WestJet defers orders on heels of Southwest CEO’s announcement

Posted on 28. Aug, 2009 by in Airlines, Blog

Westjet Airline, a Canadian LCC, deferred orders for 16 Boeing 737 aircraft shortly after the CEO of Southwest Airline (SWA) announced that they were “seriously considering” flying to Canada, Mexico and Caribbean markets by 2011.

The airline (WestJet) said the plan “aligns with the current and planned launch of interline and codeshare partnerships, the continued rapid growth of its WestJet Vacations business and. . .plans to grow its share of the business traveler market.”

All the talking points are growth related and yet the plan calls for aircraft deferrals. I suspect the story within the story, is the mention of codeshare. SWA had initially sought a codeshare with WestJet; apparently that is no longer in the cards. Scope is why the SWA pilots union (SWAPA) voted down the last contract proposal, and this is a result of that vote. SWA CEO Gary Kelly obviously decided a fight with the pilots was not worth the incremental short term savings. Maybe he has been watching the outsourcing fiasco at Boeing.

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