WestJet eyes smaller planes

Old Apr 14, 09, 5:14 am
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WestJet eyes smaller planes


After faithfully ordering workhorse Boeing 737s over the past 13 years, WestJet Airlines Ltd. WJA-T is studying the merits of adding smaller planes, envisaging a bold departure from its single-fleet strategy.

The Calgary-based carrier, founded in 1996 with just three Boeing 737s, is pondering using smaller aircraft for regional routes as it develops contingency plans in case Air Canada and its Jazz affiliate scale back service.
tcook052 is offline  
Old Apr 14, 09, 11:13 am
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I knew it would happen soon... Good news =)
TheGreatestX is offline  
Old Apr 14, 09, 11:48 am
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Which aircraft are they going to look at? I assume when West Jet made its intention to the public, they might already have something on their mind.

Or are they sending a signal to Bombardier? The C-series planes would be a nice fit, such as CS100, which flies 100 to 125 passengers.

Unless West Jet is thinking of Q-400 types turbo planes.

Basically they have three choices:

(1) Bombardier Q-400, 60~70 passengers. excellent opex economics, a model of Jazz, Porter or Horizon Air. Westjet can use them to commute between the major Canadian cities and smaller communities.

(2) Embraer 170 or 190 with the passenger load of 70~90, slightly better than CRJ700 or 900 or 1000, but the same technology as 737-600+, once they join the fleet in a few years.

(3) Bombardier's C-Series, with 100~120 passengers. Better opcost with the green/environmental corporate images. They are not designed for connecting major cities to small communities. But they are good alternative to a portion of Westjet's current older 737 in the lower 100s passenger load, so they can be flexibly dispatched and optimized to its current fleet. A model for routes like YYZ/YYC, or YYC-LAX, with a number of 737 highloaders, embedded with non-peak low loaders.

I have no clue what they are going to buy, but most likely whoever gets chosen, it will be like at least 20 planes to start with.

Personally I still wish WestJet choose C-Series planes.
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Old Apr 14, 09, 6:12 pm
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Thumbs up

WS continues to be profitable because their costs are so much less than AC's. If they go ahead with a second fleet type, whatever plane they choose, it will be something that maintains their cost advantage -- which means no expensive CRJs or ERJs. The 110-seat C-Series is too close in size to WS's 119-seat 737-600s to justify a separate fleet. The Q400 makes the most sense, probably something like a 74-seat version, and could be used on shorter existing routes as well as to compete with Jazz on routes that can't support a 737.
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Old Apr 15, 09, 3:14 am
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Last edited by jong866; Jan 14, 10 at 4:42 am
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