Westjet plans to buy 65 Boeing planes

Westjet, the Canadian airline, is planning to purchase 65 Boeing 737 Max airplanes. The deal has not been finalised, but is expected to be for 40 737 Max 8 planes and 25 737 Max 7 planes, and an earlier confirmed order is partially being switched to 737 Max planes as well. Westjet is looking to expand its fleet with more fuel-efficient planes, and the total number of planes the carrier has on order will essentially double its existing fleet; existing Westjet orders with Boeing, plus this order in discussion, means that Westjet has ordered 92 planes, most of them the 737 Max, and Westjet currently has 107 aircraft in its fleet.

Competition for passengers is heating up among Canadian airlines. Air Canada is adding a discount airline focused on the international market this year, and Westjet itself recently launched their own regional carrier, Encore, with the intention of competing with Air Canada on some smaller routes where Air Canada has effectively enjoyed a monopoly.

Westjet expects to sign a final purchase agreement with Boeing for the 65 new planes by the end of September. The 737 Max is built at Boeing’s Renton, WA plant; deliveries are expected to start in 2015 with the mid-sized Max 8, and complete in 2019 with the Max 7, a smaller aircraft. List price for the 65 new aircraft is $6.3 billion dollars.

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