WestJet suspends 2019 financial guidance following Boeing 737 MAX grounding

WestJet suspends 2019 financial guidance following Boeing 737 MAX grounding

CALGARY — WestJet has announced that it is suspending all 2019 financial guidance that it previously provided in December 2018 and February 2019 following the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in Canada.

According to the carrier, the decision was made in light of Transport Canada’s safety notice to close Canadian airspace to the aircraft until further notice, the Federal Aviation Administration’s temporary grounding order, as well as Boeing’s decision to suspend all MAX deliveries to airline customers.

The financial guidance provided with respect to earnings per share (EPS), return on invested capital (ROIC) and cumulative free-cash flow over the period of 2020-2022 remains in place until more information becomes available.

The decision comes on the heels of a similar announcement made by Air Canada last week to also suspend all financial guidance it provided on Feb. 15 and Feb. 28 with respect to the 2019 financial year.

WestJet enacted its contingency plan immediately and grounded all 13 of its MAX aircraft within 55 minutes of Transport Canada’s order, with only three MAX aircraft outside of its Canadian jurisdiction.

The airline continues to implement and execute its contingency plan to minimize guest disruption and any financial impact.

For the remainder of the first quarter, WestJet expects it will be able to protect approximately 86% of guests booked on MAX flights and cover approximately 75% of the flights that were intended to operate on the MAX with other aircraft.

Get travel news right to your inbox!