News WestJet lays off pilots SHARE ON: Wendy Gray, staff Thursday, Apr. 16th, 2020 A Westjet plane lands at the Comox Valley Airport. (Vista Radio stock photo) WestJet is laying off 1,700 pilots. The layoffs come amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the crippling effects it has had on the airline industry. The layoffs are effective as of May 1st. Another 1,000 pilots will be off the job come June 1st. The company calls the move a “last resort” The pilots will still be on payroll because of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy that provides employers 75-percent of an employee’s salary. Earlier this month WestJet announced it was hiring back 6,400 employees it had previously laid off thanks to the wage subsidy.