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AIRLINE PROFILE

How the west was won by RACHEL DEBLING

The delicate, sophisticated design of WestJet’s Business cabin tableware, supplied by Clip

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WestJet is living up to its “Love where you’re going” motto with an overhaul of services that will impress seasoned and new flyers alike

volution is not only a natural part of the inflight services industry – it is a necessary one. This belief is exemplified by WestJet’s latest onboard releases, which push the boundaries on what its customers expect – and what levels of comfort and substance can be reached in the skies. WestJet’s enthusiasm has been palpable of late. The airline recently increased its promotional efforts leading up to the April 28 inaugural transatlantic flight of its new 787-9 Dreamliner, a project that was years in the making and with many moving parts between the carrier and its international partners and suppliers. Louis Saint-Cyr, WestJet’s Vice-President Guest Experience, has been on the frontlines of this campaign, helping to get the news out that there’s a new WestJet in the sky – one that puts the relaxation and wellbeing of its passengers first. Shifting from a low-cost value

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model to a full-service airline has been keeping the WestJet team busy, Saint-Cyr explains, which can be seen in its fares and service levels offered. “The arrival of the 787 triggered this change,” he notes, as it is in this aircraft that the company is featuring its first Business cabin. The official release of the airline’s Business product, met with much fanfare at the launch of its Calgary to Gatwick flight in late April, marks the push to develop a better product for business travelers and win them over, Saint-Cyr says. The hype was being built earlier this year at the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo in Hamburg where WestJet announced several new collaborations with suppliers in conjunction with its new Business cabin offering, including FORMIA for the cabin’s amenity kits, as well as options for the airline’s Premium Economy cabin, and Clip for its onboard tableware. (See sidebar on page 13 for more info.)

As Saint-Cyr explains: “These partnerships were inspired by our onboard hackathon, which was held last summer in Calgary. Essentially, we brought in all of the top designers, presented them with our ‘Spirit of Canada’ vision, and told them to bring it to life. It was a direct, hands-on experience for them and our team.” Working closely with these international companies, WestJet ensured that each element of the new offerings promoted its brand and home country in a synergistic, natural and, most of all, patriotic way. Representation was sought from iconic Canadian brands and through homegrown imagery to speak to the “Distinctly Canadian” portion of the carrier’s motto. “Fundamentally, we’re celebrating Canada’s landscape, its natural beauty and its diversity,” Saint-Cyr noted. “The implied link here is celebrating our culture and honoring it.” Its Business cabin amenity kits feature Montrealbased Matt & Nat (short for “material and nature”) bags made from vegan leather, while Premium passengers will receive products from Rocky Mountain

Profile for Global Marketing Company Ltd

PAX Amenities and Comfort Digital Issue 2019  

PAX Amenities and Comfort Digital Issue 2019