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WestJet eyes global expansion
Feb 10, 2009 11:16AM
Post says WestJet eyes global expansion
2009-02-06 09:15 ET - In the News
The Financial Post reports in its Friday edition that WestJet's new Sabre computer system is the cornerstone of the Calgary carrier's growth strategy.
The Post's Scott Deveau writes it will not only allow the airline to increasingly move to a so-called "a la carte" model where customers pay for the services they want, but it will also allow it to forge "code-share" partnerships with international carriers.
These will allow its passengers to transfer seemlessly from its planes to theirs, and visa versa.
This week, WestJet announced plans to implement just such a deal with Air France and KLM by late 2009 or early 2010 once its reservation system is in place. "This deal, when combined with potential codeshares from other international airlines, will make WestJet a viable alternative to Air Canada for Canadian passengers looking to fly overseas," said Cameron Doerksen, Versant Partners analyst.
"It will also improve WestJet's own traffic, potentially meaningfully, with the addition of international feed." David Newman, a National Bank Financial analyst, says that once the agreements are in place, WestJet could "very conservatively" earn another $500-million collectively in sales a year over time.