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Gregg Saretsky retires from WestJet

Ed Sims appointed new President and CEO

CALGARY, March 8, 2018 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced Gregg Saretsky, President and CEO, has advised the time has come for him to retire from the company. Having found his successor, he has agreed with the company that his retirement will be effective immediately.

Ed Sims, newly appointed WestJet President and CEO (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

"For the past eight years, it's been my privilege to lead team WestJet through a tremendous period of growth and success," said Gregg Saretsky. "I am pleased with the continued growth and profitability we've achieved together. With plans well underway for the launch of Swoop and the introduction of the 787-9 Dreamliners on the horizon, as well as the great work WestJetters do each day, I'm confident WestJet will continue to grow to the next chapter and beyond."

"Gregg has taken WestJet to new heights during his tenure and the airline would not be in the strong position it is without Gregg's business knowledge, drive and work ethic, and his focus on low costs," said Clive Beddoe, WestJet Board of Directors' Chair. "On behalf of the board, we sincerely thank Gregg for all of his contributions to WestJet. We wish him well in his retirement."

Mr. Saretsky joined WestJet in June 2009 as Vice-President, WestJet Vacations, before assuming the role of Executive Vice-President, Operations, in October 2009. In March 2010, he assumed the role of President and CEO. Under Mr. Saretsky's leadership, WestJet experienced its most significant growth period: the entire fleet nearly doubled in size, WestJet Encore was launched, the first code-share partnerships were introduced, wide-body aircraft were introduced and service to Europe was started, as well as the introduction of the WestJet Rewards program, including the WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard, which has become the fastest-growing, award-winning loyalty and affinity card program in the country.

"I am proud of the many great things we have accomplished together during my time as President and CEO, and I wish WestJet well in the next chapter of its growth and evolution," said Gregg Saretsky.

Current Executive Vice-President Commercial, Ed Sims, will assume the role of President and CEO beginning today. Mr. Sims has also been appointed to the Board of Directors effective immediately.

"I am honoured by the opportunity to assume the role of President and CEO, and believe strongly in WestJet's next global chapter and the growth potential ahead," said Ed Sims. "In my time at WestJet, I've been inspired by the team's ability to care from the heart while acting like owners. WestJet has a strong challenger's spirit, and I'm thrilled to be able to lead the team onward. I thank Gregg for his leadership, and for setting the foundation for WestJet's global evolution."

Mr. Sim's career spans more than 30 years in the tourism and aviation industries, encompassing airlines and tour operators, as well as air traffic control. He has worked in the European and Australasian markets, holding senior commercial and general leadership positions with Tui, Thomas Cook, Virgin Groups and Air New Zealand where he led the international wide-body business. Before joining WestJet as Executive Vice-President, Commercial, in May 2017, he was CEO of Airways, New Zealand's air navigation service provider.

About WestJet
WestJet is proud to be named Best Airline in Canada and one of the best Low Cost Airlines in North America, based on authentic reviews from the travelling public on Trip Advisor, the world's largest travel site. We are one of very few airlines globally that does not commercially overbook. Together with our 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. WestJet Vacations offers affordable, flexible vacations to more than 60 destinations and the choice of more than 800 hotels, resorts, condos and villas. Members of the WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of flights and vacations packages to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods, and have access to Member Exclusive fares offering deals to WestJet destinations throughout our network and those of our partner airlines.

WestJet is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol WJA. For more information about everything WestJet, please visit  

Recent recognition includes:
2017 Five-Star Airline in the Low-Cost Category (The Airline Passenger Experience Association)
2017/2016 Canada's Most Trusted Airline (Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria)
2017 Best Airline in Canada and Travellers' Choice Winner Mid-Sized and Low Cost Airlines – North America (TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice awards for Airlines)
2016 Canada's most reputable company for Corporate Social Responsibility (Reputation Institute)
2016/2015/2014/2013/2012 Ranked top three for Canadian Brands (Canadian Business Magazine)
2016/2015/2014/2013 WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard ranked #1 in Canada (MoneySense magazine)
2015/2011/2010/2008/2007/2006/2005 Canada's Most Admired Corporate Culture (Waterstone Human Capital)
2015 Best Employers in Canada (Aon Hewitt)

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SOURCE WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership

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