WestJet lands a deal

WestJet and the union representing its pilots struck a last-minute deal to avert a strike (and rescue many people's weekend travel plans).

What happened: The Air Line Pilots Association, which represents around 1,800 pilots at WestJet and its subsidiary Swoop, announced it had a deal with the airline early this morning.

  • Over the last few days, WestJet has cancelled hundreds of flights in preparation for a strike that was set to begin today.
  • The details of the agreement have not yet been released, but the union said it delivered "better job security, enhanced compensation, and more flexible schedules."

Why it matters: WestJet's agreement will set a bar for Air Canada pilots, who will begin negotiating their new contract this summer and have already said they want to see "historic" gains.

  • Earlier this month, Delta pilots struck a deal that included a 34% pay increase over four years, putting pressure on rival carriers to hand out similar increases.

Zoom out: With pilots in short supply and travel demand through the roof, the time is ripe for airline workers to press for more money and better conditions.