Cummings to lead WestJet’s ULCC
WestJet has announced the appointment of Bob Cummings as executive vice-president responsible for the yet-to-be-named ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) which will launch late in 2017 or early 2018.
Cummings will have accountability for all aspects of this new venture, including planning, branding, pricing, product development and operationalization. He will also continue to drive other key strategic initiatives for WestJet. Cummings has been with WestJet since 2005, with almost 11 years at the EVP level with a variety of responsibilities.
“Bob has been an integral part of the successful transformation of WestJet,” said Gregg Saretsky, WestJet president and CEO. “We are well positioned to continue our profitable growth and I look forward to Bob’s strategic thinking, leadership and execution capability coming to bear in launching this exciting new airline.”
“I am eager to bring our ULCC to market on behalf of Canadians looking for even lower fares,” Cummings said. “I firmly believe we have the necessary capabilities to launch another successful and exciting chapter in WestJet’s history. Travellers can expect a very different approach from this new ULCC, yet one that will ultimately provide air travel accessibility to many more Canadians.”
WestJet also announced the appointment of Ed Sims as executive vice-president, commercial, with responsibility for all aspects of the commercial function within WestJet including sales, marketing, product, network planning, revenue management, corporate development, airline partnerships and WestJet Vacations. He will join WestJet on May 29.
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 within: Tui, Thomas Cook, Virgin Groups and Air New Zealand where he headed up the international wide-body business. His most recent role was as CEO of Airways, New Zealand’s air navigation service provider.
“Ed brings to WestJet extensive expertise in leadership, innovation, sales and marketing, operations and change management, and I am delighted to have someone with his experience and skills join our leadership team,” Saretsky said. “As we expand WestJet’s horizons, I look forward to Ed’s global perspective and contributions to our growth plans.”
“WestJet has built a reputation that is globally recognized,” Sims noted. “I have watched the WestJet success story from afar and now I am honoured to be given the opportunity to shape the next chapter in WestJet’s history.”