acknowledged Thursday that its planned partnership with
may be in jeopardy.
Calgary-based WestJet, a low-fare carrier built on the Southwest model, flies Boeing 737 jets to 69 cities in North American and the Caribbean.
Southwest, the largest low-fare carrier, said it learned this week from media reports that WestJet apparently intends to enter into a code-share agreement with
. That agreement "could be inconsistent" with the deal it currently holds with WestJet to become code-share partners, Southwest said.
Southwest mentioned that it also learned about a deal by which Delta would transfer slots at New York's LaGuardia airport to WestJet. Coincidence? Maybe not.
"The Southwest/WestJet project was on target in accordance with a mutually agreed upon timetable," said Bob Jordan, Southwest's executive vice president, in a prepared statement. "However, WestJet in recent weeks requested material and significant changes to our agreement that we could not accept."
Jordan said Southwest is prepared to move forward on its deal with WestJet and has not been notified that WestJet intends to terminate. If that is indeed the case, Southwest remains interested in providing its passengers with access to Canada, Jordan said.
A WestJet spokesman could not be reached for comment.
-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.