WestJet CEO calls London flights a success, despite problems

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WestJet CEO calls London flights a success, despite problems

#1 Post by 43S/172E » Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:47 am

This might cause blowback

'From Day 1 we've been full,' says airline's chief executive about flights to London Gatwick
By Kyle Bakx, CBC News Posted: Sep 30, 2016 9:00 AM ET Last Updated: Sep 30, 2016 9:00 AM ET

WestJet's CEO proclaimed the airline's expansion to Europe as one of the best decisions made in its 20-year history, despite mechanical problems and passenger complaints.
In the past, chief executive officer Gregg Saretsky had called the route to London a "hobbled operation," but he did not acknowledge any problems in a speech on Thursday at the International Pipeline Conference in Calgary.
"It's been among the most successful things we've done," he said. "From Day 1 we've been full."
WestJet bought four wide-body aircraft to start flying across the Atlantic about a year ago. On average, the planes are 24 years old and had several mechanical issues, leading to flight delays and cancellations.
'I'd like to say we understand travellers very well'- Greg Saretsky, WestJet CEO
Last week, Saretsky blamed the early problems on the repair company hired by Boeing to fix the planes.
Earlier this month, an Edmonton-bound WestJet flight from London was diverted to Iceland because of engine problems. Passengers heard a loud bang a few hours after takeoff.
Each cancelled flight, or flight delayed more than four hours, costs the airline approximately $225,000 in compensation to passengers, if the plane is full.
Saretsky said the airline acquired the wide-body aircraft so the company can reach new markets.
WestJet celebrates its first flight from Vancouver to London. The route has been plagued with difficulties, but Saretsky says, 'It's been among the most successful things we've done.' (Darryl Wilson/Phillipine Flight network)
"Many industry analysts said it was the stupidest thing they had ever seen, because WestJet's history for 20 years was that we built on the beautiful simplicity of having a single fleet of 737s, why would we make it complicated by adding 767s?" Saretsky said.
WestJet broke the mould by charging for meals and for all checked bags on international flights.
"Many laughed at WestJet saying, 'They don't really understand long-haul travel, because every other international airline does a free meal.' I'd like to say we understand travellers very well, because no one else sells London for $299," Saretsky said.
Fewer than five per cent of the flights to London have been cancelled, WestJet has previously said.

Alberta woes
In his speech, Saretsky also lamented the high cost of airport improvement fees and other charges that lead to higher ticket prices in the country. He also spoke about how the airline has felt Alberta's economic pain with slumping oil and gas prices.
"We've had to take some body blows, as we call them, to survive and thrive in the current tough environment."
WestJet responded by moving some of its fleet away from Alberta to other parts of the country, freezing head office wages, evaluating whether to fill vacancies and deferring plane deliveries.
About 45 per cent of WestJet flights touch Alberta, he said.
Saretsky cancelled his media session with reporters, which was to follow the speech, because of scheduling.


http://i.cbc.ca/1.3731208.1471891633!/f ... sation.png
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Re: WestJet CEO calls London flights a success, despite problems

#2 Post by Rookie50 » Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:17 am

Blame, blame, blame.

Blame the repair company. Blame low oil prices. Blame high AIF's. What next? Low oil prices are a boon! Should be printing money.

Cancell out of press conference. No accountability.

Not one word about his own incompetence. He is the CEO. All decisions and results lie with him. Buck stops here. Obviously hasn't heard that word. Great CEO's don't blame everyone else.

I invest in companies as a profession. I wouldn't buy this stock witn this CEO's attitude.

I'd short it except in the country club we all call Canada, we whine and Can't stand the thought of effective competition. And we all pay for that in every industry.

Open it up let the U.S. carriers fly YYZ -YVR and Canadians pick a few US slots.
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Re: WestJet CEO calls London flights a success, despite problems

#3 Post by brooks » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:53 am

Go online and try to book a ticket in economy. Most days you can't because the flights are full. WJ has responded to the middle class with low airfares without the pax getting the AC Rouge effect. By expanding into Europe they have brought the price down for oversees travel. Investors don't care a whole lot about teething issues with the 767. They care about the bottom line. The CEO has made it clear, more are wide-body's coming.

Re: Motley Fool.
The company is sitting on a mountain of cash. It currently has some $1.7 billion in cash, versus $1.9 billion in debt. Compare that to Air Canada, which has $3.1 billion in cash versus $6.9 billion in debt. Air Canada has a debt-to-assets ratio of approximately 50%, while WestJet’s ratio has only recently popped over 25%.
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Re: WestJet CEO calls London flights a success, despite problems

#4 Post by Realitychex » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:58 am

So I take it you are in favour of lop sided trade agreements?

Allow US airlines to operate within Canada but prohibit Canadian companies from doing the same in the US?

How dumb a trade agreement would that be?

Forgetting about a host of regulatory issues, (for example, under who's rules and regs would a Delta flight from YYC to YYZ operate? US DoT or Canadian MoT?), cabotage will never occur in Canada unless Canadian carriers are allowed the same opportunity in the US, (or any other jurisdiction you choose).

I wouldn't hold your breath on that file. There is absolutely no interest or commercial need in the US to have their domestic markets opened up to foreign competition.
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Re: WestJet CEO calls London flights a success, despite problems

#5 Post by Rookie50 » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:06 am

Realitychex wrote:So I take it you are in favour of lop sided trade agreements?

Allow US airlines to operate within Canada but prohibit Canadian companies from doing the same in the US?

How dumb a trade agreement would that be?

Forgetting about a host of regulatory issues, (for example, under who's rules and regs would a Delta flight from YYC to YYZ operate? US DoT or Canadian MoT?), cabotage will never occur in Canada unless Canadian carriers are allowed the same opportunity in the US, (or any other jurisdiction you choose).

I wouldn't hold your breath on that file. There is absolutely no interest or commercial need in the US to have their domestic markets opened up to foreign competition.
I said it should be 2 sided, FWIW.

Broader point is the country club in this country that makes everything so expensive. We can't even get real estate info online as one other simple example. So protectionist here.

BTW look at the stock price during a period of rock bottom fuel prices and record stock prices. Near 2 year low. So obviously investors are paying attention to a CEO who isn't responsible for anything. I have zero tolerance for that as an investor.
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Re: WestJet CEO calls London flights a success, despite problems

#6 Post by North Shore » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:45 am

All posts from this thread have been copied into here: http://www.avcanada.ca/forums2/viewtopi ... 6&t=109783
please continue the discussion there.
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