Vice President, Inflight
WestJet
Calgary, AB
Vice President, Inflight Position Description

Reporting to:
EVP, Chief Operating Officer

Department

Inflight

Location

22 Aerial Place NE, Calgary, Alberta T2E3J1

Permanent / Full-Time Position

Company Background, Culture, and Values

WestJet (TSX: WJA) is an iconic Canadian brand. Headquartered in Calgary, Canada, WestJet, along with regional carrier WestJet Encore and ultra-low cost carrier, Swoop, is Canada’s leading high-value, low-cost carrier. WestJet is continually recognized as one of the top employers in the country and one of Canada’s most admired corporate cultures.

Founded as a regional carrier in Calgary in 1996, with 3 aircraft and 220 employees, WestJet has experienced momentous growth. Today, WestJet is a thriving international airline operated by 13,000+ employees, collectively known as WestJetters. Through scheduled flights across a rapidly expanding network, WestJet also operates WestJet Vacations (providing air, hotel, car and excursion packages), and WestJet Encore (a regional airline operating in Canada and the United States).

WestJet is embarking upon a transformative era, transitioning from a low-cost carrier (LCC) to a global, full service network carrier with the delivery of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft in January 2019. Further, WestJet has recently launched an ultra-low cost carrier (ULCC), Swoop, a wholly owned subsidiary, with its first flight successfully completed in June, 2018.

The mission of WestJet is “to enrich the lives of everyone in WestJet's world.” Since inception, WestJet has nurtured its employee-focused culture of care, planning for its culture at the strategic level. WestJet expresses its strong corporate culture and commitment to guest service with the employee slogan “Because Owners Care.” This refers to the fact that approximately 86 percent of eligible employees, referred to as WestJetters, participate in an employee share purchase plan. Tying the personal success of WestJetters to the company’s success helps nurture a corporate culture that is focused on safety, exceptional guest service and cost containment. Further, with an average age of 40, WestJetters are among the youngest across all North American carriers. This has influenced the airline to create an open-minded, communicative and transparent culture.

WestJet unveiled a refreshed set of values in 2018 which were built over two years by WestJetters. These values and the behaviours that accompany them will set the stage for global expansion in a way that is uniquely WestJet:

Act like an Owner : I take responsibility for my decisions and accountability for the outcomes.
Care from the Heart : I do the right thing and do things right, because I care.
Rise to the Challenge : I have the courage of a champion, relentless in my pursuit of excellence.
Work Together to Win : I play my part, connecting as one team. Together we fly.

By keeping a commitment to low costs, WestJet continues to offer value to its people, its shareholders and above all, its guests. It is on these fundamental beliefs that WestJet has built its four-pillar strategy:

People and Culture : Putting our people first goes beyond fostering an environment of caring and commitment. We are all owners – empowered and accountable for making the right decisions for our guests and our business.
Operational Excellence : Delivering great guest value is the most important part of what we do. If there is one thing that will continue to separate us from the rest, it is how we treat our guests, and providing the ultimate guest experience.
Diversified, Sustainable Revenue Growth : Growing strategically and profitably means taking advantage of smart growth opportunities, and understanding the wants and needs of travelers. We will continue to add new destinations and gain market share.
Financial strength : Keeping our low-cost advantage is simple. We will continue to offer value to our guests and our shareholders by providing the best guest experience in the industry, while achieving a targeted, sustainable profit margin that will be No. 1 among North American airlines.

On May 13, 2019, WestJet and Canadian private equity firm, Onex Corporation, announced a friendly acquisition deal valued at $5 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, Onex Corporation (TSX: ONEX) and its affiliated funds will acquire all outstanding shares of WestJet for $31.00 per share, after which WestJet will operate as a privately-held company. The purchase price represents a 67% premium to the previous day’s closing share price and a 63% premium to WestJet’s 20-day volume-weighted average trading price.

“WestJet is one of Canada’s strongest brands and we have tremendous respect for the business that Clive Beddoe and all WestJetters have built over the years. WestJet is renowned internationally for its unparalleled guest experience and employee culture. We’re thrilled to be partnering with WestJetters and continuing this remarkable Canadian success story,” said Tawfiq Popatia, a Managing Director at Onex.

Ed Sims, WestJet’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are delighted to continue the journey of building an airline based on a growing network, providing competitive airfares and more choice to, from and within Canada, for communities large and small. Integral to this relationship is a commitment to our employees, and our unique ownership-driven culture.”

The acquisition by Onex marks another pivotal step towards WestJet’s ongoing transition from a low-cost regional carrier to a full-service international airline. WestJet will remain headquartered in Calgary, and the transaction is expected to close in 2019.

Further corporate information can be found within our most recent MD&A, Financial Statements and Annual Report: https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/about-us/media-investor-relations/financial-reports

Vice President, Inflight

Reporting to the Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, the Vice President, Inflight at WestJet Airlines is responsible for the safe and reliable delivery of best in class service on all 787, 767, and 737 WestJet flights. As such, the Vice President, Inflight is expected to be a visible and inclusive leader in the organization, instilling and upholding the values and diverse culture of WestJet. The successful leader is expected to play an active role in injecting innovation and progressive service standards, tools and systems into the Inflight guest experience.

While the main focus of the role is Inflight services , she or he is also a member of WestJet’s Global Leadership Team and is expected to be a strong and active contributor to the development and execution of WestJet’s strategic plan and growth agenda. It is critical that the Vice President be a true partner to the Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and liaison with key internal and external stakeholder groups.

Key Responsibilities

The Vice President, Inflight is directly accountable for the following activities:

Working through her/his leadership team, oversee the day-to-day Inflight operations of the 787, 767, and 737 fleets, ensuring adherence to high levels of safety, guest service, on-time and cost performance.
Fosters and promotes WestJet’s safety culture for the Inflight team by influencing change, putting a strong focus on safety education and a reduction in time loss claims.
Manage a large annual budget and lead more than 3,000 Cabin Crew Members and related teams.
Display a real and ongoing focus on the delivery of outstanding guest experience and operating integrity by evaluating daily operating performance and flying the line as a qualified flight attendant.
Develop and lead high performance teams that create memorable experiences and deliver exceptional care to the guests with a servant leadership mentality.
Lead strategic initiatives related to onboard service standards that ensures that cabin crew members can deliver a consistent experience with every guest.
Build and maintain relationships with key internal and external stakeholders, including Flight Operations, Crew Services, Catering, Guest Experience, and Marketing, to consistently deliver results on shared business objectives.
Proactively manage positive union/management relations with representatives from The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

Professional Experience & Qualifications

The Vice President, Inflight will be exceptionally well organized, bright, strategic, mature and self-confident. This individual should have a pragmatic and professional nature, be able to establish and meet deadlines, and be a highly motivated, well-rounded leader with a high energy level. The Company is also looking to this individual to be an active contributor to the business and take a value-added approach to the role. In addition, this individual must have following credentials:

Experience & Technical Skills:
Minimum of five years of airline leadership experience, specifically in Inflight services at the Director level or above is required.
Experience motivating highly skilled groups of individuals toward teamwork and a common purpose; integrating efforts across units and functions; monitoring results; and tackling challenges directly.
An individual of highest personal and professional integrity as demonstrated through strong personal values as well as consistent words and actions.
A proven ability to lead large and diverse teams that are geographically dispersed.
Must positively contribute and maintain a respectful team-oriented atmosphere with a desire to be a part of a fast-moving, diverse management team within the world-class WestJet corporate culture.
Experience serving in roles that have required her or him to represent the organization at senior levels with a variety of internal and external stakeholder groups.
Developer of others – keen focus on building a sustainable and diverse succession plan.
Proven track record of successfully implementing large scale initiatives involving significant change management.
A track record of continually challenging the status quo and pursuing new ideas and initiatives to reduce costs while enhancing guest experience.
Must be a creative thinker, with an ability to translate best practices research into strategy.
Experienced at managing geographically dispersed workforces.
Track record of establishing harmonious employee relations.

Managerial/Leadership Skills

Strong business orientation.
Strong management skills including people leadership, strategic planning, budget and project management.
High level of business acumen, relationship skills and emotional intelligence, recognizing and appreciating both business complexities and political subtleties.
Strong strategic perspective to be able to quickly analyze complex situations, determine key issues, and prepare and implement clearly defined solutions and/or responses.
Excellent written and verbal communications knowledge and skills.
Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work as a team player in a large complex organization.
Demonstrated ability to work with initiative and creativity when managing multiple projects, under constant deadline pressure.
Highest standards of personal integrity supported by open and honest communication.
A strong, decisive leader that puts a high emphasis on building relationships and leading through influence.
Effectively participate in the senior strategic decisions relating to the operations of the company.

Education and Additional Considerations

Undergraduate or post graduate degree (e.g. MBA) in a relevant field would be an asset.
Previous training and experience as a cabin crew member would be preferred.
Candidates must possess or complete WestJet Cabin Crew Member Training and certify to operate as a WestJet Cabin Crew Member. Candidates are expected to operate four flights per month as a functioning Cabin Crew Member.

Competencies & Attributes

Strong leadership skills with a broad spectrum of operational experience, expertise and strategic planning.
Well respected leader who has demonstrated his/her ability to excel in a multi-constituent setting requiring drive and initiative but also tact and diplomacy.
Strategic mindset with the ability to implement a strategy and ensure buy-in across all levels in the organization.
Excellent leadership skills as related to leading a diverse group of highly knowledgeable experts.
Strong business and commercial acumen.
Strong focus on results and an ability to get things done. Takes charge, with a “can do” attitude, leads by example and strives for excellence and total quality
Embody WestJet’s four core values: Act like an Owner, Care from the Heart, Rise to the Challenge, and Work Together to Win.

Compensation

A competitive compensation package will be negotiated based on experience and qualifications.

This position is eligible for a performance bonus as per WestJet’s compensation policy and the Total Rewards program that includes the following: extended health, emergency travel medical, dental, vision, short-term disability (STD), long-term disability (LTD), life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) & travel benefits. This position is also eligible for relocation assistance.

Please note the position is based at WestJet headquarters in Calgary, with domestic and international travel required as necessary. The successful candidate is expected to relocate to Calgary. Learn more about life in Calgary here: https://www.lifeincalgary.ca/

The benefits of being a WestJetter:
WestJet provides all WestJetters with a competitive total rewards package. On top of that, we offer:

A fun and friendly culture with colleagues who work together to win
Travel privileges for you and your family
Savings and Benefit programs that are flexible to meet your specific needs

Think we are a fit? Apply now!

About WestJet Group of Companies

Together with WestJet's regional airline, WestJet Encore, we offer scheduled service to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe and to more than 175 destinations in over 20 countries through our airline partnerships.

Our Safety Promise

At WestJet, the safety and security of our people and our guests is a core value and at the heart of what we do. As safety and security is a shared responsibility, it is expected that you will use safe work practices to ensure your well-being and the safety of others.

WestJet recognizes that the use of Alcohol and Drugs can adversely impact a safe work environment and the well-being of others including guests, suppliers and the public, as well as place WestJet's operations at risk. All roles that are identified as safety sensitive are required to pass a Pre-Employment Alcohol and Drug Test as per WestJet's Alcohol and Drug Policy.

Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

We embrace what makes us each unique, and what makes us uniquely WestJet. WestJet is committed to inclusiveness, equity and accessibility and if you require accommodation during the selection process, please let our Recruitment team know. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply. We thank all applicants for their interest in WestJet; however, only those candidates who are selected will be contacted.

Awards and Recognition

WestJetters aren't the only ones that think WestJet is a great place to land. We’ve received awards distinguishing our work environment, culture, and more.

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com.