How WestJet Pursues Holiday Spirit Despite COVID-19

by Benjamin Pham
Westjet Boeing 737-800

COVID-19 has clearly impacted the aviation industry, in terms of travel demand, load factor, aircraft operations, and business travel. For example, COVID-19  forced many airlines to completely alter flight operations and business practices to stay afloat or risk going out of business. Furthermore, while a number of airlines were able to inaugurate unique routes and new aircraft,  some experienced hindrances and obstacles. However, WestJet – Canada’s second-largest airline – refuses to let COVID-19 hinder its winter holiday traditions

“Even though we may be apart, by giving together we can inspire new traditions and uplift spirits during these challenging times,” Arved Von Zur Muehlen, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer said. “Throughout the pandemic, Canadians have been stepping up for each other and this holiday season we encourage everyone to celebrate the spirit of Christmas by giving from the heart and supporting local organizations with acts of care.”

Despite COVID-19, WestJet plans to continue its annual “Christmas Miracle” festivities. As a result,  the festivities and traditions will differ from previous years. However, the spirit and values are still consistent with the airline’s holiday atmosphere.

In previous years, the Calgary, Canada-based airline would surprise passengers through a fun and exciting sequence of events. Prior to a number of flights, an interactive, life-sized Santa – on multiple screens – greets the passengers.  The figure asks what each passenger would like for Christmas. Once the planes take off, the employees go on a mad dash of shopping, wrapping and labeling those very gifts for the passengers. Upon arrival, the passengers are met with a welcoming surprise at baggage claim.

This Year’s Holiday Season

Additionally, the airline highlights its spirit of giving and delivering to continue holiday traditions. This year, WestJet continues its partnership with notable, charitable organizations. Furthermore, the carrier plans to use its aircraft for transporting packages to delivery vehicles for delivery to charities and hospitals across Canada. 

Finally, the airline’s staff members maintain local safety protocols to deliver items. Gifts such as blankets, food, hot meals and care packages are given to a wide variety of people.  COVID-19 took its heavy toll on the airline and travel industry. But with holiday spirits affirmed,  the light at the end of the tunnel could be closer than anticipated. Christmas is another, appropriate reason to celebrate with family and friends, happily and safely. 

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