Continuing our series of the oldest aircraft in various airlines’ fleets, Simple Flying now turns its attention to Canada’s WestJet. The low-cost turned full-service airline has flown Canadians to many destinations since 1996. Now, the airline boasts a fleet of over 120 jets, including some swanky new Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Here are the oldest aircraft in WestJet’s fleet.
The types of aircraft in WestJet’s fleet
WestJet itself is an all-Boeing aircraft. While it does have a regional subsidiary called WestJet Encore that flies an all-turboprop fleet made up of Bombardier Q400s, for this article, we will focus on the main airline’s aircraft.
One of the most interesting types of aircraft in WestJet’s fleet is the Boeing 737-600. The jet was not the most popular in the world, and there are only a few airlines still flying them. Alongside the smallest variant of the 737 Next Generation family, WestJet also files 737-700s, 737-800s, and has 737 MAX 8 aircraft in its fleet. For long-haul operations, WestJet now relies on Boeing 787 aircraft with its 767s parked.
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The Boeing 767-300ERs are pretty old
According to data from Planespotters.net, the oldest three aircraft in WestJet’s fleet are the Boeing 767-300ERs. C-FOGT and C-FWAD are 29 years old, while C-GOGN is 26 years old.
However, these jets have not flown for WestJet their entire lifespan. All three of these planes flew for Qantas in Australia before making their way to the Canadian carrier about five years ago, when WestJet placed them in service to London’s Gatwick International Airport.
In recent months, the Boeing 767s have looked like they are on their way out. All three planes have not flown for months on commercial services, and these old birds are just not as fuel-efficient as the 787s. With cash on the forefront of WestJet’s mind, the airline is likely looking to save on fuel and maintenance costs in a depressed travel environment.
The Boeing 737s
The Boeing 737s have been with the airline since the mid 1990s. In fact, WestJet began operations with just a pair of 737-200s, adding a further three in its first year of operation. These earliest 737s have now left the fleet, with the oldest in current use dating back to the early 2000s.
The Boeing 737-700s are the oldest. C-FJWS, C-FKWS, C-GLWS, and C-FZWS are all 19 years old. Another batch of four jets are all 18 years old (C-GRWS, C-GTWS, C-GUWS, C-GWSH), and the rest are all 17 years or younger. There are 52 737-700s in the airline’s fleet.
The oldest Boeing 737-800s are 15 years old. These five aircraft are C-GKWJ, C-GJWS, C-GZWS, C-GWSA, and C-GWBL. All five of these, plus the 737-700s mentioned above, have only flown for WestJet. WestJet has a total of 39 Boeing 737-800s in its fleet.
As for the 737-600s, WestJet has 13 of these aircraft, all of which are 14-15 years old. The oldest of the 737-600s is C-GPWS, followed by C-GWSB and C-GWSI, which are all about 15 years old.
The 787s are the youngest
Unsurprisingly, the youngest type in WestJet’s fleet is the Boeing 787-9. The oldest of these aircraft is only about two years old. WestJet has used the 787s to expand its international long-haul operations. The Dreamliners feature lie-flat seats and upgraded interiors compared to the Boeing 767s and have further facilitated WestJet’s move from a low-cost to a full-service carrier. WestJet currently operates six 787-9s.
What is the oldest WestJet aircraft you have flown on? Let us know in the comments!