Southwest and WestJet’s Partnership on Hold

Being a Canadian I was especially looking forward to the newly forged relationship between Southwest Airlines and WestJet.  They were going to join forces by offering code share flights.  While the Americans were enjoying the Memorial Day Holiday WestJet released a press statement Monday, May 25, 2009.  It seems as though Southwest is primarily responsible for causing the delays.

Yahoo Finance posted the press statement here. Here is what both airlines have to say on the topic:                                  Photo by scazon

“WestJet understands the decision made by Southwest. Our continued US expansion is a key strategy for our airline, but code-sharing is only one element of this. Both airlines remain committed to minimizing delays and are focused on generating revenue as quickly as possible,” stated Dr. Hugh Dunleavy, WestJet’s Executive Vice-President Commercial Distribution. “We have already implemented our distribution agreement and are close to starting a cargo program with Southwest.”

“In response to the current economic environment, Southwest is focusing its immediate attention on several critical objectives, including increasing our revenues,” said Bob Jordan, Southwest Airline’s Executive Vice-President, Strategy and Planning. “While I am very excited about working to deliver new incremental revenue opportunities for 2009, it will have an impact on our timing for code-share delivery. We remain absolutely committed to our partnership with WestJet, and to code-sharing in general, and will do all we can to minimize the impact on our previously stated code-share plans.”

Sorry, our Canadian friends will need to wait longer before being able to travel cheaper and more seamlessly to the States.  Brett Snyder at BNET said a spokeswoman at Southwest told him they didn’t anticipate the WestJet codeshare to be implemented before 2010.

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