WestJet of Canada seem to be doing well, with two announcements today – both regarding fleet expansions.
The interesting fleet expansion news is that WestJet are to add Boeing 767-300ER aircraft to its fleet in 2015.
The airline will be taking them four of the aircraft. These are to be configured as 767-300ERW (767-300 Extended Range series with Winglets) and to be used on routes between Alberta and Hawaii initially.
These aircraft will be delivered in late 2015, replacing the existing Thomson Airways Boeing 757s that WestJet lease for the winter/spring season.
As well as going to Hawaii, WestJet are aiming to make good use of these aircraft in different places, stating the airline aims “to expand its operation into overseas markets starting in the summer of 2016”.
In addition to the news of Boeing 767-300ERs coming on stream for the fleet, WestJet Encore (the operator that flies the Dash8 Q400 NextGen aircraft), the airline will be taking up its option for an extra five of the aircraft type, expanding the total to 25 aircraft in the Encore fleet. These aircraft are used on regional routes, creating feed and connecting to bigger WestJet hubs whilst proving service to smaller cities.
These are interesting additions to the WestJet fleet (and a departure from what is currently used), which is based around the 737 NextGen aircraft (Boeing 737-600, Boeing 737-700, Boeing 737-800) and the Bombardier Dash8 Q400 NextGen Turboprop aircraft used with affiliate WestJet Encore.
Certainly, WestJet are planning to take their brand of low-cost flying further – but where will their next “overseas” destinations be? It’s important to note the Boeing 767-300ER has very long legs, with a range of 5990 nautical miles
Lets look a map, centred on Toronto:
As you can see, the 767-300ER covers one heck of a distance – with South Africa, Europe, Japan and even China within range.
If WestJet can get the right routes, they could really shake up the market…