July 9, 2008

WestJet and Southwest Airlines Sign Codeshare Agreement

Canadian airline WestJet has signed a memorandum of understanding with US-based Southwest Airlines to develop a distribution and codeshare agreement.

This memorandum of understanding is the first step that will allow both airlines, by late 2009, to commence codeshare flights across both networks. In the near future, Southwest Airlines's company website will become a distribution channel for WestJet's existing Canadian and transborder flights.

The other potential opportunities within the agreement include purchasing, ground handling, marketing and selling to corporate accounts and other areas of mutual gain.

The airlines plan to introduce a distribution plan in 2008 with a codeshare agreement to be in place in late 2009. Certain details of the codeshare and elements of the partnering relationship are subject to approvals by both the US and Canadian governments.

Subject to receipt of these approvals, the airlines plan to announce flight schedules and additional features regarding the partnering relationship in late 2009.

Sean Durfy, president and CEO of WestJet, said: "This is a defining moment for WestJet. It marks an important step forward for our guests and their ability to fly to more destinations in the US conveniently and cost effectively. The effort put forth by Gary Kelly and his management team to negotiate this relationship is most appreciated and I look forward to building a great bond with Southwest."