DALLAS — Canadian ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) Swoop (WO) will close its doors later this year and have its operations absorbed by WestJet (WS), the company announced on Friday.
Swoop, a WS-owned ULCC, is a Calgary-based airline that was named after WS’ desire to “swoop” into the Canadian market with a new business model. It was first announced on September 27, 2017, and flights began on June 20, 2018.
WestJet announced the decision to shut down WO alongside the ratification of the second collective bargaining agreement between the 27-year-old and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). WS stated that the merger was negotiated in the ratified collective agreement, which is retroactive to January 1, 2023, and will last until December 31, 2026.
Swoop will continue to operate its existing network until the end of its published schedule on October 28 to minimize the impact on travelers. WO employees will be transferred to WS once the merger is complete.
Last month, the two sides were on the verge of a potentially disastrous strike when they reached an 11th-hour agreement.
Comments from WesJet Group CEO
“The WestJet Group is pleased to have reached an industry-leading agreement in negotiation with ALPA that recognizes the value and instrumental contributions of our current and future pilots,” said Alexis von Hoensbroech, WestJet Group, Chief Executive Officer.
“This agreement bolsters our ability to provide certainty and career opportunities across our organization for years to come while ensuring the competitive sustainability of the WestJet Group.”
“The WestJet Group is confident in the outcome of this negotiated decision and the path forward to integrate Swoop into WestJet’s operations,” continued von Hoensbroech.
“We continue our strategy toward providing reliable, affordable travel across the WestJet Group, leveraging the valuable experiences and learnings from the Swoop business model. This integration will enhance our ability to serve a broader spectrum of guests. Instead of only 16 aircraft serving the ultra-low-cost market, each aircraft, in our 180-strong fleet, will offer ultra-affordable travel options through to a premium inflight experience.”
Featured image: Swoop C-FYBK Boeing 737-800. Photo: Daniel Gorun/Airways