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WestJet shared today that it’s ordered 10 Boeing 787-9s, with an option to buy an additional 10. This announcement marks the beginning of a large expansion for what is already Canada’s second-largest airline. According to the press release from the company, WestJet is planning to use the long range of the Dreamliner to “serve new destinations in Asia and South America, and to expand its service offerings into the European market.”
Currently, WestJet operates a fleet that’s almost entirely Boeing 737s. Four leased Boeing 767s serve its long-haul routes to London (LGW), Kahului (OGG) and Honolulu (HNL) as well as the airline’s seasonal flights to Dublin (DUB) and Glasgow (GLA). Outside of these three European destinations, WestJet only currently operates flights intra-Canada, to the US and to various leisure destinations in Central America.
However, the incredible range of the 787-9 Dreamliners opens up almost the entire world as a potential destination for WestJet. Sadly, we’re going to have to wait a few years before these aircraft and new routes will begin. The 10 confirmed aircraft orders are scheduled to be delivered between 2019 and 2021, with the optional orders slated for delivery between 2020 and 2024.
If you don’t live around an airport served by WestJet, you might know the airline better for its April Fools Day jokes and touching holiday videos. But, if all goes to plan, in the next few years, you’ll also know it for low-cost international flights.
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