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9801Anything for a buck.......

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  • Ricky Gurley
    May 30, 2006
      I read this article just a minute ago, and thought I'd share it with
      the group.. If you read it carefully, you can see how it does apply
      to our profession, and how some P.I.s REALLY will do anything for a


      WestJet apologies over espionage aimed at rival

      WestJet, Canada's biggest low-cost airline, has issued a humbling
      apology to Air Canada, admitting that its executives engaged
      in "unethical and unacceptable" industrial espionage against their
      larger rival.

      Even before Monday's settlement, WestJet's conduct had become an
      oft-cited example of how a young, swashbuckling company had allowed
      competitive instincts to get the better of sound judgment and
      ethical practices.

      WestJet, based in Calgary, has grown rapidly in its 10-year
      existence, combining low fares with an informal and entrepreneurial
      culture to take on the much bigger and more staid Air Canada.
      WestJet has reported profits for all but two quarters since its
      inception, and has won awards as one of the country's best-managed

      Its pilots and flight attendants, most of whom own shares in the
      company, make a habit of entertaining passengers - called guests -
      with songs and jokes.
      But Air Canada alleged two years ago that its rival had used a
      former Air Canada employee's password more than 240,000 times to log
      into its reservations database, mining the data to plan new routes,
      optimise revenue on existing routes and adjust fares to win market

      Air Canada acknowledged hiring a private investigator to gather
      evidence against one of WestJet's co-founders by sifting through his
      domestic garbage. The WestJet executive left the airline shortly

      WestJet admitted it had covertly gained access in 2003 and 2004 to
      an internal Air Canada website "with the knowledge and direction of
      the highest management levels of WestJet".
      It added that the practice was not halted until discovered by Air

      WestJet has agreed to pay all Air Canada's expenses relating to the
      case, totalling C$5.5m ($5m). The Calgary carrier will also donate
      C$10m to children's charities. Air Canada had claimed C$220m in
      compensation and damages. All legal proceedings have been dropped.
      The two carriers said they wanted "to turn the page on this
      unfortunate chapter with finality".

      Copyright 2006 Financial Times



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