WestJet's MAX Purchase Would Cancel 15 737NG Orders
By Sean Broderick, Guy Norris
Source: Aviation Daily
Counting the LOI, the fleet changes would leave WestJet with 92 outstanding commitments to Boeing 737s, including two -800s slated for delivery by year’s end. The carrier’s current fleet includes 103 737s and four Bombardier Q400s.
“WestJet notes that as a result of the flexibility built into its fleet plan ... the fleet could be as large as 162 737 Boeing aircraft or as few as 120 737 Boeing aircraft a decade from now,” the carrier says in a statement on the LOI.
Lease expirations/extension options in the coming years give the carrier tremendous fleet flexibility. It has three -700s leases up for extension in 2014, and is considering letting each of those aircraft go. It has a total of 33 more aircraft with lease extension options up for consideration from 2015-2018.
“I call this our ripcord,” President and CEO Gregg Saretsky said at an analysts’ conference earlier this year. “It provides us [a] tremendous amount of flexibility as we think about all of the things that could happen over the course of the next half decade.”