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Southwest pulls out of deal with WestJet

NEWS HIGHLIGHT

Southwest pulls out of deal with WestJet

Southwest Airlines recently stated it is pulling out of a deal to sell travel to Canada in a partnership with WestJet, the Calgary-based discount.


April 16, 2010
By The Associated Press

April 16, 2010, Dallas, Texas – Southwest Airlines said Friday it is
pulling out of a deal to sell travel to Canada in a partnership with
WestJet, the Calgary-based discount.

Southwest said it couldn't accept changes that the Canadian carrier wanted to the agreement that the two reached back in 2008.

WestJet would have done all the cross-border flying, allowing passengers to connect with Southwest flights in the United States. Both airlines would have sold seats on each other's flights and shared the revenue.

Southwest, based in Dallas, carries more U.S. passengers than any other airline but doesn't fly beyond U.S. borders. Executive vice-president Bob Jordan said the airline is still interested in serving Canada either by itself or with a partner carrier.

WestJet officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

When they announced plans to co-operate, Southwest and WestJet seemed like the ideal couple. Both are low-cost airlines that try to undercut rivals by offering lower fares. They both use only Boeing 737 jets.

But the partnership appeared troubled earlier this month, when Southwest said it was surprised to learn from media reports that WestJet was discussing a similar partnership with Delta Air Lines Inc. Delta would transfer some takeoff and landing slots at New York's LaGuardia Airport to the Canadian carrier.

WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky said at the time that Southwest wasn't ready for the planned cross-border operation, which Southwest officials disputed.

Southwest has said it is working on a partnership with Volaris to sell service between the U.S. and Mexico, although no starting date has been announced.