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Southwest Pushes WestJet Codeshare, Shifts Priorities

WestJet put out a curious press release yesterday entitled, "WestJet and Southwest delay code-share implementation." The timing, source, and content of the announcement were quite odd.

The announcement came on Memorial Day here in the US, possibly timed so that the US media would miss the announcement? It was put out by WestJet, so it wasn't a holiday for them in Canada, but I'm sure the timing was deliberate. The release included a quote from Southwest's EVP of Strategy and Planning Bob Jordan, so they clearly were involved in the creation of the release itself.

The release says that Southwest has delayed work on the WestJet codeshare to focus on "several critical objectives, including increasing our revenues." I'm going to give Southwest the benefit of the doubt on this one. If there were other opportunities before that would have increased revenues more than this codeshare, I'll assume that they would have focused on that initially. So I'll just assume that this is something new that now requires greater focus. I just wonder what that is.

A spokeswoman from Southwest explained to me that they now don't anticipate implementing the WestJet codeshare before late 2010, but "we do not have a specific timeline." More importantly, I wanted to know what projects were now deemed to be more important to bump the codeshare. Unfortunately, they "have not discussed specifics regarding the near-term revenue projects that we are redirecting our codeshare resources to - you should hear more on that later this year."

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that details weren't forthcoming, but it leaves a lot of questions unanswered. What are they working on that requires shifting additional resources for completion? I'm very curious.

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