West Jet is now Canada Air. In a surprise move, West Jet announced today it would commemorate Canada 150 with a #most-Canadian re-brand. Airline brands are fiercely competitive on price, routes and especially for consumer loyalty. The new Canada Air aims to be the #most-Canadian of airline brands. Seems the company was playing catch up. With the recent re-design of the Air Canada livery, West Jet couldn’t allow their bigger competitor to win over Canadian travelers during the peak booking season.
We are sorry we didn’t do it sooner — Richard Bartram, West Jet president in a video press release.
The people who make up our brand and airline represent many of the Canadian values we are known for globally. Kindness, a great sense of fun, warmth, a desire to do the right thing and an incredible sense of caring are what make Canadians Canadian and we believe it’s time for our name to reflect this reality — president, Canada Air (formerly West Jet)
We told you at the beginning of this journey we were going to challenge some of the cliches about being Canadian. April Fool. West Jet will remain West Jet.
Corporations try to create a halo effect from the symbols and iconic examples of Canadian-ness will fail if their brand’s connection to Canadians is not genuine. West Jet’s April Fool video shows they understand Canadians very well. We are proud of Canada, but don’t like strident nationalism. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, and we know how to laugh at our own expense.
Kudos to West Jet for having some fun with Air Canada and all Canadians. The joke’s on us, and a good reminder not to become too smug about being Canadian. Sorry, eh?