Canada: WestJet makes a strategic U-turn

Canada: WestJet makes a strategic U-turn

Alexis von Honsbroch does not want more Boeing 787s for the Canadian airline, but wants more short and medium-range aircraft. And he wants to focus on the Canadian part with WestJet.

New owners are usually given a grace period of 100 days before they actually have to deliver. Alexis von Honsbroch took it seriously. The former Austrian Airlines chief reached the 100-day mark at his new workplace in Canada last week. He took this as an opportunity to explain to his new employees how things should continue with WestJet.

The airline should be re-programmed. The Calgary-based airline plans to move resources to expand its presence in the West after a strategic review. “We will use our planes where they can bring the greatest benefit to the Canadian people,” Hohensbroch said in a statement.

no more dreamliners

But they don’t want to completely deviate from the east with metros like Toronto and Montreal. “While we will invest the majority of our fleet in the west, as a national carrier we will maintain a significant presence in the eastern provinces, primarily through direct connections to our western cities.”

“For the time being, further investment in additional Dreamliners will be suspended in order to “focus on additional growth in mid-haul aircraft,” the airline said, adding that there will be more than 30 Boeings that the airline will acquire in the coming years. In addition to the 737 MAX aircraft, including 15 in 2022, WestJet is working towards “a significant additional order for narrow-bodied aircraft”.

Loyal Boeing Customers to date

WestJet hasn’t revealed yet which manufacturer might come into play. However, until now, the airline has been a loyal Boeing customer. According to von Honsbroch, the turboprop fleet with the de Havilland Canada Dash 8-400, with WestJet still on the road, “has to be brought into perfect shape”. The planes are to be used exclusively in the West, where they would be most useful.

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