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Air Canada and WestJet revamp their fleets while working to drive down leverage

Now that Canada’s largest airline, Air Canada, has essentially completed a widebody fleet revamp, it is turning its attention to a narrowbody refresh underpinned by its order for 59 Boeing 737 Max narrowbodies.

Air Canada’s switch from Airbus to Boeing as the backbone of its narrrowbody fleet for the future is reflected in the Boeing dominance in orders among Canadian airlines. Canada’s second largest airline, WestJet, flies Boeing 737s in its mainline operations, and will mark a major milestone in 2019 with the delivery of its first 787 widebody.

Both airlines are attempting to keep their capital expenditures at reasonable levels, and Air Canada’s aircraft investments are dropping solidly year-on-year in 2018 as its commitments for more expensive widebodies wind down. WestJet’s aircraft capex is also slowing in 2018, before jumping in 2019 as widebody deliveries begin.

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