WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky stated the carrier is in discussions with Emirates about a potential agreement as part of its plans to expand its global network (Postmedia News, 07-Dec-2010). Mr Saretsky added that Emirates is one of a number of airlines WestJet is talking to. No other carriers were mentioned. WestJet, which expanded its relationship with Cathay Pacific this year and has initiated a partnership with American Airlines, hopes to add similar agreement at the rate of one per quarter until it has agreements with the remaining five global regions including the Middle East, Africa and South America. The first step with any new partner would be an interline agreement, Mr Saretsky stated.
WestJet: "There’s a list of 70 carriers that have expressed an interest in WestJet. We’re working through that list in some priority, that priority being, really, the amount of revenue that we can expect to see from each of those carriers. Emirates is one of those 70 on the list. It covers one region we’re talking about, Africa and the Middle East. They’re [Emirates] looking for more access to the country and they’ve been blocked from that. So I think a partnership with us might help deliver some greater access," Gregg Saretsky, CEO. Source: Postmedia News, 07-Dec-2010.