WestJet is expecting its maintenance costs to rise as more of its aircraft come off of warranty, regulatory filings show.
Ten of WestJet's next-generation Boeing 737 aircraft will come off of warranty in 2013. WestJet has seen 76 next-generation 737s in its fleet come off of warranty to date.
Aircraft under warranty generally have lower maintenance costs, and WestJet acknowledges that the aging aircraft fleet will cause maintenance expenses to increase.
WestJet is expecting to spend between $55 million and $60 million on major components this year. That includes 12 of its CFM International CFM56 engines, 16 sets of landing gear and five airframes.
WestJet owns three of the engines needing overhaul and leases nine. It owns all of the sets of landing gear needing overhauls and leases the five airframes.
WestJet has 103 Boeing 737s in its fleet, Flightglobal's Ascend Online database shows. That fleet averaged 6.7 years at the end of 2012. WestJet has 33 leases that expire between 2014 and 2018 and plans to operate between 102 and 135 aircraft by the end of 2018 depending on market conditions.
Maintenance expenses increased 5.6% in 2012 and totalled Canadian dollar ($C) $154 million ($151.7 million), up from $146 million the previous year.
WestJet operates hangars in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto, which together fit 19 Boeing 737s. The carrier performs its own line maintenance and uses contract maintenance for heavy checks.