Advertisement

WestJet to lay off undisclosed number of pilots amid labour negotiations

Click to play video: 'Boeing 737 Max plane re-enters Canadian airspace' Boeing 737 Max plane re-enters Canadian airspace
Nearly two years since being grounded, the first Boeing 737 Max plane -- operated by WestJet -- took off Thursday from Calgary to Vancouver. Christa Dao reports on the inaugural flight and why industry experts maintain the plane is 100 per cent safe – Jan 21, 2021

WestJet Airlines Ltd. says it is laying off an undisclosed number of pilots amid negotiations with the union that represents them.

Airline spokeswoman Morgan Bell says the layoff notices are going out ahead of the expiration of a memorandum of agreement on March 31.

Read more: WestJet temporarily suspending 4 routes in Alberta, Ontario and Newfoundland

Bell would not disclose the number of affected pilots.

The Calgary-based airline announced on Feb. 5 that it would lay off 120 cabin crew members as of March 2, blaming the measure on the lack of flights to Mexico and the Caribbean.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Trudeau says Canadian airlines have suspended flights to ‘all Caribbean destinations and Mexico’' Coronavirus: Trudeau says Canadian airlines have suspended flights to ‘all Caribbean destinations and Mexico’
Coronavirus: Trudeau says Canadian airlines have suspended flights to ‘all Caribbean destinations and Mexico’ – Jan 29, 2021

At the request of the federal government, WestJet and other Canadian carriers agreed to suspend all flights to Mexico and the Caribbean until April 30 in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: 4 major Canadian airlines halt flights to Mexico, Caribbean to slow spread of COVID-19

Airlines have been in negotiations with the government for months about the terms of a sector-specific aid package, with Ottawa saying that any federal funding for airlines would be contingent on their issuing full refunds to passengers who had their flights cancelled during the pandemic.

Sponsored content