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CAPA - Centre for Aviation

  • Type: Aviation Suppliers

Westjet CEO Ed Sims: JVs, not alliances, in post-COVID plans

WestJet’s departing CEO Ed Sims has outlined a comprehensive new international growth strategy for the airline, which includes the establishment of full profit-share joint venture partnerships and explicit, pointed dismissal of joining formal, branded alliances.

The airline is also expanding its trans Atlantic operations, adding Amsterdam with Boeing 787s and both Glasgow and Edinburgh with Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, as well as increasing its cargo activities with the addition of four converted Boeing 737-800BCFs.

Sims told the September edition of CAPA Live that WestJet had been developing not only a well reported transborder partnership with Delta Airlines, but had also been exploring a series of trans Atlantic partnerships, and “eventually” a trans Pacific deal.

“We would be one of the few remaining non-aligned carriers of scale”, he said. “We fly 181 aircraft, we have a turnover approaching $6 billion, and yet we’re not embedded in one of the alliances. The secret for us is how you can build deeper and fewer partnerships. I think that is indicative of the way the world is going.”


  • WestJet CEO outlines international growth through profit-share JVs.
  • Believes there is a future in “deeper and fewer partnerships”, but not “conventional alliance model”.
  • Beyond Delta transborder partnership, WestJet is exploring trans Atlantic and “eventually”, trans Pacific deals.
  • As well as expanding passenger fleet, WestJet is adding four Boeing 737-800BCF freighters.

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