Essay Example: A History of the WestJet Airlines

Published: 2022-11-22
Essay Example: A History of the WestJet Airlines
Type of paper:  Case study
Categories:  Company Airline industry
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1294 words
11 min read

1. Summary of relevant and critical facts from the case

WestJet is one of the leading airline companies in Northern America. The founding of the company was in 1996 as a low-effective airline, and it was competing with major airlines in Canada. The founders of WestJet were four businessmen namely Don Bell, Tim Morgan, Clive Beddoe, and Tim Marks. These founders became the executive of the company; they initiated the corporate culture of the organization. WestJet's first office was in Calgary, and it started with two Boeing aircraft, and by 2000, the company had bought 21 airplanes. Initially, WestJet began its flights to Vancouver, Calgary, Kelowna, Winnipeg, and Edmonton. In 2000, WestJet expanded its flights to other cities like Ottawa and Moncton, and in the same year, the company built the John C. Hamilton International Airport. Hamilton became the eastern hub for WestJet because it was strategically located to attract many clients as there were no other airlines in the Southern region of Ontario.

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WestJet has maintained a rank as the most profitable airline in North America. In spite of the losses encountered in the airline industry, WestJet has remained profitable since its inception. The airline is appreciating the efforts of employees by ensuring that the workforce receives a share of the profits gained. Apart from employees' motivation, the other factor contributing to the success of WestJet is enhanced customer service. The company staff and management are customer-focused. WestJet ensures the satisfaction of the needs and expectations of clients, a situation that has helped it to gain a competitive advantage against the main airlines in Canada. The airline has kept its corporate culture since its inception through the use of bottom-to-top management. WestJet management is working out on how to maintain its culture in the current business.

2. Problem

The problem faced by WestJet is to have its unique culture maintained as it grows. The company has a corporate culture that advocates for people to manage themselves with no supervision or monitoring. The culture gives the workforce an opportunity of managing themselves with less authority from the executive management. The employees also lack a union; instead, they have a Pro-Active Communication Team (PACT) which act as a platform for the workforce to address their issues to the management. The other system that defines the culture of WestJet is a workplace that is relaxed, entertaining, full of humor, hassle-free, and undisturbed. Because of growth, the company is facing a challenge to maintain this kind of culture. The growing number of employees due to the expanding business operation puts the company at risk of losing its culture. Workers are becoming diverse, and the workplace is also changing because of growth, a situation that makes WestJet not likely to main its culture.

3. Critical Analyses

3.1. First Chapter

The first chapter that analyses the issue faced by WestJet is on hiring. Hiring which refers to the process of employing staff in an organization has a connection to the fear of losing its culture in the company. The company hires based on two traits of humor and enthusiasm. WestJet does not prioritize experience and academic qualification when hiring its workforce. The process of hiring also varies across departments, and the kind of interviews used was behavioral. The company is at risk of losing such kind of recruitment because of the increasing need for experience and academic qualification in a growing airline company. WestJet does not carry out orientation processes to the hired personnel. The orientation which is the introduction of newly employed staff to the company's operations is of importance in an expanding because of workforce diversity. As a result, WestJet may not maintain its culture as academic qualifications, experience, as well as orientation are significant in a growing business.

3.2. Second Chapter

The other chapter that illustrates the understanding of how WestJet is at risk of losing its culture is maintaining a union-free workforce. Worker union refers to an organization established by employees of an organization or a sector that aims at attending to the needs of the workforce. WestJet has a culture of operating without a union of workers. The employees of WestJet address their issues through PACT, a situation which leads to less consideration of the employees' matters. The workplace is also without rules, hassles, and adversarial because of the absence of the workers' union. As the company is growing, its workforce is increasing, and ultimately the needs of employees are also increasing. As WestJet's grows, it means a diverse workforce with varying needs that require a well-established union. As a result, the airline is likely to lose its culture of operating without a workers' union due to the increasing needs of a diverse workforce.

4. Two Possible Solutions to the Problem

4.1. First Possible Solution

One of the possible solutions to help WestJet solve the problem of losing its culture is the establishment of strong leadership. Leadership which refers to the process of guiding other people to the achievement of a common goal is an essential entity for WestJet in ensuring a maintained culture (Higham & Davies, 2015). Strong leadership is of an advantage because it leads to having leaders who will act as role models in fostering towards a maintained culture. As a result, if WestJet establishes a strong leadership framework that works towards keeping its culture, the problem will be solved. The other advantage of using strong leadership to preserve culture is that it offers an opportunity for mentorship. Junior staff will be under mentorship programs in line with the company culture. In spite of its merits, leadership as a solution to the issue has the disadvantage of conflicts associated with bias. Some leaders might not have the required skills to ensure equity and fairness when spearheading a maintained culture.

4.2. Second Possible Solution

The other solution for WestJet to adopt in ensuring a maintained culture is teamwork at the place of work. Teamwork which is the collaborative efforts of individuals with a common goal to achieve efficiency can lead to a maintained culture in WestJet. Through teamwork, the company will have workers who are committed to working in line with maintained company culture (Higham & Davies, 2015). The solution of teamwork has the advantage of allowing open communication honestly and respectfully among workers. The other merit of collaboration is that it enhances decision-making where every employer gives views on the progress of the company. Despite its benefits, teamwork as a solution for WestJet has a weakness of more operational costs. Collaboration requires funds to facilitate training the workforce on how to establish effective teams. The other demerit of using teams in solving the issue is that it can lead to a harmful competition where people associate themselves with groups other than the overall agenda of the company.

5. The Best Solution

Leadership is the best solution for a maintained culture in WestJet. One of the reasons why leadership is the most appropriate solution for WestJet case is that it leads to influencing individuals to carry out assigned duties competently, efficiently, and willingly (Higham & Davies, 2015). Teamwork which relies on efforts of other people can lead to some individuals becoming lazy in maintaining the company culture. The other reason which makes leadership a better solution than teamwork is that it fosters uniformity in achieving the goal of having a maintained culture. Leadership provides a strategic direction on how to accomplish tasks in an organization, unlike teamwork which involves the use of different approaches in carrying out assigned duties. Lastly, leadership will help WestJet to maintain its culture than the use of teams because leaders are role models in spearheading company culture, unlike teams that focus on the efforts of every player. Therefore, leadership is the best solution for adoption by WestJet.


Higham, R., & Davies, R. (2015). A History of the World's Airlines. Technology And Culture, 6(3), 481. doi: 10.2307/3101812

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