WestJet’s 787, international strategy fraught with risks

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Introduction

Boeing 787-9. WestJet ordered 10 and placed an option for 10 more. Deliveries begin in 2019. Boeing photo.

May 8, 2017, © Leeham Co.: WestJet, Canada’s #2 airline behind Air Canada, is making dramatic departures from its low-cost, low-fare strategy since the company began operations in February 1996. The company earlier announced it will form an Ultra Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC). Last week came an order for 10 Boeing 787-9s and options for 10 more. Deliveries begin in 2019.
Summary
  • WestJet is taking on Air Canada and its LCC unit, Rouge, in LCC and long-haul LCC markets.
  • “Too much going on to get comfortable,” writes analyst.
  • Capital costs will go up significantly.

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