CALGARY, AB, Nov. 29, 2021 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced the appointment of Karl Schuster, as the airline's Executive Vice-President and Chief Loyalty Officer (CLO). Schuster will join the WestJet executive leadership team in early 2022, following the completion of the immigration process.
Schuster has over 19 years of loyalty experience, including six years as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Velocity Frequent Flyer, Virgin Australia's award-winning loyalty program. During his time at Virgin Australia, Schuster grew Velocity to be one of the largest loyalty programs in Australia, significantly increasing their annual revenue; increasing membership subscribers to 10 million, from their previous 5.3 million members; and growing partnerships with noteworthy brands across the country. Prior to his time at Velocity, Schuster lead multi-year loyalty programs for Qantas, British Airways and Malaysian Airlines and provided consulting advice to a diverse range of airlines in his nearly 15 years at Aimia Inc.
"Karl has an impressive history of driving exponential growth for a diverse range of loyalty programs and delivering results through innovation and strategy," said Harry Taylor, WestJet Interim President and CEO. "We are looking forward to welcoming Karl to WestJet; his breadth of experience will elevate WestJet's loyalty program to new heights."
The CLO is a newly created role for the airline, responsible for the execution of growing WestJet's loyalty program, products, services and partnerships through innovation and leadership.
"As WestJet transitions from recovery to expansion, the airline is making significant investments in its already successful loyalty program, and I am thrilled to be joining the team at such a pivotal moment in time," said Schuster. "As WestJet builds back stronger, there is incredible runway in front of WestJet Rewards and we will be working to bring guests more benefits and privileges through exciting and innovative loyalty enhancements. I am pleased to be joining WestJet's high performing loyalty team alongside d'Arcy Monaghan, WestJet Vice-President, Loyalty Programs and I look forward to working with him and the team to take our program to new heights."
About WestJet Rewards
Members of the WestJet Rewards program earn and redeem WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages, and more. Members can maximize their earning power by adding a WestJet RBC® World Elite Mastercard‡ to their wallet and turning everyday purchases into WestJet dollars. WestJet Rewards Platinum, Gold and Silver members enjoy free checked bags, seat selection, lounge access, priority airport services, complimentary upgrades and more.
In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.
Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline's Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.
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Recent recognition includes:
2020/2019 Number-One Ranked Canadian Airline Loyalty Program in Member Engagement (Bond Brand Loyalty)
2019/2018/2017 Best Airline in Canada (TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines)
2019 Winner Among Mid-Sized Airlines in North America (TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines)
2019/2018 Number-One-Ranked Airline Credit Card in Canada (Rewards Canada)
SOURCE WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership
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