In what CEO Gregg Saretsky describes as representing “an exciting new chapter” in WestJet history, the airline has announced a definitive purchase agreement with Boeing for up to 20 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
The deal includes commitments for 10 787-9 aircraft to be delivered between the first quarter of 2019 and December 2021, with options for an additional 10 to be delivered between 2020 and 2024.
"We have carefully executed on our strategic plan, first launching WestJet Encore to connect smaller communities across Canada to our growing network followed by our successful venture into wide-body flying to Hawaii and London Gatwick,” Saretsky said.
“Now, with the most sophisticated commercial airliner available, we turn our attention to further growing our international presence and introducing even more travellers to our award-winning guest experience."
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is a state-of-the-art aircraft that is 20% per cent more fuel efficient than the 767s WS has been using for transatlantic lift. With a range of more than 14,000 kilometres, the Dreamliner will give WS the ability to serve new destinations in Asia and South America, and to expand its service offerings into the European market.
"We welcome WestJet to the Dreamliner family and look forward to the new destinations they will serve," said Ray Conner, Vice Chairman of The Boeing Company. "WestJet, for its entire 21-year history, has been a loyal all-Boeing jet customer and we're excited to see them expand their fleet with the 787."
As part of the purchase agreement, WestJet is converting 15 firm orders for the Boeing 737 MAX that were to be delivered between 2019 and 2021 to options available between 2022 and 2024.