Jazz Aviation announced that it has signed a letter of intent with Thunder Bay, Ontario-based Wasaya Airways for the carrier to become the ninth partner in the Jazz Aviation Pathways Program.
“This is an exciting development for our Jazz APP program,” said Steve Linthwaite, Vice President, Flight Operations, Jazz.
“In addition to our long history of working with aviation colleges and universities in Canada, we’re thrilled to recognize the talent and experience of Wasaya’s professional pilots and extend our career pathway to them.”
There are two pillars of this agreement:
First, Jazz will refer to Wasaya, high quality graduates who have progressed through the Jazz Aviation Pathways Program at our partner aviation colleges and universities. Those graduates would then have the opportunity to transition to first officer positions at Wasaya.
Second, the Jazz Aviation Pathways Program will provide a direct career path opportunity for qualifying Wasaya pilots to transition to first officer positions at Jazz. The career pathway could then continue for those Wasaya pilots interested in future opportunities to fly for Air Canada through Jazz’s preferential interview process (Pilot Mobility Program) with the mainline carrier.
Through agreements with eight aviation colleges and universities, and industry partners Wasaya and Air Canada, the Jazz APP program provides yet another pilot career pathway for aviation graduates with this latest agreement.
Michael Rodyniuk, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wasaya stated:
“Wasaya is delighted to join with Jazz on the Aviation Pathway Program. We see this as a game changer for pilot recruitment and retention. An initial hire at Wasaya will now have the potential for opportunities to work with Wasaya, Jazz, or ultimately Air Canada. Over recent months, we’ve worked together with Captain Steve Linthwaite and the Jazz team to realize this milestone. The program builds on our relationship with Jazz and its parent company Chorus Aviation. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this program will provide an important opportunity for First Nations’ youth, showing a clear path to a career as an airline pilot.”
Jazz and Wasaya recognize and appreciate the involvement, proactive approach and commitment of the Air Line Pilots Association, International, especially both Master Executive Councils, regarding discussions on ALPA seniority and provisions affecting both the Jazz and Wasaya flight teams.
Since 2007 Jazz has been actively involved in shaping the curriculum and training of Canada’s future professional pilots through active engagement with aviation college and universities. In 2015, Jazz rebranded these efforts under the Jazz Aviation Pathway Program banner. To date, Jazz has announced agreements between the Jazz APP and the following institutions and organizations: Algonquin College, Centre québécois de formation aéronautique, Confederation College, Mount Royal University, Okanagan College, Sault College, Seneca College, Wasaya Airways and Western University.
Jazz Aviation LP has a strong history in Canadian aviation with its roots going back to the 1930s. Jazz is owned by Chorus Aviation Inc. As the largest regional carrier in Canada, Jazz has a proven track record of industry leadership and exceptional customer service, and has leveraged that strength to deliver value to all its stakeholders. Jazz operates more flights and flies to more Canadian destinations than any other airline, and has a workforce of approximately 4100 professionals, highly experienced in the challenging and complex nature of regional operations.
There are two airline divisions operated by Jazz Aviation LP: Air Canada Express and Jazz.
Under a capacity purchase agreement with Air Canada, Jazz provides service to and from lower-density markets as well as higher-density markets at off-peak times throughout North America with a fleet of 113 Canadian-made Bombardier aircraft.
Under the Jazz brand, the airline offers charters throughout North America with a dedicated fleet of Bombardier aircraft for corporate clients, governments, special interest groups and individuals seeking more convenience. Jazz also has the ability to offer airline operators services such as ground handling, dispatching, flight load planning, training and consulting.
With 26 years’ experience, Wasaya Airways LP is 100% First Nations owned by 12 First Nations: Bearskin Lake; Fort Severn; Kasabonika Lake; Keewaywin; Kingfisher Lake; Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug; Muskrat Dam; Nibinamik; Pikangikum; Sandy Lake; Wapekeka; and Wunnumin Lake.
Wasaya serves 25 destinations in Northwestern Ontario with 60 daily passenger and cargo flights, with a fleet of 19 aircraft, employing 345 employees, of which 123 are First Nation.