CALGARY, Feb. 15, 2019 /CNW/ - WestJet (TSX: WJA) today announced that it will seek shareholder approval at its 2019 annual and special meeting of shareholders to amend its articles of incorporation and By-Law No. 2005-1 to increase the limits on foreign ownership and control of its voting shares to those permitted by amendments made to the Canada Transportation Act (CTA) in 2018. The amendments to its articles and By-Law No. 2005-1 will be undertaken by way of a court supervised and shareholder approved statutory plan of arrangement.
Prior to the CTA amendments, no more than 25% of the voting interests of a Canadian air carrier could be owned or controlled by non-Canadians. The Government of Canada's stated purpose in implementing the CTA amendments is to attract more foreign investment and encourage growth in the aviation sector by increasing, from 25% to 49%, the permitted level of foreign ownership of Canadian air carriers. At the same time, the CTA amendments introduced two new limitations on voting ownership and control, by capping the voting rights of single non-Canadians and of the aggregate of non-Canadian air carriers at 25%.
Completion of the plan of arrangement is subject to shareholder approval and approval of the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta. Full details regarding the plan of arrangement will be included in the management proxy circular which will be made available to WestJet shareholders in connection with the shareholder meeting.
Caution regarding forward-looking information
Certain information set forth in this news release, including, without limitation, information regarding WestJet's plans to undertake a plan of arrangement to amend its articles and By-Law No. 2005-1 and seek approval for such amendments at its 2019 annual and special meeting are forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. By its nature, forward-looking information is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond WestJet's control. The forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on WestJet's expectations and assumptions, including expectations and assumptions that it will receive the necessary shareholder approval and approval of the plan of arrangement by the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta. Readers are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information as actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking information. WestJet does not undertake to update, correct or revise any forward-looking information as a result of any new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law.
Together with WestJet's regional airline, WestJet Encore, we offer scheduled service to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe and to more than 175 destinations in over 20 countries through our airline partnerships. WestJet Vacations offers affordable, flexible vacations to more than 60 destinations and the choice of more than 800 hotels, resorts, condos and villas. Members of the WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of flights and vacations packages to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods, and have access to Member Exclusive fares offering deals to WestJet destinations throughout our network and those of WestJet is proud to be recognized as Best Airline in Canada and Travellers' Choice winner – North America for 2017 and 2018 in the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines. The airline was also named the Travellers' Choice Winner – Economy, North America, 2018. All awards are based on authentic reviews from the travelling public on TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site. We are one of very few airlines globally that does not commercially overbook. WestJet is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol WJA. For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com.
Recent recognition includes:
2018 North America's Best Low-Cost Airline (Skytrax)
2018/2017 Best Airline in Canada and Travellers' Choice Winner Mid-Sized and Low Cost Airlines – North America (TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines)
2018 Travellers' Choice Winner – Economy, North America (TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines)
2018/2017/2016 Canada's Most Trusted Airline (Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria)
2016 Canada's most reputable company for Corporate Social Responsibility (Reputation Institute)
2016/2015/2014/2013/2012 Ranked top three for Canadian Brands (Canadian Business Magazine)
2016/2015/2014/2013 WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard ranked #1 in Canada (MoneySense magazine)
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SOURCE WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership