Canadian low-cost carrier WestJet announced today that the airline has ordered up to 20 new Dreamliners. The airline became a widebody operator 3 years ago when the airline added 4 Boeing 767s to the fleet, sourced from Qantas. These have been used to open up new routes to Hawaii and London Gatwick. WestJet will now be able to add new destinations in Asia, South America and Europe.
“This order represents an exciting new chapter in WestJet’s history,” said Gregg Saretsky, WestJet CEO. “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. 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.”
WestJet will be converting orders for 15 Boeing 737 MAX into options available after 2022 as a part of the deal, as the 787s are planned to arrive during this time instead between 2019 and 2021.
“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.”
“Our ability to compete globally and deliver our plan comes from the hard work and dedication of our more than 12,000 WestJetters and I am excited for what this news represents for them,” continued Gregg Saretsky. “They are truly representative of our Canadian values of warm hospitality and openness and on behalf of them, we now turn our attention to welcoming the Dreamliner to the WestJet family.”