WestJet Group names Diederik Pen as COO and airline president

Effective April 1, 2024, Diederik Pen assumes the helm at the WestJet Group as its chief operating officer and president of WestJet Airlines.

Pen will continue to report to Alexis von Hoensbroech, the WestJet Group’s chief executive officer (CEO).

As CEO, Alexis von Hoensbroech will be responsible for the WestJet Group and its strategic direction.

“Diederik’s experience as a respected leader, with a track record of operational success, will be critical as we continue our growth strategy, including the integration of Sunwing Airlines,” said von Hoensbroech. “With the largest narrow-body aircraft order book in Canada, it is critical we optimize safe and reliable performance for our business as we deliver more affordable options and better connectivity to Canadians.”

Since joining the WestJet Group in October of 2021 as executive vice president and chief operating officer, Pen has been instrumental in enhancing the operational performance of the Group. Leading operations into recovery, he has been influential across airline operations, inflight, airports, technical operations, labour relations, safety, crew resources and training.

As WestJet Group chief operating officer and president of WestJet Airlines, Pen will be responsible for the Group’s day-to-day operations, successful labour negotiations and overall operational reliability. He will also assume the role of Transport Canada’s accountable executive.

“Across the past three years, WestJetters have demonstrated their relentless commitment to the travel needs of Canadians and the performance of our airline, said Pen. “I am incredibly grateful to work alongside such a dedicated, innovative and passionate team. As we lean into the momentum of a financially and operationally strong 2023 and focus on the WestJet Group’s future growth, it has never been more important that we continue to work together to increase our reliability and performance.”  

Before joining WestJet, Pen brought more than 25 years of aviation industry experience from the Asia-Pacific and European regions. As an executive vice president and chief operations officer for multiple airlines, he drove significant expansions while overseeing operations for fast-growing, ultra-low-cost businesses.