Flights could be affected as WestJet pilots protest at Pearson Airport in Mississauga


Published May 11, 2023 at 11:19 am

WestJet pilots protest earlier this week at Pearson Airport. (Photo: Air Line Pilots Association Twitter)

A large number of spring and summer flights could be impacted at Pearson Airport in Mississauga as pilots at a major Canadian airline are preparing for a potential strike.

WestJet pilots could strike as soon as next Tuesday (May 16), just three days prior to the Victoria Day long weekend marking the beginning of the busy summer travel season.

Earlier this week at Pearson Airport as well as airports in Calgary, where WestJet is headquartered, and Vancouver, some 750 of WestJet’s 1,800 pilots protested in favour of better working conditions and higher wages.

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), which represents WestJet pilots and those at numerous other airlines around the world, said via social media this week that “…after seven months of negotiating, WestJet management still fails to recognize the value and expertise WestJet pilots bring to their company and passengers every day. It’s past time for WestJet to reach an industry-standard contract agreement with its pilots.”

WestJet said in a statement that it has contingency plans in place should the pilots walk off the job next week. Its goal would be to “minimize what could be significant impacts to guest travel.”

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority, which operates Pearson, says it’s well-prepared for the summer travel season at Pearson thanks to bolstered staffing and technological improvements following widespread delays and cancellations that frustrated and angered travellers last year, especially during July and August.

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