CALGARY – WestJet officially unveiled its first Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, one of 50 scheduled for delivery in the next four years.
“We are proud to make history as the first Canadian airline to receive the Boeing 737 MAX,” said Ed Sims, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Commercial. “The MAX’s design updates, including Boeing’s Advanced Technology winglets and the Boeing Sky Interior, will contribute to improvements in fuel efficiency and overall guest experience. We look forward to welcoming guests on board our sleek new aircraft along with our signature caring, people-driven service.”
“We worked closely with WestJet to make sure the 737 MAX raises the bar when it comes to efficiency, reliability and the passenger experience,” said Brad McMullen, Boeing’s Vice-President of Sales for the Americas. “This is a great airplane for a great customer, and we’re excited to see WestJet put the MAX into service.”
The aircraft, which has been at WestJet’s Calgary hangar since September 29 for inspections, training and test flights, is the first of 50 Boeing 737 Max scheduled to be delivered through 2027. The aircraft is expected to officially enter service on November 9, 2017, when it operates from Calgary to Toronto.
The Boeing 737 MAX is powered by CFM International’s LEAP-1B engines, designed for fuel efficiency and noise reduction. Overall, the aircraft is 14 per cent more fuel-efficient than current 737 Next-Generations and have a reduced operational noise footprint of up to 40 per cent through quiet-engine technology.
WestJet’s 737 MAX 8 aircraft feature a single cabin with 174 seats. Its seating configuration consists of three rows of Plus in addition to 11 more rows with a seat pitch of 34 inches. Further enhancing WestJet’s guest experience, the aircraft comes with Boeing’s new Sky Interior which has features such as customizable LED lighting and new speakers to improve sound and clarity of onboard announcements.
WestJet’s current fleet consists of 117 Boeing Next-Generation 737s, four Boeing 767s and 42 Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft. WestJet has also entered into a definitive purchase agreement for 10 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners with the first aircraft expected to be delivered in January 2019. With one of the youngest fleets in the airline industry, WestJet continues its global growth while controlling operating costs and providing an award-winning guest experience.
WestJet adds The Chopped Leaf as exclusive meal supplier on board
WestJet also announced that it has partnered with fresh casual restaurant, The Chopped Leaf, in a move that will see the restaurant’s whole-food offerings available on board WestJet aircraft.
“WestJet and The Chopped Leaf have a common goal to break down the ‘airline food’ stigma,” said Rossen Dimitrov, WestJet Chief Guest Experience Officer. “The ingredients in our new menu have been sourced to provide healthier options with quality and taste in mind. We continue to evolve our onboard offerings to meet the needs of our 22 million annual guests.”
“WestJet values are very similar to ours at The Chopped Leaf,” said Nick Veloce, Innovative Food Brands Inc. President & COO parent company The Chopped Leaf. “We want to ensure our customers are delighted with their food experience and take great effort in making sure that each person who visits our locations leaves with a positive experience. This partnership with WestJet is now perfectly aligned to delivering on this wherever our customers are.”
Ingredients in The Chopped Leaf items are made from real food including whole grains, vegetables and meats that contain little to no preservatives. Specific menu items can be viewed in the onboard menu in seat pockets of WestJet flights. The Chopped Leaf meals will be rotated throughout the pre-purchase and buy-on-board menus as more products and variety are developed.
WestJet will offer guests on more than 250 daily flights the ability to pre-purchase or buy-on-board whole bowls, multi-grain sandwiches and salads. The Chopped Leaf products will be available for purchase on flights beginning November 15, 2017 and pre-purchase is available now for flights starting the same day.
In addition to its partnership with The Chopped Leaf, as of September 1, 2017 WestJet is now offering prosecco and a selection of international wines on board.