July 18, 2007 08:30 ET

WestJet Announces Additional Aircraft and Debt Financing

Airline finalizes term sheet for three more aircraft and completes financing for upcoming deliveries

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - July 18, 2007) - WestJet (TSX:WJA) today announced that it has finalized a term sheet with BOC Aviation Pte. Ltd. (BOC Aviation), formerly Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise (SALE), for three Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft to be delivered in 2010. Details of the agreement include two 700-series aircraft scheduled for delivery in January and June 2010 respectively and one 800-series aircraft to be delivered in May 2010.

The BOC Aviation agreement also provides WestJet with the ability to secure an additional two 700-series and one 800-series aircraft in 2011. The 700-series may be converted to 800-series at WestJet's option. Finalization of the transaction is subject to a number of conditions.

Sean Durfy, WestJet President commented, "An important part of our growth strategy includes increasing our capacity through fleet expansion. We have seen a strong demand for WestJet's service in the domestic, transborder and international markets. Having recently announced three new international destinations, as well as approval by Transport Canada to fly into four Mexican destinations, we are confident there are numerous profitable markets to deploy our growing number of aircraft."

WestJet also completed a debt-financing facility (the "Facility") arranged by ING Capital LLC and supported by loan guarantees from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) for US $105.6 million. The Facility, which includes ING Financial Holdings Corporation and Societe Generale (Canada Branch) as lenders, will support the purchase of two Boeing Next-Generation 737-700s and one 737-800 series aircraft.

WestJet will take delivery of the first of these Ex-Im supported aircraft on July 19, 2007 and will acquire the remaining two aircraft by the end of 2007.

The Facility will be drawn in Canadian dollars in separate loans with 12-year terms for each aircraft. The three aircraft are part of WestJet's current agreement with Boeing and is WestJet's fifth Ex-Im Bank supported facility for aircraft.

WestJet currently has a registered fleet of 65 aircraft. By the end of 2010, based on current committed deliveries, the airline will have a registered fleet of 88 aircraft.

WestJet is Canada's leading low-fare airline offering scheduled service throughout its 38-city North American and Caribbean network. Named Canada's most admired corporate culture in 2005 and 2006, WestJet pioneered low-cost high-value flying in Canada. With increased legroom and leather seats on its modern fleet of Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft, and live seatback television provided by Bell ExpressVu on the majority of its fleet, WestJet strives to be the number one choice for travellers.

Contact Information

  • WestJet
    Media Relations
    Gillian Bentley
    (403) 444-2615
    Website: www.westjet.com