more international and grow, the agent is more important than ever before now we are actually competing with a different arena of airlines. So from our perspective, it looks and feels a little different and we want to make sure that the trade has a really good sense that we are ready to compete against all fronts for all types of travellers.”
The transformation over the last three years and the changes within airline has brought necessary changes to move into the global airspace.
WestJet’s core products and services have been reconfigured for growth to focus on the premium traveller where comfort and value come together.
The airline aims to provide an elevated airport experience with priority check in, baggage and screening, as well as custom services. WestJet airport lounges will be open in early 2020 in each terminal at the hub airports of Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.
The network has expanded to include global partnerships and joint ventures with Delta and Air France to provide access to more destinations with ease.
The hub and spoke strategy of the network has provided the connectivity needed to ensure schedule utility and gain reliability to support global travel.
From low cost carrier to global sensation
The evolution of the airline from a low cost carrier to global airline provides new focus to be a challenger, to be bold, to seek more business and bring more competition on the global environment yet remain the same kind, caring and fun airline that is the core of their DNA.
“Because of the change and the transition, it’s important for people to understand where we are going and how we are going to get there," said Clementino. "People are not sure if we’re going to be that local airline with that local flavour. But even though we are going to different destinations, the friendliness is still the same.”
Christopher Brothers, business development manager for AB, SK and NWT, is eager for the opportunities.
“We are a hometown airline; this is where we started, and now we are embarking on our next chapter," Brothers said. "This is an amazing time to be a WestJetter with our global expansion and the new products, the new destinations and so much more to come. It’s very exciting to be a partner with WestJet and we are looking forward to the support, especially from Alberta.”