Transport Canada grants WestJet request regarding flight attendant requirements

OTTAWA, May 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Transport Canada today granted permission for WestJet to employ a ratio of one flight attendant for every 50 passenger seats onboard an aircraft.

"The safety of Canadians is Transport Canada's top priority," said the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. "The department has considered WestJet's request carefully and is confident that the same levels of safety will be maintained."

The Canadian Aviation Regulations currently require one flight attendant for every 40 passengers present on board an aircraft. However, for certain eligible aircraft configured with up to 50 passenger seats, only one flight attendant is required.

This exemption aligns WestJet with international standards as airlines based in the United States and other jurisdictions operate with one flight attendant for every 50 passenger seats, and they are currently flying to and from Canada with this ratio.

"This decision will make WestJet more competitive with U.S. airlines while maintaining a high safety standard," said Minister Lebel.

All air operators are entitled to make an exemption request to Transport Canada and every request is given equal consideration and assessed on its own merit. Transport Canada will begin work on a regulatory change so that airlines can meet this internationally-recognized standard without seeking an exemption.

SOURCE: Transport Canada

For further information:

Marie-Josée Paquette
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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