WestJet coping with high fuel prices

Nadya Bell
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

President Sean Durfy speaks at conference in St. Johns

A WestJet plane takes off from the international airport in Calgary in this file photo. Photo by The Canadian Press

WestJet president and CEO Sean Durfy says his company is working to keep its costs low, despite high fuel prices and a potential economic slowdown.
"It's pretty evident that fuel prices are and will continue to escalate," Durfy says. "So that will continue to be a challenge."
He says there is a potential for an economic slowdown because of a mini-recession in the manufacturing sector in Eastern Canada.
Durfy called the change in oil prices in the beginning of the week 'amazing.'
New York crude prices rose over $16 a barrel Monday, in its biggest-ever daily rise.
Durfy said one of his business's secrets to success is keeping their costs low. WestJet has taken the fuel surcharge off of their ticket price.
"It's all about cost for us. We have the lowest cost structure in Canada. We're probably 35 per cent less costly than our nearest competitor, so we really understand that side of the business and we want to make sure we keep our cost down," Durfy says.
But more than keeping the price low, Durfy says his airline has five secrets to their success.
"It's all based around caring about the guest, caring about the people, caring about one another as an organization, and I don't think many organizations do it very well, so that's what the secret is based on," he said.
"We also provide a great service. People are going to continue to fly, they have to, and now what they're going to have to do is probably spend more time choosing who they want to fly with.
"We bet that most people want to fly with a value airline that actually cares about their guests," he says.
Durfy spoke at the Treasury Management Association of Canada's 26th annual conference in St. John's Tuesday morning.

nbell@thetelegram.com

Organizations: WestJet, Treasury Management Association of Canada

Geographic location: Eastern Canada, New York, St. John's

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • David
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    I agree that West Jet in our last best hope for reasonable airline service in Canada

  • Sportnewf
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Keep up the great work WestJet!

    I gave up using Air Canada many years ago and vow to only use WestJet in the future for reasons too numerous to talk about! Looking forward to my flight out West in a couple of weeks!

  • harry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    you get what you pay for ; i think air canada and west jet are just organizations made up of all sorts of people (good bad and the ugly). it's easy to jump on the bash aircanada band wagon. I will have to support any carrier that is able to stay afloat in this business and still provide a safe mode of travel. that should be the priority- not just disingenuous smiles and happy banter. we should be also happy that AC has the best safety record in the world (if i'm not mistaken.) that for me is the reason to support any business responsible for your safety.

  • George
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    'Way to go' Westjet. Thank God there is an element of humanity alive and well in the business world. Your competition will reap the results and eventually pay the price of a callous, non-caring approach to a real humane need.

  • Patricia
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    I have flown with Westjet since they included Newfoundland on their flight route. Their mandate is indeed taking care of their Guests. I have been accomodated extremely well on each & every flight.They don't forget about you especially on long hauls such as from St.John's to Calgary which I have taken quite often to visit my children who live in Calgary. If a cheaper fare than your original price comes available all one has to do is call Westjet & they credit your account with the difference which you have up to a year to use. One also can transfer that credit to anyone else you choose to give it for a flight with Westjet. On some occasions I was not feeling well enough to travel on the date booked & the Westjet agents contacted made the changes very quickly - always with a pleasant & very professional attitude - never failing to ask if there is anything else they can do for you. They surely have the key to great PR.!! I WISH EVERY SUCCESS TO WESTJET AS THEY CONTINUE TO EXPAND. Sincerely & gratefully yours , Patricia .

  • Alice
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    I flew with West Jet for the first time just this month. I must say that the service and the attitude of both the ticket agents and the onboard crew far surpassed my many previous experiences flying with our other national carrier. They will definately be my choice for future travel.

  • David
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    I agree that West Jet in our last best hope for reasonable airline service in Canada

  • Sportnewf
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Keep up the great work WestJet!

    I gave up using Air Canada many years ago and vow to only use WestJet in the future for reasons too numerous to talk about! Looking forward to my flight out West in a couple of weeks!

  • harry
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    you get what you pay for ; i think air canada and west jet are just organizations made up of all sorts of people (good bad and the ugly). it's easy to jump on the bash aircanada band wagon. I will have to support any carrier that is able to stay afloat in this business and still provide a safe mode of travel. that should be the priority- not just disingenuous smiles and happy banter. we should be also happy that AC has the best safety record in the world (if i'm not mistaken.) that for me is the reason to support any business responsible for your safety.

  • George
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    'Way to go' Westjet. Thank God there is an element of humanity alive and well in the business world. Your competition will reap the results and eventually pay the price of a callous, non-caring approach to a real humane need.

  • Patricia
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    I have flown with Westjet since they included Newfoundland on their flight route. Their mandate is indeed taking care of their Guests. I have been accomodated extremely well on each & every flight.They don't forget about you especially on long hauls such as from St.John's to Calgary which I have taken quite often to visit my children who live in Calgary. If a cheaper fare than your original price comes available all one has to do is call Westjet & they credit your account with the difference which you have up to a year to use. One also can transfer that credit to anyone else you choose to give it for a flight with Westjet. On some occasions I was not feeling well enough to travel on the date booked & the Westjet agents contacted made the changes very quickly - always with a pleasant & very professional attitude - never failing to ask if there is anything else they can do for you. They surely have the key to great PR.!! I WISH EVERY SUCCESS TO WESTJET AS THEY CONTINUE TO EXPAND. Sincerely & gratefully yours , Patricia .

  • Alice
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    I flew with West Jet for the first time just this month. I must say that the service and the attitude of both the ticket agents and the onboard crew far surpassed my many previous experiences flying with our other national carrier. They will definately be my choice for future travel.