WestJet isn’t taking the rising tide of low cost competition lightly and has announced it’s buying 42 new Boeing 737 MAX 10 airliners to beef up its sun destination business. The company is now defining itself as a low cost carrier and that means adding flights to sun destinations while decreasing some domestic routes, particularly in the East. “What we will do less, is flying within the East,” CEO Alexiz von Hoensbroech told Canadian Press. “So flights between Montreal and Toronto will decrease but Montreal to Cancun will increase.” “We are a low-cost carrier and we want to improve our low-cost positioning,” said von Hoensbroech.
WestJet is going to need a lot more pilots to backstop the expansion and von Hoensbroech said the opportunities at the airline should attract the flight deck crew he will need. “If you’re a pilot and you are joining an airline that is growing, this will give you a faster track to become a captain than if you are joining an airline that is not growing as fast as we do,” said von Hoensbroech. With orders already placed, the purchase will mean that WestJet’s fleet will expand by 65 aircraft by 2028.