<p>WestJet Airlines Ltd is a no-frills airlines operating in Canada. WestJet’s mission is to become a low-cost carrier that would compete with Southwest Airlines and Morris Air. In 2000, WestJet’s fleet included around 20 Boeing 737 jets. More than 2 million people flew on WestJet in 1999.<br />
In 1994, businessman Clive Beddoe bought Western Concord Manufacturing Ltd resulting in Beddoe becoming involved in the business of flying. He bought a twin engine Cessna 421 and flew it himself which saved him thousands of dollars on the cost of fuel and pilot fees. He leased the plane to other businesses through local charter operation Morgan Air Services Co. Ltd. Morgan Air President Tim Morgan and investors Don Bell and Mark Hill collaborated with Beddoe to create their own discount airline. Beddoe would become chairman and CEO.<br />
The group consulted with Morris Air founder David Neeleman. Neeleman agreed to provide five percent of the start-up capital and helped bring in other investors. Beddoe was a major investor in the company. By the spring of 1995 the group had accumulated more than $8.5 million in capital. The new company was named WestJet Airlines Ltd.<br />
WestJet’s plan was to expand the market by reducing fares so that a new class of travelers could afford to fly. In January 1996, Research Capital Corp. helped put $20 million in stock with other private investors. The largest investor was the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board. On February 29th, 1996 the first commercial flight of the airline using a Boeing 737 took place. The first routes were Calgary, Edmonton, Kelowna, Vancouver, and Winnipeg. At the time, they had three Boeing 737-200s. WestJet did not offer any paper tickets, frequent flier program, in-flight meals, or airport lounges. As well, it had only one class of seating and did not have any of the computer reservation systems that are used by the majority of airlines and travel agents.<br />
In September 1996, Canadian transport officials found WestJet’s maintenance record-keeping program lacking and ordered the carrier to suspend operations. The grounding cost the carrier C$300,000 a day and stranded many passengers. The shutdown lasted 17 days. In July, 1999, the airline went public. After 4 years of success in Western Canada, in 2000, WestJet brought low-cost <a href="https://matrixflights.com/">compare flights</a> to a new area near Toronto. WestJet opened a hub in Hamilton, Ontario. Several eastern markets, including Ottawa, were added within a couple of months. Thunder Bay, Grande Prairie, and Prince George joined the route network later that year.<br />
In the spring of 2000, the company announced plans to compete in the eastern half of Canada which put them in direct competition with Air Canada. WestJet ordered 20 Boeing 737 planes to provide capacity for the expansion. WestJet saw a steady growth and reported its best quarterly profit to that date in late October, 2006. Between 2000 and 2009, WestJet’s local market share rose significantly. Today, WestJet is continuing with its plans to continue its expansion by adding new routes to the United States and also to Europe.</p>
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