WestJet has disclosed a definitive purchase agreement with Boeing that covers up to 20 787-9s.
The Canadian low-cost carrier says the deal includes commitments for 10 787-9s to be delivered between the first quarter of 2019 and December 2021. An additional 10 on which WestJet has taken options would be delivered between 2020 and 2024.
As part of the purchase agreement, 15 firm 737 Max orders become options. The delivery timeframe for the narrowbodies moves from 2019-2021 to 2022-2024.
General Electric GEnx-1B engines have been selected to power the 787s, adds WestJet, which foresees the widebodies allowing it to serve new destinations in Asia and South America and to expand into the European market. It already operates to London Gatwick and Hawaii using 767s.
Boeing vice-chairman Ray Conner states: "WestJet, for its entire 21-year history, has been a loyal all-Boeing jet customer and we're excited to see them expand their fleet with the 787."
WestJet in 2015 acquired its first widebodies when it took delivery of the first of four 767s. Previously, the carrier had operated only 737s, while its regional unit operates Bombardier Q400 turboprops.
Though the 767s suffered operational problems during initial deployment in 2016 to London, WestJet insisted it was fixing the issues, and executives have repeatedly said the carrier had interest in acquiring additional, possibly new, widebodies.