By John Flett
WestJet Announces Further Order For 42 Boeing 737-10’s
Canada’s WestJet Group has announced an agreement to purchase 42 Boeing 737-10 aircraft with the option to purchase 22 more. The Calgary, Canada-based consortium operates WestJet and Swoop the ultra-low-cost carrier and already has orders for 23 aircraft from the Boeing MAX family.
WestJet Group Chief Executive Officer Alexis von Hoensbroech stated, “With this additional order, the WestJet Group will accept delivery of no fewer than 65 aircraft in the next six years, at least 50 will be 737-10 aircraft, furthering our commitment to affordable travel options for Canadians and jobs for our company and the aerospace industry.”
The 737-10 is the largest of the MAX family with a potential capacity of up to 230 seats (188-204 in a 2-class configuration) and a range of 3,300 nautical miles. “The 737-10 will provide WestJet with additional capacity and unrivaled efficiency as the airline expands its network of destinations across Canada and around the world. We are proud that WestJet sees the value of the 737 MAX family and is adding the 737-10 to complement the 737-8 for outstanding capability, flexibility and improved sustainability,” Stan Deal the president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said.
WestJet has a long history with Boeing aircraft since it began operations in 1996 with three 737 aircraft. The group’s subsidiaries now operate Boeing 737 aircraft including the 737-8 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, though further investment in the latter has been paused ‘to focus instead on additional narrowbody growth’.
In Thursday’s announcement, Mr. Hoensbroech added, “The 737-10 will be a game changer, with one of the lowest costs per seat among mid-range aircraft. This will foster our low-cost positioning and affordability for Canadians. In addition, with its lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions, the 737-10 will further improve the environmental footprint of our fleet.”
Canadian Minister of Transport the Honourable Omar Alghabra stated, “Today’s announcement by WestJet is exciting news for Canadian travelers and our national air industry as a whole. As we enter post-pandemic recovery, investments like these in sustainable and affordable air travel will ensure that our air sector remains strong. I look forward to continuing the work our Government is doing with WestJet and air carriers across the country to make air travel safer, cleaner, and more affordable for everyone.”
Earlier this year, WestJet announced changes to its network strategy and utilization of aircraft with the growth in the 737 family of airplanes being a key pillar. Western Canada is a strong focus for the Alberta consortium with the Dreamliner being ‘centered’ in the region ‘for the time being. It was also stated that WestJet’s regional fleet of De Haviland Q400 aircraft will ‘shifted and rightsized’ with a focus on Western Canada.