WestJet to purchase Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners

Aircraft provides Asian, South American and further European capabilities

CALGARY, May 2, 2017 /CNW/ - WestJet announced today a definitive purchase agreement with The Boeing Company for up to 20 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. This agreement includes commitments for 10 Boeing 787-9 aircraft to be delivered between the first quarter of 2019 and December 2021, with options for an additional 10 aircraft to be delivered between 2020 and 2024. The airline also announced it has selected General Electric's GEnx-1B engine for the 787.

"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 wide-body 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."

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is a state-of-the-art aircraft that is 20 per cent more fuel efficient than the Boeing 767 aircraft. With a range of more than 14,000 kilometres, the Dreamliner will give WestJet the ability to serve new destinations in Asia and South America, and to expand its service offerings into the European market. 

"We welcome WestJet to the Dreamliner family and look forward to the new destinations they will serve," said Ray Conner, Vice Chairman of The Boeing Company. "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."

"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."

As part of this purchase agreement, WestJet is converting 15 firm orders for the Boeing 737 MAX that were to be delivered between 2019 and 2021 to options available between 2022 and 2024.

Caution regarding forward-looking information
Certain information set forth in this news release is "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Such forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, information respecting: the anticipated timing of the proposed 787 deliveries to WestJet's fleet; the potential exercise of the option to acquire additional 787 aircraft; the expected benefits of the 787 aircraft and the GEnx-1B engine to WestJet; WestJet's intentions to grow its international presence; and the availability and anticipated timing of the additional 737 MAX option aircraft.

The forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on certain material factors and assumptions, including, without limitation: that WestJet will continue to follow its current business strategy during the time period discussed; that the specifications and performance of the 787 aircraft and the GEnx-1B engine will meet WestJet's expectations.

By its nature, forward-looking information is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond WestJet's control. The risks and uncertainties that may impact WestJet include, but are not limited to: potential delays in the delivery of new 787 or 737 MAX aircraft; changes in guest demand; changes in fuel prices;  changes in aircraft specifications or performance; changes in general economic and industry conditions; changes in the competitive environment; challenges to WestJet's ability to effectively implement and maintain critical systems; and other factors and risks described in WestJet's public reports and filings. Readers are urged to consult the risks set forth in WestJet's annual information form and management's discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2016, which are each available under WestJet's profile at sedar.com, for important additional information.

Readers are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information as actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking information provided. WestJet does not undertake to update, correct or revise any forward-looking information as a result of any new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law.

About WestJet
We are proud to be Canada's most trusted airline, powered by an award-winning culture of care and recognized as one of the country's top employers. WestJet, and our regional airline, WestJet Encore, offer scheduled service to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. Through our partnerships with airlines representing every major region of the world, we offer our guests more than 150 destinations in more than 20 countries. Leveraging WestJet's extensive network, flight schedule and remarkable guest experience, WestJet Vacations delivers affordable, flexible travel experiences with a variety of accommodation options for every guest. Members of our WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Our members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of WestJet flights and vacations packages on any day, at any time, to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods  ̶  even on seat sales. For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com.  

Recent recognition includes:
2017 Best Airline in Canada and Travellers' Choice Winner Mid-Sized and Low Cost Airlines – North America (TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice awards for Airlines)
2016 Canada's Most Trusted Airline (Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria)
2016 Canada's most reputable company for Corporate Social Responsibility (Reputation Institute)
2016/2015/2014/2013/2012 Ranked top three for Canadian Brands (Canadian Business Magazine)
2016/2015/2014/2013 WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard ranked #1 in Canada (MoneySense magazine)
2015/2011/2010/2008/2007/2006/2005 Canada's Most Admired Corporate Culture (Waterstone Human Capital)
2015 Best Employers in Canada (Aon Hewitt)
 
Connect with WestJet on Facebook at facebook.com/westjet
Follow WestJet on Twitter at twitter.com/westjet
Subscribe to WestJet on YouTube at youtube.com/westjet
Read the WestJet blog at blog.westjet.com

SOURCE WestJet

For further information: To contact WestJet media relations, please email media@westjet.com.

RELATED LINKS
http://www.westjet.com

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890