WestJet has finalised a purchase agreement with Boeing for up to 20 787-9 Dreamliners. The deal includes commitments for ten Dreamliners to be delivered between the first quarter of 2019 and December 2021 with options for a further ten between 2020 and 2024.
The Calgary-based carried has selected General Electric’s GEnx-1B engine for its 787s.
“This order represents an exciting new chapter in WestJet’s history,” said Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and 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 widebody 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 says the 787 is 20% more fuel efficient than the aging 767-300s it currently uses on long-haul flights. With a range in excess of 8,700 miles (14,000km), the Dreamliner will also open up potential new destinations in Asia and South America as well as enabling the airline to expand its European network.
“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.”
Ray Conner, Vice Chairman of The Boeing Company, said “We welcome WestJet to the Dreamliner family and look forward to the new destinations they will serve. 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.”
WestJet has also announced it is converting 15 firm orders for the Boeing 737 MAX, due for delivery between 2019 and 2021, to options available between 2022 and 2024.