WestJet says it's back online after global outage, COO says more disruptions expected

WestJet Group buys 42 more 737-10 aircraft

CALGARY — The WestJet Group is doubling down on its growth strategy with the purchase of 42 additional MAX aircraft, along with options with Boeing for 22 more.

This order is in addition to the airline’s remaining 23 MAX orders, extending its fleet growth plans out to 2028.

According to WestJet Group Chief Executive Officer Alexis von Hoensbroech, with this additional order, the company will accept delivery of no fewer than 65 aircraft in the next six years, at least 50 of which will be 737-10 aircraft. Currently, The WestJet Group’s fleet comprises approximately 170 aircraft, with 110 active 737s.

“WestJet’s expansion plans are rooted in an enhanced presence in Western Canada and a growth strategy in eastern Canadian communities through increased transcontinental flights and more direct routes to sun and leisure destinations. This will be further strengthened once our Sunwing transaction has been approved,” he said.

News broke this past March that the WestJet Group will be acquiring both Sunwing Vacations and Sunwing Airlines. The deal has yet to be approved by the federal government, however, an answer from the feds is expected by the end of October.

The new purchase order with Boeing was approved by WestJet’s Board of Directors and includes state-of-the-art Boeing 737-10 aircraft, the largest model in Boeing’s MAX family. The 737-10 features greater fuel efficiency and the best per-seat economics of any single-aisle airplane in the industry, plus it can cover 99% of the world’s single-aisle routes, which is ideal to serve WestJet’s domestic and international network. The aircraft also reduces fuel use and carbon emissions by at least 20% per seat compared to previous generations, creates a 50% smaller noise footprint than the airplanes it replaces, and features LED lighting and larger overhead stowage bins.

Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said WestJet’s purchase order is “exciting news” for Canadian travellers and Canada’s 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,” said the Minister. “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.”