Airline finds a way to maintain service during month-long runway
CALGARY, Aug. 8 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced that it will lease
smaller aircraft for the period of September 2 to 30, 2008, in order to
continue to serve the people of Prince George while the main runway at the
Prince George Airport is being extended.
During construction, the main runway will be shortened to the point where
WestJet is unable to land its signature fleet of Boeing Next-Generation 737s.
Faced with the decision to discontinue service, WestJet chose to lease smaller
Dash-8 aircraft from Hawkair Aviation of Terrace, B.C., on a temporary basis
in order to maintain service to Prince George.
"This is far from an ideal situation for WestJet and, more importantly,
our guests," said Bob Cummings, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Guest
Experience and Marketing. "Despite the obstacles, we felt we needed to find a
way to continue to serve the people of Prince George. At the end of the day,
we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them."
WestJet brought friendly and affordable air service to Prince George in
1999. Today, the area is home to some of the most frequent fliers in the
airline's network. "We flew 200,000 guests from this city last year, and we
know how lucky we are to have such tremendous support from the region," said
WestJet will lease two types of Dash-8 aircraft, seating 37 and 50 guests
respectively, along with contract flight crews and attendants. "This will
definitely mean some significant adjustments to our Prince George operation,"
said Bob Cummings. "I want to thank our guests for their patience and
understanding while we operate during September with different aircraft and on
a modified schedule."
Guests wishing to travel between Prince George and Vancouver can continue
to book flights via westjet.com, by calling 1-888-WESTJET(937-8538) or through
their local travel agent.
WestJet is Canada's leading high-value low-cost airline offering
scheduled service throughout its 51-city North American and Caribbean network.
Named Canada's most admired corporate culture in 2005, 2006 and 2007, WestJet
pioneered low-cost flying in Canada. WestJet offers increased legroom and
leather seats on its modern fleet of 76 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft
and live seatback television provided by Bell ExpressVu. With future confirmed
deliveries for an additional 45 aircraft, bringing its fleet to 121 by 2013,
WestJet strives to be the number one choice for travellers.
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