WestJet announces significant fleet-plan enhancements



    Airline's revised delivery schedule will provide greater flexibility

    CALGARY, Aug. 24 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced enhancements to its
fleet plan, which include the rescheduled delivery of 16 aircraft and the
purchase of an additional 14 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. These
changes provide for a smoother aircraft delivery schedule and a more flexible
fleet plan. The revised delivery schedule is as follows:

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Revised delivery      Lease expiries/  Total fleet size
                             schedule  potential renewals        at year-end
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Remainder 2009            5                  -                  86
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
          2010                5                  -                  91
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
          2011                7                  -                  98
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
          2012                7                  -                 105
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
          2013                6                  3              108 to 111
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
          2014                6                  -              114 to 117
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
          2015               10                 12              112 to 127
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
          2016                8                  8              112 to 135
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Total               54                 23              112 to 135
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    "Thanks to our strong partnerships with Boeing and Aviation Capital Group
(ACG), we were able to revise our aircraft delivery schedule to better match
our strategic plans," said WestJet President and CEO Sean Durfy. "Our
previously published schedule saw us growing to a fleet size of 121 aircraft
by 2013. The combination of deferred delivery dates on our existing orders, 14
new orders and 23 leases expiring between 2013 and 2016 - each with the option
to renew - gives us the flexibility to end 2016 with a fleet size between 112
and 135 aircraft."
    WestJet's revised fleet plan aligns with the current and planned launch
of interline and code-share partnerships, the continued rapid growth of its
WestJet Vacations business and the airline's plans to grow its share of the
business-traveller market. WestJet assessed aircraft buying opportunities in
the current market and placed the order for the 14 additional aircraft from
Boeing, to be delivered in 2015 and 2016, to help offset lease expiries and
provide greater fleet flexibility. With this revised fleet plan, WestJet's
capacity growth is expected to be between five and 10 per cent in 2010.
    "Our strong WestJet brand and loyal guests provide us with the confidence
to keep expanding our network. We believe we will continue to increase our
market share profitably. It is clear that additional aircraft are needed to
meet our strategic growth plans, and we feel comfortable in the capacity and
balance-sheet flexibility this improved fleet plan provides," continued Sean
Durfy. "Orders for new aircraft get placed years in advance of delivery dates
and, as we have seen, the economic conditions can change rapidly. Shifting the
new aircraft delivery dates allows us to spread our growth out more evenly
between 2010 and 2016. It also helps to even out our pre-delivery payment
schedule for aircraft deposits and gives us the time and flexibility to make
decisions around our financing options for these aircraft. Our goal is to
provide WestJet with maximum flexibility and our guests with one of the most
modern fleet of aircraft in the world."

    This press release contains forward-looking statements including, but not
limited to, statements regarding WestJet's fleet delivery schedule and
strategic growth plans. These forward-looking statements are based on
WestJet's current assumptions and beliefs. However, these forward-looking
statements are subject to, and may be affected by, numerous risks and
uncertainties, some of which are beyond WestJet's control. WestJet's results
may differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, such statements.
Factors that could cause or contribute to these differences include, but are
not limited to: changes in consumer demand, general economic conditions, the
competitive environment, labour disruptions and other factors described in
WestJet's public reports and filings, which are available on WestJet's profile
at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking statements are subject to change, and
WestJet does not undertake to update, correct or revise any forward-looking
statements as a result of any new information, future events or otherwise,
except as may be required by applicable law.

    About WestJet

    WestJet is Canada's preferred airline, offering scheduled service
throughout its 66-city North American and Caribbean network. Named one of
Canada's most admired corporate cultures in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, WestJet
pioneered low-cost flying in Canada. WestJet offers increased legroom, leather
seats and live seatback television provided by Bell TV on its modern fleet of
81 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. With future confirmed deliveries for
an additional 54 aircraft through 2016, WestJet strives to be one of the five
most successful international airlines in the world.





For further information:

For further information: WestJet Media Relations, 1-888-WJ 4 NEWS
(1-888-954-6397), E-mail: ropalmer@westjet.com; WestJet Investor Relations,
1-877-493-7853, E-mail: investor_relations@westjet.com; Website: westjet.com


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