Dr Tammy McKnight, WestJet Chief Medical Officer

WestJet hires Dr. Tammy McKnight as first Chief Medical Officer

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Dr Tammy McKnight, WestJet Chief Medical Officer

WestJet has announced the appointment of a Chief Medical Officer (CMEDO).

Dr. Tammy McKnight will be responsible for assisting WestJet in developing and implementing initiatives relating to the health and well-being of WestJetters and guests. This will include furthering the airline’s commitment to mental health, advising on risk mitigation efforts, and making health recommendations to meet or exceed regulations and in line with the varying guidelines in which a global airline operates. This work was previously spread among multiple service providers and internal roles at WestJet. The position of CMEDO reports to Mark Porter, WestJet Executive Vice-President People and Culture.

“WestJet has always valued physical and mental health as core to our caring for our people and our guests, and 2020 only made the importance more evident, so much so that hiring a dedicated CMEDO to bring everything together and inhouse made a lot of sense,” said Mark Porter.

Most recently Dr. McKnight served as the Medical Director for AirSprint, an aviation company, where she guided AirSprint’s executive leadership team and provided medical insights that enabled the company to evolve in its growth strategy.

WestJet has unveiled its travel hygiene program under the Safety Above All umbrella, highlighting what guests can expect when travelling to ensure their health and safety.

WestJet introduces zero-tolerance mask policy

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WestJet has unveiled its travel hygiene program under the Safety Above All umbrella, highlighting what guests can expect when travelling to ensure their health and safety.

The WestJet Group, which incorporates WestJet, WestJet Encore, WestJet Link and Swoop, has updated its safety policies.

From 1 September 2020, the WestJet Group will implement a zero-tolerance policy in support of the requirement for all guests, over the age of two, to wear masks and face coverings. Non-compliant guests will face penalties including denied boarding, return of the aircraft to the gate to offload the passenger and the suspension of travel on any WestJet Group aircraft for up to one year.

“Canadian travellers and all of our WestJet Group employees are counting on us to keep them safe and it is our utmost priority to do so,” said Ed Sims, The WestJet Group President and CEO. “Masks are mandated by our regulator and the vast majority of our guests are happy to keep themselves and each other safe by complying. This enhanced policy provides clarity on how we will enforce the regulation for those who don’t. Travellers must understand if they choose to not wear a mask, they are choosing not to fly our airlines.”

Non-compliance on board the aircraft will be managed through a three-step process:

  • Passengers will first be asked to put the mask on in a discussion with cabin crew.
  • Passengers will be given a warning that masks are required, and compliance is necessary.
  • Passengers will receive notice that non-compliance will result in follow up notification that they will be placed on a no-fly list for 12-months.

Additionally, effective 1 September 2020, the input of contact information for those travelling on WestJet, WestJet Encore, WestJet Link and Swoop will become mandatory at the 24-hour check-in process online and at kiosks. Mandatory information at WestJet check-in kiosks will be phased into the policy change by the end of September.

Once implemented, guests will no longer be able to bypass the information screen and will be required to input up-to-date information prior to the issuance of a boarding pass. It is the responsibility of the traveller to provide accurate information.

WestJet has unveiled its travel hygiene program under the Safety Above All umbrella, highlighting what guests can expect when travelling to ensure their health and safety.

WestJet reinforces hygiene measures

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WestJet has unveiled its travel hygiene program under the Safety Above All umbrella, highlighting what guests can expect when travelling to ensure their health and safety.

WestJet has unveiled its travel hygiene program under the Safety Above All umbrella, highlighting what guests can expect when travelling to ensure their health and safety.

“Safety, including hygiene and health, is above all at WestJet, which is why the already-existing mantra was selected to communicate our hygiene efforts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Billy Nolen, WestJet Vice-President, Safety, Security and Quality.  “Safety is at the forefront of every decision and initiative at WestJet and our efforts on health and hygiene are no exception. As the world continues to adapt to this new environment, we will continue to adjust our health measures to ensure the safest travel experience possible as more Canadians begin to fly once again.”

Measures include introducing both seat distancing and aircraft fogging, which is a cleaning procedure that provides a complete disinfection of the aircraft interior using a hydrogen peroxide-based solution cleaner. WestJet has also implemented temperature taking before boarding across its 38 Canadian destinations.

All WestJet aircraft (737, 767, 787 and Q400) are equipped with an industry-leading air circulation system containing a HEPA filter, similar to what is used in hospital environments, achieving a viral removal efficiency of greater than 99.99909%.