Canadian airline WestJet has placed an order for 14 additional Boeing 737-700NGs, the manufacturer and airline each announced today. The Calgary-based, low-fare airline also announced plans to reschedule delivery of 16 of the single-aisle airplanes already on order, to “provide for a smoother aircraft delivery schedule and a more flexible fleet plan.” WestJet flies an all-Boeing fleet of 81 Next-Generation 737s.
With today’s order, WestJet’s delivery schedule calls for the shipment of 54 more 737s. “Thanks to our strong partnerships with Boeing and Aviation Capital Group [ACG], we were able to revise our aircraft delivery schedule to better match our strategic plans,” said WestJet President and CEO Sean Durfy. “Our previously published schedule saw us growing to a fleet size of 121 aircraft by 2013. The combination of deferred delivery dates on our existing orders, 14 new orders and 23 leases expiring between 2013 and 2016–each with the option to renew–gives us the flexibility to end 2016 with a fleet size between 112 and 135 aircraft.”
WestJet’s revised fleet plan aligns with current and planned launch of interline and code-share partnerships, continued growth of its WestJet Vacations business and the airline’s plan to expand its share of the business-traveler market. The airline said the order for the 14 Boeing airplanes, scheduled for delivery in 2015 and 2016, will help offset lease expiries and provide greater fleet flexibility. With this revised fleet plan, WestJet expects to expand capacity at a rate of between 5 and 10 percent next year.