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WestJet to layoff 1,700 pilots due to COVID-19 pandemic

Last Updated Apr 15, 2020 at 10:49 pm PDT

FILE - A WestJet plane takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Vancouver on Monday, May 13, 2019. Onex Corp. has signed a friendly deal to buy WestJet Airlines Ltd. in a transaction it valued at $5 billion, including assumed debt. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Summary

WestJet is confirming the pilots have received layoff notices, effective May 1st or June 1st

In an emailed statement, the airline states these layoffs are a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – WestJet is laying off 1,700 pilots across the airline, as well as WestJet Encore.

WestJet is confirming the pilots have received layoff notices, which will be effective as of May 1st or June 1st, depending on the pilot.

In an emailed statement, the airline states these layoffs are a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions put in place due to closed borders.

WestJet says since only essential travel is being encouraged, there has been a sharp decline in passengers as well as the grounding of nearly three-quarters of the WestJet fleet.

While the airline says the layoffs are a “last resort”, the impact of the pandemic on the aviation industry is “colossal”.

Last week the airline announced it was set to rehire nearly 6,400 workers via the federal wage subsidy.