WestJet has put off cabin upgrades to its Boeing 737NG aircraft so it can use the planes to fill in for the 13 MAX aircraft that were grounded in March. Instead, the brand new MAXes have been sent to various shops for installation of 2X2 premium cabin seating and other enhancements inspired by the entry to service of its Boeing 787s. According to MRO Network, a total of eight NG variants were taken out of the modification pool and replaced by the same number of MAX jets.
The publication quoted John Kelly, the airline’s VP of technical operations, as saying the company is managing to fill the void left by the MAX grounding but only just. It has no maintenance spares and no margin for cancellations. “It’s put a lot of stress on the rest of the fleet,” he told MRO Network. “If an airplane goes [out of service] on us, we don’t have a spare.” He also said the airline is trying not to defer maintenance to ensure issues don’t build up and force aircraft out of service.