WestJetters vote 91 per cent in favour of regional airline

Airline moves to aircraft selection as next step

CALGARY, Feb. 8, 2012 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced its employees have voted overwhelmingly - 91 per cent - in favour of the launch of a regional airline as a wholly owned subsidiary of WestJet.

"The opportunity presented to WestJetters has been very well received and I thank them for their input and consideration in this important matter," said Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and CEO. "Clearly, WestJetters have recognized and embraced that the service we have provided for 16 years is in demand in even more communities across Canada. Bringing WestJet to these communities will benefit Canadians while providing increased shareholder value. We now look forward to planning the launch of this new airline as early as 2013."

"There are not many organizations that would put such a strategic decision in front of the employees for their input and approval," commented Antonio Faiola, WestJet Flight Attendant, Board Member and Chair of PACT, WestJet's employee association. "I am proud to work for a company that puts such tremendous importance on culture and the relationship with WestJetters."

With approval from the Board of Directors to proceed with implementation of a low-cost regional airline, WestJet will move to the next stage of planning by sending requests for proposals to two aircraft manufacturers: Bombardier for the Q400 NextGen and ATR for the ATR 72-600.

Caution regarding forward-looking statements
Certain information set forth in this news release, including information regarding the launch of a short-haul regional airline including timing for launching the airline and fleet type, our process for planning the launch of a short-haul regional airline, the goals relating to implementation of a short-haul regional airline and profitability thereof, the benefits to certain stakeholders from implementing a short-haul regional airline, and our strategy, contain forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond WestJet's control. These forward-looking statements are based on our current strategic plan, our analysis of the requirements for a short-haul regional airline including fleet type and size and network design, our experience in creating and growing a low-cost domestic airline, and currently available implementation plans, but may vary due to factors including, but not limited to, general economic conditions, the competitive environment for a short-haul regional airline, information obtained through stakeholder consultations, regulatory requirements, aircraft manufacturer information including aircraft supply proposals, and other factors and risks described in WestJet's public reports and filings. WestJet's public reports and filings are available on WestJet's profile at www.sedar.com. Readers are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements as actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking statements. WestJet does not undertake to update, correct or revise any forward-looking statements as a result of any new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law.

About WestJet
WestJet is Canada's favourite airline, offering scheduled service throughout its 76-city North American and Caribbean network. Inducted into Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures Hall of Fame and named one of Canada's best employers, WestJet pioneered low-cost flying in Canada. WestJet offers increased legroom and leather seats on its modern fleet of 97 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. With future confirmed deliveries for an additional 38 aircraft through 2018, WestJet strives to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world.

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SOURCE WestJet

For further information:

Media contact
Robert Palmer, Media Relations
Telephone: 1-888-WJ 4 NEWS (1-888-954-6397)
Email: media@westjet.com.


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