WestJet Airlines Ltd. (WJA) is evaluating adding long-haul international routes and has begun talks with Boeing Co. (BA) and rival Airbus SAS about wide-body jets that could fly farther than its single-aisle fleet.
Discussions are preliminary and focused on availability, capability and pricing, WestJet Chief Executive Officer Gregg Saretsky said at an investor presentation today. The airline has no definitive plans to purchase wide-body aircraft, and any decisions will probably be delayed until it’s satisfied with new Encore regional unit.
“There’s an opportunity for us to start exploring this notion of a possible wide-body long-haul international operations,” Saretsky said. The airline is just starting to review “what that might look like,” he said, and has no immediate plans to order aircraft
Buying bigger planes and adding longer routes would give WestJet more ammunition as it seeks to win market share from larger competitor Air Canada. (AC/A) The discounter resumed flights to New York’s LaGuardia airport in June and plans to open its new regional unit by 2013 to serve locations now only reached by Canada’s largest airline.
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