Former WestJet CEO to head AC’s new low-fare carrier

by Canadian Shipper

Stephen Smith will be the president and CEO of a low-fare carrier that Air Canada is launching later this year. The appointment takes effect September 10, 2001.

Mr. Smith has over 20 years experience in the airline industry with an extensive background in the regional and discount sectors. As President and CEO of WestJet Airlines he oversaw the discount carrier’s early phases of growth and the carrier’s initial public offering. He was President of Air Canada regional affiliate Air Ontario from 1994 to 1999 and prior to that was President of Air Toronto, a regional carrier linking Toronto with small-size U.S. market destinations. He served as Chairman of the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) in 1999.

“Steve is a proven, talented and smart airline executive and I look forward to having him back as part of the Air Canada team. His extensive background in the industry, in particular his role in developing the discount airline sector in Canada will provide our low fare carrier with the strategic and experienced leadership needed to ensure its success. I also expect Steve to play a key role in creating the low-cost culture change we are seeking to achieve,” said Robert Milton, president and CEO of Air Canada.

Further details on the timing of the start-up, branding, route network,headquarters and infrastructure for the new carrier will be announced shortly after Mr. Smith joins the low-fare carrier on September 10.

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