By airline standards Westjet Airlines is still a very young company.
On the face of it they followed the formula of other successful low cost carriers like Southwest in the States.
But they really did more, and it has kept paying dividends for them.
They found the means to co-opt there staff in a meaningful way.
What makes this amazing is that Westjet staff likely do not make the salaries that Air Canada employees do.
Yet there is a definite difference.
I contend it is not the people but the companies and their management philosophies.
In my opinion Air Canada employees are excellent workers whose jobs have been under fire for years.
Many will argue that their salaries went out of line in tough times.
But do we want our pilots to be under stress and in conflict.
Can Air Canada not find the means of making its employees owners.
And does every negotiation need to be leading to extreme demands and counterdemands.
I still view Air Canada as a great airline…and I think some steps by new management will take the company in a new direction.
But a spark needs to be lit on the employee side, not by money, but by appreciation, communication, and like Westjet, through a freedom to have fun