Southwest Plans Codeshare With Canada's WestJet
Southwest Airlines and Canada's WestJet today said they plan to implement a codeshare arrangement by the end of next year, with the opportunity to coordinate other reciprocal arrangements, including ground handling, corporate account cultivation, frequent flyer programs and purchasing.
The carriers said they would launch "a distribution plan" this year, with the codeshare agreement to be in place by the end of 2009. Southwest said it would sell WestJet inventory through its Web site, though the airlines "are not ready to announce routes, schedules, or fares at this point." The deal requires regulatory approvals from both of the carriers' home governments.
WestJet president and CEO Sean Durfy in a statement said the agreement offers Southwest market access into Canada, and WestJet—the second-largest Canadian airline after Air Canada—further access into the United States.
Southwest CEO Gary Kelly in a statement said, "We are quickly moving forward with our plans to enter the international market with an airline partner that we hold in high esteem."