Both sides in the WestJet pilots’ dispute appear to be getting ready for a strike as the rhetoric rises and passengers start considering their options. The pilots, who are represented by the Airline Pilots Association, voted 91 percent in favour of strike action earlier this week after months of stalled talks toward a first contract. The pilots could strike as early as May 19 but the union has pledged to keep flying until May 21 so Victoria Day long weekend plans aren’t disrupted.
But passengers are flocking to other airlines in anticipation of a strike and WestJet is promising full refunds for any flights cancelled by the strike. Air Canada has formally announced that it intends to increase capacity on transcontinental routes if WestJet pilots do walk out. Meanwhile, talks will continue next week and the airline has said it expects an agreement.