Canadian carrier WestJet took delivery on December 7 of the 100th Boeing 737NG to join the Calgary-based airline’s fleet.
WestJet began service in 1996 with three Boeing 737-200s serving five cities and has grown into Canada’s largest low-fare airline, serving 81 destinations across Canada, the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.
With the December 7 delivery of a Boeing 737-800, WestJet’s fleet now consists of 100 aircraft – all of them Boeing 737NG versions.
“This Next-Generation 737-800 marks a major milestone for our airline,” says Cam Kenyon, WestJet’s executive vice president, operations. “The Boeing 737 is a key component in our growth strategy. Its excellent reliability, operational efficiency and range enable us to expand our network.”
“The growth of WestJet over the past 16 years is truly remarkable,” says Brad McMullen, vice president of North America sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “WestJet has made the Next-Generation 737 the foundation of its fleet and has established a strong operational track record with the airplane.”
The single-aisle Boeing 737-800 can seat 162 passengers in dual-class configuration and up to 189 passengers in a high-density configuration.
According to Boeing, the 737-800 can fly 175 nautical miles (320 kilometers) farther while carrying 12 more passengers than the Airbus A320, its main competitor. (However, the A320 is usually several million dollars cheaper to buy new and has a wider cabin than the 737-800.)
WestJet’s 100th Boeing 737NG was initially delivered to Newport Beach, California-based leasing company Aviation Capital Group (ACG) and is going to be leased and operated by WestJet.
“We are delighted to be leasing this milestone airplane to WestJet,” says R. Stephen Hannahs, group managing director and CEO of ACG. “The Boeing 737-800 is an excellent airplane to support WestJet’s growth strategy. It provides the efficiency, reliability and passenger amenities needed to grow in today’s competitive marketplace.”