WestJet has announced the appointment of Karl Schuster as the airline's Executive Vice-President and Chief Loyalty Officer (CLO).
Schuster will join the WestJet executive leadership team in early 2022, following the completion of the immigration process.
Schuster has over 19 years of loyalty experience, including six years as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Velocity Frequent Flyer, Virgin Australia's award-winning loyalty program.
During his time at Virgin Australia, Schuster grew Velocity to be one of the largest loyalty programs in Australia, significantly increasing their annual revenue; increasing membership subscribers to 10 million, from their previous 5.3 million members; and growing partnerships with noteworthy brands across the country.
Prior to his time at Velocity, Schuster lead multi-year loyalty programs for Qantas, British Airways and Malaysian Airlines and provided consulting advice to a diverse range of airlines in his nearly 15 years at Aimia Inc.
"Karl has an impressive history of driving exponential growth for a diverse range of loyalty programs and delivering results through innovation and strategy," said Harry Taylor, WestJet Interim President and CEO. "We are looking forward to welcoming Karl to WestJet; his breadth of experience will elevate WestJet's loyalty program to new heights."
The CLO is a newly created role for the airline, responsible for the execution of growing WestJet's loyalty program, products, services and partnerships through innovation and leadership.
"As WestJet transitions from recovery to expansion, the airline is making significant investments in its already successful loyalty program, and I am thrilled to be joining the team at such a pivotal moment in time," said Schuster. "As WestJet builds back stronger, there is incredible runway in front of WestJet Rewards and we will be working to bring guests more benefits and privileges through exciting and innovative loyalty enhancements. I am pleased to be joining WestJet's high performing loyalty team alongside d'Arcy Monaghan, WestJet Vice-President, Loyalty Programs and I look forward to working with him and the team to take our program to new heights."