Canadian airline WestJet released exciting news today.  The airline signed for another 42 MAX 10s plus 22 options as part of its growth plans. The airline has 23 MAX 8s yet to be delivered from a previous order.

With this additional order, the WestJet Group will accept delivery of no fewer than 65 aircraft in the next six years, at least 50 will be 737-10 aircraft, furthering our commitment to affordable travel options for Canadians and jobs for our company and the aerospace industry,” said WestJet Group Chief Executive Officer Alexis von Hoensbroech. “WestJet’s expansion plans are rooted in an enhanced presence in Western Canada and a growth strategy in eastern Canadian communities through increased transcontinental flights and more direct routes to sun and leisure destinations. This will be further strengthened once our Sunwing transaction has been approved.”

According to the fleet data at ch-Aviation, this is what WestJet’s current active fleet comprises.  The airline has been a loyal Boeing customer since its inception.

The switch to the MAX 10 is a big statement.  The order for 23 MAX 8s makes sense given the number of -800NGs. Once all the MAX 8s are delivered the fleet of that size grows from 37 to 41.  Clearly, the -700NG size no longer works as the MAX 10 is MoM-sized.  No MAX 7 interest anymore it appears.

The switch to the largest MAX model will get many in the industry to review their own plans. Canada has some growth going on that may be out of sync with traffic volumes. We have Flair growing, Jetlines Canada off to a start, and Porter bringing in Embraer E195-E2s. Porter will have to use regular airports for the E2, Billy Bishop won’t work. Flair and Jetlines are ULCCs and will drive down the cost of travel to and from Canada. WestJet clearly is taking the fight to them – hoping MAX1 0 seat costs will be significantly lower than the MAX 8. The MAX 9 is currently the greenest single-aisle and the MAX 10 is likely to improve on that.

The MAX 10 can seat 230 and should have a range of 3,100NM. Using Halifax as the point of departure, this is where the MAX 10 should be able to reach.

WestJet should be able to reach the key markets its needs with the aircraft. The MAX 10 would easily reach the important UK market during the summer from Halifax. The MAX 10 can also reach well into the snow goose markets to the south in winter.  Canadians are set to see some great fares as airlines fight for traffic.

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Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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