WestJet Airlines today announced an intent to order 20 Next-Generation 737s with options to acquire an additional 30 airplanes. The airline also announced it entered into an agreement with GE Capital Aviation Service (GECAS) for the lease of 10 of the same airplane type with the option to lease a further 10. The signing of these agreements will provide WestJet with the ability to add up to 70 737-700 or 737-600 series airplanes over the next eight years.
"We feel very confident in the choice of the Boeing 737 to grow and update our fleet. After reviewing the economical, technological, environmental and passenger comfort features on this particular airplane, we know it is the best fit for our company," Stephen Smith, WestJet's President and Chief Executive Officer said. "WestJet is extremely pleased with the exceptional relationship we have developed with Boeing during the past four years, and we look forward to strengthening our partnership."
John Feren, senior vice president for Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group - Sales said, "Boeing is excited to be re-entering the Canadian new airplane market and to be the supplier of choice for the first new jetliners to be added to WestJet's fleet. We are pleased to be able to join WestJet Airlines as they move on to the next phase in their growth."
The Next-Generation 737, which entered service in 1998, is the newest and most advanced single-aisle airplane family in its class. The Next-Generation 737 flies higher and farther than competing products, and is the fastest-selling new airplane program in history. The airplane's new overhead bins are custom-designed to handle more roll-aboard luggage, and its new passenger cabin continues to win praise for its spaciousness, comfort and design.
The 737 is the best-selling commercial jetliner of all time, with nearly 4,500 ordered. Since its launch in 1993, customers worldwide have ordered 1,360 Next-Generation 737s. More than 1,000 737s are in the air at any time; one takes off somewhere in the world every 5.5 seconds.