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Westjet cuts workforce in half

WestJet has cut its workforce in half as 6,900 people received notices today confirming early retirement, early outs, and both voluntary and involuntary leaves.

President and CEO Ed Sims says the fact the airline avoided a potentially worse outcome is a testament to the spirit and selfless attitude demonstrated by employees.

“Of these 6,900 layoffs, 90 per cent selected one of the voluntary options. It is through this selfishness that we can preserve a core of people to prepare for the moment when the situation finally stabilizes and we will look to rise again.”

Sims says two-thirds of the airline’s fleet has been grounded due to low demand and closure of international borders amid the COVID-19 pandemic. WestJet will continue to operate with a collective remaining workforce of 7,100.

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