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About the Speaker
Throughout his aviation career, Ed Sims has demonstrated that an emphasis on peoples’ development and transparent communication are the stepping stones to success. As President and CEO, responsible for both the strategic direction of the company and the day-to-day operations, Ed leads WestJet’s employees with this emphasis and the professional values of accountability, resilience, authenticity, aspiration and humility.
His confidence in the strength of these guiding principles rests in his track record.
Ed joined WestJet in 2017 as Executive Vice-President, Commercial and became President and CEO in 2018. He led WestJet from its first quarterly loss in 52-consecutive quarters, and his first as CEO, to a position of sustained and significant profitability.
Under his leadership, WestJet made significant strides in its evolution from a point-to-point, low-cost carrier to a global network airline, with the arrival of the first 787 Dreamliners and the introduction of business cabin and premium service. WestJet has continued to be recognized as Canada’s Favourite Airline (TripAdvisor 2017/2018/2019) and as a national standout in safety and operational efficiency being named one of North America’s top-10 most on-time airlines for 2019 (Cirium).
In 2019, Ed led the organization through the largest private equity deal in aviation history with the purchase of WestJet by Onex.
Ed started in the United Kingdom travel industry and has enjoyed a varied career spanning more than 30 years in tourism and aviation across the European, Australasian and North American markets. Prior to WestJet, Ed held senior commercial and operational leadership positions within the Tui, Thomas Cook and Virgin Groups and served for ten years at Air New Zealand where he led the international wide-body business. His role prior to Westjet was marked by six years of service as CEO of Airways, New Zealand’s air navigation service provider.
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