CALGARY -- WestJet says it plans to bring back nearly 6,400 employees on to its payroll with the help of Ottawa's emergency wage subsidy program.

WestJet chief executive Ed Sims made the announcement in a video posted to Twitter.

He says employees will be back on the company payroll once the federal government has approved the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program.

Air Canada made a similar announcement on Wednesday that it would use the program to bring back about 16,500 employees.

Sims says it doesn't mean all the employees will be automatically coming back to work because there might not be work for them to do, but he says it will help the workers financially.

WestJet continues to operate flights during the crisis, but it has slashed its capacity.