Boeing has confirmed
that Canadian low-fare carrier WestJet has ordered seven new Boeing
737-700s to add to its all-737 fleet. The airplanes, which have a
catalog value of about U.S. $360-million, are scheduled for
delivery in 2005.
WestJet, based in Calgary, Alberta, recently celebrated its 27th
consecutive quarter of profitability and has consistently recorded
50-percent annual growth as it expanded its routes across
Founded in 1996, WestJet flew a fleet of 737-200s in its first
five years of operation. It began adding Next-Generation 737-700s
in 2001. The airline currently operates 44 Boeing 737s, including
"The Boeing 737 has played a crucial role in the growth of
WestJet," said Clive Beddoe, the airline's executive chairman, CEO
and president. "They have helped us lower our cost structure and
contributed greatly to our profitability."
Beddoe said the 737-700s have reduced maintenance costs 46
percent and increased fuel efficiency 30-percent compared with the
WestJet based its business model on that of Southwest Airlines,
the U.S. low-fare carrier that operates only Boeing 737s. Airlines
in several areas of the world, including Ryanair in Europe, Virgin
Blue in Australia and GOL in Brazil, have adopted the Southwest
model. All fly only 737s and all three are profitable.
The Next-Generation 737 family of airplanes, which consists of
four models, the 737-600, 737-700, 737-800 and 737-900, is 10 years
newer than competing single aisle airplanes.