WestJet marks 20 years of high-care, low-fare flying

CALGARY, Feb. 29, 2016 /CNW/ - Twenty years ago, WestJet launched its first flight and began liberating Canadian travellers from the high cost of air travel. Today, the airline celebrates two decades of success with a new Canadian-inspired logo, a birthday seat sale and more.  

"In just 20 years, WestJet has established itself as a great Canadian success story," said Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and CEO. "From humble beginnings, we have grown to become an international airline and a strong contributor to the growth of Calgary, the province and the country. I would like to thank our nearly 12,000 WestJetters for their incredible dedication to delivering a remarkable guest experience through their caring, people-driven service, and our guests for their 20 years of loyalty and support."

"We launched WestJet to make a difference in the lives of Canadians," said Clive Beddoe, co-founder of WestJet and Chair of the Board of the Directors. "We wanted to do things differently right from the beginning, lowering fares, changing rules that didn't make sense and making it possible for more people than ever before to travel by air. Over the past 20 years, we've helped to connect families, fulfilled vacation dreams and made business travel more affordable so companies could grow and prosper. WestJet's success is a testament to our WestJetters' hard work and caring commitment and I thank them for this. It's been a wonderful 20 years, and we look forward to many more."

This year, as part of its birthday celebrations, WestJet is rolling out its new logo featuring a stylized blue and teal maple leaf. The logo is intended to denote WestJet's proud Canadian heritage as the company continues its international expansion. First unveiled on its 767-300 aircraft last year, the logo will appear on new WestJet aircraft being delivered in 2016 as well as on westjet.com, airport signage, boarding passes and other branded items.

WestJet also launched a 20th Birthday Sale today featuring great savings on flights and vacation packages to select destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe. The sale runs until March 7, 2016, for travel from April 1, 2016 until June 28, 2016. And as an added birthday gift on February 29 only, all WestJet Rewards members will receive 20 bonus WestJet dollars when they register and book a flight with their WestJet Rewards ID number and fly between April 1 and June 28, 2016.

WestJet guests travelling with the airline today may see frontline WestJetters wearing "vintage" uniform pieces from the past 20 years. At the airline's Calgary campus, the Honourable Marc Garneau, federal Transport Minister, will join WestJetters for a special birthday ceremony.

On February 29, 1996, WestJet launched with 220 employees and three aircraft serving five destinations: Vancouver, Kelowna, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg. Today, nearly 12,000 WestJetters support more than 140 aircraft serving 102 destinations in more than 20 countries.

About WestJet
We are proud to be Canada's highest-rated airline for customer service, powered by an award-winning culture of care and recognized as one of the country's top employers. We offer scheduled service to 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. Through our regional airline, WestJet Encore, and with partnerships with airlines representing every major region of the world, we offer our guests more than 150 destinations in more than 20 countries. Leveraging WestJet's extensive network, flight schedule and remarkable guest experience, WestJet Vacations delivers affordable, flexible travel experiences with a variety of accommodation options for every guest. Members of our WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Our members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of WestJet flights and vacations packages on any day, at any time, to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods  ̶  even on seat sales. For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com.  

Recent recognition includes:
2015/2011/2010/2008/2007/2006/2005 Canada's Most Admired Corporate Culture (Waterstone Human Capital)
2015 Best Employers in Canada (Aon Hewitt)
2015/2014/2013 WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard ranked #1 in Canada (MoneySense magazine)
2014/2013 WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard ranked #1 in the Canada's Choice ranking (RewardsCanada.ca)
2014 Interbrand Canada's Best Canadian Brands (Rank #20)
2014 Brands of the Year (Strategy magazine)
2014 Canada's Most Preferred Airline (Ipsos)
2014 Value Airline of the Year (Air Transport World magazine)
2014/2013/2012 Canada's Most Attractive Employer (Randstad)
2014/2013/2012/2011 Highest equity score: airline, vacation package supplier brands (Harris/Decima EquiTrend Study)

Connect with WestJet on Facebook at facebook.com/westjet
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Subscribe to WestJet on YouTube at youtube.com/westjet
Read the WestJet blog at blog.westjet.com


For further information: Media contacts: To contact WestJet media relations, please email media@westjet.com.


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